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progol Dec 2nd, 2019 07:46 AM

Feedback appreciated on 3-wk Central Greece/Peloponnese itinerary
Hi, all,
I think Iíve got a good sampler for a 20-night itinerary (this is set - no days can be added) for September/October 2020. We will be traveling to and from France and this will be part of a 5 week trip. We are mid-60s/early 70s and are especially interested in the historical sights, archeology (obviously!) and architecture, as well as beautiful vistas. We will be getting a car In Thessaloniki and dropping it off in Athens, and understand that there is a drop off fee for this.

Iím trying to find the balance between sightseeing and a comfortably paced trip, minimizing 1-night stays and still getting to cover a range of places. We visited Athens on an earlier trip to Greece so will not stop there in this trip.

I think Iíve got a good itinerary and would appreciate comments; Iím not including the stops we will make at this point but Iíve been doing research and have already noted many sites/sights. So, any thoughts - again, this is the number of nights we have, so I canít add any more. The one area Iíve gone back and forth in is whether or not to include Pylos or instead add this to the Mani.
Any thoughts?

Fly Paris to Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki - 3
Meteora - 2
Delphi - 2 (accommodation location TBD)
Nafplion - 4
Monemvasia - 2
Kardamyli- 3
Pylos - 3
Corinth - 1
Afternoon flight to Marseille

Overall, I like it but wonder if I should eliminate Pylos and stick to the Mani or add or subtract elsewhere. Comments most appreciated!

travelerjan Dec 2nd, 2019 08:16 AM

You do not indicate whether you're interested in a beach experience along the way... in the fall, the water will be splendid, though when you emerge you may want a towel around your shoulders. A stunning place to stay, just 5-8 Km North of Pylos on the sea, is Gialova... a fab bay, small string of tavernas and a superb hotel, ZOE (its website says "resort" but it's not, it's a lovely family-run place), canopied balconies, gaze over small palms at the sea & sunset... great place from which to visit ruins, wildlife refuge, Nestor's Palace, etc, walk miles along beach not yet invaded by luxe hotels... also 10-15 minutes to Pylos for sunsets & dinner on its lovely square.

In Nafplio, the small "town beach" at the foot of hte bluff on the other side of the peninsula from Old Town is a lot of fun, and the walk around the point should not be missed. In Delphi, many modest hotels, just be sure your room is on the West (Downhill) side ... we stayed at Pan... owner asked if room on corridor behind lobby was OK, we said ??? let's see it, walked into room & onto balcony -- hawks were circling BELOW us, sheer view down mountain to olive groves, and the sea. We said, yes,this room's fine.

BDKR Dec 2nd, 2019 08:28 AM

I'd spend 1 night less in Thessaloniki and add 1 night in Meteora. 1 night is enough for Delphi.

From Delphi wouldn't go to Nafplio, but to Messenia(Pylos, Kardamyli), breaking the long drive with a 1 night stop at Olympia. (The night you saved in Delphoi).

Than you would work your way up north from the Mani to Monemvassia and Nafplio, stopping to see the ruins of Mystras.

I wouldn't spend the last night in Korinthos, it's an uninspiring city and it's close enough to Athens that you can leave Nafplio in the morning, see Mycene, than the Akrocortinth and the Corinth Canal and be in Athens by the evening.

Odin Dec 2nd, 2019 09:13 AM

Instead of staying in Delphi, I can recommend a stay in Galaxidi which is 30mins away on the coast. It has a lovely harbour and interesting architecture.

progol Dec 2nd, 2019 10:27 AM

Thanks, everyone, for your comments.

travelerjan, Beach stays are always welcome! I've looked at Zoe Resort and it looks lovely, though it does seem like its prices have increased to a more "resort" rate. I haven't yet looked at hotels in the area, so will certainly consider it. Having a beautiful view and a chance to walk along the beach will add to the trip, I'm sure.

BDKR, you have definitely given me some food for thought. I've been reading a lot about Thessaloniki, though, and it sounds like a vibrant city with much to see. We do love cities and since we are not going to Athens, I thought that the 3 nights will be good. We would leave fairly early, though, so get a half day at Meteora on the day we arrive, so don't think we will need 3 nights there. We are not hikers and I don't imagine we will need to see all the churches.

Now, one or two nights for Delphi is a good question - if, as Odin suggests, we stay in Galixidi, I'd more likely stay 2 nights. If we stay in Delphi, as travelerjan suggests, one night is probably sufficient. I was thinking of Arachova, as it is much closer than Galixidi and gets good reviews. This still remains to be determined.

But the routing you suggest BDKR has me thinking, though I'm still inclined to travel in the direction I've set. I was planning on stopping in Mystras on the way to Monemvasia; I thought we'd have enough time there. I'll rethink where we stay for the last night, though I'm less inclined to stop in Olympia the night before a flight as it is still a 2-hour drive, and (as I tend toward getting anxious) I try to keep the travel no more than about an hour away from the airport. But I'll play around with the order you suggest and see how that feels.

Many thanks everyone! All suggestions are welcome!

Odin Dec 2nd, 2019 10:42 AM

<<I was thinking of Arachova, as it is much closer than Galixidi and gets good reviews.>> Arachova is lovely as well, just depends if you want mountains or the sea.

BDKR Dec 2nd, 2019 11:18 AM

" We are not hikers and I don't imagine we will need to see all the churches."

In this case 2 nights is enough in Meteora.

Thessaloniki is indeed a great city. I had only 1 night and a bit less than a full day and it was not enough to see everything I wanted. I didn't have time to see any museums, except the house where AtatŁrk was born.

You'll not get bored with 3 nights in Thessaloniki, that's sure.

progol Dec 2nd, 2019 11:45 AM

Odin and BDKR, thank you again!

I will keep the 3 nights in Thessaloniki and 2 nights in Meteora.

I have time to decide about Delphi and where to stay and how long. Arachova sounds like the right balance for distance,to the site, while Galixidi sounds absolutely charming. although if we are only there for one night, I’m inclined to stay in Delphi.

HappyTrvlr Dec 2nd, 2019 01:20 PM

I donít see Mystras on your itinerary. Our Greek friends encouraged us to visit this Byzantine town/? site and we enjoyed walking through it. We spent the night in nearby Sparta.

progol Dec 2nd, 2019 01:21 PM

I wasn’t planning on staying over in Mystras but I thought we would visit on the way to Monemvasia. Is that a realistic plan?

progol Dec 2nd, 2019 01:46 PM

If we do 1 night in Delphi, the I could add 1 night in between Nafplion and Monemvasia. Does that make sense?

kja Dec 2nd, 2019 06:18 PM

Originally Posted by progol (Post 17024281)
Fly Paris to Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki - 3
Meteora - 2
Delphi - 2 (accommodation location TBD)
Nafplion - 4
Monemvasia - 2
Kardamyli- 3
Pylos - 3
Corinth - 1
Afternoon flight to Marseille

Should be nice!

It really depends on what you want to see and experience, but 3 nights may or may not be enough time for Thessaloniki. I felt hard pressed to see what I wanted there in that time, and I was on the move every possible minute.

Your times for Meteora, Delphi, and Nafplion make sense to me. I didn't stop in the other locations you mention and so can't comment.

I loved the view from my hotel in Delphi; I was not enamored of Arachova. To each his/her own! I had 2 nights in Delphi, but one would have been enough -- I got there before dark on one evening, and was glad to feel no pressure to rush through magnificent Delphi on the next day. I could easily have moved on that day without shortchanging the time I had on site or in the museum.

I'm trying to check how long I spent at Mystras, but am having a computer problem. I'll follow up on that later and send this post before I loose it.

You've probably seen my trip report, but just in case:

(pet peeve: finding a newly proposed itinerary when I can first log on for the day, only to find it's already possibly out-of-date. I wish people would give others at least a day to respond! I know, just my personal view, which you are free to ignore.)

progol Dec 2nd, 2019 06:32 PM

I’ve certainly read your report and have found it extremely helpful. I’ve already contacted the folks at your b&b in Thessaloniki! They sound very nice - we arrive at midnight and I just wanted to make sure that we would be able to get in late at night. They reassured me that this was no problem and would give me numbers just in case. I’m sticking to the 3 nights - I think it’ll be fine.

I appreciate the feedback of Arachova. I’ll need to make a decision about Delphi, and I’m still inclined to keep it to 2 nights as I really do prefer an easier pace, but good to know one night would’ve been fine. And you’ve given me incentive to keep to my original thinking of Delphi for the view.

Re: the itinerary- I like the itinerary that I proposed, but am exploring some of the suggestions to see if what others offer might be better. So far, the itinerary is not out of date!

Thanks for your thoughts - it’s very much appreciated!

starrs Dec 2nd, 2019 06:37 PM

It sounds like a wonderful trip. I don't feel like I should venture an opinion since my first trip was only a few weeks ago.

But I WILL suggest this restaurant in Delphi -
It was wonderful and one of the most beautiful views I've seen anywhere, including the Gulf of Corinth. The food and the service were wonderful.

(Having said that, I'd like 2 nights in Delphi (or nearby) so you have plenty of time to tour Delphi and relax and enjoy the town as well.)

kja Dec 2nd, 2019 06:57 PM

Interesting! No offense to starrs, but I was very disappointed with the restaurant she just mentioned, Taverna To Patrick Mas -- one of only two really bad meals I had in a month in Greece. (More expensive than other meals I had; overdressed salad, fatty lamb, potatoes that were too salty, and dry cake; all with music that was too loud making the crowd too loud.) I'm sure it varies day to day as crowds and dishes change. In contrast, I adored my meal -- and the even better view :) -- at Taverna Vakhos, also in Delphi.

I spent 4.5 hours at Mistras. I wish I'd had at least 1 hour longer.
I'm glad "my guys" in Thessaloniki have been responsive to you. :tu:

Odin Dec 3rd, 2019 02:11 AM

<<Taverna To Patrick Mas>> It's Taverna To Patriko Mas.

progol Dec 3rd, 2019 02:44 AM

Thank you starrs and kja, I’ll make a decision when we get there about the restaurant! Talk about two different experiences!

Now if anyone has a Delphi hotel that they highly recommend (Pan seems to be mediocre except for the views), I’d appreciate it!

kja Dec 3rd, 2019 03:51 AM

Originally Posted by Odin (Post 17024639)
<<Taverna To Patrick Mas>> It's Taverna To Patriko Mas.

OMG, of course! An uncaught auto-correct. :(

neckervd Dec 3rd, 2019 06:11 AM

What about
Thessaloniki (and Vergina) - Meteora - Delphi - Nafpaktos - Patras - Pyrgos - Olympia - Pilos - Kalamata - Sparta/Mystras - Monemvassia - Argos/Nafplio/Korinthos etc. - Athens airport.
People who visit Monemvassia continue often up to Neapolis and the stunning sand dune beaches of Elafonissos Island.
I reached Neapolis by car and passenger ferry from Kissamos (Crete, ferry change at Kythira Island).

Heimdall Dec 3rd, 2019 06:26 AM

If you have time when around the Pilos - Kalamata area, recommend visiting the huge archeological site of Ancient Messene. Despite its size and importance it gets few visitors, only about a dozen when we were there in mid September several years ago. I have some beautiful photos in my Flickr album, but have given up on getting it to work on Fodor’s. Instead, have a look at the entry in Wikipedia:

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