Delphi/Olympia or Delphi/Meteora Choice

Old May 12th, 2015, 02:52 AM
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Delphi/Olympia or Delphi/Meteora Choice

Next September, our time in Greece will only enable my wife and I to visit Delphi along with only one of Meteora or Olympia.

What is the recommendation of you Fodorites?

Many thanks for your advice and comments.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 06:03 AM
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We cannot really give the best advice without more details, such as:
• How many days total are you allotting for this 2-landmark outing?
• Do you plan to rent a car, or do a bus tour or DIY by public transit?
• What's the full length of your Greece time, what else does it involve?
.... and finally, perhaps most importantly --
• What's behind your interest in these 3 places ... just because they're famous, or do you have special interest in ancient Greece, and for Meteora, religious reasons, or just the very unusual landscape??

Look at some Good Maps: this one (click to enlarge) shows all 3 sites: http://greeklandscapes.com/images/ma...map-2-1200.png ... note that any 2 of the 3 involve a lot of driving time ... using the michelin trip planner http://www.viamichelin.com helps you be more realistic.

With more facts from you, and some thoughts about why these 3, we can advise what may work best for you.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:27 AM
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From a logistical point of view Delphi and Meteora are north of Athens while Olympia is to the west. Since you are planning on Delphi then I would suggest you include Meteora. These two sites are completely different so make an interesting paring.
How are you planning on do the trip. There are good bus tours that do both in 2 or three days.
You can do Delphi in a day on the local KTEL bus but connections to Meteora are a bit difficult I understand. You probably would have to return to Athens then take the bus the next day.

Or you could rent a car. Now you have flexibility. We arrived Delphi late afternoon and got a hotel on a walk up basis then spend the evening enjoying the village and its magnificent views down to the gulf of Corinth.

Next morning we were at the archeological site at opening at 8. We had the site to ourselves for two hours before the first tour bus arrived. By then we were high up in the site and it was another hour before the crowds caught up to us. We then left and did the museum which was fairly uncrowded. by late afternoon we left and drove to Meteora. We arrive early evening and took the opportunity to drive through the mountains to get the lay of the land and photo opportunities without tour buses.
We stayed at the village of Kastri nestled below the mountains so we were very close to get an early start the next morning. again we beat the tour buses by an hour or so but by late afternoon it was pretty crowded. We chose to stay a second night in the village but probably could have left by late afternoon and could have been back in Athens by sundown. It is a 5 hour drive.
Here is what we saw.
Olympia Delfi Meteora
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr...7645469717811/
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:50 AM
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Jan and Stanbr - Many thanks for your responses.

Our hope is to visit all 3 sites, but we may not be able to due to possible time constraints.

To respond to Jan, the impetus is mainly because each site is famous, and if we are visiting Greece, I feel that, if possible, and if we have the appropriate time, we should try to see these world class sites.

Alternative 1 - Arrive Athens at 10am. Drive directly to Delphi to visit the site and museum. After the visit, drive to Kalambaka for the night. Next day, visit 2, or, hopefully,3 monasteries, after which (at approximately 6pm) drive back to Athens for a 2 day stay (Acropolis, Acropolis Museum and Archaeological Museum) before we go to the islands.

Alternative 2 - Arrive Athens at 10am. Spend 1 1/2 days in Athens sightseeing, and drive to Olympia in early afternoon (see some sites on the way). Day 2 - visit Olympia after which we drive to Delphi. Day 3 - visit Delphi, after which we drive back to Athens for the night, and leave for the islands the next morning.

There is a third Alternative (depending whether you feel that each of the 3 sites are "equally worthwhile", and worth the effort and time), and that is to do Alternative 2, but, instead of returning to Athens after Delphi, drive to Kalambaka that evening after visiting Delphi, and spend Day 4 in Kalambaka, returning back to Athens for the night.

Thanks for any suggestions or guidance.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 09:39 AM
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Just a couple of thoughts. I would not substitute one of these three sites and not do Athens. The area around the Acropolis is chock full of the kind of sites you are proposing to drive 5 hours each way to see.
Athens
http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632121475515/
Pick two and keep Athens in the plan.

Second if you do choose Meteora consider staying in the village of kastri. It is a charming little alpine type village right at the Monasteries so you will be right there first thing in the morning. When we work up the first morning we could see 3 Monasteries from our hotel room balcony.
Kalembeka is a few kilometers away. You can see Kastri in the album I attached in my first post.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 10:27 AM
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Stanbr - thanks for your response.

To be clear, both Athens and Delphi are a constant, and will not be replaced.

The question is, forgetting distances and locations (really, not a concern), would you recommend (a) Meteora over Olympia; (b) Olympia over Meteora; or (c) because they are both equally worthwhile, both.

To be fair, this question arises as a result of nothwithstanding that is the view of my wife that "a rock is a rock is a rock...", she is prepared to "go with the flow" and allow me my time on land. In turn, I am trying to be reasonable and not have her spend time at a site which generally considered somewhat less satisfying than the others.

Again, thanks for any response from one and all.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 10:50 AM
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If i had to choose, i would visit Delphi and Olympia.
Regardless of how impressive Meteora are, the importance of Olympia in the ancient and modern world cannot be ignored.

If you have a few days at disposal, i would first visit Delphi, then Olympia, and finally drive through the mountains of the Peloponnese to Nafplio and from there to Athens.

This is a region that has a lot to offer, beautiful mountain villages, archaeological sites, nice towns and amazing nature.

Personally i would skip Meteora.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 11:39 AM
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I have not been to Olympia but I'm so glad that I have had the chance to visit Meteora. It was amazing.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:01 PM
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Thanks.

Jan? Stanbr?

(or anyone else)?
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:34 PM
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To be honest, I never get why people go somewhere just because it is famous and they feel obliged to visit. I no way say that doing this is wrong, but it is completely outside of my way of thinking that I do not know how to offer some advice on this thread...
If someone has a specific motivation or specific interest or likes/dislikes, or something to base a judgement on, then advicing where to go and what to see is easier. Without any specifics, it is a shot in the dark and no one holds a crystal ball to know what you may find interesting or boring or averrage while there or not.
All I can say is it might worth to do your homework on each destination, see if something rings a bell. Maybe something on the historical background or the architecture or the scenery or something completely trivial might strike a spark and you will then know you have to visit X or explore that aspect of Y or whatever...
I am not sure how much my reply helped, but at least I tried.lol
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Old May 12th, 2015, 12:55 PM
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I misread your option 3 nevertoold.
To skip one of the two is a hard choice and must be made on the basis of what is important to each individual.
After visiting all three sites last June if I had to chose Delphi and one other I would chose Meteora. That is just one persons opinion. It is not anything negative with Olympia it is one of the most important sites in Greece. However we found Meteora to be amazing.
Unfortunately this may lead to everyone chiming in on what they liked best when the real question is what interests you the most.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 01:26 PM
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We can only say our opinion, based on what we like, OP still will have to decide based on his/her own personal interests
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Old May 12th, 2015, 02:22 PM
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Right you are clauser.
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Old May 12th, 2015, 07:57 PM
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My choice would include Meteora! Thought the monastaries, topography, nuns and monks were quite wonderful!
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Old May 13th, 2015, 09:07 AM
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Thanks for all of your responses!
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Old May 13th, 2015, 10:42 AM
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I think Olympia would be a better match to Delphi. They belong to the same Era, Ancient Greece. The Meteora monasteries were constructed in the Byzantine Era, a thousand years later. Both are UNESCO sites, wonderful, but I personally think that by visiting Olympia you will get a more "constructed" idea of Ancient Greece.
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Old May 16th, 2015, 07:03 AM
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Again - thanks for your responses - much appreciated!
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Old May 20th, 2015, 05:32 PM
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Chiming in a bit late, but here's another thought.

The monastery of Hosios Loukas (sometimes written as Ossios Loukas) is very close to ancient Delphi - no more than 40 minutes away by car. It's beautiful and would provide you with a taste of Byzantine Greece.

I believe you could then still see Olympia which is one of our favorite sights in Greece (we are Peloponnese junkies).
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