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About Athens Today

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People who read the news and watch CNN can't help but wonder what the Greek Gods have in store for Athens. Will the city survive austerity? Will the economy collapse? And what happens in a worst case scenario? For those of us who come from 'stable' societies, what is going on in Athens seems scary. Oddly though, that has not stopped people from coming to Athens, either to see the ancient sites and museums and to shop, eat and drink or because they are on their way to the islands or are exploring the mainland. And those who have come have seen that despite all the financial problems, life goes on. 

The images of Athens as a city in flames as anarchists and heavily armoured policemen battle daily is a creation of the media. Yes for the average Athenian times are hard. They are being taxed heavily, pensions are being cut, and the number of unemployed grows as the country sits in a kind of limbo, not knowing if more help is on the way in the form of more loans and bailouts, or if they are going to go back to the drachma and work this out themselves. Is this a collapse of a society or the birth of something new and better? Could be both.

I am assuming that in the area of tourism, things will be better than two years ago when strikes disrupted people's travel plans. The summer of 2013 was very peaceful and things seem to be improving in Greece if we are to believe the media. I believe a new reality has set in and the unions have come to the realization that successful tourism is important to the future of Greece since it is the one thing that actually works and brings in money. I also have noticed that the major demonstrations have disappeared as people have realized that demonstrations just inconvenience and annoy their neighbors and guests and don't solve anything, and that they are going to have to work together to get out of this mess, so why make things even worse? The tourist industry has not given up on Athens and even now the major cruise companies are negotiating to make Athen's port of Pireaus a major hub. Petty crime is a problem as it is in any large city but if you are aware and take precautions then this should not be a problem. Yes there are areas that I don't recommend you stay in if you want to feel safe, and on my hotels page I tell you where the best located hotels are.

So actually the introduction I wrote right after the Olympics still applies:

Central Athens, the area around the Acropolis which contains all the ancient sites, museums, restaurants, shops, cafes and parks is pretty much as it always was. What they had achieved to prepare for the Olympics is turn a city, known for its faults as much as its assets, into one of the most walkable, livable, exciting, art, music and entertainment centers in the world. By unifying all the antiquities with parks and pedestrian streets and avenues and tying them in with the nightlife areas of the Plaka, Psiri and Thission they have created a model that other cities are sure to follow. With the new highways that divert traffic from the downtown they have not only made the city streets safer and the air cleaner but they have made it easier to get in and out of town by car, bus or taxi. The new metro makes the trip to the airport and the port easier and opens up new neighborhoods to visitors who used to be confined to an island downtown surrounding the Acropolis. The coastal tram means you can get on one of the new air-conditioned light-rail cars and go to the beach, or shop and have dinner in the coastal suburbs. Athens is no longer a city that it takes awhile to get-to-know before you actually like it. Athens is entering a second Golden Age. The museums and galleries are renovated, air-conditioned and bigger and better with more opening. The streets are clean, hotels have all been renovated and restored, many made accessable to the disabled. The restaurants, tavernas, cafes, clubs and bars stay open late and as many who came for the Olympics discovered, ATHENS ROCKS like no other city on earth. And if you prefer a more quiet Athens there are parks and quiet neighborhoods that will suit you too. What this means is that anytime of the year Athens is entertaining, whether it is your stop-off on the way to and from the Greek Islands in the summer or if you visit during the 3 other seasons and use it as your base for daytrips to explore the Peloponessos and the mainland. Athens has something for everybody and despite the problems caused by the economy, the Athenians have good reason to be proud of their city.

So you ask yourself... should I go to Athens? I can't foretell the future. I don't know how the economy will affect your trip. Probably you will find some bargains and there may be some problems. But if you follow my advice and things don't entirely unravel, there is no reason why you shouldn't enjoy yourself in Athens, even during the crisis, as many of these people below have. If you are worried at all, book your trip with a reliable Greek Travel Agency and they will keep you happy and safe.

(Between you and me if you are really worried don't even stay downtown. You can stay by the sea or in the tree-shaded suburb of Kifissia and take a taxi or public transport downtown, see the sites and come back in time for a swim. See Athens Coast and Kifissia or check out these new programs by Fantasy Travel called Far from the Maddening Crowd).

By the way in the past when people asked me if they should buy travel insurance my response was usually, I wouldn't but you can if it makes you feel more secure. My feeling now is if travel insurance is not outrageously expensive then yes you should buy it when traveling to Greece. It is unlikely that events could cause your whole trip to be canceled but wouldn't you feel more comfortable knowing you could get your money back if it was? So yes, I do recommend buying travel insurance. For more information see

If you want to keep up with what is happening in Greece on a daily basis come and join my Greece Travel Group on Facebook and talk to me and other people who live and travel to Greece regularly.

Travel During the Crisis

These are e-mails I have received from people who have recently returned from travel in Athens....

Hi Matt:

Just want to say how much I appreciate your recommending Aegean Thesaurus. I have been to Greece many times, traveling on my own, and so I felt a little sheepish about using a travel agency. But I took your advice, and contacted Aegean. Smartest thing I could have done.

Jana has booked our vacation efficiently, and speedily, and worked with us so that we got just what we wanted. That means no hassles in Athens. Now all I have to do is decide where to have my first ouzo (Come to think of it, not an easy decision!)

Thanks again and hats off to your web site and to Aegean Thesaurus

John K

Hi Matt!

We just returned from our 3 wk trip in Greece, and I can't thank you enough for all of your recommendations. You are so right about everything!!

1. We used George's Taxi and had Makis Kourtis give us the best day tour we ever could have imagined!! He was kind, funny, smart...surpassed all expectations! I hope you get to drive with Makis someday, he's now one of my favorite people.

2. Loved Sifnos!! Aegean Thesaurus helped us so much. Stayed at Alexandros Hotel, ate at Manolis in Vathi, all great. We definitely bought some Kosta Depastas trick pottery! I was thinking that he needs a sign out on the main street or at least one down by the beach. So many people were there and had no idea that around the corner was this tremendous pottery!

3. Loved Naxos!! Stayed at Agios Prokopios where the turquoise beaches really deliver. Stayed at Naxos Island Hotel, couldn't recommend it more!! Some of the best service we received anywhere, truly kind people through and through. Ate at Axiotissa, blown away.

4. I know that you love your regular hotel in Santorini, but Artemis Villas in Imerovigli was the same price and we had a private jacuzzi on our deck with an unbelievable view that includes Skaros Rock. I would certainly check it out. The service was impeccable. We also loved how quaint Imerovigli is, as we were unimpressed with how touristy and overrun both Oia and Fira are. We were much happier experiencing the true Greek culture on Sifnos and Naxos. Thank you for recommending those two islands!!

Your website helped make our trip spectacular. THANK YOU. You are quite famous around the Greek Islands and I understand why. You have directed so much goodness their way, and now knowing how kind and generous the Greek people are, I want to tell the whole world to go there too!!

Thank you, truly.


Dear Matt,

No questions here, just a warm and big "Thank you!" for your site, for the guides, for the info, and especially for the various types of info. We did have the best gyros in Athens, and still found the place surrounded only be Greeks, we actually saw all of the Athens (well, not all, of course, but a lot of Athens) starting from your guide. And now we're planning our honeymoon, it's quite cold here now (we're from Romania and Transylvania is going through a very early fall), so we picked a Greek island and what do you know, we found it on your site. So we're more assured now (we chose, in part our decision, in part what the agencies could dig up on the last minute) Corfu and despite its British label, we're sure that we will find something more authentic there, thanks to what you wrote as well.

So thanks again, keep up the good work so that we can keep up reading and visiting!

Veronica Z

Dear Matt,

I am writing to you to tell, how we really appreciat for your web, which has helped me to get the most important information and correct thought when I was planning my first trip to Greece for this March in January.

I hope that you could remeber me. I am the lady in Beijing. Now I just want you know that we, I and another two ladies already have finished out dream trip which is of such a wonderful travel, that I and my friends are content, happy with all pride, that we can make it! I must say, without your informative guiding web, I would not have been able to find Fantacy Travel, and Georgetaxiservice. Everything was running peferct, could not be better!!!

We are all thinking to go again with our families...

Thanks lot again

Hope Tian

Hi, Matt:

We had a great time in Greece.  We stayed at the Hotel Attalos in Athens -
and it was everything you said it was.  I was lugging a big suitcase since
I was continuing on to visit my mother in America and it was good to
have a place to leave it without worry.  The staff was so friendly and
Sifnos was so beautiful!  We walked all over on the old trails.
We were there for 5 days and saw only one other family of tourists.
I am saving up for our next trip to Greece and will recommend your
website to friends.

Dear Matt,

I recently returned from a solo trip to Athens, Mykonos, Naxos, Santorini, and Istanbul. Since my independent travel guru, Rick Steves, does not write much about the islands, I followed his advice and a recommendation from a fellow Frommer's blogger, and found your website. I booked my hotels, transfers, ferry and air travel from Santorini to Istanbul through Fantasy Travel. I just want to tell you that everything went smoothly. All of my transfers were on time or early to pick me up. I was fortunate that the fast ferries did not cancel although they were each 2 hours late. One day the seas were at a category 6 and I was told that the fast ferries cancel at a category 8. Thank you for your excellent website and I recommend Fantasy Travel to anyone traveling to Greece or Turkey. Whether you like to travel with a tour or independently, they are an asset.

P. H
Belleville, IL

Hi Matt,
Just a note to say "thanks" for all the great info in your Greece Travel Guide.  My wife and I just returned from our first visit to Greece and I must say the trip was easier and more enjoyable due to tips and hints we picked up from your site.  The best of those suggestions was using a travel agency.  Fantasy Travel did a great job for us.  I can't imagine getting off the ferry in Pireaus without having someone waiting forme with a cab. 
Most of our trip consisted of a week on Sifnos.  I was afraid the island might not live up to your rave reviews but, if anything, you understated the case.  I've never been to a place filled with friendlier people.  We're ready to go back already.
Many thanks.
Bill &Susie H
Mebane, NC


Thanks for the prompt reply!  Testimonials:

1)      Attalos Hotel:  Just to say we went to Greece last year, more or less at the height of the economic crisis associated riots, etc., and the Attalos Hotel could not have been more accommodating than they were…. Very helpful, supportive of the tourists’ ‘plight’ with respect to transport strikes, etc.  We had several days of iffy-transport options, but always managed to get to where we needed to be and go with Attalos’ help.  In addition- the hotel is great value for money.  Rooms are more than adequate, clean, many have lovely balconies, and the location is top.  On top of all that the daily breakfast is damn good for what you get and sets you for the day.  I would go back any time and stay there.  Plus, via Matt’s link it is so easy to book the Attalos Hotel now!

2)      Mr. Lefteris (“Lefty”), our wonderful taxi driver / guide in Crete.  Although Lefty lives in Heraklion, he came to Chania for us and gave us a super day tour of Western Crete, replete with monastery visits, villages, monuments, local history, and a fabulous ‘in-the-plaza’ lunch under a sprawling oak tree in a small village….it was truly memorable, and anybody who needs to get out of Chania and see other areas of the island would do well to contact him for these logistics.  In addition, Lefty created a great plan for us when we left Crete:  we were taking the ferry to Santorini from Heraklion, so he picked us up again at the crack of dawn from Chania, took us to Knossos in the wee hours (also to witness the sunrise there – aaaahhhh!!!!), before getting us to the port in time for our ferry to Santorini – perfect!  (MATT:  I forgot Lefty’s last name, phone number, etc., so perhaps you can these here.).

3)      Fantasy Travel:  Just as your site says- professional and efficient!  We booked almost everything, over the internet, with Ms. Patra at Fantasy, and all went perfectly well without a hitch.  Upon arrival in Athens we finally met her, picked up our documents at their office, and all went according to plan from that day on.  Very well done, professional, and this gave us perfect assurance, especially in such difficult times for Greece.

4)      Matt’s site itself:  I LOVE YOUR SITE, Matt, but it would be nice if you could add a link / box on your homepage with the latest economic / crisis news affecting Greece and how that may affect tourists / tourism, and especially those areas / links that are discussed on your site.  If that is done, then you have an integrated, all-informing site that handles more of the current concerns of travelers going to Greece.  A blog approach with comments capability from readers would also be interesting to discuss the sources of the Greece mess, because tourists do talk about these things with Greeks while there, so this could also be another feature or enhancement to the site.  I had some very pro- and con- discussions as to whose ‘fault’ all this mess is.

5)      If I can think of any other testimonials, I send them on later…..

Best Regards,

Eric Kaljo Roos

Principal Consultant

DNV Energy Jakarta, Indonesia

Sept 1 2012

Hi Matt,

I just wanted to drop you an email and let you know how wonderful your information was and how much it helped my husband and me on our highly anticipated vacation to Greece this year! I have wanted to visit Greece since I first started learning about their history and mythology in junior high school. My husband didn't know much about Greece until we started planning this trip and the information you have on your website was a great way for both of us to refresh on the history and the country.


This was our first real vacation and we were very nervous about it. We had only flown once in our lives and it was an hour and a half flight, so the fifteen hours of flying (from Utah) was very intimidating for us! Luckily, we survived and are planning more international trips for the future.


We used Fantasy Travel to arrange all of our transfers, hotels and tours, because of your recommendations. They were the greatest bunch of people I have ever had the experience of dealing with. Our travel agent, Vicky, was very accommodating and gave great information (such as the unreliability of ferries to some of the islands, and non touristy areas). I had so many ideas of places to go and things to see after reading through your websites and she was able to customize a great package for us that was economical as well as thorough and fun.


We stayed in Athens for a couple of days and then we took the four day classical tour (Mycenae, Epidavros, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora). We then went to Naxos and Santorini. We loved Naxos! It is very calm and not as touristy as I thought it would be. The scenery was amazing and the people were extremely friendly! We stayed at the Grotta Hotel and the room, the staff and the owner, Nicolette, were wonderful! After Santorini we went to Nafplio. The one word I would use to describe this town would be PERFECTION!!!! We stayed at the Marianna Pension and it was amazing. Everything about Nafplio, from the hotel to the fortresses were beautiful.


Sorry this is such a long email, but we really wanted to thank you again for all your great information that helped us to plan a very unique vacation. We were able to see everything we planned on seeing on this trip, and we plan on returning in the future to tour more of the mainland and new islands!

Thanks again for all your great advice,


Misty & Jeremy
July 2012

We returned from our 16 days in Greece and most happy!  NOW is the time to visit!!!  No lines anywhere.  No lines at any museum, restaurant, attraction, ferry boat, .....   And , every Greek we met was friendly, helpful, and interesting. 

Starting to plan next year's trip!

Phil & Margarita

Hi Matt,

I just got back from a four week holiday in Greece, with a week in Athens. 

Your website was such a fantastic resource, full of wonderful information and tips.  I cannot thank you enough.  It was my first time to Greece and I was travelling alone, so having as much information as possible before going was important.

Thanks to your tips, I bought a lovely gold ring at Byzantino Jewelery store, a nice bottle of ouzo from Angelo the Ouzo King, and a hand painted Byzantine icon from Zazanis.  I know that I purchased good quality gifts thanks to your recommendations.  I also managed to visit your top 10 sites in Athens – and they were wonderful, with my favourite being the Athens Market (even though I am a vegetarian, it was a great atmosphere!!). 

I am now also addicted to frappes, and have had serious withdrawal symptoms since leaving Greece (PS – the frappe at the cafe at Mt Lykavettos was pretty good – see attached picture).

So, Matt, thank you once again for your fantastic website J

All the very best,
Kathryn O'Connor

Good morning Matt,
My daughter and I have just returned from our 12 day visit to Greece and I have you to thank for our wonderful time. This trip looked very big to me and I was completely overwhelmed with the details of planning a trip like this. I stumbled on your website and truthfully, I felt a huge wave of relief. I had fun reviewing your suggestions with my daughter and we both used your resources to the fullest extent. In fact, at your suggestion I contacted Fantasy Travel and worked with Paula to create an itinerary that would work. Working with Fantasy Travel made our trip completely worry-free. From the time we were met at the Athen's airport to our departure, when a representative name Patty accompanied us from our hotel to the airport, we soaked up the Greek culture, hospitality and beauty. Of course upon our return so many people have asked about our trip. All I can say is that it exceeded my expectations and that Greece is lovely ... a must see by our account. We will recommend your site to all who ask.

Thank you again,

M Fenske

Dear Matt,

My husband and I recently went to Athens for the first time and had a wonderful time, partly thanks to your great tips. We went to Paradosiako, Ouzo Melathron, The Butcher Shop, Oineas and Cafe Evi - though Elvis wasn't there. We had wonderful food and service, and not one bad meal. We stayed in a terrific hotel with wonderful, attentive staff and cushy rooms, O&B in Psiri, which you might consider adding.

We definitely plan to return and explore other parts of Greece and will certainly refer to your guide when we do. Thanks so much for all the great advice.

Nancy and Per (US/Sweden/Germany)

Thanks Matt your web was very helpful. Only 4 days in Athens and I ate wonderfully thanks to you. . 


Hey Matt,

My daughter & I got back Saturday from 8 days in was so awesome I didn't want to come home. Perfect in every way even with credit card issues and getting Really Lost coming back from the National Archeological Museum. Thank you for all the work you've put into your website...I saw reviews there and would like to write one but did not see a link where I could add one. Do I email a review to you? I would also like to write a review for the Hotel Attalos and there is no place on their home page to do so. Where do you recommend I write one? I remember everyone's name at the hotel except for the 3 men who worked behind the desk in the lobby...if you know them, would you email them to me? They were all incredibly kind and helpful with all my credit card did not work the first day and one of the men who worked the night shift gave us money that night to eat and it turned out to be one of the best meals there. Thank you again for all your help,
Jodi T

Dear Matt

Just returned from my holiday in Greece and Turkey.

Thanks for all the hints and advise received, it certainly eased the way especially on our excursion to Agina and navigating around Athens.

It was a memorable holiday for my wife and I


Glen O

Hello Matt....we have used all your information extensively and want to thank you so very much..  Your site is a treasure trove of great tips.  We wanted to report in that Thansis had the best ever souvlaki was fantastic and it was so great to have a destination.  Today we had a wonderful late lunch at Oinomagerio Paradosiako...squid, sardines, shrimp, chicken & eggplant so good.  We were so happy and want to send along many thanks or shaing all your information.

We head to Crete tomorrow but have to say just loved Athens!

The Lubin Family

Dear Matt,

This is just a quick and simple but very sincere and genuine email thanking you for your fantastic online guide. I have just coay in Greece and I cannot begin to describe to you what a life changing experience it was. I feel like I've come back as a better version of myself, as corny as that sounds! It was my very first holiday alone and so felt like a huge achievement, almost like a present to myself :)

Greece seemed like a strange choice to family and friends, especially considering the current financial climate but your guide motivated me and made the place seem exciting and inspiring, and I was certainly in dire need of some inspiration so it made perfect sense to me! All the information that you have online is up to date, helpful, useful and relevant. It made travelling so much safer and made the trip easier overall. I wish you had a guide for every country in Europe to be honest!

So thank you so much for encouraging me to take this trip as you armed me with so much information and therefore confidence that I felt that I could in fact do it alone. Greece (I spent 5 days in Athens and 2 days in Santorini) is an experience which I will never forget and I'm grateful because you helped to make it happen. You write your guide with passion and real love for the country and it really shows.

Lots of love,
Yasmin (23 year old Female Explorer)

P.s. Female travelers worried about travelling alone, please do not be scared of Greece. It was such a lovely experience, I did not have any unwanted attention from men, at least not any more than I would have had back home! If you stick to the same common-sense measures that you would anywhere in the world, then you'll be fine!

P.s.s. My favorite part of Athens was without a doubt Exarchia and I'm so grateful for your guide that breaks down what the place actually means to Greeks rather than the overhyped media stories. It was nice to see all the tourist parts of Athens like Plaka but Exarchia is where I felt home and where I felt just like a Greek. People need to be aware of safety issues around certain areas but also go with an open mind when you're visiting a new country, you never know what you might find!



     I just wanted to say ‘Thank You’ for all of the useful information you put in your Athens Survival Guide. I am on the USS Enterprise and we just concluded a 3 day port visit to Piraeus . It was a quick visit and your website helped me maximize my short time there. I had a wonderful time, especially in the Agora on Athens street . I agree with you about the Agrinion olives and loaded up with half a kilo or so of them, that should last me a couple of days, LOL!

Anyway, thanks again for putting all of your experience into the website, it helped me tremendously!

Bill C

Hi Matt,

I hope the holidays have been great for you! We've had a wonderful couple of weeks in Athens. Thanks for your recommendations! We've had a few meals at Mary's, and have been to Saita Taverna, Apolausi and some other great places we stumbled upon. We'd agree that O Mbakalogatos is a really fantastic restaurant- we had an amazing meal there- but I have a hard time not loving the 'secret' taverna by the Central Market even more! I could have the great retsina and the mashed favas everyday!

Greece's historic sites and and antiquities have been wonderful to see; we even booked a day trip to Delphi through George's taxi service and had a great day with Kostas at the helm. But to me the highlights of our trip have been Platia Agiou Georgios and the Athens Central Market. Staying on Platia Georgios has been worth the trip all by itself. As I think you mention on your site, it's almost a village in itself, and it is quite a lovely little oasis in such a big city. It turns out the apartment we're staying in is directly above Allotino, so we have a delightful view of Platia Georgios, day and night. Just stepping out on the balcony and taking in the view makes me tremendously happy. (Oh yes, Allotino IS great too!) I've greatly enjoyed Kypseli in general, but Platia Georgios has been the icing on that cake.

Outside of Platia Georgios, my favorite thing has certainly been the Central Market. It's just so lively and interesting, and it's wonderful to see a large modern city that still has such traditional commerce going on. I actually want down and bought... well, I figure it was probably goat, to cook up in a fricassee for our Christmas dinner. Had a fun time navigating the market in the pre-Christmas rush and the merchants were very, very patient with my very poor Greek. I loved the Laiki Agoras in Kypseli, but the Central Market is, of course, exponentially more exciting and facinating. There are traditional markets in the UAE, of course, some taking up quite a large area in Dubai; I enjoy those as well and go to them frequently, but Athen's Central Market is even more lively and varied, a place I would love explore over and over.

It's been quite interesting to get to talk to Greeks during this trip. Despite the severity of the crisis and the terrible impact that it has had on many of their lives, they have been, in my opinion some of the very nicest and even upbeat people that I have ever met. It would not be surprising or unexpected to hear more negativism from them; I know a lot of Americans in similar situations that do! (Of course when Greeks discuss their government, it's a whole different story! All bets are off!) My wife has been chronicling our stay on our blog; usually just short and sweet updates with a few pictures. It's mainly so our families back in the US know that we're alive and what we're up to!

Thanks again for the recommendations and for your terrific websites. I wish I had found them months earlier! We'll be recommending them to others! Great to see the Istanbul site up! Looks great! We went to Istanbul last January and were amazed by it! Hope to go back someday, of course, but I think a return to Greece is higher on my list now.


Hi Matt

Merry Christmas and may you have the very best in 2012.

Before I go on to my rave reviews about your websites and Fantasy Travel I have a moan. My moan is that it seems harder than it should be to find somewhere to give rave reviews and recommendations about service in Greece. At least you do provide a forum for testimonials but I can't help but think that a lot of expert and hard working Greek people are not getting the publicity they deserve on the internet for their professionalism and promotion of their country.

That out of the way I thank you so much for a fabulous October holiday in Athens (5 days), Crete (10 days) and Santorini (3 days). I had complete faith in your expert advice and my friends and I were not disappointed. G.O Tours gave us an awesome one day Argolis Tour and we were impressed with the relaxed but very professional way Maria and Andreas took us around the ancient sites. The new Acropolis Museum was amazing.

The overnight ferry was a great way to travel to Crete and as arranged through Lefteris the lovely George gave us a wonderful taxi tour to start our holiday there.We fell in love with Crete and a week in Chania was not enough. Santorini was gorgeous of course.

Fantasy Travel were absolutely fantastic. Marcos and Yana were so expert, patient, friendly and helpful in planning our holiday by email for months beforehand. We found all arrangements, prices and the hotels they chose were absolutely spot on. Everyone we dealt with on the holiday was so professional, patient and helpful we cannot say enough good things about Fantasy Travel and the way they individually and collectively represented their lovely country. I recommend them and your websites to all my friends, family, workmates and anyone else that will listen in the hope they will come to Greece and have the same wonderful experiences we have had.

Meanwhile I am plotting the next trip to Crete and Santorini.

Thank you once again

Regards Cathy

Dear Matt,

My wife and I recently visited Greece and used Fantasy Travel as our travel agent.  We got their name from your internet site.  The agent we dealt with was Vasillis.

When my wife and I travel, we always like to deal with an agency local to that country.  We usually contact two different agencies and then make a choice to use the one best suited for our needs.

I just wanted to let you know Fantasy, and Vasillis in particular, were the best organization/agent we have ever used.   They were easy to work with, listened to us to determine what our goals were and then helped us realize them.

By chance and unfortunately, we were scheduled to be in Athens on Tuesday and Wednesday, June 28th and 29TH the two days of violent protests and the national strike.  Fantasy worked with us to allow us to see the Plaka and Acropolis while relocating our hotel accommodations from the square to a safer environment.  While I personally was upset and angry at the situation, once my wife settled me down, I realized that Vassilis efforts really worked in our favor to finish our trip both safely and enjoyably.

Jack (Ross)


We've got to thank you for an incredible vacation in Greece, just completed. We took your advice and signed on with Fantasy Travel for a customized vacation in Rhodes, Santorini, Mykonos, and Athens. We handled the whole trip over the internet with Litsa from Fantasy Travel.

From the moment we stepped off the plane in Athens, we were met by representatives each step of the way. I can't tell you how reassuring it was to see a happy face, waiting to help us on every island. All the transfers were provided, to and from each hotel, airport, and port, and they even helped us just before we left change our travel plans from Rhodes to Santorini (the ferries weren't running that day due to a country wide strike!) so that we could fly to our next destination instead. They helped us arrange tours and even rent cars while we were on the various islands.

We also used your suggestions for taxi services on Rhodes (Michael - Nicholas's brother took us all over the island) and in Athens Dionysos (George's son) took us and some friends on a customized all day tour of Athens and Sounio. It was fabulous and they were exquisite hosts. We observed some protestors gathering in front of the Parliament in Syntagma square during the day, but never felt worried or concerned. We felt some of the concern and worry the Greeks have for their country and their future and we certainly hope all will work out for the good. Thanks so much for the great service you provide!

Paul Camarata

I stumbled across your site on our first night in Athens, and it was a great help! Most of our other travel guides focused on the islands, and the Acropolis, with nothing in between- but your site helped us discover more of this amazing city. It also led me to the poet sandal-maker of Athens- and the best pair of sandals I have ever owned!

Thank you!
Beth Gall

Hi Matt

I just wanted to thank you for all the great information you've provided us about travel in Greece.  We went there for the first time for our honeymoon this past October for 2 weeks.  We did a mix of the popular stuff (Athens, Santorini, Delphi) and the more out of the way (Lesvos, Nafplio, the Peloponnese).  Everywhere we went you never steered us wrong.  My favorites were everything in Lesvos, especially Sigri and and Molyvos, where we spent a night with Vangelis and his bouzouki and drank too much Ouzo (and the awesome hot springs at Eftalou, true luxury is when your cold plunge is the Aegean with a view of Turkey, for 2 Euro!). Driving in the Peloponnese was also an unforgettable experience.    We also got to see the protests in Syntagma up close and personal as we our flight back home (San Francisco) was canceled due to the strike, it reminded me of growing up in Brazil during the military dictatorship in the 70's and 80's.

We are already talking about going back and next time we'll attempt  to travel less and stay in a single place for longer.  We are going to to Kyparissi (I am from Brazil and so have been well trained in sketchy roads), I'll bring my spear gun and I am looking forward to catching fish in the morning, taking naps in the afternoon and having a glass or two of Ouzo in the evening (I brought a couple of bottles of Karoni with me that I sip while doing a radio show that I host with some friends here in San Francisco)

I made a donation via the website when we got back last but I was procrastinating sending this message to you.  

Thanks again for your work, I still read your website even after we got back.

Kiko A

Hi Matt, I e-mailed you last year. We went to Athens during all the turmoil there but it was perfectly fine. We spent a week in Mykonos which was the perfect Greek island. My daughters and I loved it stayed at Petinos Beach and my idea of a perfect place. We are going to Greece again and am looking for another island in the cyclades. Thinking about Paros but it seems a bit too organized and americanized for me although the beaches look lovely. Do you think its a good choice. Santorini does not appear to have beaches where the water is shallow. Do you have any recommendations. Brenda G

Dear Matt,

We have just returned from nine days in Greece that started with a Google search last September for 'Greece in Winter'. That brought up your site and further research made us book up five nights at the Red Tractor farm in Kea. Many thanks for that and many other tips. We had a really great time there and in Athens. We ate in many of your recommended restaurants but, in fact, the best meal we had was in Sounio where we went to the taverna on the beach as it looked more lively than the one higher up. Most of the people turned out to be extended family of the owners but the food and service was tremendous. We especially liked being invited to choose our own Dorada from the fridge and being shown how much it would cost. Their octopus was perfect too. Far better than Psaras in the Plaka which was disappointing.

So, thanks for all your invaluable advice. The walks in Kea were beautiful and the children even swam at Karthea.


Rod Fricker

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