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The highlights of this trip are the ancient ruins, the monasteries and the villages of Greece.
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  1. ++Athens: +++Parthenon, +Erechtheion, +Acropolis & Agora, Aeropagus, Plaka, +Hephaestus temple, +archeological museum, Little metropolic cathedral (1250), +Daphni Monastery's 12th c mosaics, +"Horologion" by Andronikos (first clocktower in the world), Museum of Ancient Greek Technology
  2. Daphni (mosaics)
  3. Archea Korinthos (4th BC - 2nd AD, +Fountain )
  4. +Epidavros (350 BC, ++theatre)
  5. Nafplio (18th AD, fort on the hill, fort in the sea, +old town)
  6. ++Mycenae (14th BC capital of that kingdom)
  7. +Tiryns (13th BC fortress)
  8. ++Mistras (15th AD byzantine complex of monasteries and churches, ++Pantanassa church, ++ Vrontokhion monastery, + cathedral, fort)
  9. ++Olympia (7th BC city, +Temple of Zeus 5th BC, +Heraion 7th BC, Philippeion 4th BC, Treasuries 6th BC, Stadion 4th BC)
  10. +++Delphi (6th-4th BC, +Tholos, +++Pythian sanctuary)
  11. Hosios Lukas (+10th c mosaics)
  12. ++Meteora (++complex of monasteries on top of steep rocks, ++Megalo 14th AD, +Nikolaj, +Varlaan)
  13. Vergina (+Royal macedonian tombs 6th-4th BC, Palace of Aegea 6th-4th BC, Macedonia's first capital)
  14. Thessaloniki (+Ayos Yeoryios/Rotunda 4th AD, White Tower 4th AD, Panaya Khalkeon 1028, Panaya Akheiropaietos of 470 with 5th c mosaic, Aya Sophia 8th AD with mosaic of 9th c and mosaic in the cupola, Ayos Dhimitrios 5th AD with 5th c mosaic in the south aisle, Latomos Monastery with 6th c mosaic in Hosios David,
  15. Platamon (1204 castle/fort)
  16. ++Rhodos: +Lindos (14th AD castle, 5th BC acropolis, 14th AD Palagya), ++Rhodos (++old town, +walls, +palace, ++Ippocrates square, Martyron Evreon square)
  17. Nicaea: Church of the Assumption (Byzantine mosaic)
  18. ++Cyclades
    • Mikonos/ Mykonos (+old town, Church of Paraportiani)
    • ++Dilos (++ancient city 7th BC-2nd BC, +++view from Mt Kynthos, ++terrace of lions 7th BC, ++syrian & egyptian sanctuary 2nd BC)
    • +Santorini (probable site of Atlantis, Thira, ++Akrotiri 16th BC, ++Ia)
    • Paros
    • Naxos
  19. ++Creta (+Knossos, +Phaistos disc at the Heraklion Museum, +Hosios Loukas' 11th c mosaics)


Trip difficulty: easy to moderate
Season: any
Length: 20 days
  • Pictures of Greece
  • Weather: very hot in July-August, mild the rest of the year.
  • Food (1999): $8-10 per meal, mainly meat and fish, almost exclusively Greek food (except a few Italian restaurants), vegetarians can order greek salads and saganaki cheese
  • Beaches: a little overrated (very dirty in the Peloponneso, much better near Salonikka, eg Sithonia)
  • Island hopping: very often it is better, faster and cheaper to go back to Athens after each island
  • Money (1999): $1=370 dracmas, but banks rip you off with high commissions
  • Monuments (1999): normally 1000-1500 dracmas, free for European students
  • Ancient civilizations of Greece: 28th BC- 15th BC Minoan & Creta, 20th BC - 15th BC Cyclades, 15th BC - 11th BC Mycenae, 8th BC - 6th BC Lindos, 8th BC - 4th BC Athens, 4th BC - 2nd BC Macedonia, 2nd BC Roma
  • Museums: Terribly boring. Sculptures lose all their appeal once removed from their original temples. Unfortunately, the deranged ego of archeologists and bureaucrats has caused massive devastation to the beauties of these sites.
  • Ruins: Ruins in Greece are ruins. After 2000 years, Greece has not restored yet the buildings that were destroyed by earthquakes and wars, not even the temple of Zeus in Olympia, even when all the pieces are lying right there.
  • Airport: bus E91 goes to Sintagma (in front of post office) and Omonoia
  • Hotels in Athens: cheaper just north of Omonoia square, more expensive 9and less friendly) in the Plaka. Recommended: Dioskorus (6 Pittakou st) in the Plaka, Amal and Zenith (13 Xouthou, 524-4108) near Omonoia. The least friendly hotel in the Plaka must be Kouros, strategically located but often offensive to its customers.
  • Beware of car rentals: they often put big stickers on the car which identifies you as a rich tourist, and thieves routinely target the cars bearing that sticker.
  • Hotels in Greece: many houses offer "rooms to let". This are cheaper and often nicer than hotel rooms. The only catch is that they are always away from the center, no matter what the owner promises.
  • Hotels in the islands: at every port you will be met by people who have "rooms to let". They will promise their rooms are in town but they are all very far from the center.
  • Hotels in Rhodos: many "rooms to let" at the beaches, but several kms from town. When you arrive at the airport, you can walk to Paradisi (exit, turn right, walk through the parking lot and up the stairs, walk straight 500m) where there are a few pensions and hotels.
  • Planes are cheap (Athens-Rhodos $50 each way). Fast ships are expensive. Slow boats are cheap but take twice the time.
  • Mount Athos: you can take a boat from Sithonia to take a picture of the complex from the sea. The main reason this place is famous is because it doesn't allow women in. Artistically, they are less interesting than other monasteries in Greece. Magisti Lavra is the best.
  • Recommended restaurants: Omonoia, Rhodos (Dimokritou St, 024/20767), Byzantino, Athens (Plaka). Recommended vegetarian: Papanikolas, Athens (one block from Omonoia square on Venizelou).
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