10 Things to do in Greece that the itineraries won’t tell you!!

Most of us travellers will only ever go to a country once.. simply because there are too many countries and too less time… 😂😋 So while we are in one, why not make the most of it?!?

Hello my dear Travellers!

And I am back with my second blog. This one’s about how to make the most out of your experience at Greece. When you plan a trip to Greece, first things that every website would tell you is to visit the Parthenon Acropolis, the monuments, the White and Blue domes of Santorini, the Party Paradise beach of Mykonos and what not!

Here are some things that most of these websites won’t tell you. Somethings that are really worth doing in Greece!

Amstel Lemon Radler 🍋

Haha! Yes! Starting my blog with a beer… but I thought let’s get over with some less intoxicating things first. 😉 Coz Greece will definitely leave you with a long hangover!!!

If you are a beer lover, the Amstel Lemon Radler is a must try. And if you are not, it’s still worth a try. Amstel Radler is a lemon juice infused Beer. It’s light lemony taste and the 2% alcohol level make it a tasty drink for the hot summer days. In Greece, they have kiosks that sell drinks at almost every 500 meters, specially in the city of Athens and major tourist attraction areas on the Islands. I wasn’t able to find this particular beer everywhere, but in Athens in the Plaka market. You can also try the Mythos Lemon Radler from the Kiosks at Little Venice in Mykonos.

Amstel Lemon Radler Beer bought in Athens in Plaka Market
Yummy Amstel Lemon Radler on the streets of Plaka Market in Athens!!

The amazing thing is that you’ve got Kiosks every few meters to buy drinks and snacks in this country!! It’s like the Indian Chai and Sutta stalls in Metro cities, present every few meters!

Regency Casino Athens (with a breathtaking view)

I know Casino is not on most people’s list when you travel abroad, specially if you are travelling with family. But what if I tell you, this casino visit is a combination of a drive upto a hill, a FREE Telepheric ride (cable car in Greek) to the top of Mont Parnes with the most mesmerizing view of the entire city of Athens followed by a 10Euro free card per person if you are going there for the first time, to play and spend it on a myriad of gaming options?!!?? Sounds awesome eh?

Telepheric or Cable car in Greek
The Cable Car.. (TelePheric)

Moreover whatever you win out of the free 10euro card you get, you can encash it!! And there are Soo many machines and also live poker and Roulette tables in there. We saw a man get rich over night when his name came out in a lucky draw!! So it’s definitely worth experiencing.

View from Telepheric or Cable Car while going to Casino in Mount Parnes in Athens
Night view of Athens from the Telepheric! As Dimitris Petrakis says – “It’s not gambling when you never lose”. Click on the picture to check out his Instagram.

All non alcoholic drinks are free and you get discount coupons for food and one alcoholic drink free per person.

Swim where the water, the land and the mountains meet!

Yes. You heard that right!! The Kamari beach with the Mesa Vouna Mountain at Santorini offers this breathtaking beautiful view. The beach is not too crowded and the waters are a nice and clear blue. The beach bars across the beach provide nice beach beds, umbrellas and showers so you can take a swim, relax and treat yourself to some food and drinks along with this mesmerizing view.

Beautiful Kamari beach in Santorini in Greece
That is definitely the most amazing Beach View!!!

Tip : Do enquire about closing time of the pubs as some of these close quite early while others are open till later

Swimming in the waters of the Kamari Beach
I just never wanted to get out of the water!!!

Oh and then I did this video!!! Something I always wanted to do.. and this place seemed just perfect!! It dint come out that well.. 😋 but I did it!!

Take your swimming gears, some water proof sunscreen and your towels along!! You can change at one of the bars. Don’t know how to swim???? Just get into the water and have fun.. oh and don’t forget to click pictures!! After all we are here for this view!! 😃😃

Sunset with the Windmills

One of the most beautiful sunsets of Santorini can be seen at Oia ( pronounced as Ee-aa 😋 ) in Santorini near the famous windmill spot.

Sunset with the Windmills in Oia in Santorini
Mills & Sunsets! 😉
Sunset in Oia in Santorini
And finally the incredible view of the sunset in Oia at Santorini

The next perfect spot is from the shores of little Venice in Mykonos!!

Windmills at Little Venice in Mykonos Greece
The famous 5 windmills as the sun said bbye to them!

In the evening people just sit on and around the pebble beach and the sun puts on a magnificent show, going down the sea with all it’s grace, changing a thousand colors spread across the sky. And as it sets putting the show to an end, People applaud with happiness and gratefulness for being able to witness this beauty! Miss this…and you’ll regret it for a long time!

Sunset at Little Venice Mykonos Greece
The colors!! 💙💜💛❤️

The restaurants in Little Venice are amazing and offer a great and comfortable seating and view of the sunset, but they are quite expensive! So if you are just aiming at the sunset, you might want to pack some snack and bring it along. You can get beer, cocktails and soft drinks, from the nearby kiosks!

TIP: Do not forget to check the sunset timing on the net before planning your sunset trip. Time varies too much across the year and you don’t want to be too late or too early! ⏰

Get your name written in Greek in Athens

If you are looking for one thing to buy for yourself or to gift someone special, which reminds you of your trips to Greece… This is one thing you must do!! At the Plaka market there is a guy who writes your name or essentially anything you want in Greek and creates a beautiful accessory like a locket, keychain or bracelet!! It’s the cutest gift specially for your girl bffs!!

Souvenir shop in Plaka Market Athens to get hand made name as accessory!
This guy is not just an artist with alphabets..but he is also humorous and makes you laugh continuously as he makes our accessory.

I was with my husband there and he asked us are you on your honeymoon?? I said no! We have been married 3years! His immediate reaction was – ‘Oh! You look so happy!! I thought it was the honeymoon period!’ 😂 He also told us about his Indian friend Mr.Chaddha who said that Indians bargain, not because they do not have money!! They do so coz it’s in their Blood!!! 😂😂 So damn true!!

P.S. Don’t forget to ask him for a discount and mention about this blog to him! You will surely get a nice Discount!! 😉😃

Drive in Santorini

Okay! First things first!! If you are ever planning to take a self drive car on rent abroad, you must get an IDP – International Driving Permit which allows you to drive in 150+ countries and is issued by the RTO in India, if you have a valid Indian driving lisence..

Read the article for more information on this
https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/awareness-fuels-demand-for-global-driving-permits/articleshow/63260607.cms

So Santorini is on the best places in Greece to drive in and also with quite limited public transport. Taking a self-drive car on rent will cost you lesser and save more time!

Self - Drive cars through Santorini in Greece
Drive Wala Swag!

If people could drive through heaven, this is what it must feel like!!

Tip: Pick your car from the port or the airport itself when you enter Santorini. It is cheaper than if you take a car within the city. There are many people working in Greece from Pakistan and they are very kind as to guide you and talk to you in Hindi among the less English speaking people out there.

Drive through Santorini video
Click on Image to see my YouTube Santorini video with the Dil Chahta hai feel!!

TIP: Take a video of the whole car inch by inch before you start driving. Any unknown damage can cost you a lot of money. The video along with one of the shop guys will help you prove it wasn’t you.

The drive is right side drive with a lot of ghat section so only go for it if you are extremely confident!

Take the Hop on Hop Off in Athens

Well Hop on Hop off is a must take in Athens. Cut down on transport costs, maximize utility of time. Across the whole city of Athens in 15 Euros per person for 2 days!! Read more : http://tipstrickstravel.com/hop-on-hop-off-tour-athens-greece/

Lunch at the Mountain Lake, a Natural Thermal Spa in Athens!

I’m calling is the Mountain lake coz it sure looks like the Mount Hymettus is protecting Lake Vouliagmeni. The water here is warm throughout the year and is rich in many salts and minerals. Enjoy a swim with some declicious lunch and drinks. Entry costs up to 10Euros for swimming and over and above for whatever you order. But the experience is really worth it!!

Lake Vouliagmeni Swimming and Lunch in Athens Greece
The spectacular view and swimming in there just feels amazing !

The lake can be reached using the Glyfada line of Hop on Hop off bus in Athens or you can take a cab directly. Public transport is a little less frequent here though. Right in front is the beach, so you can plan a whole day for this side of the city of Athens and spend it dipping in the Lake and the Sea! It’s very less crowded and extremely peaceful experience!

Natural Thermal spa lake Vouliagmeni entrance in Athens Greece
Welcome to Lake Vouliagmeni !! ✌️

Dine at Mikrolimano in Pireaus

Now this is one of the most romantic and fun things you must do when you are in Greece! Visit Pireaus and take a cab to Mikrolimano. You can walk around this semi-circular port and pick up something to eat or drink from the Kiosks. It’s like Marine drive in Mumbai or Kochi, but with diners and candle light dinner at the sea line.

Mikrolimano
Scenes at Mikrolimano

Food is surely a little expensive and a small meal for two can cost you between 25-40Euros. If you do not want to spend much here, there are a couple of chains of Pizza and Burger joints across the street. You can pack something and have it sitting around the port line facing the sea.

Mikrolimano
Evening at the Port

If you are taking a ferry to the Islands of Mykonos or Santorini from Pireaus port, you may want to spend an evening at Pireaus and visit Mikrolimano before your ferry! It’s the best part of this side of the city. Pireaus has some amazing cafe & pubs.

Oh and if you are a vegetarian, do ask for food that is vegetarian and has no FISH! In most restaurants Fish is considered vegetarian food!!

The Ferry ride

Now if you are travelling to the Islands from Athens, you can either take the Flight or take a ferry! I suggest if you have time take the Ferry! It’s cheaper than the flights and it’s an experience in itself! It’s like a passenger cruise! An early morning or evening ferry will give you a beautiful view of the sunrise or sunset.

That’s the view of Sunrise as we drift away from the port !!! 😍😍😍

Ferry from Athens to Santorini from the Pireaus port
The Ferry!

The most amazing feeling was to just sit on the deck and listen to lovely loud music and watch the blue waters… I could sit there forever and ever… It feels like you are in the middle of nowhere… And life is so peaceful!! If you are a writer.. don’t forget to carry your pen and notebook to write the most amazing words that will take birth right in your heart through your eyes with this view!

Blue oceans while crossing islands of Greece in a ferry!
Blue suddenly became the new color of peace to me!! And my soul thanked me for bringing it here!

No amount of images or videos will ever make you feel what you are actually gonna feel out there!

Greece
😂 Nautanki

Greece is a total mix of Adventure with various water sports activities, history with it’s archaeological treasure, nature with it’s spectacular landscapes and stunning beaches and Soo much fun!!!

It’s time to plan your trip guys!! Do let me know for some itinerary help! Connect with me on Facebook and Instagram using links below and share your pictures with the #TipsTricksTravel 🙂 It’s a total picturesque location!

Photograph clicked in Santorini near the white and blue domes
Don’t forget to take a good photographer with you to Greece 😋

Don’t forget to leave your comments below and subscibe to my blog if you like my tips and tricks for travel!

So guys untill my next blog…

Ghoomne Raho.. Ghumaate raho.. and make happy memories!

#HappyTravelling #Savetotravel

Hop On Hop Off Tour Athens, Greece

Hello my dear Travellers !!

If you are planning a trip to the beautiful islands of Greece, Athens has got to be one of your destinations!! With it’s rich culture and history, the city is a treasure box filled with amazing architecture, rich culture and loads of port side and beach side cafes and restaurants with delicacies from around the world to enjoy a romantic date or a fun evening. The wine and Cheese are a must try in Greece!

If you intend to self tailor your itinerary to Athens, taking the Hop on Hop off buses across the city will be pocket friendly and fun! It is actually the Best mode of Transport in Athens.

Taking a good view of the whole city in the open top Hop on Hop off bus @ Athens!

The city’s main attractions are covered within 3 major lines for all the Hop on Hop off operators or the Get on Get off bus as some may call it : The Pireaus line that goes to the Pireaus Ports and the beautiful Mikrolimano Harbour; the Athens line which takes you to the famous historical attractions like the Parthenon, Acropolis, Plaka market etc…; and the Rivera Beach line going right up to the Glyfada terminal and the Vouliagmeni Lake Beach.

If you take a cab or even separate busses to each of these places, this can cost you anywhere between 100-200 Euros across all these areas. As for the Hop on hop off busses, you can get the ticket for 15-20 Euros per person. This ticket can be used for two days and you can travel to any of the destinations these lines offer.

Info on the Yellow Bus operator at Syntagma Square. You will find these all around Syntagma square for all operators.

For quick access to the originating bus stop, I suggest staying somewhere near Syntagma square, as that is the central location to all major tourist attractions. You can also choose to stay in the Plaka area. Commuting from these places is the easiest and the locations are well equipped with many cafes, super markets, frequent taxis passing by and is very safe as well. This will help you save both Money and Time, than if you were to stay somewhere away from the city.

Some major Tips to keep in mind while taking the Hop on Hop off busses are:

1. Bargain at Syntagma Square

Well, there are about 3 to 4 operators and each one has a different price though the lines that they travel to are almost the same. I wanted to take the yellow Athens Open tour bus from Syntagma Square. But the price the ticket seller quoted was 25Euros per person. And we were a group of four.

The blue bus – Sights of Athens tour operator, was giving the same lines at 20Euros, but this operator was less frequent at a couple of locations. We talked the Yellow bus operator into giving us the tickets at 15Euros per person. 🙂 Only thing is do not ask him for a deal in front of other people standing there. Also make your intent clear that you would take the other buses otherwise! The agents for all the operators are standing near by, and that is also the starting point of all the buses.

After getting the discount I asked him for a selfie with me and he obliged. If you bump into him do say a hi! from me with this picture! Who knows? You may get a better discount! 😉 You will find him right in front of PeriKafe opposite Syntagma square.

With the Open Tours Athens Agent!! 🙂

2. Hop on Hop off tours on Viator

If you are sure of the days and timings you will be there in Athens, you can also consider booking your tickets on the Viator app.

https://www.viator.com/tours/Athens/Athens-and-Piraeus-Hop-on-Hop-off-Tour/d496-7794P1

Here is one of the links to the Yellow bus Athens Open tour operators. You can find the other tours on the app or site as well by just searching for Hop on Hop off tours in Athens. The tickets on this site will show you one day plus one day free. That’s how they sell it at Syntagma square as well. So need not worry about getting the extra day free. You can book on Viator usually upto 2days in Advance from the day you want to travel, but I would suggest you book at least 4 days in advance, specially in the peak tourist seasons.

Me trying to protect myself from the sun in a closed roof bus! 😋

3. Monument Timings matter

The Parthenon and Acropolis, the Panathenaic Stadium and all the museums have specific closing times. Do check them before you make your plan. I would suggest you cover the main city in the morning hours so that you don’t have to hurry through the monuments which are a must see. The Plaka market can be done towards the evening or at night. It’s open in the summer months. You can also prebook your tickets on various online sites to avoid long queues, specially at Parthenon.

My ticket to the Panathenaic Stadium 🙂 It’s where Olympics originated!
The Temple of Olympian Zeus

4. Audio Guide of the City

What’s more? You do not need a tour guide, as they give you audio in about 15 languages and a map along with the timetable, while you are in the bus.

TimeTable clearly shows what time the bus is going to come at which stop! They are mostly always on time. So plan up accordingly!

The audio tells you about the significance of each stop in the journey and also tells you to get down at this stop if you want to visit the particular attraction. At some places like the Panathenaic stadium, you will get a free audio device with the tickets, explaining history and guiding you through the stadium. At some other attractions, you can get tour guides outside the attractions if you really want one.

At the Panathenaic Stadium.. You get audio equipment here along with the tickets!

Overall the Hop on Hop off tours can help you save upto 100 Euros if you are travelling alone. Even if you are in a group of 4, it will help you save upto 100 -150 Euros in total just in commuting across the city, as a taxi takes only 4 people at a time. It is hassle free and will save you more time than having to stop taxi drivers and bargain with them everytime from one stop to another. And the stops are not very far from the actual attractions. Most are right in front of the attractions, making it all the more simple to spot and catch the bus in time.

Its really Breezy on the top…!

BONUS TIP 🙂 Most cab drivers in Athens do not understand or speak much English. So if you are planning to take a cab, keep Google Translate handy!!

So guys these are some of the tips that will help you make the most out of your trip to Athens without compromising on the experience. I will be posting soon about the most interesting things to do in Greece, where most tour packages won’t take you and many itineraries won’t tell you! So stay tuned for more if you are planning a trip to Greece soon!

Ghoomte Raho… Ghumaate raho… And do share your experiences with me on my Facebook page… Tips Tricks and Travel or mark your pictures with the #TipsTricksTravel 😀

#SavetoTravel #HappyTravelling