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2 weeks late September initial planning

Young couple, been to Europe a bunch of times, first timers to Greece.

Flying EWR -->Santorini
Return ATH --> Philadelphia

13 total nights in Greece.

How does this look for a rough itinerary?

Days 1-4: Santorini (Day 1 really just an evening as this is arrival day in Santorini)
Days 5-8: Naxos
Day 9: Fly Naxos --> Athens early in AM, rent car, drive to Delphi, one night around there (Galaxidi?)
Day 10: Finish up Delphi, drive to Meteora (one night in Meteora)
Day 11: Meteora, drive to Athens in late afternoon, drop off rental, night in Athens
Day 12-13: Athens (so 3 nights in Athens)
Day 14: Fly home

Days 9-11 are a bit rushed maybe - not sure? Any suggestions?

Posted by
2987 posts

It doesn't seem too bad for me, I assume you're renting you car at the Athens airport which saves time. I liked staying in Delphi proper just to maximize time at the ruins last thing in the afternoon/first thing in the morning before it got too crowded. We went in early October and it still got crowded with tour bus groups within an hour of opening. Really glad we got some pictures in the late afternoon as well as the sun hitting the various ruins was really beautiful. I wish we'd had time to squeeze in Meteora as well but we just didn't have the extra night.

I'm assuming you already have your flight tickets, but in the event that you don't, and it wouldn't significantly change the cost, I would consider reshuffling the trip to do Athens/mainland sights first, and finish on Naxos. Just because as much as I love Athens, it's fairly hectic, and I preferred getting the "busy" part of the trip done in the beginning and then relaxing on an island. If you can't, you'll still have a great time, that was just my personal preference out of two trips to Greece last year. Late September should be an ideal time to go - early October was just a little too late for us in terms of weather/things being shut down on the island we went to, but the heat didn't kill us dead in Athens like it did in June. Sounds like a wonderful trip! Enjoy!

Posted by
8613 posts

Looks good to me.

I like your doing Athens at the end as it makes getting to your departure flight much simpler( safer) than flying in from an island.

Posted by
119 posts

The other option I'm leaning towards is saving Delphi/Meteora for a future trip and instead heading to Nafplio on Day 9 for 3 nights and driving back into Athens early on Day 12. To me this offers a few nice advantages:

-Shorter drive to and from Athens
-Don't have to leave quite so early from Naxos on Day 9
-More relaxing as I really try to avoid short stays in areas (2 nights is usually my absolute minimum and the idea of 1 night each in Delphi and Meteora just kind of stresses me out ha)

I think I'm leaning this way...thoughts?

Posted by
8613 posts
Posted by
989 posts

Nafplio indeed is a good choice. Its much closer to Athens so a shorter drive. You can use Nafplio as a base to explore nearby antiquities. While you pass through Corinth look ffor Ancient Corinth and Ancient Nemia, two excellent sites that the tour buses ignore.
You may have already seen these photos of the area.
Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/

Posted by
1724 posts

We are doing a very similar trip to you next month. We decided on Nafplio over Delphi and Meteora because there is less driving and we liked the idea of being in one place for four nights to explore the town and surrounding area. We will have a group of seven so that was even more important to me than you to stay put, I am sure. But another factor to consider is the ease of driving. My brother in law has driven to Meteora and Delphi and commented on difficulty of the mountain driving. Nafplio is mostly on a toll road and my impression is that the remainder is not that difficult either (or I have been convinced as we are renting a van!)

Now I will have to return to see Delphi and Meteora!

Beth

Posted by
119 posts

Yeah, I'm all for minimizing transfers and driving time. I think we will do this instead.

Posted by
989 posts

goodorf. The drive to Nafplio is about an hour on the National Highway, high speeds and multi lanes. Keep way over to the right and let the locals pass you. They will mostly be doing 150km per hour so you need to be checking your rear view mirror often
The next hour of the drive is through Namian wine country. The road is two lane winding and hilly. Its an easy drive. Same rule applies though keep as far over to the right as you can only here there isn't sufficient room for the locals to pass so you may get a few cars impatiently waiting to pass. Just stick to your pace and if one of them starts to pass maybe slow down a bit. There is a unique part of the Greek drivers soul that makes them pass on blind curves. Watch for that. It all happens at low speeds on these roads so everyone has time to move out of the way. Just wanted you to be prepared..

Posted by
1724 posts

Stan--I live in South Florida so used to fast drivers but Greeks seem to be in a category of their own. If there are multiple lanes, and I stay in the right, wouldn't people just pass on the left? I was trying to understand why I would need to keep eye on the rear view mirror.

On two lane roads, I am assuming from your descriptions that Greeks are risk takers in passing. Are the roads around Nafplio heavily traveled? Passing isn't that big of a deal unless there is a lot of traffic and then it can become really dangerous. There actually is a stretch of two laned highway to the Florida Keys where there is a barrier in the middle because so many people tried to pass without adequate time, causing accidents.

Thanks for the warnings!

Beth

Posted by
2864 posts

Not that much traffic in off-season, have been on that road in May and in mid-september, not that busy. Don't sweat it.

Posted by
989 posts

The reason you need to keep your eyes on the rear view mirror is because trucks have to stay way over to the right. They are even slower than a small rental car. You may decide to pass a truck that is way over to the right, check your rear view mirror and see it is all clear and when you start your pass someone zooms past you who wasn't there a few seconds ago. I am not kidding just be aware of what is going on behind you.
The Greeks seem to believe that personal safety is your responsibility They will pass at any time in any situation. If you rent a car for a week or so you will find out how much fur that is. My wife says I must have some Greek ancestry because I start to cut corners.
Jan is correct the secondary roads are not busy and because of all the curves everything is done at slow speeds. My comments were not meant to be scary just a warning to have eyes open all the time.

Posted by
1724 posts

Stan and Janet
I appreciate the efforts to educate the soon to be novice Greek driver! I am sure it will be an adventure but living in South Florida where we have crazy drivers should prepare me well. It is not unusual for someone to be weaving in and out of traffic here at 90 plus miles an hour (although most people do not drive that fast). And last week when I was driving home from work after dark on 1-95 which is a six lane highway someone passed me on the shoulder going over 90 miles per hour! Now that scared me because I was in the right lane and was not expecting it!

So I am used to having to anticipate anything.

Beth

Posted by
3 posts

I'm doing a very similar itinerary (exactly the same for the first 8 days) for our first trip in September, as well. We're also flying out of Philly. I have the same dilemma with Meteora; ultimately, I think we've decided to keep it for another trip. I'm afraid it will be too much driving/traveling. I think your new plan to spend 3 nights in Nafplio is a great idea; if I had more time I would do that, as well.

Posted by
8 posts

Also planning first trip in late September before heading to crete and sicily. Driving first to meteora, then delphii then 5 nights on pellopanese (not Olympia). 1)Is road over rio bridge from delphi to nafplio better or take Eastern road and stop at monastery (st Luke)? On way through corinth/nemea. 2) would love to include one or more of hydra/angina/Monemvasia or ? - suggestions?

Posted by
773 posts

I am also going to Greece, in October. Check my post and see my supposed itinerary - it is different, perhaps with some overlap. Maybe at least for Athens and Naxos, make a more detailed itinery and write at least two major activities you intend to do each day; write which major activities you would do in Nafplion and we’ll see which supposed itneraries seem most appealing.