PANDEMIC TRAVEL Thank you Wendy and team for recommending Mina and Faye, who planned our trip to Greece July 10-22. After a year of Covid and the death of my husband, my daughters (22, 20, 12) and I needed a chance to breathe and experience something new. Faye helped us plan two weeks in Greece: a few days in Athens, and then island hopping to Paros, Naxos, and Santorini. We loved both our down time and our planned experiences: Parthenon and food-market tours in Athens, island tour with a very knowledgeable wonderful artist on Paros, cooking lesson at a family-owned restaurant/farm on Naxos, and a catamaran sail on Santorini. The whole experience was very well organized, reliable, and safe, and gave me peace of mind to enjoy the trip and be able to relax. You can’t go wrong!
Specific to COVID – we felt safe throughout the trip. Locals were very careful, but also so relieved to have people coming back to the islands
PANDEMIC TRAVEL We just returned from a fabulous 11-night trip to Greece for our family of 4 (2 adults and 2 teens)! Faye put together a wonderful trip from start to finish and Stella was our on-the-ground contact, planning details and connecting with us as needed.
Faye helped us to create a manageable timeline seeing Athens and then traveling to 3 islands. Since we hadn’t visited Greece before, we wanted to see the highlights and historical sites, but also have opportunities for relaxation, enjoying the local culture and interacting with locals.
Although we arrived in Greece during the recent heat wave and unfortunate wildfires, we still felt extremely safe. Each of our transport drivers and tour guides were terrific and very flexible. One became our local driver throughout our time in that location. We had a little hiccup when we realized about 45 minutes into our mythology tour that the day didn’t include a visit to the Acropolis. This was unexpected, but easily managed and corrected as we had a private tour and our guide, with Stella’s help, was easily able to pivot to meet our needs.
After Athens, we spent 3 nights each in Naxos, Paros and Santorini. Each island was different and we selected an excursion in each destination. In Naxos, we had a very unique hiking experience. Set in the middle of the island, we saw historic ruins, visited tiny villages and saw wildlife. Our tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and engaging on a long and hot hike. We selected boat/catamaran trips in both Paros and Santorini and this provided excellent opportunities to see the islands, enjoy the Aegean Sea, enjoy local food and meet people from around the world.
Our accommodations in each stop were outstanding, particularly in Athens, Naxos and Santorini. Faye did a great job of selecting hotels that provided a level of luxury, privacy and service that we were looking for. We appreciated that our hotels felt spacious and safe during Covid times. Breakfast buffets required guests to wear masks and gloves and all servers were masked as well. In addition, we had to show proof of our vaccination status on the rare occasion we ate indoors, which was very comforting.
Overall, this trip was a 10 and our travel agents were exceptionally receptive, available and accommodating. As expected with travel, there were a few bumps along the way (i.e. missing dinner reservations), but Stella was available at any time to help us problem solve. We didn’t know anything about our destination prior to traveling, and one lesson learned in the planning stage is to ask a few more questions about the different hotels and excursions – we did go in a little blind and had a few surprises (i.e. no pool in our Santorini hotel or the distance from the hotel to town/dinners), but none of this negatively impacted our trip or experience.
Our trip was very special and memorable. We received excellent guidance on what we needed to do to follow protocols (entry requirements for Greece, Covid testing for the return to the U.S.) and most of our destinations were not overly crowded. Thank you to Faye and Stella for creating an unforgettable experience for our family. We look forward to our next trip!
PANDEMIC TRAVEL So grateful for both Faye Mantzari and Stella Hofer who arranged a fabulous experience to Greece from 10/24/2020 to 11/1/2020 for our family of four on super short notice. Stella was incredibly helpful in arranging a great experience every step of the way and was a joy to work with. She graciously and promptly handled lots of last minute questions and change requests which made all the difference. Our trip was full of special experiences, knowledgeable guides, special hikes, tastings and more – All your partners were great and the activities were well planned and very enjoyable. Thank you for everything!
Mina helped us plan a 2 week tour of Greece that captured all of the “must see” historical sites as well as many off the path locations. The hotel selected for us in Athens was excellent. Our stays on 3 islands were relaxing and interesting. And the tour guides and drivers retained by Mina and her team were great. Every one of our tour guides had a deep background in ancient history and art, which made our tours even more informative. Mina and her staff were in touch with us every step of the way, and showed flexibility and responsiveness when we opted for a last-minute tour of Akrotiri on Santorini.
From the beginning, Mina made us feel very comfortable. As a gay couple who were celebrating a very important anniversary it was important for us to feel accepted and safe. She asked questions about what we liked and didn’t like about our past trips. We set up several conference calls and we received a detailed itinerary that reflected our personal preferences. When we arrived at our destinations we were met with very personalized service. We received various upgrades that I don’t think we would have received without Mina’s hard work. The activities she arranged for us were top of the line and met every expectation we had. We would use Mina’s services again and would recommend her to any of our friends and family.
We traveled to Athens for 2 days, Naxos for 5 days and Santorini for 5 days. The travel specialist did an amazing job during the planning as she listed to what we wanted, what we liked to do & came up with an initial itinerary for review. We then discussed and a few changes were made at our request. During the trip, the travel specialist support team was extremely responsive to any requests to change pick up times, answer questions about excursions, etc. I didn’t wait more than 4 hours for a response and they were able to accommodate each request. We didn’t come across any real challenges during the trip, but here are few recommendations on what to definitely do/avoid:
Athens: definitely get a guided tour of the Acropolis, it was fabulous & definitely the highlight of our time in Athens. However, I would say you don’t need to guide to continue with you to the Acropolis museum (that was an hour & we could have just walked through on our own as it was self explanatory.
Naxos: the cooking class was awesome, but we didn’t need a guide. He didn’t really do anything except ride with us in the car from/to the hotel. The owners of the restaurant did all of the talking, teaching, touring of the farm – we loved this experience and would recommend it, but you don’t need a guide. We also took a bus trip on our own to Chalki one day and hiked around, which was really nice. The speed boat tour here was the favorite experience of the whole trip to Greece….the guide (Chris) was wonderful, taking us to three smaller islands, letting us swim in certain places and then lunch at a local spot on one of the islands.
Santorini – our hotel was insanely nice (Canaves Oui) from the service to the room to the food, all great. The walking tour with Nikos here in one of the smaller villages was perfect….he was a very good guide and the 4 hours spent doing this was well worth it. The wine tour was probably our least favorite activity of the whole trip. We visited two wineries and then had dinner at a local family restaurant in one of the villages (that was fantastic). The wine guide was a bit too much for us, he really didn’t take a breath the whole time, so we didn’t get to truly enjoy our selves on this excursion. I’m sure experiences vary here depending on guide and wineries visited. Our final excursion here was a private catamaran, which was breathtaking. We spent 4 hours going around Santorni, saw the red & black beaches, swam in the hot springs, had an amazing lunch on-board and relaxed.
Overall, I would absolutely recommend this travel specialist to anyone visiting Greece, they were great in so many ways!
We contacted Mina to plan a trip we decided to take with very little notice – only 2+ months notice. Mina and her team came back to us in only a day or two with a carefully curated itinerary however we wanted to spend less for this trip since we had just returned from another major excursion. Again within a few days Mina proposed alternative accommodations that reduced the cost by a third! We were pleased but some what concerned that we might not have the high level experience we are accustomed to. When we arrived at Canaves Oia Epitome in Santorini we were very impressed. The attention to serving the guest and the quality of the property was Aman like!! It totally exceeded our expectation. We wrapped up our trip with a stay in the new Four Seasons in Athens and again our expectations were total exceeded. The staff at this Four Seasons was totally guest centric – the best Four Seasons experience we have had anywhere in the world.
Mina and her team planned an incredible honeymoon itinerary for us in Greece, with stops in Athens, Mykonos, Naxos, and Santorini. She handled all of our logistics, arranging all of our ferry & plane connections as well as all of our other transportation and excursions. We knew we wanted to go to Mykonos and Santorini, but we added Naxos based on Mina’s recommendation—and it ended up being our favorite island of the trip! Every hotel we stayed at had a surprise for us since it was our honeymoon—we received a dessert plate, an upgraded room, bottles of wine, etc—which was a really nice touch, and I’m guessing was part of Mina’s magic. The excursions she planned for us were all top notch as well, from private walking tours to sunset catamaran cruises.
One thing we really appreciated was the 24/7 assistance that her team offers. Our arriving flight was significantly delayed, and all I had to do was message them via WhatsApp with our updated flight info, and the team rebooked our airport pickup shuttle and notified the hotel on our behalf. That saved us a ton of stress! We also had a hard time finding our pickup shuttle in Mykonos, and once again the team helped us out via WhatsApp.
We only had one minor pain point: We weren’t aware that some of Greece’s hotels book quickly, and some of the hotels Mina initially recommended to us filled up in the few days it took for us to review all of the trip details before booking. Because of this, we went through a few different proposals before finding something that fit our budget & wish list, and that was available on our dates.
However, everything worked out beautifully and we loved every place we stayed. I wouldn’t hesitate to book another trip with Mina—she made sure we were well taken care of, and we had a wonderful time!
Mina Agnos did a wonderful job planning a last minute trip for us to Greece. We specifically asked for Athens, Mykonos and Paros and she planned a perfect trip with the right amount of time in each destination. We communicated by phone and email in advance, and she was able to book hotels that were spot on for location and aesthetic given our preferences. Her team was reachable throughout the trip to answer questions and resolve some travel issues. The trip flowed seamlessly with greeters at the gate after each flight efficiently moving us through airports to always-on-time transports. We had a fabulous tour guide in Athens and then a smart, knowledgable and fun boat captain on our private day excursion among the islands around Paros and Antiparos where swam in pristine, unpopulated beaches. The hotels were beautiful, contemporary, well-located and provided top service. Mina worked with me to pick a great variety of restaurants, beach clubs and entertainment. The only snafu of the whole trip was the last day when our flight from Mykonos to Athens was delayed causing us to miss our flight home and incur high fees to change to the next days flight. We should have been booked on an earlier flight (as we later learned that these little flights are vey often delayed) or on a ferry. Even during these circumstances, Mina’s team was readily available to help with the situation. We made the best of the extra day in Greece and Mina was able to secure a room at The Four Seasons in Athens at a fair rate, giving us a very special bonus day! I would highly recommend Mina and her team.
Mina Agnos was the ideal travel specialist for Greece! She was thoroughly responsive to the needs and concerns of our group of four travel companions. She was attentive to our needs; patient with us –and very respectful–while we debated various options and occasionally asked for changes in our itinerary. Her advice was always right and very welcome. Every one of her hotel choices and transportation arrangements was on the mark and in accordance with our preferences. Her very careful planning and attention to detail was in evidence throughout the trip –everything went like clockwork without a single slip, delay, or moment of confusion. It was especially great to have a 24/7 staff person–Stella Hofer–to consult with over minor questions and to confirm flights and ferry schedules at every stop. Thanks to Mina and her staff, we had an exceptional stay in Greece, in the most comfortable and interesting environments. We highly recommend Mina to anyone who is planning a trip to Greece. Thanks to her and her staff for a wonderful trip.
Our trip to Greece was perfectly planned and executed by Mina and her team. If we could give Mina and her team 10 stars out of 5, we would. The planning process started with a couple of calls to have Mina get an understanding of our desires including the things we like, and most importantly things we don’t. She put together a couple of itineraries based on those calls. We discussed each option’s pros and cons. We made a few tweaks and then Mina and her team went to work booking our choices. Throughout the planning process, there were a few unexpected things that came up from ferry services, airplane companies, etc. Mina was wonderful in having options to deal with these issues that were outside of her control.
Sometimes all the great plans can go haywire when the execution breaks down. This is where Mina and her team really earn our praise and respect. Her recommendations for hotels, time at our different locations, restaurant, excursions, transfers, etc. were absolutely perfect for us. Their contacts at our hotel in Santorini got us an upgrade to a bigger suite. Stella was our 24/7 contact once we landed in Athens until we took off on our flight home to the states. She was awesome. We had two minor (we mean minor) issues and Stella took care of them in a heartbeat. We joked that she was the fourth person on our trip. We texted her everyday with pictures of our trip to show the joy we were experiencing due to Mina and team’s help.
We recommend Mina 100% for anyone who wants to work with a company that is led by a person who truly cares about your entire travel experience. The best advice we can give to someone using Mina, is to be honest about the things you like and the things you don’t. We did that and it made our discussions so much easier and the end result was proof that we were both on the same page.
Our trip to Greece was fabulous. Because this trip came up at the last moment and I was very busy at work, I relied totally on Mina to come up with an itinerary and select the islands that we visited. Her suggestions were top notch. We don’t like crowds and love to get off the beaten path. She suggested the islands of Naxos (off the beaten path) and Santorini (more popular but gorgeous). We were there off season so there were no crowds and the hiking was fabulous. Mina planned a great trip: hiking active donkey trails, seeing beautiful scenery, swimming in hot springs, visiting 2,000 year old historical sights, hiking through remote villages and eating tremendous food.
Setting a wonderful tone, Mina sent us an amazing tray of deserts on our first and last nights (a big hit with my daughter!).
We loved the trip that Mina planned for us and would highly recommend her.
We knew nothing about Greece and were feeling overwhelmed with the amount of research it would require to look into all island options, then hotels on each island and then transport and timing. Mina and her team made great suggestions and helped us find accommodations that we hoping for; they also made the transportation between islands and to and from hotels really easy. It was great to have somebody who knew exactly what we were looking for and provided us with options and arranged the travel quickly. Thanks Mina!
Mina helped arrange two walking tours for our family in Athens, and both were superb. Athena led us on a walking tour of the historical sites, and she was wonderful. She is a professor of archaeology and is not only knowledgeable but delightful. Our teenage boys particularly enjoyed the street art tour that Mina arranged for us to take with George, who was also a terrific guide. We would highly recommend Mina for your travel needs in Athens.
We loved our trip through Greece that was structured with the help of Mina Agnos and her team. The planning process was smooth and there was always someone available to answer questions or make adjustments on the itinerary. By traveling outside of the busy season (Early May), Mina was able to pull even more strings and provide us an even better experience that we could never have imagined planning ourselves.
The drivers and tour guide in Athens were all very polite and knowledgeable. She found us a super contemporary hotel in a super central area near Syntagma Square that made walking from place to place very easy.
Santorini and the Canaves Oia luxury hotel was by far the most jaw-dropping and memorable portion of the trip from our honeymoon. Mina nailed it with the view of the caldera and the Aegean Sea from our private hot tub. And by scheduling us a Semi-Private Sunset Catamaran Cruise, we were able to experience the water along with an amazing crew that catered to our every need and provided a perfect lunch and sunset to cap it off.
The transfer by sea from Santorini Port to Heraklion Port in Crete was quite the experience! Never before have I experienced hundreds of people so unorganized running onto a boat to find their seats to lining up and nearly running off even before the boat came to a complete dock! We will remember that forever!
As our trip was planned just prior to the busy season (Early May), we ran into a bit of a let down with our stay in Crete however. The Blue Palace has roughly 5 restaurants on site, one of which we received discounts for dining in. However, we quickly found out that 3 of them were only open on limited days of the week, or not at all until the busy season. Which meant we were given discounts to dine at a restaurant that was not even open at the moment. Nevertheless, there were plenty of close, off-site restaurants that were very good. There was even a local bus that ran daily to transport you from place to place across the island.
Overall, Mina Agnos and her team did an outstanding job in helping us create the perfect honeymoon experience in Greece. We will always cherish this experience and Mina had a lot to do with it as she set it up for success from the start.
We ultimately had a wonderful time in Greece, planned by Mina Agnos and her team.
It was so nice to be greeted by a driver upon arrival in Athens after 9+ hours on the plane. He was very informative on the way into the city.
Our private guide, Gina, was delightful! We were so happy to have her for our tours of Acropolis and Delphi. She was knowledgeable and engaging and was so warm and fun to spend the two days with. She was one of the highlights of our trip! Our driver, John, was also a nice addition to our trip to Delphi.
MIna recommended Cookoovaya for dinner one evening in Athens — it was delicious.
Our accommodations in Naxos and Santorini were lovely. In Naxos, we stayed at Lagos Mare, with an amazing breakfast. Every single person at Lagos Mare was delightful! So friendly and helpful. In Santorini, we stayed at Cliffside. The room was clean and bright with plenty of lighting, and and the location in Firostefani was ideal.
We were unhappy with our accommodations in Athens, but Mina worked with us to resolve the situation, and they said they would refrain from recommending it going forward.
Mara, our guide in Greece, was superb! My husband has extensive knowledge of Greek history and philosophy and really wanted a guide who had equal or more knowledge. Mara met a very high bar —- She was very knowledgeable about all the Greek history and ruins that we had requested to see, and a delightful person to be with for 3 days. We also had a driver who made travel easy and seamless.