I'm posting this on the Rome board since I'm guessing some of you have combined Rome and Athens. This will be my first trip (5 days) to Athens and I'll be staying at the Marriott Ledra. Any advice? I plan to do the normal Athens things (Acropolis, Agora, etc.) as well as visiting Old Corinth, Cape Sounion, Epidauros and Mycenae. (I'm mostly interested in the ancient history aspects.)
I'd appreciate any ideas about getting around, the hotel, etc. While I plan as always to learn a few phrases in Greek, what have been your experiences with English in Greece?
You shouldn't have any language issue... I don't speak Greek (it's all Greek to me! ok, bad joke!) but didn't have any problems at all. Hotel is not very well situated for site-seeing but you can take the bus and metro. And, you'll certainly be doing a lot of walking... which I enjoy so it wasn't an issue.
How about a trip up to Kalambaka to see the stunning monestaries at Meteora? I truly think they are a 'must see'! They should be included in the new 7 wonders of the world! Some pics of Meteora are attached. You can drive there in, I believe, about 3 hours from Athens... so it would make for a long day.
The charming, quaint isle of Hydra is worth a trip also. We took the hydrofoil from Pireaus to Hydra and spent a few hours on Hydra. Then took another ferry to Poros and spent some time wandering around there. Took a 'taxi boat' across to the Peloponnese and negotiated for a guided tour to Epidarous and Corinthe with a local taxi driver. He dropped us at a roadside bus stop where we caught a bus back to Athens. A lot to see in one day but certainly doable.
I stayed 5 nights last year at this hotel the staff was super! They provide a shuttle bus to down town every 30 minutes and the driver we had was a jewel. The single stop downtown is just around the corner from a very nice pastry store, if you have a sweet tooth stop each morning. There are some wonderful restaurants and I will have to look up names and addresses. when you go to ancient Corinth you will go by train and old Corinth is a 10 euro ride from the station there is nothing of note in Corinth itself so just go to ancient Corinth. This was where Saint Paul spent some time and is very interesting but also very much in the sun and very hot! They just opened the museum under the Acropolis. Enjoy and send a post from the trip!
I only had a few days there before hopping on a small cruise ship, but fell in love with Athens. The Ledra is huge. As I recall, there is a Starbucks nearby, and several other small eating places.
I took cabs to central spots and then did a lot of walking. If you have a chance, you have got to go to Melissinos Art - The Poet Sandalmaker, 2 Aghias Thaklas St., Psirri, Athens. This is a small 3rd generation sandalmaker. The designs are simple, but classic greek, unbelievably comfortable, and he will custom fit them to your foot while you wait. I spent 2 hours watching him work and waiting my turn. If interested, I believe he has a web site. He is one of the reasons I want to return to Athens!
Not everybody speaks English, especially the cab drivers, so have your destination in writing.
i am planning my 3rd trip to italy and wanted to add 3 or 4 days in Athens. What is the best way to get to Athens from Rome? Anyone have experience combining these two tours. Right now, I have 11 days booked, 5 in Rome with a few spare days to go to Florence, maybe Venice. Thanks in advance for your help.