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mj_toronto8

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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...
 
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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...

I would say they're all doable. I highly recommend Aegina, Spetses, and Hydra. Aegina is where Saint Nektarios's relics are, Hydra is such a cool experience with there not being any cars allowed, and I know that people say Spetses isn't worth it but I found the beaches to be really pretty.
 

Tips for Traveling to Greece on a Budget

Traveling to Greece is a dream for many, conjuring images of stunning beaches, ancient ruins, and vibrant Mediterranean culture. However, experiencing the wonders Greece has to offer doesn’t have to break the bank. Let's face it - it can be expensive to get there - especially if you are traveling from outside of Europe and during peak season. Keeping these tips in mind, though, can help you cut costs.

1. Travel During the Off-Peak Season

One of the best ways to save money while traveling to Greece is by going during the off-peak season, which is typically from October to April. Not only will you benefit from lower prices in flights and accommodations, but you'll also escape the heavy tourist crowds, allowing for a more authentic experience of Greece's beauty and culture.

2. Opt for Lesser-Known Destinations

While Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini are must-visit destinations, Greece is filled with hidden gems that are often overlooked. Consider visiting the Peloponnese region, Meteora, or even the northern part of the country, like Thessaloniki and the Chalkidiki Peninsula. These areas offer breathtaking views, historical sites, and genuine interactions with local culture at a fraction of the cost.

3. Use Public Transportation

Greece’s public transportation system is both efficient and affordable. Ferries can take you between islands at a good rate, especially if you book in advance. On land, buses and trains connect major cities and regions. Utilizing these options instead of renting a car or taking flights can significantly reduce your travel costs.

4. Savor Local Eats

Another great way to save while indulging in the richness of Greek culture is through its cuisine. Avoid tourist traps and opt for where the locals eat. Tavernas and street food vendors offer delicious and authentic Greek food for much less than restaurants in high-traffic tourist areas. Don’t skip on trying the gyros, souvlaki, and the myriad of seafood options.

5. Stay in Budget Accommodations

Greece offers a wide array of budget-friendly accommodations, ranging from hostels to budget hotels and Airbnb listings. Booking in advance can secure you a better deal, especially if traveling during the peak season. Consider staying in a location slightly off the beaten path; you might discover a quaint neighborhood or a breathtaking beach that’s not swarmed by tourists.

Traveling to Greece on a budget is more than feasible with a bit of planning and some savvy travel hacks. By following these tips, you can immerse yourself in the rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality Greece is renowned for, all while keeping your expenses in check. Remember, the essence of travel is not in how much you spend, but in the experiences you gather and the memories you create.

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

Itinerary for self-planned yacht trip through the Greek islands

I am working on planning a yacht trip through Greece. I live it because I am in total control of the itinerary and what goes on, unlike booking a cruise or something. There's enough of us in the group to make this a super affordable trip.

I am developing am itinerary - thought I'd run it by you:

  1. Athens to Mykonos: Begin in the historic port of Athens and make your way to the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Dock at Agios Ioannis beach and take a stroll through Little Venice.
  2. Mykonos to Naxos: Naxos awaits, with its marble gateway to nowhere and beautiful beaches. Try the local kitron liqueur for a true taste of the island.
  3. Santorini: Sail to the iconic island of Santorini, where the sunset from Oia is second to none. Enjoy a swim in the hot springs of Palea Kameni and taste some of the best wines in Greece.
  4. Ios to Folegandros: Keep the vibes high in Ios known for its lively atmosphere, then find tranquility in Folegandros, where the untouched Mediterranean prevails.
  5. Return to Athens: Wrap up your adventure with a pitstop in Syros, the capital of the Cyclades. Its charm lies in its austere yet handsome neoclassical buildings and the stunning Aegean views.

What do you think? Anything to add or subtract? I have about 10 days.

yacht-greece.jpg

What to pack for an early spring trip to Greece?

I am going to Greece in April. I have only ever gone in the summer. What's the weather like? I'll be in Athens and on Crete.

I am thinking the weather will be on the mild side, so I should pack light layers. Like a light jacket, short sleeve shirts, maybe a few long sleeve.

Is it suitable weather for sandals and the beach?

Do they get rain? I am trying to figure out if I need to buy a light rain jacket. I know it doesn't rain that much in Greece.

Thanks in advance!

Storage Lockers at Ferry Ports?

On my next trip to Greece, I will be using the Ferry. Because I am also going on a cruise, I will have a lot of luggage. I don't need a lot of luggage for some of the smaller trips I will be taking via ferry after it. I am pretty sure I am going to be in Greece for several months.

In trying to figure out how to pack, I realized that it would be helpful if there were storage lockers at the ferries. Are there? I tried looking online and couldn't figure it out.
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