help with itinerary please

Aug 19th, 2008, 06:30 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 19
help with itinerary please

We are planning a June 2009 visit to Greece: a one week EasyCruise June 13-19, a few days in Athens, and about 10 days driving the Peloponnese:
3 nights Nafplio (with day trips or stops in Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Argos)
1 night Mystras
2 nights Ionian coast
1 night Olympia
2 nites Delphi (via Rio Antiro bridge, see Thermopolye and Osios Loukas)
We usually travel Europe in late May-June, but the earliest we can leave this year is June 3. June 13-19 is the earliest June date for the cruise. So please give me your thoughts as to the order and timing of our trip. I'm considering:
June 3- depart Texas
June 4- arrive Athens, rent car and do Peloponnese driving tour
June 13 - return car and transit to Piraeus bo board cruise ship
June 13-19 cruise
June 19-22 Athens
June 23 - fly home

Alternatively we could arrive about June 9, see Athens for a few days, cruise June 13-19, then drive the Peloponnesse from the 19-29 or so.

One other question: I would like for us to stay on the Ionian coast in a place with a lovely sea view, beautiful water, relaxing. We like small local inns or domatia, but wouldn't be opposed to a great massage! If the place is close to Olympia, we could stay a third nite and visit Olympia as a day trip.

Please critique our plans and make suggestions. thanks!!
CeeJayTx is offline  
Aug 19th, 2008, 09:15 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 3,818
IT looks like a thrilling trip CJ and I think starting with the Peloponnese is a good idea. It's just that your itinerary makes my head spin. I think you need to look at BIG Road maps. Go to this GNTO website and download NOrth Greece and Pelopponsis
http://www.gnto.gr/pages.php?pageID=805&langID=2
THis will help u see where things are. You can Zoom these maps and they get huuuuge.

You are OK thru Mystras, south of Sparta .. then you jump off to ?? Way up by Patras -- or even farther, to mainland opposite Kefalonia?? (Ionian coast??) And then back waaay west to Olympia, the farthest WEST you can go on the Pelopponese, then east again, to go over the bridge to Delphi?

Wouldn't it be better to go west frm Sparta thru Kalambaka to west coast and then if u wanted to chill out on a beach, instead of "Ionian Coast"how about stopping just south of Olympia, ... like Panorama or Paralia Zahora (paralia always seems to mean "beach"). Then after olympia head straight for Delphi -- You could stop at Nafpaktos for the night or barrel ahead to Delphi vicinity.

Do remember, after Delphi, that it's at least 3.5 hours back to Athens vicinity and allow the needed time to get to your cruise ship.

You migh check whether your rental car will let u take delivery at airport and drop off at Piraeus WITHOUT PENALTY. Many biggies have branches at both places (i.e. Avis, budget etc) but STILL charge an arm and a leg for 2nd site drop-off even in Athens vicinity.

If this is the case, drop at Airport & take X96 bus to Piraeus. Allow 75 minutes - 90 in rush hour.
travelerjan is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 03:25 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
If you are going all the way south to Mystras I would suggest you leave Naphlion early in the morning and spend a few hours at Mystras and then head further south and east to Monemvassia for an unforgettable stay in a fortified Venetian town.

This probably makes your plan also to get to the Ionian coast Olympia and Delphi even harder however Monemvassia is special.

You could head west from there go through Gythion through the outer Mani and up through Kalamata to Olympia. This wold be a long haul but the beaches in the Outer Mani heading toward Kalamata are said to be very good. Then from Olympia you can get to Delphi and back to Athens.

We have always spent two nights in Naphlion resting from the transatlantic flight, headed out on our car tour of the Pelopponese and then returned to Naphlion for our last night. This has the advantage of putting us in a town we know and it is only a two hour drive back to the airport.
I would suggest you consider renting the car from someone like Ace rent a Car at the airport and simply drop it off there on the return. From there you can take the Metro down to the ferry port or if you have lots of bags then perhaps it would be best to just get a taxi from the airport. I am not sure that driving in Athens and Piraeus is a wise thing to attempt.

Here are our pictures of
Naphlion
http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/551991579dJbWvh
Monemvassia
http://travel.webshots.com/album/551987765EoLDkO
Mystras
http://travel.webshots.com/album/551988174qxbTNw
stanbr is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 07:48 PM
  #4  
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Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 19
Thanks travelerjan and stanbr for your comments, I've read others' praise of your knowledge of Greece and helpful advice. So..... thanks for helping make our first visit to Greece special!
Travelerjan, your suggested itinerary is what I was trying to describe. Maybe I just don't know what Ionian coast is, I assumed it was everything bordering the Ionian Sea.

Wouldn't it be better to go west frm Sparta thru Kalambaka to west coast and then if u wanted to chill out on a beach, instead of "Ionian Coast"how about stopping just south of Olympia, ... like Panorama or Paralia Zahora (paralia always seems to mean "beach"). Then after olympia head straight for Delphi -- You could stop at Nafpaktos for the night or barrel ahead to Delphi vicinity.

Do you know anything much about Panorama or P Zahora? I tried a little tonight to look up these small towns and didn't find much. I'll keep trying.

Stanbr, I didn't want to go that far south (to Monemvassia) but I must admit that your photos were gorgeous. We really enjoyed the walled cities in Italy, so I need to do some rethinking.

Thanks again for your comments.
CeeJayTx is offline  
Aug 20th, 2008, 09:05 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 1,439
I just looked at the ocean map and I think I see where the confusion lies. It appears that the Ionian Sea is actually to the North and West of the Pelopponese. It may include the Gulf of Corinth which is why Jan was questioning your route.
I think you were actually talking about the coast I was referring to in my first post which is on the Mediterranean, either heading north from the Mani up to Kalamata or from Methoni up to Olympia.

We are planning a similar trip in late may 2009 specifically to see Olympia. On our two previous trips we were simply so captivated by the eastern Peloponnese that we never got to Olympia. When we got to Monemvassia we ended up staying two nights and ran out of time.

While I am not suggesting you skip Olympia we did not feel cheated because we were fortunate to stumble upon Ancient Nemia. It is about 5 kilometers off the road as you pass Corinth and head south to Naphlion. It was a rival city to Olympia and it had its own temple, stadium and games.
The temple has been partially reconstructed, the stadium is essentially intact and there is an excellent museum there. All Nemia lacks is a good marketing department like Olympia has.


I am pretty sure there was a picture of two of Nemia in my Naphlion album.

Whatever you decide to do will be spectacular.

stanbr is offline  

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