Travel Thursdays: Greece Part 1 – Athens

by Karisa

So my bestie Kim and I recently did a little trip through Greece (with a small stopover in Sorrento, Italy).  I personally like escaping at least a part of the cold winter months, so you’ll typically find me fleeing Cape Town around June/July/August.  For this trip we left Cape Town on Sat, 22 Jul & returned on Wed, 9 Aug 2017.  This is what our itinerary looked like:

  • Flight from Cape Town to Athens (with Turkish Airlines / stopover in Istanbul)
  • 1 night in Athens
  • Ferry to Santorini for a 3 night stay
  • Ferry to Paros for a 3 night stay
  • Ferry to Mykonos for a 3 night stay
  • Flight from Mykonos to Naples (with Easyjet)
  • Flight from Naples to Athens (with Aegan Airlines)
  • Flight from Athens to Cape Town (with Turkish Airlines / stopover in Istanbul)

From a cost perspective, we booked our return flights from Cape Town to Athens via on Turkish Airlines which cost R9539 pp.  Then I’ll confirm the ferry, accommodation & internal flight costs as we progress…

Just a tip regarding the international flights – I use an app called Hopper which you can use to track flight costs.  So you enter your desired route & dates and it will keep you updated on when prices go up / down so you can time your bookings accordingly.  Definitely worth looking into.

We only had 1 night in Athens, but tried to maximise our time there as much as possible.  In hindsight it would’ve been nice to have an additional night or two, because we actually really loved Athens, but we at least got to see the key bits.

Accommodation wise we stayed in an Air BnB which was within walking distance from The Acropolis – actually it was pretty much walking distance to everything, so perfect location wise (check out the Air BnB listing over here).  Also it only cost R828 for the night, so R414 per person. #HighFiveToThat Our host, Dimitrios, wasn’t there, but gave great tips & advice over the phone. He even had a book that he made himself called “Athens in a nutshell” which we found in the apartment.  It was filled with great recommendations for where to eat, where to go for drinks, etc.  Can someone say: Superhost!

Cheers Athens! (Yup that’s The Acropolis in the background)

After settling in and enjoying a glass of vino at the apartment, we ventured out for lunch.  After walking the streets a bit we settled at a cute little spot called Mouses Restaurant (20 Andrianou, Athens).  It most certainly wasn’t the best meal of our lives, but they had ice cold wine served in half litres and 1 litres, live music, lots of meze options and a fun vibe.  So it was good enough for us…

Life’s pretty good…

To walk off our lunch, we decided to roam around a little more before embarking on the steep climb up to The Acropolis (which should only be attempted early in the morning or late in the afternoon during summer as Athens gets very very hot).

Here’s a few street view snaps I took along the way:

Right, so then it was time for The Acropolis.  Entry cost (if my memory serves me) is 12 euros per person which also includes a look at the well-known Parthenon.  It’s open from 8am to 7:30pm (except 11am to 7:30pm on Mondays) in summer and 8:30am to 3pm in winter.

There’s a few sites once inside, like this old theatre:

But of course the main show is the Parthenon… to get there you have to be willing to climb some stairs:

At least you get to work those legs a bit…

Currently there are some repairs happening:

But it’s still a really impressive structure to see:

A little bit further on you also get a really good vantage point of the city:

Nice – so touristy stuff done, the only things left to do were:  1) Sundowners and some more mezes:

Can’t remember this spot’s name… but they had pretty awesome “happy hour” specials and lots of cooling fans. So was a win in our book…

And then 2) Roam around the city some more:

How cool is this place? This is a little wine bar called Brettos (Kidathineon 41)

View back at our Air BnB…

The next morning we had to leave quite early to catch the train to the port (about a 30min trip) to catch the ferry from Athens to Santorini.  The total for all the ferry bookings was 105.25 euros pp (about R1685 each).  Our ferry left Athens at 07:25 and got to Santorini at 14:50.  We just had economy tickets, which means you have to just find a random seat somewhere.  With business class you get an allocated seat, but we really didn’t think it’s that necessary, unless you’re OK with spending extra to be sure of a comfy spot of course.

We booked through – which was nice because you could just book all your ferry trips in one go, pre-pay and then just collect your real tickets at the ferry station on the day.   Also because it was peak summer season over there, we didn’t want to risk getting to the ferry station and then finding out that tickets are sold out.  So this gave us complete peace of mind.

The train station on the port side…

Our ferry… these things are HUGE…

Business class…

For Economy class you really just need to find a seat anywhere else… either inside, our out on the various decks…

So yeah, that was Athens in one day!  Like I mentioned above, would’ve been cool to stay a bit longer, but we had other places to be…

Next Thursday: Greece Part 2 – Santorini!


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Travel Thursdays: Greece Part 1 – Athens - The Angels Guest House Oct 8, 2017 - 8:19 pm

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