My friend and I spent eight days traveling around the mainland of Greece with Nikos in May 2019, and he SPOILED us. It was our first time in the country, and Eudaimonia Private Tours, unfortunately, had set the bar so high that our experiences afterward just paled in comparison.
Before the trip, we did a lot of research and made inquiries to multiple companies. What set Nikos apart from other people we were talking to, besides his lightning-fast responses and a great sense of humor, was that he was very forthcoming with information and always provided clear and detailed answers to all our questions. Through our email correspondence, we knew he would look out for our best interests and would be a very pleasant company, and we were true on both counts. In-person, Nikos more than exceeded our expectations. Going above and beyond is just in his DNA.
Here are just a few examples:
– Whenever he could, he would ask patrons or restaurant owners to put out their cigarette so that we could enjoy our lunch smoke-free [a rare experience in Greece where more than half the country’s population still smokes].
– Seeing that my friend likes nature and I like to take photos, he made sure we had plenty of opportunities to enjoy both.
– One time we accidentally walked out of a site, he went with us to talk to the guard, and we were let back in!
– When we went looking for yogurt on Election Day, most shops were closed, but Nikos was able to find some for us, and these weren’t just any yogurt but the best kind!
This is the type of tour that is designed to give you an entire experience of Greece rather than just taking you places. So everything was tailored to our interests and preferences, including stops and surprises. While we enjoyed all the “must-visits,” the mountain villages and tiny towns along the coastlines, as well as the people will always hold a special place in our hearts.
During the tour, which included the Peloponnese, Meteora monasteries, Delphi and Hosios Loukas Monastery, and the Odontotos Train and Cave of Lakes, Nikos never made us feel we had to rush. Frankly, he had every reason to, as we spent, on average, 3-4 hours exploring each site. But thanks to his superb driving and organizational skills, and long daylight hours, we managed to do almost everything we had planned and so much more.
All the hotels were well-chosen and tailored to our preferences. The only pity was that we were out so much and didn’t really have time to enjoy any of the facilities. Still, if I have to choose, my top two would probably be the Great Meteora Hotel in Kastraki and the Hotel in Dimitsana – but only because they simply have the best views.
Each day was different and delicious. We learned so much about Greek food from Nikos – from the right way to drink Greek coffee and ouzo to how to squeeze lemon over our food (Try it!). He also taught us how to identify Kalamata olives – the king of olives.
It was only after the tour when we were on our own in Athens that we realized two things: 1. During the tour, we had eaten pretty much every item listed in most restaurant menus; and 2. Food-wise, Athens does not hold a candle to the countryside. Off the top of my head, we had the best coffee in Tyros, the freshest tomatoes and cucumber in Nafplio, the best pies and desserts in Stemnitsa, the best-grilled meat in Kalavryta, and the best octopus in Kamena Vourla. The restaurants Nikos recommended for dinner were excellent as well. Sadly, we often ate too much during lunch and barely had room for a full meal at the end of each day.
All in all, this is definitely one of the best holidays we’ve had. Thank you, Nikos!
Mathira, thanks for the amazing review and the wonderful photos many of which we have used on the website! Regards to both. Nikos