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10 days in Greece - mainland

Old Jan 11th, 2012, 05:37 AM
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10 days in Greece - mainland

Hi!
I'm planning my trip to Greece. My "must to see lis" are Athens, Meteora, Vergina and Delphi. I don't want to rush and spend a lot of time driving, besides, I've heard that all places of interest are closed after 3 am. Now my plan looks like Delphi - 1 night, Meteora - 3 nights, Athens - 2 nights. What else? Pelopponess with Olympia and Sparta?
Any suggestions? Maybe some picturesque villages?
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 07:20 AM
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Spending 10 days on Mainland Greece sounds like a great idea !
The best way to explore the Mainland is with a car, but i am sure you have done your research already, and know that.

There are many great places to visit, but before making any recommendations it would be important to know when you would like to travel.

If it is during the summer season Museums and sites won't be closing at 3 pm but later.

Also keep in mind that the Mainland is very big, the distance between Sparta and Vergina for instance is approximately
700 km.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 07:29 AM
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In the summer months, major sights like Delphi should be open until later (7pm to 8pm in most cases). Smaller sights may still close at 3pm.

With ten days, I would pick either "Athens and North" which would include Delphi, Meteora, and Vergina which you want to see, or I would choose "Athens and South" which would include the Peloponnese. I just wouldn't try to fit in the north with the Peloponnese with that short of a visit because that would be A LOT of driving!

Near Delphi, try to visit the Osios Loukas monastery. The mosaics are stunning . Here's a link to tell you a bit more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hosios_Loukas

Happy Travels! We LOVE Greece~
TA
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 10:16 AM
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With the time you have available I think Olympia is too far and Sparta not interesting enough... I'd go to Nafplion. Only 3 hours or so from Athens and close to Epidaurus, Tiryns, Nemea and my favourite, Mycenae.

Within easy reach of Athens (and contrary to what you may hear you CAN keep a car while in Athens... I found parking close to our hotel for under 20 euros) are things like Marathon, Sounion
and even Thermopylae (not as it was then but still, I'm glad to have been there.)
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 10:26 AM
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ParisAmsterdam
10 days are more than enough to make a Peloponnese tour, and while Sparta may not be very interesting, nearby Mystras is and so are Monemvasia Gythion and Elafonisos that are in Laconia too !!!
Nafplion can be perfectly combined with South Peloponnese.

Keeping a car in Athens is not as simple as it sounds, driving through Athens on a daily basis is for many non Greeks , not particularly easy.

The last place i would drive to, would be Thermopylae... (220 km away from Athens), Olympia instead is one of the most interesting archeological sites of Greece.
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 11:45 AM
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If you rent your car or drop off your car at ATH airport, 2 relatively close sights to see are Sounion (Sounio) and Brauron (Vravrona). Both are excellent . Even though it is more expensive, we always pick up and return our cars at the airport to avoid the headache of driving in Athens proper. You can easily take the metro or bus, or hire a taxi, to get there from the city center,
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Old Jan 11th, 2012, 08:26 PM
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Oh, thank everybody! I forgot to mention it'll be end of April-May, so the weather must be fine. Of cause, we'll be taking a car, and I already thought to return it in airport and then use taxi or smth to get to Athens(it'll be the final point) and do it by foot mostly. I completle agree with TexasAggie and prefer "Athens and North", leaving Peloponness for the next time, but then 10 days is a little bit too much and need some more places, like Sounion, Brauron, I'll check them (thank you,TaxesAggie again),Smth maybe "off the beaten track"?
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Old Jan 12th, 2012, 05:03 AM
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A couple other sights we eventually want to see in Attica (region where Athens is located) are Rhamnous (ruins of a temple to Nemesis) and Oropos, which appears to have extensive ruins.

Late April to early May is a lovely time to visit Greece. The wildflowers are AMAZING, truly. Hotel rates are usually a little lower and the crowds have not yet arrived at most sights. Keep in mind that May 1st is a major holiday in Europe and sights/museums will be closed. Restaurants will be open of course. It will also be a little chilly for the beach for my personal taste, but we have seen people swimming in the sea that early in the season.

The Epiros region (near Albania) looks absolutely beautiful and is steeped in history and folklore. We have always wanted to visit Ioannina and surrounds. If you've read "Eleni", the village of Lia might be appealing to visit. The granddaughter of the original Eleni has recently rebuilt her grandmother's home there.
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Old Jan 14th, 2012, 06:14 PM
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clausar,

I mention Thermopylae because of the OP's wish to go to Meteora.

10 days for Athens, Delphi, Meteora and the Peloponnese does not leave much time to cover a huge area of the latter is all I'm saying.
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Old Mar 20th, 2012, 09:20 PM
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I want to add one more question - yesterday I saw photo of Drakolimni lake near Smolikas mountain, in Ioannina district. It's pure magic site! But I couldn't find how to reach it? Anybody knows?
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Old Mar 21st, 2012, 02:02 AM
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tasta, Drakolimni is very beautiful, but too far away....
It is located near Papigo, a village located north of the city of Ioannina, in Epirus.

Drakolimni is located in an altitude of 2050 meters, and it can be reached on foot from Mikro Papingo, in 4 hours.....

The wider area of Zagorochoria is amazing and unspoiled, and it's one of the nucest ( and not touristy) parts of Greece.
Ioannina is the capital of Epirus, a very nice city located on a lake, and apart from the many mountains with the traditional villages, you can reach the coastline in 1 hour, where there are terrific beaches in Sivota but also in Parga and Preveza.

You could also combine Epirus with 20-3 days in Corfu ( you can take the ferry from Igoumenitsa).

Should you decide to see this part of Greece ( there's plenty to see there !!!) you won't have any time left for the Peloponnese or Central Greece....
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