Friday, November 19, 2010

Recommended Local Driver for Athens, Greece: Paul Kalomiris, Athens by Taxi

We decided to hire a local driver for transfer from the airport, a day tour out of Athens and a transfer for our group to the port.

I did a bunch of research and decided to contact Paraskevas Kalomiris, at paul_kalomiris@hotmail.com, whose website is http://www.athenstaxi.org/. Paul lived in New Jersey for many years and speaks perfect English. His emails were clear, detailed and he typically responded within 24 hours of my email to him.

Paul works with his two sons, Nicky and Dimitri. I made arrangements for our pickup and Nicky was waiting for us right outside of Customs. Nicky was also our driver for our day tour to Ancient Corinth, Canal, Mycenae, Nafplion and the Theater of Epidaurus. Nicky is not a licensed guide so he could not go into the sites with us. However, he was very knowledgeable and would tell us about what we would be seeing before we entered. Also, all of the places we stopped had signs with information in English.

Dimitri picked us up on Saturday morning for our trip to the port. Arrangements were made for pickup at 3 different hotels, for 14 people and their luggage. The 16 passenger minibus had a large luggage holder attached to the back of the bus. Dimitri arrived right on time, got all of the luggage loaded and we were at the port within 30 minutes of picking up the last of the group.

All the vehicles were spotlessly clean. Several of our group also arranged airport pickup with Paul. One couple had flight delays and there was some confusion about their pickup but a phone call immediately took care of the problem.

His fees were as follows:

1) prearranged transfer from Athens airport to hotel: 55 Euros for 2 passengers

2) pickup from hotel at 8:00 AM, full day tour to Ancient Corinth, Canal, Mycenae, Nafplion, The Theater of Epidaurus: 280 Euros for 2 passengers. Entrance fees would have been extra but we happened to be touring on a national holiday and entrance to all archaeological sites were free. Otherwise, we figured the entrance fees would have been about another 40 Euros. Lunch was not included but we stopped for simple, inexpensive gyros in Nafplion.

3) private prearranged transfer from three hotels to Piraeus port: 120 Euros for 14 passengers

All of our arrangements worked out perfectly and we highly recommend Paul and his family.

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