or Greece according to me.
I’m heartened by Richard Osman telling me that I don’t really have to worry about all these lists of things you have to do/read/make/ before you die. I find them annoying and depressing in equal measure because I can’t believe that someone really believes I have to read both Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings (they appeared on one of those best books evah!) and yet they don’t mention Donna Tartt or John Fowles. Then you get the list of places, half of which you know are going to be stuffed full of people waving the list arguing with their significant other as to why it should have been on the list in the first place. The other half , I’m sure, have been added purely to make the writer look well-traveled and more interesting.
There’s the preamble to me giving you the ‘just one thing’ and you can ignore it at your leisure, scoff at my ideas and find the bits I’ve added in to make myself look well-traveled and interesting.
*If you are going to visit only one ancient monument then go to Olympia and if you can go in April when the Judas trees are flowering then it will be even more wonderful. Combine this with a stay in the Mani and if you do this in April then you’ll find the Mavromichalai luxurious and good value (for the level of luxury). It’s got beds that are so big that you could lose your partner, in fact, you’re quite possibly in different time zones. The breakfast is amazing and you can swim straight from their terrace.
*The best laid-back, cheap beach/pool holiday has to be Katigiorgis. Stay at Fotini’s – it’s 45 Euros a night for a studio even in August and this includes air conditioning and use of the pool. There are amazing views across to Skiathos, a beautiful garden and lovely people. The beds aren’t great and it’s not going to win any style awards but the luxury lies in being able to walk through pine forests to deserted beaches.
*If you’re in Athens and you’re pushed for time make sure you climb Philopappou . It will give you the best view of the Acropolis, there will be far fewer people (you might be alone) and I would rate it higher than visiting the actual Acropolis.
*One museum in Athens then it’s got to be the New Acropolis Museum and then ask yourself afterwards why the Elgin Marbles shouldn’t be returned.
* One snack and it has to be souvlaki down in Monastiraki if you’re in Athens. If you’re by the coast then go to an Ouzeri and have a small meze. Get a view of the sea.