Greece is a wonder. Our travel planner, Jacoline Vinke, was excellent and very responsive. We visited Athens, Sifnos and Santorini in that order.
We did not do a cruise but instead took ferries so we could immerse in the culture. The food was fantastic. The people were great. Amazing history.
Athens is a very cool city. Our trip to visit the Acropolis with our private tour guide and our hotel Perianth penthouse were highlights of Athens. Beautiful view and every day, we would return from our excursions and relax in our private pool overlooking the stunning Acropolis. Fabulous breakfast at hotel. We loved our romantic dinner on the terrace at Cafe Avissinia. Food was incredible. Service top-notch. Great view of Acropolis. Walking tour was wonderful and loved our guide.
Our next stop by ferry was the island of Sifnos and our incredibly romantic hotel, Nos. The most unique experience we had was visiting Narlis Farm on the island of Sifnos. George and Dina made us traditional breakfast followed by a cooking class and tour of the farm. We loved George & Dina so much. They have such pride in the farm and the family history. The food was outstanding and we loved George’s humor! Huge highlight.
We also took an RIB skippered boat trip to Polyaigos and Kimolos and loved it. Stopped often to swim in the turquoise waters and saw many incredible yachts along the way. It was very hard to check out of Nos, an oasis of beauty on the island. Outstanding staff, breakfasts, pool, dinner was memorable and our favorite hotel of the trip.
Last stop was Santorini, which is stunningly beautiful but has become overrun with tourists, traffic and buses so I would recommend other islands. But despite that, there were great highlights. Our hotel was one of a kind, a cave hotel called Perivolas which is gorgeous and a welcome haven from all the tourists crowding the city of Oia. We also did a private guided tour of the amazing archeological site of Akrotiri. Fascinating.
The highlight was a private sunset sailing cruise of the Caldera with dinner on a perfect evening. The boat, Serenity, was beautiful. Food and drinks were so good. The crew was stellar.
We bade goodbye and flew to Athens where we stayed overnight at the Sofitel Athens for our very early morning departure. That was so convenient to be able to walk across the street to our gate.
Trip was well planned and executed. Kudos to Jacoline’s team!
We recently returned from a lovely 10-day trip to Greece, which Jacoline Vinke and Evan LaRocque planned for us.
Our first stop was Athens. The private tour of the Parthenon was fabulous, as was the E-bike tour of the city. But equally memorable was the view from our hotel. We were travelling with another couple and Jacoline suggested we share the penthouse suite at the Perianth. What an incredible view of the Parthenon, especially in the evening when it was so beautifully illuminated!
We knew we wanted to visit Athens and Santorini, but asked Jacoline to pick a 3rd stop. She hit a home run with her selection of Sifnos — a beautiful little island where we took a fun cooking class and enjoyed a half day on a private skippered boat trip on the wonderfully blue Aegean Sea. The scenery was breathtaking. The small hotel Jacoline selected was lovely. The overall ambiance was upscale yet relaxed, and the room amenities were outstanding. The staff was extremely personable and made us feel very special.
Although our husbands enjoyed driving around the island in our little car (we requested something fun), they were a little hesitant to venture too far in the evenings because of the winding roads. As a result, we chose not to try all of the local restaurants that Jacoline recommended. No worries, however, as the food at the hotel was exceptional and there was a wonderful family-run restaurant on the beach (also recommended by Jacoline) which was an easy and pleasant walk from our hotel.
On to Santorini, where we enjoyed wine tastings and an interesting tour of island excavations. Jacoline also arranged a private evening cruise on a 46 ft catamaran. We stopped several times for a quick dip in the sea and the captain and 1st mate prepared a lovely dinner for us. What a wonderful way to watch the sunset.
There were a lot of moving pieces to this trip and we couldn’t have done it without Jacoline and Evan’s help. When one of our guides cancelled at the last minute, due to Covid, Jacoline was quick to find a replacement. And Evan immediately notified us when a ferry schedule changed.
Many of our guides volunteered that we were in excellent hands when working with Jacoline’s office. We agree.
My husband and I recently returned from a trip to Greece, September 27-October 9 of 2023. We worked with Jacoline Vinke and she was amazing. Our first contact was a two-hour phone call so she could get to know me and we could visit about all the things I didn’t know about Greece but she also learned all the reasons I wanted to go. Between the two of us we managed to plan a trip was amazing and exactly what we wanted. She took all of my wishes into consideration, our first try was a little bit too busy, so she was very gracious and we took some things out which ended up being perfect. We went to four different locations, Athens, Naphlio, Naxos and Santorini. She gave me choices for hotels in each spot, I don’t know about the other ones, but my choices were amazing and everything we could have wanted—Shila in Athens, Grand Sarai in Naphlio, Kavos in Naxos and Perivolas in Santorini. All of the transfers were very smooth and all of our private guides were so professional and spoke excellent English. It was very much appreciated to have the personal service of private guides versus the large groups of people we saw in several locations.They were all willing to be flexible and go off course which did happen a couple of times. Example—our food tour guide in Athens took me shopping. LOL. We got to experience private drivers, small planes and ferry rides, basically getting a taste of all methods of transfer. Her dinner recommendations were spot-on, and our hotel owners seconded all of them. All of our guides spoke highly of Jacoline and I felt as though they were personal friends with her. I did contact her a couple of times on our trip with questions and she either answered the phone herself or was very quick to respond. Please don’t hesitate to contact Wendy for help with a trip and if your destination includes Greece be sure and ask for Jacoline.
Our family of 5 traveled to Greece for 2 weeks using WOW List specialist Jacoline Vinke and her team. With help from Jacoline, the trip we envisioned with our 3 adult “children” absolutely exceeded our expectations. Jacoline took the time to get to know us, our expectations and how we like to travel prior to planning a perfect itinerary. We spent 3 nights in Athens, 3 nights on Sifnos, 4 nights on Naxos and 3 nights on Santorini. Every detail from the moment we arrived in Athens was expertly planned. From our seamless transfers/ferries & beautiful hotel accommodations to our memorable tours & activities, we had an amazing trip start to finish. Each island was unique and offered different experiences, including a private tour of the Acropolis and an outstanding culinary tour in Athens, incredible catamaran/boat day trips on all 3 islands, an intimate cooking class on Naxos and kayaking in Santorini. We especially loved Sifnos for its authenticity and charm and which we included in our itinerary upon Jacoline’s encouragement. Traveling to a new country can be overwhelming and with so many options, Jacoline helped us to focus and create an itinerary that our entire family will remember for years to come. We’re already thinking about our next adventure!