My itinerary for Greece

Oct 16th, 2013, 07:35 PM
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I think under counts the number of ships. The site says the Sept 24 this year had TWO ships in Santorini. I counted FIVE cruise ships below Fira at the same time on that day. I ventured out two mornings in Oia before sunrise to capture images of various round blue domed churches as they start to get illuminated by the sun. The most difficult part was finding which of the narrow passage lead to the public access alleys allowing good angles. There must be some guide to this as some tourists seemed to beeline to these places I had difficult time finding. In the end, I stared at post card racks to look for particularly good angles.
greg is online now  
Oct 16th, 2013, 11:31 PM
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Heimdall, I just got around to looking at your Delos photos. Now I know I must go! I have a thing for mosaic floors, and those look fantastic. I'm starting to ponder cutting Santorini back to an overnight and increasing my time on Mykonos to have a better chance of getting to see Delos.

I see what everyone means about flaky ferry schedules. I looked a couple days ago and there were all these ferries between Rhodes and Santorini. Then I looked this afternoon and there were just the three, MWF. I look now and there are now ferries that go on Thursday and Sunday. It looks like these are the slow boats that take all day, which aren't out of the question.

At this point, I'm starting to wonder if maybe I don't just want to cut Santorini and Mykonos entirely. It seems so awkward getting there. I'm toying with some other ideas. I'll be back when I have a new plan.
artsnletters is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 12:15 AM
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Artsnletters, my photos of the Delos mosaics were taken first thing in the morning right after the 9:00 boat arrived from Mykonos. I went on my own, and took the opposite route from the one shown on the map, which got me there before anyone else (note the lack of other people in the photos). The mosaics are all located in a small area near the theatre. If you wait until later the area will be swamped with tourists.

Although Oia is overrun with cruise ship passengers in the afternoon and around sunset, mornings are blissfully quiet. Until the tour buses arrive you can walk around Oia in peace. Everyone crowds around the castle for sunset, but IMO the best photos are of the whitewashed buildings as the evening light turns them to gold and red. It's a similar phenomenon to Uluru (Ayer's Rock) in Australia at sunset.

Now that you have been looking at the ferry timetables you appreciate the difficulties of jumping from one island group to another. Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos are on three different main ferry routes, with limited cross-route connections between them. With your interests in mind (unless I am reading them wrong) it may be better to drop Rhodes and concentrate on the others.
Heimdall is online now  
Oct 17th, 2013, 08:11 PM
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Don't ask me why, but when I turned the order of the islands around, everything seems to fall into place. I now get:

Arrive Athens, stay in Athens
Day 1 Tu - Ferry to Mykonos
Day 2 W - Mykonos/Delos?
Day 3 Th - Mykonos/Delos?
Day 4 F - Ferry to Santorini
Day 5 Sa - Santorini
Day 6 Su - Santorini
Day 7 M - Overnight ferry to Rhodes
Day 8 Tu - Rhodes
Day 9 W - Rhodes
Day 10 Th - Rhodes
Day 11 F - Rhodes
Day 12 Sa - Fly to Athens a.m., pick up rental car, drive to Nafplio via Corinth
Day 13 Su - Nafplio
Day 14 M - Nafplio
Day 15 Tu - Nafplio
Day 16 W - To Olympia (need a good lunch stop)
Day 17 Th - Olympia a.m., to Delphi p.m.
Day 18 F - Delphi a.m., to Meteora p.m.
Day 19 Sa - Meteora
Day 20 Su - Meteora/return to Athens, drop car
Day 21 M - Athens
Day 22 T - Athens
Day 23 W - Athens
Day 24 Th - Athens
Day 25 F - Fly home

This all works with the ferry schedules I see today - realizing, of course, that today may be an aberration and tomorrow they may all look different.

Alternatively, I could stick to the original order and leave Rhodes on the overnight ferry to Santorini after only three full days there, the first day of which I'm likely to be wonky from travel. That would give me an extra day to add to Mykonos in the hopes of seeing Delos. If I made it to Delos the first day, I could head off to the mainland a day earlier and have time for Monemvasia.

What do you think?
artsnletters is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 09:06 PM
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I've been reading your evolving plans, and people provide advice. THis reverse route works a lot better ... it's going with the reliable ferry routes . And it's better to go from Santo on Blue Star at 30 minutes atfer midnight & wake up in Rhodes about 7:30 am ... the Blue in opposite direction is NOT an o'night... leaves 5 pm, arrives after midnight. For the Santo-Rhodes sailing, book a cabin; you can book a bunk in a 4-bunk single-sex cabin w. bathroom. (NOTE: Since you say "I" throughout, I gather you are single, not a couple). I'm Ok with the scheduling as far as Day 16, then it looks like Loong looong days of driving. I gather you're driving counter-clockwise on the modern highway on edge of Pelops to reach Olympia (long way round, but fastest in the end, and best if u want to do it in a day) The other Route (thru ... Don't stop at Parga, get off & find a seaside village for lunch. The other route, while interesting (Tripolis - Sparta - Kalamata - to West Coast & Up) has Plenty of Mountains, and will be a waay long day if indeed you make it). You'll be tired on arrival in Olympia & next day's a killer too. If you enter Olympic site 8 Am, visit Museum FIRST to have it to yourself (tour-bus crowds start w. outside ruins) but you won't finish site before 11 AM -- and Delphi's a faaar piece, fella. PLEASE check Michelin trip-planner for driving-time estimates and route recommendations. Good luck!
travelerjan is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 09:09 PM
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SOrry for some typos ( "as people provide") and an errant "(thru ... " but there's no edit function; I hope it does not confuse.
travelerjan is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 10:03 PM
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Viamichelin has:

Nafplio-Olympia 3:30
Olympia-Delphi 4:28
Delphi-Kalambaka 4:25, or 4:48 if I go the route that uses the highway
Kalambaka-Athens 5:19

Are you suggesting taking the highway at the top of Pelops to Patras and then continuing down and around? That's nothing like any of the three routes Viamichelin recommended, which are straight across or with a loop to the south. Viamichelin pegs that at 5 hours. It certainly looks like easier driving and a less complicated route, but that's a lot longer. (Probably I wouldn't need to allow extra time for getting lost, which is something I do really well - maybe a hazard driving through central Pelops.)

I come from a family of "driving fools," as one sister says, and I don't think half a day of driving will wear me out, whatever the roads. I enjoy driving. Before I embark on this leg, I will have had four nights in Nafplio, by which time I hope I will be feeling rested. There's usually a day in about the middle of my trip when I just don't feel like going anywhere or seeing anything, and that day should fall while I'm in Nafplio. After that, I should be up for something this vigorous.

How are the radios set up in Greek rental cars? Have a CD player? Connect an iPod? If I have my tunes, I can drive all day.

(Yes, I'm traveling solo.)
artsnletters is offline  
Oct 17th, 2013, 11:08 PM
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Nafplio - Olympia - Delphi -Kalambaka is a very scenic route.

You will get to see the mountainous Greece, many nice villages on the way, and small towns like Nafpaktos or Galaxidi.

The driving time given by Michelin are correct.
Driving from Nafplio to the North and from there to Patras - Olympia makes absolutely no sense !!

Just don't search for Parga, that was mentioned in a post above, as it is located in Epirus and 250 km north of Patras...
clausar is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 11:45 AM
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SOrry, my head said Patras, my fingers typed Parga .... I guess in the driving mode, I was thinking of the route Mich recommends to people coming from Athens -- of course no sense in going UP from Nafplio to Corinth, adds an hour ...

As for music while driving, best bet, bring your own...
travelerjan is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 10:07 PM
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travelerjan, do rental cars have CD players? If so I'll make up some mix CDs and be good to go.
artsnletters is offline  
Oct 18th, 2013, 11:49 PM
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That question should be directed at clausar, who lives in Greece. If it's not already obvious, travelerjan doesn't drive. ;-)
Heimdall is online now  
Oct 19th, 2013, 05:40 AM
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CD player or not can depend on the car. If you go for the cheapest lowest category car then maybe not. Something better likely will have a CD player and/or an audio in for an iPod. With the amount of driving you're planning having decent wheels will make your trip a lot better.

If tunes are very important to you get one of those little devices that play your iPod over the FM radio... cheap if you get one on eBay. That way you have your music no matter what the setup that comes in the car. Have you got a GPS? My TomTom 930 plays music over the FM band and stores the tunes on removable SD cards.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Oct 19th, 2013, 09:04 AM
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clausar? Can you help on the issue of music equipment on rental cars?

I was just checking AutoEurope, and a compact (not mini) automatic is in my price bracket, Hyundai i30 whatever that is. Actually, automatics seem quite affordable. I can drive a stick, supposedly, but the last time I did was 10 years ago on a trip to Italy. With all that mountain driving, I'm better off with an automatic. Anyway, maybe that's far enough up the food chain to come equipped for some auxiliary music. A few CDs and an iPod won't weigh much to take along, so I'll plan on taking both and then I hopefully will be good.

I've tried those FM transmitter iPod things, but in my experience they don't work very well and need a lot of adjustment as you go along. Not so bad if you have a companion to fool around with it, but in my case I'd have to pull over.

I don't have a GPS now, but I will by the time I go.
artsnletters is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 12:06 AM
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ParisAmsterdam already answered that.

Lower car categories often only have a radio and no CD player, let alone a USB or i Pod connection.

I believe that a Hyundai i 30 would have both CD and USB, but you can't be sure that you will get one. This is just an example of that specific car category, they usually say Hyundai i 30 or similar.

The model that you will get, depends on what will be available when you will pick up the car.
clausar is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Here's a Hyundai I30:

Going by the UK info, even the base model has an MP3 compatible CD player and a plug for an iPod. Greek models may be different. And as Clausar says, you may get the 'or similar'.

I agree those FM radio gadgets can be a hassle but better than being stuck with no tunes at all and don't forget you will be making stops for photo ops etc if it requires fiddling.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Nov 16th, 2013, 04:21 PM
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It looks like you have 3-4 days in Athens. If you'd really like to add a day or two for Monemvasia (which I recommend) or Crete, I'd cut Athens to 2 days and Nafplio to 2 days.
nanabee is online now  
Nov 16th, 2013, 10:28 PM
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I really want more time in Athens. I've been before, so I know how much I can see in two days. I'll probably want to see most of that again, so I need some time to get a little deeper. There's a lot to see around Nafplio, and I've also built in a day for my vacation from my vacation - a day to do nothing, which experience tells me I'll probably need about midway.

I'm actually thinking of shortening up a day on Rhodes (I'd still have three and a half days) in favor of adding in a day at Delphi - beyond Delphi itself, it would give me time to get a bit off the beaten path, say Galaxidi or Arachova. I doubt I'll pass that way again, so it would be nice to have time to explore a little bit. There is so much to see in the Peloponnese that I won't have time for, that I'm thinking to save that and Crete for the next trip, when I can give both the attention they deserve. If I had two more days, I'd definitely go to Monemvasia, but there you have it. It's already a long trip!

Will three and a half days on Rhodes be sufficient?
artsnletters is offline  
Nov 17th, 2013, 12:08 AM
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Will three and a half days on Rhodes be sufficient?

Let's put it this way: Many visitors to Rhodes are cruise ship passengers who only get a half-day on the island — you will have three days more than them.

BTW, I fully agree with your decision to stick with 3-4 days in Athens. Anyone who thinks 2 days is enough is only interested in the headline attractions.

Artsnletters, you are putting a lot of thought into your planning, and will be rewarded for that when you get to Greece.
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 18th, 2014, 09:31 PM
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I leave in two weeks and two days! Back with a final run-through of my itinerary for your comments.

May 5, arrive Athens 5:30pm, night in Rafina
May 6, ferry Rafina-Mykonos
May 7, Delos/Mykonos
May 8, if saw [enough of] Delos, move to Santorini, otherwise Delos/Mykonos
May 9, ferry Mykonos-Santorini
May 10 Santorini, Akrotiri, Ancient Thera
May 11 Santorini, ferry to Rhodes leaving at 0:50 on May 12
May 12 Arrive Rhodes 9am
May 13 Rhodes, Tuesday so I think I can tour the walls
May 14 Rhodes
May 15 Rhodes
May 16 Fly to Athens, arrive 7:30, pick up rental car, drive to Nafplio via Corinth
May 17 Nafplio, over the next three days see Mycenae, Nemea, Epidauros, Tyrins - anywhere I'm leaving out I shouldn't miss?
May 18 Nafplio and environs
May 19 Nafplio and environs
May 20 8:00 start, drive to Olympia, lunch and a stroll in Dimitsana, see ancient Olympia late afternoon/early evening - open until 8pm!
May 21 Olympia a.m., drive to Delphi in the afternoon
May 22 Delphi, if time visit Arachova or Galaxidi
May 23 drive to Meteora
May 24 Meteora
May 25 drive to Athens
May 26 Athens, Context tour "Daily Life in Ancient Athens"
May 27 Athens, evening cooking lesson and dinner arranged through Athens Walking Tours
May 28 Athens, afternoon food tour with Athens Walks
May 29 Athens
May 30 Fly home

I plan to make the most of the late open hours!

If you have any input or suggestions, I'm open.
artsnletters is offline  
Apr 19th, 2014, 09:02 AM
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Looks GREAT to me… In Nafplio, slow down enough to enjoy those loooong sunsets from the beautiful seaside promenade,(cafes w wicker loveseats, aaah). By then u will have seen many a Greek sunset; for me Nafplio is tops (also full moon is 14-15-16). Your last night, May 29, Benaki Museum is FREE on thursdays, has gorgeous cafe, AND museum open till Midnight!
travelerjan is offline  

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