Suggestions for Greece?

<p>DS (17) has expressed interest in a trip to Greece next summer with mom. Though we've always traveled independently, we think a tour/cruise might be helpful in this instance, both with logistics and with the whole mother-son dynamic. We both much prefer ruins and museums to beaches and booze. Recommendations?</p>

<p>Based on my experiences in Greece a number of years ago, I think a mainland tour might be better than an island cruise, given that you are not interested in "beaches and booze."</p>

<p>TripAdvisor is always a great source of travel advice.</p>

<p>Ideally, we'd do both. The mainland obviously has the most historical interest, but it seems weird to go to Greece and not see at least some of the islands. (I would also love to see Istanbul and Ephesus, but that might be pushing it.)</p>

<p>My parents went on a trip to Greece last summer. They first explored Athens on their own then took a cruise. I think they used a cruise line called Windstar. They offer cruises of the Greek isles alone or combined with Turkey. It's a more upscale, smaller cruise line but it offered a more relaxing, personal atmosphere than larger cruise ships. Hope this helped!</p>

<p>Thanks--it does. The Windstar cruise is actually my first choice right now. It gets very good reviews.</p>

<p>If you are staying in Athens I would recommend the Plaka Hotel. The roof top bar/patio has a stunning view of the Acropolis at night. The hotel is nice and the area is good too. You can look it up on Tripadvisor.</p>

<p>H and kids went to Greece a couple years ago on land tour. We had a great time but discovered that Greece is actually pretty easy to get around. There are high speed boats that travel between the islands and can be booked easily (like going to a bus station). If we ever went back we would go on our own rather than with a tour.<br>
We went on almost all the optional tours to all the famous spots which resulted in some long bus rides but were never disappointed. History really comes alive!
You can NOT miss Ephesus or Istanbul! That was the best part of the trip! So much to see! I would have to drag out my million pix to say where all we went but I'm sure Trip Advisor or Rick Steve's site has plenty of great advice. Have fun!</p>

<p>Decide what you want to see and then see if you can find a cruise or tour that matches. Windstar cruises are phenomenally expensive, and better deals (and accomodations) may be found with larger ships. The Windstar ports of call are the usual touristy spots and from my travel there, I think there's a lot more one can see (Check Princess Cruises for some of their smaller ship 12 day cruises around the Aegean)</p>

<p>Keep in mind in either case the costs are fairly high and flying to Greece - or anywhere in Europe for that matter - in the summer is pricy.</p>

<p>Last summer H and I took a Tauck tour that began in Athens. We did about 5 days in Greece and then boarded the Windstar for 7 days - Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, then Turkey - Bodrum and Ephesus (a MUST see) and finally 3 days in Istanbul. I was skeptical about a tour but it was fabulous. Very high quality - especially the guides. I've never had more academically-inclined but also entertaining guides any place I've gone.</p>

<p>My suggestion for Greece is not to go.</p>

<p>I'll also offer a word of caution. My daughter visited Greece last summer with some friends. She's an intrepid traveler and started her journey in Turkey, flew to Santorini, visited some other island and then went to Athens. She actually felt unsafe in Athens, which is saying a lot.</p>

<p>10 years ago our family had a wonderful trip to Greece. One of our favorite stays was on the island of Tinos. We arranged our hotel through Windmill Travel Agency which was based on TInos and founded by an American woman. Of course don't know if they are still around-but the island was really magical and low key.
We also had a nice stay in Athens- and a great stay in Naphlion on the Pellopenesean(i know I spelled that wrong) penninsula.
I researched a lot on Matt Barrett's Guide to Greece website(again 10 years ago!) and just got wonderful recomendations.l
We found the people so warm and friendly-and the history and sites so interesting! I would go back if we could afford to after sending two kids through college!</p>

<p>A</a> Greece Travel Guide: Matt Barrett's Guide to the Greek Islands, Athens and Mainland Greece</p>

<p>The above is the link for Matt Barrett's current site.</p>

<p>Windmills</a> Travel and tourism, leader in the Greek market of Tour Operators and Greece Travel Agents</p>

<p>The current link for Windmills travel agency</p>

<p>"I'll also offer a word of caution. My daughter visited Greece last summer with some friends. She's an intrepid traveler and started her journey in Turkey, flew to Santorini, visited some other island and then went to Athens. She actually felt unsafe in Athens, which is saying a lot. "</p>

<p>exactly and it is going to get worse - much worse</p>

<p>We were in Greece and Turkey a couple of years ago. We loved Turkey and cannot recommend it enough. Istanbul and Ephesus were great. If you prefer to go to Greece, Santorini is a nice island to visit. Athens has never been a favorite city, but probably worth a couple days if you haven’t been there before. For me, the best part of Greece is the Peloponnese, in particular Monemvasia.</p>

<p>I should add that my daughter has taught in Harlem and traveled solo to Nairobi. What happened to her in Greece was a ferry she was booked on from one of the outlying islands cancelled and they were told to take another ferry to Athens. That ferry was delayed and was to arrive at the mainland after midnight. When they got on the mainland they found that the taxi's were on strike and there was only one bus available. The driver promised it would take them and the other passengers along a normal route that would get them to their destination. Instead he forced all of the passengers off in the very worst part of Athens. They saw one of their fellow passengers have their purse stolen. Somehow they managed to make it to a better section of town, locked their hotel door and spoke of not going out except to get to the airport. Of course, after a good nights sleep, they realized that was just a horrible experience and spent the rest of the day in the tourist sections of town. I am a huge proponent of going off the beaten track - but not there.</p>

<p>BTW, We too took a Mediterranean cruise that included Mykonos, Santorini and Athens several years ago, which was why my daughter wanted to return. We LOVED the islands and Athens was the only port where we felt any anti-American sentiments.</p>

<p>I agree that the people of Greece are so nice and warm. And the food is wonderful. With reasonable precautions, you should be safe.</p>

<p>If you're limited as to time and budget, I'd say do Santorini (for the best possible island experience) and the Peloponnese, with the high spots of Athens included in the latter.</p>

<p>We have been looking at REI Greek Island hopping trip. Go to REI.com site to get link. If we go, it will be in June.</p>

<p>NJTheatreMom, thanks for the Windmills agency suggestion. They have an itinerary that looks very much like what we would like, though they seem to use Louis cruises, which gets very mixed reviews. But worth investigating for sure.</p>

<p>The REI trip looks cool, but is not for us. Enjoy, Lorelei!</p>

<p>The issue of strikes is actually the primary reason I would prefer to use an agency and book a tour/cruise.</p>