Caroline Aurigemma is a student at the College of St. Rose. She is an ISA Featured Blogger and studied abroad with ISA in Athens, Greece.
During my semester in Greece, I ventured out of the city center for some wonderful weekend trips. Here are my top 4 must-visit locations.
Delphi is an area located alongside Mount Parnassus, a beautiful mountainous landscape, and a large archaeological site. The views are breathtaking, and the fog and clouds above the mountains made me feel as if I were in a painting. There is so much history here! Delphi was home to the oracle Pythia, the most magical fortune teller and decision maker in the ancient classical world. Greeks thought Delphi to be the center of the world.
While visiting the mountains and the archeological sites are a must, also venture into the town just beneath the mountain for some food. This quaint town has a lot of unique shops and a mountain community feel. I grew up in the Hudson Valley of New York, surrounded by mountains, so this trip was a bit of nostalgia as well as adventure for me.
Temple of Zeus:
Although located in the city of Athens, this site is a good chance to step away from the hustle and bustle. Free entry with a student ID made this a perfect trip for us college students. Walking around the Temple of Zeus, I was once again blown away by the beauty of these famous pillars. Standing tall against the bluest of skies, I could see the Acropolis in the background, making this view quite different. Explore as you leave the temple area as it is right next to a park. This quiet and relaxed area in Athens reminded me that there are small pleasures in big cities.
Hydra is a small and beautiful island where time seems to stop. No cars are allowed on this island, so donkeys carry food, people, and lumber.
Sunbathing and relaxing on this island was such a calming and peaceful experience. Locals are friendly and willing to suggest accommodations and restaurants as well as share a smile. This island reminded me of what I perceived Greek life to be before departing on my journey. With a cheap ferry ride, you can enjoy this trip for a quick and close getaway with friends!
Although this island is farther out and a bit more expensive, I highly recommend saving time and money for this experience. Santorini was my final destination before heading home at the end of the semester, and it was the most relaxing. I stayed in a hotel near the black sand beach in Kamari and loved walking down the strip of shops, and restaurants. Everyone was super friendly and welcoming as it was off-season, and so many shop owners were out and about preparing for the summer season. The picturesque white and blue houses in Oia and Fira were amazing! And with everything in close proximity, it was easy to get around the island in a day. A quick and cheap bus ride can take you all over this tiny island. The 25-minute flight is reasonable as well if you book ahead on Ryanair or Skyscanner.
Go out and explore!
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