Having recently moved my family to Europe for work, we are determined to take every opportunity to visit new places, and often find ourselves booking very last-minute, short city getaways. This was the case with our recent visit to Athens.
We found Paul through TripAdvisor, and after a few quick email communications, booked the airport-to-hotel transfer (which was very friendly, efficient, comfortable, and cheaper than what the hotel was reporting as expected taxi fare from the airport!). Having been ripped off by airport taxis before (Paris or Rome, anyone?) I was happy to have a set price agreed in advance with a very reputable (thanks, TripAdvisor!) service.
In my communications with Paul I had indicated that I was interested in booking a couple of his day tours as well -but wanted to see how the airport transfer went before committing, just in case. My cautiousness was unnecessary as it turned out, because Paul's son, Dimitri, was very friendly and efficient, so before reaching the hotel we had already agreed on a half-day tour of Sounio the following day, a full day tour of Athens on the next, and return transfer back to the airport on our last day.
There were strikes in Athens for 2/3 of our stay, but Dimitri was able to circumnavigate any demonstrations and minimize the impact this had on our vacation (see one exception, below) -while also giving us some interesting insight into the political mood of the country and the economic situation from the perspective of an Athens resident. He also gave us a wealth of information on Greek history and architecture (despite not being an "official" tour guide), and was equally engaging to my two kids, aged 8 and 12.
As for the one exception: our tour to Sounio culminated in a visit to the Temple of Poseidon -which was closed due to the general strike, much to the surprise of Dimitri. While this could have been avoided altogether by him making a phone call in advance, he was very apologetic and reactive, and we were quickly able to make the best of it by turning our attention to the incredible views from Cape Sounio itself.
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend Paul's Taxi to anyone visiting Athens -and the city itself remains a must-see in Europe, despite the recent economic woes.
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