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35 days in Greece - help

i have read all the posts that are previously discussed but it doesnt answer all my questions.
Me and my friend were planning Japan and it had to be cancelled because of the virus and we decided on Greece very last minute.

Landing Greece April 13th 4.00 AM.

Rent a car and go to Corfu. Targeting to be there on the night of the 16th. We want to spend Greek Easter there as we read Easter is special there. 6 nights in Corfu. We are not sure how to accommodate northern greece. We have 4 days on our way to Corfu and 2 days after. I was planning to visit Corinth, lefdaka, Arta, plastria lake, Parga, Vista George, Meteora, Thessaloniki, haldiki, lithochoro, Volos, Delphi, pelion

After this we want to head to the south to peloponese. We have 7 days to visit this region. Any recommendations are welcome.

After this we have 13 days for highland hopping. Will take recommendations for this as well. We have the famous islands in mind. havent decided how many day we are planning for this. we dont like to do touristy things. always looking for authentic things to do.

Thank you

Posted by
5630 posts

Wow, 35 days is a great.

We have done two cruises that visited several Greek islands. That is a great way to see the smaller islands. Not sure that I would spend 6 nights in Corfu. We had a great day visiting the port as well as a monastery at the NW of the island.

I can see spending lots of time in Crete. Of course, visiting Knossos is a top item.

Athens deserves several days. Take the three island tout that include Aegnia, Poros and one more. Corinth is a must, also do a short boat ride of the Corinth Canal.

Santorini wold be a must. Mykonos and the nearby island of Delos is a must. Rhodes and many more.

Posted by
55 posts

Correction i just realized i said landing greece (lol). We are landing in Athens.

Thank you for the suggestion. We decided to stay 5 nights at Corfu which gives us 4 days there. We want to enjoy the easter festivities. Corinth canal is on our to do list on our way to Corfu. We were told we will lose a whole day if we visit the canal. Does it have any advantages if we start early? We are thinking of spending 2 nights in Lefdaka or am i being to ambitious?

We will definitely look into the cruise for island hopping

Posted by
5630 posts

The Corinth Canal ride was probably no more than an hour and a half. Not sure when it starts operating.

Love Greek food.

One more thing, Athens is another place in Europe to watch out for pickpockets. I recommend wearing a money belt or at least a neck wallet with your shirt buttoned up.

Posted by
186 posts

After spending a couple of days sightseeing in Meteora, you could drive toward Thes/niki with a stop in Vergina on the way (Philip's tomb); well worth the amazing site and treasures.

Then, I would recommend 3 days in Thes/niki to see the major sights, with world class museums and ancient and historic sites, in addition to fine dining and shopping. Halkidiki may still be slow in April/May, but the Cassandra peninsula is nearest to Thes/niki and there are some archeological sites along the way. Afytos is a lovely beach cliff side village with many restaurants and hotels, but I would check availability carefully as this is not quite in season. You can get there in about 3 hours or less by car from the city.

I am not sure if you have anything particular in mind for Volos, but the Pelion peninsula has stunning drives (not for the faint-hearted). The towns and beaches along the sea are remote and stunning. Milopotamos was a highlight, but it may be cool in the spring.

Above all, with the luxury of time, you'll be able to enjoy and wander and discover things along the way.

Posted by
1204 posts

Anyone who has 35 days to spend in Greece probably doesn't need any help from me; however, I do have a suggestion. With that much time don't plan the entire trip in advance. Plan the first 10 days or so and during those days get ideas along the way to further plan your trip as you go. Enjoy!

Posted by
55 posts

@stephb thank you for your suggestions. I am looking forward to those locations. heard a lot about them.

@TheKBKMan i agree. i would like to go with the flow. but i would also like to do my research and know the areas well.
We are planning on the routes so that we dont waste time when we are there. only decided on locations to stay. Rest we will wing it when we are there.

Posted by
8007 posts

You canceled Japan due to the virus but also you must be aware that a cruise passenger with the Coronavirus is hospitalized in Greece.

Posted by
1022 posts

Corfu is an island so you have to take the ferry to get there. Many car rental companies forbid you taking a car on a ferry. Make sure that you have written permission to take the car on a ferry.

You can spend a whole day in Corinth. There are lots of great sites there. You can visit the canal even take the hike along the top of the canal. You can also visit Ancient Corinth and right beside it the mighty fortress at Acrocorinth. Ancient Nemia is right there as well.
Corinth area sights

A week is a good time frame to visit the Peloponnese. Be sure to visit Nafplio. It makes a good base to see many of the nearby ancient sites.
Nafplio and Peloponnese

Last September we did a week in the Peloponnese and concentrated on the Mani area. Its a great drive. Be sure to plan a visit to Ancient Messene it is a huge site and one of the best in all of Greece. Its near Kalamata. Do plan a day in Mystras it is the last Byzantine city spread out down the side of a mountain.
Here are images of that trip.

For island hopping you could consider just doing Crete. You have sufficient time to do that island fairly well. It has it all. Great beaches, cities with old town areas like Chania which is a walled city with a Venetian era harbour and a maze of back alleys. Rethymnon is similar and Heraklion too.

You will want to visit the famous Minoen site at Knossos and the archeological museum in Heraklion.

South of Heraklion you can visit the ancient Minoen site at Phastos and the fantastic Roman city at Gortyz or Gortyn. There is a buried Roman city in the olive groves there. Bring water there are no services but expect at least 4 hours to explore this amazing site.

Knossos, Phastos and Gortyz

After Gortyz you can also slip south to the Libyan sea village of Matala, remember Joni Mitchell and the hippy days. That time is still to be found in Matala.

Lastly you can visit the remote villages along the south coast south of Chania. There are villages down there that are only accessible by ferry,
Ferry trip Libyan Sea

Crete Libyan Sea villages

As I said Crete has it all and I have only suggested you visit the West. You will need another two weeks to visit the east part of the island.

I am assuming you will want to visit Santorini. It is a two hour ferry trip from Heraklion.

Since you are very early in the season I am suggesting you concentrate on Crete because its fairly far south so will be a bit warmer than many of the island chains.

Posted by
55 posts

Thank you for you suggestions.

Here is the itinerary so far. Let me know if you think i should change my itinerary.

Day 1- Land Athens, rent car, roadtrip from lefkada via Corinth
Day 2 Stay at Lefkada
Day 3 stay at kalambaka and visit Meteora
Day 4 Meteora to Corfu
Day 5 Corfu
Day 6 Corfu
Day 7 Corfu
Day 8 Corfu
Day 9 Corfu to Thessaloniki
Day 10 Thessaloniki
Day 11 Thessaloniki
Day 12 Delphi
Day 13 Delphi
Day 14 Koroni
Day 15 Gytheio
Day 16 Gytheio
Day 17 Nafplio
Day 18 Nafplio
Day 19 Crete
Day 20 Crete
Day 21 Crete
Day 22 Crete
Day 23 Crete
Day 24 Crete

I am now stuck on how to plan the islands. Should we ditch our car before we go to crete? Also is there any alternate route to crete without driving back to athens?

Posted by
1022 posts

We have traveled to Greece several times from Calgary. Unless you are spending some time in Europe before you arrive in Greece I can assure you that you will be in no condition to rent a car and drive on the day you land in Athens. You need some time to get over jet lag before you touch a wheel.

Greece is a place where you get the richest experience by slowing down and fully exploring where you are before you move on. Less is more.
Your plan has no order to it. Logistics will make or break a holiday and your logistics are way off.

On arrival your best bet is to get to Nafplio and spend a couple of days getting over jet lag. There is lots to do in the Nafplio area. You can then look at a drive through the Mani and the Peloponnese and Corinth. This would be the time to include Gythio as it is in the Peloponnese.
I would drop Koroni as it is out of the way from the rest of the plan.

When you are finished in the Peloponnese it is logical to drive to Delphi then drive to Meteora. I would stay in Kastraki rather than Kalambeka. Kastraki is nestled at the foot of the Monastery mountains. Next logical stop would be Thessaloniki.

Its a 5 hour drive from Thessaloniki to Corfu. Have you settled the rental car on the ferry issue yet?

You will have to return the car to Athens then fly to Crete.

Posted by
55 posts

We are spending few days in Paris before we are heading to Athens. So we should be ok with the Jet lag.
Yes, we did find few options on the company that will let us take the car on the ferry..we are still deciding on it. The main reason we are doing this way is to be in corfu for greek easter..i will look into it more on how i can change the itinerary

Posted by
55 posts

Looking at my itinerary..not sure how to make it work. without doing back and forth a bit.. I am thinking instead of Lefkada i will stay in nafplio for 3 nights and drive straight after to Corfu.. Any thoughts on that. On my way back from Corfu, thinking of doing Meteora , Thessaloniki (3 nights) and Delphi. (2 nights)

Posted by
55 posts

Thank you so much for your suggestions. i really appreciate it.

Of the total of 39 days i only mentioned 24 above.

Here is my next draft. We heard the greek easter is special in Corfu. Thats why we want to visit Corfu

Day 1- Land Athens, rent car, roadtrip Nafplio

Day 2 Stay at Nafplio or somewhere nearby. Yet to decide on the location

Day 3 Stay at Nafplio or somewhere nearby. Yet to decide on the location

Day 4 Nafplio to Corfu. Its going to be a long drive but we do enjoy the drive and have the whole day for it. night at Corfu

Day 5 Corfu

Day 6 Corfu

Day 7 Corfu

Day 8 Corfu

Day 9 Corfu to Meteora. Stay at Kastriki

Day 10 Kastriki

Day 11 Thessaloniki

Day 12 Thessaloniki

Day 13 Thessaloniki

Day 14 Delphi

Day 15 Delphi

Day 16 Delphi

Day 17 Crete

Day 18 Crete

Day 19 Crete

Day 20 Crete

Day 21 Crete

Day 22 Crete

Day 23 Santorini

Day 24 Santorini

Day 25 Naxos

Day 26 Naxos

Day 27 Naxos

Day 28 Mykonos

Day 29 Mykonos

Day 30

Day 31

Day 32 Back in Athens - going to Lefkas. I know its bit back and forth. But it look so beautiful to miss. thinking of adding it here or before we leave to Crete.

Day 33 Lefkas

Day 34 Lefkas

Day 35 - back to athens. Stay the night here

Day 36 - Athens

Day 37- Athens

Day 38 - Athens

Day 39 - Fly out

For day 30 , 31 i am thinking may be we should get back to athens earlier and do Aegina, Any thoughts?

Posted by
759 posts

I suspect that is a no.
The OP was going to leave for Greece on April 12th.
Greece shut down entries (mandatory quarantine) in mid March. The OP has not posted on the forum since March 9th just before travel restrictions went into place.

Posted by
787 posts

I arrived at Delphi on an afternoon, saw the museum that day, spent one night in a hotel in the modern town of Delphi, toured the remains of ancient Delphi, and got on the bus to leave at 6pm. If you really want you could arrive in the evening, the next day should be enough to see everything, you could spend another night in Delphi and leave the next morning. 3 nights is probably not necessary. Unless you are hiking or doing outdoor activities near Delphi.

6 nights is a good amount of time to spend on Crete, or consider subtracting a night from Delphi and adding it to Crete. I only spent two nights in Crete. I wish I had saved it for another trip. My trip was only 13 nights.

Pireaus, the town where the ferry leaves, has an archaeology museum. I missed seeing it. I might have had time for it. I picked my ferry ticket up over 4 hours before they started letting passengers onto the boat, because I was afraid I would have difficulty finding the booth where I needed to pick my ticket up. Finding the ticket booth was much easier than I expected.

You are spending a good amount of time in Athens. Athens has more than enough museums and ruins to occupy you for the 3 to 3-1/2 days you will be there.