First Trip to Greece: What should I see?

Old May 3rd, 2002, 11:59 AM
  #1  
Tina
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First Trip to Greece: What should I see?

Hi!

I am starting to research my trip to Greece for later this year. I've never been and would like a good mix of archeological sites, culture, and island atmosphere.

Most of the postings I've read on this board talk primarily about the islands? How about the mainland. Anything else worth seeing besides Athens? How long in each location?

Thanks in advance!
 
Old May 3rd, 2002, 05:07 PM
  #2  
ppp
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Athens aside, we spent 1 night in Delphi, another one in Patras (if I had to do it again I'd probably choose Olympia) and 3 in Nauplion, before hitting the islands and Turkey. If we had 2 extra nights, we probably would have visited Meteora, rather than extending our Peloponnese visit (we didn't get to Nestor's Palace, neither to Monemvasia).

IMO, 1 night in Delphi and 3 nites in Nauplion is just about perfect. Near Delphi is the Osios Loukas monastery that one shouldn't miss. If one decides to visit Olympia and/orthe Bassae temple and the interesting villages of Langadia and Dimitsana, A night in Olympia is also called for. In Nauplion, besides enjoying the nicest port city in Greece, there are Micenae, Epidavros and Argos. A one-day trip to Mistras is also rewarding.
 
Old May 3rd, 2002, 07:33 PM
  #3  
Grasshopper
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Meteora is incredible.
 
Old May 4th, 2002, 04:48 PM
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Tom Ward
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I have to agree with Grasshopper. We were in Greece last May. Meteora is absolutly a must see site. Another site that many people overlook, and it was my fiance's favorite, is the walled city of Monemvasia. Also the Necremadio, near Parga is a very spooky oracle site. Very creepy. Older than Delphi. It is the one place my wife (my fiance at that time) keeps talking about. It is a very mysterious place. Another is the Trainride from Diakofto to Zachorlou.
 
Old May 4th, 2002, 05:57 PM
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Vera
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I realize it goes against the grain, but I always recommend that people spend at least a week in the Peloponese on their first trip to Greece. If you have another week, divide it between Athens and a near-by island like Hydra, or spend a week in Crete. The Mani peninsula and Monemvassia are totally unique and wonderful places that people usually miss on the Pel.
Now I have to ask Tim--where are those places you mention. Sound wonderful, and on my four trips I haven't been there yet. Planning number five.
Vera

 
Old May 4th, 2002, 06:07 PM
  #6  
AmberLynn
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Hi Tina,
My husband and I went to the mainland Greece last May. You can get an idea of what we did, what we liked, and what we didn't like by looking at our page.
http://thetells0.tripod.com/arrival.html
And no I'm not advertising anything, this is simply a diary of our visit there.
I hope you get useful information from it.
Amber Lynn
 
Old Jul 13th, 2002, 08:50 AM
  #7  
Carlos
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Tina,

We spend a week in the mainland for our honeymoon during May 2000 (rented a car).

Day 1 - Zagorohoria (highly recommended by Lonely planet)- a region by Northwestern Greece (an hour north of Ioannina). Great for nature lovers and hikers.

Day 2 - Went to the Perama cave and stop in Metsovo on our way to Meteora.

Day 3 - Meteora Monasteries (has to be one of the most awe-inspiring places in the world!).

Day 4 - Delphi

Day 5 - Diafkoto-Zacholrou rack and pinion train tour (the train was sold out and I was most dissapointed that I could not ride the train) and Mystras (in Sparta)

Day 6 - Pirgos Dirou caves and Monemvassia (southern peloponesse)

Day 7 - Nafplion and Athens

Day 8 - Athens and trip back home.

My favorites hands down were Meteora and Monemvassia.

Metora has been somewhat spoiled by mass tourism and the roads built so that people like us can access them. However, with regards to mass tourism, most tourist buses leave after 3:00 and the monasteries are practically empty after 3:00 PM and you can then really enjoy their serene beauty. What this means is that you have to stay there overnight. My recommendation is to fly to Ioannina, rent a car and drive to Meteora. The next day you may want to head to Delphi as it is only a few hours away. However, I was not very impressed with Delphi. Then you could cross the Gulf of Corinth and head to the Peloponesse.

Monemvassia is a wonderful medieval town that actually has been virtually untouched by mass tourism or time. The town is a gem. There is not much to do in the way of historical sites but the town is so appealing. The town is located inside a giant boulder and it is only visible from the water. Once inside (cars not allowed) walk around and you will have a great time getting lost in its maze of streets. There is an entrance to the ocean in the middle of the lower town (don't miss it). Catch a swim and swim far enough out where you can see the entire town behind its walls. Also take a trek up to the upper town (now abandoned) and visit the monastery. The upper town is so virgin that its trails are littered with not so friendly-looking spiders. However you can see the lower town and if you get to the right spot you can see the monastery as it clings of the cliff or the top of the boulder. Fantastic view.

I believe that 1 or 2 days in Athens is more than enough. Also go to the Temple of Poseidon in Sounion (1-2 hours from Athens).

 
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