After our wonderful stay in Venice, we boarded the lovely Rhapsody of the Seas cruise ship for a week long tour of several ports in Greece! I’ll have lots more to say about our lovely cruising experience with Royal Caribbean and my conflicted thoughts on the impact of huge ships in the Venice area in the next post, but for now will focus on the lovely country of Greece and our wonderful experience there. Before we left, we made the wise choice of booking family activities in all but one port through Kids Love Greece. Maria, the owner and founder, is absolutely lovely and knows so much about planning travel throughout her beloved country for families! I cannot recommend her enough, and would love to plan excursions for you with her if you ever decide to visit Greece. 🙂
Our first stop was in lovely Corfu, where the fantastic Magda met us downtown and took us on a leisurely walking food tour of this incredible city. From history to amazing views to incredible food, this tour was a hit with all members of our party! We learned so much about Greece itself, and loved getting to sample the flavors and culture of its people. The Greek believe love comes through the belly, and that truly showed itself in Corfu! They could not have been kinder or more loving to our kids as they shared their local delicacies, while Magda educated us about the town and got our eight year old son super excited about the Odyssey and Greek Mythology. We left with gifts and goodies to share with friends at home, and would gladly return to Corfu for a longer stay!
Corfu – an amazing town with incredible history, food, and people!
Our next stop was the port of Piraeus, where our amazing shuttle driver – who was only expected to transfer us to downtown Athens – instead gave us a private tour of the ancient city and showed us the changing of the guard! He loved on our kids – especially our five year old daughter – and they thought they were locals! We saw some amazing scenic views and really got a feel for Athens during our short stay – again all going above and beyond what he was expected to do! We started our stay at the Acropolis with a visit to Areopagus Hill so our son could see some Biblical history live and in person! After learning about it in school, it was absolutely incredible to visit this landmark with him and show him where Paul preached to the Greeks as is recorded in the Book of Acts! We then met our lovely guide, Eva at the subway station – and did a full immersive tour of the Acropolis and the Parthenon that our kids will never forget. In spite of the heat, Eva made the tour fun with memorable poses and antidotes for each of our stops – and the Augmented Reality on the iPad she used was absolutely incredible! The kids got to see what these ancient ruins (and we never see things that are thousands of years old at home in the States!) looked like at the time of their creation. They of course bickered over who got to use the device, and couldn’t get enough of the awesome Greek history, even when we were sliding on the worn ancient marble stones up at the top! While it was too short of a stay in Athens, what an incredible visit we had learning about history and meeting the fine people there!
Hello Athens! History, culture, food, and again people we’ll remember for a lifetime!
Our third stop in Greece was in beautiful Mykonos, where once again we were whisked away by the kind guides from Kids Love Greece. First, we got to go to a quiet courtyard where the kids spent hours making their own tile mosaics (we even got to break some tiles ourselves!) with the amazing artist Irene who owns the gallery! Talk about an authentic local experience! We had fun sipping coffee and playing with the resident puppy and kitties while the kids were very focused on their artwork, and took home amazing souvenirs! From there, Amaryllis picked us up and took us on an amazing walking tour of the area – which has a pretty fascinating history! From the old bakeries to the tiny streets to the windmills to the coastline, Mykonos is somewhere you must visit! We also loved visiting the tiny family-owned churches, and visiting our first Greek Orthodox Church was fascinating! We loved how every place we went in Greece was so different… yet everywhere the people so incredible kind and welcoming, we felt like family who’d known them for years!
Mykonos – When can we return? What a special place!
Our last stop in Argostoli we did not have a tour, but still enjoyed walking around the town and doing some shopping. The prices were amazing, and once again the people kind and welcoming. All of the antidotes in My Big Fat Greek Wedding are true and beyond – these are some of the most jovial and incredible people you will meet on the planet! What a fantastic country with such special beauty and scenery, amazing ancient history (there’s so much more we have to explore in that department, and our son is now an avid Greek myth reader) , incredible food and wine, and culture that cuts through all dimensions. Greece – you have our heart and we can’t wait to come back to see more of you and stay longer!
Next up – a review of our cruising experience on Royal Caribbean’s Rhapsody of the Seas 🙂