My husband and I will be taking our "honeymoon" (3 years late) to Greece in early October. In addition to books and websites, I've spent the last few weeks reading your posts here, trying to come up with our itinerary. I haven't been able to plan the daily activities or research transportation to these destinations beyond what I've read here. That's Step 2 once the destination and timelines are ironed out. I'll be utilizing the many recommendations you've all provided previously, and will follow up with questions if needed.
We live in the U.S., Midwest part of the country. I am 28 years old, my husband is 33. He is an architect, I am an interior designer. We also have a vineyard he planted that we operate ourselves. I studied abroad in Rome, we've each been to Europe a couple times. This is our first time to Greece. We likely won't be spending an extended amount of time in Greece again in the foreseeable future. We're looking for the best architectural history, ancient sites and ruins. A couple museums (we prefer a limited amount of time in them, would rather be out and about). A vineyard and / or olive grove. Possibly a cooking class, or olive oil tasting. We don't hike, but we do like to bike if that's an option on the islands. Besides that, we just want to experience Greece! The people, the culture, the food, the views...!
Here is the itinerary I've come up with. Because I can't cross the ocean without stopping in Rome, we'll be flying into Rome and spending the first day and night there. From what I've read here, many of the regular contributors recommend flying to the islands first to recover from jet lag. I like that idea, but in my mind it makes more sense to learn about Greece and see the ancient sites before heading off to the "vacation" part of the trip. That's what seems logical to me-- however, I don't want to sabotage our trip because something seems logical to me, but actually isn't. I'm open to flipping the mainland with the islands.
(Oct 7th, arrive in Rome. Sleep in Rome)
Day 1 (Oct 8th): Arrive in Athens (sleep in Athens)
Day 2: Athens (sleep in Athens)
Day 3: Athens (sleep in Athens)
Day 4: Rent a car, drive to Ancient Corinth in the morning. (Time to visit Ancient Nemea for the afternoon before sites close?) (sleep in Nafpilo)
Day 5: Nafplio, side-trip to Epidavros (sleep in Nafpilo)
Day 6: Wake in Nafplio, day trip to Mycenae (and / or Argos). (Return rental car, sleep in Anthens)
Day 7: Travel to Santorini (sleep in Santorini)
Day 8: Santorini (sleep in Santorini)
Day 9: Santorini (sleep in Santorini)
Day 10: Ferry (?) to Naxos (sleep in Naxos)
Day 11: Naxos (sleep in Naxos)
Day 12: Naxos (sleep in Naxos)
Day 13: Ferry (?) to Mykonos (sleep in Mykonos)
Day 14 (Oct 21): Return to Athens, continue to Rome
(Oct 21, arrive in Rome, sleep in Rome. Oct 22, leave for the U.S.)
My husband kind of has his heart set on Olympia. I'm hoping everything that Nafpilo and the adjoining side trips offer will satisfy him. If not, would you skip one of the islands to include Olympia? Or maybe replace Day 4 - 6 with just seeing a few of those sites on the way to and from Olympia? Or would you leave this as is, without Olympia? I know it's up to us, but I'm curious what your recommendation would be.
What about my island plan? We don't NEED to see Santorini or Mykonos. Naxos has rave reviews on here, but others have commented "Santorini is a must see for first time-ers." I've also read a day trip to Mykonos might be very doable this time of year (Full Disclosure: I mostly want to go to Mykonos because I've dreamt about it since listening to the Fleet Foxes song named after this island in college). I guess we're open to any expert advice when it comes to the islands.
I appreciate your time and input!