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ceejaydj

Traveling around Kefalonia by Bus
4 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Kefalonia General


This review is about how we managed to travel around Kefalonia in one week without a car and how good/bad the bus services are.

We were based in Lassi the first week of July this year and found it to be an excellent base for our needs.
We traveled all over the island on buses and beside one incident of a missed bus it worked out well.
Argostoli is the capital and all bus links start from there. There’s around 3 bus stops in Lassi and the buses run every half past the hour from 9.30am onwards. It’s costs 1.50 euros and takes around 10 minutes. Stay on the bus until you get to the main bus stop. All the buses are lined up with numbers and destinations on them and also there’s sheets of paper with times and destinations by the side of each bus. There’s a big screen telling you times and buses and also there’s a fab tourist information inside with lots of timetables to take.

I pre planned day trips before we arrived in Kefalonia by looking on the www.ktelkefaloniad.gr so I had times already worked out.

Fiskardo and Assos only have around 2-3 buses running daily so pre planning is crucial and they don’t always run every day- the timetables will show you. Always arrive at least 15 mins before catching the bus as we left a few mins early on a few occasions. The bus stop in Argostoli is fine though.

It’s a 2hr direct bus journey up to Fiskardo and I think there’s a 11am and a 3pm bus up and a 5pm return. It’s stunning seeing all the scenery, you go right up into the mountains but also you can see the coast aswell as other islands too, I loved travelling on bus for the scenery. There’s aircon, free wifi and they were never full when we went.

To Agia Efimia there’s a direct bus routine too and I think that took around 1hr.

Sami there’s a direct route also but if you wanted to go to Antisamos beach where Captain Corellis Mandolin was filmed, you would have to catch a mini bus from Sami.

Melissani caves- we took a bus to Sami then caught another bus to Melissani and told the bus driver we wanted to go to the caves. He dropped us off by a big road sign of the caves on your right ( around 10 min drive away from Sami) and we walked up a short hill which is clearly signposted. It’s beautiful there and we arrived just before the hoards of crowds arrived (before 12pm - we caught the earliest bus) We were due to catch a mini bus back to Sami at 12.40pm but it didn’t turn up!!! So we found a gorgeous restaurant/bar near the water and had a drink and ordered a taxi. As there were 5 of us, my husband walked. It took him around 20-30 walking back to Sami and it cost us 8 euros in a taxi. We loved Sami the prices were so good too. Then we caught the big coach back to Argostoli at around 3pm. Although, you will see on the timetables that some times are in blue this means there might be a delay as the bus waits for a ferry to come in... we had to wait, around 45 mins.

Assos you catch a bus from Argostoli which then stops at Divarata for a change over to a mini bus to take you down to Assos. I think there was only one bus there and one bus back. Assos was our favorite place, truly stunning. We took a towel and swimwear and went for a swim in a little bay the other side of the harbor, so so clear and calm, beautiful. The bus drops you off at the top of a hill which is around a 10 min walk but it’s a pretty walk down and up.

We wanted to go to Myrtos beach but the bus times meant that we would be there for many hours which we didn’t want to do as I’d read it’s not great for swimming for children. We wanted to spend around an hour there but as we didn’t have a car, we couldn’t. But, we got to see it from above on the bus journeys a few times which was nice.

Fiskardo is a must, it’s your traditional Greek fishing village with beautiful quirky alleyways and brightly colours houses, lots of yachts and ferries come in and crowds come off and head to the harbour side restaurants but if you carry on walking past them all you will find a much prettier spot with a fab restaurant called Panormos. It overlooks the sea and houses and not bad prices too.

We did a lot around Argostoli too, we all loved going over to Lixouri on the ferry which leaves at the first bus stop into Argostoli and leaves every hour I think. We also got to see lots of turtles in the harbour in the mornings.

The cost of buses were very good, short trips were 1.50 Euro and the most we paid was to travel to Fiskardo (a 2hr journey|) which cost 6.40 Euro.

We packed in a lot but if we had extra time, we would have loved to go to Ithaka, explore more around Lixouri area, and maybe go to Poros and Skala and Dogerati caves.

We will return one day



olampinen

Nice City
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Rethymno General


I visited Rethymno during the first week of June in the year 2017. It was a one-week holiday trip to Crete. I have been many times in Rethymno. This was my 17th visit to Rethymno. I have always lived in the same hotel Sentido Pearl Hotels. The hotel is located at the nice Beach Road close to the sea. This hotel is very good. Fine rooms, good food, excellent service and in the hotel are working very friendly people. In Rethymno is much to see. You can go to the Venetian Harbour in the Old Town. This place is very romantic with good seafood restaurants. Close to the harbor is the Fortezza. Very old and a great castle. The Old Town is very interesting with many small nice shops. Every week there is in the Old Town great market. In the north of Rethymno there is a long sandy beach. The beach is 20 kilometers long. During my visit, I made a trip to the Arcadi monastery and to the Palace of Knossos close to Heraklion. In these both fine places was much history to see. If you travel to Crete go to Rethymno I am sure that you will like this town.



no avatar

Amazing
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Zakynthos General


It was a unique experience for the family even if it was our first time with a bow. I strongly recommend it. So fun and amazing experience!!



no avatar

City with amazing sights.
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Athens General


We stayed for five days at The Stanley in Athens and saw the historical sights and museums that will forever stay etched in our memories. One bad memory that needs to be shared with travellers, is our experience of being pick pocketed in the metro on the last day of our stay. As we entered the metro, we were surrounded by six men who blocked our passage to enter further into the compartment. My husband (70 years old) stood with his back to the seating area to protect his wallet in his back pocket. One guy started twisting right arm, and kicking his feet with his boots, which hurt so badly that he had to shift and position in which time the pick pocket had taken out the wallet from his back pocket. The train was still moving when he realised his wallet was missing and screamed, holding on to the man nearest him who was twisting his arm. I (66 years old), disabled, held onto the man and demanded he return the wallet. Meanwhile the train had stopped and the guys were talking in Greek and in that melee one of them shouted in English that the guy who had the wallet had already disembarked instructing us to follow him. Panic stricken we got out of the train, to follow this person (a false alarm to get us out of the train) and ofcourse with our mobility being slower we never got to catch him. Shell shocked we stood while some tourists kept asking us what had happened. From nowhere a good Samaritan appeared and wanted to know what the commotion was all about. He offered to accompany us to the railway police at the station, to ask for the CCTV coverage of the incident to catch the culprits. The man spoke to the police in Greek, and all that they had to say was they could not show us the CCTV coverage as it was not a criminal case.
Disappointed and dejected, he then took us walking to the nearest police station to lodge a complaint. It was then that I opened my sling bag to find that the culprits had taken away my wallet too. Presumably while I was holding on to the culprits arm, another guy from behind had done this job. It was shocking to visit the Police station, a first in our travels, to see guys sitting handcuffed and hookers shouting obscenities. Here too the Police said we would have to wait if we want to register a complaint of robbery, but would cooperate if we lodged a complaint for loss. Even a fool can deduce why the police offered us these options, knowing very well as reporting robbery would not be favourable for the country and for tourists visiting the country. The good Samaritan (or so we thought) left us at this point and the police gave us the address of another tourist police office two stations away where such cases were handled for tourists. Left with no option, and as we were leaving early next morning for Mykanos, we took the metro and reached the tourist police office. While the Police cooperated and told us to make calls from their lines to block our cards, which we did, eventually they too did not register a case of robbery, and issued a loss certificate to us. It was the most harrowing experience in our life and being seasoned travelers, came as a huge shock. Not only did we lose all our credit cards, driving licence, and other personal documents, but substantial amount of euros and Indian currency that was kept in the wallets, and most importantly our faith in the country and its administration. Such a beautiful country with so much potential for tourism should take more stern measures to stop the racket of pick pocketers roaming all over the place quick to grab whatever they can and spoil everything for tourists. When we narrated the incident to our hotel, they shared their opinion that while the government had in the past jailed the gang that was operating, apparently some influential people had got them released. Obviously the racket was being run by influential people for pecuniary gains; but in the long run was bringing bad name to the lovely country. This is to warn all tourists visiting Athens, to beware of their personal belongings. The crooks are everywhere in trains, at historical sites, and the police do nothing about it. Many tourists we met later on during our travels, shared similar incidents of being pick pocketed. Wake up Greece!! You have so much to offer, don't spoil it by spitting on the plate that you eat from. Cutting the branch that you sit on. I hope this message reaches to make the authorities sit up and take appropriate measures to make Athens a safe place for tourists to visit. We will certainly not visit again.
Even after returning to our home country, the culprits are desperately trying to make fraudulent transactions on our blocked cards, as we keep receiving declined transactions messages on our mobile phones.

Another pertinent observation:- in some stations the entry gates are always open which means, there are rogues entering the platforms and travelling without tickets. A pointer to the mess that exists in the country.



no avatar

Filth, Squalor and Lawlessness
1 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Athens General


After visiting Athens several times for family reunions I have drawn the line on this hole.
This city is the outright gold medallist for filth, squalor and lawlessness.
Roads and footpaths are at times impassable as a result of uncollected garbage. It is a place that has no consideration for the disabled access or otherwise. The metro or underground rail system is a haven for criminal gangs that will stop at nothing including violence to steal in particular from vulnerable tourists. Wait there is more. The street corners are full of persons communicating on mobile phones doing drug deals and setting up robberies and other criminal activities.
In the meantime those charged with keeping law and order are in groups of 5 or 6 loitering on corners, unshaven, dishevelled, scratching their posterior and totally immersed with their mobile phones.
Unfortunately, and it hurts to say the whole country is 20 years behind as a result. If I cannot go to a place where my security is assured then I go elsewhere to leave my hard earned. It is a place where one requires bodyguards to move around. Oh, lastly as if the heavy pollution was not enough everyone takes no notice of the no smoking laws at almost every venue and it is deliberately ignored by corrupt officials charged with upholding these laws.


alexis
alexis wrote on May 17, 2018

I agree with you and you describe problems one can find in any big capital of any country.
I find your approach a bit poor as you only see the negative parts. You should do something about this, you are harming yourself. It sounds like the classical person who now lives in a rich western country and spends his life criticizing his "old" country, or the country of his ancestors. I know many people like this. I do not know if there is a psychological term that describes this complex.
Athens has so many beautiful things to see and do. And it is very safe. As any big capital, there are places not to go if you are a woman for example. I live in Athens for the last 20 years and not once I had any security issue. And I was living in one of the "immigrant" neighborhoods. I can't say the same for Paris where I studied for 5 years. I got scared many times there :)

no avatar
puchka wrote on May 22, 2018

Totally agree. Faced harrowing experience in Athens, getting pick pocketed and then facing the police and their total apathy towards tourists.


madjax

Get out & about
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Lefkada General


The best way to stay on Lefkada is book a villa (Friends stayed in Villa Vangelis in Geni), hire a road worthy car & explore. You are on an island; how lost can you get! There are some amazing sights, do a day or two at the beaches but go down that dirt track, you never know what you might be missing. Get up into the villages where the locals are & eat at the local tavernas run by the local villagers. It's the only way to truly discover Lefkada.



minnaliisa

Kefalonia is the landscape of my soul
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Kefalonia General


Kefalonia is a really beautiful island with magnificent landscapes. It takes my breath away every time. I have written blog about some of my favourite places in Kefalonia: https://kefalonia2017byminna.blogspot.fi

About hotels and restaurants in Kefalonia - I've never been disappointed - on the contrary, I've always met nice, polite and friendly people. I can warmly recommend Kefalonia for everyone looking for a relaxing holiday in Greece!



no avatar

Unsafe city and Fake Euro beware of pick-pockets
1 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Athens General


We (as a couple) travelled to Santorini and had a very good stay there. After that we stay in Athens for 5 days. The city feels unsafe with people touting and looking at you with a very weird manner. We even received €50 fake note from a restaurant at Metropolitan Cathedral, Plaka. The entrance fee for Acropolis is €20 which is not worth the price, too many people there and you cant really enjoy the place. Other tourist attractions are also very expensive. There's only few places you can visit in the city and they look about the same. Regret for going to Athens. The people are not nice to tourists. Should have visited Italy (Venice) or Istanbul as they are not too far from Santorini.



neville55

Zakynthos a tale of two contrasts
2 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Zakynthos General


Depending what you want in a holiday, zakynthos can be the best place or it could be the worst. Having visited the island about 15 years ago and again in September 2017, it was sad to see the mess the built up areas are in. The scenic areas are still some of the most breath taking views to be had, the farming and farm products are there to be bought on the side of the road, the food, the bread is all beautiful and worthy of a mention and recommended. However the other side to the island, the exploitation of the natural resources is shocking. Litter everywhere, fly tipping everywhere.hundreds of boats daily taking tourists out to see the poor turtles, how many turtles are injured by propellors, the oil and fuel from the boats on a busy day floating round the coastline sticking like black glue to some unsuspecting snorkelers or swimmers and I'm one of them. The town of Lagana, well depends what you want in a holiday but when I go to Greece or a Greek island, that's what I want to see, not a boozer and sex shop industry with drunken Brit's embarrassing all from the UK. Greece where is your pride? Are there no Greek environmentally proud groups wanting to clean up the island or try educate their own, yes the tourist is guilty for some of the filth but I saw Greeks on the beach on family day Sunday leaving their rubish on the beach. Go diving and what you see happening on land is happening in the sea, there is not only tourist related rubish but rubish from years of exploitation. Greece where is your pride. Having visited a few islands now and the mainland it's the same. Yes greece is going through a tough time but this has been happening for many decades. I find Greeks and the Greek culture a wonderful experience. Greeks are proud to be Greek but not proud of Greece or interested in looking after what is their inheritance, use it, make money out of it.it's not our problem oh and allowing the tourist free destruction rights. Sorry to say all this but it disturbed me to see it happening to such a beautiful island. For the scenic part it excellent.I say no more



no avatar

One of the most beautiful Greek islands
5 / 5 stars Rate:
   

Posted by on

Category: Folegandros General


We visited Folegandros in July this year, and we were amazed by how beautiful and raw this island was.
Having just come from Mykonos, the calmness of Folegandros was very welcome.
We stayed at Pavlos x 2 apartments which were sweet, simple and affordable, just what we were looking for, and just 5 minutes walk from Chora.

The Chora is one of the most beautiful small "towns" (not exactly a town but more like a big village) we have visited - with stunning colours and very well taken care of. There are some great restaurants, and lovely bars to visit during the evening (Rakentia bar was our favourite - also great for brunch).

Some lovely beaches, although as this island can get very windy, choosing which beach to go on the day does depend on the wind direction.
Our apartment receptionist advised us every morning on which beach to go to on that day.
We visited Agios Nikolaos beach by getting a little boat from Agali beach. You can also walk but probably not advisable in the heat.
Agios Nikolaos was stunning, with a cute little restaurant (yummy food).
We chose to walk back to Agali and at a slow pace it took us a little while (45 mins or so) - but we stopped many times for photos and videos as the views are incredible.
On our second day we visited Katergo beach, by taking a boat from the port area Karavostasis. We stayed there for 3 hours, and the boat picked us up at around 6pm. This beach is also stunning but doesn't have any restaurant or facilities, so it is completely raw :) As it can get very hot, we would definitely recommend taking an umbrella. There is shade under the rocks but only from around 5pm. Definitely a must visit beach with beautiful clear waters (great for snorkelling!). Make sure to check the boat times maybe from the day before just to be prepared.

On our last day we visited a much smaller beach called Puntaki (close to the port area). A very cute little private beach, but beware it is a nudist beach :)
We parked the car on the main road and walked down the steep hill to the beach.

We spent all our evenings in Chora and on the last evening my partner walked up to the Monastery to see the sunset - he got some awesome photos, and I do regret not going up now! Definitely worth a visit.
We have actually made a short video to show how pretty Folegandros is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=usFgqWjkCv4&t=1s

This so far is our favourite Greek island (Ithaki is our second favourite), and we already want to go back - hopefully next year!!!



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