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Recipes, our exploits & random musings about all things Greece.

Where did Santorini get it’s name?

Dec 29, 2021

In search of the source of Santorini’s name Once upon a time, the island best known as Santorini was called Kallisti – ‘the most beautiful one’, and in modern times the official name is Thira, but the world knows it by the name first mentioned around 1100 by a Muslim geographer who wrote about ‘Santurin’, …

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Hydra: Where art is everywhere …

Aug 15, 2021

Hydra Island Where art is everywhere and cars are nowhere to be found! One and a half hour boat ride from Athens brings you to a place of serenity and beauty.This may change your life!After all, after you visit, you may decide to live on Hydra (read on to discover who else made that choice). …

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Is Greece on your “bucket list”?

May 7, 2021

You may want to rethink “Greece” on your bucket list No, I’m not saying skip Greece. Read on … We hate the phrase “bucket list”. It seems to signify the end of something. It means “been there, done that, got that T-shirt.” Really though, its underlying meaning is something like, “I never have to do …

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Greek islands to visit

Nonstops to Greece from the US

Apr 19, 2021

What’s new in flights to Greece? United Airlines is adding three new flights to its international network, giving travelers more options for summer travel by flying direct to countries that are starting to reopen to vaccinated visitors. Starting in July, United will offer new direct flights from Washington Dulles International Airport to Athens, Greec (as …

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When will Greece open for tourism

Mar 10, 2021

When will Greece reopen its borders for tourism? When can I travel to Greece? It’s the number #1 question we’ve been asked for the last 12 months. It’s also the #1 question we’ve been unable to answer. But now, thanks to the Greek Minister of Tourism, speaking March 9, 2021 to virtual attendees at the …

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Why does ouzo turn white?

Mar 5, 2021

The ouzo effect Ouzo is well known as a Greek specialty, a strong apertif enjoyed throughout the country. Famously, it is known to change color from clear to milky white when water or ice is added to it. But why? This is a question that had bothered me for many years. Until recently, it was …

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Tsiknopempti – Feast of the Carnivores!

Mar 2, 2021

Tsiknopempti, literally meaning smokey Thursday, or BBQ Thursday, has a special place in the heart of every self respecting Greek, as it is the tradition where they eat as much meat as they possibly can. It signals the start of the last weekend that observant Greek Orthodox church members are permitted to eat meat before fasting for Lent. And of course, if you’re not going to eat meat for forty days, you have to make the last day count, right?

Dine like a Greek

Feb 16, 2021

You’ve found a Greek taverna that looks good to you. There are lots of people eating there, so you know the food is fresh. Let’s look at the 5 simple rules you’ll need to master to best enjoy dining in a restaurant in Greece. Getting a table You survey the restaurant and locate an empty …

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My_Sweet_Canary_Film_festival

Heritage and Memory – Focus on Jewish Greece

Jan 13, 2021

A ten-day virtual event, Heritage and Memory: A Focus on Jewish Greece, will be held January 27 – February 6, 2021 – bringing together the observance of International Holocaust Remembrance Day with Greece’s assumption of the Presidency of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA). The purpose of IHRA is to unite governments and experts to promote, …

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Greel Christmas cookies

Melomakarona – Greek honey cookies

Jan 3, 2021

It’s this time of the year when the classic battle begins for all Greeks! Are you a melomakarona fan or kourabiedes lover? All the bakeries, pastry shops, zacharoplasteia start the production of the two most favorite festive Greek sweets. Now you can turn your kitchen into a Greek patisserie. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. …

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This sweet aroma announces the holidays are here!

Dec 20, 2020

It’s this time of the year when the classic battle begins for all Greeks! Are you a melomakarona fan or kourabiedes lover? All the bakeries, pastry shops, zacharoplasteia start the production of the two most favorite festive Greek sweets. Since a young age, I knew the festive season would start as the butter aroma would …

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Chicago’s Big Apple

Dec 18, 2020

A pancake with history As an American based travel advisor and tour operator specializing in Greece we spend alot of our time cooking, eating and sharing Greek recipes.  We have alot of passion for Greek food, and we believe that one of the greatest gifts travel brings is a taste of another culture.  So at …

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Gemista & Melitzanosalata (eggplant salad)

Jul 20, 2020

1 carrot  2 medium sized tomatoes (not very ripe) 2 bell peppers (any color you like) 1 zucchini  1 eggplant 3 potatoes 1/2 bunch of parsley 1/3 bunch of mint 3 onions, chopped 1-2 cloves of garlic 8 tbsp wholegrain (brown rice) or white rice Salt, pepper, oregano Olive oil Black raisins and pine nuts …

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Halva-Patsavouropita

Semolina Halva & Rag Pie

Jul 15, 2020

This is the famous 1,2,3,4 recipe which goes back in time and usually the recipe is passed from our grandmothers to the next generations. In the classical recipe you will need 1 unit of oil, 2 units of semolina, 3 units of sugar and 4 units of water. In our case, we will make our …

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Paros – the Cycladic Underdog

Jul 14, 2020

In the US, the Memorial Day holiday marks the start of the summer travel season.  In Greece, although we all start thinking about our summer holidays as soon as we get past Easter, the actual “start” of the summer holiday season begins with the Agiou Pneumatos holiday – 50 days after Easter, with the first …

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Mysterious Mountain Mystras

Jun 21, 2020

I’ve previously blogged about Sparta and all the cool things in the area, but lately I’ve been spending alot of time thinking about places I personally plan to return to when I’m back in Greece. One of these places is Mystras, a place much more “modern” than anything you’ll find in ancient Sparta, but is …

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Real Greece Travel
5.0
Based on 35 reviews
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Scott LowderScott Lowder
12:40 18 Aug 22
My family and I just returned from a 2 week Greek vacation that was planned through Carole & Basil from Real Greece. Their help was a huge part of making this trip everything that we hoped it would be. They helped us choose everything from locations within Greece to hotels to activities and dinner reservations. They stayed connected with us throughout our trip via WhatsApp making sure that everything was going smoothly and offering assistance with any changes or additional plans we needed. I can't recommend their services enough.
Amy PlumAmy Plum
17:50 24 Jul 22
Fantastic experience! Carole, Basil and team were amazing. Our family of 4 (parents and two teens) only gave them one month to plan a trip for us in June. The hotels were much better than what we would have found on our own and the private excursions were with amazing guides. Communication was always quick and their app made our schedule easy to refer to. We got exactly what I hoped for - a small company with boots on the ground who took excellent care of us. There was nothing they planned that wasn't impressive.
Amber TatnallAmber Tatnall
12:43 15 Jul 22
I had a wonderful time in Athens and mainland Greece, thanks to RealGreece. They arranged several trips for us, staffed by outstanding guides and drivers. They made recommendations for restaurants and even reserved our tables. We also took them up on a cooking lesson and dinner at our apartment, a rooftop garden wine tasting, and a Greek folk dancing lesson. Everyone on staff was top-notch: kind, caring, and friendly. My highest recommendation!
Li ZhangLi Zhang
05:40 26 Jun 22
My trip to Athens has been a wonderful experience thanks to the team’s professionalism and wonderful nature to care for others. My daughter had a food allergy and it was very stressful. Basil went way beyond and was beyond helpful. He arranged a doctor to come to the apartment, accompanied me to the pharmacy, allowed us to stay an extra day, and respond to any message I sent via what’s up right away for emotional support, etc. Nick has always been available and flexible regarding to the car arrangements too. And Carole and her team have been superb in planning activities and giving us ideas about what to do, etc. We saw the best sunset in Athens, experienced the concert in Acropolis and had a wonderful food tour thanks to their knowledge and love of Athens. Our trip to Athens would have been a disaster without the team’s help. Instead my memory of Athens will be filled with gratitude and humanity. We will definitely come back!!
Kathie AllenKathie Allen
15:31 20 Jun 22
We just returned from four days in Athens planned by Real Greece Travel . Carole and Basil did a superb job of planning our stay. Their team of driver and guides were excellent. We felt pampered at all times. Carole went out of her way to make reservations for us last minute and delivered. They are a 5+ star agency. Thank you for making our trip magical.
Susan PoulsonSusan Poulson
23:50 08 Jun 22
We worked with Carole and Basil for over two years to plan our trip and the trip was everything that we were hoping for and more. Every detail was planned and executed with no issues (every activity, every guide, the accommodations, the transfers and the restaurants - everything was perfect)! The Real Greece team provided lots of advice and suggestions to help us make the most of our vacation which was extremely helpful. We absolutely plan to return to Greece again and wouldn't hesitate to work with Real Greece! Thank you so much!
Sue SanneSue Sanne
16:43 02 Jun 22
Planning a trip to Crete for eight couples is no easy feat but Carole and Basilknow their way around Greece expertly. The hotels were excellent, particularly "The Tanneries" in Chania and our guides were enthusiastic andwell informed. Got to love the Greek food and a day at "the farm" was aculinary delight! Highly recommend Real Greece Travel.
Ilene MarcusIlene Marcus
11:05 26 May 22
We just returned from a 10 day trip to Greece planned by Real Greece Travel. They are a 5 star travel agency, the best I have ever worked with. The guides and drivers they work with were all extremely professional, timely, happy to share their country with us, and we really enjoyed getting to know them. Their team on the ground was amazing! We really appreciated the flexibility and responsiveness every time we wanted to move back a reservation or pick up time. Within minutes it was done! They have an app with your itinerary which was available off line which was absolutely amazing, easy to use, and changes were updated real time! What a great idea and helpful tool! I would also commend them on the choices of activities and accommodations. The perfect blend of history, activities, and free time.
Peter 1980Peter 1980
15:06 05 Jan 22
Outstanding company to deal with. 1st Class, would not travel to Greece without using them.
MONIKA BAHRIMONIKA BAHRI
18:41 27 Aug 21
Fantastic team! Very responsive, flexible and organized. Exactly what we needed to get our group organized and they planned a perfect itinerary!
Jen MurphyJen Murphy
21:11 21 Aug 21
I wholeheartedly recommend Carole and her fabulous team at Real Greece. Our accommodation was beautiful and had all the amenities we needed. From the very beginning when we were brainstorming the trip to the very end adding last-minute activities in our final days there, Carole and her team were wonderful. I typically book all of my own international travel but given the unusual depth of Greece’s history and the country's transportation infrastructure, it was really vital that I involved Carole in the planning. She even helped us book things at the last minute, spontaneously, which was really above and beyond expectation. She also was instrumental in coaching us through the Covid regulations/apps/paperwork, which was daunting but doable once you had the expert on-the-ground advice.As an example, we had a large multi-generational family group coming and going from the airport at different times, and it was super helpful to have her team's help with shuttling people to and from the airport.So grateful for our successful trip!
Dave FlissDave Fliss
22:37 08 Aug 21
If your planning, or considering a trip to Greece - Call to Real Greece.I travel the world, and usually handle all my own details. For Greece, I was hosting a group, and didnt know the country that well, so i wanted to hire a professional. Real Greece FAR SURPASSED what i expected.Their trip planning rate is very reasonable, and when you see what they provide, it is an unbelievable bang for the buck!The owners of Real Greece, Carole and Basil, were personally involved with all details, planning and individuals in our group, This is not a canned approach and they will do as much, or as little, as you desire.Carole / Basil - thank you very much. You, your US support and your Greek team were all outstanding. Thanks - Dave
jeannine klomesjeannine klomes
23:53 05 Aug 21
Real Greece Travel was EXCELLENT. Very organized, informative and personal. Site choices were perfect. They we always available for any questions. True professionals through and through. I will be using them again, and often! Thank you for your excellence.
Cheryl TraigerCheryl Traiger
15:18 29 Oct 19
We have travelled to many parts of the world and I have taken pride in my ability to do all of our own travel arrangements. I am quite experienced in researching accommodations, transportation, restaurants and various attractions. We had heard good things about Carole’s services though, and we were pretty busy at the time, so we decided to see what her organization could do for our family vacation (4 adults, 2 children). She was absolutely amazing! Not only were the accommodations in Athens top-notch and exactly what we needed, she ensured that the rest of our trip through Greece was effortless (on our part) and was designed with the specific needs of our family in mind. The transportation arrangements were flawless, with safe, friendly and efficient drivers. The tour guides were all wonderful. Although we had been to Athens before, Carole managed to introduce us to restaurants we would never have found otherwise. We never worried about being stuck or having a problem, anywhere. Her knowledgable competent and friendly staff were always there when we needed. Carole herself gave us numerous heads up tips that avoided many of the mistakes we would have made on our own. We could choose freely to follow her suggestions for an afternoon or a day, or head off on our own.One of the best stress-free family vacations we have ever experienced.
Stefanie LyonsStefanie Lyons
17:08 30 Sep 19
Carole and Basil helped us plan the most amazing trip ever. Not only did they find quaint and authentic places for us to stay, they included things to do around the area that weren’t your typical touristy experiences. They connected us to personal guides that were truly experts in their field and drivers who made our trip that much more fun with conversation and laughs. Many of the people and places we never would’ve found on our own. And, all tailored to our personal tastes. It was truly one of the best trips we’ve ever taken, thanks to their help! If you decide to visit Greece, do yourself a favor and talk to Carole and Basil at Real Greece. You won’t regret it!
Sandy MazarakisSandy Mazarakis
15:44 02 Apr 19
Carole and Basil were extremely helpful in our trip to Greece last fall. We needed accommodations, a driver and tour expertise-Carole provided all of the above. She and Basil have a keen sense of what Americans want and need when traveling in Greece and they deliver. I would highly recommend using their services when planning a trip to Greece. Oopa!
Carol PoulosCarol Poulos
17:58 05 Feb 19
It is very easy to give a five-star review to Real Greece Travel. Our trip to Athens was perfect thanks to the help of Carole and Basil. Our accommodations were comfortable and beautiful and every detail was taken care of. Carole and Basil recommended areas to visit and places to eat and every one was spectacular. They also provided a ton of information that made getting around Athens so much easier. They clearly love Greece, and love helping others make the most of their travel. I have recommended their services to friends and they also had a wonderful experience. You cannot go wrong with Real Greece Travel.
Meg HeinemannMeg Heinemann
17:28 04 Nov 18
Why did I wait so long to visit Greece? The ‘Flavors of the Greek Islands’ tour with the owners, Carole & Basil blew me away in every sense and I am already looking to plan my next trip with them. Prior to landing in Greece, I was provided with an incredibly thorough itinerary, so much so, that I could already taste what was to come (or so I thought!). Each day was filled with jaw dropping history, incredible mouthwatering food, and gorgeous environs. All conducted and beautifully orchestrated by the thoughtful experts of Real Greece Travel. This was truly the trip of a lifetime, and it won’t be my last!
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