Eurfirst Trip to Greece
Revised April 8, 2012
With the financial problems facing Greece, Ireland, Italy, and Spain, 2012 is a good year to consider those destinations. However, other travelers may also see those destinations as a bargain. Most of Greek's visitors arrive from Europe, and from countries, Britain and Germany, where the economies are still strong, so they may still fill hotels throughout the country this summer seeking the same bargains that you do. Whether they do will depend on how much inconvenience is caused to travelers by the rolling strikes that are protesting the austerity measures imposed on the Greek government because of its debts. In March, ferry seaman agreed to strikes. If they occur during tourist season, it may be difficult to get to Greece or you may find it difficult to get back home. You can reduce those problems by flying directly to Athens and spending your entire trip in Greece. If you go, go with the attitude that appreciates you are seeing democracy in action in a place regarded as the birthplace of democracy and consider the labor actions as one of the things you are eager to learn about. If you can't get into that state of mind, the transportation strikes may truly ruin your trip and Greece shouldn't be your destination this year.
Say Greece and most people visualize the Parthenon atop the Acropolis; but for those who have been to the country, it is the friendly people and beautiful villages that come to mind. Warmed by Mediterranean winds and blessed with plenty of sunshine, Greece has the most favorable weather in Europe for travelers year round, though some may find the heat of the summer is to intense. For the adventurous, Greece is a spectacular place to sail, with inviting beaches and charming towns making every new port a delight.
Air traveler's usually arrive through Athens International Airport (ATH) which is one of Europe's fastest growing airports. Delta is currently the only North American airline fiying into Athend but most major European carriers provide service to the ancient city as do most major Asian airlines. There airport provides convenient transportation into the city, including subway and train services as well as airport shuttle services.
Many others arrive in the country by ferry. The journey across the Adriatic is beautiful, and as you sail you be reminded that these are the seas of Hercules and Jason, filled with myth and history.
Once you get to Greece, you will find that your travel dollar goes further than you expected. With reasonably priced rail, subway and ferry systems you can get from place to place for very little. You will also find that hotel rooms are not as expensive in Athens as other capital cities, and often provide breakfast, stretching your travel money just a bit farther.
Every trip to Greece should include a trip to the Acropolis, the birthplace of the city of Athens now marked by the remains of the temple of Nike, the Erychtheion and the Parthenon, the later two temples dedicated to Athena. For more than 2250 years, these structures have dominated the skyline of the ancient city. Though their uses changed over the century, their importance and prominence was not diminished. From atop the lofty perch, you will get a spectacular view of the city of Athens and the surrounding communities. If you are visiting the site during the summer, prepare for your trip with a coat of sunscreen and bring plenty of water, for there is little shade and the temperatures on the rocky expanse can be incredibly hot.
From that ancient spot where the city was born, head toward