Trip to Greece

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Rudolpho
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Rudolpho

Trip to Greece
« on: March 17, 2016, 02:19:19 PM »

Hello fellow arbers!

I know that a proportion of users here come from Greece so I have some questions for you regarding my planned trip to Greece.
I am currently residing in Sofia for couple of months and lately I've been thinking that Greece is so close that it would be stupid to not take a chance to visit it while I'm  still here. I want to make this trip in the second half of May before Euro 2016. Quick plan was going from Sofia to Plovdiv to visit some friends and then continue to Alexandroupoli and from there to Thessaloniki to see the north coast of Mediterranean sea in Greece. Then on highway back to Sofia. Going by car, with my girl and possibly 2 more friends.

Goal for the trip - to see as much as we can see. Maybe some day laying at beach at most. I can't lay at hotel for a whole week and do nothing - not in my nature :D
So maybe someone has some route, places to stay, eat or see in mind that would not be very far from the route I previously gave. Maybe someone even can offer a place to stay or give a small guide tour while we share some ideas about arbing  ::)
I'm open to suggestions!

Thanks! :)
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Arbusers
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Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2016, 07:17:17 PM »

1. Plovdiv. My favorite Bulgarian city. Your friends will guide you better than me. Some nice casinos there to make money from.
2. Alexandroupolis. A couple of fish taverns by the sea, you should look for Loukoulos, Gialos or Anestis taverns. They are all very close, within 50 meters distance, so you choose what your eye likes the most. Some cafe's in the town's center, look for Dimokratias avenue or Cyprus Square. It's been years since my last visit in the town, but more or less things and piazzas remain the same. If you want ta go to the see move towards Nea Hili and ask for the beaches and the beach bars.
3. There is another town that you could take a look at. It is Xanthi. People there are mixed, Christians and Muslims. There is the old quarter of the town that worths visiting. A lot of options for coffee and food.
4. Another town by the sea is called Kavala. Only reason to visit it is the fish taverns by the port. Better avoid it.
5. Thessaloniki. The capital of the Balkans. Many many choices and things to do and see. it worts spending a couple of days.
6. Near Thessaloniki, there is a resort called Halkidiki. An excellent choice for a couple more days by the see.
You must do your own search for Thessaloniki and Halkidiki and then ask relevant questions because the choices are really many in both destinations.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2016, 07:25:58 PM by Arbusers » Logged
ilovethisforum
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Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 08:47:21 AM »

You should definitely go to Halkidiki! If you want to drink and dance you should go to first lef of Halkidiki,if you want to see beautifull places and a more relax trip you should go to second leg of Halkidiki.Of cource you can do both of them in both of the legs.Kalithea is the most loudy town in Xalkidiki,it is in the first leg,there are many clubs there.After Kalithea,there are many beach bars all over the road until Paliouri.One of my favorites is Elefant.It is a more chill out beach bar.A lot more road after the Elefant,there is White Sand beach bar,which is more "party" beach bar.I don't know very much about second leg,but there are much more beautifull places than in first leg.Have a nice trip!
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Rudolpho
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Rudolpho

Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2016, 09:39:56 PM »

Thank you for your advice, but our plans changed a little.

So we decided to go deeper into the Greece and make a longer trip.
Basically all the big waypoints are planned out, hotels booked, but maybe there's still something to add?
Those who don't want to read all of this, there is a short route Sofia-Athens-Nafplion-Lefkada-Kalabaka-Sofia
So the plan is like this - leaving in evening as my friends are working 9 to 5  ::) and we're in Athens in late night. Next morning going to check the centre of Athens(still deciding either to take that hop in-hop out bus or not) to see the most popular objects and then in afternoon leaving to hotel near Nafplion. On the way I want to check out Korinth Canal. Same evening or next morning depending on time we want to check out the fortress of Naplion - Pirgos Palamidi and then we're leaving again to Lefkada. Next morning we have a day long cruise trip along the Ionian Islands and at the evening we're back at the hotel in Lefkada. Next day we want to check out Nydri waterfalls and to chill at one of the famous beaches. There I have a question - I heard that last autumn earthquake ruined those beaches and connecting roads. As far as I read on Tripadvisor, people said that Katsiki beach is accessible again. From pictures it looked the best one, but maybe I'm wrong ??? Oh - need to mention that we're going to be there in the middle of week so we expect that beach to be not so crowded.
Then the same evening we leave again to Kalabaka to check out the monasteries and spend a night to leave next morning back to Sofia.
I know, quite a long trip - more than a day on a road and more than 2000kms on a five night trip, but I mostly enjoy seeing things than laying in a beach chair next to hotel :D

My pal's Bulgarian girlfriend is not excited about going to Athens as her colleagues do not recommend Athens as a visiting place. Don't exactly know why is that, but I sure do know, that she would enjoy more the laying in the beach chair - maybe that's the problem  ;D

Thanks in advance for any further advice.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2016, 09:41:41 PM by Rudolpho » Logged
Arbusers
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Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2016, 10:44:25 PM »

The program is very much loaded. You should add more days or cut destinations.
Things to do in Athens:
Akropolis, Monastiraki, coffee culture in Glyfada, visit Cape Sounio to swim, observe the night sky and eat fishes. You need 2-3 days for this.
Nafplion:
Beach, can't remember, the name and the castle. 1 day is enough.
Lefkada:
Porto katsiki is open, you have to go early in the morning. When it gets crowded, the police is not allowing access. Kefalonia is a much better option than Lefkada.
Kalabaka, just the monasteries. You will pass from Ioannina but you will not see the town. you will not see the mountainous Greece.
Your program is over loaded. You ll spend a lot of ours in the car and you will not see many things.
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Rudolpho
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Rudolpho

Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2016, 10:22:38 AM »

Ok, thank you for recommendations.
Noted about the beach. ;) Didn't read that on Tripadvisor
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Arbusers
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Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2016, 12:15:04 PM »

If we are talking about Nafplion, then it is Karathona beach. There must be something in trip advisor but i remember a lot of beach bars, noise and daba duba.
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vendetta
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Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2016, 01:30:12 PM »

Ok, thank you for recommendations.
Noted about the beach. ;) Didn't read that on Tripadvisor


Here my friend ...
http://www.discovernafplio.gr/en/articles/33?article_category_id=7
http://www.discovernafplio.gr/en/articles?article_category_id=7

http://www.greeka.com/peloponnese/nafplion/nafplion-beaches/nafplion-karathona.htm
Also Tolo near Nafplio is very nice!!!
 8)
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Rudolpho
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Re: Trip to Greece
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2016, 01:45:34 PM »

The trip was amazing. Exhausting, but amazing. Covered 2350km in 6 days, but as I said our friends work 9 to 5 and they couldn't get any more days off. Every day was completely different. First day to see the centre of Athens - Acropolis, public etc. Next day Tolon beach, Nafplion fortress. Much less crowded, more sightseeing. Third day cruise from Lefkada around the Ionian islands - again some spectacular feelings. And the last 2 days in Meteora - totally different world. The views were amazing again.
I will write some recommendations:
  • Athens - don't go into centre with car. Traffic is terrible. We booked a hotel that's next to metro station and just bought a hop on-hop off bus tickets. Burgers at Hard Rock caffe are must have. Visit Plaka stairs area restaurants on top of roofs for perfect sunset.
  • As I wanted to test Here maps navigation, I tried it for the first half of journey. One time it advised us to go through a shortcut. Ended up on 45 degree dirt road with sharp stones. Next one was in Lefkada - going from Vassiliki to Porto Katsiki beach. Shortest way should have taken 30 minutes. Ended up going for 90 minutes while one third of the time we were clearing road from stones. Use it only if you're driving some Jeep Wrangler or Toyota Land Cruiser. Not meant for a sedan :D
  • If you're visiting Lefkada, you must take a cruise ride around the Ionian islands. There's so much fantastic places that you can't reach by car.
  • I can't think of better view from hotel than Meteora Hotel Kastraki to wonderful Meteora mountains. The only thing is that food there wasn't great.

When we returned, we all were completely exhausted, but with smile on our faces. Journey was epic and Greece is amazing. I will totally plan some other trip there.
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