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Greece

 
 
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Author elsslots
Admin
#16 | Posted: 3 Aug 2021 08:49 
Really interesting to read all this, Solivagant. Especially since Greece is about the final country in Europe that I haven't (almost) fully covered.

Solivagant:
However, the Ministry of Culture sometimes gives the impression of just saying "yes" to every request without a full assessment or realistic target. There seems to be no process independently to evaluate the T List entries and prioritize/fund them.

This seems to be the main difference between "succesful" countries and those that are struggling to get sites in. Countries like Italy, China, Germany, Iran, Spain etc seem to have like railway tracks laid out where new nominations can land on and progress forward in a timely manner. Almost like their own upstream process.

Author elsslots
Admin
#17 | Posted: 3 Jul 2022 11:38 | Edited by: elsslots 
I plan to visit the Greek islands (and some other remaining Greek bits and pieces) in early September.
I had booked my flights already a while ago, and now seem to have "too many" days to spend there.
Any suggestions for which island is the most interesting to stay 3 days or so on, or has a nearby island that is also worth seeing?

Will be doing:
- Rhodes
- Samos
- Patmos
- Mykonos (mainly for Delos)

Naxos maybe? (and then add Santorini?)

Have a flight between Rhodes and Samos already, will book ferries for the rest of the transfers.

Author Zoe
Partaker
#18 | Posted: 4 Jul 2022 16:58 
Rhodes can easily be 2-3 days if you do things slowly. Beware of the famous juice boot scam btw.

While Mykonos is pretty and all, very expensive. You can explore the town for a day, very touristy, but Delos alone is half-day only.

Naxos is nice, hiking and beach I think it has something for everyone.

Author Colvin
Partaker
#19 | Posted: 4 Jul 2022 22:15 
If you haven't been to Santorini, the island is beautiful, but it doesn't seem like there are any good options to make it a day trip by ferry from Naxos while being able to see enough of the island (I'd recommend at least a good half a day, if not a whole day). The better option if you are thinking of Santorini by ferry might be to stay overnight. Conversely, there is also an airport on Santorini, which might allow you to see the island as a day trip from Naxos.

Author elsslots
Admin
#20 | Posted: 5 Jul 2022 02:31 
Thanks for the suggestions, guys and girls.

Logistically however, stringing these islands together turns out to be virtually impossible. Ferries go only on certain days a week, flights only via Athens and then take all day. It would be even easier (and cheaper) to fly from Amsterdam to individual islands such as Santorini.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#21 | Posted: 6 Jul 2022 06:09 
elsslots:
Logistically however, stringing these islands together turns out to be virtually impossible. Ferries go only on certain days a week, flights only via Athens and then take all day.

I think Rhodes is really far off and hard to do as Greek island hopping. Athens -> Mykonos -> Patmos -> Samos should be okay, though, with proper planning and early reservations..

From Samos you could go to Turkey (Ephesos always worth a revisit) if Greek/Turkey border is open and then take the land route to Marmaris for the Rhodes ferry and return flights.

I would assume this can be done in a week IF the border is open and ferries operating. In January, Samos was not possible from Turkey.

Author elsslots
Admin
#22 | Posted: 6 Jul 2022 06:34 | Edited by: elsslots 
Rhodes - Samos does have direct flights, so I am covered for that!

Have decided on the following:
Thessaloniki - Ioannina (bus) - Rhodes (fly, via Athens) - Samos (fly) - Patmos (ferry) - back to Samos (ferry) - Mykonos (for Delos) (ferry) - home

Author Kbecq
Partaker
#23 | Posted: 6 Jul 2022 06:34 
Fyi, we visited Greece & some Greek islands in september last year with the following schedule: Saturday early ferry Athens-Mykonos, Sunday early flight to Samos (via Athens), Tuesday early ferry to Patmos and Wednesday night/Thursday morning ferry to Rhodes. Downside is you only have one day for Mykonos/Delos.

Author elsslots
Admin
#24 | Posted: 6 Jul 2022 06:39 
Kbecq:
following schedule:

Sounds like a good one, within a short time-frame.

Author elsslots
Admin
#25 | Posted: 16 Sep 2022 04:08 
Herewith is a quick wrap-up from my recent trip to Northern Greece and the Greek Islands. I don't have enough worthwhile to share to write a full "Top Tips" blog post on it. I now have Greece 'complete': visited all its current 18 WHS and its 13 regions. I am glad am 'done' with it: I dislike its food (those oily fries, the cold rice, the dry chicken, lack of veggies), the infrequent public transport and its unimaginative approach to tourism. Best Greek WHS overall? I'd say Meteora.

The best itinerary
This route posted by Kbecq is a good one. I don't think the islands and their WHS need more time. I'd stay overnight in Rhodes and Patmos as it allows you to explore the site outside of the busy hours. On Samos, I'd recommend visiting Vathy Samos as well for its excellent archaeological museum which makes the Heraion WHS come to life (more so than the site itself).

When to go
I had allocated more time to Samos & Patmos as I wanted to do some hiking as well, but the temperatures in the first half of September were much too high to do full-day hikes. Locals said that the weather was unusually hot (deep into the 30s every day).

Costs
The islands are much more expensive than the Greek mainland. I had 'given' myself a daily food & drinks budget of 20 EUR and that proved to be really impossible. I ended up on a daily average of 26 EUR. I spent 126 EUR per day in total excluding international flights – especially the moving around so much makes it expensive (I had 2 domestic flights, 2 ferries, and a car rental in Zagoria).

Digitalization
The Greeks do not seem to get excited much about digital possibilities such as e-tickets or card payments at shops. I haven't used as much cash as I did here in years. Often it is possible when you ask for it, although they still maybe only be half-working such as the boat tickets to Delos which (1) can be paid online, (2) will be confirmed by e-mail after a human intervention, and (3) you still need to go to the kiosk to pick up a paper ticket showing the reservation number that you received in the e-mail.

Author nfmungard
Partaker
#26 | Posted: 16 Sep 2022 06:10 
elsslots:
I dislike its food (those oily fries, the cold rice, the dry chicken, lack of veggies)

Agreed. One menu will do for most restaurants in Greece with only prices varying. But you have fish? ... So what? I live in a port town (Hamburg). We have fish, too.

elsslots:
infrequent public transport

That will take you to Athens any hour of the day, but not to the neighbouring town.

elsslots:
unimaginative approach to tourism

Personally, I feel that you get a better deal in Turkey. Ephesos ranks with the best of Greek sites and there is so much more.

Author csarica
Partaker
#27 | Posted: 16 Sep 2022 19:50 
Greek cuisine is great if you find the right place, Els. For example, when we were in Thessaloniki three years ago, we went to a taverna called O Psarris, wherein we were the only tourists. I have not been able to forget the taste of the food and ouzo. The food was definitely not oily, cold or dry. It was perfect. I was going to suggest you this tavern when you sent a picture of Thessaloniki in WhatsApp group, but unfortunately I saw that it has been permanently closed.

https://restaurantguru.com/O-Psarris-Thessaloniki

As suggested by my sister-in-law, we went to another taverna in Ladadika district that is full of tourists the next day. It was somehow as you described. The food was below average and the prices were triple times more compared to first taverna. Briefly, greek cuisine is great if you find the correct restaurant otherwise you are right.

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