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Weekend trip to Athens by coach
(Excursions on Zante)
 Ross B
There is a trip overnight to Athens that runs most days and  is available through one or more local agents.
Unfortunately the Operator have changed the base hotel in Athens and it does not get the same reviews as their two previous choices. Some Local Agents are not aware of this change until they confirm your booking with the operator/supplier.
It appears that you take the new hotel  choicer do not take the trip. There is as no alternative or better reported hotel currently on offer. Only told about Hotel change after we booked so "Be careful out there".The local agent claims that the change only just happened as booking up to about a week ago were in different and well reviewed hotels in tourist friendly areas.
1 post by Ross B ip - Ireland
 Angela A
 
Hello,
 
I am hoping to come to Porta Koukla on asingle person's holiday on 21st May for 14days. I wondered if there will be a trip to Athens running around that time?
Are there different coach trips running to Athens around that time?
 
Thank you very much,
 
Angela Anderson
1 post by Angela A ip - GB
8/10 Mr B
click to enlargeclick to enlargeclick to enlarge We went on the Athens trip and found it great value for money. Booked with local travel agent Nikos ( picture attached ) on the main strip in Laganas ( beside the beach, opposite Must bar ). Better prices than booking with your rep. and every bit as good. ( 92 euros each ) We use him every year. The bus journey can be a bit tiring, and they stop for lunch in the middle of nowhere where the cafes only serve large meals and no snacks, but it's all part of the experience. We didn't go on the 'bazooki' night, as we watched a live concert in Plaka square instead, but those who went said it was a great night.
The 'changing of the guard', and the visit to the Parthanon were well worth the visit.
The hotel room was nice, the breakfasts were sufficient, although I can't exactly rave about Greek Coco-Pops !
View 49 posts by Mr B ip - GB
  Julie C
 
Flippin eck, I hope I haven't pasted this twice but there was some sort of  problem for me (Microsoft Word for Idiots)  We went on the weekend trip to Athens May 26th/27th which was long but enjoyable (down to Kostas' humour and fabulous driving from Demetrious(Jimmy)).  If there is anyone out there who went on the same trip, would love to hear from you - coach family! We paid 99 euros and stayed in a lovely hotel, stopped on the way there and back for food (but you don't have to eat-it's extra everything else is included) saw archaeological sites on the way and  the fantastic Acropolis and Evzones before it got too busy (down to the tour itinerary)  went shopping for two hours in the Plaka and bruised my feet dancing at a Bouzoukia (sorry I accidentally pinched a knotted serviette).  It was hot but bearable - perhaps not for young children) and came back laughing(which is not happening now we are back in England)  Love to the Irish ladies who asked if Kostas could dance like Michael Flatley!?, the Scottish couple who we saw on two other occasions and Alex and Steve from Yorkshire.  This is my fourth visit to Athens and it never ceases to make my heart beat faster.  You must go, it is good value for money.  Have a good life.  Julie and Sarah
View 3 posts by Julie C ip - --
  Heather C

hi me and my partner went to zante in 2004 we loved the athens trip we paid 89euro's

very good value u for mony, can't wait going back on the 10/08/2006 YAY
View 2 posts by Heather C ip - GB
  David C
booked this tour with PETER in argassi through MAMFREDAS/TEZ TOURS.went on fri/sat 7/8th of oct.2005 the guide was COSTAS best tourist guide ever,took his time to get to know everybody he was extremely helpfull & i got to know him very well & i cannot recommend this company enough.all the best to PETER & COSTAS
View 10 posts by David C ip - GB
  R. W

just a wee word of warning,we went with dionisis tours to athens ,8 hours on a bus with no a/c. a 5 star hotel with pool sounded good, the rooms were filthy the pool looked lovley but the pool had no water in it!!!!!

1 post by R. W ip - GB
  Paula H

Thanks John for your advice.  Might wait til we get der and see if I'm up to it then.  Mind you being lazy and lying on the beach sounds just as tempting!

View 9 posts by Paula H ip - Ireland
  John W

Paula

The trip to Athens is quite long, but most is on the coach and they stop close to the sights.

It is very hot in Athens and the walk up to the Parthenon, although not steep, is tiring in the heat.

John Wright

View 7 posts by John W ip - GB
  John W
 Further to my previous post.
I forgot to rate the trip.
One of the best I've been on but it was very, very hot (second week July)
View 7 posts by John W ip - UK
  John W

This is a 'must do' trip. The time flew by with Peter (from the blue side of Manchester) who kept us entertained with an interesting and amusing commentary.

The trip was well planned with frequent stops, 2 different views of the Corrinth Canal and 4 houirs to wander around Athens after checking in to our 4 star hotel. In the evening we had a meal at a taverna (expensive) and then walked up to see the Parthenon lit up at night.
8am: found us at the bottom of the Acropolis, we beat the other tours to the shade (30 degrees, wear hat and carry water) Our guide was Sandi, who was spellbinding, keeping us entralled with the history of not only the Parthenon, but also of old and modern Greece. She then took us on a coach tour of Athens with further stories and anecdotes.
We arrived back in Tsilivi about 7pm. I wouldn't recommend this trip for any one with young children as it is tiring in the heat.
We booked though our JMC rep and although it may be dearer than some, this tour was better planed and the guides were some of the finest I have had.
View 7 posts by John W ip - UK
  Les K
Booked with Heidi at Dionisos Tours/TEZ in Alykanas & travelled on 20th.  Our Tour Guide was Costas, he is simply the best.  His name had cropped up when checking out about this trip on the internet, he does the weekend trip only.   As with Gwyneth in the previous report, we stayed in a Posh Hotel (Museum Hotel).  Costas picked us up from here at 6pm to take us to a couple of archaelogical sites before letting us wander around the old part.  At 9pm, those of us who wanted to go to the Greek Night with Costas, did so & had a FAB time, it was well worth the E26 we paid.  For this money there was a Band, a Male & Female singer, Belly Dancer & a Troupe of 6 Professional Dancers who performed Dances from different parts of Greece in the Native Costume of that particular area.  A Bottle of Wine & a 4 Course Meal.  Next day, up at 6am, breakfast 6.45 - 7.20am, spoilt for choice with the selection of food on offer.   Saw changing of Guard at 8am then off to the Acropolis for 8.45am.  Departed Athens 10.30am.  There was not an awful lot of hard walking so to speak.  If you get the chance, DO IT !!!!
View 17 posts by Les K ip - UK
  Gwyneth E

Last year we were going to do this trip and booked with local company but it was cancelled!!!  This year we booked through rep (olympic) and had a fantastic time, well worth the money, we arrived in Athens with plenty of time to look round on our own.  the hotel was central, clean and air conditioned, the breakfast was very good.  We all had the option of going with the tour guide to a taverna in the evening, although the meal took quite a while to arrive (not surprising with 30 people descending) it was really lovely and well worth the wait.  Up early and arrived at the acropolis before other tourists which was briliiant.  A fantastic 2 days and Steve the tour guide was 'marvellous' 

View 6 posts by Gwyneth E ip - UK
  Susan C
We booked this excursion with Peter on the main street in Argassi (hi peter!!). Paid 79euros each for this which we thought was excellent value for money!
We were picked up from the main street at 7am and taken to Zante town for the ferry. At the ferry port we met our tour guide KOSTAS who was just great!! He was an excellent guide who was full of information on the local area and the main land but also knew how to let his hair down (check out the photo of him dancing at the greek night!!).
We had 2 stops on the way to Athens itself - including the lunch stop at the Corinth Canal. Once in Athens we were dropped off at our hotels and were given about hour to get freshened up before Kostas whisked us off on the trip around Plaka.
We decided to go to the Greek night which cost about 26euros each but this included a 4 course meal and as much wine as you could drink - great value and the dancers were brilliant.
Next day we were picked up at 7am and taken to see the changing of the guards and after that taken to the Acropolis.
We all felt that this was a great excursion and although it was a long day it was well worth doing!
View 3 posts by Susan C ip - UK
  Colin C
In addition.

When we got to our hotel at about 4.30pm. We had about an hour and 45 minutes to ourselves in which to get ready to meet up for a tour round the sights in the City Centre. After doing that we had about an hour and a half to ourselves to shop/walk around (the cafe-bar/restaurant we went into charged us 6 Euros for 2 Pepsi's £4.20 approx).

Then we all met up to go to a traditional Taverna for our meal and entertainment (which was 26 Euros each for 3 courses). The meal was nice, but there was not enough of it. By the way, their prices are quite high, so we stuck to drinking the bottled water which was complimentary.

We got back to the hotel at about 1am and finally into bed at about 2am.

But we had to be up again for breakfast at 6.30am This resulted in us sleeping three quarters of the return journey. The breakfast was poor, the choice we had was, cold fried eggs, watered down fruit juices, miniature croissants, tea, coffee and cereal. The milk they give (in my opinion) is way too creamy so I ended up drinking juice.

PLEASE don't let me put you off, it still was worth all of the above.

colindavidcadden@hotmail.com
View 26 posts by Colin C ip - UK
  Colin C
Hi there people.

My partner and I booked our trip to Athens through Smile Tours on the Main Strip in Laganas. Our tour guide was Costas, who worked for T.E.Z.

He was great, very well informed and had an answer for every question he was asked.

Very well worth the 79 Euros each that we paid (£52 each).

The hotel was ok I guess but the room was more like a broom cupboard.

Just a word of warning though, we set out at about 7am, and we hadn't eaten, we didn't get to eat til about 10am at our first stop point. So I'd suggest taking some snacks along with you, because when we got up at 6am, nowhere was open for us to get breakfast so we had to wait a long while before getting a bite.
View 26 posts by Colin C ip - UK
  Anita B
Athens are beautiful, specially now because of the olimpic games. The parthenon is amasing. The other things we unfortunately saw just from the bus, but it pays going there just because of the Acropolis. The old part of town is magic, specially going by night.
Being so close to the Athens you should go there.

1 post by Anita B ip - Slovenia
  Jon M
we booked our tour with peter on main street argasi, cost 89euros each,
stayed at the athens gate hotel, breath taknig views from the roof garden at night see both the acropolis and the temple of zeus, stopped twice on the way to athens one at a service station for breakfast and the second at the corinth canal, (wonder of the world) it was amazing. once at the hotel we got 2 hours to freshen up and visit the temple of zeus across the road cost 2euros. then our guide Costas took us on a trip aroud the plaka (Old town)then once again 2 hours shopping time. then it was onto the greek night resturant cost extra 26euros meal was not very good but great atmosphere.
late night followed by early morning wake up at 6am to take a bus tour of the city then on to the acropolis, cost 9 eruos free if under 19 students and oaps 1/2 price. spent two hoiurs here could have sopent the day. you cant use a flash inside the museum so take a disposable camera if you cant turn your flash off. was really good inside.. dont forget the suncream as its very hot outside museum was air conditioned tho.. on the way back home we stopped off at petras to see the patriot saint of scotlands church, inside was excellent well worth a visit. overall very good trip worth every penny.. one tip tho dont sit in the window seats at the front upstairs in the coach very warm !!!!!!
View 16 posts by Jon M ip - UK
  Nigel C
We also booked this with local agent (Smile) for €89. As for the trip - the ferry tickets showed €5 each way, there's a 5 hour trip on the coach with 2 stops at places similar to motorway services (would you get any better in England?) - the views of the mountains are great from here. There's a stop at the Corinth canal (walk over it).
We got to Athens at about 3pm. Fortunately, we were at the Athens Gate Hotel sandwiched between the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis (much more comfort than the Candia and closer to the Acropolis too).
We had until 6:30 before we were going into old Athens so we walked across the road (taking our lives in our hands) to the Temple of Zeus - it was amazing. Went into Athens with Kostas on the evening and paid an extra €26 for a meal/wine and music/dancing on stage.
Up early next morning for trip to Acropolis. Our guide took us up to the top and gave us a long history speech then left us to do our own stuff for 30 minutes or so. We walked around, went to the museum and walked around again.
Then it was back on the coach for the return journey. Stopped at the entrance to the Corinth Canal for lunch. Then stopped again at Patras for a break. Got back to Zakynthos at about 7pm.
If you do this trip, make sure you leave the following day free as you'll need a rest.
We will be going back to Athens but maybe not this excursion. We got engaged on the Acropolis so will want to spend a bit more time there next time.
Well worth a visit though. It's a lifetime event going to Athens. I don't know many people who've been but know lots who'd love to go.
View 7 posts by Nigel C ip - Ireland
  Gerry C
Firstly I would like to echo other peoples comments about booking this trip. Do not book through your holiday rep. We were quoted €140 per person, but booked it through one of the local companies at €89 per person ( quite a saving !!). The trip itself takes about 1 hour by ferry to the mainland, then about 5 hours to Athens ( including 2 stops ). Our guide Costas kept everyone very well informed and we did not feel the time passing. We stayed in the Achillion. It was excellent with everything you would expect of a 4* hotel. Others on the trip stayed in the Candia (see other comments on this page), there was some renovation work being carried out, presumably with the Olympics up and coming. I would not recommend this trip for anyone with walking difficulties or young children as there is a fair amount of walking involved, but it is the best way to see the sites. I will not go into detail as it might spoil your discovery of a city so steeped in history. Overall, we found this trip to be very well planned and very good value for money. Finally, a big thank you to Costas (our guide) for the great job he did.
View 3 posts by Gerry C ip - Ireland
  Paula S
Well what a let down this was! When we arrived in Zante at the beginning of May this was the first excursion we booked as we thought it would be amazing. How disappointed we were. Firstlt, it takes around 6 hours to get there. 1hr and 20 mins by a dirty cramped ferry and 4 hours plus by a coach with bad air conditioning. The two stop offs for lunch/coffee were poorly organised and the places they stopped at were a dump. The Corinthian Canal was beautiful and one of the only good things worth seeing. Never mind, we thought, we're about to arrive at our 5 star, air conditioned hotel in the centre of Athens. Fawlty Towers didn't have a look in!! They split the coach into two groups, one group were going to the Athens Gate Hotel in the Placa (centre) and the other (our group) were going to the Candia Hotel. The Candia Hotel was on the outskirts of the city and I knew when we arrived outside it wasn't going to be good. It looked filthy from the outside. When we arrived in the reception area it looked a bit better and i hoped my instinct was wrong. Turn the stairs and bam! What a dirty, filthy, poorly kept hotel. The carpets were so dirty and stained, you were in danger of sticking to them! Got to our room where there was grafitti all over the door,the carpets were ripped, burnt, stained etc. The surfaces were dirty and sticky and the sheets were stained and unwashed. There was no air conditioning and the "view" was into a manky street. I had to complain to the guide and we were offered a different room (grudgingly) on the fifth floor which was at least clean and had obviously been refurbished quite recently. The "roof garden and pool" was another joke! When you went up to the 6th floor and outside it was a complete building site! There was rubble and tools everywhere and no barrier at the roof side, no signs or warning signals that it was a sheer drop to the ground below and I dread to think what could have happened if a child had ran out for a look. It wasn't just unclean and falsely advertised, it was downright dangerous! The "pool" was a tiny empty hole in the ground! Despite the fact that I enjoyed seeing the sights the following day, I was enraged by what we had been sold and felt duped and ripped off. I wouldnt say that it's a good trip for children either due to the incredibly long, hot journey to get there and the amount of walking involved the following day. A few of our party were unable to visit the Acropolis the following day due to the steep hills and sheer amount of climbing/walking involved. The other party who went to the Athens Gate hotel said there hotel wasn't much better than ours although I think it was at least clean. The Candia Hotel is in a no go area of the city. A five minute walk outside the door to the left leads you to a square where drugs were being openly sold on the street and you were being eyeballed by the local junkies and alcoholics. Be very careful. I wouldn't advise going into this area as we were scared stiff and it meant we were stuck in for the rest of the day and night. If you book this trip, I would ask what hotel you are going to be put it and stress the fact theat if the services advertised are not offered then you want a full refund. Good Luck! Incidently, some people on our trip had done it before and said it was far better but the it had gone way downhill.
View 4 posts by Paula S ip - UK
  Gillian F
Hi. I am going to Zante in June 2004 for the first time. It sounds great. I am thinking of doing the Athens trip. Can someone let me know if it is suitable for children. I will be taking my 4 year old. Don't know if she will be able for the travelling.

Thanks
1 post by Gillian F ip - Ireland
  Margaret B
Please please please, do not book this trip with your holiday rep. Go to any local tour operator. You will not be ripped off. The holiday reps - JMC Thomas Cooke etc. only make commission and you are all together at the same hotel looking at the same Athens!
View 34 posts by Margaret B ip - UK
  Margaret B
I have written my comment previously and just added some photos. I would love to see some photos from other people who went on the Athens trip. From reading different comments it looks as though the agenda changes sometimes as does the hotel. I will definitely go again in September although 2 days just isn't long enough and the photographic opportunities are so vast, as are the wonderful memories which stay throughout the coming year.
View 34 posts by Margaret B ip - UK
  Gail H
All the excursion operators do exactly the same trips unless they change their prices, the Cavo Grosso was the cheapest we found. This is located at the top of the lane from the Antonis Apartments next to the Angels bar.

Cost – €75

Fantastic trip well worth the time and money. It is very tiring and a lot of time spent on the coach but the Acropolis is worth every minute of it. The hotel we stayed in overnight is right in the middle of Athens but not very close to any restaurants or tourist areas, but saying that it only took us 10-15mins to walk to an area that was full of fabulous street cafes. Before you arrive at the hotel they try and sell you tickets to the Greek night, up to you but I would not recommend it. It costs either €16 or €19 depending on which meat choice you go for, but then when you get in there each drink costs you €6.

We stayed at the Dorian Inn if you end up in the same hotel you must go to the roof top pool bar area – the view is breathtaking, you can see the Acropolis from the roof and is worth a beer jus to sit and look at it all lit up. After that leave the main entrance of the hotel and turn right, keep walking until you come to a sort of square area with a metro station (oh yes there is a goody’s burger place and a KFC here) go past these and take the first road to you right keep walking until you reach another square. If you go around 9.00pm is you can’t miss it because of the hussle and bussle and noise it was brilliant. We sat all night in a restaurant and had a great meal for a few Euros with a beer.
View 13 posts by Gail H ip -
   
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