Stops on a 1 week car tour from Athens

Apr 20th, 2015, 12:40 PM
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Stops on a 1 week car tour from Athens

I will be picking up a car in Athens, then returning it to the airport and flying out a week later. I'll start around 1 May, which I understand is a holiday.

My goals are main sights of the Pelopponese, Delphi, Thermopolae, and Meteora.

I'd appreciate some suggestions where to stop, and for how long. I'd like to minimize the one-nighters. My current thoughts are:

1. Scenic route to Nafplion, then a couple of days sightseeing from there (3 nights Nafplion)

2. Drive via Olympia to Delphi (1 night Delphi)

3. Visit Delphi, then on to Meteora and sightseeing there (2 nights Meteora)

4. Back to Athens via 1 night where?

Thanks for any improvements.
someotherguy is offline  
Apr 20th, 2015, 01:39 PM
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Your plan seems sound. It is going to be a very long day Nafplio to Olympia and on the Delphi. You will have at least 8 hours of driving that day plus the visit to Olympia.

On your way to Nafplio consider stopping at Corinth and see the canal, Ancient Nemia and Ancient Corinth. Of course you could do that visit as a day trip from Nafplio as well.

I might also consider a long day trip to Sparti to visit Mystras a wonderful city with a fortress ruins and cathedrals down a mountainside.

Again that drive to Oylmpia and Delphi is a bad one. If it were me I would substitute Nemia for Olympia. They both have a stadium ( and games) Namia also has a partially restored temple and a very good museum.
Anyway once you get to Delphi stay in the village and get out early in the morning so you have the site to yourselves before the tour buses arrive. By mid day take off for Meteora. If you arrive after 5 in the afternoon all the crowds will be gone and you can drive around the monasteries in peace and get photos with out tour buses and their passengers everywhere.

Next morning get out early and see as much as you can before the buses arrive. We spent the whole day at Meteora and then overnighted there a second night as you indicated you will do. That worked well for us
We drove back to Athens then diverted to Corinth for our last night before our flight. it is an easy run back to the airport the next day as long as you don't have one of those lovely 6am flights. We were able to find the sinking bridge at the canal and watch it disappear under the water as a boat passed by. Pretty cool.
Here are images of our trip last summer.
Nafplio and Peloponnese
Olympia Delfi Meteora
sinking bridge
stanbr is offline  
Apr 20th, 2015, 03:10 PM
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From Athens and after visiting the Corinth Cana; and Ancient Corinth take the old road to Nafplio via Epidauros and not the highway. There are two sinking bridges one on each side of the canal, that are quite interesting to see going down, when a ship goes by. ( but that means losing valuable time... as this can take longer if it is a bigger ship for safety reasons)
This is a scenic road and you can visit Epidauros on your way.

The drive from Nafplio via Olympia to Delphi is a long one.
I recommend an overnight in Olympia and visit of the archaeological site, a must see in my opinion, it is one of the most important sites of Greece.

The drive via a mountain road is very scenic, and there are many quaint old villages, worth a short visit.

Driving from Olympia to Delphi, you will pass the Rio Bridge and two lovely cities worth a visit ( both directly on the way to Delphi). Nafpaktos with it's castle and medieval small harbour and Galaxidi, my favourite town in this area.
clausar is offline  
Apr 20th, 2015, 07:51 PM
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We drove Nafplipn to Olympia, long drive, stayed overnight and drove to Delphi the next day, stayed overnight. Both are incredible and the scenery looking out to sea from the mountains in Delphi is beautiful.
HappyTrvlr is offline  
Apr 21st, 2015, 01:20 PM
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Many thanks for all your suggestions. I'll be putting them to use.

One new wrinkle: hotels in Nafplion are fairly full (presumably due to the holiday weekend) so I'm thinking of reversing the direction and going to Delphi and Meteora first. When I ask Google maps about then going to Olympia it suggests a westerly route on the E951 that I had not considered before. Does anyone have an opinion on this?

It's a long way, but I think I have one day with a long drive no matter how I arrange it.

Thanks again.
someotherguy is offline  
Apr 21st, 2015, 03:36 PM
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The answer to that is no.....
Best itinerary in my opinion is :

Athens - Kalambaka with overnight in Kalambaka
( via the Athens-Thessaloniki highway)

Kalambaka - Delphi with overnight in Delphi
( via the Thessaloniki-Athens highway, then Thermopyle - Bralos -Delphi. This is a very scenic road )

Delphi - Olympia with overnight in Olympia

Taking the route to E 951, would be a very long drive, and recommendable if you had 2 days at disposal, as you would be passing through Epiros, one of the nicest regions of Greece)
clausar is offline  
Apr 22nd, 2015, 10:09 AM
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Thank you clausar, I will follow your plan.
someotherguy is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 08:18 AM
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Our 18 day trip encompassed Athens, Santorini, Crete, Rhodes and the Peloppenese. Meteora was one of the highlights of our driving trip in Greece, in my opinion not to be missed.

Our B&B at the base of Meteora, Pyrgos Adrachti was a little hard to find, but well located, comfortable and had wonderful views. The hosts spoke good English, provided spacious and comfortable rooms, good cooked breakfast and directions to local restaurants and the Monasteries.
Kastraki Meteoron, Kastraki, Kalambaka 42200, Greece

Taverna Gardina served authentic and tasty Greek dishes and we enjoyed dining alfresco while listening to the music from a party inside, local musicians and citizens celebrating something with music and dance.
saige is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 11:26 AM
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Why so many tourists avoid Athens, I truly can't understand. It's such a wonderful city for a tourist, the museums, the historic sites, the old town, the vibe are truly not to be missed. It's bizarre that so many foreigners underestimate it...
PetrosB3 is offline  
Apr 23rd, 2015, 11:42 AM
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Thanks for the tips everyone.

I'm not sure to whom Petros83's comment is directed, but I for one am not avoiding Athens. This trip will follow a week spent in the city.
someotherguy is offline  
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