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Greece - Athens/Peloponnese itinerary late Sept/Oct

Greece - Athens/Peloponnese itinerary late Sept/Oct

Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 09:12 AM
  #1  
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Greece - Athens/Peloponnese itinerary late Sept/Oct

Hi there, my husband and I and our one year old baby are going to Greece from September 29-October 9, so a total of 10 nights. We would like to do a couple days in Athens and the rest of the time going around the Peloponnese. This is my first attempt at an itinerary and I would love any feedback:

September 29 - Athens
September 30 - Athens
October 1 - Olympia
October 2 - Kardamyli
October 3 - Kardamyli
October 4 - Kardamyli
October 5 - Monemvasia
October 6 - Monemvasia
October 7 - Nafplion (visit Mycenae/Epidavros)
October 8 - Athens

It's tough to move around constantly with a baby so we can't do a different place every night. Does this itinerary make sense? What changes would you recommend? I think Athens to Olympia is our longest drive so would also love any ideas on places to stop along the way. Thanks!
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 09:53 AM
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What do you want in Kardamyli? A very small village, gravel beaches, and pretty far away from highways and attractions. (I think you mean Kardamyli on Mani peninsula, south of Kalamata.)
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Old Aug 3rd, 2016, 10:28 AM
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I read it's pretty and relaxing and yes we would explore the Mani peninsula from there but absolutely open to different suggestions!
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 06:47 AM
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I might be tempted to drop one night from Monemvassia and add it to Nafplio. There is so much to see in and around Nafplio while Monemvassia while a great experience is essentially a one trick pony.
Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr5...7632094108982/
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 08:45 AM
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A "one trick pony" - I like this wording, and you are right.

lrm83, you are focussing on very remote places. I am not sure if Kardamyli is the right place for three full days. Be aware that the tiny mountain roads in the area are very slow.

I just give you my personal recommendations of the Peloponnese:

- The medieval fortress Acrocorinth is spectacular and an easy visit on the way from or to Athens.

- Ancient Corinth is historically significant (St. Paul), but not much has remained.

- Olympia is so-so. Also historically significant and you can walk into the remains of the stadium the same way as the ancient athletes did. The coast of Elis, near Olympia, has some very beautiful spots.

- The area around Pylos is very scenic. Some of the world's most spectacular beaches are there (Voidokilia, Glossa), Navarino bay, the charming town Pylos. If you are driving further east, you find a spectacular Venetian fortress in Methoni, more dreamlike beaches and finally the charming fishing village Koroni (which I would prefer for a relaxing place).

- Ancient Messene has the best-preserved stadium and an excellent theatre.

- Mystras has a set of Byzantine monasteries.

- Mycenae, Nafplio and Epidaurus have been mentioned, there are also conveniently located on the way back to Athens.

If you ask me for the best archeological site of all I would not hesitate to answer "Delphi". It is a daytrip from Athens or a stop on the way from Athens to Olympia.
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 09:36 AM
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I am in agreement w a lot of above ... as follows:
• OLYMPIA ROUTE -- a reallly long drive, and no, there's noplace that good to stop enroute. Another difficulty. I was not in Greece this summer, but according to forum reports and the Athens newspapers. the coastal highway between Corinth & Patras was all torn up for repair/widening etc. It was supposed to be done earlier, but delays, financing etc kept it going all summer. Thus: traffic cones; 1-lane jams, many detours so u have to go on the Old Road thru center of little villages. Fine if you're relaxed, have a month, no baby, but you have tot and 10 days! ALSO - In Oct many sites close at 3, and your sundown is by 7... so, not as much time as in Summer.
• OLYMPIA SITE -- It depends on how well-steeped you are in ancient history & archeology. Stadium is OK, rest of the ruins v. hard to understnd w,o. a licensed guide, unless u have taken courses & read a ton of books on it (as I had, over the years). Museum is quite good, fairly well signed, again means more if you've studied temple of zeus etc --but you would need to get there before the bus crowds (which pour into it around 10). On my 9th trip to Greece, finally got there; got off plane, raced to bus station, took me over 6 hours bus travel to arrive by about 5 pm, saw the museum & site the next day from 8 - 11.
• POSSIBLE OPTION -- If you want to get the "feel" of an ancient Sacred Games Site, a v. easy-to-reach alternative is ANCIENT NEMEA , just off the big highway about 10 mi past the corinth Canal. Beautifully excavated by UC Berkeley & authentically restored -- temple columns, building ruins, museum and a wonderful stadium. They now staged "Revival Nemea Games" eery 4 years (June 2016), that attract thousands of participants, many nations. Website: http://nemeangames.org -- you could enjoy this as a one-hour break, in your drive from Athens, then continue to Nafplio.
• NAFPLIO - As many have discovered, this is ideal base to take in area sights such as Mycenae (or you can skip that & see another Iliad-era fortress, Tyrins), Epidaurus... and the beautiful historic town itself.
• WEST COAST -- if u are determined on West-Coast foray, rather than Kardymyl, I'd suggest PYLOS, or (My favorite gem) just n. of Pylos, GIALOVA. Its Hotel ZOE would be ideal for your relaxing "down time" ... it faces directly on soft golden sand beach, Palm Grove w. tables & comfy wicke reading chairs, Seaview balconies w. canvas awnings, a family-run place that will DOTE on your child. Perfect for a 2-day relaxation AND visits (as described above) to VOidokilla & Navarino.

It would help us to advise if we knew what time of day you arrive in Greece and from where?? If you arrive in Afternoon, I'd suggest you don't plunge into sightseeing; there's a cute B & B 10 minutes from Airport where you could relax by the pool, get a good nights sleep, then start early next AM on your Peloponnese adventure... and save your sightseeing for the end. Looking at your list of must-do’s I think it is Very ambitious to try to get to West coast of Pelops & back, f you don’t want to spend long hours in a car with a baby who’ll get cranky. If u do, I think you’d have to cut either Olympia or Monemvasia, and I certainly would recommend Gialova over Kardamyll.
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 09:47 AM
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travelerjan, you are bit more radical than me - but I fully agree!
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 10:15 AM
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Thanks so much for these tips! The reason I didn't do more time in Nafplion is because I spent some time there my last trip to Greece, just didn't make it to Mycenae/Epidavros.
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Old Aug 4th, 2016, 10:18 AM
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Thanks so much for these tips! The reason I didn't do more time in Nafplion is because I spent some time there my last trip to Greece, just didn't make it to Mycenae/Epidavros.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 03:25 PM
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Hi, Kardymili was a favourite destination of mine, it was just so restful we stayed right on the waterfront, an hotel which had a great restaurant, not very expensive either, 40 Euro a night. We drive around taking in the Mani easily from there - BUT - it was right in the middle of summer. I don't know about October. I found Koroni lovely but only spent one night there.
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Old Sep 7th, 2016, 03:26 PM
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we drove - not we drive (typo). We stayed in Kardymili for 4 nights.
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