Nikos was excellent and was unbelievably knowledgeable about the area and gave us great tips for our entire trip to Greece!
After picking us up at our hotel, we chatted about preferences and interests, and he shaped the day entirely around our wishes! It was nice to have a self-guided pace to explore the sights rather than be shuttled around in a tightly-planned tour bus as we saw. The entire drive we were peppered with interesting facts, which made the time pass quickly. He would even roll down the windows so we could take in the amazing scents of native wildflowers.
We went completely off the grid for lunch in the tiniest of villages, sitting with the locals and enjoying an experience most tourists never have. Nikos gave us some time to amble through the village of Arachova as well as pointers of what to see while in Delphi. We even stumbled upon marathon racers that morning and spent some time cheering them on! I cannot imagine them running those massive hills! They were crazy!!
The highlight had to be our stop at Hosios Loukas Monastery. We were the only visitors that afternoon – what a wonderful and peaceful way to explore. You could tell Nikos had a great relationship with the staff there, and it was wonderful to be able to engage in small talk with our guide throughout the day. We were in Greece on our honeymoon, and the church we were married in was named St. Luke’s. We didn’t make the connection until we were there – what a way to have goosebumps! To get married in St. Luke’s, then end up paying homage to the crypt of St. Luke and his home monastery – you couldn’t write this! And thanks to Nikos, we learned that they normally celebrate the arrival of Saint Luke’s remains back to Greece on December 11, but as fate would have it, celebrated last year on December 10, the same day as our wedding!! And we definitely purchased an icon of St. Luke while there to keep in our new home for good luck! He was able to work with the staff to get us some great artwork at a discount. Don’t skip Hosios Loukas! It’s well worth the detour and extra cost!
Run, don’t walk when it comes to booking this tour! Nikos didn’t feel like a guide, but rather family by the end of the day. We will tell everyone we know that plans to travel to the Athens area to connect with Nikos!