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Two Weeks in Greece

Old Aug 28th, 2013, 08:55 AM
  #21  
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I hadn't checked out Monopati Apartments, but I just did, and while it looks like an amazing place to stay, they have a 2-night minimum in June.

I am also questioning whether places are really booked in Monemvasia so far in advance, so I have sent emails to a couple of places.

I'm open for suggestions of places to stay, within the city walls.

As for Olympia, I know that we might have to cut it, but I'm not prepared do that just yet.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 09:51 AM
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Many hotels in holiday areas of Greece wait until after the New Year to take summer bookings. If the hotel shows nonavailability, more than likely that simply means their reservation books for next summer aren't open yet.

To further frustrate early planners, some hotels on the islands don't even check their emails after they close for the winter in October. They are probably off somewhere taking a well-deserved holiday after a busy summer.

The easiest way to check is simply pick up the telephone and call the hotel during Greek business hours. A short international call isn't all that expensive, and will save you sitting at home wondering. For the record, if I were planning a trip to Monemvasia next June I wouldn't even start looking for a hotel room until next January or February at the earliest.
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 11:03 AM
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Monemvasia won't be full during June of 2014 for sure...
Most hotels inside the castle of Monemvasia do not close during the winter, as it is a popular destination for Greeks, especially during the week ends.
Since the hotel is now in full operation, they would definitely reply to your email.
Regarding hotels in Monemvasia you won't get necessarily better rates through booking engines. ( inside the castle that is)

I find Olympia to be a must see archaeological site, for the reason that you mentioned, it is the birthplace of the Olympic games.... and the whole drive from Nafplio to Olympia is very scenic, there are lots of nice villages to visit on the way
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 11:23 AM
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Thanks for the feedback on hotels in Monemvesia. I have emailed 7 of them, so I'll see what I can find. Since we're a family of 5, we need to book farther in advance, especially for places with just a few rooms.

Thanks also for confirming that Olympia is a "must see" site. I have read some reviews of people who did both Nemea and Olympia and said, while Nemea is interesting, it can't be compared to Olympia.

So, I'm mulling around the following road trip for a couple of crazy intense days.

- 6:00 AM – 10:00 AM Nafplio to Olympia
- 10:00 – 2:00 Tour Olympia
- 2:00 – 8:00 Olympia to Monemvasia
- Overnight in Monemvasia
- Morning: Explore Monemvasia
- Afternoon: Drive back to Nafplio, hugging coast

Am I completely insane? Or, is the bit of insanity worthwhile for what we'll be able to experience? We're not running ourselves ragged for the rest of the trip - it's a pretty relaxed pace - so, I'm inclined to do this. Unless, you guys convince me otherwise!

Thanks again!

Leslie
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 12:35 PM
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Leslie
Spending 10 hours in a car driving, plus 4 hours sightseeing is something i would not recommend !

You should do it at a slow pace,enjoying the places you will visit, without being in a hurry.
Driving all the way down to Monemvasia from Olympia just to spend 1/2 day there doesn't make any sense.

I think you need to plan more days for this itinerary,
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 04:08 PM
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I agree that the 2 days might be too aggressive. I'm now thinking that we're going to have to settle for Nemea instead of Olympia and take the 2 days and 1 night for the round trip Monemvesia trip.

Hmmm ....
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 04:20 PM
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I've done day trips out of Athens on 2 different visits over the years and haven't found them overly taxing. If you decide to base yourself in Athens by all means do so. In both the 1970s and again in 2008 I found Delphi and back in a day was easy enough. I prefer the old highway via Elefsina and Thebes.

Doing a circuit of Attica is easy enough down the west coast and then back north to Marathon more or less by the east coast.

In 2008 we drove to Mycenae, Tiryns and had lunch in Nafplion. Then on to Epidaurus and back to the Corinth Canal at Isthmia via the coast road. We were back in Athens by early evening and although it was a full day it was wonderful.
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 05:01 PM
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Thanks, but we have already decided to spend 4 nights in Athens and spend those 3 days exploring Athens, then spending 5 nights in Nafplio, using that as a base to explore the Peloponnese. We will be spending 2 nights in Delphi, a week later (after a week of island-hopping the Cyclades).
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 05:21 PM
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Another option is to give up Vouraikos Gorge: Diakofto–Kalavryta Railway and do the day trip to Olympia instead.

Has anyone done the gorge railway trip?

Thanks!
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Old Aug 28th, 2013, 09:21 PM
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The trip through the Vouraikos Gorge is very scenic....but if i had to choose between it and Olympia, i would definitely choose Olympia !!
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 03:13 AM
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Harroody
If you decide to visit Olympia, I would skip Vouraikos Gorge. If you like a little bit of action, I would suggest a (easy) river trekking to Neda gorge which is lovely -lush vegetation + river + deep turkoise lakes along the flow + waterfalls (it is on the way from Olympia to Nafplion via Kalo Nero). It is also very close to the Temple of Vasses (Unesco site).
In this case, I would suggest the following itinerary:
Day1.Athens to Olympia (via Levidi). Sightseing and overnight Olympia
Day2.Olympia to Neda gorge - River trekking -Temple of Vasses-Nafplio via Kalo Nero (see Viamichelin site). Overnight Nafplio
Day3. Nafplio + day trips. Overnight Nafplio
Day4. Nafplio to Monemvasia via Leonidio + Kosmas. Overnight Monemvasia
Day5. Daytrip to Kyparissi, 57km-1.5h driving north via Limani Geraka (beautiful bay and village in the middle of nowhere -although might not be shown on the map, there is a paved -and very scenic-road). Or just enjoy Monemvasia castle
Day6. Monemvasia - Athens (via Sparta, chance to see Mystras if time left).
In case you decide you to give up Olympia, an alternative could be Athens-Areopolis or Itylo for 1 night in order to see Mani, Dyros cave,etc, then from Itylo (or Itilo)to Monemvasia (2nights) and Nafplio (2nights)
Also, don't be at all concerned about reservations. Nothing will be full during June of 2014!
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Old Aug 29th, 2013, 06:41 AM
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Thanks for the feedback on Vouraikos Gorge and the suggested itinerary. I have a lot to consider!

Many thanks, once again.

Leslie
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