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What a spectacular day! I recently took a Private Delphi and Hosios Loukas tour with Nikos of EUDAIMONIA Private Tours. A small business started ten years ago, it was obvious at all of the stops that Nikos, one of the founders and owner, was well-known, liked and respected. Still, he was very humble, unpretentious, and thoroughly informative. Small touches made and already excellent day, outstanding. From homemade cookies, enjoying green almonds from a tree, a quick stop for a most authentic local yogurt, to coffee and a treat after the (beautiful) monastery tour, the trip was perfect throughout. Email communication was quick and detailed, and he can also make other "concierge" arrangements in addition to any bookings. Oh, and lunch was local, generous, and varied... a great introduction to fresh, Greek cuisine. I only wish I would've taken a photo with this wonderful (guide) new friend. Looking forward to returning and highly recommend!
It was a great experience, and our family - me, my husband and our teenager son- were really happy that we made a choice with Hosios Loukas monastery. Delphi was a fascinating place, and we were glad to come there early in the morning and enjoy the charm of the place without crowds of tourists running around. We made a slow walk up enjoying the countryside with blossoming trees and majestic ruins around us. The museum on site is very informative!
The monastery of St. Loukas was a place where you can realy experience a feeling of being here and now: calm, spiritual, yet friendly atmosphere.
And few words about our guide - Nikos. It looked like he really enjoyed our excitement and really minded what we liked - architecture, landscape or food. He shared a lot of knowledge during the trip, and it made it a very special one.
This was our third trip with Nikos and, as we had earlier mentioned to him that we had already been to the Delphi site and museum, he took us to the less visited Temple of Athena that is near the main Delphi site. This is usually bypassed by the major tours. We had enjoyed the drive there as Nikos ensured we got to see much of the countryside. We stopped at the gorgeous mountain village of Arahova for lunch where our lunch consisted of authentic Greek food which Nikos ordered to allow us to try different dishes. We then had some free time to stroll around the village. As Nikos knew I took many photos he took us to a point where I could get some great shots of the village from afar.
On our way to Hosios Loukas Monastery we saw a roadside 'shop', with what looked like posters all hung around it and Nikos was more than happy to go and investigate with us. It turned out to be a rug sale. After making some purchases we continued on our way, enjoying the countryside. At Hosios Loukas Monastery we encountered the local Archbishop, who turned out to be an acquaintance of Nikos'. The monastery was more than we expected, above a valley that was filled with olive trees, lovely and peaceful. After exploring we enjoyed a quiet coffee. We then continued our journey, stopping to inspect cotton fields and orange groves, culminating in a visit to an Olive press which was run by a co-operative for the local village. The staff there were more than happy to let us take photos and have a look at each stage of the olive pressing.
All in all this was an enjoyable trip made very pleasant by Nikos, who seemed to be more of a friend than a guide, his very safe driving left us feeling at ease and his knowledge of the area was very enlightening.
Thoroughly recommend this trip
Thank you Nikos for such a great day, your friendliness and thoughtfulness. You made our trips memorable and special.
Judy and Michelle Kean, Tasmania, Australia
Nikos was excellent and was unbelievably knowledgeable about the area and gave us great tips for our entire trip to Greece!
After picking us up at our hotel, we chatted about preferences and interests and he shaped the day entirely around our wishes! It was nice to have a self-guided pace to explore the sights rather than be shuttled around in a tightly-planned tour bus like we saw. The entire drive we were peppered with interesting facts, which made the time pass quickly. He would even roll down the windows so we could take in the amazing scents of native wildflowers.
We went completely off the grid for lunch in the tiniest of villages, sitting with the locals and enjoying an experience most tourists will never had. Nikos gave us some time to amble through the village of Arachova as well as pointers of what to see while in Delphi. We even stumbled upon marathon racers that morning and spent some time cheering them on! I cannot imagine them running those massive hills! They were crazy!!
The highlight had to be our stop at Hosios Loukas Monestery. We were the only visitors that afternoon - what a wonderful and peaceful way to explore. You could tell Nikos had a great relationship with the staff there and it was wonderful to be able to engage in small talk with our guide throughout the day. We were in Greece on our honeymoon and the church we were married in was named St. Luke's. We didn't make the connection until we were there - what a way to have goosebumps! To get married in St. Luke's, then end up paying homage to the crypt of St. Luke and his home monastery - you couldn't write this! And thanks to Nikos we learned that they normally celebrate the arrival of Saint Luke's remains back to Greece on December 11, but as fate would have it, celebrated last year on December 10, the same day as our wedding!! And we definitely purchased an icon of St. Luke while there to keep in our new home for good luck! He was able to work with the staff to get us some great artwork at a discount. Don't skip Hosios Loukas! It's well worth the detour and extra cost!
Run, don't walk, when it comes to booking this tour! Nikos didn't feel like a guide, but rather family by the end of the day. We will tell everyone we know that plans to travel to the Athens area to connect with Nikos!
My wife, daughter, and I visited Greece for the first time this past summer. We spent three days in Athens to experience the rich Greek history that we had only encountered in history books. Since we had very little time and we wanted to have a very flexible schedule, we booked a private tour with Eudaimonia Private Tours through Viator.com. Even before we left, Nikos Giannopoulos reached out to us via email and text to not only confirm the tours but discuss what we were interested in, whether we had any dietary restrictions we are vegetarian, etc. He was very meticulous in his planning and communicated with us at all times and provided us with suggestions for additional activities.
While talking to him prior to our arrival, we mentioned to him that we wanted to visit Lake Vouliagmeni and Cape Sounion on the day we arrived. He immediately cleared his schedule and arrived promptly at 4 p.m. to pick us up from the hotel. I am glad that we took the tour to Lake Vouliagmeni and Cape Sounion with him. During the drive, he provided us with a lot of information about the history of both locations that we definitely wouldnt have gotten from reading a book. I am avid photographer and when he got to know that he stopped at multiple places on the way that had amazing views and I managed to get some great pictures of the sunset at Cape Sounion. Go there, if you havent already!!!
The next morning, Nikos picked us up at 8 a.m. for a day trip to Delphi and Hosios Loukas monastery. Our first stop was at Delphi a UNESCO World Heritage site about 2.5 hours away and during the drive, Nikos used the time to discuss the history of Delphi and its role in Greek history. The entire drive went by fairly quickly as Nikos was a great conversationalist. After we had finished the tour of the main site and the museum, he was waiting for us in the car but suggested that we visit the TheTholosat the sanctuary ofAthenaPronoia is located about half a mile away from the main Delphi site and we are glad that we went there. If not for Nikos, we would have never known about it.
After we finished at Delphi, we had lunch in a small, quaint, but completely non-touristy town for lunch. Nikos ordered for us and ensured that all the food was vegetarian. I also learnt from him how to drink Ouzo the Greek way.
After lunch, we went to Hosios Loukas Monastery. We didnt even know about this till we booked the private and we are glad we did! The monastery is a also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The monastery and its environs were beautiful and serene. It is located a little bit out of the way and overlooks a valley that is full of Olive trees. The weather at the monastery was very different from what we experienced in Athens and Delphi which are hot in August, to say the least. While it was a warm day, the monastery was breezy and actually cool at what would be the hottest part of the day. Nikos brought some of awesome desserts including Baklava, which a personal favorite of mine and we even took some of it back for my wife who was unable to join us on the trip as she was unwell.
Nikos also provided us with tips for the next day when we planned to visit the historical sites in Athens. He even offered to pick us up the next evening to take us to a really good local restaurant that served authentic, vegetarian cuisine. Unfortunately, we were tired the next evening and could not take him up on his offer.
Thanks to an off-the-beaten path tour with Eudaimonia Private Tours, we have made a new friend in Nikos that we hope to stay in touch for a long time! Thank you, Nikos and Eudaimonia!!!
If you are planning a trip to Athens, I would strongly recommend Eudaimonia for a completely personalized experience!!!
We had a wonderful day trip to Delphi with Nikos this past week - he was a wonderful host! We were picked up close to our lodging in Athens at 8 am, and headed to the beautiful site of Delphi. On the way, Nikos provided us with information about the site, along with pleasant conversation. After we finished at Delphi, we had lunch in a small town - this was one of my favorite parts of the day. Nikos ordered for us after asking if that was okay, and we were treated to some authentic Greek culinary delights. We had Kolokitho Keftedes zucchini meatballs, Vlita greens that were exquisite, Salata Hoiratiki greek salad, among other things, and also had some delicious desserts, to include Ekmec custard type dessert and Kormos an orange flavored cake. The entire meal was absolutely delicious. We were also taught how to appropriate drink Ouzo : After lunch, we went to the Monastery of Hosios Loukas - it was beautiful and free of tourists, as most do not even know or think to go there. That was the beauty of this tour - we were off the beaten path, so to speak, for most of the day. In addition, Nikos provided us with a box of fresh baked Greek desserts to take back to our apartment to enjoy that evening. They were wonderful! We really enjoyed this trip, I highly recommend it! Thank you Nikos!
I had limited time and wanted a trip that took me out of the city and didn't involve a bus. Nikos was a great host and provided the right mix of Greek culture and history and friendly chat - I was the sole passenger. Excellent English speaker. Vehicle was in tip-top condition and the lunch was authentic and tasty. If you want a knowledgable, interesting and communicative guide and the freedom to be away from other tourists I'd recommend this trip with ancient history Delphi and the peacefulness of the Monastery.
Nikos was a great driver and fun guide for our trip to Delphi. I wanted the opportunity to see more of the countryside and have a discussion about Delphi, the history, and current life in Greece rather than merely a generic tour. My 20yo son and I enjoyed the drive out and hiking up to see Delphi. By going on a private tour, we were able to get an earlier start and beat the heat and crowds. After the main site, Nikos guided us to the lower site to see the other buildings. It looked like not all tours were able to see this part.
After Delphi, Nikos took us to a local taverna in a small town for lunch and then up to the Hosios Loukas Monastery. The monastery had a loud coach-full of tourists in the outer sitting area which reinforced the benefits of going on our own. Nikos provided a sweet snack and chocolates for us. The monastery is well preserved and the signage is clear to help understand its history, role in the community, and how the monks did, and still do, live there.
Overall, excellent places to visit to connect with ancient times and imagine the ways the world/politics/religion worked.