My husband and I just returned from a 3 week trip to Greece. This is the second trip for which we used Zicasso. (Last year we went to Spain for 3 weeks.) We chose to use this travel agent and we were very pleased with the result. From the first moment we arrived we had a professional driver pick us up in a very nice car and take us to our hotel. We had gorgeous views of the Acropolis both from our nicely appointed room and from the rooftop restaurant where we had a bountiful Greek buffet each morning. We started with an orientation on foot tour with a guide around the Plaka area and other hip areas. Then we had a food tour with a different guide on the following day. The following day we went with a guide to the Acropolis. The guide dropped us off afterwards for an upscale prepaid 3 course lunch at a restaurant we never could have found on our own, with a view of the Acropolis. Afterwards the guide and a driver picked us up for a driving tour of sights in Athens in a comfortable car with much appreciated air conditioning. One of the highlights of our 3 week trip was a cooking class on the island of Kea, a ferry ride away from a town an hour out of Athens, with a Greek cookbook author in her outdoor kitchen. The class of 6 included a chef and restaurateur from Turkey. I learned to "roll the dough" for phyllo. This class included wines and a many course fabulous meal.The class included a tour of the husband, Costas' herb garden.
We toured the Pelopenesian peninsula for a few days with a young driver who gave us great insight into the area in absolutely flawless English, took us to prepaid lunches at fabulous restaurants and was extremely helpful in every way including with our luggage. At each archaeological site (like Olympia or Delphi--on the mainland) we had a monument guide who was infectiously enthusiastic about his or her historical knowledge. We also had wine tastings and an olive tasting. We went to 3 islands--Crete, Santorini and Mykonos. Each was wonderful in its own unique way. For the last 4 days in Mykonos we only went to different beaches. The hotels on all 3 islands were gorgeous and the staff treated us like royalty and almost like adored family members. Our agent arranged a wonderful seamless vacation for us, that we could not have done on our own. Kudos to Zicasso for vetting travel agents. By the way, I recommended Zicasso to a friend and her husband, who used Zicasso this past May to go to China for 2 weeks. They too, were immensely pleased.
It's hard to say as we enjoyed so many activities. We loved going to the Acropolis, Delphi, Olympia. Also, when in Nafplio (in Pelopenesia) there was a free outdoor performance of Cretan dancers in costume. We loved the two cooking classes we took, one in Kea and one in Crete. We enjoyed the wine tasting and tour at Skouras winery. We loved the olive oil tasting in Crete at a camp sight. We enjoyed seeing Knossos palace in Crete and learning about the seriously advanced Minoan culture. We also visited a restored synagogue called Etz Chaim, in Chania, Crete and learning about the Greek Jewish man who undertook this project and about the sad history of the pre World War II Jewish members. We enjoyed swimming in the Black Beach in Santorini and Super Paradise Beach in Mykonos. We also loved a catamaran sunset cruise in Santorini with swimming off the boat (with snorkel) and a feast of a dinner with wine.
The only thing we would do differently is that we wouldn't take the private seminar on the Minoan culture. We felt that that was really designed for scholars and not for lay people.
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