My husband and I are looking at Greece for a fall 2015 trip. We have limited time (unfortunately due to his work), so we are trying to work around the time constraints and make the most of our time there, see some sights we really want to see, but still keep our trip enjoyable. We are used to traveling at a busy pace. Hopefully he can talk his boss into longer vacation times in the future, but we're working with what we get. :) We'll have to make a second trip to Greece to see more of the islands and the Peloponnese peninsula.
Day 1 (Thursday): Flight out of Kansas 12:34pm
Day 2 (Friday): Arrive Athens 3:20pm, travel to Hydra, overnight on Hydra.
Day 3 (Saturday): Explore Hydra, overnight Hydra.
Day 4 (Sunday): Depart Hydra in the morning, pick up rental car in Athens, drive to Kalambaka and overnight there.
Day 5 (Monday): Explore monasteries, overnight Kalambaka.
Day 6 (Tuesday): Drive to Delphi (go out of way to Hosias Loukas), overnight Arachova.
Day 7 (Wednesday): Spend day at Delphi (would like to hire a tour guide), drive to Athens, drop car, overnight in Athens.
Day 8 (Thursday): Athens
Day 9 (Friday): Athens
Day 10 (Saturday): Athens
Day 11 (Sunday): Flight back to Kansas
From what I've read, Hydra is close to Athens and easy to get to, so that's why I've selected it over one of the other islands. I haven't read as much about Aegina, but perhaps I should research it as well since it also seems to be a good choice for a short trip. One day probably isn't enough to either island justice, but I'm hoping that it's long enough to at least give us a taste of a Greek island. I didn't want to cut our time in Athens short (from the planning I've done, I think we'll have plenty to keep us busy there for three days). I hate how far out of the way Meteora is, but I'd really like to see it.
Concerns, thoughts, tips? Is the order of the itinerary good? Any references for guides? We really enjoyed using a guide for the ancient sites at Rome and think we'd enjoy the sites in Greece more with a guide. Also, any tips on picking the rental car up in Athens? Should we pick it up in Piraeus?