Greece Itinerary

Jun 30th, 2016, 12:41 PM
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Greece Itinerary

My family, party of 4 (kids are 19 and 20) want to go to Greece next year. I am thinking June would be better for less heat. I have been on several cruises and to Athens. I really prefer NOT to do a cruise with them (I KNOW big ships = chaos in Greece). Exchange is so good I think it would be better to do a couple of islands and Athens. Although I have been to Santorini and Mykonos and loved them. I know there are many more islands that are great for beaches, history, things to do and food. We were thinking 10 days and maybe 2 islands and Athens just for a couple of days to see the major sites. Any suggestions on itinerary?
ccarlson is offline  
Jun 30th, 2016, 01:27 PM
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Don't forget there is more to Greece than just Athens + islands. Before you decide, have a look at the Peloponnese too. For example, is only two hours by car from Athens Airport, and has, in the area, more historic sites than any island. The beaches in Laconia and Messenia (southern Peloponnese) are stunning.
Heimdall is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2016, 12:55 PM
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Thank you so much!. I have my map in front of me. Trying to get an itinerary that will hit some great areas and is still relaxing. The Peloonnese offer some great sites. I am trying to put it all together. Here is what I have so far:

Day 1 – Fly into Santorini
Day 2 Santorini
Day 3 Santorini
Day 4 Take ferry in PM to Naxos
Day 5 Naxos
Day 6 Naxos
Day 7 Naxos, Take PM ferry to Athens, overnight
Day 8 Acroplis and Delphi tours, cross Rio–Antirrio Bridge
Day 9 Peloponnese (Olympia)
Day 10 Peloponnese (Epidaurus
Day 13 Peloponnese (Monemvassia)
Day 14 – Get back Athens to fly home

Is there any way to do Peloponnese by day tripping to all we want to see or is it too far? Where should we make our home base? Can you suggest a route in Peloponnese that makes sense based on what we want to see and to get back to Athens?
ccarlson is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2016, 01:45 PM
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For Epidavros and the Mycenae(Agamemnon,etc) you should stay in Napflion, a beautiful, small seaside city with a castle on a hill and another on an island. Good restaurants, lovely place. Three to four days there would be excellent.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2016, 11:28 PM
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That looks like a good itinerary, and you've chosen some amazing places! With your timescale you will have to cut something out, but I don't know which to suggest because they are all good. Day 8 looks impossible—it would be better to overnight at Delphi and cross the Rio-Antirrio bridge the next day.

As HappyTrvlr wrote, Nafplio would be a good base to see the many sites in that area, and Nafplio itself is well worth seeing. Delphi is the best archaeological site I've ever seen, and has a stadium similar to that at Olympia. The outliers on your plan are Olympia and Monemvassia, so eliminating them would save you some time.

Overall your plan is a good mix of islands and mainland. A family of four can travel the mainland inexpensively by car on their own timetable. Several contributors to this forum have in the past posted some excellent Delphi + Peloponnese driving itineraries. Do a search and you will get some great suggestions.
Heimdall is offline  
Jul 4th, 2016, 07:10 PM
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We loved Naxos (just got back) - also liked Crete a lot. Next time I would want to go to Paros as well. If you have time include Delphi and Meteora - they were both spectacular (and from where I stand, more interesting than Athens for young folk)
lauramsgarden is offline  
Jul 5th, 2016, 08:05 AM
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Agree with Heimdall that trying to do Olympia and Monemvassia is too rushed. Choose one. All of your stops are great but why not enjoy your vacation rather than tiring yourselves out.
I enjoy the culture and museums in Athens and you don't have sufficient time in Athens to enjoy what it has to offer.
mes2525 is offline  
Jul 5th, 2016, 08:50 AM
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I agree with above & heimdall -- also to drop one of the 2 mentioned ... too much driving. It will also eliminate backtracking if you do Athens last. My suggestion? Since u are taking that evening boat back from Naxos to Athens, you'll arrive around midnight, why not just jump into a nearby Piraeus hotel, like Piraeus Dreams... otherwise it can be much later before you sleep. Then in the AM, pick up rental car (or have it delivered to Hotel and head out straight out for Delphi.... stay overnight there, and NEXT day, late morning, go back to Thebes, go south to hit the Big Intercity Highway going to Peloponnese. If skipping Olympia, a possible scenario might be:

• ANCIENT NEMEA - right off highway after canal! The #2 Sacred Games site, has columns ruins museum AND gret restored stadium but NO crowds -- a bonus is, wine vineyards surround this, stop for a taste & buy!
• MONEMVASIA - zip to Tripoli, head south.. stay at Fort or Gyfia, on shore
• NAFPLIO -- SO much to see/do + great nightlife for collegians; look at fab noncommercial website: Besides mycenae, there's Palamidi, Tiryns, Asine, and lots of good beach areas
• HEADING BACK -- U can take diff route, across "thumb" of Pelops to Epidaurus in AM... then coast road to Corinth area;, jump off at Isthmia, to Old Bridge over Canal, have lunch, watch skinny ships squeeze thru.
• ATHENS - get there by late day, if u wish see Acropolis aft 5 pm, NO crowds, cooler great sunset light. Then a final day of other sightseeing.
travelerjan is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2016, 10:18 AM
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We may have to cut this trip down to 10 nights. Thoughts on what you would cut out?
ccarlson is offline  
Jul 23rd, 2016, 03:23 PM
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Cut out Delphi, Olympia & Monemvasia. As suggested, arriving late evening from Naxos, stay at Pireaus hotel, have car delivered 9 am to hotel on day 7, and head for Nafplio (stopping by Nemea en route for your "sacred Games Fix"), then on to Nafplio for day & night of Day 7 & 8. In AM of day 9 head back to mainland going over to shore road to See Epidaurus on the way... as above. When you reach Athens, turn in car & see acropolis sunset of Day 9. Final day of sightseeing on day 10.

Yes, you will miss some sights. But you can't pour a quart into a pint bottle.
travelerjan is offline  
Jul 24th, 2016, 12:01 AM
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Or go to Santorini but cut out Naxos, and use that extra time for Delphi and the Peloponnese. The historic sights on Naxos are modest compared with those in the Peloponnese. Fly to/from Santorini to save time.
Heimdall is offline  
Jul 24th, 2016, 01:34 AM
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My very personal opinion: Yes, I know Greece is not next door and people want to fit quite a few destinations in one trip, but I honestly think that spending two or three nights on an island or a city like Athens is pretty much pointless. You have no time to appreciate what is all about and when you repeat this for many destinations spending lots of money, effort and time to connect dots seems hard to relax and get the ambiance of the destinations.
For example I often repeat that Delphi is not a half day destination but people would still plan half a day here and then say half day was enough when they have never investigate what is here to see and do. And having a car one can explore a lot on a small area that people tied to public transport or tours can not chack out.

Again my opinion, but if you have only 10 days, make this one or two islands and Athens or two mainland destinations and Athens. Remember that while each island is unique, you can still fit an island visit as a side trip from mainland, for example Hydra or Spetses from Nafplio or a visit to Trizonia between Delphi and Olympia or similar. And there are many great beaches on mainland as said before and towns with an island feel, like say Galaxidi etc....
mariha2912 is offline  
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