Peloponnese Area

Apr 7th, 2014, 12:26 PM
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Peloponnese Area

\We are travelling in a group of 6 all adults to Greece the first of October 2014 for 17 days and would like to divide our time between Peloponnese, Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

We like to explore on our own without a scheduled tour guide, but I'm not sure if we would be able to appreciate the attractions, museums, scenery, etc. on our own in and around the Peloponnese area. Is it a stressful and hard to follow drive? The main places we would like to visit are Corinth, Olympia, Mycenae, Epidavrou, Nafplion, Sparta and then we'd like to visit Delphi and Meteora and any other places we can squeeze in during our time. If possible, we would like to stay overnight in a central location between all places to prevent packing and repacking. Below are additional questions:

1. Is there a hotel in a general area? I know we will probably need to move hotels to get closer to Meteora before heading back to Athens, but is it possible for the others.
2. Is it possible to visit all these places within 4-5 full days?
3. Can we visit the various museums and archaeological sites without a tour guide?
4. Can we explore these places at our leisure and still enjoy them. We like to drive and stop whenever we like as opposed in a schedule tour you're strictly on their time.

If you have suggestions for hotels in these areas, that information would also be helpful and appreciated.

Thanks so much!
Makeithappen is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 12:36 PM
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We spent 4 nights in Nafplio in 2011 and visited Nemea ( on the drive back to Athens), Corinth (on the drive from Athens), Mycenae, epidavrou, and a day on the coast. We didn't gave a guide and had a great time.

I don't think you can do a day trip to Olympia, Delphi or Meteora though from that location. Not sure there is one location where you can see all of them as they are in different locations. Min wouldn't want to spend more time driving around than actually enjoying a fewer amount of places.

Driving was very easy where we went, just stay in the slow lane and let people drive around you if they want.

Our photos are here
jamikins is offline  
Apr 7th, 2014, 12:38 PM
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We stayed here and enjoyed the gorgeous views
jamikins is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 12:24 AM
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4-5 full days won't be enough to cover all these places that you mentioned.
Have a look at the map to see where they are located.
Meteora and Delphi are on the Mainland and the rest on the Peloponnese.

Meteora is about 400 km North of Athens, getting there would require a 5 hours drive one way. From there you would have to drive 200 km to Delphi, and about 3 hours.

From Delphi the itinerary should take you to Olympia, which is another 3 hours drive ( about 250 km)

Olympia - Naflplion is another 180 mountainous kilometers... through one very beautiful region of Greece.

From Nafplio you can do many daytrips to Mycenae, Tiryns, nearby Nemea or even to the island of Spetses.

I am not sure why you want to go to Sparta, is it because of Mystras? This would be 130 km.

Epidavros and Ancient Corinth, along with the Canbal of Corinth you can see on your way back to Athens from Nafplio.

This would be doable and would require 5-6 nights in my opinion, based on 1 overnight in Meteora, 1 in Delphi, 1 in olympia and perhaps 3 in Nafplio.

If you have a good guidebook you won't need necessarily a tour guide. I always prefer tour guides as they can answer questions and give more background information, but that's just me
clausar is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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Thanks jamikins...your pics are beautiful and thanks for easing my mind on the driving aspect of your trip and sharing your hotel information.

Once again thanks have been so helpful.

Do they have tour guides that we can hire at Delphi, Meteora and Ancient Corinth as those are the main sites that I would rather have a guide when we arrive? I just don't want to hire a tour guide to take us from Athens to all the places as we are strictly on their time. I don't too much like the idea of them telling us when to wake up, when to eat, which hotels to use, when we can explore independently, when to get back on the bus, etc.

Yes I would like to see Mystra, but we can pass this time. I really wanted to get a taste of the Peloponnese area sine we're in Greece so long.

This does sound like a lot of driving so maybe we need to narrow it down to just Meteora, Delphi and Ancient Corinth and save the other areas for another trip.

Perhaps, we should drive to Meteora from Athens one morning and stay one night, next morning tour the monastaries and then drive to Delphi, stay one night, next morning drive to Nafplio and stay 3 nights. Didn't realize we could take so many day trips while in Nafplio. At any rate, after those 3 nights, enroute to Athens, visit Epidavros, Nemea and Ancient Corinth and arrive in Athens before night. Does this sound reasonable?

Thanks again....
Makeithappen is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 08:05 AM
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Just on your last point you can certainly see all three locations on your way back to Athens. However since you are in Nafplio for 3 nights you might want to cut down on the stress of visiting three sites in one day by taking a day trip to Epidavros while you are in Nafplio.
Nemia and Ancient Corinth are both compact sites and can easily be done in an hour or two so perhaps you might think of also visiting Acricirinth (amazing view over the whole area) and of course at least a stop at the canal.
Here is what it is like.
Nafplio and Peloponnese
stanbr is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 09:13 AM
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Hi, I agree with clausar and I think you should prioritize your "needs" or "wants", otherwise you will miss the whole idea of a good trip. Do you wnt to have unique memories or a lot of photos (to remind you what you didn't live)?
I suggest to skip Meteora and Delphi and add 2 more days in Peloponissos.One of my favorite cities is Kalamata.Within an hour of driving there are a lot of things to see. Search in google for:
1. Ancient Messinia in Greece
2. Polilimnio Messinia
3. Pylos Messinia, Voidokolia, Castle of Nestoras (Homer),Methoni, Koroni
4. Kardamyli
5. Viros Gorge Kardamili
6. Mani region Peloponnissos
If you decide to stay in Kalamata I can give you some information (where to stay, where to eat and what to see).

In Athens you can easily spend a week combining ancient Athens and modern Athens. In the past most of the tourists spent 2-3 days in the city visiting the most touristic places such as Acropolis, Plaka, Ancient and Roman Agora etc. Today tourists stay longer in order to maximise what the city "has to give" (architecture, museums, many hills,neighborhoods,excellent greek food and local drinks-ouzo, tsipouro, wine-, the Athenian Riviera, the port of Piraeus). From Athens you can easily make a day cruise to the islands: Aigina or Poros or Hydra.
Santorini and Mykonos are beautiful islands where you can spend two or three days for relax and night life (and shopping).
KaterinaSt is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 09:37 AM
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I also agree wth clausar. I think ancient Messene is a definite must.
If you decide to stay in Mystras, or leave it for the next time, I could also give you some tips on the Lakonia area.
Bear in mind, that October is a great month to visit Greece away from the hoards of August and the extreme heat of the summer.
Enjoy your trip!
PlethonResidence00 is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 10:11 AM
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Thanks to all.....

Yes after my last post, I was thinking that I may need to leave off Meteora and Delphi. I love beautiful scenery and culture and the Peloponnese area has that....I'm not one that like to come back from vacation feeling like I need another one so that's why I'm trying to figure out how to see the main sites while relaxing and enjoying vacation. I had no idea Greece was this massive when it comes to planning. It's very exciting but it's also giving me anxiety because I want to plan it just right. This is overwhelming I must say!

One reason I was trying to include Meteora and Delphi on this trip is because I'm already on the mainland for at least 12 days and should I just be passing through Athens on a day or two trip in the future, I won't have the need to try to squeeze it in during that short amount of time.

I really want to go to Nafplion. We were planning to go to Santorini and Mykonos for 2-3 nights each, but I'm close to either cutting Mykonos, stay in Santorini for 2 nights and squeeze in Nafplion. I would like to take the day cruise from Athens and an island cruise from Nafplion would be nice as well, but I'm kind of stuck in thought right now.

OMG....I need to think on this for a minute.

Thanks everyone!
Makeithappen is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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We took a small ferry over to Spetses while we were staying in Napflio. It's much greener than the Cycladic Islands, very pretty. The Mycenae should be a must, Edipdavors too. All nearby. We stopped by Tiryns and Nemea too.
We drove to Mystras, spent a night, Olympia, spent the night and then to Delphi, spent another night there. They are all very worthwhile if you can reconfigure your time in Greece.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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Glad you enjoyed the pics!

I just wanted to add that I found it a bit overwhelming as well - we were 6, my parents in their early 60's, hubby and I in our mid-30's and my younger brother and his girlfriend. We decided on 7 days on Naxos, 4 nights in Nafplio and 4 nights in Athens. I had originally wanted to include meteora, Delphi, Olympia but realised we would enjoy ourselves a lot more if we slowed down and gave ourselves time to chill, relax, enjoy the views and the company.

You will have a fabulous time no matter what you choose, so don't feel bad about missing stuff - you will miss a tonne no matter what! Just be selective and give yourself enough time in each place to actually enjoy it without being worried about missing a place you haven't even seen. Make your choices and just relax and enjoy them - you can always plan the next trip on your way home
jamikins is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 10:22 AM
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I don't think the OP would have enough time to see also the South of the Peloponnese. That would require another 3 days ..

Nakeithappen, of course you can skip Olympia and drive from Delphi to Naflio.
This could be either via Patra- Corinth or via Athens - Corinth. I find the archaeological site of Olympia and the Museum to be one of the most important sites of Greece though.

Driving would be fun, there are many places on the way where you can stop, just to mention a few :

Between Delphi and Olympia the towns of Galaxidi and Nafpaktos, between Olympia and Nafplio there are many beautiful villages to stop for a walk and lunch/coffee.

Epidavros and ancient Corinth would be on your way back to Athens, via the old scenic road to Corinth.
clausar is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 10:31 AM
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Stanbr....your pics are awesome as well...hence why I'm really trying to go to Nafplion after all the pics I've seen from you and jamikins.

And sound a lot like me in regard to everything you want to incorporate in a vacation (i.e. chill, relax, views and company). I'm so there with you on that one. And you're right...I can plan another trip so I just need to chill right now and reconfigure our plans. Planning vacation destinations IS one of my hobbies so I think I can manage that idea. HAHA

Thanks again to everyone! Back to planning.....and I'm sure I'm be back again to post alternatives.
Makeithappen is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 11:23 AM
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Since I'm the only Greek in this conversation I think you should read again my proposals (see above).
KaterinaSt is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 11:39 AM
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You're not the only Greek Katerina....
Αθήνα εδώ
clausar is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 11:58 AM
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Clausar I agree with you.

MAKEITHAPPEN ask the Greeks! Greeks are famous for their filoxenia and we will be glad to help you.
KaterinaSt is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 12:01 PM
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KaterinaSt, I'm definitely going to google everything you posted. There are quite a few I hadn't even heard of so you have piqued my interest.

I also don't want to overdo it with all the archaeologist sites as I do want a balance. My itinerary is no where close to complete. I'm still gathering information and what better way to do that than getting tips from the pros.
Makeithappen is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 12:02 PM
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Thanks questions will keep coming no doubt.
Makeithappen is offline  
Apr 8th, 2014, 12:43 PM
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KaterinaSt, the opinions of non-Greeks are just as valid as yours. This is, after all, a traveller's forum. ;-)
Heimdall is online now  
Apr 8th, 2014, 02:32 PM
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Peloponnese has SO much to offer, if I were you I would spend my whole Trip in The Peloponnese. It has 5 UNESCO Monuments, more than many European Countries.

The 5 UNESCO Monuments are:
•Olympia. This is where the Olympic Games took place, the Greatest Event in Ancient Greece (Now of the World). It also housed the Statue of Zeus, one of the 7 Wonders of the World.
•Temple of Apollo Epicurius. One of the most perfect Ancient Temples of Greece, constructed by the Architect of the Parthenon, Ictinus.
•Mystras. A perfectly preserved Byzantine Town, with Rich Medieval Churches and Palaces, this is where the Last Emperor of Byzantium was crowned.
•Epidaurus. Considered the Greatest Theater of the World, Epidaurus is an almost intact Grand Ancient Greek Theater, with World famous Acoustics. Only Top Notch Plays take place today in the Theater.
•Mycenae. Once the Greatest City of the Archaic Hellenic World, Mycenae with its Monumental Walls and Tombs is one of the most important Arcaeological sites of Greece. Agamemnon, leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War, was the King of Mycenae, his Tomb is also in this City.

Ofcourse, there are some other sites of Great Beauty which are not -yet- listed in UNESCO. Some of them are:
•Monemvasia. A walled Byzantine town on a Huge Rock (also called Gibraltar of the Orient) crowned with the Cathedral of Hagia Sophia is one of the most picturesque and surreal towns of Greece. Its like it came out of a Medieval Tale.
•Nauplion. A charming Town with unique Neoclassical Architecture, crowned with a Huge Venetian Castle. It served as the first Capital of the Hellenic Republic.
•Messenia Region. An Ancient land, with Medieval Villages, Ancient Ruins, and Venetian Castles. The Castle of Methoni, the Town of Pylos, the City of Kalamata (with the best olives of the World) and the Ancient Capital of Messene.
•Laconia Region. Land of the Ancient Spartans, Laconia is a harsh and poor land, inhabited by rugh people, it has poor soil only stone, so the People made tall Stone Towers, forming Tower Villages, making Laconia one of the most Mysterious Places of Greece. Some famous places are: Sparta, Vatheia, Areopolis.
Arcadia Region. It has some of the most beautiful villages in Greece like Stemnitsa and Dimitsana, the Nature is Magnificent and there are Byzantine Monasteries everywhere.

The Peloponnese is a Top Tourist Destination since the Ancient Times, due to its Huge Historic Importance and Natural Beauty.
PetrosB3 is offline  

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