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tyler Jul 2nd, 2013 12:32 PM

Peloponnese Itienerary

We are planning a trip to Greece next June for my youngest step-daughters graduation present. It will be my wife, myself and two daughters (18 and 20). We have 10 or 11 nights on the ground and she doesn't think she wants to visit an island, and would prefer not to switch lodging locations more than once or twice, save for a return trip for one night in Athens prior to flight home. When we have asked her what she wants to do with her time in Greece, she has focused on history and the food....

After a lot of reading, it seems like 3 days in Athens is adequate and after that, the Peloponnese Peninsula probably best suits her interests. Would you say that is accurate?

If that is where you would focus, how would you allocate the remaining days?

One thought was after the three days in Athens, just spend the rest of the trip in Navplion, and plan to make some day trips to sights.

Another thought was to spend a night at Delphi on our way down to spend the rest of the trip at Navplion.

One thought was to split the remaining days between Navplion and another location. If we did this, where would you recommend?

If we just stayed in Navplion, is a day trip to Mystras worth it, or is that too far?

Thanks for whatever advice you can give!


thursdaysd Jul 2nd, 2013 03:07 PM

Definitely plan to visit Delphi. I would also seriously consider an overnight on or near Monemvasia.

Heimdall Jul 3rd, 2013 12:33 AM

Sounds like the makings of a good trip, and you certainly don't have to go to an island to see the real Greece. Nafplion would make an excellent base for the antiquities in that area, but there is also a lot to see in the southern Peloponnese besides Mystras.

In September 2011 I spent a few days near Kalamata, and got to see Ancient Messini and other beautiful locations in Messinia. Kalamata now has a motorway all the way from Athens, so getting there is relatively quick. Somewhere near there might be a good second base for Messinia and Lakonia (for Mystras). Here are a few photos of Messinia (note the almost total lack of other tourists at Ancient Messini):

Definitely fit Delphi in if you can — it's simply spectacular. Can you manage to fit a few extra days into your trip? There is so much to see! :-)

clausar Jul 3rd, 2013 01:39 AM

As a second base i would recommend Kalamata too, which is a nice city with many nice hotels and a 7 km long beach.( and great local food)

From Kalamata you can visit many great places like Ancient Messini, that Heimdall suggested, but also Koroni, Methoni and Pylos on the east side and the fabulous Messinian Mani ( Stoupa and Kardamili) and the Laconian Mani ( Vathia, Areopolis, Gytheio and perhaps also Monemvasia as a day trip).

tyler Jul 5th, 2013 07:09 AM

I appreciate the feedback. How long a drive is it from Kalamata to Monemvasia?

Am now thinking:

3 nights Athens
1 night Delphi
3 nights Kalamata
4 nights Navplion
1 night Athens

Does that plan make sense?

clausar Jul 5th, 2013 07:47 AM

Your itinerary looks good.

You could do eventually overnight in Olympia, coming from Delphi, and then continue to Nafplio via the gorgeous mountainous Peloponnese.
The archaeological site of Olympia is one of the most important ones of Greece :)

thursdaysd Jul 5th, 2013 10:54 AM

Rather than Kalamata, you might also look at Kardamyli, or Gerolimenas. For more on both see my TR:

drjacobs Jul 7th, 2013 11:39 AM

We are traveling to Greece this September. We are flying into Athens and traveling to Nafplio first to discover the Peloponnese. We then travel to the islands and save Athens for last prior to leaving.

Based on your suggested itinerary you could just move Athens to the end of your trip which should work just as well

TexasAggie Jul 7th, 2013 01:06 PM

Great feedback from the others. We love the Peloponnese and have focused our last three trips to Greece there. From Nafplio, the following ancient sights are within driving distance: Tiryns, Lerna, Epidauros, Corinth and AcroCorinth, Mycenae, Argive Heraion and Argos itself, Nemea (one of our favorites), Midea, Dendra, and probably a dozen smaller sights that are unfenced and open at all times. We have yet to make it to Sikyon, but it's on our list. If driving down from Athens, great stops are the Heraion at Petrachora and Isthmia.

On the other side of the Peloponnese, Ancient Olympia is unbelievable. We also were really impressed by Ancient Messene, Ancient Pylos, and Bassae.

isemida Jul 8th, 2013 11:36 AM

Another vote for adding Olympia - it is one of the highlights of the Peloponnese, and we liked it better than Corinth or Mycenae! We visited on our way from Mystras to Delphi.

TexasAggie Jul 8th, 2013 04:45 PM

I forgot to mention that ancient Orchemenos is also within driving distance of Nafplio, though a bitof a drive, and is not fenced in. You'll have the amazing theater all to yourself almost certainly with an unbelievable view down into the plain.

clausar Jul 8th, 2013 08:45 PM

It is actually amazing how many ancient theatres exist in Greece.
While many of them are restored and even in use, to a certain extend, many others are still hidden or there have been no excavations yet.

Here is a link to a private group, that is trying to bring back to life these beautiful ancient theatres.

As for archaeological sites, museums,castles and monuments all over Greece, here is the link to the official link of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture ( Hellenic = Greek).

tyler Jul 9th, 2013 10:25 AM

Would it be too much to visit Delphi "on the way" to Nafplio?

Can Olympia be done as a day trip from Kalamata? How far of a drive would this be?

clausar Jul 9th, 2013 11:13 AM

If you want to visit Delphi but also Olympia, your itinerary could look like this :

Athens - Ossios Loukas - Delphi ( overnight in Delphi area)

Delphi - Olympia ( overnight Olympia)

Olympia - Kalamata ( calculate 3 hours)

Kalamata - Nafplio

Peony88Peony Jul 9th, 2013 07:30 PM

.....spent 5 days in the Peloponnese at the end of April. The Peloponnese is full of remnants of Greek civilizations including those of the Byzantine period, charming towns and stunning scenery.

The Mystras medieval archeological site includes several Byzantine churches many with excellent frescos, a convent, a palace in process of being restored and a castle topping the hill. The castle is beautifully illuminated at night. If you plan to visit there, I would suggest a full day to enjoy the new town and surrounding area as well as to have sufficient time to explore the old city. It is best to overnight in Mystras to do a visit to the medieval city first thing in the gets hot!

Nafplion and area is definitely worth a day's visit. However, my favorite town in the eastern Peloponnese was Momenvasia...a beautifully situated jewel of a also needs a full day to explore and enjoy. Momenvasia is a 2 hour drive from Mystras and a 4 hour drive from Nafplion.

We also spent a day driving through the Lousios Gorge in the central Peloponnese (western Arkadia). The scenery here is quite spectacular and there are numerous charming towns and villages to visit, my favourites being Dimitsana, Stemnitsa and Lagadia. This area is also great for hiking. The drive through the Gorge can be done on the way from Olympia to Nafplion or from the Mystras area.


TexasAggie Jul 10th, 2013 06:22 AM

Clausar, thanks for the link to the group! Fascinating. My husband and I seek out as many of the small sights as possible every time we visit Greece. At Titani, a villager told us we were the first visitors in a year (I think) and invited us into his home for spoon sweets.

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