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Ancient Macedonia AM

Trip Duration 15 Days
 

Reviews for Ancient Macedonia

Travellers were asked to provide a review of the trip, including highlights and tips.

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Ancient Macedonia reviews verified by reevooReevoo

38 reviews

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Ancient MacedoniaScores 8.2 out of 10 based on 38 reviews
(10 out of 10)

Eric

San diego
Ohrid is the surprise and highlight of the trip. I could spend the entire two weeks there swimming in the lake and exploring the narrow cobble-stone streets and alleys. Kavala was also a huge delight. Another town with narrow cobble-stoned streets on the water with a hill with a fortress on it. I have a type apparently.
Warning: if you come in midsummer, be prepared for a blast furnace. Granted it was a heatwave, but my good lord in heaven. Another reason to go jump in Lake Ohrid.
Confirmed traveller: 21 August 2017
Published on: 26 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Roy

Fantastic tour leader! Itinerary was well balanced between sight seeing and free time. Ideal for someone who is interested in monasteries, fresco's and archaeology.

Trip to Rila Monastery could include Boyana Church on the same day.

Highlight was sunset at Lake Ochrid, trip to Naum Monastery, Lake Matka, Philippi, Vergina and Pella.
Confirmed traveller: 20 August 2017
Published on: 27 August 2017
(7 out of 10)

Katie

Oxford
Our guide Svetlanka was exceptionally brilliant. Incredibly kind, helpful, attentive and did well over the call of duty. Plus she was also good company and fun She was also great with all the different types of people in the group and just dealing with new situations etc etc. The Ancient Macedonia trip was great - though I got ill for 3 days so missed one of the best days - Alexander the Great - so that was a big disappointment. However the hotel staff were kind when I was stuck in the rooms for 3 days/nights! All in all I learnt, saw and enjoyed a great many amazing sights, views and experiences. It's a holiday I'll never forget and even the bland, slightly unimaginative food - didn't put me off the holiday itself - which I felt was more about learning and seeing and not indulging! That might just be me. Thanks Explore/Svetlanka,
Katie
Ps - would have liked to have had more meals with the group in the evening. That's just a personal preference. And maybe more restaurant recommendations. Time is short and I would have loved it if maybe 3 restaurants (cheap/medium/expensive) were highlighted to the group with directions - would make a much more efficient way to let a complete stranger enjoy a night out in a new town and enjoy local food. I had 3 meals in the hotel when I was on my own as I just don't speak the language and I was fatigued!
Language crib sheets of basic - hello, goodbye, thank you, sorry, how much, where is etc. I overheard an Intrepid tour guide tell his group that in the 6 countries they would be going to - they had a crib sheet for all the countries of basic language needs - so easy to do and makes a huge difference that tourists like an Explore group can speak a few basic words. Just a thought!
Oh and one more gripe re: hotels - more often than not the single rooms/single room users were put nearer the ground floor level - this tends to be the noisiest area in a hotel and I just think it's unfair just because you're single you don't get to stay in a quieter part of the hotel - ie: on a higher floor. I would make it a major priority if I was Explore that you explicitly request quiet areas - hotels must have something like this - or maybe put Explore group in the same part of the hotel so they are all in the same boat - noise or other. Hope this makes sense.
I definitely had probs with noise etc. Especially OK hotel - the worst hotel purely because of noise and lack of bed coverings etc. It was a very weird hotel. Nice staff though - esp in the kitchen with the noisy breakfast trolley - they were apologetic!!
Confirmed traveller: 20 August 2017
Published on: 27 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Dominic

Brussels
The tour was beautifully crafted. Every day had its special and interesting highlight
Confirmed traveller: 20 August 2017
Published on: 25 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Ky

London
Guide was excellent. She did a fantastic job.

Accommodation standard was good, but varied in terms of hotel cleanliness. Two hotels had very dirty bathrooms.
Confirmed traveller: 06 August 2017
Published on: 11 August 2017
(9 out of 10)

Cathy

Cheshire
A really interesting tour. The tour guides (Daniel and Nikola) were excellent, as was the driver (Izo). Ohrid was the highlight for me - a lovely place to visit. The local guides were good, but Maria in Thessaloniki was a bit overbearing and did not leave enough time for looking at things. The Vergina Hotel inThessaloniki was poor and was in an area where there was lots of building work on the new tram system. Make sure you have the optional local lunches in Kratovo and Vevchani! Also, Kavala is worth looking around if you don't fancy going to Thassos.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 04 June 2017
Published on: 19 June 2017
(9 out of 10)

Jack

Tallahassee
Excellent tour of the areas comprising Ancient Macedonia. Tour guide, Daniel, was excellent and provided much info and history of the sites and area. Daniel was also excellent at organizing all the myriad details/arrangements during a tour like this.
The hotel choice, though in Thessalonica should be changed on future tours.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 04 June 2017
Published on: 09 June 2017
(10 out of 10)

Elaine

Manchester
Have done over 20 Explore tours (all good) but this was one of the best. Interesting cities, stunning scenery - lakes, mountains, forests, seaside- and much to see whether your interest is modern or ancient history. Highlights (many) included tomb of Philip of Macedon and museums in Sofia, Thessaloniki and Skopkje, local home-cooked cuisine, and the many beautiful frescoes in churches and monasteries. The overnight stay in Jovan Bigorski monastery was perfect as we arrived in late afternoon and were the only visitors. Tour leaders and driver were very good and always helpful. Tips - city maps are available from the hotels. It's easy to change money in most places and we definitely needed rain gear.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 04 June 2017
Published on: 08 June 2017
(8 out of 10)

Judith

London
Fascinating holiday into a (surprisingly) little visited part of Europe, but one which has so much to offer. It helps if you're interested in ancient history (lots of Greek and Roman sites - spectacular sites at Pella, Heraklea and Philippi, with the added bonus of wonderful grave goods found at Philip II of Macedon's unraided tomb (think of a Macedonian equivalent of Tutankhamen, in terms of quality if not in volume); ditto lots of wonderful Orthodox churches and monasteries, some of which have frescoes dating back to seventh century. Also lots of opportunities to commune with nature (Macedonia in particular is blessed with wonderful unspoiled scenery) and chill - although, overall, it is a pretty busy trip!

Tips - come with a large appetite (food helpings are enormous, and quality is generally high); a good camera (it's a photographer's paradise, although in some of the museums photography is forbidden); bring a range of clothing (I went in Sept, and we had surprisingly good weather, although with a little rain; the trip in June had bakingly hot weather) and comfortable shoes; and remember - a surprisingly (by British standards, anyway) high proportion of the populations in all three countries speak a very reasonable standard of English and are extremely warm, hospitable people.
One key thing not to do - enter into the vexed debate about whether Philip II/ Alexander the Great were really Greek or Macedonian (sounds like a minor issue, but the two countries have nearly come to war over this, and the squabble still continues).....
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 02 October 2016
Published on: 05 October 2016
(3 out of 10)

Simon

Exeter
Itinerary and activities poorly thought through; making for a fairly dull trip. If you like driving fairly long distancies and monastries without much in between it will suit. No walks or possibility since stops mainly in towns; could be reorganised to make it so much better since individual places were attractive.
Low spots: Sofia/grim, Mt Athos/why?
High spots:St Osogovski Monastery;Ohrid
Bizarre; Skopje- a weird jumble of Disney renovation/ dreadful but good food

Tip: if you want an even moderately active trip don't go for this.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Confirmed traveller: 25 September 2016
Published on: 29 September 2016

Hi Simon, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with us for your recent trip, although I am sorry to hear you were unhappy with your overall experience. The current feedback has been very enthusiastic for this departure and how the itinerary is arranged. This being said, I have taken the time to review your feedback with our operations manager for the area to see if we can make some refinements and ensure we are getting the best out of the trip.