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Help me to decide where to drive first from Athens. Delphi or Nafplion?m

Help me to decide where to drive first from Athens. Delphi or Nafplion?m

Old Feb 14th, 2002, 12:24 PM
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Help me to decide where to drive first from Athens. Delphi or Nafplion?m

We will rent a car and drive to one of these two destinations:
Nafplio or Delphi.
We will visit both with a couple more stops in between but have a hard time to decide where should we start and if this has anything to do with difficulties of driving from Athens. Would be easier to drive from Athens to Delphi first or should we start with Nafplio in Peloponnese. Any suggestiosn, recommendations, warnings? Thank you
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 01:11 PM
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I am originally from Boston so I have seen some creative driving before. Don't know where you are from or where you have driven but....be very, very careful driving in Greece. No offense to any Greeks out there, but I have never seen such crazy drivers. Very fast and passing all of the time. In Nafplio, sit in the cafe by the water for an ice cream. Very relaxing. Had lunch and saw the temple at Delphi, nothing else. At Delphi,try to take the time to climb up for a while. It is a great view if you can look down over the site. Enjoy
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 06:18 PM
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Rose, I am confused about your question. Are you asking about driving to Nafplion or Nafplio? Believe it or not they are TWO different places (not just different spellings of the same place) and both are on the Peloponnese. Nafplion is closer to Athens, up by Tolo and Nafplio is in the south at the end of the eastern most "finger" of the Peloponnese.

I've driven to both so if you post again I might be able to help you out.
Old Feb 14th, 2002, 10:58 PM
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hi there,
I dont think it is a big difference. You have to go a few kms from Athens the same direction whether You go to Delphi or Nafplion. And then it is YOu decision to go south on the Peloponnese or west to Delphi. Its up to You. If You have Athens left behind You will have less problems with traffic. It isnt that bad. If Lisa havent seen such cracy drivers she hasent been to a lot of countrys. Anyway, drive careful. And have fun
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 11:01 AM
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Only in Greece have a seen a motorcylist and driver of a car pull over to the side of the road and start punching eachother in the face because they did not like eachothers driving games. Did not mean to suggest you shouldn't drive. Just be careful, that's all I meant.
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 11:39 AM
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Hi Rose:

Obviously you are looking for some informed opinion about what to do so here for what it is worth from someone who has actually made this trip by car is my advice. Go to the Peloponnesse area first and then to Central Greece and Delphi. Depart Athens, pass over the Corinth Canal, then travel to Corinth. Visit the ruins and museum there -- then proceed on to Nauplia. There is a hotel chain in Greece called Amalia, and I stayed at the Amalia hotels during my travel. They are first class. Nauplia is lovely and well worth a visit and an overnight stay. From Nauplia travel to Mycaenae and Epidarus to the most fabulous open air auditorium I have ever visited. One of you go to the top of the auditorium and the other stand in the middle and strike a match. Be shocked at the fact the acoustics are so perfect that you can hear a match being lit from the top of this magnificent site. From Epidarus go to Olympia, site of the original Olympics and be prepared to lose your heart and mind to the sense of history you get from the place. Stay overnight in the Amalia Olympia. Next day move north to Patras, visit the Cathedral of St. Andrew, which is a must, then cross the waters over to central Greece and move on to Delphi. There is another Amalia hotel in Delphi and some nice shopping (for gold amongst other things) in the local shops along the roadway between the hotel and the entrance to Delphi. I stayed a day at Delphi because of the ambiance. Do not miss travelling to the top of the Delphi site where you will discover, on the top of this mountain, a huge arena where they held the pan-Hellenic games two years between each Olympic games. Drive from Delphi back to Athens, on the route passing several significant ancient battlesites, and passing through Marathon, about 20 miles outside Athens. There is much less to see on the route to Delphi than there is on the route to Nauplia and north to Delphi so maximize all the good things you can see at the outset of your travels, rather than at the end. I envy you the trip, but then I do intend to return... again!

Old Feb 15th, 2002, 12:51 PM
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When we made the same tour (3 nights in Nafplio, 1 in Olympia and 1 in Delfhi) we decided to avoid Nafplio in the weekend (when it's full with Athenians). This shouldn't be a big issue till end of March and after September. By chance, in our case, this meant to start with Delphi.

In case a weekend isn't involved, it could depend on the hour you intend to depart/arrive in Athens. When in Delphi, you shouldn't miss visiting the Osios Loukas Monastery. Allow for some 2:30 hours for detour and visit. In the evening, we liked Arachova much better than Delphi. You may plan to be there at sundown and have a relatively early dinner.

Between Olympia and Nafplio there are a number of interesting villages (Langadia, Dimitsana, Andritsaina, etc). and you'll have to decide on the Bassae temple. We visited the Olympia site in the early morning and spent 2 hours. We then drove to Langadia, where we stayed a cupole of hours including lunch. The we drove south to Dimitsana, Andritsaina and Bassae. After back tracking some we drove through Megalopolis and Tripolis, arriving in Nafplio in the late afternoon. We were in Nafplio 2 full days. We used the first one to go south to Mistra (very nice) and Sparta (poor as a site - but we had a very nice late lunch). Back in Nafplio we visited the small site of Tiryns (which is just accross the road from the Amalia). Most of the 2nd day was spent in Mycenae (very large site), but we had time to shortly visit Argos and the fortress in Nafplio at sundown. We visited nice Tolo, Epidavros and Corinth on our way back to Athens.
Old Feb 15th, 2002, 02:44 PM
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Rita: My "Let's Go Greece" spells it Nafplion, my "Blue Guide Greece" spells is Nauplia and my (German) roadmap spells it Nafplio. A "google" search of these 3 spellings will take to the same city.
Rose: You basically only mentioned Delphi and Nafplio, others mentioned it and I would also suggest Olympia. Between Olympia & Delphi there is a ferry, maybe 10km northeast of Patras. Look at any map and you'll see where the Peloponnese and the mainland almost touch at the towns of Rio and Andirrio that's the ferry crossing. I don't know what direction you should take but Delphi and Olympia are 1 day sites whereas Nafplio has alot of short daytrips you can take. Also liked the Amalia at Nafplio, was also going to stay at the Amalia at Olympia but was told the Europa was nicer. Although I can't compare the Europa was *very* nice. Check-out hotels at this site www.dilos.com of course check with the hotels directly but I've used this site twice with no problems (do a search on dilos here if you're interested). Driving in Athens is a nightmare and I'm a truckdriver, did Boston twice this week. Rent the car the night before and get out early 6:30. I spent 2yrs just outside Athens in 73-75 and drove there 2yrs ago. I've read they have the highest fatality rate per capita in Europe and I can understand why. So drive very defensely! Regards, Walter
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 09:08 AM
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on my trip 1.5 yrs ago, I took this generally counterclockwise direction for car travel:
Athens - Delphi - AntiRio (ferry crossing) - Olympia - Nauflio.

I think I might have preferred it in the opposite direction. Why?

The coast line between Delphi and AntiRio (ie, the north side of the Gulf of Corinth) is stunningly beautiful. As I was travelling west, I was on the OPPOSITE side of the road from the coast. This made stopping in turnouts to admire the ocean view difficult or dangerous.

Had I been driving east, then it would have been much easier to make frequent stops.

Separately: on the route between Olympia & Naflio (if you go that way), DEFINITELY take the "mountain road" (forget the road #). Allow plenty of time (6-7 hrs) and you will be rewarded. Many charming semi-medieval villages (Dimitsana, etc), beautiful scenery. It was one of the highlights of our trip. I should have planned to spend an overnight in this central Arcadia region.

Main warning for driving: be aware of speeding, oncoming drivers who will cross into YOUR lane while going around blind curves. Utterly reckless. The roads are marked with many roadside memorials where fatal crashes occurred. Don't be one of them! With common sense and caution, you'll be fine.

I also highly urge driving with headlamps "ON" during daylight, it makes your car MUCH more visisble to oncoming traffic, and they may be slightly less likely to veer into your lane for passing.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 03:55 PM
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We drove from Athens to Delphi and then on to Nafplion and came back across the Corinth canal. We spent one night in Delphi and I believe caught a ferry before we ended up in Nafplion. It was an easy driving trip with the first night in Delphi, 3 in Nafplion, 1 somewhere close to the canal area. Unfortunately it was August and our car did not have A/C. If you are going in the summer, RENT A CAR WITH AC.
Old Feb 23rd, 2002, 09:38 PM
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Nafplion was wonderful (only had 2 days and one night in that area) but I hope to return someday. The Amalia Hotel there was especially terrific.
Old Feb 27th, 2002, 09:39 PM
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In Naflio, I'll put in a plug for Hotel Byron. This is a nice, smaller family owned hotel in the "old" part of town.

Byron doesn't have the spacious grounds, gardens, and pool of the deluxe Amalia, but Hotel Byron is cute, comfy, has modern plumbing, and has a great location in the scenic, picturesque Old Town.

Shops, tavernas, waterfront, museum, etc are all within a few minutes walk.

Like being in a less touristy, less tacky, and cleaner version of Athens' Plaka.

Car parking was a hassle at Hotel Byron, though -- basically have to hunt for street parking. There was a large free (!!) public parking lot about a 5 minute walk away, for the 1-2 occasions that street parking was unavailable.

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