We worked with Athens Insiders for the first half of our two-week trip to Greece to celebrate our son's graduation, and we could not have been happier with our experience. The folks at Athens Insiders took care of everything starting at the airport when we landed. We didn't have to worry about anything! If you can, hiring this group will add so much to your vacation. The highlights:
Our first full day we had a tour of the Acropolis, the New Acropolis Museum, a walk through Plaka neighborhood, a stroll to Monastiraki Square, and the Ancient Agora. We also rode to the Panathenaic Stadium, a trip to Lycabettus Hill to view the Acropolis from above, and ended with a view the of the parliament building, the university, the library, and ended by watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Our guide for the day was Andronikos, and he was great.
The second day, we had a side trip, but Athens Insiders made sure we arrived at the Ferry with tickets in hand for the round trip. When we returned, we were met by our Host for the next five days, Yannis, and began our 5-day adventure of the mainland. We started right away with a stop at Saunio to see Poseidon's Temple, then going to Delphi for the night. Our adventures carried us to Corykeion Cave the next day, and the hike from there to Delphi (guide Nikos); followed by a tour of Delphi (guide Christina). Yiannis suggested we stop and taste some olive oil at Vassilis, and it was wonderful! Their olive oil won an international award. We then had coffee in Itea with our travel agent, Chris, of Asimina Tours, who booked our entire trip (including hiring Athens Insiders).
From there, we headed to Olympia (guide Vassilis). We had a bit of time, so Yiannis suggested we stop for lunch and a welcome break at a restaurant (Kakovatos) that was right on the beach where we enjoyed incredibly fresh seafood and greek salad, followed by a nap on the beach! Then we got on the road to Nafplio.
We started with a tour of the old city, which is so lovely, with a town square, and many shops and restaurants. The people were friendly and welcoming. This was our home base for the next few days. Our first night we splurged on dinner at 360 and enjoyed some wonderful meat!
Our next day was a tour of Epidaurus and Mycenae (guide Ilias). Then a quick gyro lunch and on to the Skouras Winery for a wine tasting. That afternoon, Yiannis took us on a tour of the Palmidi Castle, we had dinner on our own, but met up with Yiannis again to watch some football (soccer).
Our final day was departing Nafplio and heading back to Athens to continue the rest of our adventure. Yiannis pointed out Corinth and we stopped to see the canal and watched someone who was bungee jumping from the bridge. Quite thrilling.
I will say that our experience with Athens Insiders was amazing. We were taken care of from start to finish. All of our guides were incredibly knowledgeable and obviously loved their country and loved sharing their knowledge with the four of us. And a special thank you to our host, Yiannis. He was kind, patient, and always making sure we had snacks, water, etc. He was so happy to share his country with us, from the flora to the food! He knows a story about every landmark and location and was such a wealth of knowledge to us. Mostly, he became part of our family and he will always hold a special place in our hearts.
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