Tag Archives: Greece

Visiting Athens

Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long! We had an awesome back to back set of vacations (what happens when a work trip backs up on a previously planned vacation). I’m back to report on our trips to Greece and the Outer Banks, with reviews on lodging, food and some activities we really loved.

First off, hotels in Greece—we stayed in Athens for one night and just outside of Chania, Crete for six nights. In Athens, we stayed in the Athens Diamond Homtel, and loved it. The location was great, only a few blocks from the metro (a direct line from the airport) and within walking distance of the Acropolis, Plaka, National Gardens, and plenty of restaurants and shopping.

IMG_0067[1]

Our room at the Athens Diamond Homtel. You can see our balcony through the window.

We booked our room using a discount site, so I was pleasantly surprised to find our room was a large, suite-style room, with a separate sitting/dining area and generously sized bathroom. There was even a mini balcony overlooking the main entrance of the hotel. Unfortunately our short stay meant we didn’t have time to take advantage of the generous amount of space or balcony, but we did enjoy not feeling crammed in like sardines and having plenty of room to dig through our bags after almost 24 hours of travel.

IMG_0068[1]

We didn’t turn on the tv once, so I’m not sure how much English programming there was, but it’s always nice to have!

IMG_0069[1]

Good sized shower and cute bathroom. The glass only covered half the tub and there was no curtain, so showering required a bit of an art to prevent flooding the bathroom.

IMG_0070[1]

Mini kitchen by the bathroom. It’s always nice to have a mini fridge for when you order too much food at a local taverna!

The hotel provided a complimentary breakfast—fresh squeezed orange juice, yogurt and honey (Greek honey is amazing! I made sure to bring some home with me), pastries, sausage, eggs, and plenty more. It was a great start to our day of exploring and kept us satisfied through exploring until our late lunch. The hotel was also great about holding onto our bags. Our flight wasn’t until evening, so we left them with the front desk until late in the afternoon with no issues.

We were lucky enough to end up having our day to explore Athens on International Museum Day, which meant we were able to visit the Acropolis Museum and ruins (Acropolis, Zeus’ Temple and more) for free! The Acropolis Museum was great, and it was definitely a good decision to stop by before viewing the ruins in person. We then walked right across the street to the entrance to the Acropolis entrance (by the Theater of Dionysius) and hiked up to view the ruins. We made sure to pick up a couple bottles of water by the entrance, which was a great decision because the walk up to the Acropolis is almost entirely in full sun, and there’s little shade by the ruins and Parthenon. The views of Athens from the top of the hill were great, and seeing the ancient temples up close was pretty cool (I’ll post a picture post later today, once I’ve gotten access to the picture files from Patrick).

We grabbed lunch (Athens food reviews will be up later this week), and continued to wander through the Plaka and Zeus’ Temple before heading back to the hotel, picking up our luggage, and making our way to the airport. It was a whirlwind 24 hour visit, but we managed to squeeze in a bunch of the touristy highlights of the city while we were there.  I think the one thing I wish we’d had more time for was to try out more of the delicious Greek food. I’m hoping to be back tomorrow with some restaurant and food reviews from our time in Athens. I wasn’t great about taking food pictures while we were traveling, but we got to try some great things, and visited some wonderful restaurants!