VISITING PERIOD: 20-29/10/2011
I will be visiting the lovely and historic country of Greece for a little over a week it should be an epic adventure with so many great sights to see, people to meet and amazing places of archeological interest to visit. You will be able to follow my trip on twitter using the #epicgreece hashtag, we can enjoy the adventure together.
(Overnight at Hilton Athens – http://www.hiltonathens.gr/en/)
16:10 – Arrival at the airport of El.Venizelos via KLM16:30 – Meeting with VasilisGkinopoulos and Elias Filis members of the Web Team of the Greek National Tourism Organisation.
Meeting with an Avance Rent a car Rep in order to pick up the car
16:40 – Drive to Athens Hilton hotel
17:10 – Arrival and Check-in
Before dinner at Hilton I will meet with Chef Dimitris Skarmoutsos (Alatsi) and get some info on a different side of Athens.
20:30 – Dinner at the Galaxy Bar of Hilton hotel with Ms. Eva Batzaki Sales Director and Ms. Tina Toribaba PR Director of the Hilton Athens hotel
(Overnight in Dellas Boutique Hotel – www.dellasboutiquehotel.com
08:00 – Departure for Meteora (Athens – Meteora 352 km – average travel time 4h)
12:00 – Arrival in Dellas Boutique Hotel
12:30 – Meeting with Lazaros Botelis and head for Meteora Climbing (Traumpfeiler route known as Holly Spirit – the height of the rock will be 140m)
The entire procedure will last approximately 3 hours – it is highly recommended to have a very light snack one hour before you reach Meteora – the final route will be decided upon the current climate conditions and discussion with the Guide.
Lazaros Botelis (www.nolimits.com.gr) is a Hellenic Federation Mountain Guide and Head Coach of the National Team. He has climbed Kalymnos along with Doug Scott, a true legend in mountaineering.
The equipment as well as the organisation of the rock climbing is kindly provided by Trekking West Thessaly – www.trekking.gr Mr. Samouras Thanassis.
15:30 – Finish the climb and head back to the hotel for some well earned rest
16:00 – Lunch
20:30 – Meeting with the owner of Dellas Boutique Hotel – Antonis Dellas and dinner kindly offered by Meteoron Panorama (http://www.meteoronpanorama.gr/el/english/)
(Overnight at Hotel Kritsa – www.hotel-kritsa.gr)
08:00 – Visit at the Monasteries in Meteora
10:00 – Departure for Portaria Pelion (Meteora – Portaria 152km – average travel time 2h15min)
12:30 – Arrival in Portaria – Meeting with Mr. Dimitris Varalis entrepreneur and CEO of Hellas Smile www.hellassmile.com offering light, flexible and independent custom touring programs to visitors who prefer to experience authenticity in each Greek destination
13:00 – Arrival at the Hotel Kritsa – settle and get ready for the next activity
13:30 – An optional (options are good) horse ride in Portaria – routes of breathtaking beauty in one of the most beautiful mountains of Greece
The rest of the day will be organised by Dimitris.
(Overnight at Antonios Hotel – www.hotelantonios.gr)
08:00 – Departure for Olympia (Pelion – Olympia 400km – average travel time 6h30min, nice drive!)
14:30 – Very approximate arrival time in Olympia and San Antonio Hotel
Mr. Konstantinos Tassopoulos is Olympia Hotel’s Association Administration Officer is going to be my guide providing experiences, information and history about all the sights. Konstantinos is familiar with the land and its people, and will ensure that I will have an memorable stay.
After check-in Konstantinos and I will visit the Museum and Site of Olympia
After that, there will be a Greek lunch at the hotel.
In the afternoon a wine testing experience at Mercouri Winery Estate (Ktima Merkouri)
Finally, later in the afternoon we will return and have a Greek Gastronomic experience in Olympia – possibly a food self-preparation dish Olympia Land.
(Overnight in Nafplion Greece’s first capital and an ideal destination for a break out of Athens – Xenon Inn, www.xenoninn.gr)
08:30 – Meeting with Konstantinos and head for Rafting at Alfios Rafting, the mythical river of Olympia by Olympia Land company
The contact person there is Antonios Kritselis – Olympia Land General Manager
13:00 – Departure for Nafplion (Olympia – Nafplion 172km – average travel time 3h)
16:00 – Arrival in Nafplion – Check in at Xenon Inn
20:30 – Dinner with Mr. Tasos Iliadis Pericles Belitsos owners of Xenon Inn and Ippoliti hotel and journalist Katerina Psihogiou at the Arapakos fish tavern – restaurant
(Overnight at New Hotel – www.yeshotels.gr)
09:00 – Departure for Athens (Nafplion – Athens 137 – average travel time 1h40min)
10:30 – Check in at the New Hotel
11:30 – Meeting with a rep from the GNTO in order to visit the New Acropolis Museum, the Acropolis and other archaeological sites. Wander around Plaka and Monastiraki discovering a different side of the city
16:30 – Meeting at the New Hotel with a rep from the press office team of the Athens Biennale and transfer to the exhibition
Contact person: Ms. Despoina Sevasti PR Director
For more information on the Athens Biennale available at: http://www.athensbiennial.org/AB/en/ENintro.htm
19:30 – Return back to the hotel – optional if you like you can go directly from the Biennale to the restaurant
20:20 – Dinner kindly offered by the FunkyGourmet restaurant – www.funkygourmet.gr
There I will get the chance to meet two of the most talented Chefs Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nikos Roussos who will definitely show me a different and modern yet based on the best seasonal ingredients cuisine and it is promised will blow all of my senses!
Hoping to get the chance to talk with one of the Chefs and find out more behind the concept of FunkyGourmet and Private Cuisine.
(Overnight at New Hotel – www.yeshotels.gr)
10:30 – I will be picked up from the New Hotel (contact person: Ms. Kalliopi Gliva mob: and taken to the Foundation of the Hellenic World for a tour of Tholos – the virtual reality theatre. There will be the chance to wander around Ancient Agora or participate in the Olympic Games as they were organised by Ancient Greeks.
Last but not least I will have the chance exclusively to watch the virtual representation of the House of Dionysus at Pella.
The foundation of the Hellenic World has started creating the Virtual Representation of an important Hellenistic House of Pella, the “House of Dionysus” which will be one of the exhibits in the future exhibition of the Louvre Museum: “Macedonia, the Kingdom of Alexander the Great”.
12:30 – Lunch at the Foundation of the Hellenic World
13:30 – Return back to the hotel through Metro – I will experience the Metro as a means of transport as well as stop in Syntagma where some of the exhibits from the excavation are exposed to the public
1730 – A meeting for lunch with former Editor in Chief of Ethnos and one of the best travel journalists with huge experience for travel in Greece Mr. Yannis Drenoyiannis who should provide valuable information on Greece as a destination as well as for his next project www.xprgr.com
A short bio of Yiannis Drenoyiannis: Publishing editor/Developer
A graduate of the School of Economic Sciences at the University of Athens, he is one of the most renowned and reliable travel journalists in Greece. Until recently, he was Editor in Chief of the Ethnos newspaper travel section, and Editor of the “Explore Greece” and “I travel to Greece” travel guide series (Pegasus Publishing SA).
Since 1999, he has been Assistant Editor and coordinator of the Traction television program (Mega Channel). He has contributed to numerous successful travel publications, both at Lambrakis Press SA (1993-2008) and at Pegasus Publishing SA (2008-2011).
He has been Publishing Editor of the following series: “The roots of Greeks”, “The Monasteries of Greece”, “Planet Earth”, “The Treasures of Greece”, “Discover Greece”. Since 2004, he has been Editor in Chief of the Diakopes (vacation) inset (ΤΑ ΝΕΑ newspaper). He has been writing for ΤΑ ΝΕΑ newspaper since 1993, more specifically for the “Diadromes” column (1995-2002) and the “Ellinon Istories” column (2002-2004). Since 2000, he has been Assistant Editor for special editions and travel insets at TA NEA and TO VIMA newspapers.
Yiannis has multiple skills: apart from writing, he engages in photography and cartography. He’s a songwriter (7 LP’s and 1 CD releases) and loves to play the electric guitar. He also holds a diploma in sound engineering. He performs test drives for cars and motorcycles (first test drive in 1988) and likes off-road driving (Land Rover driving school- Silverstone driving skills- Saab & Mitsubishi Ice racing school-Honda HRC racing motorcycle driving techniques-Kenny Roberts riding camp Barcelona). He has participated in 4 Camel Trophies as supporting journalist-driver with the Greek Team (1994 Argentina/Paraguay/Chile, 1995 Mundo Maya, 1996 Kallimantan, 1998 Tierra del Fuego) and the recent Land Rover G4 Challenge in Laos (2006).
21:30 Dinner kindly offered by Alekos Bar (http://www.alekosbar.gr/) in Kifissia one of the most luxurious and beautiful areas in Athens for some nightlife – contact will be: Spiros Peppas
(Overnight at the Angelica VIP Boutique Hotel Hydra (www.angelica.gr)
08:30 – Transfer to Piraeus by Metro/train
10:10 – Departure for Hydra, via Hellenic Seaways (Flying Cat 5) – www.hellenicseaways.gr
11:55 – Arrival in Hydra and Check-in at the Angelica VIP Boutique Hotel
Once arrival at the port I will can contact Mr. Antonis Rabias owner of Sunset restaurant and Four Seasons Luxury Suites who will be my guide on the island.
18:30 – Dinner kindly offered by Sunset restaurant (www.sunsethydra.com)
(Overnight at Hilton Athens – http://www.hiltonathens.gr/en/)
10:10 – Departure for Spetses via Hellenic Seaways, Flying Doplhin – www.hellenicseaways.gr
10:40 – Arrival in Spetses
Philip Demertzis Bouboulis (descendant of Bouboulina a Heroine of the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and naval commander) will be my guide. His wife Lindia is Scottish and they will provide information about Spetses.
16:30 – Departure for Piraeus, via Hellenic Seaways, Flying Dolphin
18:20 – Arrival in Piraeus and transfer to Hilton Athens hotel
19:00 – Arrival and Check-in at Hilton
20:00 – dinner kindly offered by Alatsi
There will be an evening meeting with Dimitris Skarmoutsos Head Chef and TV persona who provide more information regarding the concept of Alatsi, the Cretan products and the benefits of the Cretan diet in one’s health.
10:15 – Flight departure for Manchester via KLM
The trip is organised under the auspices and supervision of the Greek National Tourism Organisation
7, Tsocha Street, 115 21 Athens, Greece, Tel: 0030 210 8707000