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2 week trip, second guessing original plan

Hello!

My family is planning to visit Greece the first two weeks of June. We have flights and hotels booked (hotels are able to be cancelled until May). I'm starting to second guess our itinerary and wanted advice.

My son is very interested in Greek mythology (thanks to Percy Jackson and the Greeking Out podcast). I enjoy seeing ancient sites but can get "ruined out", after too many ancient sites in a row. We all love the beach, and have access to beautiful sandy beaches at home. Relaxation is not a priority for this trip, however, none of us would turn down a swim, and we all are fairly low-key. We are interested in experiencing Greek culture, food, etc. This will also be my 9 year old's first time out of the USA. My son and I have been doing Duolingo and some basic learning of the language.

Our original plan follows:

  • Arrive in Athens 4PM on May 31st
    • Athens, stay 3 nights.
    • June 3 rent a car and drive to Nafplio, stay in Nafplio 3 nights. (see Corinth on the way to Nafplio, during our time there, visit Epidaurus, Mycenae, possibly hit a beach or go wine tasting)
    • June 6th travel to Monemvasia, stay 1 night on the rock.
    • June 7th travel to Limini, stay here 2 nights. (stop by Sparta/Mystas on the way? drive around Mani peninsula, go to Diros Caves)
    • June 9th drive to Costa Navarino/Westin. stay here 3 nights. We booked this place on points. My son also was excited about the water slides. while here we were planning on going to Pylos, Methoni, Voidokilia Beach.
    • June 12th drive to Olympia. Stay here 1 night.
    • June 13th return to Athens
    • June 14th fly home.

After more thought, I'm considering scrapping this altogether for the either option B or C:

B: removes the western portion of the Peloponnese in exchange for Meteora/Delphi:

Athens: 3 nights
Nafplio : 4 nights
Delphi: 1 night
Meteora (Kastraki): 2 nights
Athens: 4 nights (possibly do the Saronic islands)

C: removes the western portion of the Peloponnese in exchange for Meteora/Delphi and Santorini:

31st -- once arrive in Athens fly to Santorini: 3 nights
June 3rd, go back to Athens, then rent a car and go to Nafplio: 4 nights
Delphi: 1 night
Meteora: 2 nights
Athens: 4 nights

Any advice on how to plan or choose what to do? Thanks!

Posted by
11280 posts

Regardless of what itinerary you choose, do try to visit Mystras, a Byzantine city.

Posted by
3328 posts

Reliza, on June 3, get an AM fllight to ATH so you can pick up your rental car before noon, then take your time getting to Nafplio ... it's such an easy drive & after the Corinth Canal, you can stop for 45 mins just off highway to see amazing (and not tour-crowded) ANCIENT NEMEA, the "runner-up" Sacred Games site to Olympia... amazing stadium w intact hero entry, race starting-blocks etc. You'll still reach Nafplio in time to browse the town, enjoy FAB Sunset in harbor cafe (outdoes Santorini). on your 4th day/night you can go to Mystra. After seeing that gorgoeous "ghost village" of medieval churches, you may not need to do Meteora... up to you. As for Delphi, I always favor timing it so you arrive after 2 pm, and all bus-tour crowds will b e gone. You can tour both museum & site before closing time @ 8pm in Summer. Look for hotel room with western-facing room, you can see riht down mtn to the sea.

Posted by
210 posts

C is by far the best. The only problem you're going to have is whether to cut your cost, return the car after Meteora, and then take 40 minutes and 50 Euros to get into Athens, and then repeating four days later.

Nafplio is the absolute greatest but if you take one day from ATH and one day from there that opens you up to a lot more possibilities.

Posted by
39 posts

Stick to your original plan. We have done dozens of trip to Greece and did a very similar journey as to your original itinerary. It was lovely and we so enjoyed seeing the Peloponnese, the Mani and the costa Navarino coast. We have also stayed at the Westin and whilke it was a little too big for us.... the resort was wonderful and so much to see around it. I often second guess my original itinerary and will tweak it...but never throw it out. If you love Greece...you will come back and can do your other well thought itineraries next time.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks for the input! I’m feeling much better about sticking with the Peloponnese, at least on this trip! We will aim to go to NEMEA and Mystras too.

Posted by
3214 posts

To be contrary...nothing unusual there...I think Delphi is the most beautiful place/landscape that I have ever seen. And I have been to some beautiful places. I would never skip Delphi in favor of Napflio. I'm not saying Napflio isn't worth visiting, but not on the top of my list (but I live on the coast so that might be it).

I had a Greek woman who was my dresser. She said I had to go to Meteora if I went anywhere. Well, I couldn't fit it in, but you can. So I vote for B or C.

Of course, it is hard to tell someone else where to go, because we are all so different. But I will say don't skip Delphi.

Posted by
3328 posts

SO happy about your decision... and here's an added thrill about Nemea; the site was authentically excavated,, with careful preservation, and so inspired the Greeks of the area that about 30 years ago they united around a Revived Nemean Games, to occur every 4 years, using traditional clothing for contestants, traditional ceremonies, awards etc. What began with local participation has grown & grown, with thousands from around the world coming to take part. Here's a website with photos & details (PLUS full info about the site's highlights) ... https://nemeangames.org/en/home-english/ photos show boys like your son competing. and guess what? The event takes place THIS june, 28-30 2024 ... your trip is just prior, but your family can see the excitement & preparations.

Posted by
1874 posts

Just a quick comment about naming places, which can be important when using a GPS.
the village that you call "Limini", where you will stay from June 7 to 9, is spelled Limeni in English ("Λιμένι" in Greek)

If you enter Limini ("Λιμίνη" in Greek) into a GPS you will go to another village in the Epirus region (and it will be at least 6 hours of driving)

On June 6th, going from Nafplio to Monemvasia you can follow the coast via Tyros and Leonidio. It's not even 30 minutes longer and it's a scenic road with nice small fishing villages.

Itinerary:

https://goo.gl/maps/BYakcHmkajB3BU9a9

Posted by
85 posts

I would stick to your original itinerary. I think it gives you the best of all: experience Greek culture, taste great food and the Peloponnesos is not too crowded at that time of the year. Akrokorinthos (Corinth) is very nice. Do wear shoes with good grip as we found it to be quite slippery at certain points. I was impressed by Epidaurus, a little bit less by Mycenae (nice museum though).