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Penny

travel designer Photo of travel designer Penny

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.

It all started during the period when the Greek crisis reached its zenith. A combination of many fruitless attempts in the Athenian job market as well as a huge loss in my family pushed me to search for a new start point; I was dreaming of my future in an island, so I took a job in one. Things didn’t turn out that romantically, rather the opposite, so, I returned to Athens ready for a bigger change. At that point my best friend messaged me a job opportunity in Amsterdam and encouraged me to apply. I did and two days later had to be there for the interview so I travelled to Amsterdam and got the job. Just two weeks later everything was packed and I was saying goodbyes to my beloved ones in Greece, calming down myself with the thought that “this won’t last forever”.

After 2,5 years of living abroad, the distance from the Greek reality made me realize that I desired to have in some way a positive contribution to the future of my country. I decided to search in a website with job opportunities in Greece and came across my current position. I was too excited to leave this opportunity without trying! My phone rang during my holidays in Greece and a few days afterwards I had a new job. Again, time was short and I had to pack my old life and return to Greece within three weeks. And so I did. This time with a symbolic gift from my best friend with the logo “Everything in life that matters, requires risk”.

Photo of Founder Tina.

Tina

Founder

"In 2010, the Greek crisis hit and the country went into freefall. I was left without a job, a car or even medical insurance, and there was little perspective of finding a new job any time soon."

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Photo of Travel Designer Elissavet.

Elissavet

Travel Designer

"I remember when I was about 17, my friend asked me what my plans for life were. Sincerely, I had no clue. I had some scattered images in my head of how I imagine myself. Like photographs. The only thing in common, I remember, was that all these images were in some far lands, with unusual landscapes and distant cultures. Living abroad was something I use to fantasize a lot as a kid. It was a constant change and an excitement over new things that attracted me."

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Photo of Guide Andreas.

Andreas

Guide

“I grew up in a neighbourhood called Nea Smyrni. The first settlers here were refugees from Asia Minor. People in our neighbourhood are proud of where they come from; they respect history because many of their grandparents or great-grandparents were lost or had to emigrate following the end of the conflict between Greece and Turkey.”

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Photo of Guide Tania.

Tania

Guide

“I was about five, and I was taking part in a school celebration. Dressed in a traditional costume like all the other members of my “troupe”, I was waiting to recite the lines of the poem I had painstakingly learnt by heart. At last, my turn came. But when I stood behind the microphone, my mind went blank and my mouth went dry. Tears welled up in my eyes. Terrified, I glanced over at my classmates who, grouped behind the wings and dressed in their own slightly silly costumes, were waiting to act their part."

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Photo of Guide Vassia.

Vassia

Guide

"There is a book I like a lot. Its final sentence reads: “It is never too late to have a happy childhood”. I was in my early twenties when I read it and my childhood had been relatively happy. But I tend to take stuff written in books very seriously. Why had the author chosen to end a book about an improbable love story with this sentence?

It was around that time that I started to travel."

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Photo of Guide Niko a.k.a. Rude.

Niko a.k.a. Rude

Guide

"It must have been at the end of middle school when I discovered graffiti, although my fascination with drawing and the arts had been with me a lot longer. My new hobby began stealing ‘precious’ time I could have used for studying for school. I realised that action had to be taken..."

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Photo of Guide Zoé.

Zoé

Guide

For the most part, my adult life was spent drawing lines.  Working in architecture and urban planning meant that I spent most of time observing cities from above, ground plans and master plans, orthographic projections, bird’s eye views.

 

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Photo of Marketing Manager Hara.

Hara

Marketing Manager

"I took this selfie in the secondary school of a remote village in northeastern Ghana. One thing was obvious in every single trip. Africa reveals the best version of each one of us."

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Photo of Guide Laura.

Laura

Guide

I started performing on the streets in Rome and realized very early what the audience wants to see on the streets of a city. It is not the best juggling trick or acrobatic skill. What they really wanted to see was me smiling and looking  them into their eyes - sharing playfulness.

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Photo of Guide Elizabeth.

Elizabeth

Guide

The French poet Arthur Rimbaud once wrote that "Eternity is the sea mingled with the sun " and I guess there' s a little bit of truth of that in me.

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Awards & Accolades

Testimonials

"Alternative Athens does it right! There is no better way to get a feel and taste of authentic Athens than accompanying Zoe on a delightful tour of off-the-beaten path food delights. We discovered amazing side streets while learning about the history, fine art and traditions of wonderful treats. This was an amazing way to begin our Athens adventure. Zoe brought the heart and soul of Athens to a never to be forgotten culinary stroll."

Cathi A - USA, TripAdvisor

"It was fantastic. We had 2 guides, Andreas with a lot of love and dedication made the tour unforgettable. Penny (guide in Delphi site) was not only guiding us with interesting information, she also asked the big questions, so it felt like a philosophy-class. Thank you for that! Our We also went to a little village and met the tanners, an old profession that almost died out. Good work Alternative Athens!"

Astrid - TripAdvisor

"We did the night tour with Antonis on our first day in Athens - what a fabulous way to start our trip! Antonis took us to five stellar bars that we would definitely not have found on our own - unique drinks, amazing food and lovely atmosphere at each of them. Antonis himself seems to know everybody at every bar - not surprising given what a fun and awesome guy he is! We cannot recommend the tour with Antonis enough - he is awesome and the tour is an absolute must do in Athens!!"

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