The Delphi day tour was, in my opinion, well worth the money. Having booked the tour through Viator.com the day started with an initial coach pickup just around the corner from my hotel, and then a transfer onto a minibus. Right away this was a winner, a smaller group of people on the tour. We stopped off for a short comfort break en-route, giving time for light refreshments and to stretch your legs, great if you are 6’5”, (1.95m), like me.
Along the way, the tour guide would give you information about this and that, passing the lake, mountains, cities, etc., whether it was of interest or not, and to be fair, most of it was.
The site of Delphi and the museum were fantastic, but be warned, there is a lot of uphill walking, and if you want to visit the stadium at the top of the ruined site, prepare yourself for a trek. Our guide was both informative and comical, which makes listening in more worthwhile, captivate your audience, and this is where being in the smaller group came into its own.
The museum is not that big, but seeing as it houses the finds from the Delphi site, is impressive, and really is a must see for anyone reading through this that may be thinking of heading off out there by themselves.
As with all ancient sites, it makes sense to have comfortable walking/training shoes, as heels or flip flops are not going to do you any favours here. Once there, behold the surrounding beautiful landscape and ruins of a civilization long lost.
The day was finished off with lunch at the 4 star hotel, Amalia in Delphi, very nice hotel, very nice views, and again on the return there was another comfort break.
Hydra, Poros and Aegina day tour. Where to start? Ok, the day just wasn’t long enough, though it is a great way to scout a couple of islands.
Starting off, picked up by coach and head to the port, board the ferry and have your picture taken with a couple of locals in traditional costume. Set sail and enjoy the views of Athens as you leave.
It took about 3 hours 30 mins to arrive at Hydra, but that does not mean to say the journey there was boring, far from it, there was entertainment on the top deck with audience participation, singing and dancing etc., and everyone seemed to be having a good time. Bearing in mind that this is going on at like 09:00. There are bars on all decks, (3) where you can buy snacks and beverages, alcohol and non-alcohol, and this is from the minute you set sail until returning to Athens.
Hydra. Beautiful port town, and we spent an hour, (or just over), here. Some went swimming, some checked out the shops and bars, others checked out everything.
Poros. Nice, but nothing much to do as we weren’t there that long, I think about 25 – 30 minutes, which really only gives you time to say “how much is that souvenir”, “Shall we barter?”, and “well I would but I’ll miss the boat”.
A delicious and much varied buffet lunch is served after both Hydra and Poros. You will be given a boarding pass which at the bottom has a colour strip, and the time of dining is dependent upon which colour you have.
Aegina. This island offers 2 excursions, classical or ancient I think it was, and both taking up about 1 hour 30 minutes. You will be given a talk about this on the boat, or can, I think, pre-book through Viator.com. Some chose the trips and others chose to just do their own thing, shopping, swimming etc., and just hitting on the swimming subject here for safety reasons, be sure that if you do go swimming to buy and wear some form of boat shoes/plimsolls as you could well step on sea urchins, which are deadly. There is no mention of this anywhere, I so I would just like to raise your awareness to this fact.
The return journey was a little over an hour from Aegina, and due to the time of year that I went, offered a beautiful sunset over the Island Mountains.
Would I go on this again? Most definitely.
My first full day in Athens had to begin with the Athens half day tour, simply because if anyone is coming to Athens, then it would stand to reason that they are there to visit the Acropolis. Our tour guide was excellent, and gave details and a little history into everything we passed that was of some importance. The Acropolis and the museum, of course, were the highlights of this trip, and the reason I was there, and wish now I had also booked the Acropolis night tour. I don’t think that this needs to be your first time visit to Athens though to enjoy the tour, and I would certainly go again. I would advise the wearing of shoes with good grip on the soles, as when you are in the Acropolis, (which by the way is NOT the temple that you see, but everything within the walls), you will find that the path can be very slippery and uneven. There is a refreshment bar near to the entrance.
Once you have visited the Acropolis, the next stop is the museum, where no photography is allowed at all, until you reach the top floor. On approach to the entrance, you will walk across a glazed floor and look down onto excavations and see the mosaic decorated floor of ancient Roman ruins. This extends well into the museum itself, and again, you will be walking on glass.
Fantastic half day that gives you an introduction into ancient Greece.