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Greek authorities-need some advice for trip next month!

Greek authorities-need some advice for trip next month!

Old Feb 20th, 2007, 06:59 AM
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Greek authorities-need some advice for trip next month!

I am posting a new message as I have finally figured out what I really want to do with my 22 year old daughter who is traveling with me next month to Greece. It will be her last college spring break so we are limited to 7 full days there and then the day of arrival and day of departure-9 total if you count them?
Our goal is to see and enjoy Athens but I think that some side trips to Delphi(with an overnight) and a trip to Nafplio for a couple nights are what we are interested in considering the time of year,weather,etc.
After reading other reports about Nafplio-I am ready to go !!! It sounds fabulous. Considering that the "warden" (aka hubs) cannot go with us-should we try and rent an automatic car and leave Athens and drive all this ourselves or do the bus/train thing to Delphi and Nafplio? (I have no problem with driving by myself overseas but am still scarred by Hertz rental blowing up in the tunnel in Paris several years back on the way to Normandy-thats another story!) The daytrip tours with Chat, Fantasy and the rest are way too expensive for my tastes not to mention that I am NOT interested in rug shops,souvenir deals with the bus drivers,etc.
So if you were going to schedule an itinerary that had you arrive in Athens and stay for a bit,what sequence would you put Delphi and Nafplio along with a possible daytrip to Hyrdra,etc. from Athens? If you can offer any help-a glass of wine will be drunk in your honor at any of the above locations? Thanks!
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 09:10 AM
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Please?????????
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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hi dutyfree

We were in a similar situation some time ago now. Having travelled to mostly the Greek islands for a number of years we decided to spend 8 days on the mainland, using Athens as our starting (and ending!) base. Our eight days included one full day travelling to and from Greece, which allowed us seven days to explore. You perhaps could work your timings around what we did, if it suits.

We spent our first 2 days in Athens and loved every single minute of it. A little of it was 'travel-time' recovery but the remaining time was spent exploring this great city. We took it at a leisurely pace, visited most of the 'usual' tourist sites such as the Acropolis, Tower of the Winds, some of the best museums I have ever had the pleasure of entering and some very gentle strolls around the Plaka. We didn't rush too much as we planned in having some time back in Athens when we returned from our trips.

Like you were rented a car and on the third day drove directly to Delphi. We left early; approx 7am which gave us plenty of time to admire and visit this amazing place. It was late March and it was actually a little chilly there so make sure you take something warm. I have to say though that, when at Delphi, we visited absolutely nothing other than the sanctuary and its museum which was fine for us. It was a real day of peacefulness and enjoyment. We stayed and ate locally for one night only and left the next morning to drive south again, back towards Athens and the Peloponnese peninsula to Nafplio.

We made sure the drive was leisurely and arrived in Nafplion in the late evening.

This beautiful little city was undoubtedly our favourite. You will love it. From there we spent two days exploring Mycenae, Tyrins, Epidavros, and Argos. There were other places we could have visited but we just took it all at our own pace and the time we had there was about right for us. We drove back to Athens on the evening of our second day there.

Our remaining time in the Athens was spent exploring and going to places we had marked in to visit and missed during the first two days we were there.

You could easily take a trip to one of the Saronic islands. Access to Piraeus from Athens by metro is fast (about 25 mins max) and you can buy your trip tickets at the harbour. Im not so sure though that you may have time if your 7 days includes arrival and departure to the country.

When we left Greece we felt relaxed I think simply because we allowed ourselves not to be too rushed. The time we had and the places we managed to visit served us well. Others may need more or less time but our route planning etc worked for us.

I hope this helps

Joe
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 02:08 PM
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Whether or not you want to drive depends on how comfortable you are dri8ving in Europe. We frequently drive in Greece (or my husband does) but it is not for the fainthearted! The drive from Athens to Nafplio is fine if you avoid Friday afternoon when a lot of Athenians drive that way. The drive back should not be considered on a Sunday - been there, done that, got stuck in traffic for 5 hours! Finally, beware of Avis at Athens Airport. We were rented a car with faulty breaks (which had been recalled) and had a nightmare of a time near Tripoli on the Pelopponese. Tripoli hospital was fine but I wouldn't wish to repeat the experience.

The bus service is good but obviously less flexible.

I would suggest that you start with 2 nights in Athens, visit Delphi for 1 night, go from Delphi straight to Nafplio (this will be 2 buses if you choose not to drive), stay in Nafplio for 2 nights and then return to Athens.

Good luck,

Carolena
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Old Feb 20th, 2007, 08:20 PM
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You guys are the best-thanks for helping me with the day logistics on this. A couple of quick questions-who did you rent the car from? Any special place to stay in Delphi you liked? The Hotel Leto in Nafplio has already written me back and told me that they have availability-anyone like that hotel? I feel so much better about doing this itinerary and enjoying the mainland.Any other tips or info would be greatly appreciated!
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 06:07 AM
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I hate when people find out about Hotel Leto but yes, you will enjoy it... a small family hotel only 12 rooms I think, all have views over the bay. I'll be there (again) in May.
With a car, an early start and a sandwich lunch in one's bag, you can do Mycenae-Tiryns-Epidaurus in one day, in that order (just do a quickie stop at Tiryns and save your picnic for Epidaurus--make sure not to go on a Monday (museums close). Take a GOOD guide book.
Either before or after the "ruin-a-thon" just enjoy beautiful Nafplio. If you want to see it from above (the Palamidi fortress) don't be a fool and climb UP the 999 steps--take a taxi up the back side of the hill and walk DOWN. From Hotel Leto you can take an ELEVATOR up to the top of Acronafplia (ask your host). Amazing views here too.
For dinner: ELLAS right in central square, is both inexpensive & good... if it's warm enough sit outside & enjoy the people show -- children on trikes on the marble(!) floored piazza, teens playing soccer by star-light, priests sitting out on folding chairs etc. And don't miss the sunset, viewed from the promenade -- of the 15-20 sunset vistas I've enjoyed in Greece, it's one of my very faves.
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 09:44 AM
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Traelerjan-thanks for the report on the Leto. I just wanted to ask if there is parking near the hotel and do we have to walk up alot of stairs or anything like that to get into the hotel. I am in need of a knee replacement so don't want to be climbing tons of stairs (like the Byron people have suggested) to get to the hotel. Thanks!
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Forgot to ask-if I am doing two nights in Athens,one night in Delphi then how many nights should I allocate for Nafplio to do the daytrip you suggested and still get back to do the "3 isle daytrip to Hydra" from Athens and another day there?
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 05:00 PM
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Alas, duty-free, if you need a knee replacement! Vital info we needed from the start, about Nafplio. You had better relinquish Hotel Leto and go for a hotel that's down on the flat. You need to look at a photo of Nafplio, to realize the town is stairstepped down a peninsula, so it's a lot of up and down unless you plan so as to avoid it. A wonderful Fodor guru, stanbr, has posted a set of photos of Nafplio -- the ones marked city view from above will show the topography. Enjoy the rest just fosr the beauty
http://travel.webshots.com/album/551991579dJbWvh

Yes, you CAN drive up to a square which has Zigomata street coming off it, and I THINK you can park there... at least, I see cars parked there. it's only 50 yards on the flat to get to Hotel Leto. But Leto has no elevator and you have to go up steps to your room. AND, you have to walk down the stairstep streets to the main part of town & the square, dining, shops, museums etc. -- and then walk back UP (because you'd never get a parking place up there twice). No, we must find another place for you.
FRommer's lists 3 modest-priced well-located spots in the Old Town -- King Otho HOtel, Epidaurus Hotel,and Omorfi Poli Pension. If you google them you can get contact info.. here's a map of town with Omorfi marked:
www.omorfipoli-pension.com/map-of-nafplio.htm
and here's a list of the others.... on the Omorfi map, King Othon is where the church is, to the left of the Plataiea Syntagma, and Epidaurus is on the first street (Kokkinou) below the square.

IT should be easy to get rooms in any of these, and at no more than 50E double, or less, with breakfast. Plus, located there, you can park your car FREE in the huge municipal lot right on the water. Good luck!
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 06:01 PM
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I didn't get to answer all your questions ... too many. The knee changes everything!

DON'T TRY DELPHI... it's hugely steep on a hill... please your knee will kill you. And it's 150 kms - quite a drive. In a 1-week trip, too far.

CONSIDER THIS SEQUENCE ...
- Nafplio & vicinity (3 days)
- then back to athens for an afternoon & eve (1 day)
-- then the 3-island cruise if you must (1 day).. OR a one-day trip to Aegina and its magical temple
-- final 2 days in Athens.

HERE'S HOW IT CAN WORK

ARRIVAL DAY, you don't go to busy noisy Athens--instead, taxi straight to the bus station, to the Argolid Ticket Window. and take a reserved seat comfy bus all the way to Nafplio (runs hourly on the half-hour, takes 2.5 hours). Settle in hotel, Enjoy sunset & dinner in the square. Collapse, relax.

DAY 1 - Spend the first day just enjoying Nafplio, its ambience, history, cafes, architecture. Buy a booklet on it at the bookstore. Rent a car for the next day (Boumas Rent-car was v. cheap & good...an automatic may be scarcer; ask your hotelier to help).

DAY 2 -- Drive next day to some ruins...EPidaurus is stunning, & great for a picnic. TIryns is just outside town. ANd Mycenae is the biggie... it's up a bit of a hill tho.

DAY 3 -- Another day in Nafplio to discover more; your daughter can climb up or down Palamidi while you await her in the nice cafe at foot of steps! You can catch a late=afternoon bus to Athens, go to a hotel for the night.

DAY 4 -- If you want, do the 3-island trip, OK, but that's just getting on/off Ferries. Why do one island for longer? Take the 45-minute ride to Aegina. Rent a car or get a taxi, got to the amazing temple of APhaia mid-island, a 360 view of entire Saronic Gulf! Bacl at the port, the "temple of Appollo" (only 1 column!)... have a nice meal, and
take the ferry back to Athens at sunset.

DAY 5 & 6 -- Plenty of time to see Athens now... the Acropolis early a.m.,the Acropolis museum, then wander down thru FOrum. Hope you are staying in Plaka! plenty to see there. The 2nd day, the Archeological Museum. And did you know there is a museum in Athens that's ALL JEWELRY?!?!? The Ilias LaLounis Jewelry Museum (a designer who was the Tiffany/Cartier of Greece). Before you know it, time's UP!

You will have seen some ruins and lovely scenery in the Peloponnese, enjoyed the chic small city that Greeks call their"honeymoon town" (Nafplio), and avoided the stress of driving in/out of Athens.

Do consider something like this & have fun!



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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 06:03 PM
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PS! I forgot the link to the full list of budget hotels in Nafplio:
http://www.nafplionet.net/hotels1.htm
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Old Feb 21st, 2007, 08:24 PM
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travelerjan-thanks for the tips and updates on our itinerary for next month. You should write your own book on Greece. Question-how bad are the steps up to the Leto? The reason being is that it looks like such a cute place.
Won't the red wine kill any knee pain? Just kidding..... I will tackle this tomorrow as I have to get up very early so will check out the other hotels you recommend flat side. Thanks!
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Old Feb 23rd, 2007, 04:38 PM
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Answer: they're steep enough. You don't want to be down at the square, longing for a little lie-down at 4pm after exploring, but too tired to tackle the steps.

Did you look at Stanbr's pictures? I think he shows some stairstep streets. I was just now trying to find a picture to convey the streets. Here is one a web site with nice pix. when you see a picture looking up a street and you see far above it a stone wall, well that is where the hotel is. http://www.uth.tmc.edu/clinicalneuro.../nafplion.html


To put it another way, Hotel Byron warned you about steps. Leto looks down on the roof of Byron.
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