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7 days 6 night peloponnese

My wife and I are going to greece July 17th through August 2nd. I know, the peak season.. But, we really want a chance at seeing a major DJ while we're in Mykonos. We're not too old yet, I'm 33 and she will turn 30 while in Mykonos. We have a 24 hour layover in Paris before we fly to Athens, and are planning on a relaxing day in Paris to help get rid of any jetlag. Picnic lunch, some shopping, and afine dining experience before we head back to the airport hotel to get ready for a 7:30 A.M flight to ATH. We land at 11:30 and pick up a rental car. We have 6 nights to see the main land then hydra foil to mykonos for 4 nights, hydra foil to santorini for 3 nights, flight to Athens for the last 3 nights. Bonus, we also have scheduled a long layover in Amsterdam to get a quick glimps as well. We're not real concerned with sight seeing in Paris or Amsterdam, as we are also planning a northern Europe trip the following summer. Our time on the islands and Athens is pretty relaxing so no real help needed there. But, any suggestions are always welcome.

Peloponnese itinerary:

Day 1 ATH to Nafplio seeing Mycenae OTW.

Day 2 sight seeing nafplio, Epidavros

Day 3 Nafplio to Monemvasia night in Monemvasia

Day 4 Monemvasia to Pilos catching Kardamyli OTW

Day 5 Pilos to Olympia for the night

Day 6 Olympia to Delphi for the night

Day 7 Delphi to Athens catch Sounio (Temple of Poseidon) if the hydro foil leaves later in the day.

Am I pushing it too hard? What should I leave out?

Posted by
4171 posts

Have you researched the ferry schedules? Hydrofoils may not serve the routes you want to go. Catamarans may be the fastest option, but if they take cars, they will be big and slow. And if the weather is bad, the smaller cats will go slower.

Where do you intend to drop off the rental car before getting on the ferry? Both the ports of Piraeus and Rafina are some distance from Athens by public transportation.

You are pushing it.

You need a day at Delphi to give it justice, both the ruins and the museum. We spent about 4 weeks in Greece in October. Delphi was my absolute favorite place.

According to Rome2rio, driving time from Olympia to Delphi is a little over 3 hours. The route is mountainous and rural. I wouldn't want to drive it after dark. Delphi to Athens is a little over 2 hours. Then you have to get to the port for the ferry and return the car somewhere along the way.

I recommend that you use Rome2rio to get a ballpark idea of the driving times between your destinations. That's to be sure you have time to eat, get fuel and see all you want to see along the way.

And of course you need to know the open hours of the places you want to visit, keeping in mind that it is Greece so those hours may be "flexible."

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks Tucson.. we booked our trip with a travel agency, so we don't know our departure times yet for hydrofoils. We do know that we'll be on foils though. As for our rental car we've done the rental on our own and will be able to pick up at ATH and drop off at the sea port. I'm not concerned with mountain driving, as we live in the mountains of Colorado and i drive 2 mountain passes every day for work. I'll give you that I don't know the roads and their probably more narrow than what we have here. I really don't think we'll be driving at night though. I have done the drive times also and the times aren't what worries me. It's giving enough time to the locations we'll be at.

I'm starting to think dropping Pilos and Kardamyli might make sense. No way will i drop Delphi or Nafplio.
Again, thank you for your help.

Posted by
3335 posts

The confusion here is one of nomenclature... Hydrofoil is outdated ... the only destinations that use Hydrofoils are very nearby islands in the Saronic Bay (these vessels are too small, easily tippy for open-sea use). The Piraeus-Mykonos link could be a conventional ferry or a large catamaran -- the Mykonos-Santorini will be a cat. Have you considered, after Delphi, NOT going to Piraeus or central Athens for dropoff (traffic hell), but instead, driving back to Airport, and getting a flight to Mykonos?? (45 mins vs. 5 hrs reg ferry, 3 hr c.

I think maybe it's wise to drop Pilos/Olympia, that would require 3 days of v. long drives -- Esp. since the seaside road between Olympia and the Bridge to Mainland is under construction, and you'd have to go via inland roads, much longer time. A bonus would be that you could have some "spare" time around Argolid area, meaning that Day 1, en route to Nafplio, you could jump off the big highway for 20 minutes at Isthmia, just so you could see the Corinth Canal (not visible from the biggie "interstate). Then back onto the biggie for about 15 miles then again, jump off to right for just an hour or so, and you can experience NEMEA -- an overlooked Sacred Games Site (runner-up to Olympia). Temple ruins, museum, FAB stadium authentically restored ... a real thrill! Back to big highway, turn off immediately to south, and on to Nafplio (bypassing Mycenae for the moment) to check into Nafplio hotel and enjoy that stunning Old Town in late afternoon & evening. Day 2 -- go to Mycenae EARLY, beat bus crowds, drive on later to Epidaurus, picnic on way, en route home, stop at Tolo for a swim? Day 3 -- MOre time in Nafplio Day 4 -- on to Monemvasia, stop in Mystras on the way. Day 5 go to DElphi. NOTE: There are tour bus crowds filling Delphi site from 10:30 AM -- 3 PM. You can avoid, by going to the Museum in late afternoon-early evening (summer hours open unitl 8 pm). You can also go downhill to the Tholos (round) temple ruins before sundown. Then at 8:00 am, go to the Ruins site, almost no one there before tour busses arrive. By noon, you're on your way back to ATHENS area ... if you decide not to fly, why not still drop your car at Airport and take bus or taxi to RAFINA for ferry -- much short trip to Mykonos.

Posted by
4171 posts

What Janet said.

We took a Flying Cat from Santorini to Heraklion. We took a Flying Dolphin from Piraeus to Hydra. The sea was somewhat rough both routes and the journey took longer than anticipated.

This might help you understand your Mykonos to Santorini voyage: It has pictures of the ferries.

This link is a good one for the Hellenic Seaways ferries: It shows the different kinds.

This link might help you with guessing at the timetables: You can click on the Cyclades and then on your route(s) and the dates you will be going for more information. I would think that you could get this information from the travel agents, but...

Posted by
6624 posts

You may already know this, but there are half-day bus and van tours from Athens to Cape Sounion. Google "cape sounion tours." I haven't taken any of these, but we will take one next fall when we're in Athens. Saving this for your time in Athens would free up your Day 7 above.

I like your civilized approach to transatlantic flying -- overnight in Paris and long Amsterdam layover. The Rijksmuseum has an exhibit at Schipohl Airport if you don't have time to go into the city.

Posted by
4535 posts

I've done much of this trip. I suggest the following:

Stop at Epidavros on your way to Nafplio instead of Myceanae. It is smaller and worth an hour or two, and not as close as Myceanae is to Nafplio. The roads there are fine and somewhat scenic. Then do Myceanae as a daytrip from Nafplio.

Have not been to Monemvasia but it is well worth a night. Another stop or daytrip option is Mystras, just outside Sparta and on your way to Monemvasia. It's a former Byzantine city that is now mostly ruins. Think of the Greek version of Pompeii without the volcano.

Have not been to Pilos so can't comment but if you drop it, another night at Monemvasia might be worth it.

Olympia is easily seen with one overnight stay. You certainly won't want to stay an extra night there; it's a drab town.

Delphi can be seen fine with your schedule. Arrive by afternoon to see the site and museum after the busses leave. Catch anything else in the morning before heading back to Athens.

Roads are good and well marked. Always stay to the right as the middle is for passing. Drivers must have an International Drivers Permit to legally drive in Greece (and most rental agencies do ask for it).

Posted by
180 posts

We just got back from a trip to the Peleponese in March like the one you propose. I would suggest you consider reversing your itinerary.

Arrive and drive to Delphi and see (and stay) in Delphi the first day.
Then wake up and drive to Olympia and see Olympia stay in Olympia.
The drive to and Stay in Kardamylee.
Then drive to Monemvasia and stay in Monemvasia.
Then drive to Nafplion visiting Mycaene on the way. Stay in Nafplion.
Next day Nafplion and day trip to Epidavros. Stay in Nafplion.
Next day drive to Athens.

We did a similar itinerary but added Meteroa and Thermopolye in the mix. Have a great time.