Language- Greek

Hello- Ya Sas

Good Bye- Adio

Thank you- Efcharisto

Currency- Euro

Spata– (March 2022) we had a flight to Zakinthos the next day so decided to stay by the airport- Athens is 45 min from the airport by car or metro- with the time change and an overnight flight from Boston it was a great decision- we booked a room through it had a free airport shuttle and our driver and one of the brothers who runs the property was one of our favorite people we met in Greece! – he also dropped us off and picked us up in Artemida -a beach town only 5 minutes away where we got our first gyros for 5 euros!! Everywhere excepted credit cards- they do prefer cash and will ask but they will take your card- make sure to not do a currency conversation if the machine asks- same with using an ATM- do not do the conversion- always say no! Also money exchange is horrible in Europe – you are way better off getting cash out of the ATM

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Zakynthos– (March 2022) We did the hour flight from Athens or you can drive it- with the ferry the drive is about 4 and half hours from Athens- this island is where you will find shipwreck beach- located to the west of Athens-this island has beautiful blue waters and lots of cliffs- we rented a car to explore- coming at the end of March means no tours going- but usually they have tours to Turtle Island, Blue Cave, Shipwreck Beach, Kefalonia, etc – tours start in May or mid April- the town of Zante is open year round with great cheap food- for an island we were surprised by how cheap and good the food is- Greece has some of the best food in the world!

Shipwreck Beach- to get to view shipwreck beach from above you must drive there, hire someone or take a tour- there is no way to access the cliff view and the beach at the same time- you can drive to the overlook or you can take a boat to the beach- there are tours for shipwreck beach and blue caves you can book- for the lookout there is a platform you can safely see the beach- or you can walk the path- in the busy summer months the path is guarded by guards- but in the off season it is not- it can be a dangerous hike if you hike too close to the edge- there is a way to hike way over as it is all flat- be very careful when trying to take a photo as it is a sheer drop and super dangerous

View from the safety platform
This amazing soul was selling honey, jams, homemade booze- we bought some lemoncello off of him – Greece has some amazing honey 🍯

Porto Vroma- you can swim at this small beach or you can drive here and hire a boat to take you to shipwreck beach or the blue cave- this beach is on the west side of the island by shipwreck overlook- there is no restaurant or anything- just a small beach with a cave and beautiful blue water – most of the drives on the west side of the island is big cliffs so don’t forget to breathe!

Porto Limnionas- this is a great snorkel spot – you can swim into some caves and they rent snorkel gear there- pretty sure there is no coral but fish and clear blue water- there is also a great restaurant and rocks to relax on- restaurant was closed for the season when we went in March- I highly recommend this spot

Zante town- Zante is the biggest town in Zakynthos- there is a great overlook of Zante town called Bohali overlook- you can drive up or hike up- lots of the roads in Zakinthos are very narrow and google maps like to take you on some narrow back roads! we were really not used to narrow roads!!! The town has bars and restaurants all along the waters- and the prices were great! There is also free parking all along the water

Greek Salad
Rocket Salad, Mousakka, Bruschetta

Xigia Beach- there are a cluster of beaches to the north east side of Zakinthos- we just explored the sulfur beach of Xigia- there was no smell in the air of sulfur but the water itself left a smell on your skin- there are two sides to this beach- one to the right a rock path with beach chairs set up – and one to the left with a paved path with steps going down to the beach- you can park at the restaurant or we parked on the side of the road- the water is so gorgeous- it’s a steep hike down so wear good shoes

Keri Cliffs- we tried driving to Keri Cliffs overlook but it was the most sketchy thing I have ever done in my life- that road scared the crap out of us- we latter learned we were supposed to hike that not drive! But the overlook is a sheer cliff drop off and you can’t see much- best to go to Keri Light House and have some food and get a great view- the light house was closed for off season when we went – you can also drive to Keri Beach- which was a nice long beach and can take a boat ride from there

Meteora- (March 2022) located 4 hours north of Athens in Kastraki is the Meteora Monasteries – we rented a car and drove it- it was about 18 euros in tolls each way- they accept cash or card- you can also take the train for about 50 euros round trip- you just have one transfer in Palaefarsalos- you can stay in Kalambaka or Kastraki- I recommend Kastraki and this hotel- it was more amazing than the photos and we didn’t want to ever leave– Kalambaka is a busy town while Kastraki is slow and magical

Joe got his favorite Moussaka in Kastraki

Meteora Monasteries are Eastern Orthodox Churches built on cliffs- it is very incredible to see in person- feels like another world up there- you can rent a car or take a tour- the road goes in a circle- there are 6 monasteries and usually one or two are closed each day- but you can still drive up and walk around you just can’t go in- each monasteries cost about 3 euros a person to enter and only take cash – all the photos we got are from the roads- you don’t have to do any hiking unless you want to- there are many trails and you can hike the whole place to each monastery- there is however steps and some hiking to enter the monasteries- if you are not able to walk much that’s ok it’s still pretty special to see it all from the roads and the overlooks – feels like being in the Lord of the Rings! also knees and shoulders need to be covered to enter the monasteries

Santorini– (April 2022) we chose Santorini out of all the islands to visit this trip- Crete was our second choice but we only had 4 days and we wanted to move slow and relax- so we chose to stay in Oia where we could get a room with a hot tub sunset and celebrate 20 years together !! We choose the Architect’s Cave House and it was more amazing than the photos

We had a 6am flight from Athens- ugh!! Our choices were 6am or 11pm- so rough- we chose the 6am – you can also take a ferry- flight is 45 mins and ferry is around 5 hours – the flights are cheap- only costing us $65- our flight was Ryan Air- they charged you 60 euro a person if you didn’t check in online and 60 euro if you didn’t pay for your bag ahead of time- they only allowed a personal item for free- something to keep in mind- luckily we always check in online but we didn’t pay for a bag cause our backpacks usually are small enough- but not for this airline – it cost us 120 euros for our bags- on the way home it was only 15 euros a bag paying a head of time- once on the island they have buses running- so we chose to not rent a car- the cost 1.80 euro a person – super cheap- there is a schedule you can download and you pay getting on or off the bus- we took the bus to Fira- and from Fira to Oia- Oia is where you get most the photos you see in Santorini- we chose to stay in Oia area and walk around and relax at our hot tub sunset blissful place- it was perfect – Santorini is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history! If you get a window seat you can see how it was one large round island that the middle blew up creating a horse shoe shape and smaller islands- so wild- at the other end of the island opposite of Oia is Akrotiri- also known as Greece’s Pompeii- you can take the bus down from Fira- the site is covered and you pay to walk around- we got distracted being in hot tubs on the water that we missed going but really wanted to see it!

Athens- (April 2022) the train from the airport to the center of Athens takes 45min to an hour- and cost 18 Euros- we stayed in a penthouse overlooking the Acropolis- we got to see the sunset from here and the Acropolis light up at night from our bed! Highly recommend this place- it was also 5 min walk to Acropolis and all food etc-

Acropolis- we went in April and it was not super busy- but it was the most tourist we had seen on our whole trip- i would say if you go in the summer prepare for a super busy experience- also for 10 euros each we joined an English speaking tour group and it was the best decision- we got to cut the line and learned a lot and it only lasted 50 minutes- they might also ask for ID’s to enter as you pay for your tickets- tickets were 20 euros- before April in the winter it’s only 10 euros- there are also free Sunday’s in the winter as well- after the tour we walked around on our own taking photos- we went to the Acropolis Museum after which was incredible- so much history and you get an idea of what the Acropolis looked like- The Acropolis of Athens refers to the whole area that is perched on a rocky outcrop above the city- in the Acropolis is the Parthenon, the temple of Athena Nike, the worlds first theatre, theatre of Dionysus, first started creating medicine etc – I loved it more than I thought I would!

Parthenon – dedicated to the goddess Athena
Odeon of Herodes Atticus- today this theater is used for concerts- what a place to see a show!
Looking down at the first theatre in the world!

Acropolis Museum- right across the way is the Acropolis Museum- it was built over an old ancient neighborhood that you can visit in the museum cost- cost was 10 euros a person- you could not bring large bags in but they had a cloakroom for your bags and coats- free of charge – so wild to see all the carvings and colors that were once inside the Parthenon etc- also the bottom floor with the ancient neighborhood was pretty awesome- you can also see they used pipes for plumbing back then- we did have to show a covid vaccine to enter the museum

Also don’t miss Plaka neighborhood- this is where all the shops and restaurants are

Things to keep in mind- gas prices, covid vaccine needed to get into places, no toilet paper goes in toilet, googles maps will take you on roads that are not roads, small flights to the islands make sure you check in online and pay for your bag before hand cause it will cost triple at airport, and learning hello, please and thank you goes a long way- Enjoy Greece!!!