magical, memorable, sweet, and lovely...
Greece | Aug 24 - Sep 16, 2022

S
Shannon S.
Seattle, WA | Reviewed on Sep 23, 2022

Wow...it is hard to write about all the amazing experiences we had without writing a novel. From the beginning Christos was curious and interested in knowing about us so he could really personalize the trip. He gave options, asked questions, got on the phone so we could work out some of the intricacies... attentive and genuinely curious...he wanted this trip to be magical. And it was! Other notes about Christos and travel12 (the on the ground support) were little touches like having our... read more

Wow...it is hard to write about all the amazing experiences we had without writing a novel. From the beginning Christos was curious and interested in knowing about us so he could really personalize the trip. He gave options, asked questions, got on the phone so we could work out some of the intricacies... attentive and genuinely curious...he wanted this trip to be magical. And it was! Other notes about Christos and travel12 (the on the ground support) were little touches like having our boarding passes for the following day printed at our hotels when we arrive, checking in to ask how the trip is going, and fast responses when we did have questions.

The first week of the trip was self planned. Christos coordinated a rental car and Kyros at Kosmos rental car was so easy to work with. He called me when we landed and told me exactly how to find him. It was a smooth and caring transition after a 19 hour flight. This week included Monemvasia, a full tour of the Mani peninsula, sea kayaking in Kardimyli, Mycenae, Nafplio, and so many wonderful beaches, tavernas, and new friends.

The Athens/parthenon day of the trip was interesting (hot and tiring as well but it was also August). We did the mythology tour with Eleni as a host and learned a lot, had fun seeing the sites while also learning. Christos booked us a wine tasting dinner that evening at Cinque wine bar. The wines were wonderful, the food was delicious, the parings were unique and the education about Greek wine making was fantastic. The staff were all so friendly and it was proper greek dinner (3 hours of leisurely enjoying and being with family and friends).

On to Meteora! Words lack for the absolute wonder that is Meteora. Our guide... the only one whose name I don't remember but her style and knowledge were off the charts! She was really wonderful, answered questions, gave us time where we were curious and made sure to get us to a sunset view (even skipped the crowded one and took us to a better spot). We were super hungry as the tour wrapped up so she drove us to her favorite local taverna and made sure we knew how to get to our hotel after dinner. Our hotel was sweet and a lovely picturesque spot. We were comfortable and slept so well!

Delphi...my body still feels the energy there. The tour was an evening tour which was perfect! there weren't many people, it was cooler and we had time to really take it in. We started at the museum and Marillia walked us through giving us a history lesson and answering our many questions. She was mindful to move through the museum in a way where we weren't with multiple other tours. We appreciated this for multiple reasons (covid, over stimulation, and we could actually see the pieces we were talking about). As we walked to the oracle we were really able to feel and be with the energy of the space. Marillia was also interested in the ways that energy transmits and talked about her experience of Delphi as someone who doesn't live there but goes there to work 1-2x/week. It is a place where you feel shifts in you. I had a calm and curious energy and my partner has an active/excited energy. It was really unique. The temples/ruins are stunning and the views are breathtaking. The federales hotel was a sweet little spot. The room was small but perfect for one night. the view from the balcony was amazing!

Xania was a different world. We stayed in an Airbnb in the old town center and the streets were packed with people! It was an amazing experience to walk through the town and see ruins and new buildings intermixed. The botanical gardens were absolutely amazing! We had so much fun walking through and experiencing the many plants and then a truly delicious meal. The beaches of Crete are truly unique and beautiful.

The drive from Xania to Iraklio was beautiful. We made a stop in Rythemno and then decided to keep going and find a little taverna where we could swim and get fresh fish. We were not disappointed in our stop. In Iraklio we spent a day at the castle of Knossos. Lina was a delight. She knew the rhythm of the crowds at Knossos and she moved us around the ruins so that we could really see and enjoy it fully. It was one of the most spectacular of the many ruins. I only wish we had the time to go to the other castles on Crete.

Thera...you really don't get it until you get here. Constantinos was our driver from the boat to the hotel and into Oia. He was so lovely. He told us about the geography of the area and what he fell in love with and brought him to the island. He was sweet and worked with us as we got to the hotel and had a little timing conundrum. Oia was beautiful and interesting. We were admittedly done with tourist spots at this point so we took the time to focus on gifts we wanted to get for people and enjoyed a few hours of shopping and cafes/tavernas. We watched the sunset from our hotel, Kasimatis suites. Christos did us right on this one. We were in Imerovigli, highest point, and the view was absolutely breathtaking. The waterless farming tour with Ana was an absolute highlight of the trip. She was so sweet and dedicated to what she loves. Her family, her land, and her food. She taught us about the way they do anhydrous farming. How it changes the flavors and textures of the food. And the cooking/sharing a meal portion of the day really brought the group together. Ana was really good at asking the group questions that sparked deeper conversation and created a sense of family for a day. the wineries were really interesting and the tastings were enjoyable. What I took from this day is the absolute loveliness that was Ana's love and passion.

Local specialist: Christos Mylonas
Christos
Christos Mylonas
Local specialist in Athens | Reviewed on Sep 26, 2022

Dear Shannon
Thank you very much for this extensive review and your kind words about me. Not only you have put some interesting details about the trip but you also made an lovely, even poetic narration of your trip!
It is true that we have started a long time ago and I had the time to work on it as much I wanted and to be able to understand what you wanted.
I am very happy that everything went well and you finally had a great time in Greece.
I wish all the best to you
Greetings form Greece
Christos