So, in my last post on Greece, I gave you an overview of our itinerary and told you what I thought we did right and what I would change. I also mentioned some fun and unexpected things that we encountered in Greece.
Now here is my Athens overview and the different Greek Islands that we visited will appear in the next few posts.
Everything I read in preparation for our trip to Greece told me to only spend 1 night in Athens, quickly see the Acropolis and then get out of town. These people told me to pack in all the sights into 1 or 2 days in the city. No way! Don’t do it.
This place deserves at least 3 days. It really is amazing! (We spent 6 days-that might have been a bit much) but please give Athens and the surrounding area more than 24 hours.
What to see? Well, for starters…The Acropolis, The Parthenon, The Theater of Dionysus, Temple of Athena, New Acropolis Museum, National Archaeological Museum, Stygmata Square, The Plaka, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Agora, Temple of the Winds and the Roman Forum. And what about Delphi…this is a day trip in itself!
We stayed at the Hotel Grande Bretagne, which is just next to Stygmata Square. In fact, we could see the changing of the guard from our room which was super cool! This beautiful hotel was in the perfect location. It was really lovely and the staff was very nice, although we found them to be a tad stuffy.
The GB Roof Garden Restaurant view is absolutely insane! We ate breakfast there each morning and enjoyed two dinners as well. Looking at the Acropolis lit up at night from this location is totally outstanding! We did love the rooftop pool at The Bretagne!
Another restaurant worth mentioning was Tzitzikas & Mermigas This place was a 5 minute walk from the Hotel Grande Bretagne. It was hoppin and it was also really good! We loved the welcome shot of Mastiha. Strong stuff but hey, when in Greece! The vibe was a nice mix of locals and tourists enjoying the fresh and local Greek dishes. Mmm.
When we weren’t busy touring all of the above museums and ancient sites, we took two day trips from Athens. We had a 1/2 day trip to Cape Sounion to tour the Temple of Poseidon as well as a full day tour to visit Delphi. Both of these tours were operated by Private Greece Tours. They picked us up in a spottless private van, complete with air conditioning and cold water. We had Dominic as our guide and driver on our full day tour to Delphi and he was absolutely wonderful! We highly recommend him and Private Greece Tours.
The full day tour up into the mountains to see Delphi was amazing. It was a full day commitment but to us, it was worth it! We saw the sanctuaries of Apollo and Athena, the “Belly Button of the Ancient World”, Serpent Column, Temple of Apollo, Sacred Way, Treasury of the Athenians and the legendary site of the Oracle.
On the way back from Delphi, we stopped at the cute mountain ski town of Arahova. We enjoyed lunch at a delicious and cheap family restaurant and strolled around town. We climbed to the top of St. Nicholas Bell Tower and took in the breathtaking views of the surrounding area.
Time to get on board the ferry and head to Mykonos!…