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15 nights this november

Hey guys, appreciate your input. Wanted to keep out itinerary focused on central Greece and some of the peloponese. We have 15 nights in total:)

Have put together a list of "moments" in both places. And a couple of questions below that if you could comment and advise on, would be much appreciated. We don't mind flying into loannina if it saves time

Q1. Based on the list of moments below, where in peloponese and central Greece would you advise us to be based?

Q2. Also we are not "based" in some places, which would be great stopovers for a night(more road trip style vs base out of a certain place?) any thoughts on this.

Q3. If we could only visit one ruin, which should we head for? Messini, mystras or Delphi?

Q4. If we could only climb one mountain in the vicinity of our plans, which would be a great day trek?

Q5. Where do we watch a play under the stars?

As mentioned in the earlier post, we are mostly nature ppl who love dramatic beautiful scenery to explore, we explore cities mainly for that odd cafe, great food and markets. We are not that much of history buffs so too much to catch up on can be an overload. Thank you very much in advance.

...

A. Peloponese:

A1. Explore naplios city and food. Markets?

A2. See a boat pass at the Corinth canal

A3. Hike a part of the menalon trail to louisos gorge

A4. Stay a night and explore monemvasia

A5. Drive the langada pass from Sparta to kalamata

A6. Stay a night in a tower house by the ocean at mani

...

B. Central Greece:

B1. Soak in city vibes at Ioaninna

B2. Wander metsovo and zagorachoria

B3. Explore iti national park

B4. Hike the vikos gorge

B5. Explore and hike the monasteries at Meteora

B6. Take the railway from Volos to milli

B7. Wander beaches on the Pelion peninsula

B8. Some time in Athens of course.

Posted by
2416 posts

You have not received any replies because your itinerary is not a plan, it is a fantasy.

• You will spend 80% of your time driving. Your "moments" can be a day's driving apart Have you consulted Michelin route planner? https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Routes -- much more realistic than Google.
• In November it's dark before 6 pm most major sites close @ 3 p.m.
• The "base" concept comes from Tuscany or Provence; there u can go 30 mi in a different direction each day then get back by sundown. Doesn't work at all in most of Greece - exploring is linear or in a laaarge circle. Only "base" that works for most is Nafplio, to explore Argolid (but you say you don't like history, and most of the famous Argolid sights are famous for ancient history, which you say gives you "overload" syndrome).
• As for picking a ruin, it depends a lot on your interests -- Mystra is a Byzantine site, Delphi is IMHO mainly about its mountain setting, I enjoyed Messine but was shown it by local experts. If I were you I wouldn't depend on offhand opinions of others, who don't know your actual preferences.
• Play under the stars? Wrong time of year .. you are into the rainy season, also.

I can recommend "grand circle" of Peloponnese, in this order.here's my fave map to show all sites/roads (click & it gets huuuge) http://euro-map.com/karty-grecii/peloponnes/podrobnaya-turisticheskaya-karta-peloponnesa.jpg
• AM Drive from airport to Corinth; use ISTHMUS exit to view canal from Old Bridge, then go to Seacoast road.
• Take Seacoast to EPIDAURUS, mainly for theatre (1 hr), then drive across "Thumb" of Pelops to Nafplio.
• 3-4 days in NAFPLIO - check/do all walks/hikes on this site http://www.visitnafplio.com SO much to see-do!!
• Head W to Big highway; cross it for ANCIENT NEMEA, great "games" site http://nemeangames.org -- then find a vineyard in Greece's BEST red-wine region! Buy a few bottles and head onward to an inn outside Sparta.
• Drive S. to MYSTRA, then forge onward to spend the night in MONEMVASIA.
• 3 -4 Days -- your choice of routes, hiking, exploring -- west Coast & up to Olympia for the night.
ˆ OLYMPIA (museum @ 8 am will be empty; site afterwards for an hour) ... then drive rim road to Rio Bridge @Patras.
• DELPHI
• Back to ATHENS for final 3 days ... NOT necessarily for History Overload... but for All a Major World Capital has to offer at height of Fall-to-Winter season.

I strongly suggest that you consult some GUide Books -- NOT necessarily for "history"... but for information about the countryside, the landscape, the village life etc. Go to the library to browse -- Look at ROUGH GUIDE to GREECE, the CADOGAN GUIDE to Peloponnese, they provide more than just logistics & ancient ruins.

Posted by
2416 posts

PS -- Forgot to mention, that a favorite site for nature-lovers on West Coast of Peloponnese would be just north of PYLOS ... I have stayed at Hotel ZOE at tinyvillage of Gialova with Divine sandy beach stretching for miles, then a protected nature reserve and wetlands at bay of navarino ... hiker's delight.

Posted by
17 posts

Wow Janet, thank you so much for your honesty and time, we were really looking for a balanced holiday. May I ask if you would happen to have a similar detailed itinery/route of central Greece up to Ioaninna? So we can decide which we want to focus on. Thanks so much in advance

Posted by
2416 posts

No, I don't ... and for your first trip to Greece I would recommend the Peloponnese over Central Greece. You'd need to be steeped a bit more in Greek culture to truly get the most out of that journey (aside from simply hiking and looking at landscape) ... a friend of mine did a wonderful journey from the Thessaloniki area all the way to Epirus -- but she has been a student of Greece since age 17, is completing her doctorate in Classical Studies, has married a greek and lived in 3 islands and a mainland university town etc.

When I first came to Greece I was all about ancient Greece - the art, the architecture, the history, the legends. But then I encountered the Greeks of today... and began to learn about the long long centuries -- the invasion & oppression beginning with the romans, then the Venetians, then the Saracens then for over 500 years the turks ... and the long struggle for independence ... and then the disasters of the Nazi invasion. When you learn more about Greece ... every valley resonates, so many churches, and caves and fortresses have meaning. It's more than just landscape. Messini, for example can be seen from space -- it's the longest wall effort next to the Great Wall of China. But when you know why it was built ... it means much more.

Of the 2 the Peloponnese is a better startng place.