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mjz_kc Dec 15th, 2017 06:54 AM

Greece -- Alternative to Athens
My partner and I will be sailing from Athens to Polyegos, Milos, Santorini, Patmos, Kusudasi, Mykonos and Kythnos this Summer. We plan on spending a few days in Athens on the front end. We had intended on flying from Athens to Istanbul on the back end for a few days. However, with the on-going USA/Turkey visa situation, this might not be an option. With that said, we won't want to spend another three days in Athens and I already have our airlines tickets booked with a return from Istanbul.

There's ample time for a resolution between the USA and Turkey between now and the end of August, but I'd like to have a plan B in place. Can anyone please recommend any alternatives within 3 to 4 hours of Athens (Marina Zea)? Since we will have already hit many islands, I don't think we necessarily will need to jump on a ferry unless there's a superb island close by. I'd like somewhere relaxed with a small luxury hotel perhaps on a beach?

Thank you in advance.

Heimdall Dec 15th, 2017 07:43 AM

Nafplio! Three hours by road from Athens, a beautiful seaside town amongst some of the most important historical sites in Greece.

HappyTrvlr Dec 15th, 2017 07:45 AM

Yes, one of the two most beautiful cities in Greece, Napflio.(The other is Chania,Crete.)

MoBro Dec 15th, 2017 08:42 AM

If you don't want to go far from Athens, we liked The Westin Athens Astir Palace Beach Resort.

kja Dec 15th, 2017 02:11 PM

I agree that Nafplio would be well worth considering.

aliced Dec 15th, 2017 06:07 PM

Another recommendation for a trip to the Pelopponese, with stops in Corinth, the fascinating Mycenae, then Napflio. Seeing Mycenae before we saw all its treasures at the Nat'l Archaeological Museum (Athens) was of particular interest to us, but it might be nearly as enjoyable seeing it in reverse. If Hydra is not included in your other stops, that might work too.

mjz_kc Dec 16th, 2017 05:27 AM

Thank you to all. I've spent coffee time this morning reading about Peloponnese/Napflio. Excellent suggestion. This is definitely plan B for us. Actually, I'm thinking we're just going to nix Istanbul and do this instead.

Happy Holidays!

stanbr Dec 16th, 2017 08:32 AM

Since you seem to have chosen the Peloponnese you might want to stop in Corinth for Ancient Nemia and Ancient Corinth then on to Nafplio and all the antiquities in this area.

Then continue deeper and take in Mystras the Byzantine city at Sparti, perhaps Monemvassia and stay in a period room in a 14th century walled town.

Then look at the Mani and further west at Koroni, Methoni and Pylos, there are Venetian castles in this area.

And by now you are close to Olympia.

Then head north and then east cross the gulf at Patras and visit Delphi then continue north to Meteora. Its an unforgettable circle trip.

Olympia Delphi Meteora
Peloponnese Battle Castles
Nafplio and Peloponnese

mjz_kc Dec 16th, 2017 10:12 AM

Thank you for the detailed advice, stanbr.

kja Dec 16th, 2017 11:44 AM

If you are adding to your time in Greece, you might find some useful information in my trip report:

mjz_kc Dec 17th, 2017 08:44 PM

Wow, excellent report with great details. Thank you, kja.

kja Dec 17th, 2017 08:46 PM

Glad you found some value to it! Thanks for letting me know. :-)

haritakiscrete Dec 20th, 2017 03:17 AM

Hi there

How many days do you actually have in Athens at the start of the trip? You can easily spend a week in the city, there's just so much to see and not just the major ancient sites. All I'm saying is by all means continue with your "plan B" but do allow sufficient time to see all that Athens has to offer.

xcountry Dec 20th, 2017 04:45 AM

“Actually, I'm thinking we're just going to nix Istanbul and do this instead.”

In 2012 or so we went Athens, Nafplio, Istanbul. In your shoes I would be tempted to spend those first few days in Nafplio. And Istanbul would be the last place I would cut from any trip. Have fun.

Heimdall Dec 20th, 2017 08:22 AM

Xcountry, read the original post and you will see why mjz_kc is wisely considering Plan B. In October Turkey suspended most visa services for US citizens, while you, as a Canadian, can still get an electronic visa or one at the border.

The latest info from the US State Department is as follows:

<i>"On November 7, 2017 the Government of Turkey announced the resumption of limited visa services. U.S. citizens may request in–person appointments for visas at Turkish Embassies and Consulates in the United States and abroad. U.S. citizens cannot obtain new e-visas, and most airport visa options for U.S. citizens remain suspended."</i>

xcountry Dec 20th, 2017 08:28 AM

I think we all know that by now Heimdall. The OP also said "Actually, I'm thinking we're just going to nix Istanbul and do this instead."

I'm suggesting in her shoes I would not do that.

Heimdall Dec 20th, 2017 10:29 AM

Xcountry, so in "her shoes" you would make an in-person appointment for a visa at the Turkish Embassy or a consulate? How far would you be willing to travel to reach the nearest consulate?

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