Hola Amigos! I’m still so very high from my Greece trip (literally tripping!) that I just HAD to share this little tour guide with you!
This is especially for those people who kept asking me, “But what will you do in Greece for 18 days?”
Guys! Greece is not just Athens and Santorini. It is so much more. 18 days was not enough and I can’t wait to go back and explore more of that beautiful country. (This can be said for any country actually.)
So here are a few off-beat experiences we had in Greece. I have to admit that we did miss out on a lot of things – but for whatever reasons, we just couldn’t fit it all within the given time frame.
I am a vegetarian.
And so were most of my fellow travel companions.
Our driver almost choked when he heard that. He felt disappointed for us, as Greece was a meat-loving country and well known for its food.
But boy oh boy did we get some lip smacking good vegetarian food! In fact, when I came back to India, I had cravings for some of the dishes that I actually looked them up online and cooked them myself. (I’m usually too lazy to cook anything)
When in Greece you HAVE to eat Greek food! DO NOT miss out on it! Yes, you will still find pizzas and pasta and sandwiches and maybe some Indian restaurants as well, but trust me when I say, you gotta eat the local Greek food. In fact, I’m gonna write a separate post on the food we ate there! Will link up to it once I’m done.
Some Dance & Music
Greeks certainly take their Arts very seriously. We got to experience a fun greek-style dance on the streets (I believe its called Kalamatianos, just looked it up on google!). It was so much fun!
We also heard some live musicians playing traditional Greek instruments like the bouzouki. You can’t help by tap your feet when they start to play!
I picked up a Baglamas from a local shop! The cutest instrument there ever was! I think the pricing starts at around 80 Euros. Maybe you could get one for cheap from a flea market – which you could use as a memento rather than a musical instrument.
Who paid attention in History class? I never did. But when you experience architecture built around 2500 years ago or caves that are a million years old or hear of the tales of Alexander The Great… both BC & AD suddenly become more interesting and have a lot of meaning!
The Archaeological sites of Delphi or Mycenae were wonderful. So were the Monasteries up on the rocky mountains of Meteora. The hike at Mystras was tiring but well worth it. The 100 museums at every corner – had the most amazing findings.
If you’re in Greece, this is what you should be spending your time doing. Be bowled over by this amazing world.
We found these awesome Rock Pools near Papingo, which even surprised our driver who hadn’t heard about the place before. It is a totally natural formation except for the little doors created by man to keep the water in! It turns into a pool-party hub during summer and is a place for the locals chil out!
Vikos Gorge which is close to Papingo made for some stunning pictures!
We also entered caves that were probably thousands and thousands of years old (millions?!) and were amazed at the stalactite and stalagmite formations. We explored one cave by walking through it and the other by a small boat! How cool is that!? I had to keep bending low so that my head wouldn’t bump against the stalactites!
We also hiked up on a Volcanic Island & (almost- well I can’t swim!)) jumped into the Hot Springs near Santorini Island.
King Philip’s Tomb
The goosebumps I got is something I won’t ever forget. The fact that I don’t have pictures of it – says it all. I can’t actually remember if we were allowed to take pictures or not. But even if we weren’t allowed to, we were the only ones there at the time looking at the tomb. And it was strange that the thought to cheat never even crossed my
If for nothing else, experience Greece for this.
Mykonos is visited often by Tourists and is known as the party island. But many tourists skip Delos Island which is just off Mykonos – citing that they’ve seen enough of architectural sites. Maybe these sites aren’t for everyone but you do get to learn a different history with each site.
I wanted to visit Delos Islands, especially for the Naxian Lions. They are these huge statues of lions — about 5 of them now – originally thought to be 18 to 20. You can see the original statue inside the museum. Beware – you aren’t allowed to take pics with funny poses next to them (I tried and got caught by the security guard who then kept a close eye on me!)
The entire island is a pretty sight with an interesting history. You can practically visualise how the island must have functioned some 2000 years ago with its markets and housing colonies and stadium and theatres and temples.
Hustle Bustle of Athens
Everything about Athens just consumed me. From the walls covered in graffiti to restaurants lined up on the road. I also loved the fact that from almost everywhere, you can see the Acropolis! Such a sight.
Apart from the main tourist spots, It was so great to just walk on the streets and explore Athens on our own. The shops start winding down from 8:30-9pm but the main squares were lit up and thriving with people even at 11 pm.
Restaurants tend to get busy after 9 pm as Greek’s have their dinner late.
I’m not a party animal. But that didn’t stop me from a little dancing at Mykonos. But hey, everybody does that. What was more off-beat were the night outs at Thessaloniki or Nafplion or Delos or Kalambaka or
Dinner was such an event as the restaurants were so lively and each place had a charm of its own. We got to taste many different local wines.
But the best of all was getting introduced to Ouzo. What a drink! It has the flavour of aniseed (Sounf) and you can keep gulping it down. But it gives you a strong kick afterwards so don’t say I didn’t warn you!
Another popular drink in Greece is Tsipouro which was also quite nice.
We did a road trip which circled almost around the entire country as you can see on the map. And for 18 days I think we did a good job! We did miss out on the other Cyclades and also Crete, Corfu & Rhodes. But there’s always next time, cos I’m surely coming back for more!
Comment or write to me if you want a detailed Itinerary and/or costs.