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Greece Master Thread
Chabad has an awesome restaurant (and a cool chabad house) in Athens (Rated Number 2 of all restaurants in Athens on TA).
They also ship to all islands which you can warm up in your hotel. The food is awesome as as well!
Find them on facebook or on their website

Bunch of kosher travel related info here: http://koshergreece.com


Trip Reports: CS91's Santorini & Athens

Zaggurus TR: zagguru's


Sam28 TR Santorini : Sam28's


Athens:
Hotels
Hotel Grande Bretagne (Starwood)
King George Palace  (Starwood)
Both hotel's are right near each other, grand Bretagne is a little more upscale.
Both are walking distance to Chabad (Around 10 min) and to most of the action in Athens.
Other hotel's are a little further out of all the action.

Stuff to do
GOSTIJO kosher restaurant (They have a small grocery where you can get a variety of Israeli products) [See above]
Acropolis (Akropolis) and the Acropolis (Akropolis) Museum
Anafiotika (old town with some shopping)
Plaka 
Monastiraki
Panathenaic Stadium (Panathinaiko Stadio) first modern Olympics game.
Day trip to Delphi
Water-skiing in the Aegean Sea

Athens Chabad Pdf

Mykonos:
Hotels

Kosher
https://koshermykonos.com
whiteandblue.kosher@gmail.com
+331 84 60 70 70

What to do


Santorini:
Hotels
There are only two options which take points.
1. Vedema, this hotel is in Megalochori, it is a little off the path (Not near the water) and you don't get the views you would expect in Santorini. (Not a great option, but if you want to stay with points, it is a nice hotel)
2. Mystique, rated as one of the best Starwood hotels in the world. Availability is almost impossible, because they only have 27 rooms. Never mind the shocking 70K Starwood points a night in high season. 

Stuff to do
Kamari Beach, there is a cliff there which has a nice jump into the ocean. (Please be careful!)
Red Beach
Hiking Trail Fira - Oia (You can take a Donkey which is quite freaky, or take a tram)
Sunset in Oia (A must do, to get away from the crowds go to Sun Spirit, it is near the windmill and has great views and not packed. They only serve drinks.)
Santorini Volcano, Hot Springs.
Rent a ATV go around the island (At your own risk, the drivers in Santorini are crazy!)
Highest point of the island near the town of Prygos. Awesome panoramic views of the whole island.

Rhodes
Hotels
Sheraton Rhodes, large resort very centrally located. nice pools.
https://chabadrhodes.com

« Last edited by davidmal on October 16, 2023, 08:49:36 AM »

Author Topic: Greece Master Thread  (Read 240291 times)

Offline mimb

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #580 on: July 05, 2017, 02:45:49 PM »
Just got back from Athens and Santorini. Don't plan on writing a TR, but since there isn't a lot of info here, I figured I'd type up a couple of thoughts.

Flights
-We flew with LX J both ways (JFK-ZRH-ATH-ZRH-EWR). Connection times are good and availability was pretty wide open so I would say this is probably one of the better options seeing as UA never opens up space on the direct.
-For the ATH-JTR flight, I booked RyanAir and paid cash. Flights were cheap. I recommend paying for bags at time of booking since it's significantly more expensive to pay for them at check-in. Also, check in online and print boarding passes at home - they charge 50 euro per person to check in at airport and an additional fee to print boarding passes at airport.

Athens
-Nice to see the historical sights, but don't need more than 24 hrs there. Acropolis, first Olympic stadium, walk around Plaka district for some souvenirs, and that basically covers most of it.
-Chabad restaurant is solid. Can order meals from them (they ship to islands), though we did POM.
-We stayed at the Hilton, which was nice, but nothing special. Several SPG options there as well. The Hilton was willing to store our cooler bag in their freezer, though they pushed back at first.
-I recommend taking Ubers in ATH. Take a few extra minutes to show up than what we're used to in the US, but drivers are way nicer and it's cheaper. Also, regular cab drivers try to rip tourists off and most of them that we rode with were pretty obnoxious while the Uber drivers basically gave us a tour while they were driving us through the city.

Santorini
-We stayed at the Voreina Gallery Suites. Not part of a program so paid cash, and it came out to around $350/night. Was recommended by a friend and was really happy we stayed there. We booked their Superior Suite, which comes with a full Kitchen (so we had an oven to heat up our POM meals, and the fridge was big enough to hold around 6 POM meals in the freezer and another 10-12 in the fridge), private pool, separate living room. Room was very nice, and the service was really good. Free breakfast as well. While most people try to stay in Oia, those hotels start at $1,500/night at this time of year, and award availability at the two SPG properties was non-existent even very far out. I was originally very hesitant to not be staying in Oia, but in the end it didn't bother me at all. While the views in Oia are beautiful, I don't think it's worth an extra $1,200/night unless of course that amount of money doesn't mean much to you.
-We mostly just relaxed while in Santorini, but we went on a day cruise (Sunset Oia was the company) which was amazing. We did one of their semi-private tours so it was only 11 of us on the boat and we were out on the water for about 5 hours.
-We went to Oia to see the sunset on one night, and we spent another night just walking around in Fira and then got drinks at an outdoor bar there which had a really nice view.

Overall, we had a great time and I highly recommend Greece as a vacation destination. Not sure why more people here haven't gone. Feel free to ask any questions.

Awesome, glad it worked out for you. I agree with your assessment of Athens, doesn't require more than 1 day. Any reason you decided to avoid Mykonos? Only asking b/c I chose Mykonos over Santorini but don't think there is a huge difference between all the island at the end of the day. I know Mykonos is more "spring break" I guess. Also what was mileage cost and fuel surcharges for LX?

Offline moisheyb

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #581 on: July 05, 2017, 03:36:41 PM »
Just got back from Athens and Santorini. Don't plan on writing a TR, but since there isn't a lot of info here, I figured I'd type up a couple of thoughts.

Flights
-We flew with LX J both ways (JFK-ZRH-ATH-ZRH-EWR). Connection times are good and availability was pretty wide open so I would say this is probably one of the better options seeing as UA never opens up space on the direct.
-For the ATH-JTR flight, I booked RyanAir and paid cash. Flights were cheap. I recommend paying for bags at time of booking since it's significantly more expensive to pay for them at check-in. Also, check in online and print boarding passes at home - they charge 50 euro per person to check in at airport and an additional fee to print boarding passes at airport.

Athens
-Nice to see the historical sights, but don't need more than 24 hrs there. Acropolis, first Olympic stadium, walk around Plaka district for some souvenirs, and that basically covers most of it.
-Chabad restaurant is solid. Can order meals from them (they ship to islands), though we did POM.
-We stayed at the Hilton, which was nice, but nothing special. Several SPG options there as well. The Hilton was willing to store our cooler bag in their freezer, though they pushed back at first.
-I recommend taking Ubers in ATH. Take a few extra minutes to show up than what we're used to in the US, but drivers are way nicer and it's cheaper. Also, regular cab drivers try to rip tourists off and most of them that we rode with were pretty obnoxious while the Uber drivers basically gave us a tour while they were driving us through the city.

Santorini
-We stayed at the Voreina Gallery Suites. Not part of a program so paid cash, and it came out to around $350/night. Was recommended by a friend and was really happy we stayed there. We booked their Superior Suite, which comes with a full Kitchen (so we had an oven to heat up our POM meals, and the fridge was big enough to hold around 6 POM meals in the freezer and another 10-12 in the fridge), private pool, separate living room. Room was very nice, and the service was really good. Free breakfast as well. While most people try to stay in Oia, those hotels start at $1,500/night at this time of year, and award availability at the two SPG properties was non-existent even very far out. I was originally very hesitant to not be staying in Oia, but in the end it didn't bother me at all. While the views in Oia are beautiful, I don't think it's worth an extra $1,200/night unless of course that amount of money doesn't mean much to you.
-We mostly just relaxed while in Santorini, but we went on a day cruise (Sunset Oia was the company) which was amazing. We did one of their semi-private tours so it was only 11 of us on the boat and we were out on the water for about 5 hours.
-We went to Oia to see the sunset on one night, and we spent another night just walking around in Fira and then got drinks at an outdoor bar there which had a really nice view.

Overall, we had a great time and I highly recommend Greece as a vacation destination. Not sure why more people here haven't gone. Feel free to ask any questions.

Thanks for the rundown.  How long did you stay for? Do you think you needed more time?
How private is the pool from neighboring rooms or houses?

Offline CS91

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #582 on: July 05, 2017, 03:57:26 PM »
Maybe some pics too!!! if your going to do it, do it!
great job for a short TR for Stay and Travel what about Schedule?
Wish I had the time, but a bit tough to fit in a full TR somewhere in the middle of 80 hr work weeks. GIYF for the pics  ;)

For schedule, mentioned what we did in Athens. As for Santorini, we mostly just took it easy at our pool. Rented a car for one day to go to the beach (there are a few on the island), but aside from that, the boat cruise, and checking out Fira and Oia at night, we just relaxed.

Awesome, glad it worked out for you. I agree with your assessment of Athens, doesn't require more than 1 day. Any reason you decided to avoid Mykonos? Only asking b/c I chose Mykonos over Santorini but don't think there is a huge difference between all the island at the end of the day. I know Mykonos is more "spring break" I guess. Also what was mileage cost and fuel surcharges for LX?
Wasn't that I avoided Mykonos, was more that I only had a week and didn't think that was enough time to start island hopping. Chose Santorini over Mykonos because I heard Mykonos is more of the party island while Santorini is more relaxing.

Mileage was 115k per person (Aeroplan) RT + $175 CAD.

Thanks for the rundown.  How long did you stay for? Do you think you needed more time?
How private is the pool from neighboring rooms or houses?
1 night in ATH, 6 nights in JTR (was in JTR over Shabbos). We felt that was perfect.
Depends on what level you're on. We were on the lowest level, so our pool was probably on the less private side compared to others, but still pretty private. People could definitely see our pool, but they'd have to be standing at the edge of their deck to see us. If you're wondering how it compares in privacy to the Conrad USM for example, the Conrad is definitely more private.

Offline davidmal

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #583 on: July 05, 2017, 04:23:23 PM »
Wish I had the time,  GIYF for the pics  ;)

BOO!
;)
-DMC
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it ~Ferris Bueller"

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #584 on: July 10, 2017, 01:05:55 PM »
Thinking about going to Rhodes for a few days.


Anyone know if chabad opened yet? Did anyone stay at the Sheraton over shabbos?

Offline Hjay

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #585 on: July 12, 2017, 06:13:06 PM »
I have sun - thurs booked in the domes of elounda in crete in august. (Have to decide by tom if I'm keeping my res) I've read through this entire thread & some more & I haven't learned too much about crete just keep hearing about Mykonos & santorini (if you think I'm making a mistake going to crete over these islands let me know). Was wondering if anybody has any info about crete in general & more specifically the elounda area as well.

Was thinking of going thurs before to Athens & then continuing on from there to crete, but as of now my 1 year old daughter will be joining us so I feel like Shabbat in Athens is gonna be a bit of a bust having to stay in the hotel for the entire Shabbat. Am I wrong & I should do it anyway to get fri in Athens?

One last question seems that Aegean has the flights which make the most sense, price right now is about $700 rt pp. Any chance they go down if I wait or they're only going up? & would it make sense to book on miles. I have a nice chunk of UR, MR & SPG, if somebody can help me out with the cheapest way to book it would be greatly appreciated. My res in crete is sun aug 13 - Thur 17 & if I'm going to Athens I'd be going the weekend before prob thurs aug 10. I'm based out of TLV. TIA

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #586 on: July 13, 2017, 03:56:00 PM »
I have sun - thurs booked in the domes of elounda in crete in august. (Have to decide by tom if I'm keeping my res) I've read through this entire thread & some more & I haven't learned too much about crete just keep hearing about Mykonos & santorini (if you think I'm making a mistake going to crete over these islands let me know). Was wondering if anybody has any info about crete in general & more specifically the elounda area as well.

Was thinking of going thurs before to Athens & then continuing on from there to crete, but as of now my 1 year old daughter will be joining us so I feel like Shabbat in Athens is gonna be a bit of a bust having to stay in the hotel for the entire Shabbat. Am I wrong & I should do it anyway to get fri in Athens?

One last question seems that Aegean has the flights which make the most sense, price right now is about $700 rt pp. Any chance they go down if I wait or they're only going up? & would it make sense to book on miles. I have a nice chunk of UR, MR & SPG, if somebody can help me out with the cheapest way to book it would be greatly appreciated. My res in crete is sun aug 13 - Thur 17 & if I'm going to Athens I'd be going the weekend before prob thurs aug 10. I'm based out of TLV. TIA
Crete is great, IMO better overall than the other options mentioned.
It's beautiful, cheaper, more to do, less crowded...
Why not just for on Sunday direct to Crete then? Just shabbos in Athens if you won't be walking around or anything in the extreme heat doesn't seem fun. And $700 seems like a laughably astronomical amount for a ticket to HER. They go on sites like Hulyo sometimes for $99-$149. Maybe just check which Island is available on those charter flights and go there?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #587 on: July 13, 2017, 04:30:25 PM »
Crete is great, IMO better overall than the other options mentioned.
It's beautiful, cheaper, more to do, less crowded...
Why not just for on Sunday direct to Crete then? Just shabbos in Athens if you won't be walking around or anything in the extreme heat doesn't seem fun. And $700 seems like a laughably astronomical amount for a ticket to HER. They go on sites like Hulyo sometimes for $99-$149. Maybe just check which Island is available on those charter flights and go there?

That's a last minute deal site. I've heard about them, just checked now but they're only offering flights for the next few days… should I wait it out & figure out flights closer to my dates? What do u mean by other islands? Just pick based on flights? they're all the same range now & Hulyo only has for now.

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #588 on: July 20, 2017, 03:18:43 PM »
Have domes of elounda, crete booked for 4 nights mid august. Anybody have suggestions of things to do in the area? Nice beaches? Secret non touristy spots? ...?

I saw some talk about an international license do I need one to rent in Crete? I'm in Israel, any way to get one?

I'm watching hulyo (Israeli deal site) for flights, but still too far out, any other ideas or sites to check?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #589 on: August 09, 2017, 10:46:30 AM »
If anybody has been to Crete and can help me out with a few questions please pm me or lmk here. I haven't really been able to get any info. TIA

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #590 on: August 10, 2017, 08:38:46 PM »
Whats your question

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #591 on: August 11, 2017, 01:41:10 AM »
Whats your question
Does the chabad house have minyanim during the week? Do they have a restaurant or grocery? (I tried emailing them a few questions & got a reply about Shabbat meals)
Is it easy to find kosher products in regular grocery stores there?
Staying in elounda, is a car a waste or necessary? Any recommendations of a car rental company? I was told to try to get a local company but wouldn't want to do without recommendation & the few I called were sold out of automatic.
Things to do in or not too far (about an hour or less) from elounda?
Most of my other questions I figured out already. TIA

OT but has to do with my trip, purchased my tickets from daka90 & the email subject line says חובה דרכון ישראלי, I did it over the phone & the guy def knew I don't have an Israeli passport I called to confirm its not an issue but nobody had any clue, would anybody know if I'll get on the plane with an American passport? Also, says terminal 3 on my ticket but I don't think I ever saw bluebird airways in the airport any idea where I go?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #592 on: August 11, 2017, 02:55:56 AM »
Do I need to wear a cap there or a yarmulke is fine?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #593 on: August 11, 2017, 07:01:00 AM »
Does the chabad house have minyanim during the week? Do they have a restaurant or grocery? (I tried emailing them a few questions & got a reply about Shabbat meals)
Is it easy to find kosher products in regular grocery stores there?
Staying in elounda, is a car a waste or necessary? Any recommendations of a car rental company? I was told to try to get a local company but wouldn't want to do without recommendation & the few I called were sold out of automatic.
Things to do in or not too far (about an hour or less) from elounda?
Most of my other questions I figured out already. TIA

OT but has to do with my trip, purchased my tickets from daka90 & the email subject line says חובה דרכון ישראלי, I did it over the phone & the guy def knew I don't have an Israeli passport I called to confirm its not an issue but nobody had any clue, would anybody know if I'll get on the plane with an American passport? Also, says terminal 3 on my ticket but I don't think I ever saw bluebird airways in the airport any idea where I go?

I dont know much about the chabad there, as I stayed in Elounda as well and its about an hour away.
No problem with using US passport.
Terminal 3 sounds right.

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #594 on: August 11, 2017, 09:18:58 AM »
Kippah or cap?
Any suggestions of things to do or places to go?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #595 on: August 11, 2017, 11:50:03 AM »
Kippah or cap?
Any suggestions of things to do or places to go?
I wear cap everywhere, so cant really answer that. Why would you want the extra scrutiny?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #596 on: August 13, 2017, 12:15:08 AM »
Am I supposed to declare meat or any other food I'm bringing?

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #597 on: August 13, 2017, 04:46:19 AM »
I wear cap everywhere, so cant really answer that. Why would you want the extra scrutiny?

I never wore a cap to hide my Yarmulka in the 45+ countries -including Greece all over the mainland +Corfu, Crete & Rhodes) I've been to and cannot recall any problem (I do wear cap for leisure and comfort reasons sometimes).

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #598 on: August 13, 2017, 09:07:29 PM »
Am I supposed to declare meat or any other food I'm bringing?
I didn't declare anything. Didn't have any issues

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Re: Greece Master Thread
« Reply #599 on: August 15, 2017, 02:59:58 PM »
Anyone been to Kos?