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ATH/Nafplio/Meteora/Athens logistical and fine tuning

Thank you so sincerely to those of you who have shared your knowledge with this community, you have helped me so much already. I went from completely overwhelmed to feeling focused after reading here.

My 15yo son and I will be traveling to Greece in June/July and I would appreciate your help with a few questions. First, the 12 night itinerary-

Travel from NY, arrive 10.30a in Athens, immediately rent car and drive to Nafplio (Corinth on way if we can muster)

5 nights in Nafplio to relax, recoup from travel and visit Epidavros, Nemea, Corinth, Nafplio and Mycenae with leisurely pace

Need help/attention here especially [Leave Nafplio, drop car at ATH airport, taxi to Athens Larissa to meet afternoon train to Kalambaka (Meteora) with a change in Palaeofarsalos and arrive Kalambaka at 7.30p, arranged by VisitMeteora
2 nights in Meteora, enjoying morning hike and sunset tours. Evening train returns us to Athens 9.30p]

5 nights in Athens, meeting up with friends. Includes excursion to an island at least one day and visits to sites

Driving: I am the only driver and after doing some reading, I became intimidated about the route to Meteora and that is how I arrived at the train to Meteora idea. I am a confident driver in cities and some mountain/curves but the length of the drive, combined with reports on Greek drivers made me think maybe it wasn’t a good idea for our scenario.

  1. Nafplio accommodation that would make frequent walking around town easy but also allow for not sharing a hotel room in the traditional sense (a little space for a mom/teen) for 5 nights?

  2. Delphi, I know I can make it work even on the train, but it felt forced and I would end up there during heat of the day and tourist rush. This is one place we recently cut out of our itinerary.

interests: religion, ruins/history/culture, beautiful views, good food and a productive but relaxed pace

I am very interested in input and your experience. Thank you!!

Posted by
60 posts

We are going to Greece for the first time in mid April and used “Private Greece Tours” to arrange for our hotel in Kalambaka and three hour private guide, 150 euros, into the monasteries. We have very little time to see Meteora and I really want to see Meteora and so am paying Private Greek Tours for car service from Athens airport. I learned about Private Greek Tours from this forum

Posted by
746 posts

Interesting thought from Sally its worth looking into.
I have driven to Nafplio after a transatlantic flight arriving mid morning. We had to stop three times to get more coffee. Don't try to push yourself just stop if you need to. You also need a second set of eyes and a GPS to watch for signs and turn offs. If this is going to be a problem for you we understand a private transfer company called City Cabs offers a service to drive you and your rental car to Nafplio. We have used City regularly but only for transfers to Athens and the airport. If this makes sense you can check out their web site.

After 5 days in touring from Nafplio you will be used to driving in Greece. Yes driving can be nerve racking but the areas you are interested in are either country driving with not too much traffic or on major 4 lane highways. All that to say I think your original idea of driving from Nafplio to Delphi and then on to Meteora is the way to go.

The car gives you great flexibility for when you arrive and everything you discover along the way. We did Delphi and Meteora in three days. Arrived Delphi in the late afternoon. Got a hotel saw the museum and got to the gate at opening next day. We had the site virtually to ourselves. Left at noon when all the tour bus crowds were at the site. Drove to Meteora. Found a hotel and wandered the village of Kastraki right at the foot of the Monastery mountains. Drove up for sunset. The crowds are all gone you will have full opportunities for amazing photos. Next morning get to first Monastery at opening. You will beat a majority of the bus crowds. Lots to see up there. We were tired so spend the second night in Kastraki and next morning drove up to the monasteries for a last look. the weather had changed so got some amazing sunrise misty photos. The drive back to Athens was on a good 2 lane country highway and then on a 4 lane toll road. No problems with the drive at all. Dropped the car off at the airport and went to Athens for the end of the trip.

Her are images of our trips.
Delphi and Meteora

Nafplio and Peloponnese
Corinth area sights

Posted by
227 posts

You can take a bus to the main bus station from the airport and transfer to Nafplio. Unless you get a decent nights sleep on the plane which I would not count on, you're going to be tired and driving out of a big city in a foreign country has its challenges. Besides, it's more expensive to rent a car at an airport because car rental agencies have to pay an airport tax.

Posted by
979 posts

We took the train RT from Athens to Meteora and rented a car in Kastraki. We did the Monasteries on our own.

Posted by
2416 posts

The problem with Mary Pat's suggestion is that if you want to combine Nafplio with Meteora, you cannot rent a car in Nafplio and drop it off in Meteora -- that's a US thing, just doesn't work in Greece. They do not have big national networks of car fleets where cars are constantly being exchanged between branches of a big rental company... therefore many agencies have to send a SECOND car & second driver to pick up a "drop-off rental"... so the cost is €€€€. If she wants to drive, she must do it from Athens area. Also, I have compared prices for airport vs. Central Athens branches of a couple of major companies, and at lest in Greece, you don't save by renting from a downtown office. An agency that rents from the Airport, that a lot of us "old hands" have used frequently and find very reliable, economical & with good reviews, is You'd be met at the airport as u emerge from baggage by a rep who will help u with paperwork & lead you to the car at an outside location & arrange for return in same manner.

Posted by
4 posts

Thank you for your input thus far, it is very helpful and I am grateful for the help.

I have been bolstered by your experience and confidence to amend the itinerary and drive. I have sent an email to CityCabs for a quote to transport me and my rental car from Athens airport to Nafplio upon our arrival.

What route would you advise between Nafplio and Delphi? via Athens or via Patras?

New itinerary-
Travel from NY, arrive 10.30a in Athens, immediately rent car and drive to Nafplio (Corinth on way if we can muster)

5 nights in Nafplio to relax, recoup from travel and visit Epidavros, Nemea, Corinth, Nafplio and Mycenae with leisurely pace

depart Nafplio early and drive to Delphi for approx 3hr visit there and lunch. Continue on to Kastraki during daylight. 2 nights in Kastraki to visit Meteora, hiking and sunset tours especially.

return to Athens airport, return car and enjoy 5 nights in Athens.

I appreciate your suggestions about Athens Car Rental company and their excellent customer service. I also saw the recommendations for Hotel Doupiani and made those arrangements in Kastraki as well. Just need to find a place to stay in Nafplio! Thank you!

Posted by
4 posts

City Cab in Athens does NOT offer a service to transport people and their rental car to another city. They will transport people, but not the rental car. Just wanted to share the info I received.
Thanks again for all these ideas.