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redsoxdw_

Active member
You may have noticed in the forum that I plan to go to Crete this year, as well as other parts of Greece. I love hiking and I do plan to hike while on Crete. I also plan to spend some time in Athens and maybe one other place. Do you have any recommendations for hikes? Since I don't know where else in Greece I am going, I would like to just stick to hiking around Athens or in Crete. I do plan to do Samaria Gorge in Crete.
 
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Hash

Well-known member
You may have noticed in the forum that I plan to go to Crete this year, as well as other parts of Greece. I love hiking and I do plan to hike while on Crete. I also plan to spend some time in Athens and maybe one other place. Do you have any recommendations for hikes? Since I don't know where else in Greece I am going, I would like to just stick to hiking around Athens or in Crete. I do plan to do Samaria Gorge in Crete.
Now I don't know if this will help you..... Many years ago I travelled all over Crete by my car..... Crete has main highways along coast, I just looked at the map!...The older part of Crete links up with off roads from the Highway which has access to all the many many villages and beaches....I used to go off the main highways and just travel in and out of these villages..... unbelievable what hospitality you will experience..... I can remember countless times just passing a village taverna where the sweet dear lady is preparing lunch.....no menu of course !!😁😁...... you eat what is served.... aroma of the food which lingers will direct you along, expect the filotimo in the traditional Creatan style.... yasou vrey Kumbarey!!😂... welcome and stay as long as you like kinda feeling..... Hope this helps!... depends where and which part you would begin your travels..... it is a very big island!.... Don't miss out the amazing Greek nights,Knossos comes to mind...... called Elinika vradia.... Greek and Cretan dancing(they are very different as you will discover!...Creta has it's own culture and history,)......lots of loud music and abundance of food and wine....and go easy on Raki😁.... called Chipuro....I will write more later on!...Good luck with your travels..... Yasou apo mena from Thailand!

Crete
 
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k_tsoukalas

Administrator
Hash, Crete is my favorite and you summed it up nicely! I have had some experiences on Crete of eating what was being served. I had too much raki in one place and they made me stand on a chair and write on the beams. The chair was rickety and I was with my family. Haha. Fun times. To those of you who don't realize, raki is served like water on Crete. They bring it over on the house. Please don't shoot it, sip up. They fill the glass when it empties so if you drink it slowly (as the Cretans do) you won't end up drinking as much. I had an early mistake about 15 years ago where I got so very sick.

Regarding hiking, I would ask around when you get to the island. The terrain is deceptive - a hike may look like it will be fine, but the heat and dryness can get you dehydrated fast. I was on the Samaria Gorge trail and someone needed to be taken out on a donkey. At least on that trail, there is a water fill-up station but I am not sure about other places.
 
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Hash

Well-known member
Hash, Crete is my favorite and you summed it up nicely! I have had some experiences on Crete of eating what was being served. I had too much raki in one place and they made me stand on a chair and write on the beams. The chair was rickety and I was with my family. Haha. Fun times. To those of you who don't realize, raki is served like water on Crete. They bring it over on the house. Please don't shoot it, sip up. They fill the glass when it empties so if you drink it slowly (as the Cretans do) you won't end up drinking as much. I had an early mistake about 15 years ago where I got so very sick.

Regarding hiking, I would ask around when you get to the island. The terrain is deceptive - a hike may look like it will be fine, but the heat and dryness can get you dehydrated fast. I was on the Samaria Gorge trail and someone needed to be taken out on a donkey. At least on that trail, there is a water fill-up station but I am not sure about other places.
......😂😂I like "I had (you mean made!) an early mistake about 15 years ago where I got so very sick"
Now I continued making those mistakes for many years as I made friends there,😂😂😂I am gifted as I integrated and blended very comfortably as I continue to do even today with travellers passing through our lives..... now that comes with a price to stay up all night drinking....and riffles come out at night with a few shots in the air....all good fun.. best ever place in Crete is Panormos beach ⛱️⛱️..... the Tavernas used to close the street and put out the table and chairs to dine at night.... Night jasmine flower aroma and roses....(I had added advantage as I made friends with all tavernas so I used to pop in for early lunch sampling all the dishes, later to be served for dinner of course tasting better as well!)....I miss those years very much sometimes!... Kalley Mera from Thailand!
 

Taking a culinary tour of Greece

I would like to take a tour or create my own itinerary to do nothing but visit Greece to eat all the food. I want to go to some unique and memorable destinations. For many reasons, both Ikaria and Crete are on my list. I will have maybe two weeks in Greece so I truly don't have the itinerary fleshes out. Or if anyone can recommend a tour company, that would be good too.

Some questions:

Best Time to Visit: What's the ideal time of year for such a tour, considering weather, food seasons, and avoiding peak tourist crowds?
Must-Visit Places: Besides the obvious choices like Athens and Santorini, are there any off-the-beaten-path locations that are a foodie's dream?
Local Experiences: Are there particular cooking classes, food markets, or local farms that offer a deeper dive into Greek cuisine and its preparation?
Travel Tips: Any logistical tips for traveling within Greece that might make moving from one culinary destination to another smoother?

Thanks in advance!

Possible Island Day Trips from Piraeus?

I am going to spend about a week in the Piraeus area accompanying someone on business. I want to amuse myself and thought I would do a couple of island day trips. What do you think, are these possibilities truly doable?

1. Aegina – Aegina is the closest island to Piraeus, making it the most popular and an easy day trip destination. Step back in time and explore the ancient temple of Aphaia, wander around the charming port, and sample delicious pistachios, common on the island.

2. Hydra – This island seems so interesting to me. With its strict preservation laws that prohibit cars and motorbikes, the island is an idyllic haven of serenity and peacefulness.

3. Poros – The island of Poros, separated from the Peloponnese only by a narrow strait, is a popular destination for both tourists and Athenians. Its relaxed atmosphere, dense pine forests, and picturesque town are the main draws. Walk up to the beautiful Lemonodasos (Lemon Forest), go for a swim in one of Poros’s secluded bays, and drop into any of the waterside tavernas for fresh seafood and a traditional Greek coffee.

4. Spetses – Spetses may not be as well known as its Saronic neighbors, but that does not mean it lacks charm. It is a beautiful island with crystal clear waters and stunning beaches. I was thinking of renting a bike and cycle to the lighthouse for the magnificent sunset views or stop by the old port and take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride.

5. Mykonos – The cosmopolitan island of Mykonos is the furthest away from Piraeus but definitely worth the longer ferry ride for a day trip. This one seems a stretch but I am willing to entertain it...

Last-minute travel tips in Greece

I love to travel to Greece and I do so whenever I can. There's an art to it, though, and I am never really going into it "blind". It's a good idea to start by thinking generally about where you might want to go.

Athens is usually the starting point for most travelers, with its iconic Acropolis offering panoramic views and a history lesson all in one spot. If you're a beach lover, head towards the Cyclades for stunning beaches and the classic, postcard-worthy Santorini sunsets. Or, if it's history you're after, the ruins of Delphi or the ancient city of Mycenae will surely captivate you.

Then, we need to figure out how to get where we want to go. For island hopping, the ferries are an experience in themselves – though if you're time-strapped, consider a local flight to get you to the major islands quickly. On the mainland, a mix of car rentals and public transport can be efficient and economical, especially when visiting sites off the tourist map. Keep an eye on the schedules and book in advance if possible to save time.

Sometimes I rent a car, to be honest it's the easiest for me.

The rest of the details tend to sort themselves out. For example, you can book your lodging as you go along, especially off-peak.

Tips for visiting monasteries in Greece

While visiting the monasteries, remember you are in a sacred place. Dress modestly, with legs and shoulders covered, to show respect for the local customs and faith. Keep your voice low to preserve the peaceful ambiance and adhere to any photography restrictions to respect the privacy of the monks.

I've had some people ask me, so I thought I'd start a post about etiquette. If you are out taking tours and you don't dress properly, be sure to look for a scarf or skirt (for the ladies) that they may provide to make you respectable enough to enter the space. It's far better, though, to dress properly in your own wardrobe!

Loud talking is a no-no. It's also a good idea to observe Orthodox customs when entering the sacred space, even if you aren't Orthodox. Non-orthodox may venerate icons, light candles, submit prayer requests, etc.

Can anyone think of anything else to add?

Beaches on Agistri or Spetses?

I am thinking of visiting some of the islands that are fairly close to Athens/Piraeus.

Two of them that you don't hear much about - like Agistri and Spetses - but I heard that they are worth it to visit, especially for the beaches, especially for Agistri.

Which do you prefer?

I have heard about some beaches on Agistri, but not sure what is available in Spetses.

Here are the beaches I heard about in Agistri:

- Aponissos beach - The beach's calm, crystalline waters and soft golden sands offer a perfect respite for swimmers and sunbathers. Surrounded by greenery and rock formations, the charming cove provides a breathtaking backdrop for a day by the sea.

- Skala Beach - he beach is lined with beach chairs and umbrellas available to rent, as well as a variety of water sports to try. The village behind the beach is packed with tavernas, bars, and shops, offering an array of dining and entertainment options for your holiday.

What do you guys think?

skala-beach.jpg
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