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Best day trips from Nafplion

Hello,
I am planning 2 days in Nafplion and will be driving from Athens. I am with 2 older teens and my husband. My teens are def not that much into history. I was wondering 1-2 cool historic sites we could see en route to Nafplion or drive to the following day. Any other recommendations appreciated! laura

Posted by
2284 posts

Mycenae is the obvious one, and it’s well worth it. Only perhaps a 30 minute drive, and is very cool to walk through. There’s the main sight and a treasury building accessed by a separate parking lot a very short way away - the treasury is kind of like a cave and is interesting even to those not into history.

Historic Corinth and the Corinth canal are on the way. We did the historic sight and it’s interesting but Mycenae is much more interesting to those not into history. Corinth is mostly rubble and takes a lot more effort to appreciate. The canal sounds like it could be good but we didn’t have time.

Epidavros has an intact Greek theater, you can test the acoustics.

The beach in Nafplio is nice but a few miles away is the town of Tolo which has a better, bigger beach. There might be even better beaches around.

IN Nafplio if your teens are athletic or just into hiking/climbing be sure to hike upto the fortress. It’s something like 1000 steps up and is a fun experience.

Posted by
24 posts

Thank you! Do you recommend a guide for Mycenae? Is this something I should prebook? Is Mycenae or Epidavros easiest to reach when driving from Athens to Nafplion? thx laura

Posted by
347 posts

You may want to take a look at Nemea. https://nemeangames.org/ We enjoyed walking through the tunnel and visiting the site of the Games. There is also a small archeological site nearby. Easy day trip from Nafplio.

Posted by
2284 posts

I’m not a fan of hiring guides so I can’t help with that. Of course that’s just preference and many people like having a guide. I just prefer to wander around myself - there’s more of a sense of discovery in my mind so it’s more fun. A mediocre guide makes it feel like a history lesson. Of course a good guide can make it come alive, so if you go that route get recommdations.
If you don’t go with a guide there is no need to book ahead - just show up and buy a ticket. Getting some basic info before you go is helpful. We just used the pages in the Rick Steves book.

When driving from Athens Mycenae is easier. It’s closer to major roads, and an easy drive to Nafplio too. Epidavros is a little more away from big roads - it was more of a winding mountain drive. They aren’t that far apart, though

Posted by
1507 posts

Corinth or ArcoCorinth and Nemea en route, Mycenae and Epidaurus from town. We thought Tiryns was interesting also.

Posted by
3168 posts

Definitely Nemea. Without going all the way over to Archaea Olympia, hours away, you can be in another, but less-visited site where races and other Olympics-type athletic contests were held for hundreds of years. As mentioned, there’s a tunnel, which Olympia doesn’t have, where athletes paraded through before emerging into the arena. Some even scratched graffiti about their winning into the stone walls.

Your teens can even line up on the original starting blocks, and race their own 200-yard dash. When we visited, we had the place to ourselves - no one else there!

Posted by
742 posts

Good advice given. I am sure all of you will enjoy the Palimidi fortress in Nafplio. While you can hike up the stairway tot eh fortress you can also drive up to the front gate and spend your energy wandering around. No need of a guide.

On the way to or from Athens definately stop in Corinth. Nemia is a great tidy little site and as already stated the teens will enjoy getting into the stadium. Don't miss Acrocorinth. Its another mountaintop fortress. Again I think you will all enjoy wandering around up there. You have a 360 degree view.

Here re some images.
Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/
Corinth area sights https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157711755443483

Posted by
2352 posts

You can do a snorkeling tour from Nafplion but you will have to use a wetsuit(provided by the dive company).

Posted by
4498 posts

I'm not sure how fascinated teens would be at Mycenae. The beehive tomb is pretty cool to see, but the main archaeological site is just ruined stone walls. The theater at Epidavros should entertain them well. They can climb the seating bowl, try out the acoustics and really sense what the theater was like.

Another option not mentioned is Mystras. It is a ruined Byzantine site. While like Mycenae it is almost all ruins, the setting is much more interesting on a mountainside. Lots of meandering paths and archways to explore. And some intact Byzantine churches that will be different from the Ancient sites they will see. At the top of the mountain is a fort. It is out of the way, just outside of Sparta, so it may not fit your plans but it is a pretty drive.

Posted by
197 posts

I will second most of the suggestions already made. I really liked Mycenae - and the added 20 minute drive was well worth it to see Nemea - both the stadium and the remains of the temple with a small but interesting museum. If your holiday does not include any Islands, there is an easy add on to a trip to Epidaurus. If you carry on down the coast to Galatas, you can cross the aprox 300 yards of water to the Island of Poros - the ferry costs €1 each way.

Posted by
19 posts

thank you for the tips! We are travelling to the same area for four nights with three tween/teens.

Posted by
1082 posts

We went to Greece two years ago with our young adult (20s) children and I thought I would share what they liked (and didn't).

Epidavros was a hit with everyone. The view is fabulous from the top of the theater. My kids amused themselves taking photos and watching the people come in.

Mycenae was not as popular with our group. It requires much more imagination. We went to Nemea the same day and my children all enjoyed it more. My boys ran cross country and track in high school and they enjoyed "running" in the stadium. They also liked the fact that some of the ruins had been put back together and so it was easier to imagine than Mycenae. And we all enjoyed the well done air conditioned museum (it was hot that day!)

One of our favorite activities was climbing to the top of Palimidi fortress (all 900 some stairs). As I said it was hot when we were there (early June) and we got started at 7:30 am. We spent the entire morning exploring. It was one of my kids favorite activity in the two weeks we spent in Greece. It was amazing to think the Venetians were building this fortress during the same time period as the U.S. was fighting the revolutionary war.

I don't know when you will be there but if it is hot (we spent our afternoons at different beaches after touring in the morning-temperatures were mid 90s then) the town beach (Arvanitia) is quite pleasant and we spent an afternoon there (rocky though so we were glad for beach shoes). We didn't like Tolo beach very well although it was sandy. There were no bathrooms and there was trash around. It actually was the only place we didn't like in our two week trip to Greece. We did like Karathona Beach which you can reach either by driving or walking 30 minutes from the parking lot of Arvanitia Beach. It is sandier than Arvanitia but less crowded with facilities than Tolo. It is a beautiful walk but the last part is in the sun so can be hot. My husband and brother drove and then they walked back and it was gorgeous.