2018 – What’s new?

Sunset trip - Mar-A-Mar Travel
Sunset trip – Mar-A-Mar Travel

So, what’s new for 2018? We are very excited in putting all the last minute touches in preparation for our 2018 season…

Our focus this year will be the day trips. Our sunset trip is really popular and got rave reviews on Viator! We are offering a wine tasting experience in the middle of the sea, while watching the sunset. All your senses will be excited! The wines are selected by a somellier and paired with cheeses and other traditional Greek tapas. It’s a trip I wouldn’t miss myself 🙂

We are also introducing a day trip to the island of Aegina. The island is quite close to Athens and one of its highlights is the beautiful temple of Aphaia that we really love – for the history lovers it should be a delight. On top, there are many bays with crystal clear waters, great for swimming, and lots of tavernas to explore on shore.

We will also add some secret new places to visit in the Saronic bay – you will need to join us to find out 🙂

Lastly, we will be working with a scuba diving partner to help organize scuba trips!

So, join us for a wonderful summer time! We look forward to seeing you on board!

 

 

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On Athens, Greece travel, and the world

Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon day trip - Mar-A-Mar
Temple of Poseidon – view from our boat

Earlier this year I was in New York City, and while waiting for some food to be delivered I started talking to a gentleman who was waiting as well. We quickly got to “where in the city do you live” type questions, and when I told him I left the city for Greece, he quickly asked worried – are you OK there? Do you have food to eat? I remembered this discussion and how it can be very relevant to Greece travel.

Given the controversial “fake news” debates going around, culminating with Google implementing some online news verification schemes, I thought of sharing my impressions as someone who actually lived there for a while… I will also gloss over the state of travel and experiencing local cultures around the world, and the impact of globalization.

Let’s start with Athens. The first feeling I got in Athens was that of a homey place, something of a lost world. It’s weird, but this city, while bustling with life at a crazy pace, has a calming effect on me, and makes me feel at home. “Calming?” – you will ask – “With all the riots, fire bombs, clashes with the police, refugees and other news drama?” Well, yes, there is (some of, remember the fake news) all that, but at the end of the day everyone – from the young anarchists, professionals and tourists, to the police officers – meets in the lively restaurants to chat, eat and drink until late at night. And then there is peace. So there is food – and very good, healthy food, because most agriculture is still being done by “old school” farmers, without all the hormones and pesticides associated with mass production. I can tell you, it really makes a difference – after a while your body feels different! And starts rejecting the junk food it used to like in New York, which is a problem 🙂

I remember New York City in the 90s, the lower east side and the village were underground places where you could find cheap bars with amazing bands. Every trip there was an experience, even with the drug dealers hanging around at every corner. Then things moved to Brooklyn, but now these underground places are becoming almost extinct. Most restaurants look the same, same designs, similar food, and sadly this happens all around the world. I was in Barcelona recently, and I was shocked to see how difficult it was to find a bodega with some traditional meats and their famous red wines! The local culture is slowly disappearing, unfortunately the globalization and technology make these unique places cool over night, making everyone rush there, and then they change… sometimes not for the better…

Coming back to Athens, you can still get a suit or dress hand made in a tailor’s shop, hand made shoes, mom and pop stores, farmers markets, a thriving music scene, and most importantly – not everything is on Google, Groupon and the likes! You still need to interact with the locals to find out the best spots… But technology is catching on, the local taxi app looks like Uber, and I can get food delivered to my door while writing these stories 🙂

So, use your vacation time to visit some authentic places, where you can reconnect with the land and waters of this planet, while they are still around. Greece is one of them. And the best way to travel Greece is with us 🙂 And the best time is NOW!

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Welcome to 2017, our third year of sailing!

Greece sailing trips - Mar-A-Mar Travel
Cape Sounion day trip

It is January, and even in Greece where we are now, planning for the next sailing season, the winter is in full swing…  Perfect weather to get our files in shape for Uncle Sam, see how we did financially, what we need to tweak and what we want to innovate.

2016 was our “make it or break it” year – a year of trying to play with the big dogs, namely the well established Greek operators. In the months before the season we forged new partnerships, explored new distribution channels, added new features to the web site – including a great credit card processing capability…

Our new partners are both startups, like us, and well established companies – it was thrilling to see how they were able to bring business in… We made friends with the port masters, fellow skippers, sailors and boat owners, we learned all the best restaurants and can take you to those secluded bays for a great night under the stars.

We are still a 100% online company, and we try to keep our overhead to a minimum, hence able to offer very competitive prices.

So, why sail with us? Here are a few reasons…

  • We believe in it – we are hands on, involved with our customers, trying to understand what their dream vacation looks like and offer it to them. There is no routine, all our trips are unique, and that is part of the excitement such a business generates.
  • We work with the locals and know all the best places. Sailing in Greece can be treacherous – the winds can change unexpectedly and all of a sudden a pleasure ride to the next island can become a challenge. I have seen so many foreign skippers scared of Poseidon’s mighty blow… With us, you will be safe because we’ve been there and know what we can expect.
  • We love multilingual and multicultural environments and speak quite a few languages. Our boat will always be a “United Nations” boat, a place where different cultures meet and new friendships are born. On a boat the whole crew has to pull together at times, which is what makes it such a fantastic adventure.
  • We love nature, healthy living, good food, and we love to have fun! So we’ll invite you to try to detach from your cell phone for a bit and go back to the basics – enjoy all the wonders the sea and sun can offer you. It changed our lives, it can change yours!

So what’s new for 2017 (Chinese year of the rooster)? We’ll tell you in a future post… Stay tuned…

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