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Drive: Athens --> Delphi --> (Olympia -->) Mycenae

Drive: Athens --> Delphi --> (Olympia -->) Mycenae

Old Oct 3rd, 2004, 08:02 PM
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Drive: Athens --> Delphi --> (Olympia -->) Mycenae

Hi folks:

I would like to drive from Athens to Delphi, and then on to Mycenae and Nafplion.

Would you recommend driving Athens to Delphi and then crossing the Gulf of Corinth by ferry (Itea? Galaxidi? Nafpaktos?) and then along the Peloponnese to Mycenae?

Or should I just drive Athens to Delphi, and then return back to Corinth and cross over?

Finally, tell me what you think about this:
Athens --> Delphi ---> cross over to Patras --> Olympia --> Mycenae --> Nafplion.

If I did such a trip, is an early morning departure from Athens, mid-day in Delphi, and overnight in Patras/Olympia do-able? I'd like to at least make a quick visit to Olympia if it is possible.

Thanks.

Rick in Maryland
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Old Oct 3rd, 2004, 09:41 PM
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Rick-

I did a tour a few years ago very similar to what you are proposing,
Athens --> Delphi ---> cross over to Patras --> Olympia --> Mycenae --> Nafplion.


I went:

Athens.
Delfi (2 nights).
west on the mainland to Rion, ferry cross to Antirion. Thru Patras and on to Olympia.
Olympia (3 nights). On to Nafplio via highly recommended mountain road.
Nafplio (3-4 nights).
Return to Athens via Corinth.


I would almost certainly NOT do "Athens to Delphi, and then return back to Corinth and cross over." It's too much backtracking, and you miss the descent to the Corinth Gulf (more later).


First note, a brand new modernistic bridge has opened up bteween Rion and AntiRion at the western end of Gulf of Corinth within the last year. With the bridge open open, I don't know if that particular ferry crossing even exists anymore. I would prefer the bridge. My car in the ferry was below the level of ferry's sidewalls, we couldn't see a darn thing while crossing!


Some comments I have,

1) Definitely leave Athens in the morning. You would arrive at Delfi in early afternoon and still see some of it.

2) Delfi is one of the most wondorus sites in all of Greece, both for its natural setting and its cultural artifacts (museum and ruins). It seems unlikely you could do it justice in a few hours. You should consider at least an overnight stay, so you could tour Delfi on both the afternoon of arrival and possibly morning of departure.

3) Is there a special reason to overnight in Patras? It didn't seem worthwhile to me.

4) Delfi to Olympia via Patras is a leisurely & scenic trip (maybe 6hr).. The descent from Delfi to the Gulf of Corinth was scenic, with valleys full of olive tree groves stretching out to the Gulf of Corinth.

The westward drive on the north shore of the Gulf of Corinth is also spectacular in many places, and Galaxidi was an interesting diversion (lunch stop maybe?).

5) Olympia is definitely worth a trip, and I think an overnight. I stayed 3 nights in the lovely Europa Hotel on a hilltop on the outskirts of town, as it was the midpoint of our 18-day trip and we needed some 'downtime' to veg out, do laundry, etc.

6) Olympia to Nafplion, I'd heartily recommend the so-called "mountain road", and NOT the main highway. Start early in the morning , as it will take at around 6 hr to get to Nafplion. This road passes thru some wonderful medieval villages in Arkadia and near the Lousios Gorge: Langhadia, Dimitsana, Karitsena, & Stenmitsa (note, spelling may vary). On my next trip to Greece I plan to stay 1-2 nights in this mountainous Arkadia region.

7) Upon arrival in Nafplion, it makes an excellent base for day trips to Mycenae, Epidavros, etc.

8) Doing this tour traveling west on the north shore of the Corinth Gulf, ie counter-clockwise, makes it very hard to pull over and admire the view because the cliffs and seaside are on your LEFT. The road often has a center barrier, and with Greek drivers, curvy road, etc it might be foolhardy to walk across the road.

For this reason I would be tempted to do the tour in the opposte direction, ie clockwise, so that the Gulf of Corinth is on my RIGHT as I drive eastward, from Patras to Delfi.

Food for thought ... and I envy you!
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Old Oct 4th, 2004, 05:48 PM
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Tom --

Excellent excellent excellent. This is exactly the kind of information I need. So kind of you to share. I will consider all you said, and look into the new bridge you mentioned.

Also, did I understand your recommendation would be to do Athens --> Corinth --> Mycenae/Nafplion ---> Olympia via mountain route ---> up towards Patras to cross Gulf --->, then eastward toward Delphi ---> return to Athens?

Thanks!

Rick
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Old Oct 4th, 2004, 07:00 PM
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Rick-

re ".. did I understand your recommendation would be to do ..."

YES, exactly. The clockwise direction for the big loop.

It's not a super big deal whichever you choose. At the time, I do recall thinking how pretty the cliffs and turn-outs on the north side of Corinth Gulf were, and I was always on the opposite side of the road! (as I headed west).
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