Greece, the Peloponnese

Jul 18th, 2019, 01:08 PM
  #1  
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Greece, the Peloponnese

Hi
My husband and I are planning on adding a 6 night getaway onto a conference in Amsterdam in mid/late October. I was thinking of the following trip:
1. Arrive on Saturday morning in Athens. Hire a car at the airport and drive to Nafplion and stopping at Corinth and Mycenae on the way.
2. Stay in Nafplion 3 nights - see Epidavros, the Didima Caves, and explore Nafplion. Is it worth going down to Port
3. Drive to Mystras, stay one night.
4. Drive to Kardamyli, stay two nights.
5. Drive to airport and fly out.

I am struggling with whether it's worth the extra driving to visit Kardamyli and Mystras and instead perhaps visit Mystras as a day trip from Nafplion adding another night there or staying overnight in Mystras and then spending the remaining 2 nights in Athens. Although I have been to Athens before, it was decades ago. Or would it be interesting to head south instead of Mystras to Trizina or Methana as either a day trip or an overnight? Are there any other great day trips from Nafplion? And what is the weather like in October in the areas I'm interested in visiting? The weather sites I've looked at indicate a bit more rain that month. Although I am only talking about 3 nights, I would like to make the most of my trip to the Peloponnese without spending hours in the car and just doing a fly-by.

Thank you in advance for your help.
nycmary is offline  
Jul 18th, 2019, 01:39 PM
  #2  
 
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I really liked Kardamyli, but if you are looking to limit the driving a bit, allow me to suggest the Dmitsana area. We stayed in tiny Zatouna, the next village over. The area is breathtakingly gorgeous, as is all of the Peloponnese, but it was nice to have an easy drive back to Athens on our last day (the area is popular with people from Athens, so I would book early). In addition to the beauty, there are some lovely hikes in a gorge and monasteries to visit. It made a nice contrast to the Nafplio area.
My big challenge in planning my trip was limiting the driving. I found Google maps fairly reliable and the drives were easy (though the drive into Kardamyli made me a bit nervous each time) but many of them were longer than I like to be in a car on any given day. Play around with it a bit to maximize your time. You also might wish to put your longest drive first since you will not have jet lag, and stay in Nafplio last since it is the closest to ATH (just two hours).
yorkshire is offline  
Jul 18th, 2019, 05:40 PM
  #3  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by nycmary View Post
I am struggling with whether it's worth the extra driving to visit Kardamyli and Mystras and instead perhaps visit Mystras as a day trip from Nafplion adding another night there or staying overnight in Mystras and then spending the remaining 2 nights in Athens.
IMO, either could be delightful -- it just really depends on what you want.
If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my trip report:
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece
Hope that helps!

kja is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 12:53 AM
  #4  
 
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An alternative would be to drive down to Messenia at the south of the Pelopponese. Weather is usually very good into October there, and it doesn’t get the winds experienced in the Cyclades. There is a motorway all the way down to Kalamata, which would be easy and quick driving. From there you could explore the Messenian seaside villages of Pylos, Methoni, and Koroni, And stop at one of the nearby beaches if you wish. Also worth visiting is Ancient Messenia, a vast and well developed, but little visited ancient site.

That certainly wouldn’t be a day trip, but worth considering spending a couple nights in the area. Driving back to Athens would also be quick from Kalamata.
Heimdall is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 04:24 AM
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The Mycenae needs more than a stop on the way to Napflio. It takes time. Add Epidavros. I would visit Mystras a day trip. We visited it en route to Olympia which is another choice.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 04:59 PM
  #6  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
The Mycenae needs more than a stop on the way to Napflio. It takes time.
I'm confused by that statement. I visited Mycenae en route to Nafplio, and thought doing so made sense -- even though it took time.

kja is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 05:04 PM
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kja, after landing in Athens from Paros, renting a car and driving to Nafplio we wanted to check into our hotel rather than spending a full day at Mycenae and Epidavros before checking in. We spent five or six days in Napflio and visited ancient Nemea on our way there. And then I ended up in the ER, another story!

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; Jul 19th, 2019 at 05:08 PM.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Jul 19th, 2019, 07:31 PM
  #8  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr View Post
kja, after landing in Athens from Paros, renting a car and driving to Nafplio we wanted to check into our hotel rather than spending a full day at Mycenae and Epidavros before checking in. ... And then I ended up in the ER, another story!
I certainly would not try to fit both Mycenae and Epidavros into that day, and can see that people will differ in how they want to spend such a day. Thanks for clarifying! Sorry about the ER.
kja is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 05:03 AM
  #9  
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Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions. All this ;prompts greater thought and of course, more questions.

HappyTrvlr: We arrive in Athens from the US at 10AM, plan on renting a car and then driving to Nafplio via Corinth and Mycenae. I think that we should have plenty of time and energy (we will be jet lagged) to visit this site and get to Nafplio with plenty of time to check in and enjoy dinner somewhere. Do you agree? We would not consider including Epidavros in the same day.

Kja - I have been reading your trip report - fantastic! The Daros Caves sounds interesting.

If we were to include the caves, would it make sense to stay in Nafplio 2 nights, head to Mystras, and then continue to Limeni Village (it looks spectacular) for an overnight, visit the caves the next day and from there head back to Nafplio to shorten our drive back to Athens. Then 2 nights in Athens. If we do that we would have to skip Nemea - something's got to go. Is Namea worth skipping the caves? Are 2 nights - and really one full day - sufficient for Nafplio and the area around it or am I going to be sorry to leave here. Is the drive crazy for just an overnight? It looks like it's a 1.5 hour drive to Mystras from Nafplio and then another 1.5 to Limeni. How long was the cave visit?

Yorkshire: I looked at Dimitsana and it fits what we love to do - hike - but I checked out the weather in mid/late October and although it's cool (average temps are mid/high 50'sF) it's the precipitation that scares me away. What time of year were you there? If we include this, I would skip Mystras, stay 2 nights in Dimitsana, 2 nights Nafplio, and 2 nights Athens. All doable and the driving sounds very reasonable. Thoughts on the weather there anyone?

Heimdall: I love your idea of Kalamata and Messinia -but based on the driving for the short period of time we are there I'm not sure I can fit this is in, it makes me so sorry I don't have more time in the area. I think we will spend 2 nights in Athens as we will have a late afternoon flight from Athens to Amsterdam.

Thank you again in advance of your help.
nycmary is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 09:07 AM
  #10  
kja
 
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Originally Posted by nycmary View Post
We arrive in Athens from the US at 10AM, plan on renting a car and then driving to Nafplio.
Oh no! Please don't do that!!! Although many people are not aware of it, there is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter your other constraints and no matter your prior experience and no matter whether you can sleep on your flights or not! I didn't mention it before because I thought you were planning on visiting Greece after your conference.

Originally Posted by nycmary View Post
Kja - I have been reading your trip report - fantastic! The Daros Caves sounds interesting.
I'm glad you are enjoying my report! But I wouldn't recommend the Daros caves -- the stalactites and stalagmites have been much too badly damaged.

Originally Posted by nycmary View Post
Are 2 nights - and really one full day - sufficient for Nafplio and the area around it or am I going to be sorry to leave here.
It really depends on what you want to see and experience. For me, it would not have been enough.
kja is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 10:53 AM
  #11  
 
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I have to agree with kja about driving the morning after a long overnight flight, with 7-10 hours time difference from the USA. Better to spend the first night in Athens and start fresh early the next morning.
Heimdall is offline  
Jul 20th, 2019, 04:03 PM
  #12  
 
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Sure agree about setting off on a drive after a long haul flight...sounds like a terrible idea even for the most intrepid of travelers.
Lois2 is offline  
Jul 21st, 2019, 01:39 PM
  #13  
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Hello everyone. First, thank you for all your responses. This is our revised itinerary:
Spend first 2 nights in Athens after arrival.
Rent car and drive to Nafplion via Corinth. Stay 3 nights and visit Mycenae, Epidavros, the sinkholes. And maybe Nemea if we have time.
Drive to Mystras and stay in Limeni one night. Visit caves the next morning and then drive back to Athens airport.

Any comments? Although the drive back from Limeni is 3.5 hours I thought it would be nice to see this part of the Peloponnese. Is there a better place we can go to spend the last half day and morning that would be beautiful and interesting and not too far?

Again, thanks so much for your help.
nycmary is offline  
Jul 21st, 2019, 01:47 PM
  #14  
kja
 
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Much better!

I stayed in Limeni, and while I enjoyed it, I only spent the night. If I was looking for a place to spend a night after Mystras and before returning to Athens, I might look instead at Areopolis or Gytheio.
kja is offline  
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