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2 week itinerary for Greece: Peloponnese, Athens and Mykonos

2 week itinerary for Greece: Peloponnese, Athens and Mykonos

Old Jun 29th, 2009, 04:11 PM
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2 week itinerary for Greece: Peloponnese, Athens and Mykonos

Thinking of a 2 week trip in September, using the new Acropolis Museum as an "excuse" to finally go back to Greece (went to Crete and Athens as a small child, only been back briefly on business since). Here's my draft itinerary at this point:

Day 0: fly in to Athens late at night, overnight at airport Sofitel

Day 1: pick up rental car, drive to Delphi and visit ruins or museum

Day 2: Finish up Delphi and drive to Patras

Day 3: Drive Patras to Olympia, see archeological site / museum

Day 4: Drive to Napflio (apparently a strenuous drive)

Day 5: Excursion to Mycenae

Day 6: Excursion to Epidaurus

Day 7: Drive to Athens via ancient Corinth

Day 8: Acropolis Museum & Acropolis

Day 9: Flight or ferry to Mykonos

Days 10 through 13: R&R on Mykonos, possibly daytrip to Delos (worthwhile after all the sites we'll have seen?)

Day 14: fly home...

What do you think? Crazy? Just right?

Looking forward to your feedback!
Andre is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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This sounds like a very good trip. well timed and not too rushed.
The drive from Olympia to Nauplion could be strenuous if you go through the mountains and visit the little villages of Dimitsana and Andritsaina. Apparently the trip with stops will take 8 hours. If you are not interested in the villages and mountain driving you can just hop back on the National Highway and re trace your steps until you come to the turn off south to Nauplion. That is highway driving most of the way.

While you are in Corinth be sure to find Ancient Nemia. it is just at the turn off for Nauplion. It was a sister to Olympia and it has its own stadium temple and museum. Well worth a stop for an hour or so.
On the way to Mycenae stop at Ancient Tiryns. The home of Hercules and only 4km outside of Nauplion.
The only suggestion I have for you is be sure to spend time exploring Nauplion. it is one of the prettiest cities in Greece and has Venetian era fortress to explore and a wonderful old town.
Delos is always a good visit.
Here are some pictures
stanbr is offline  
Old Jun 29th, 2009, 06:46 PM
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I think Delos is an excellent site. My opinion was influenced by the nice little boat ride and the size of the place which spread out the group I was with very nicely. I explored for just a few hours before running back to Mykonos to cool off at the beach. Its hot and not shaded so bring a hat and sturdy shoes.

I enjoyed Mykonos. It undeniably touristy with expensive food and expensive shopping...but its also pretty and relaxing with good people watching and nice beaches.

Your trip is not to my own taste so its hard to comment - I think that is a lot of traveling for a multitude of Greek ruins. Thats not bad....its just not my own preference. Delphi is really nice when not drowned by tour groups. I love Nafplio and found the the fortress above town as well as the little island fortress, very good. I would myself cut Olympia and devote another day to the area around Nafplio - trying maybe to day trip down to Mystras or Monemvasia both of which I found more interesting. Its all subject to your interests. Mainland Greece has a plethora of lovely villages, great vistas, magnificent and relatively under appreciated sites beyond historical ruins. Just my two cents though. Greece is fantastic - your sure to have a great time.

NaxosTravels is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:22 AM
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It is a well planned trip.

Definitely enjoy Nafplio. Beautiful town. There is a free self-guided tour you can take with histories on about 40+ sites in the city center. You can turn on/off the tape at your own pace. You can pick them up at the "tourist" kiosk right on the harbor. Very walkable and highly recommended.

My only other comment is that I'd spend more time in Athens, but we're in the group that really liked Athens and thought it was a fascinating city with much to enjoy. We spent 6 days there and still didn't see/do everything. But you'd have to cut something else out and may not want to do that.

Considering your interest in historical sites, I would though highly suggest you visit the National Archeological Museum while in Athens. Truly a world-class museum. Very well laid out with explanations in Greek and English. Enjoy a break in the cafe in the lower courtyard - beautifully landscaped.
dfr4848 is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:24 AM
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PS - we stayed at the Airport Sofitel our last night before an early morning flight. Very nice hotel with large very well appointed rooms and accommodating staff. Think you'll really enjoy it.
dfr4848 is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:47 AM
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Andre, this year I went to Olympia for the first time, after many Greece trips. Museum was wonderful— Pediments of Temple of Zeus intact and huge was breathtaking —but I was underwhelmed by the site itself. And I've studied Greek art & archeology for years. If you do go to Olympia, to avoid mobs: Go to Museum FIRST THING in AM (8:30 am) & you'll be alone-- bus crowds are outside. For Delphi, arrive in evening, See site at 8:30, museum by 10 or so, to beat bus tour throngs.

In fact -- have you considered doing your route in Reverse??? That's what many many people do. It would enable you to plan your on-site times more advantageously for crowd-avoidance. Let's look at such a scenario -- Use excellent Driving trip planner sites like Michelin or UK's Drive-alive to find distances, times, best routes: http://www.viamichelin.com/viamichel...ing_directions http://www.drive-alive.co.uk/route_planner.asp

Day 1: To Nafplio (1-2 hr stop @ancient Corinth?): explore town, Enjoy FAB!!! Museum, town, ruins, Sunset

Day 2: Mycenae 8:30 - 11, Stop at Tiryns, then a Swim? (try Asine, outside of Tolo!!)

Day 3: Epidaurus AM ...then a swim: go up (or drive up back of) Palamidi for sunset?

Day 4: Westbound to Pylos area, (3.5 hours driving, good roads ) with mid-day stop south of Sparta for 3 hours to see Mystras. NOTE: I actually recommend stopping outside Pylos in Gialova on the sea ... tiny magical place on Bay of Navarone: no one knows about; google it! Charming budget hotel Zoe is a dream, on the water. You will thank me.

Day 5: AM: explore Bay of Navarone, then drive North to Olympia for dinner (2 hr drive)

Day 6: Olympia site 8:30 - 12 Then to Delphi (thru Patras... a 4 Hr drive)

Day 7: Delphi 8:30 - 1 pm. Drive to Athens airport (3.5 hours) Fly to Mykonos (or ferry from Rafina... your choice).

Day 8, 9, 10: Mykonos R & R -- 1/2 day trip to Delos

Day 11: Fly/ferry back to Athens in Afternoon. Go to Acropolis for sunset!

Day 12, 13 - Acropolis Museum, Nat. Arch Museum, Ancient Agora etc etc etc and enjoy
cafes, Plaka area, SO many things ...

Day 14 - Fly home

Yes, it's a lot of ruins, but we love them don't we?? And I particularly like to interleave ruins visits with beach time. And if you leave Athens to the last, you give yourself more flexibility in case there's a "glitch" or you decide to prolong time along the way ... plus, after time spent immersed in history, the Athens landmarks will resonate so much more. Have a Dream Trip ... and I have a feeling it won't be your last!
travelerjan is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 06:54 AM
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As I was typing, Dfr4848 responded. I am sorry to report that in Nafplio the free self-guided audio tour is no more -- it discontinued without notice and with no explanation. Since I'm a Destination expert for Nafplio on another forum, I spent an hour in May vainly searching for the kiosk(s). Even the port police were baffled. I then went to the Tourist Info Office -- which is a DISGRACE. No one there even speaks English (or French or German). They had a high-school boy there to translate (barely). They shrugged off explanations. I am following up to try to improve tourism assistance there. But in the meantime -- go to the excellent book store on the Square ... and examine the available paperback booklets: the best one has blue cover "Nauplion, first capital of Greece." Good city map, covers Mycenae Tiryns, Epidaurus.
travelerjan is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 07:27 AM
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Jan - wow, that's really disappointing news. It was such a good guide aid. We found the tourist office a rather sad state ourselves. Thanks for the update - I'll stop spreading the rumor (!).
dfr4848 is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 07:34 AM
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I agree with Jan - Pylos is nice and there is a really interesting fortress/site in Methoni near by - a real gem. The town is lovely amd would make a great stop. I like Jan's route actually - I think that looks good. If you go Olympia to Delphi consider a stop and walk around in Nafpaktos - nice waterfront areas, perhaps stop for dinner. You'll be able to get up early and see Delphi first thing the next morning before heading to Athens airport.
NaxosTravels is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 02:11 PM
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Thank you all for the great info!

2 things struck me - first of all, it seems like we might be spending relatively too much time and effort to fit in Olympia. However, combining Delphi and the Napflio area without circling around via Olympia would seem to involve some significant backtracking.

Secondly, I also believe that Athens was getting shortchanged.

So, here's plan B:
Day 0: fly in to Athens late at night, overnight at airport Sofitel

Day 1: pick up rental car, drive to Mystras, stopping at Menia. Overnight at Pyrgos Hotel Mystras

Day 2: finish touring Mystras, drive to Napflio via Geraki and coastal route. Overnight Napflio TBD

Day 3: Excursion to Mycenae, overnight Napflio TBD

Day 4: Napflio

Day 5: Excursion to Epidaurus, overnight Napflio TBD

Day 6: Drive to Athens via ancient Corinth

Day 7: Acropolis Museum & Acropolis

Day 8: Archeological museum and Agora

Day 9: Flight or ferry to Mykonos

Days 10 through 13: R&R on Mykonos, possibly daytrip to Delos

Day 14: fly home...

As it is actually more economical for us to fly straight back home from the islands, travelerjan's suggestion of going to Athens after Mykonos doesn't make sense for us. Unfortunately, we are also late risers... so showing up at 8:30 at an archeological site is probably not in the cards - in our experience, the hordes tend to leave the big attractions reasonably early as well, so their guides can take them to the souvenir store ;-) And I definitely try to avoid several successive days with drives of over 3 hours when on vacation.

Finally, I am also having second thoughts re: my choice of island! Rhodes is looking very tempting as well... will start a new thread on the subject.

So: plan A or plan B??
Andre is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 03:33 PM
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Do be aware that you are going in September, and that Greece's ancient sites & museums are NOT always tourist friendly ... the museums often close at 2:30 or 3 pm (1500). I definitely advise checking on this, so as not to be disappointed.

I think Rhodes is fascinating ... especially if you read up on the Crusades stuff ... When I went in 2006, they were still allowing people to walk on TOP of the Old Town wall on Tues & Sat. afternoons (I don't know if that is still allowed -- probably some lawyers scared them)... should be checked at Greek Nat. Tourist office (if they will deign to investigate).

Lindos has some high-end hotels ... however, might be good to check Trip Advisor Greece forum; Fodors doesn't have as many long-term Greece visitors or ex-pat contributors. Lindos has become something of a UK package-holiday haven. I don't know if that's where u are from, maybe you fancy an all-Brit ambience, lots of beer? Just sayin. YOu might want to ask your Lindos question there.

I suggested doing Athens last because most people have a round-trip (return) ticket that requires coming/leaving from Athens. Perhaps u are using some bargain 1-way European airlines and can do 'open-jaw' itinerary, lucky you!
travelerjan is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 03:37 PM
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An "old Rhodes hand" (he's been there 20 times at least) also suggests Pefkos, beach town just below Lindos on the same road, for a low-key beach stay.
travelerjan is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 04:01 PM
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Well, Mystras really is magnificant in my opinion - a highlight but if you prefer to stay overnight elsewhere you could. The little town of Mystras is nice but very small and there is nothing to do (granted there is nice scenery). I think we spent about 4hrs at Mystras, at most 5 and we really took our time and saw every inch. I denfinatley wouldn't stay overnight if your thinking of going to Sparta to hang out - I found Sparta to be highly unappealing and a traffic nightmare. Your testing my memory for drive times but what I would consider is driving down to Monemvasia, spending the night, then getting an early start visiting Mystras for a few hours the next day on your way to Nafplio.

Can't help you with Rhodes as I haven't had the pleasure. Its at the top of my list for must-sees the next time we go to Greece.

Can't wait to hear about your trip - be sure to tell us how it went.

NaxosTravels is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 05:09 PM
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Are you now planning to leave out Delphi? It was my favorite place. We also found Olympia to be very peaceful and lovely.
carolyn is offline  
Old Jun 30th, 2009, 08:02 PM
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Oi did not suggest Mystras as your first plan did not leave enough time to do the day trip there. It is certainty worthwhile.
Here are some pictures.
If you are heading south then perhaps you may enjopy Monemvassia. it is a living 15 th century fortified town and you can stay within the walled city. An exceptional experience.
More pictures
stanbr is offline  
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