Goway Islands Experts Teresa Ferrari and Sangeeta Saroj, along with Ashley Garcia and Kyla Villabona from the Goway Europe team, recently returned from a FAM trip to Greece where they had an epic adventure island hopping throughout the Greek Islands. Here, they share their memorable experiences, tips, and reasons why you should recommend Greek Island hopping to your clients.
Where did you go in Greece?
Our group was fortunate enough to do some island hopping while in Greece, starting in Athens before heading out to some of the lesser-known islands on a cruise around the Peloponnese, where we visited towns like Monemvasia, ancient Olympia, and Itea (ancient Delphi) before going through the Corinth Canal. If you have clients looking for a similar package, you should have a look at one of our boutique cruise options, Antiquity to Byzantium. After the cruise, we made our way out to one of the most popular islands, Santorini.
Describe some of the properties you visited.
Kyla Villabona says that “we visited a good mix of 3-, 4-, and 5-star accommodations in Athens,” while Ashley adds that some standouts were the “Elia Ermou, Electra, Electra Palace, and Electra Metropolis, which is the newest member of the Electra family of hotels all located within minutes of the famous Plaka.” Kyla points out that “location is essential. You can choose to be an arm’s length away from the Plaka in the city centre village, or you can choose to be in a hotel located closer to the pier terminal, shopping area or historical sites.”
Ashley continues, “In Santorini, we had the opportunity to visit two unique hotels (Athina Luxury Suites and Ira Suites) that are built into the cliff side offering guests the opportunity to stay in a cave suite right in the capital city Fira. Additionally, we visited three large resort-style hotels a short drive from the centre of Fira, where there was a variety of restaurants and bars.”
Did you learn anything new, or did anything surprise you?
“I learned a lot about Greek history and culture. But I was very surprised at how busy and crowded it already was in Santorini in April,” says Teresa Ferrari.
Ashley Garcia says that “Everything surprised me. Something that stood out to me was that the locals were incredibly friendly and helpful; I felt safe and taken care of even when we were on our own. Shopkeepers were not pushy or aggressive with sales, and everything in all the shops in all areas of Greece we went to were made in Greece.”
“What also surprised me most was the food in all the places we visited was locally grown, authentic, and delicious. Clients don’t need to look far and wide for good food and won’t put a hole in their wallets to buy some,” says Kyla Villabona.
What were the highlights of the Antiquity to Byzantium Cruise you were on?
Ashely Garcia says that “The staff on board were the absolute highlight, and the ways they managed the itinerary due to some inclement weather and were so personable with the guests was fantastic. It felt like I had my own private yacht and they were helping take care of things for my 35 friends and me on board.”
Sangeeta Saroj says that “Pylos, a small picturesque seaside town located in the southwest part of Messinia, was a highlight for me on this cruise through the Peloponnese Peninsula. There are also many historical and natural attractions to enjoy.”
Kyla Villabona adds that “There were so many highlights throughout the ports of the Peloponnese Peninsula. Each port is rich in history, and the great thing is this boutique cruise can stop in places where big cruise ships physically can’t. The views were also amazing, and we got to visit small coastal towns with very few tourists, and we travelled to some of the more authentic areas in Greece, interacting with the locals along the way.”
Teresa Ferrari finishes by saying that “first of all, only having 33 people on the boat was amazing! It made the whole experience so personal. As well, stopping at the small out-of-the-way towns and seeing ruins with no one else around was such a great experience. There were no crowds at all.”
What tips would you recommend for travel agents selling this destination?
Sangeeta Saroj says that “the best piece of advice I can offer is to book well in advance. Greece is such a hot spot and things sell out fast. As well, booking in advance will ensure you are getting the best possible price. As this destination sells, it just continues to go up in price.”
Kyla Villabona recommends that travellers “bring comfortable walking shoes with a good grip as a lot of the streets are cobblestone or can be slippery as they are made with marble.”
Ashley Garcia offers a tip for foodies: “Greece is the perfect place as there is a massive variety of food offered everywhere here. There’s something for everyone from the amazing seafood, great vegetarian/vegan options, and all kinds of multicultural restaurants to suit all tastes. Expect a very local Greek experience no matter where you go.”
Teresa Ferrari recommends you “offer your clients something a little different and off the beaten path. I also suggest taking a private transfer as they are almost like a mini excursion and extremely informative.”
Goway’s Experts specialize in customized itineraries that include accommodations, cruises, day excursions, meal packages, spa services, inter-island flights, transfers, and international airfares.