Thursday, June 30, 2011

wetting your appetite for Greece

Well I have to say that Greece and a string bean budget are very much on opposing teams. However we stayed within our budget!!!!!!!!!!!
Greece is breath takingly beautiful, I had no idea how mountainous it was.  We drove almost the entire length of the country and there were very few moments where the sea or mountain or both were not in plain view.  

Ok family of 5 in Greece.  Here is where we stayed and this is what we did ~ the things we loved and the things we didn't love so much.

We stayed at Kairos Gardens the first 4 days of our trip. It only took us 4 hours to get to our first destination. Here is the website. http://www.kairos-holidays.com/index.html The owners are truly dear.  He is Greek and she is Norwegian and have had this place for 4 years. She gave us a very good deal and I know if anyone else would want to stay you could bargain too. Here are a few of the pics of the place.  It was the best spent money for the amount of space, recreation and beauty.   Plus there are several places to visit all within an hour's drive or less.  It is in a very small village next to Kavala.






The view from our front balcony. We heard the church bells ring every morning.

 


My daughter and I went on a nature walk and within 15 mintues found these five different fruits.  It was fun and fascinating to walk in the orchards and to see the beautiful pomegranate trees with their red flower blossoms.  We learned a lot that day and my daughter had a fabulous time and then took all the unripe harvested fruit and made soup. :)

The great thing was it was so close to the beach in a little town called Nea Peramos. We went everyday and it was free entertainment for the kids and we enjoyed it also. It was very clean and the beach was sandy. 

For the four days we ate all our breakfasts at the villa and took a picnic lunch every afternoon on our trips to the beach or our time in Philipi and for dinner we ate at the villas restaurant.  Truth is the food we were able to eat at the restaurant was the best we had the whole time in Greece.  Also they catered some to the needs of our kids and that was so helpful!! (Little side note here..I ate cereal every day!! Fun little dance was required for the variety of cereals that were availabe in Greece.)



 
From there we traveled to Kastraki which is surrounded by the mountains and the large rock formations of Meteora where there are monasteries carved into the rocks. 

There are lots of camping sites and they are very clean and more than sufficient to meet the needs of a family. The one we stayed at had a wonderful pool with a GREAT view. (great is very understated) Camping was more then we excepted because they charge for your car space too. :(  However it was a beautiful location and I would recommend it to anyone.
It is called Camping Vrachos. www.campingkastraki.gr  It was 25 euro a night. (50 lira or $35)



We camped two nights. It was a riot. We were surrounded by lots of Europeans from Denmark, Germany, Netherlands and Norway. We felt very comfortable to be ourselves and very safe. It was a delightful experience.
The tent only fit three of us so Dave and our little guy slept in our van.
What did I tell you... string bean budget. So many campers came so well equipped with campers and all the fun fineries of camping and then there was us, this crazy American family living in Turkey with our little tent.  LOL. The kids loved it.  One of the first things Autumn did was make us a little broom to sweep out our tent..she used a stick and a bunch of leaves and tied it with a string. :)

On our way to the pool.



Honestly Meteora's views and scenery were spectacular and absolutely breathtaking.  There are 7 monasteries that you can visit and climb up too.  We climbed up to one and toured in our car for the others.  The last one we visited was so majestic, I believe that view will be etched in my mind forever.  Taking pictures of all of it was pointless I didn’t even try. Pictures could not do it justice…especially with our camera.
   
From there we traveled to Athens. We had a day and half there. We left for Turkey the day the protests and riots started. We were so grateful for the timing. Honestly Athens was my least favorite place but we had one of our best family days there. 



We went to the Attica Athens Zoo in the morning and then the Acropolis in the afternoon and ended with a walk along a breezy boardwalk where we got the girls pictures drawn and picnik at the National Gardens. The weather was delightful and the children were amazing and very flexible that day and they had a wonderful time. We ended the night with getting lost driving on the streets of Athens where there is no such thing as a left turn. Athens was a nightmare to drive around in.

While in Athens we stayed in Centro Residence. It is a apartment complex with the individual apartments rented out like hotel rooms. It was sufficient for our family and provided free and secure parking but the neighborhood was a little shady and there were barely any windows in our apartment. However for what we wanted it suited us. We slept great there and there was plenty of room and a kitchen very adequately equipped for our needs. We barely stayed there other than to sleep. However if we wouldn’t have booked so late for our time in Athens we think we could have gotten a hotel. The Centro Residence only had someone there to let us in and show us our room or for emergencies. So we were on our own in Athens and we got lost more times then I care to say.



If you are interested in the prices we paid for each place and the cost of food and restaurants I would be more than happy to give you the info.   Traveling to Greece for us was a wonderful experience.

Our favorite place was the villa and the landscape there is so rich and full.  There was so much for our kids to do there.  Collect sea shells, play in the little park at the villa, collect eggs from the chickens, play with the huge container of legos that was provided, swim, picnic, etc. 

I know that there are several of you that read my blog that live here in Turkey. I am putting together a pdf file of our time in Greece ~ How much we paid for car insurance, gas prices,camping prices, the cost of food and restaurant prices etc. Also our likes and disikes. I hope to have it finished soon and will post it for you all.  However if you have questions before then please e-mail me.
Enjoy, my sweet friends and good night from my west corner in Turkey. It just rained and it feels nice and cozy to me tonight. ~ It is good to be home so we can rest up for another adventure.  Where should we go next?

~Becky (ok I think I will award myself for my longest post yet..ugh)

6 comments:

Nike said...

Becki,
I am in awe! I've been scrolling through your photos loving the scenery and trying to imagine how incredible your experience with your family has been. Your corner of the world is one I want to visit more than I can even tell you. Thank you so much for sharing your travels with this land-locked blogger from the States!

Nicole@Rare Bird said...

Oh goodness...it is SO beautiful!! It looks like you guys had a great trip! I agree with the comment above--thanks for posting and letting us travel "with" you!

Laina @ Vibrant Serenity said...

Love the soup idea, and the tent broom was just too sweet! If there's a next time, are you going to just avoid Athens all together?

Meg Nuño said...

I totally waited until a morning where I had time to just sit with my coffee and read about your time in Greece:) It sounded like quite the adventure and quite a lot of fun too! I loved Autumn making that broom and seriously the villa sounded like the nicest experience:) So glad you guys had a good time!!

Craftymoose Crafts said...

I enjoyed reading about your trip to Greece. Last summer our family went on a tour to Greece, Turkey, Egypt & Israel. So glad we were able to see these beautiful places before the troubles there!

Laura Ingalls Gunn said...

My husband and I were stationed on the island of Crete (Greece) for a year. Such wonderful memories.


Thank you for taking me along and for linking up!

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