What can I say. Beautiful city, great coffee, the architecture is stunning, but BRING A GOOD MAP.
Two turns into our little excursion from the hotel we were hopelessly lost, not one of us spoke Italian. Many of the people here do speak English but even with that directions from a local will do you little good. They know the area well already and they can tell similar locations apart without difficulty. A good map of the city will do you wonders. Those tourist maps will get you lost as fast as not having a map so don’t really even bother.
You should really try and get to your port here a few days early, the extra time is really worth it, One recommendation if you stay do not leave your windows open at night. The whole time we were there we did not see a single window with screens on them, and the mosquitoes are absolutely vicious.
Cannot say I really enjoyed this port all that much. Nearby the port location was a dirty mean little city with not much going for it. Yes, Croatia has had its problems but from our friends that were on the same cruise in 2010 we knew that there were better points for the line to port. They had previously ported at Split, which they thought was a wonderful port. Old City is worth a trip if you do not mind crowded buses from the 80’s.
This was a great port as well, we toured the old fort. There are great pictures to be taken here and lots of interesting history. A real timeline of all sorts of world activity.
Wear sturdy shoes. Actually for the whole cruise I would recommend really good shoes made for hikes on uneven and rocky ground. Every stop presented its own challenges for the foot weary. Our stop was in November, it was not yet cold but it was surely windy especially at the top.
This is one of those ports, which you must experience to understand how fantastic it is. We did the time at the Temple of Athena, it has a spectacular view of the whole area and the archeology is interesting. The other place of interest is marketplace. It is well worth the time.
We used the subway to get to the Acropolis, very simple really you have two options to get there, a stop that puts right near the Acropolis and one that puts you a short ways off. The first path will require you to transfer once which is fairly simple and fairly short walk from your first drop. The second is more a shoppers trek. Stop at the station called Thisso and follow the signs to the acropolis through some really nice shops and tavernas.
This is the port that was fun, first you’re making port in the middle of a volcano, what could be cooler come on. You get a tender in and your dropped near the port authority. From here, you choose to do the steep trail on foot, four footed, or in the cable car. I recommend the cable car unless you are a regular hiker. The donkeys are well cared for but you still have to consider they make the trek up and down the cliffs many times a day, which no matter how well you are cared for is grueling under the best of conditions. Not to mention the four footed fellows are pretty smart and have their own little ways of getting even for being on their backs.
There are lots of things to do, there is an old fort with tunnels bore into the depths of the outer crater, there are lots of great shops and the food is great. Just do all these things a little way from the port to get a little better price on your fun.
Seeing the site of the Olympian spectacle was well worth the time we spent here. The train ride alone was interesting so I really recommend taking the time to do this excursion on your own. To see Olive trees in every yard nearby the orange trees was great, for this farmer from New England. The trip through the small villages and farming properties was a nice relaxing trek and was worth the 10 euro ticket.
Be sure to count the number of ships in the port to judge whether the train will be the best choice. The number of ships in port right at the time will tell you how many times the train will make the run from Olympia to the port. We did think that the time in port was excessively rushed; this is what we thought for most of the ports. Nevertheless, you really must make this stop.