Delphi visit - car or tour bus?

Jul 18th, 2005, 02:40 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 10
Delphi visit - car or tour bus?

My husband I will be visiting Athens in the next few weeks and while we had originally planned to spend 2 days and a night in Delphi, our schedule has changed and we can no longer stay over. We don't want to miss the opportunity completely to see the site and have opted for a day trip. We are trying to decide if we should rent a car and do it ourselves or take one of the organized day trips with CHAT or Key tours. Would appreciate suggestions. Thx.

Waysie is offline  
Jul 18th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 550
We took a 1-day Delphi tour in May and it was a mistake for me. Didn't want to drive, so I thought I'd give a tour a try. (Prior to this I have only taken 4-6 passenger mini van tours occasionally and a couple of 15 passenger bus trips out of Inverness.) I thought as we get older independent travel will ultimately prove too challanging to enjoy so I'd try a couple of day tours to see how it was. Have decided when I can't do it on my own, I'll just have to stay home.

First problem is the possibility of loud, beer-drinking tourists (no, not ugly Americans, ugly Frenchmen). Actually didn't have that on the Delphi tour, it was on the Argolis tour the next day - but it could happen on any. (Our tour guide said that while they were worse than the usual - 8 of them - it occasionally happens that there is a noisy group that keeps others from hearing the guide.) Not sure to happen, maybe not even likely. But very disappointing when and if it does.

All the bus tours from Athens have pretty much the same schedule. About an hour out of the city you make a potty/coffee stop for about half an hour at a place with some hot and cold drinks, some pastries and packaged snacks, and plenty of tourist-grade souvenirs. (Think these places are designed for tour buses to stop and no other reason.) You have and hour and a half (sometimes up to two hours) at Delphi, which includes the museum, and there's no time to go down the hill to the Sanctuary of Athena (with the round temple). Guide took about half the time at Ancient Delphi talking to us in two different locations, then we had half an hour to look around before going to the museum for half an hour. I felt very rushed in the museum. Then we went into the modern Delphi for the worst meal of the trip (the second worst was the lunch on the tour the next day). Left Delphi and went to Arachova for half an hour, which is a charming town, but you don't have time to wander far from the store they take you to. (And where they get a commission on anything anyone on the tour buys, I'm sure.) Other shops have much the same stuff (which wasn't of interest to me). You stop again at the same potty/coffee place on the way back to Athens and arrive in Athens around 7PM.

If you drive yourself, you'll probably want to pick up a car at the airport because most people who have driven in Athens and posted here don't recommend it. So that will take some time, though you can take the Metro. After driving on Santorini and Crete, we decided it wasn't so bad, so we're planning to return next May, rent a car, and do some things on the mainland - including a short stay in Nafplio that people rave about - and where we stopped in a parking lot for 15 min. on the next day's tour.

Another option is hiring a taxi. My daughter did that for a reasonable price (maybe 125 Euros) in Dec. a couple of years ago, but we couldn't find anything like that price in May. I'm not sure about public transportation, but if there's a train or bus you could take to Delphi, you can walk to Ancient Delphi in 5-10 min.

There are plenty of people who have taken these tours and enjoy them. My husband didn't dislike it as much as I did (he's not as cranky ) But I was frustrated that I couldn't stop along the road if I saw something interesting or picturesque, spend a few minutes looking around modern Delphi, or see the Sanctuary of Athena.

If you do take a tour, I learned while on it that some people didn't pay for lunch and were on their own. That was never offered me as an option, but I'd sure recommend doing it that way.
polly229 is offline  
Jul 19th, 2005, 11:11 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
We hired a taxi driver, Jordan Ntaioglou [[email protected]] to take us to and from Delphi (from Athens) Jordan's English is great and he was super nice to my family (my wife, myself, and our two teens). He is a driver, not a licensed guide, so we guided ourselves around after buying a book at a local souvenir shop.
I would DEFINITELY hire him for Delphi (from Athens). He took us to a small museum in Thebes on the way to Delphi and, on the way back to Athens, to a great restaurant (where we ate terrific feta cheese and bread -- made on premises -- and other Greek traditional foods for a very REASONABLE price).
Royy is offline  
Jul 20th, 2005, 06:14 AM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 29
My wife, my two daughters (ages 13 and 12) just returned from a fabulous trip to Greece in late June/early July. We hired an Athens taxi driver, Jordan Ntaioglou [[email protected]] to take us to Delphi for one day and to drive us around the Pelopennese for 3 days. His English is great and he treated us like royalty! He showed us great (and not expensive) places to eat for traditional Greek foods (and foods to tempt our teens' palates). He found us a great place to stay in Tolo that satisfied our need for a place on the beach with a pool--at a very reasonable price and a terrific breakfast.
Although Jordan planned out an itinerary for us (including Mystras--an incredible deserted Byzantine town with amazing frescoes), we were in full control of how long we spent at any museum or site, which gave us all the time we needed for exploring sites in depth. We weren't rushed around at all--it was so wonderful.
Jordan catered to our every need. When we wanted a restaurant, he showed us a great one. When he intuited that our girls needed ice cream, we stopped for ice cream. He also realized we love fresh fruit and baked goods, so he brought us to fruit markets and terrific bakeries. (Yes, I guess our family of tourists marches on its stomach!)
Jordan's prices are lower than the other taxi drivers whose websites we reviewed before hiring him. He is very easy to reach; his English is excellent; he is wonderful with teens (he has two teens of his own); and he is a warm and caring person. We recommend him highly!

Royy is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2005, 04:45 AM
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 144
Why not use the greek KTEL buses from bus terminal B, 260 Liossion St, Athens. There are fairly frequent services to Delphi.
Retsina is offline  
Jul 29th, 2005, 03:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 11
Hello! My name is German. I think that with excursion it will be more interesting than youself but for you can make only individual excursion. It will be dear enough. If you interests I can give the address of tourist agency in Athenes.
German2005 is offline  

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