Easter week in Greece

Old Feb 13th, 2014, 09:30 PM
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Moz
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Easter week in Greece

Hi,

I'm looking for input into my itinerary for Easter week in Greece for 6 people. I'm a little bit worried about closings, etc. So far I'm thinking

2 nights in Athens, which gives us 1 full day of sight-seeing
1 night in Nafplion (Corinth, Nemea (?), Epidaurus)
1 night in Monemvasia (Mycenae, Mystra, Sparta)
1 night in Olympia (caves of Diros, Mani?)
1 night in Delphi (Olympia, Delphi)
1 night in Meteora area
2 nights in Athens

Is this feasible? is it too much driving? what should we do in Athens on Easter Sunday?
Do we go with bus tours or private tours?

thanks
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:44 AM
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Do you mean:
Athens - Dafni - Elefsis - Korinthos - Mycenae - Thyrins - Nafplio - Epidauros - Argos - Sparta/Mistras - Monemvasia - Gythion - Mani/Diros - Kalamata - Methoni/Koroni - Pilos - Olympia - Patras - Nafpaktos - Delphi - Meteora - Athens?

It's possible if you start early in the morning (probably before you can get breakfast in most Greek hotels, if you don't visit the archeological places too much in detail, if you don't spend too much time for lunch and if you have no problems with small and sinuous roads (Southern Peloponnese)
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 05:41 AM
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Yes, small and sinuous roads scare me a bit. How bad are they? Can you compare them to Amalfi coast road? Is there a way to avoid them? From Monemvasia to Olympia the road looks somewhat strait. Is it possible to visit Mani/Diros and still get back on motorway?
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 06:37 AM
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Amalfi coast road traffic is heavier, and there is a "hint" of keeping the speed limit.
The traffic in Greece is light, however I don't think there is any speed limit enforcement. You will get used to cars zooming at you in your lane at 130km in 80km in no-passing zone areas after initial shocks and astonishment. This includes blind curves. The opposing cars would "eventually" leave enough "space" for you to pass each other. This does not mean you get your lane back. You just get a piece of physical space.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 10:07 AM
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Unfortunately, no, its not feasible. It will be extremely tiring, and you won't be able to see anything. You can't see the whole Mainland Greece in a Week, its absolutely impossible. Also, you mean the Orthodox or the Catholic Easter Week? If you mean the Orthodox, go to Corfu, it has by far the best Easter in Greece as it is the only city in Greece never conquered by the Turks, it was always Christian. The traditions are very rich, influenced by the Byzantines, Venetians and Cretans, the Easter in Corfu is the most famous in Greece, its fascinating. Google it. If you are a Catholic, a beautiful place to visit with a strong Carholic community is Syros. Syros is a gorgeous island, and its Chora (island's capital) the city of Ermoupolis is the capital of the Cyclades. Its a fantastic Neoclassical city, with a Catholic community which actually are the descendants of the Crusaders, that inhabited Syros on their way to Constantinople, and are still here today. The Catholic Easter is celebrated in Syros. So, what I recommend you, is to spend 3 days in Athens, and then visit either Syros or Corfu.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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PetrosB3, thank you for your suggestions but we are more interested in an ancient Greece/cultural tour.
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Old Feb 14th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Your itinerary is doable, but it involves quite some driving.... This part of Greece has a lot to see, but you won't have the time...
Nafplio - Monemvasia is a 3 hours drive, which will be longer if you stop at Mystras.

Monemvasia - Olympia is approximately 4 hours, but will be longer if you stop to see the Diros Cave ( calculate 90 min)
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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clausar, thank you for answering.

We're thinking of hiring a driver to make it easier on ourselves. If we skip Nemea and Diros Caves, would it be more doable? Would we miss a lot of fun by skipping the caves (we have 3 teens)?
1st day: Athens->Corinth->Epidaurus->Nafplion; spending afternoon and night at Nafplion
2nd day: Nafplion->(30 min drive) Mycenae (2 h touring) -> (1.5-2 h drive) Sparta(1.5 h lunch)->Mystra (1 h?)->coming to Monemvasia (1 h?) in the evening for dinner and overnight
3rd day: exploring Monemvasia in the morning-> (4 h drive) Olympia overnight with site visit next day

If we skip Diros Cave maybe we can visit Mystra on 3rd day on the way to Olympia to break the 4 hour drive?

Also, do you recommend hiring a licensed tour guide at any of the sites?
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 09:30 AM
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Why don't you visit Mycenae on the route from Korinthos to Nafplio instead of backtracking on day 2?

Count at least (for a somewhat decent visit):
1 hr for Corinth/Akrocorinth
2 hrs for Mycenae
1 hr for Thyrins
1 hr for Epidavros
0- 1/2 hr for Sparta
3 hrs for Mistras

You don't only skip Diros, but a lot of other gems along the coast, like Mani area, Methoni, Koroni, Pilos ....
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 10:04 AM
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Moz
Everything is a matter of budget.
Hiring a driver means that you would have to pay also for his meals. accommodation etc.

You would also need a mini van for a party of 6, that would have enough space for your luggage.

For a quotation for a van with driver, ask Amphitrion Holidays, one of the oldest incoming Operators of Greece with own fleet of Coaches and mini vans.

Amphitrion Holidays

46, Kyprou & Ploutonos, 172 36 Dafni , Greece
Tel: 21110-90000, 2109006000, Fax:2109249671,9249835/6
E-mail: [email protected]

Your itinerary from Athens to Nafplio anf further to Monemvasia and Olympia doesn't give you much time to enjoy the places where you will overnight.

Nafplio deserves more time than an afternoon and so does Monemvasia.

On your way to Olympia you can certainly stop at Diros, which is on your way to Kalamata. From Kalamata you won't drive via Methoni/Koroni/Pylos but will head north towards Tripoli and take E 55 to Kyparissia.

A tour guide is always a good idea in my opinion, much better than reading a guide book. In Olympia it will be possible for sure, not sure about Mystras.
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 05:11 PM
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neckervd, I was thinking of taking a scenic route from Corinth->Epidaurus->Nafplion and spending the afternoon and evening in Nafplion instead of trying to do both Epidaurus and Mycenae on the same day. I was trying to spend more time in Nafplion but I guess even that would be enough... There is not much information on Thyrins (Tyrins). It seems that bus tours don't visit? I want to visit. I have to find out about entrance fee and such. Instead of cutting things, I want to add them .
As clausar suggested, it looks like we have to skip Methoni/Koroni - Pilos. It's a shame but we have limited time.
Thanks
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Old Feb 15th, 2014, 09:50 PM
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For more information on all the monuments and archaeological sites of Greece have a look at the official portal of the Greek Ministry Of Culture :

http://odysseus.culture.gr/index_en.html
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 04:55 AM
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Thank you
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 06:13 AM
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Moz, we did a similar trip in Sept. in the same number of days and it was very doable. I would recommend two nights in Nafpoli and Montevassia. It was a lot of driving, but we felt it was worth it to see all the sights we wanted to see. The roads were excellent in my opinion, but some of the mountain roads were one lane each way and you could get behind a slow moving camper van driven by the Dutch who refuse to pull over to let you pass!!
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Old Feb 17th, 2014, 05:35 PM
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nanabee, thanks! I'm going to go for it!
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