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Rickshaw Turns 15!


Rickshaw Travel turned 15 this month! So in true teenage style we thought it would be a good idea to travel on a group holiday to a Greek island to celebrate. To be fair though, only a very little of the time was spent with juvenile heads on. We are, after all, seasoned travellers and look for much more from our itineraries these days than sun, sand, sea, sex and tsipouro! Our four-day long weekend could not have packed in any more memorable experiences, including an initial fabulous 24 hours in Athens which had us all searching our calendars for space to return. What a place! And what a trip! Here are a few of the highlights from Omada* Rickshaw on tour... *Omada, the Greek word for ‘team’, underscores their conviction that efficient teamwork creates extraordinary results – and we couldn’t agree more!
Decorative torn edge

Rickshaw on Tour...

City cycle orientation

Not for the faint-hearted as there are no cycle paths in Athens and there’s not really a cycling culture either! This was a fun-packed whistle-stop ride showcasing the landmarks (yes the Acropolis made the list), tavernas and must-revisit areas, along with some fascinating information, both ancient and modern, to introduce us to this incredible city. The bite-and-ride tour, conducted on Dutch bikes (sit-up-and-beg with no gears but thankfully handlebar brakes!) had us stopping at various well-chosen eateries for each course and enjoying local favourites we might otherwise not have known to try. The winner was kataifi, which is a kind of vermicelli pastry dough with cheese, custard, crushed pistashios and syrup, tirokafteri (feta dip with chilli) and fava beans. Oh and plenty of Mythos!

rickshaw team in Greece town
Psiri Greece travel specialist Emma with gorilla statue

Psiri nightlife

The Athenians own choice for nightlife, Psiri is one of the oldest parts of Athens (so pretty old)! Nearby, the Agora of Athens used to be the actual spot where philosophers taught and locals gathered and it remained an important area, graced with neoclassical mansions – Lord Byron even stayed in one of them. By the late 1800’s it had fallen from grace and became a hotbed of crime, but it has since been reclaimed and is now a significant creative hub and centre for the best and liveliest bars and restaurants. We concur!

Finding Hadrian’s secret escape route

Let’s be honest, we were a little dubious about this excursion having travelled the previous day and stayed up into the early hours sampling Athen’s nightlife, but it was definitely worth the brain-tease. Our local partners provided an experience more of a cross between a treasure hunt and an interactive history tour. Way exceeding our expectations we finished feeling like we’d missed nothing in this compelling city, from stunning hillside backstreets and hidden ruins to beautiful gardens, the best cantinas and authentic markets (sheep’s heads anyone)?

white building in Greece
Greek food on table

Greek salad and gyros!

Enough said, the food in Greece never disappoints and our trip was no exception. Nothing beats their salad staple: the best Med flavours of tomatoes, feta and Kalamata olives with red onion, cucumber, green pepper, oregano and olive oil, just delicious. For even the most die-hard avoider of kebabs, the humble gyros or souvlaki is also not to be missed.

Ferry to Aegina

This beautiful island was the perfect choice given our time was short, at just over an hour to reach by ferry. Although we nearly misplaced two of our party when they weren’t ready to disembark when we docked (stop points on the ferry route are apparently more efficient than the Tokyo underground) the journey across from Athens was a delight. The view of this legendary city from the water is magical, like stepping back in time, and we were even accompanied by dolphins on the return. Breathtaking.

Greece Ferry flag and water behind boat
staff in red jeep

Sunrise sea swimming & an island reccy by Jimney

Rob and Miles got up at the crack of dawn for the pleasure of a dip in the beautiful Aegean Sea. This wasn’t even to have the beach to themselves, but our itinerary was fast-paced and we had jeeps booked to explore the island first thing… …Definitely the most fun of the hire vehicles in our opinion. Roof and windows down to get the full impact of the warm pine-scented breeze, and with 4-wheel drive for those off-road moments! The island is just 50km to loop with a modest elevation of 532 metres, so even in a four-jeep tandem, there is no missing any of the island’s highlights.

Our own private Acropolis

Not the actual one obviously! But built around the same time, in the same style, and this one free of the tourist trail queues… The Temple of Aphaea sits at 160m just 13km inland from the main port and commands stunning views over the island and the crystal Aegean Sea. A beautiful example of the Doric order of Greek architecture, the pediments are superbly preserved (the sculptural scenes they depict show how the monument bridges the divide between and archaic and classical periods). The history of the goddess Aphaea is rich, with origins firmly planted in fertility and the agricultural cycle. This makes the perfect detour for those who like solitude with their antiquities!

temple aphaea Greece
rickshaw team at the beach in Greece

Klima Beach

A fabulous find, and of course another chance for a dip in the Aegean’s pristine waters. Although we were off season, this is apparently the place the locals choose to go to escape the crowds when it’s on. Bamboo umbrellas on the sand and a pretty wooden bar in the sheltered bay – the promontory protecting it from the prevailing northeastern meltemi winds – this beach is just perfect for a stop-off while you explore the island. What more could we ask for?!

The freshest seafood

A recommendation from the bar at Klima beach and we all agreed it was the best of all the restaurants we tried. To Deka (translation ‘at ten’) is in the pretty village of Perdika, on the south west peninsula of the island. With gorgeous views across the marina, we enjoyed sharing the freshest catch including calamari, octopus, whitebait, sardines and even parrotfish, complemented by the coldest and crispest wines. No surprise that Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, but the seafood stole the show, hands down!

Want to experience a Greek island trip with an Athens stopover? Talk to our knowledgeable team!

Cooked parrotfish on plate with lemon