Our travel agent was superb - from the first correspondence with him. As we worked out our budget, trip duration and what kind of activities my boyfriend and I wanted to experience, he was very accommodating! And little did we know what we had in store for us. Even though main details, such as hotel and excursions were listed in the itinerary, there were surprises interwoven in, such as first-class tickets in our high speed ferry transfer from Mykonos to Santorini. And the travel agency set up someone to meet us and give us a brief on each leg of our trip. To have someone there to meet you at the airport, take you to your hotel while telling you about the area and the activities you'll be able to enjoy - it makes you feel like royalty. Someone was there to guide us through every transfer, so we didn't have to figure it out on our own (and it most likely saved us from missing a flight, and from paying unnecessary additional fees). Two of the representatives went as far as to wait in line with us at the airport in Santorini (a small but confusing airport) - all the way to security, to make sure we checked our bags at the right place and made it to the plane on time. In Athens, we had a 6-hour private tour of the Acropolis. The tour guide was so endearing, we talked him into having a drink with us before we parted ways. Between the cooking class and the two sailing cruises, we couldn't have asked for a better trip.
The people were the best part. Through talking with different Greeks in the service industry, we quickly uncovered that they work long hours during the tourist season (which lasts for 9 months of the year). To witness them working hard, but still pleasant, made my heart open to them.
My boyfriend was so excited about Mykonos and Santorini, we asked our travel company to arrange for the bulk of our time on these two islands, with 4 nights in Santorini. Though it was as gorgeous as the post cards, we felt that it was a little too long to be in Santorini. If only I had known, I would have stayed longer in Athens. I also want to include that with all of the wonderful service (after it was all said and done for our 2-week trip, we came into contact with about 25 guides, excursion staff, representatives to help with transfers, etc. We felt obligated to tip often). If you're planning on a trip like this one, you should factor in gratuity, and understand beforehand how much to tip and when, so you're not left short-handed. We definitely under-tipped some because we didn't have the cash on hand, or over-tipped because we didn't have smaller denominations handy.
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