QUESTION: Hi, I want to find out if it is safe to book accommodation direct on the internet. Me and my husband want to come and visit Greece (Athens) in September this year (2013). It is cheaper to book on the internet directly but I do not know if this is ok or must we rather use a travel agent in our country. We come from South Africa, Cape Town.
ANSWER: Yiasou Mimi, thank you for the question,
Internet booking is the way to go these days ... with a CREDIT CARD that is.
Cause you can always cancel with the Credit Card company if your plans change.
Hotel rooms are fine ... Even Pensiones, a step below actual HOTELS, are OK too, but I would read some of the reviews about them which are usually shown below their listing if you found them on line. (for instance just google or Bing "Athens Greece Pensiones")... Cruises too. Also the Flying Dolphin or Super Ferry or whatever the name of the latest speedy expensive vessle that requires a reservation.
The regular car-ferry does not require a reservation for a regular fare.
If renting a car ... go with one of the main stream ones IF reserving in advance,
like AVIS or HERTZ or EURO car ...
Buses do not take reservations ... trains do but wait until you get to Greece
before reserving a seat on any .
For another opinion ... try Matt Barrett at www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo as he has
more experience in those areas.
Doubt you will run into any problems .
Greek merchants are pretty honest and they are trying harder then ever now days to "Win back the tourists".
---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thank you Denny. Well answered! Another question. I try to get the ferry company scedule and prices from Aghios Constantinos to Skiatos but it seems as if there is no service from that port or that they only do trips in high season? Am I right or am I looking at the wrong website. Can you please help me with that. Which bus we take from Athens to Aghios Constantinos and what will the cost be? What is the cost of the ferry from Ag. Const to Skiatos more or less? You think it is a good idea to stay on Skaitos for 7 nights to relax and go ons daytrips to nearby islands? Some people suggest that we move around between islands and sleep 1-2 nights on an island and move on. Our idea is more to relax, enjoy and get to know the people of Skiatos and the way they are living.
Yiasou again Mimi. = Follow Up =
After lots of checking I have found that the schedules for 2013 season are not yet available.
I will check further and get back to you on that question ...
The BUS is from "Terminal "B" (address available at www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo.
= then scroll to desegnated section ... IE: BUS TERMINAL "B" =
Takes 2 1/2 hours from Athens to AGIOS COSTANTINOS, at a cost of just under 15-euro and it runs all day about every half hour.
Regards staying on Skiathos or moving around .... All the islands are beautiful and unique in some way however they are all probably 75 % the same. When I go to MYKONOS I usually stay
there almost the entire time, except for an overnite on Santorini. When I go to CRETE it is the same. I basically stay on the same island and get to know the locals and the area.
Skiathos is probably the best of those islands off the coast of VOLOS.
Ag. Costantinos is becoming a very popular departure point for the three islands and they will have several sailings each day until at least the middle of September when they begin the seasonal cutback . I could not say at this moment what the cost will be . IF it is the CAR FERRY it will be less cost, longer voyage and no reservations needed. IF it is the Flying Dolphin it will be nearly twice as much and get you there in half the time = and you will need to RESERVE a seat in advance. I am thinking that it was 3-hours by car-ferry to Skiathos. That would put it in the 20-euro cost area with the Flying Dolphin at 90-minutes and probably 30-40 euro one way. (believe me - take the car ferry - it is the difference between a cruise on the Med and a speed-boat on the Med ... ever fly and experience 90-minutes of turbulence ? that is the Dolphin.
Also, if you STAY on Skiathos you will not be paying for island hopping every day that you decide to visit another island.
Hope this helps ...
D E N N Y