My family's thinking about vacationing in Greece next year. Any recommendations? Like which city to go to, must-see places, must-eat food, etc? Thanks :)
(Oops I meant to submit ask to your other blog, sorry about that)
That is okay – I don’t mind answering here! :)
So first of all, it depends when you go and what you are interested in. If you go in winter, you cannot go to the islands– well, you can but it is impossible because the ferries run on a very haphazard schedule and often they just…won’t even run lol…so it is really easy to get stuck on an island. If you go in the summer, the archaeological sites are too crowded and it is too hot, so you would be better off just chilling on an island. Personally, I prefer Greece in the winter because the weather is really comfortable for touring and visiting sites. And I don’t really like going there in the summer to an island cos then you are just stuck there for months… lol So maybe it would be nice for like a honeymoon but kinda boring for a vacation with your family, and I’d go to Messina not to an island (but for families/friends, I like Sicily better for a beach place in May/June/July cos there is an airport easily accessible and you can also really easily get to other places in Sicily).
So then where you go depends really on what your interests are. I am personally insane and so I went like climbing mountains looking for archaeological sites lol so idk if you are into that (and it is a lot of work and often mildly dangerous so idk if your parents want to do that lol…we got our car stuck…so many times…it was so messed up when we returned it but they didn’t even care lol). Also note that if you are interested in archaeological sites, a few of them are closed in the winter so…you know…you have to “sneak.” And everything closes at 15.00!
I only did the Peloponnese cos I was only interested in visiting the ancient sites so I can only really give advice about that. I recommend you get one of those Michelin or whatever books because then you will get a breakdown of all the sites and you can pick and choose. Basically there is one ancient site per small town and maybe another medieval site of interest and maybe a temple outside of the town. These are the places I went to (it took me a month).
Athens (very nice for New Years!!!)
Argos (there is a temple to Hera very far off the the beaten track – ask someone in Argos for directions. All I can tell you is that it is right before the teeny little bridge into Argos. Then you turn off and take dirt roads for about 30 minutes and it is very confusing…just keep asking for directions)
Nauplion/Nafplia (it is written as both on maps idk y, it is just a really cute town/good stopping point with cute hotels)
Kosmas (medieval – the drive from Leonidio to Kosmas to Monemvassia is … very scary but very beautiful, it is more of a drive through nature … lots of goats!!!)
Mystras (medieval/byzantine site)
Sparti (also try to find the temple to artemis on the edge of the town, and there is a nice altho very sketchy looking museum in the town, there is the tomb of Menelaus and Helen far outside of town – it is impossible to find and not marked anywhere so you need to ask people and usually they have no idea what you are talking about but keep asking cos it is…very cool. It is just this giant tomb in the middle of olive trees (of course the road out there is a mess lol) but def worth it!)
Kalamata (nice drive to Kalamata, nothing really in the town, just a nice stopping place)
Messina/Ithomi (this is…impossible and the road is ridiculously scary. It is about 45 mins from Kalamata but it is…amazing. When I went I had the entire place to myself. Plus it has a really interesting history! There is also an amazing museum which literally looks like a trailer but on the inside…they have so much!)
Pylos (so beautiful! Go to all the beaches!!!!! And definitely drive around on back roads until you ruin your car like I did :) there is a tomb to Nestor’s son by the beach…I have no idea how to describe where lol just climb the hill, pass the goats, and up to your left lol)
Andritsaina (this is my favourite place ever! It is so beautiful! It is up in the mountains and THIS is the worst road. Don’t access Andritaina from the south. Drive there from Olympia. There is a temple to Apollo at Bassae which is…amazing. It is one of the best preserved temples. And the drive is…so beautiful)
Olympia (obviously lol but stay in Pyrgos which is a very cute town in a neoclassical style.)
Delfi (obviously lol – outside of Delfi on the drive out of Delhi there is also a monastary called Hosios Loukas, it is very nice)
Herion of Perichora (this is a site, not a town and it is very beautiful but you need to stay in Loutraki which is…not nice lol but the drive is really beautiful along the ocean)
(now assuming you go back to Athens and then overshoot it…)
Sounion (amazing!!!! temple to poseidon!! and beautiful drive)
Marathon (of course…)
As for food, just try everything, especially things you can’t get in your own country like boar meat which is my favourite thing (you will also see people in the south standing/sitting by the roads with rifles in the winter…they are hunting boars). Also ask what is local or has been caught in the area. Greece is esp good for deer, boar, and (of course) goat. Goat soup!!! And also seafood is great there. Greece just generally has amazing food imo. I never had a bad meal.
I hope that helps, feel free to send me any more questions, I love talking about Greece (I need to get back there soon!!!!!!!!! I was thinking about going next winter for another month over the break just to Athens and like *live* there but I might go back to Florence instead…hmmm…now you make me want to go to Greece lol)
Hi Rachel! I'm planning a trip to the UK and I was wondering if you have any "must-see" places foreigners should go to? Also, do you have the tag for the spam you did about the isles? I can't seem to find it and I'd like to reference it. Thank you! <3 :)
Hi! I saw your comments on some photos of Ireland and was wondering if you had any must-see places to recommend? Thanks! Have a good one!
Oh, my; yes.
First thing: I recommend driving yourself around. Ireland is this vast, gorgeous and amazing country practically overrun with things to see. Stay at B&B’s as much as possible. If you’re BUSINESS GUY, the hotel with wifi is your thing. But if you want to really experience Ireland and its people, B&B’s can’t be beat. Charming farmhouses, cozy rooms, lovely people (and really good breakfasts!). What we did was look at a map and plan a route. Then, we researched cities, towns, villages along the way and planned to visit two to three places (for this I suggest Dorling Kindersley) a day. One, it gives you a direction, getting you from point A to B, and two, if you don’t overbook, you have plenty of time to stop and visit the various ruins, castles, craft villages, etc you’ll just stumble upon as you go (example: in between one destination and another, we came across a cemetery honoring famine victims).
Consider going during the off-season, too. Some things may not be open, but the climate is pretty temperate and you’ll be able to book rooms for a LOT less.
Ok. Things to see. Hook Lighthouse. Likely the oldest operational lighthouse in the world. Nearby, there’s what’s left of a Templar stronghold.
Waterford is a bit touristy, but it’s worth it to tour the Waterford Crystal factory. You can watch them blowing glass (one cheeky fellow had a piece going, stopped, took a swig of tea, and kept going) and it’s beautiful.
Charles Fort is amazing.
Don’t kiss the Blarney stone. That’s gross and locals laugh at the tourists for doing it.
There’s a 2nd century BC stone circle in Dromberg (where I was attacked by pagan gods!) that should not be missed.
Torc Waterfall is STILL one of my favorite places, ever.
There’s an iron age fort on the Dingle Peninsula. Bronze age beehive stone hut. The
The Cliffs of Moher!
The Burren is kind of trippy, in an ‘alien/apocalyptic world’ kind of way.
Even if only for a visit or tea, Ashford Castle is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. Like something out of a gothic novel. Sigh. Still miss that place.
…So, yeah. That’s just a few highlights! You’ll find all sorts of shops selling sweaters, pottery and other crafts.