How is driving in the Peloponnese?

Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Another thought is to spend a night or 2 in Olympia, then drive from Olympia to Delphi. I haven't done this but it certainly looks possible on the map.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 09:33 AM
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Let me add to Magster2005's comment on pronto third lane. This happens INDEPENDENT of whether that section of the road is a no-passing zone (double center line) or not.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 10:04 AM
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For Mycenae give this 2005 post a look, it was rewritten in 2007 althought most of the links are dead there are still enough for the location.

Factual history is the best when visiting ancient sites but if unavailable sometimes a good myth helps bring the ruins alive.


http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...r-location.cfm
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 10:30 AM
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Thanks Mimar. I think we are just going to skip Olympia for this trip and go to Delphi and Meteora instead. Our itinerary is looking better at this point, thanks to the great suggestions here:

Day 1-3 Santorini
Day 3 - travel day from Santorini to Athens by air, pick up car from airport then drive to Nafplio via Corith, stop in Nemea then onwards to Nafplio
Day 4-7 Napflio and day trips to Mycenae, Epidavros, Hydra
Day 8 travel day to Delphi via Corinth
Day 9 Delphi
Day 10 travel day to Meteora
Day 11 Meteora
Day 12 ????????????????
Day 13 travel back to Athens, return car at the airport
Day 13-16 Athens
Day 17 fly back to the US

Any suggestions for Day 12?

I think 4 day in Athens is too much. One option I'm considering is move the day excursion to Hydra in one of our Athens day or cut our trip short by 1 day. We're flying on an award ticket so we are at the mercy of award ticket availability with the airline.

Our bases in the Peloponnese are Nafplio ( 4 nights ) Delphi ( 2 nights ) Meteora (3 nights )
Athens ( 4 nights )

Would welcome suggestions for good city or town to base ourselves in for our exploration in Meteora.

Thanks to all of you again.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 11:02 AM
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After Meteora you can visit the Pilio Mountain, one of the most beautiful regions of Greece.
There are many quaint villages that you can visit, some names are : Makrinitsa, Portaria, Milies, Tsagarada.
The main city is Volos from where you can reach all 24 villages of Pilio.

Pilio is in Thessalia and between Kalambaka and Athens.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 11:47 AM
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Thanks clausar, great suggestion. If we go to Pilio, should we base ourselves there for one night or better yet, use Pilio or Volos as our base for 3 nights and day trip there in one of those 3 days, possibly the 2nd day to visit Meteora? Sorry I have not done any research in this northern part of Greece so no idea about distances. Pilio, Kalambaka, Velos are out of my radar screen until now. How is the drive from Velos s, Pilio or Kalambaka to Athens, is it mountainous with lots of hairpin turns, and approx how many hours to Athens? I like the idea. I'll do more research on these places.

Btw, I'm typing on my iPad with the sometimes annoying predictive text. when I was typing your name, the iPad wrote claustrophobic instead. Good thing I previewed before I hit submit. I almost called you claustrophobic.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 12:19 PM
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There seem to be two towns at the base of the mountains, Kalambaki and Kastrati , both have good little hotels and are close enough to walk to monasteries though Kalambaki seems best . We thought to drive there and do the sunset tour Eu35 from your hotel - in morning maybe go alone to explore or take another tour. We looked at Hotel Sydney (being Aussies)
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Old Jan 22nd, 2014, 12:27 PM
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If you are willing to go further north, there is a splendid tomb of King Philip II of Macedonia at Vergina. They build a museum inside the mound housing the treasures from the tombs with excavation going to royal tombs. Unfortunately, the location is isolated from other attractions. You will circle around the Mount Olympus.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 08:45 AM
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takemewithu

Best way to see Meteora is to overnight in Kalambaka, i wouldn't recommend any day trip from somewhere else.

Pilion is one of the most beautiful mountains of Greece, you can easily spend 2 nights there and visit the main villages, there are many excellent boutique hotels in the villages.

I would recommend a stay in one of the villages rather than in the city of Volos.

Here are some images of :

Makrinitsa http://tinyurl.com/ml6fr98

Tsangarada http://tinyurl.com/mt5ay9x


some distances :

Volos - Athens : 324 km
Volos - Kalambaka : 160 km
Kalambaka - Athens : 360 km
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:49 AM
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Moving Hydra to a day trip from Athens is a great idea. Some years ago on our first trip to Athens, we took a boat daytrip to 3 islands in the Saronic Gulf: Hydra, Poros and Aegina. This is a standard excursion that gave us a nice intro to Greek islands.

I thought about suggesting another island, say, Naxos, between Santorini and Athens. But, with only a day or two, I don't think you have enough time.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 04:53 PM
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Clausar,

Kalambaka to Athens @ 360 km, would you recommend to breakup that trip and overnight halfway? It looks like thats going to be an all-day driving. If so, what would be a good town or city to spend the night en route to Athens?

I looked at some of the hotels in Meteora, the setting looks so mystically beautiful. We are definitely skipping Olympia now and will go to Meteora and northern Greece instead. Thanks to all of you for putting it in our radar screen.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 04:58 PM
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Mimar, thanks for putting your second on the day trip idea to Hydra from Athens. 4 days in Athens just really seems way too long. Our itinerary is starting to take shape.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 06:12 PM
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I also would like to know if there's a good stopping point, maybe for lunch, between Kalambaka and Athens. I'm looking at the same drive.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:44 PM
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There aren't many cities on your way where you could ovcernight. Personally i would drive straight to Athens, but if you wish to overnight en route i would recommend Kamena Vourla, located at 180 km from Athens or the city of Lamia.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 09:48 PM
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Would one of those be a good place to grab lunch, as in reasonably easy to get in and out of? I definitely won't need an overnight, not for a drive of less than 6 hours.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2014, 10:10 PM
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Kamena Vourla is a seaside resort, it is actually where Greeks stop for a lunchbreak on their way from/to the North.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes
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Old Jan 24th, 2014, 06:00 AM
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The drive from Kalambaka to Athens is about 6 hours with no stops? If driving leisurely, with a lunch and another coffee stop along the way, maybe 8 hours? Is this a reasonable estimate of the travel time? And the roads, I know it will be mountainous but good roads if we stay on the main highways, but are there lots of hairpin turns? Is it going to be a scenic ride even if we are in the main highway?
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 06:25 PM
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I just booked Della's Boutique hotel for 3 nights. It had very good reviews at Tripadvisor. We will drive back to Athens and stop somewhere along the way, maybe kamena vourla or lamia, as suggested by clausar, or some town that we pass that looks interesting. The nightly rates are very reasonable and are way under $100/nt. walk up rates are probably even better but we haven't tried this before. I will mull on it a bit and might decide to go for it in the spirit of adventure.

We will overnight in Delphi on our way from Nafplio to Kalambaka since this looks like a longer drive than Kalambaka to Athens, 7.5 hours according to viamichelin. Please share your thoughts on this idea.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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Clarification : on the drive back to Athens from Kalambaka, the stop along the way is just a lunch stop. We will not spend a night anywhere and just drive straight to Athens. The correct name of the hotel is Dellas Boutique Hotel not Della's.
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Old Jan 26th, 2014, 09:35 PM
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For the drive from Kalambaka back to Athens i would calculate 6 hours including a lunch spot.

The advantage of Lamia and Kammena Vourla is that both will be directly on your way, with Kammena Vourla being much nicer located. ( on the sea).
Lamia has usually a terrible parking problem....

On your way from Nafplio to Kalambaka, you normally don't pass through Delphi, you just follow the motorway to Athens and then you will head north towards Lamia.

If you wish to include Delphi you have two options.

1. Drive to the Rio bridge near Patras and then Nafpaktos - Itea - Delphi

2. Follow the motorway Tripolis -Athens - Lamia, exit at Kastro and then drive through Orchomenos and Livadia to Delphi.

Option 1 is a very scenic drive, especially if you take the old coastal road from Corinth to Patras.
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