Although I have lived in Athens for nearly 4 months now, I know that I have barely scratched the surface in terms of what there is to see and do. Certainly, my current series on museums in Athens is helping me to see one side of it, but finding the time to work, blog, and get out and about more is a difficult balancing act. Except when you can go on a tour with the Travel Bloggers Greece group though – then you get to do it all at once, with huge doses of pleasure as well!
The walking tour in Athens was organised by Katerina and Aristotelis of Livin Lovin, who cater to a predominantly ex-pat clientele. Starting off at the Acropolis metro, we strolled through some side streets, stopping off at a few interesting places, until we got to our ‘surprise’…
This trip was for our daughter’s 16th birthday. When we reached out to our Livin’ Lovin’ we gave them a list of things our daughter (huge Greek mythology fan) wanted to see and do and then asked for recommendations to make it happen.
We have a 16 and 12 year old children and any family that has traveled overseas knows that after the 2nd or 3rd day looking at sites the kids really just want to go to the beach or the pool. Never once did our kids ask for either and I have to contribute this to our guides.
Our guides (Xenia in Athens, Georgia in Delphi, and Sofia in Peloponnese), were there waiting for us at the met up time and were so patient with our kids. Our son asked question after question and each time a question was asked it was answered with a high level energy that our son kept looking for more questions to ask. Our great guides asked the kids questions also to keep them engaged and when it came to telling the background stories of the Greek gods they looked to our daughter to tell the story and then praised her for her detailed explanation of each.
When our guides saw an interest in something they were showing from one of the children you saw them explain it further and in greater detail with pictures, books, and maps they brought with them.
Our “behind the scenes” tour of Athens was exactly the same. We wanted to see and do things outside a normal tourist would see so we could have a chance to “understand” Greece. The passion and pride Katerina showed when talking about the architect of the houses or how a specific area of the city was being reconstructed was intoxicating. She knew exactly where she was taking us and told her such small details about the history of paintings that were done on hidden on a staircase, how houses that were built into the mountain, and even how “street taggers” art was part of the city and made it special (ask her about a dog that was killed accidentally by police and the mural of him).
The whole trip was with guides who were knowledgeable, engaging, empathic (when the kids needed a break out of the hot sun), and flexible. Every suggestion they made was spot on and they made not only our daughter’s 16th birthday special but a family vacation that will go down as our favorite vacation ever. Jeanette
Un superbe petit tour dans le vieux Athènes avec Katherina qui nous a livrée tous ses secrets et nous a fait découvrir des petits recoins admirables et originaux. Un grand merci Patrick & Sonia.
“Partagez notre amour pour Athènes”
Notre tour “Partagez notre amour pour Athènes” est très prisé chez nos clients, leurs proches, amis ou invités.
C’est un peu de tout: histoire, mythologie, architecture, dégustation de préparations locales, tradition grecque, l’Athènes d’ aujourd’hui, du shopping etc.
Ça se passe au centre historique d’ Athènes, à Plaka, à Psiri, à Monastiraki et les quartiers autour avec leurs petits secrets, leurs monuments et vues uniques, leurs petites chapelles et bien sûr on se régale en goûtant des spécialités locales dans le vieux marché…
On s’amuse à faire de petites pauses pour un café ou un rafraîchissement, pour un snack, une dégustation ou déjeuner sur des terrasses-jardins et des lieux que peu connaissent.
Dans le prix ne sont pas inclus les cafés, les rafraîchissements, le repas ou le vin ou bien les entées aux sites qu’on visite.
Pour tout dire, c’est un tour coupé sur mesure, on s’ adapte alors, volontiers, aux intérêts, aux goûts, aux suggestions ou les préférences de nos groupes.
“I wanted to sincerely thank you for a very special day today. Katerina, you were so generous with your knowledge, time and energy – it was an AMAZING introduction to Athens. We both loved every minute. We were so lucky with the day, and while I know you would make everyone feel fabulous, we really felt that we made a friend today & I look forward to crossing paths again.
Your efforts to engage and tech Stella were fabulous & she really enjoyed it – thank you, it took our adventure to a new level !
I also wanted to thank you very much for guidance & information ”
Penny & Stella
Katerina has immense knowledge of Athens. Although I thought I knew Athens well already, she still found new information to fill a 4-hour tour of the Plaka. From the first instance that I spoke with her on the phone, she made me feel like I was already a very good friend. She was a true professional throughout the entire process of booking and leading our tour. You will get a guide with supreme integrity who will think only of your best interests.
Her stories make her tours stand out from others. Buildings and monuments come to life as she tells you their tales. I’d seen one monument a hundred times, yet I saw it in a whole new light because of her tour. How did it get there? How did they use it? Why were they important? And why is it still there when everything around it disappeared long ago?
Katerina knows the ins and outs of Athens. Just ask her. She will take you to her favorite museums, but if she thinks that someone else knows your interests better, she will bring them in to guide you. Her vast network includes the best certified guides in Athens and throughout Greece.
Whatever your interests are – food, religion, art, dancing, theater, archaeology, architecture – and wherever you want to go, she will design a custom tour just for you. Most importantly, you will be pleasantly shocked by her reasonable charges. It would be a mistake not to include Livin’ Lovin’ in your Greece trip planning.
Another beautiful Walking Tour (“Sharing the Athens we Love”) today with 8 lovely ladies. We visited the area with very old small shops, where you can buy anything from hats to needles and beads ! We were lucky with the weather but not with Estrella Athens where, once more, long queues were waiting ! Next time we hope !!!