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8 days Greece itinerary advice

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?

Thanks!

Posted by
3713 posts

I recommend you use Rome2rio -- http://www.rome2rio.com/ -- to plot out your transportation. You will find out how long it will take to get all the places you want to go. It may be longer than you think, and you will be subject to bus and ferry schedules. Depending on when you go in the fall, ferry schedules in particular may be limited.

Posted by
80 posts

I would not travel to Hydra the day you arrive in Greece. You will have to get from the airport to Piraeus, find your ferry, sail to Hydra, walk to your hotel (no cars on Hydra) and then collapse. That would be a very long day. Have you checked the ferry schedules? There might not be a convenient one for you to catch since you will have to leave some leeway for late arrivals, customs, traffic, etc. Hydra is also very quiet and relaxing so you might want to go there in the middle of your trip for a break. You also might not want to be there on Saturday, since it is a popular weekend get away for Athenians.

My itinerary would be:
Day 2--Arrive Athens. Walk around Plaka, have a nice dinner, spend the night.

Day 3--Pick up rental, drive to Delphi, stopping at Hosios Loukas. Night in Arachova.
Day 4--See Delphi, meander over to Kalambaka. Night in Kalambaka.
Day 5--See monasteries of Meteora. Night in Kalambaka.
Day 6--Early morning drive to Athens, drop off car, head to Piraeus and catch the ferry to Hydra.

Day 7--Hydra
Day 8--Back to Athens whenever you are ready. Sleep Athens.

Days 9 and 10--Athens.
Day 11--Home

Good Luck! I know you will love Greece and have a fantastic time!