expat explore balkans: delphi and meteora, greece

Delphi and Meteora. This was actually the second day of the tour. The first day was meeting the tour leader and an orientation tour of Athens in the afternoon.

Delphi sits on the slope of Mount Parnassus and comes from the word womb. It's known for the oracle or the Pythia at the sanctuary dedicated to Apollo. The sanctuary is mostly ruins now, but I had noticed the Temple of Apollo, the Theater and I think the Stadium/Gymnasium. We also went inside the museum.

We traveled to Meteora afterwards. The rock formation elevates the six monasteries (originally 24). We went inside the Monastery of St. Stephen where we were required to wear sarong (lol that's Indonesian) or skirt that can cover our knees. It's very gender-specific so women need to wear skirts (not pants) and men need to wear pants (and not skirts over their shorts). 🤷

Manila-Amsterdam and back is via KLM.

Booked round-trip on Transavia (a budget airline, subsidiary of KLM) from Amsterdam to Athens vv. Kinda expensive cos it was summer but I used a part of my miles so it was okay. :)

The Tour
Booked with Expat Explore. Search for the 16-day Balkan Explorer.

I've always traveled on DIY itineraries before and this is the first time I joined a group tour. I've solo traveled in Western and Central Europe but I wasn't quite comfortable on doing a Balkan tour on my own so I booked this trip.

What I liked about this tour

It's hassle-free. I booked online and paid online--on installments--which was really convenient for my budgeting.

Expat Explore has a very responsive customer service who helped me on guidelines with my Schengen visa. No, they don't process visas but when I wanted to double-check if I can enter certain countries using mine (specifically Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, and Serbia), they were very helpful to confirm from their end. I also did check of course with our local embassies (who are also very responsive) via email.

So in the end, if you're a Filipino doing the Balkan Explorer and you have a valid Schengen Visa, Type C, Multiple Entry--you're good!

It has some meals included. One of the hardest questions every day is "What do you want to eat?" This helped haha.

The accommodations are decent. Yes, the Balkans is still in Europe but notch it down. Like a lot down from your very modern city hotels (even the 3-star). The Balkans is very laid back and so are their accommodations. :)