We had a wonderful trip and often found ourselves appreciating the advantages of using a good travel agent instead of trying to make all of the arrangements ourselves. Thank you!
We were met at the Athens airport by a representative of Star Hellenic and a cab driver. The representative explained our itinerary carefully and the cab took us to Piraeus. The Piraeus hotel was nice, although the city was not great – not terrible, but not much to see or do. However, we mostly slept off our jetlag and the hotel was a very short walk to the ferry dock.
Hydra was wonderful! We had great hikes and meals. The Hydra Hotel was terrific with separate living room, bedroom and kitchen. It also had a common interior terrace which was great for breakfast and evening drinks. The woman who ran the hotel was incredibly nice and helpful. She spoiled us with cappuccinos, pastries and even did our laundry for free.
The Athens hotel was fine, but we were not prepared for Athens. We naively expected a pretty European city, which it is not. After Hydra, the noise and uninspiring architecture were a bit of shock. However, at our first dinner at an outdoor café, we heard music and following the sound found a delightful free outdoor concert of Greek music played on acoustic instruments. The Parthenon and the new Acropolis Museum were amazing. We found many interesting sites in Athens, were glad we visited, but three nights were enough.
Your suggestion of going to Hydra made the trip remarkable in many ways. It was the perfect location for us as we could hike in our bathing suits and jump in the ocean whenever we got hot. There were no cruise ship tourist crushes and the taverns off the side streets were good, inexpensive, and authentic.
Thanks for all of your ideas and planning. Again, we often found ourselves commenting that Hydra was the perfect island for us and we would never have found it without you. -Denny and Debbie, Greece, June 2013