Espa
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Vassia

certified guide Photo of certified guide Vassia

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.

When you travel, time sort of expands. You are amazed at how many things can fit in a minimum of days. The simplest experience seems unique and majestic. Waking up in another place is different to waking up in your own bed. Even coffee tastes different.

Now think of your daily routine. When you’re always trying to beat the clock, when twenty-four hours are never enough to do everything you have to do, only to find at the end of the day that you did nothing exceptional and that the Rolling Stones’ “Time is on my side” was a lie.

A few years ago, I started my training as a theater educator for children. So I had to scrape the hardened “adult” mask off my face and remember what it is to play like a child.

When children play, you can tell they are entirely present and committed to the moment- both physically and mentally. I wonder how many of us can tell that about themselves and in which occasions.

When children play, they revel in the joy of discovering their surroundings. Everything is new and amazing in their eyes. Adults usually walk looking down at the ground, in the certainty that nothing new is to be discovered around them.

When children play, they don’t think much. They just do it. The rules are not there to control the game, but only to make it funnier. And if the game is not fun any more, they change the rules. And the game goes on and on. Because when children play, time ceases to exist.

Adults are not that comfortable with the thought that they cannot control everything, especially time.

Except for when we travel. That’s when we rediscover the child within us and its innate ability to always look at the world around us with brand-new, ecstatic eyes.

So I guess this is the story of how a catchy line from a bestselling American author, along with a continuing education program defined who I am today.

No, wait.

Who I like to be.

Photo of Founder Tina.

Tina

Founder

In 2010, the Greek crisis hit and the country went into freefall. From there begun a great and long adventure...

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Photo of tour Leader Andreas.

Andreas

tour Leader

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.

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Photo of travel designer Katia.

Katia

travel designer

As I was growing up, I jumped on every opportunity to create friendships without linguistic or other kinds of borders. It was never enough. 

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Photo of tour leader Pavlina.

Pavlina

tour leader

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain

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Photo of tour leader Niko a.k.a. Rude.

Niko a.k.a. Rude

tour leader

It must have been at the end of middle school when I discovered graffiti. 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 Accounting Associate George.

George

Accounting Associate

As Euclid said, the laws of nature are but the mathematical thoughts of God. So, maybe the reason I developed an inclination to mathematics is because I was so connected to the earth since my childhood.

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Photo of tour leader antigoni.

antigoni

tour leader

There is a theory that claims that your name determines who you are. Antigone, the famous heroine of a Greek tragedy, defied the rules and for that she faced death.

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Photo of tour leader Josephine.

Josephine

tour leader

‘We must be willing to get rid of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us’. And so I did!

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Photo of tour leader maria.

maria

tour leader

Growing up, I had always thought that life always puts us on the right path. As I got older, however, I discovered that...

 

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Photo of tour leader katerina.

katerina

tour leader

I am a fan of poetry. Poems have the ability to paint a picture in just a few words… especially while traveling.

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Photo of tour leader Elizabeth.

Elizabeth

tour leader

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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Photo of tour leader Tania.

Tania

tour leader

I was about five, and I was taking part in a school celebration. When I stood behind the microphone, my mind went blank and my mouth went dry. Tears welled up in my eyes.

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Awards & Accolades

Testimonials

"Traveling to Delphi was wonderful. But what made the experience the best part of traveling to Athens were the guides and staff of Alternative Athens-Elisavet and Tania were so great!! . Yes, it's more expensive than maybe some other touring companies, but it's entirely worth it. I hope to travel back to Greece soon and I will certainly be reaching out to Alternative Athens for another tour."

Sarah Y

"A great introduction to the myriad of Athenian fare. Our small group was treated to a special experience walking the backstreets into bakeries, markets olive oil, souvlaki outlets and hidden cafes. Great way to start your Athens experience."

RMM07

"Our guide was excellent. He not only took us to try some great food, but showed us parts of Athens that we could not have found ourselves. I would recommend this tour to others."

Paul M