Best independant tour for Acropolis & museum?

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#1
4,184 Posts
Joined May 2010
Will be there in July, 2011. There might be as many as 9 on the tour. Who are some recommended tour guides and how far in advance do I need to book?
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#2
20,294 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
I notice you've posted similar questions on several boards. I would encourage you, while waiting for responses, to do a search for each port and you'll find lots of fairly current information (e.g., from this past season) on guides and tours that I'm sure you'll find helpful.

In general, tours in Athens tend to be provided by drivers who are not licensed guides. They can give you a lot of information about the sites you will visit, but they cannot actually go into the site and give a tour. There are several who are well recommended here.

It's also very easy to do the main sites in Athens on your own. If all you want to see is the Acropolis and the Museum, I'd suggest you get a taxi at the port (or two taxis) to take you to the Acropolis as early as you can in the morning. This way you can avoid the horrible crush when all the ship tours arrive. Rick Steves' Athens guide offers an excellent DIY tour with info on everything you'll see on the Acropolis. If you prefer a guide, there are generally some waiting around the ticket office to get a group together for a tour.

Walk down the path and the Acropolis Museum is just at the foot of the Acropolis. For some tips, see my recent review:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1290949
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#3
4,184 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by cruisemom42
I notice you've posted similar questions on several boards. I would encourage you, while waiting for responses, to do a search for each port and you'll find lots of fairly current information (e.g., from this past season) on guides and tours that I'm sure you'll find helpful.

In general, tours in Athens tend to be provided by drivers who are not licensed guides. They can give you a lot of information about the sites you will visit, but they cannot actually go into the site and give a tour. There are several who are well recommended here.

It's also very easy to do the main sites in Athens on your own. If all you want to see is the Acropolis and the Museum, I'd suggest you get a taxi at the port (or two taxis) to take you to the Acropolis as early as you can in the morning. This way you can avoid the horrible crush when all the ship tours arrive. Rick Steves' Athens guide offers an excellent DIY tour with info on everything you'll see on the Acropolis. If you prefer a guide, there are generally some waiting around the ticket office to get a group together for a tour.

Walk down the path and the Acropolis Museum is just at the foot of the Acropolis. For some tips, see my recent review:

http://boards.cruisecritic.com/showthread.php?t=1290949
Thank you. I had actually already checked the boards previously. We're interested in a tour because there will be an over 75 yr. old grandmother with us and one of my daughters is mentally disabled, is diabetic and requires a gluten-free diet. We want to try to make this enjoyable and safe for everyone, at the same time not wasting time running around trying to find the right taxi which would work.

I've been to all these places before (but Sicily). I know things can get very busy and confusing with the crowds. I'm trying to plan ahead and make it easier.

BTW, LOVED your review of the Acropolis Museum. It is definitely one of the must stops.
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#4
5,361 Posts
Joined Apr 2000
We did a tour with a licensed guide in Athens and it was very good. We booked through Greece Ala Carte [email protected]. Of course a licensed guide and a driver are more expensive than just a driver. Check out our trip report and pictures at http://www.bully4.us/med.html

I have to say that in this case, as often with a guide, I sort of felt like the little girl who had to do a book report on a book about penguins. Her report was, "This book taught me more about penguins than I really wanted to know."

We also toured with a driver, Nick from Greek Taxi. This was excellent also. I am something of a student of ancient Greece and by the end of the tour Nick was laughing at the fact that I was so familiar with it, so we really didn't need a lot of information from a guide. Check out our trip report and pictures at http://www.bully4.us/blacksea3.html

And we also have done the Antiquities Promenade on our own with a guidebook. Check out our trip report and pictures at http://www.bully4.us/athens.html

They all work well. If your particular situation is such that you want your guide with you all the time, then the licensed guide is the proper solution.

Have a GREAT cruise!
#5
USA
8,952 Posts
Joined Feb 2008
As soon as you know I'd book.

Two years ago we used Paul from greektaxi. He was booked but our driver Dimitri young, energitic and good.

Our group had 3 over 70 and one was 80+. Be prepared that in July the heat can be overbearing and that the Acropolis is a tough hike for those less fit and not capable of negotiating uneven steps. My father the oldest in our group thru combination of age, motivation didn't make the hike. Funny as he was motivated and did Pisa, a much harder climb IMHO.

The Mueseum both the new one and the Archaelogical one are nice with AC so a nice break from the heat.

Good luck!

Originally posted by wantocruisemore
Will be there in July, 2011. There might be as many as 9 on the tour. Who are some recommended tour guides and how far in advance do I need to book?
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#6
Houston, Texas USA
105 Posts
Joined May 2003
We used Dennis with www.toursofathens.com. I think he would be particularly good with an elderly sightseer as his vehicle is a limo-type vehicle and he is a very able bodied young man who can help with the getting in/getting out of the vehicle. If you go to his website, you can check out his vehicle. Give him a try!
#7
4,184 Posts
Joined May 2010
Thanks for the suggestions. We're booked with Nikos with Private Greece Tours. He said he would be our driver and we are also having him get us a guide. He has excellent reviews and from our emails it sounded like he was willing to be very flexible and go where we wanted.
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#8
ca
1,078 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
Originally posted by wantocruisemore
Thanks for the suggestions. We're booked with Nikos with Private Greece Tours. He said he would be our driver and we are also having him get us a guide. He has excellent reviews and from our emails it sounded like he was willing to be very flexible and go where we wanted.
You made a good choice.We used Nikos in Sept. and also hired a guide that he suggested.The van was perfect and Nikos is a lot of fun.The guide walked with us everywhere and made the tour come alive with all her knowledge.She even took us to a great local restaurant and ate with us.Enjoy Athens...........a very special place.
#9
86 Posts
Joined Jul 2007
I would also recommend Nikos from Private Greece Tours. He took us on a tour of Cape Sounion and Athens in October during a Celebrity Century cruise and he was wonderful!! We asked for a tour guide and Nikos set us up with a gentleman by the name of Vassilios. Vassillos made the whole tour come alive not only with his narrative but also with the use of maps and pictures. Vassillos is also a professor and an archeologist. i would not hesitate to recommend Nikos from Private Geece Tours. It's a great tour service.
Tom D
#10
2,895 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
Originally posted by chipmaster
As soon as you know I'd book.

Two years ago we used Paul from greektaxi. He was booked but our driver Dimitri young, energitic and good.
We also booked with Paul and Dimitri is his youngest son.

http://www.travelsnippetsandmore.com...or-athens.html
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#11
Boston
8,439 Posts
Joined May 2006
We also booked with Paul and had him hire a private licensed guide to join us for the day. With nine people, this is something you many want to consider. Paul brough along Basilli as the licensed guide and Basilli was outstanding and walked through all of the sites with us and provided detailed discussions and answered everyone's questions.
#12
4,184 Posts
Joined May 2010
Originally posted by Ljberkow
We also booked with Paul and had him hire a private licensed guide to join us for the day. With nine people, this is something you many want to consider. Paul brough along Basilli as the licensed guide and Basilli was outstanding and walked through all of the sites with us and provided detailed discussions and answered everyone's questions.

Thanks for all the suggestions. We are booked with Nikos and Private Greece Tours. I am also getting the extra licensed guide through Nikos to make sure we see the major sites at each location.
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#13
Boston
8,439 Posts
Joined May 2006
Originally posted by wantocruisemore
Thanks for all the suggestions. We are booked with Nikos and Private Greece Tours. I am also getting the extra licensed guide through Nikos to make sure we see the major sites at each location.
Have a great time. I loved our day in Athens, especially the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum. Other highlights included the the old Olympic Stadium, the Changing of the Guard, and had a great lunch at the Plaka. I know the driver guides are good. But I was glad we had the licensed guide with us.
#15
2,895 Posts
Joined Jan 2010
This from my email from Paul

Half Day Athens Tour..................................150 Euros (Lasts 5 hours)

Does not include meals or site entrance fees.
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