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A Report from

GREECE 1998,

Roderich Moessner

This Report appears with the kind permission of Bren McCartney of the Berkshire Birds Web Pages

I have just returned from my trip to Greece and since there may be some other people travelling there this summer, here's my report.

This is a brief report of a trip (by bus, train, bike, taxi and on foot) through Greece, August 5-15.



1) Ferry timetables are available from Greek tourist offices, or, even better (since more complete and easier to use) at  Car ferries are a pleasant way to travel, the 'flying dolphin' hydrofoils at twice the speed and price offer much worse birding and are frequently cancelled in bad weather.

2) Taking taxis is cheap in Greece and makes birding by public transport much easier. Unfortunately, taxi drivers are typically quite dishonest and they usually tried to overcharge us by e.g. not setting the meter properly (or at all) or driving unnecessary distances. This is especially a problem for airport taxis. We found that complaining straight away usually helps even though one driver got very aggressive. For more advice, consult travel guides and the leaflet on taking taxis available from Greek tourist offices.

3) Long-distance buses are reasonably cheap and efficient. The local ones require a lot of patience and connections can be time consuming. It tends to be difficult to obtain reliable information on local buses, and - if shared between 3-4 people - a taxi may be competitive in price.

4) Despite their frequent delays, trains are an excellent means of transport: they are very cheap, are good opportunities for meeting local people, and offer good birding along the way. Using overnight services is relaxing and timesaving provided you take a sleeper at a very modest extra charge.

5) Our experience was that booking rooms in advance and first-come-first-serve are compatible in Greece.

6) The heat in summer makes a siesta inevitable.

7) The train from Diakopto into the mountains requires advance booking in high season. We got off at the intermediate station and walked up the hills on the west but we were too late (in the day and in the year) to see anything of note up there.


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