- Overall what we did: 7 days split into: 3 days in Athens and 4 days in Santorini with a brief stop in Kos on the way to Turkey from 17 May 2014 to 23 May 2014
- Favourite part of Greece: Standing on the Acropolis taking a look at the Parthenon and the view of Athens
- Key tip: Hard to give any tips here. Greece is very similar to any other European countries so the same tips apply. Actually my tip would be go to Italy instead of Greece…
- Cultural points:
- Highlights: Visiting the Acropolis and Pantheon, and seeing the sunset in Santorini – not as spectacular as the sunsets on Kangaroo Island I’ve seen as a child but still rather nice
- Best Experience: Getting into the Acropolis, Zeus Temple and Acropolis Museum for free. Score!
- Worst Experience: Oh boy where to begin. Dodgy accommodation in Athens, poor quality food, very expxensive ferries.. there’s a long list. I think the winner would have to be arriving at our accommodation in Santorini and realising we were being lied to. I meant flat our lied to. We were told the hotel was fully booked and would be moved to another ‘nice’ hotel. Which just so happened to be down a back street, with no staff, no facilities, no pool and a fair bit more run down than the one we had booked into. We also got to watch from our balcony everyday as other poor souls were moved to this back street hotel from the other main hotel. It was not enjoyable having to walk back to the other accommodation when the wifi went down as there was no one around to fix it, and also not fun to have our credit card double charged either. Oh yeah, left a great impression on us of Santorini…
- Must See Attraction: … anywhere other than Greece? I guess it would have to be the Pantheon
- Most Over-hyped Attraction: Santorini. Or Greece in general. Maybe the bad experience with the accommodation (particularly on Santorini) just left me a bit bitter but if you want my honest opinion, here is some options of countries where you can find the same if not better for several reasons people go to Greece:
- Sunsets: Australia. Beautiful sunsets pretty much everywhere around the country
- Picturesque coastal town perched on a cliff: Cinque Terre or Amalfi Coast in Italy. Just as pretty and better food
- Beaches: Again, anywhere in Australia. We’re spoilt for choice with beaches and you don’t have to pay to sit on them
- Archaeological ruins: You could visit Pompeii in Italy for incredible Roman ruins, or Angkor Wat in Cambodia for amazing structures, or Nijo-jo in Japan for incredible 1000 year old buildings…. I could give a very long list here of impressive sights to see
- Hospitable People: South Korea. Woah, now South Korea can deliver on hospitality. Or anywhere in Asia is pretty amazing. In Greece, for the first time on the trip I had a very strong gut feel that people were flat our lying to me or being very insincere. I know not everyone in the country would be like that, but that gut feeling occurred enough times that it made me feel that a lot of people were insincere in their dealings with me which wasn’t fun
- Food: Anywhere else I’ve visited. I found I could eat tastier (and nicer quality) Greek food in Australia than we found in Greece. You can enjoy delicious fresh salads in Morocco, incredible food in Asia, Baklava in Turkey and the portions with donor meat – they’re not disimilar to an Australian or UK roast with veg. It’s a bit sad when some of the food I ate in Greece was lower quality in my opinion than food I ate in Nepal. Also, the tap water in Santorini tasted WAY worse than tap water in Marrakech or anywhere else we went in Morocco (Say what?!? That shouldn’t even be possible…). Yup, just putting it out there.
- Would I go back? Everyone is welcome to there own opinions and you can try to convince me otherwise, but no. Absolutely not. I think my rant above covers it. I was very surprised with how run down Athens was, and the places we visited in Athens and Santorini gave me the feeling that the country only kept it’s wheels turning for the tourists coming in. It didn’t feel like an actual country where people lived and had respect for their surroundings. That might be a bit harsh, but it was how I felt by the end of our stay in Greece.
There was just nothing memorable during our stay in Greece which is very disappointing – everything was just average at best. So far we’ve always had one stand our experience or group of people we’ve met which has made that country truly memorable and worth travelling to. Other than meeting the lovely Sydney and Florence in Athens, this hasn’t happened with Greece and I couldn’t wait to leave