Trip to Mycenae/Nafplio from Athens

Old May 8th, 2012, 09:59 PM
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Trip to Mycenae/Nafplio from Athens


I am planning to visit Athens for a couple of days in May and wanted to visit Mycenae/Nafplio as well. Here is the plan -
- Arrive in Athens arnd 8:30 pm
- Tour for the next 2 whole days

What would be the best way to get to Mycenae/Nafplio?… I was thinking of some option like -
- From Athens Airport go to Nafplio and stay overnight
- See Nafplio for some time the next day and then go to Mycenae and Epidaurus
- Go to Athens after that (reach around 9-10 pm)
- See around Athens the whole next day

I needed some advice on the public transport options available (if any) for the above itinerary. Also, how long dos it take to travel between this places (like Nafplio -> Mycenae -> Epidaurus or some other combination).

Also, is it better if we drive? How is driving from Athens Airport to Nafplio - are the roads on hilly areas/winding? is it generally safe to drive in night after 9 pm?

It would be great if someone could give advice on the same. Thanks a lot in advance for the same.

alks is offline  
Old May 8th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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If you arrive in Athens at 8:30 pm, it will take 1 hour to go through customs and get your luggage
9:30 will be too late to use public transportation to go to Nafplio.
Your options are :
1. Rental car

The airport has the perfect location, as it is located directly on Attiki Odos, this is the highway that will take you directly to the highway to Corinth-Tripolis.
Distance between Athens and Nafplio is 160 km, you will drive on a highway, only the last 30 km will be on a local road.
Driving at night shouldn't be a problem, the highway is in good shape, though not everyone is comfortable with driving 3 hours in the night after a long flight.
You should calculate about 2,5 hours or even a bit longer since it will be dark.....

From Nafplio you can do a day trip to Tiryns ( just outside Nafplio) and Mycenae.
On your way back to Athens, you should follow the old road to Athens, instead of the highway, to visit Epidaurus.

2. Public transportation

By the time you'll arrive in Athens, there will be no bus to Nafplio. You will have to overnight in Athens, and take the bus on the next day.
From Nafplio you can reach both Mycenae and Epidaurus with a public bus.
This is the website of KTEL ( the bus company)

driving distances :
Athens- Nafplio 2,5 hours
Nafplio - Epidaurus 1 hour
Nafplio - Mycenae 30 min
clausar is offline  
Old May 8th, 2012, 11:51 PM
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Maybe it would be better to spend your time in Athens first, then rent a car for the trip to Nafplio. If you rent the car at the airport you could drop it off there when you return for the flight home.
Heimdall is offline  
Old May 9th, 2012, 04:13 AM
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We spent two days in Athens and then took the bus to Nafplio. The bus was very comfortable with reserved seating. I must be getting old as I would not want to drive that last 30K at night as my introduction to Greece driving.

Perhaps things have changed since 2010 but the bus back from Nafplio to Athens stops at Eleonas metro station (blue line) in Athens. You can then take the subway directly to the airport. This would be an option for you if you see Athens first, then Nafplio. But perhaps luggage would be an issue.
colduphere is offline  
Old May 9th, 2012, 04:36 AM
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The advantage of a rental car, is that one can see much more than using the Ktel buses.
No matter how good the bus network is, you can't stop where you want, and seing Epidaurus on the way back to Athens won't be possible, as it would have to be done in a day trip from Nafplio.
I would follow Heimdalls advice and spend first some time in Athens, before driving to Nafplio. This way OP could stop at the Corinth Canal, and also perhaps make a small detour to Nemea, which is on the way.
clausar is offline  
Old May 9th, 2012, 10:18 AM
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Why not visit Athens first? That way you are not jumping into a car as soon as you land. Many people go all the way back out to the airport to rent a car. I didn't. Pick up a car from Budget or Avis right opposite the temple of Olympian Zeus on Amalias.

It's an easy drive from there down to the highway via Syngrou. If you can read signs you can't go wrong... first the direction of Piraeus, then Lamia then follow signs to Corinth. Leave about 9 AM to give yourself a full day but just late enough to miss rush hour.

Return the car in Athens or at the airport...whichever is the more convenient.

We drove via Corinth (divided toll road to there... have small bills or coins available), then visited Mycenae and Nafplion (for lunch) with a short visit to Tiryns as well. We got to Epidaurus after lunch and returned to Corinth via the coast road. The 2 lane roads were well paved (and neither too hilly nor too curvy for me but be advised... Greek drivers are enthusiastic!) and on the way back to Corinth we hardly saw any traffic. A short stop to see the canal and the sinking bridge at Isthmia and we were back in Athens in the early evening. If you have 2 days you can have a much more relaxed pace.
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Old May 9th, 2012, 11:18 PM
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Thanks a lot for the great advice. It looks like driving in a car is a better option and it provides for more flexibility as well. I will have to decide on a plan of either doing it first day or the second day.

I have driven a lot during night times in the US and it seems that driving from Athens to Nafplio should be fine even during night time.
alks is offline  
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