Peloponnese itinerary/advice

Aug 16th, 2007, 03:13 AM
  #1  
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Peloponnese itinerary/advice

My husband and I will be arrving in Nafplion on 28th August (on the bus from Athens). I'm wondering if we will need to book accommodation in advance. We're not used to travelling at this time of year, and I'm a little worried we will have a problem finding somewhere to stay in the town.

We are intending to 'backpack' around for 2 weeks. Would it be practical using local transport, or will we need to rent a car for at least part of the trip (ideally, we would like to get off the beaten track and take in some culture, beaches, etc.)

I'd really appreciate any advice - our itinerary is totally flexible - we'll probably make it up as we go along! If anyone has any accommodation recommendations that would be great too (our budget is around 60-70 euros per night if possible.)

Cheers! Sarah

SarahAB is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 06:47 AM
  #2  
 
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I haven't travelled in August in Greece so I can't comment on the need for reservations. I would be inclined to have a reservation for Nafplion. I have stayed twice at Hotel Byron http://www.byronhotel.gr It is nice, reasonably priced and in a good location but quite small. You can get around easily by bus, however, if you want to see the Mani, a car rental may be a better idea. Gythio is a pretty town. Momevasia is really worth seeing. You can get a cheaper hotel by not staying out in the old town. Elafonisos Island has one of the nicest beaches in Greece and reasonably priced hotels.
Hania is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 06:51 AM
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Whoa, good luck on finding a room -- at least the 28th is a Tuesday, increasing your chances. Because it will still be high season, 70E is VERY hard in Old Town...but I DO think that's the great place to stay. It's worth it to try to book online, for best experience at yur price.

My first 2 choices are "at the top of the town", that is, up against the castle wall, overlooking Old Town and the beautiful bay.You'll have to walk up some stairstep streets but worth it (coming by bus, u can get taxi to reach hotel 1st time).

HOTEL LETO - my fave. All rooms w. view. Simple, small (14 rms). E-mail owner, G. Tzanetos,[email protected]
tell him Janet Kroll sent you! (I've now been there 4 times). In May a double was 62E including breakfast;if you are lucky he will hae a room left; totally worth it.

ELENI PENSION - This is RIGHT NEXT DOOR to my dear Leto; I have not booked it mainly because it has only double-bed rooms, but Fodor guru "stanbr" & wife have stayed there & liked it fine. It now has a web site w. great photos and says doubles are 60-65 w.o. breakfast the e-mail is [email protected]

HOTEL VICTORIA -- This is right at the foot of the stairstep street going up to the above--and has nice open view to harbor; 37 rooms so may have one left. http://www.hotelvictoria.gr/uk/profile.html


CAR for SIGHTSEEING
If u rent a car (easy to do last-minute if u can drive stick-shift -- 30-35E) it's easier to cover ruins at your own pace. Start early & you can beat crowds at Mycenae, then zip to Tiryns just outside Nap (my fave), then go to Epidaurus with a picnic. Take swimsuits and end day with a dip in Epidaurus beach nearby!! If u do local transp., can only go to one site per day, due to schedule.

BEACH -- My newest discovery, that I almost don't want to share! Tolo Beach is sandy but narrow and SO crowded. On a tip I took the Tolo Bus (hourly) but asked driver to let me off on the way, at stop nearest to Asine (a ruin site). Walked down shady road 200 metres and VOILA!, tiny cove looking OVER at Tolo (packed)... plus a hill full of ruins. Down a path to the left and VOILA! again, a gorgeous sandy beach, almost totally deserted(6 people)in May... with a lovely campground fronting on it. Of course u are in hi season, but if u wait 2-3 days from arrival, Sept 1 a lot of the crowd will vanish.

HIGHLIGHTS -- If u are already planning to visit this wonderful town, u already know about the 3 "csstles", the lovely marble-paved square, the long marquee-tented cafe lineup facing what I consider Greece's loveliest sunset.. here is a slideshow from one of Fodor's savviest Greece-Gurus "Stanbr" (put his name in the "search" slot for his trip report on 2006 Pelop. tour)
http://travel.webshots.com/slideshow/551991579dJbWvh

FOOD -- ELAS taverna right in the square for traditional dining on budget (9-10E for dinner w a glass of red).

FOOD --Sunset dinner... walk down "ramp road" to left of Hotel Leto, near the bottom take steps WEST under arch, you'll be right on the water -- restaurant there GREAT for dining at sunset.


travelerjan is offline  
Aug 16th, 2007, 07:59 PM
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Travellerjans favorite hotel has better views than Pension Elanie but they are both affordable and quiet at night.
For a treat try dining at La Faneria. It is just a few steps from the central square and the food there was excellent. It is down a narrow alley so it is quite quiet.
If you want to explore beyone Naphlion try a stop at Mystras the last city of the Byzantines and then head on to Monemvassia. It is a 15th century fortress still inhabited with rooms available inside the walls.
It may be a bit above your price range but it is worth the extra.

Enjoy.
stanbr is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 01:00 AM
  #5  
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Thank you all so much for your replies. They are very helpful.

Hania - I think we will probably do a mixture of local transport and car hire as I particularly want to visit the Mani.

Traverjan - I have e-mailed Hotel Leto to see if they have a room (finger's crossed!) And we shall definitely try to find your 'secret' beach!

Stanb - Thanks for your ideas - they sound great. Re Momenvasia - it's also a definite. We're quite happy to pay more to stay somewhere special - do you have a recommendation?
SarahAB is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 05:12 AM
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Hi Sarah! I don't think you'll have a problem finding a hotel in the old town of Nafplion on a Tuesday!
This is another small hotel with charming rooms (i haven't been there though) http://www.amymone.gr/main.html
but check it out!
As Hania mentioned, visit Elafonisos also with very nice beaches!
cristine27 is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 09:37 AM
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Sarah I think you will enjoy Monemvasia.
Here is an excerpt from our trip report.

Monemvasia is called the Gibraltar of Greece. It is a very large rock connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway. There is a small town across from the entrance and as we arrived Laurel wasn’t too impressed, thinking this is just another set of ruins and asking me “why did we drive two hours to get here?”

The fortified town in on the far side of the isthmus. After parking the car outside the wall all we could see was an armored door scarred by time and bullet holes, which led to a narrow passageway through the wall. Walking through the tunnel is like stepping back into time. The fortress is intact and contains an operating town. The buildings are all dressed stone, the main street is about 4 feet wide and all materials coming into town must be carried by pack mule. The streets are a maze of twisting alley ways down to the fortress wall. Looking back up the side of the mountain is a zig zag path leading up to the walls of the upper fortress on the crest of the mountaintop. I felt tempted to turn my watch back about 5 centuries.

Best of all we were able to take a period room overlooking the walls and the ocean. Laurel was stunned when she realized we were able to spend two nights in this location. Even our bathroom had a gun portal. [Byzantino Hotel; [email protected]] It is a bit of an unreal feeling to be in a location with so much history. It is a very romantic experience and the temptation to play ‘Garrison Commander’ is compelling. As we continued our holiday and told the Greeks we met that we had been to Monemvasia more than one of them said spontaneously that it’s the kind of place where you just feel the need to play “pirate” I guess we aren’t weird after all.

The upper fortress is in ruins and only the 12th century church Agia Sofia is still intact.
We had the great fortune to meet an Australian couple in Monemvasia who were of Greek origin. Because they spoke Greek a shopkeeper told them to visit the museum where they could get the key to Agia Sofia. We tagged along and so were able to go inside the church too.

Our pictures can be seen at;
http://travel.webshots.com/album/551987765EoLDkO
stanbr is offline  
Aug 17th, 2007, 09:40 AM
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Bookmarking...thanks to all above for the info.
ms_go is online now  
Aug 18th, 2007, 07:32 AM
  #9  
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Christine27 - You're absolutely right about availability - all the hotels/pensions recommended have e-mailed to say they have a room available! We're just deciding whether to go to the Leto or Eleni.

stanb - thanks for your posting. Monemvasia looks absolutely wonderful. My husband loves the look of the Byzantino.
I spent quite some time looking at your Greece albums - especially Naxos and Crete which I know quite well - they brought back some great memories!
SarahAB is offline  
Aug 18th, 2007, 09:13 AM
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As I mentioned I think Travelerjans Leto has better sea views than Eleni. If you choose Eleni be sure to ask for one of the rooms in the alley at the back. These rooms are comfortable quiet and private and some have limited sea views. Eleni does have some rooms that are directly onto the street and I really would not be happy in one of those.

I am pleased you enjoyed the pictures. They do bring back memories and make one want to return.
stanbr is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 01:23 AM
  #11  
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stanbr - Thanks for your advice re accommodation. We have decided to plump for the Leto.

Roll on next Sunday when we fly to Athens - can't wait!
SarahAB is offline  
Aug 19th, 2007, 03:29 AM
  #12  
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I am away on business from this afternoon and will not be able to reply to any more correspondence - so I just wanted to say 'thank you' to everyone who replied to my initial query. This is the first time I have used Fodors's travellers' talk forums and will certainly do so again in the future!
SarahAB is offline  

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