1/3 art & history, 1/3 experiences, 1/3 outdoors
Dec 15 - Dec 23, 2018
This trip so far exceeded expectations that it is hard to know where to begin this review. Tasos did an amazing job of customizing our 8-night trip to Athens and the Peloponnese to fit our family group’s unique mix of interests and personal style. We wanted to and did take in some of the “must sees”, such as the Acropolis and other ancient Athenian sites as well as the Acropolis Museum, which we explored on a wonderful private tour focusing on mythology and guided by warm and knowledgeable former archeologist. Another day, we explored the Mycenae archeological site and beautiful coastal town of Nafplio with Ilias, a historian, as our guide. Although both these experiences were wonderful, and made all the more so by the relative uncrowdedness resulting from our unconventional choice to visit Greece in December, it was the more personalized experiences that Tasos arranged that really set this trip apart. These included: (1) a wonderful day of rock-climbing with a fantastic and knowledgeable guide, Kostas, who took us to a stunningly beautiful location on the cliffs near Nafplio with routes for widely differing levels of climbers and helpful instruction for those who needed it; (2) a spectacular mountain hike above the clouds guided by Nick, who provisioned us well with both equipment and a satisfying lunch and Mountain Tea prepared by his wife, Daphne (we asked for and were given the recipe for her raw cereal bars; yum!); and (3) a visit to an organic olive farm and vineyard guided by Carola and effusively welcomed by farmer Dmitri and his family, who was the soul of hospitality and with whom we shared a wonderful home cooked lunch under his arbor; and (4) a tour of Athens street art with Niko (???), an engaging professional graphic artist.
Our accommodations were all charming and comfortable, ranging from a magical old stone bed and breakfast far off the beaten path in the mountain village of Kefalari, to artistic and eclectic suites in Nafplio, to elegant hotels in Athens and the Athenian Riviera.
Tasos and his team provided an extraordinary and thoughtful level of service. This included providing our party with a Greek cell phone with our itinerary pre-loaded and including google map links to all our destinations. It also included the services of our wonderful driver in Athens, Lampros, who was fantastic in meeting all our flights (including a much delayed 3:00 a.m. arrival!) and getting us to and from our city tours. Tasos and Lampros even got me an appointment with an eye clinic when I arrived in Athens with a terrible eye allergy, and Lampros came with me to the appointment to translate.
In sum, I cannot say enough good things about this trip and the incredible level of service provided by Tasos and his team.