We were four friends traveling to Athens and to Paros this month and we contacted George several months in advance because of his fantastic reviews on TripAdvisor. He was So helpful in making sure we stayed in a quiet area of Athens to relax after our time in the city,helped to choose the island we traveled to, (Paros) made sure we stayed on the ideal part of the island, and he arranged our ferry! That was before we even arrived! When we did arrive we were met by George and his son who presented us each with a rose. We had our first Greek culinary experience at a restaurant he chose for its local appeal, and started a trip-long love affair with Greek food. What I know is this, thanks to my experience with George, Athens is a real, living place for me. The fresh air out of the mountains. The Aegean with schools of fish falling like leaves through impossibly clear water and Poseidon sea grass waving, it lives inside me now. The sun setting at the Temple of Poseidon after a day in the sea will remain one of my best experiences, but it’s hard to choose just one day as every day he arranged was perfect, we trusted him to guide us and reaped the benefits!
Are you reading this because you want to Experience Greece? If you are, like I was, see Greece with George, see the Aegean with Nikos as your skipper. You will remember the experience long after the souvenirs have faded. As an American from a young country, seeing Athens, the birthplace of civilization as we know it was incredible. Seeing it (and Nafplio, the Corinth Canal and Mycenae!) while just talking to George about it, not reeling facts like a tour guide but conversation with an interesting friend with a joy for life and a wicked guitar. On the water or on land there is no way to experience a city like you can here with them. Our dinner overlooking Athens with fish and shrimp speared that morning, our walking tour of Athens that gave me a feel for the city I know I could have gotten nowhere else, the taste of fresh picked apricots, the neighborhood farmers market. None of that would have been possible without a passionate interested guide who can show you the Greece of the Greeks, not the guidebook. I can tell you everything we did, but that isn’t the point. The conversation, the Overall experience, being with a local and having the local experience, That is the point, and if that is how you wish to see the places you visit, this is the place for you. Don’t pass up this opportunity!! I’m still thinking about many of the things we talked about as we traveled and I’m sure I will for years to come. Thank you George, Nikos, Evan and of Course Panayotis for an unforgettable first experience of Greece, it will certainly not be the last.