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Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

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Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

My friends and I are planning on taking a multi-country trip to Europe and the plans include France, Italy, and Greece. From our third leg in Rome, Italy we will be going to the Italian Coast (Bari/Lecce) and from there want to take the ferry to Greece, preferably ending up in Lefkas/Lefkada but after staying for a few nights we want to explore around some more and need help planning the rest. 1-2 more islands is what we're looking for and maybe to stay a total of 5-6 days between those places. We want a beach town but are looking for places with the classic Greek docks lined with white houses. Also adding we want somewhere close in proximity to Lefkada and Athens (where we will be flying out of). Next question, when we travel to Athens for the flight back should we leave a few days for exploring? My travel partners and I are at odds with this one, they say it's dirty and most attractions won't be open because of rioting and I say it's a most see if we're already there! Thank you, sorry for rambling a bit hopefully you can answer my questions.

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1. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

. https:/…greece .

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2. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

. tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189400-i194-k4709… .

. tripadvisor.com/Travel-g189400-c115233/Athen… .

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3. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

My wife and I stayed 3 days on the island of Milos in Mid-May 2013. We stayed at Hotel Mieni in Adamas. We found it very relaxing and welcoming. We also hired a scooter to get us around the island, went sea kayaking, visited the mining museum, ate lots of good food (a lot of it caught and grown locally) and saw a replica of Venus-de-Milos. We did not get to any of the hot springs and we did not get to see the east and south side of the island. You may want to look into visiting this island.

We also were in Athens for 3 days. I thought that was enough time to see the “Main attractions”. If I were to return to Athens I would like to be with a local person so I could experience Athens as the locals do. eg. I hear there are neighborhoods outdoor movies shown at night, I would like to see an outdoor concert or play and I would like to attend a Greek cooking class. As for “Riots”??? , we found the financial problems in Greece no different than what is happening here in the USA. Just be smart about your travels, don’t make yourselves an easy target. Eg. keep your purse closed and close, keep your money in a money belt or in a man purse under your shirt. You will have a good time.

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4. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

I have to try to answer your questions about Athens! To me it would seem crazy to travel all the way to Athens just to fly home, without seeing as much as possible of this wonderful city! Have your travel partners actually been to Athens? I live quite close to the centre and I can assure you that I wouldn't have the slightest anxiety about going down there at any hour of the day or night! (I couldn't say that about London, where I used to live!) It's NOT 'dirty' - in fact, I've just become aware that a garbage truck has passed, emptying the bins: at 8.00 in the evening!! Obviously, some parts of the city are more attractive than others, but you'd have to make a real effort to find your way to the ''unattractive'' ones! ''Most attractions won't be open.'' What attractions are those, I wonder? Occasionally, of course, as in any major city, you might find something you want to see closed for renovations, but the idea that ''most'' attractions won't be open ''because of rioting'' is ludicrous. I have seen some demonstrations, but I have never felt threatened in any way, and clearly neither have the Athenians walking along with me. I hope other Athenians and visitors will back me up on this - I feel so privileged to live here, and I tend to get carried away when this topic comes up - sorry!!

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5. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

1) WHEN are you going?

This influence your transport options and other specifics.

2) Have you look on a map? Your Greek "plan" is all over the place!

Very generaly speaking Italy>Greece ferry routes include

Ancona> Patras, Igoumenitsa

Bari> Patras, Igoumenitsa, Corfu

Brindisi>Patras, Igoumenitsa, Corfu

Venice>Patras, Igoumenitsa, Corfu

In order to reach Lefkas you need several long hours traveling overland from Igoumenitsa or Patras, from Corfu ferry to Igoumenitsa.

I am not sure what you mean by "docks lined with white houses" but I get an impression you might mean Cyclades islands. Those are on the other side of Greece, between Greece and Turkey. You'll have to flight or bus it Lefkas to Athens, then fly or take other ferry on those islands.

On my opinion you do not have so many days to spend hours after hours on transit. Choose less, more specific areas. Maybe fly Rome to Athens instead of traveling nearly 1 day on a ferry. Then fly straight Athens to X island and ferry back to Athens for tail end of the trip or through ferry to a second island at most (if talking on Cyclades) or fly to Athens or use ferry/bus maybe stopping somewhere on mainland along the way (if speaking on Ionian islands).

3)On what base your friends claim that there is rioting in Athens, sites are closed and it is a dirty city? Do not reply with "they heard somewhere...". You have to make decisions based on facts, not faulse impressions/info. Check links provided here and/or research past threads for Athens safety etc. for a start.

Personaly I find Athens a very interesting place, I would say anyone should spend at least 3 full days there, but you do not mention what are your interests on the city...

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6. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

I was in Athens for the four days prior to the last election and never felt unsafe (two 40+ women) I'm back in Greece for the third time this September and am spending another day in Athens - this time on my own - and not the least bit worried about it! Even with the austerity hardships the Greeks are facing, they still welcome and look out for their visitors - I really think it'd be a shame for you to give Athens a miss...

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7. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

i'm struggling here,because i know it will attract reactions but i have to express my opinion ..i always urge visitors to visit the gorgeous islands or the peloponnese for example because i know they just can't go wrong with them..they will love them for sure..yes athens has some major sites that you shouldn't miss(acropolis of course and others) and some great areas.if you stick to plaka monasstiraki etc you'll be fine...

on the other hand i think some of the greeks here are overselling athens.sorry,but we can't be in denial.there are areas in the centre and elsewhere far from attractive that have deteriorated during the crisis and we can't be sure that the tourist won't bump into them.

if he does,he'll watch junkies, immigrants living on the streets,homeless people,prostitutes,ruined buildings....and yes they are dirty and lots of ugly graffity ...ugly .graffity everywhere.and it's not just omonoia..don't say it's only omonoia,it;s misleading..many central areas are far from attractive(patissia,victoria,the list goes on).

if we don't aknowledge these areas and the tourist bumbs into them (like johnwilky53 did) he will have every right to tell us that we misled him..don't forget that an american (or any foreighner really) doesn't know which these areas are(neither do we many times,as they change depending on where the police desides to ''clear'' an area) and can't avoid them...for example many hotels in omonoia now claim they are located in monastiraki to avoid cancelling.

anyway to answer to your question yes,akropoli is not to be missed and plaka and monastiraki areas are great.so are the north and south suburbs,although tourists never go there..,but there are also many areas in the centre that are not,so unless you have a detailed map with areas to avoid you'll probably bumb itno them....you'll probably stilll be safer than any other major city in the world but they will certainly be ugly..our islands are gorgous and you'll love them,athens is a huge overcrowded city with many immigrants and you'll feel the effects of the economic crisis unless you stick to the ''touristy'' areas

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8. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

oh,and wherever you go in greece search if it has an outdoor cinema,it's a great experience watching a movie with the stars above you

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9. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

As a non-greek I have to disagree with you. Yes I know that Athens has some bad parts, but on the whole it's the best large city that I've ever been to. I'm from America and I've never felt any safer in any city here. We've been to Athens six times since 2005, spending 3-6 days there each visit and it's still not enough- I can't wait for September. My favorite big city and I'vè been to quite a few.

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10. Re: Where to go? And is Athens worth it?

Athanasios, If you research this forum, there are many threads on the seedy parts of Athens, not just Omonoia. I do not think anyone tries to hide those areas.

I do not see how a visitor will bump into say Victoria though, unless going there on purpose...

By the way I often walk on Patision, Victoria, Aristotelous, yes, ugly maybe, but not as unsafe as people who never go there think. Remember we talk for a street above Filis, the red light street!

All cities in the world have some ugly corners. The point is what is there and how city is as a whole. I think attractions and positive points overcome minor points of Athens. Just my opinion and remember we advice a visitors, not someone planning to move in Athens..

Edited: 20 July 2013, 10:38
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