My friend is planning a trip this fall and narrowed the possible locations down to Spain, France, Italy or Cape Cod. Due to a (what I consider) last minute chance of plans, they leave for Greece in a few weeks!
I have been trying to get to Greece for a number of years so I am incredibly jealous of her trip. The last time I seriously had plans was in the fall of 2007. I had planned a European backpacking trip for my brother and I that started in Athens and then involved a quick flight north to Budapest where we could catch the train for our remaining travels. Literally a week before we were set to fly out, the news reported horrific forest fires sweeping across the country. The airports were closed, tourism came to a bit of a halt and not only were there difficulties in containing the fires, there were major issues surrounding the ash that was raining down on major cities, including Athens, as well as historical landmarks, water sources, etc. We quickly cancelled the flights and hostel and rerouted our trip to begin in Warsaw, Poland. I loved Poland, but it hurt to have come so close to visiting a country I’ve read so much about.
Interestingly enough, forest fires are again sweeping across Greece, but as of Friday they were finally contained. Hopefully everything will be in better shape by the time my friend and her husband leave. They will be in Athens a few days and then head to an island where they will be for most of the trip. Just last week she also thought they might take a day trip to Turkey by boat. I wish I had quick access to some of the itineraries I put together for just such an occasion, but unfortunately those were swept away with the forest fires years ago.
I did ask another good friend of mine who spent some time in Greece for her ‘to do’ list in Athens to pass along. Her recommendations mirrored those I’d read online and heard from others.
Top 4 Places to Visit in Greece
- The Acropolis: There are a number of gardens to tour depending on your interest.
- The Parthenon: This can easily turn into a half-day event if you spend time wandering through the artifacts, etc.
- The Islands: There are day-trips available where you can take a boat over to the islands to explore the beaches and more ‘traditional’ Grecian cities equipped with donkey rides and tight, winding streets.
- The Zeus and Poseidon Temples: Well-worth the views as you overlook the surrounding areas.
The official Athens, Greece Web site also offers a number of other historical landmarks, museums, etc. to visit.
I can’t wait to hear about her trip when she gets back. Any other suggestions on what she should do/see?