Fabulous Hotel near Plaka
Centrally located to Plaka and Syntagma Square - yet this hotel is very quiet. Wonderful restaurants close by. Rooms are spacious and very clean. Staff are attentive and helpful. Ask for a room with a balcony. Great place to have a beer in the afternoon.
Greece and Turkey Trip Day 4 September 11th
Poros, Greece is an island full of wonderful landscapes. The port hosts many restaurants, tourist shops and bars playing foreign or Greek music. The Archaeological museum and the clock tower are close to the center of town and are worth a visit if you have time. We had very little time to spend on this Island so I just shopped and looked at the clock tower from the outside. Then, I relaxed in a coffee shop with a great view of the water. I had a chocolate croissant and a coffee flavored with Bailey’s in the shade before heading back to the ship.
Hydra, Greece was or next stop The name Hydra comes from mythology it was the horrible monster Hercules killed.
Hydra is an island that has been proclaimed a landmark preservation area and has forbidden the use of cars. It is a unique island and this can be seen in its traditional architecture. Many artists flock to this island. A branch of the Athens School of Fine Arts operates from the Tombazi Mansion near the port. The 19th century mansions near the harbor were owned by sea captains.
Hydra’s naval history is evidenced since it is the home of the Merchant Navy Officers' Training School and by the canons in front of the harbor. Hydra has several good pebble beaches at Kaminia, Molo, Palamida and Bisti.
The cruise was pretty good and there was a nice sunset at the end of the cruise to top it off. I made my way back to the hotel Catrina to pick up my luggage then headed to the hotel Hermes to meet the people from the Contiki tour. I had missed the Contiki meeting because I got to the hotel late. I took a shower then watched a bit of tv when one of my roommates for the trip, Costa showed up. Costa is from Sydney and a pretty cool guy he told me what I had missed at the meeting and said that some of the people from the tour were downstairs. We went down. I met Joe, Ella, Allie, Kelly, and Luke who would be my other roommate for the trip. Joe and Ella were married. Kelly was Luke’s girlfriend and Allie was her sister. Everyone was pretty cool so I knew this would be a great trip. While watching TV someone commented that there was an email showing one of the female tennis players on the TV and how she looked like shrek. That’s one funny spam email I hope to see. Then, everyone commented how good Agassi was doing. We continued to talk then went to bed.
"Greece and Turkey Trip Day 5 September 12th"
We woke up early ate breakfast then headed to the pier to go to the ship for the Contiki Greece Cruise. When we reached there we waited in line and found out our ship was named the Coral. When we boarded we looked around the ship. There was a casino, pool, bar and club on board. There was also a cinema however it could not be used since they did not have a license for it anymore. There was a lifeboat drill then we rested in the room for awhile. Some of us went to the top deck for some sun. After a few hours, as we relaxed we arrived at our first stop, Mykonos.
Mykonos is one of the smallest of the Cyclades Islands of Greece. It is only 7 miles wide and 10 miles long. Greek mythology suggests that the huge rocks around the island are really the remains of the last giants which Hercules killed. When stepping off the ship at the port, walk along the waterfront. Here, you may see the town’s mascot Petro’s the Pelican. Petros was left behind when a group of migrating birds passed the island in the 1950’s. The bird was too exhausted to fly with his friends. Fisherman found him and nursed him back to health. The original Petros has passed but the locals keep replacing him with different pelicans to continue the story. The current version is a very large bird. I watched him from a distance. Costa was the only one from our group to go up close to him.
When walking through Mykonos you may fall in love with the white washed streets, the blue domed churches and the cubical houses. It is said that the long winding streets around the island were built to confuse invading pirates. Today, when wandering the streets, you may find an unexpected shop or place to relax. If you get tired of walking sit down at a coffee shop, drink some ice coffee and watch as the people pass by.
The southern part of the island is where you can see the famous windmills. I, Kelly and Luke had to try a Gyro along the way.
We continued to walk around, then found the store that sells bus tickets to Paradise beach. I, Kelly, Luke, Costa, Allie, Amy and Blair brought a ticket to go on the bus to the beach. There are a dozen or so beaches on the island. Paradise beach and Super Paradise beach are 2 of the designated nude beaches on the island. When we arrived there were a couple of topless girls on the sand. The sand on the beach is tan and pebbly. The water was blue and clear.
You could even see small fish swimming in the water. We waded in the water then took in some sun for awhile. I kept me wallet and ship boarding pass in Kelly’s purse to keep it from getting wet. On the boardwalk near the beach there are many bars with lively people dancing in them. It was only the early evening and the party had just begun. There was a guy in a thong attracting attention and groups of ladies and people dancing. It’s too bad we had to head back early since the last bus back to the city center was at 8 PM. I would have liked to have seen how it gets at night.
Heading back there was no room on the bus I, Allie, Kate and Luke boarded the first bus. We were taking some picture when I and Allie lost sight of Kate and Luke. Then, when shopping, I lost sight of Allie and could not find her. Continuing to look around I bumped into Costa and Donna. Donna said she was going to another store and would meet us later. Costa wanted to buy some shoes but didn’t end up getting them. I brought a charm for my sisters. It was getting late we headed back to the ship. We thought everyone was onboard already since we didn’t see them. I didn’t have my boarding card since I kept it in Kate’s bag to keep it from getting wet on the beach. The shipman let us on board when we told them what had happened. On board we didn’t see anyone from our group. We left a note and headed to eat. Heading back to the room Tiffany, Kate, Luke and Allie showed up they had taken the last tender in. Later that night, we had a few drinks and talked before heading to bed.
Mykonos and Santorini - What to do? Restaurants, Beaches, etc.
In early September we will spend 3 days each on Mykonos and Santorini. The hotels are Despotiko on Mykonos, and Hermes Hotel on Santorini (I'm providing their names to help identify our locations on the islands).
I am looking for any advice and suggestions about things to do, recommended restaurants, best beaches for great sunning (with nearby services), and attractions and evening entertainment.
This is our first trip to Greece, so any and all suggestions will be appreciated. Thanks.
Re: Mykonos and Santorini - What to do? Restaurants, Beaches, etc.
On Santorini visit the black beaches Kamari and Perissa. Watch out though the black sand does get extremely hot in the sun.
Sunset in Oia is a nice, a bit overrated but still worth it. It can get really crowded with other tourists so come early and consider getting a table at a restaurant with a view.
you can rent a car and just drive around the island and visit all the villages. Akrotiri is supposed to be interesting it was closed when I was there.
Also just walking around Thira and Oia is very enjoyable and fun if you have strong legs. It is mostly uneven ground you are always walking up or down.