A big thank you to our travel specialist and this Greece travel agency for pulling together a terrific vacation for us on the Greek islands and in Athens. All the transfers went so smoothly between ferries and hotels and made what might have been a rather arduous trip for us easy, comfortable and anxiety free. it was so reassuring knowing that we would be transferred to and from all the ferries and airports in a timely fashion and that all had been taken care of. The private guides in Athens and at Knossos were top notch and professional- they made a world of difference in our appreciation of these important sites.
We had a great time with all the hotels you chose- each one was unique and of course, we loved all the great views from our various balconies and terraces.
The different boutique hotels all had great locations and it was terrific to have easy access to a variety of restaurants. We did end up renting a car for the 3 days on Naxos; by that point in the trip I had realized climbing and walking around the islands wasn't all that easy and the car gave us great access to some beautiful beaches and gorgeous drives.
The winery tour in Santorini was terrific; our guide had terrific knowledge of the different wines. The sunset cruise was a bit disappointing. The agent from your agency personally contacted us to let us know it had been cancelled due to weather but because we were staying for 4 days was able to get us on a morning cruise a few days later. (A great advantage of having used a travel agency that is based in Greece!) Unfortunately because of strong winds we were not able to get all the way into the caldera and the fellow running the cruise was a friend of the owner's from Chicago who had very little interest in really showing us or telling us much about what we were seeing. The food was great but overall,the cruise was disappointing.
As I might have mentioned in our phone calls we usually do all our own planning when we travel abroad (or take a tour if we are going to a 3rd world location). The preparatory work you did and the sense that we had the backup of this travel agency if anything went awry really made for a fret free vacation. We had a great time and much appreciate your work and thoughtfulness in putting the trip together.
Our agent made sure we stayed in a variety of hotels, each one unique and each hotel with accomodations that afforded us the sense of beauty and serenity that I've long associated with the Greek Islands. At the same time the majority of hotels were located near lots of restaurants that we could walk to at night, something we really enjoy doing. I will never forget the views of the caldera from our balcony atop the caldera in Santorini. That view is breathtaking!
We actually really liked Athens and might have spent an extra day there visiting the Archeological Museum and enjoying some more of the outstanding restaurants. We ended up spending 4 1/2 days on Santorini because of ferry schedules, a bit longer than is needed for this island. Our agent's suggestion to spend one night in Heraklion so that we might visit Knossos worked out great as well as the easy transfer to Reythmon that he arranged. Driving however, in Crete proved to be a nightmare with signage that was erratic and difficult to spot on the roads. Next time I'd skip the car. There was plenty to do in the city ( though the south coast that we drove to was indeed spectacular.)
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