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Crete, Athens and Nafplio October 2020

My husband and I are going to Greece for about 3 weeks in October, 2020 and would really appreciate some planning help. I’ve gone back a year or so looking at relevant posts and have come up with a basic plan. BTW Crete is taken care of—we have booked a small group 13 day “archeology, nature and food” tour, Oct 8-20. We’d like to get to Greece early and relax, then see Athens before heading to Crete. We’ll go home right after the tour ends.

If we arrive Oct 1st we’d have 7 nights (could add more), and I was thinking of Nafplio because staying on the mainland seems easiest. We are no longer comfortable driving in Europe, so we need to use public transportation and taxis. We’re considering Delta and would arrive at 4:25, kind of late. Should we go into Athens and stay overnight and take the bus to Nafplio the next day? Or stay overnight by the airport in one of the nearby towns?

In Nafplio we want to get over our jet lag and explore the town, get in some beach/swim time, maybe take the bus or a taxi to nearby sites like Mycenae. We spent a day in Athens in 2011 and we’d probably just do it all over again—Acropolis, museums, etc. Does a 4/3 split sound right? Would 5/2 be too many nights in Nafplio? Should we consider any other places on the mainland (accessible without a car)?

Hotels: in Nafplio the Agamemnon Hotel looks good and we might splurge in Athens to get an Acropolis view room. We’d be okay spending €200-250 but less would be better.

Thanks, looking forward to your suggestions!

Posted by
743 posts

Sounds like a great trip. Crete is Just chalk full of Historical sites.
Knossos, Phastos and Gortyz https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157645085297380/

2017 Crete Archeological sites.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157691001013665

Since you are going to Nafplio by bus you are going to have to get to the bus station in Central Athens where the Nafplio buses depart. So it makes sense to get into Atehns for the bus trip next day. However the buses are frequent and it is possible you might be able to catch one of the later buses and get to Nafplio in the evening of your arrival day.

You could also consider a private transfer company which would meet you at the airport and drive you to the Bus Station or a hotel or even direct to Nafplio. We now always use City Cab which has reliable English speaking drivers.

I highly recommend Agamemnon in Nafplio. Its right on the waterfront with great sea views and the evening waterfront promenade has hundreds of people strolling along the pathway. Its quiet as well. Best feature is no stairs to get to the hotel. It is also going to cost you about half of the proposed budget.
I am posting images of Nafpliio taken in Early October 2019. Click the arrow button on the right of the image and that process will bring up 28 images almost all taken form Agamemnon or nearby sites. The 14 image is taken from the waterfront of our balcony.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/48866176952/in/album-72157711323535897/
Nafplio is a lovely place to get over jet lag and has many antiquities nearby. You can take a taxi to them or the local bus will get you to several of them. I don't think you will be bored with 5 days in Nafplio.

Here is what you will see in Corinth.

Perhaps you might want to take a day trip to Corinth it has some amazing stuff including Ancient Coritnh, Acrocorinth and nearby Nemia which had sister games to Olympia and the stadium is still there.
Corinth area sights https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157711755443483

Posted by
6 posts

Stanbr, thank you for all that information and the very helpful photos. We are really looking forward to Crete. Our tour covers a lot of sites—many that are less well known, one reason we chose it.

I’m going to look into a transfer all the way to Nafplio on our arrival day, but it’s probably too expensive. And after our long flights from Seattle we’re not up for the (possible) hassles of trying to catch one of the last 2 buses. So we’ll probably go into Athens and stay one night, then take a morning bus to Nafplio. I have gone ahead and booked the Agamemnon Hotel in Nafplio.

Any hotel recommendations for the 1 night in Athens? We don’t care about a view room for this stay, just a quiet hotel in a walkable area, maybe with a rooftop bar. I’m looking at the Attalos but would love to get a few more ideas. Maybe €100–125?

I’ve looked at the Heridion for our 2 or 3 night stay after Nafplio but an Acropolis view room is about €287, a bit more than our €250 limit... Any good alternatives?

Thanks!

Posted by
350 posts

I would suggest taking a look at InnAthens Hotel. No Acropolis view, but great accommodations, included breakfast and service. It is well within your €250 limit. We spent 5 nights there last fall and were very pleased with our stay.

Posted by
743 posts

We stay at Attalos whenever we can. Its a tourist class hotel, nothing fancy, well in your budget, close to all the attractions however the big attraction is their rooftop bar. We spend late afternoon early evening up there just taking in the view of the Acropolis.

Here is an image taken from that bar.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/9523160541/in/album-72157632121475515/

Do check out a transfer by City Cab for that private transfer to Nafplio on arrival at Athens Airport. It may be more affordable/ convenient than you think.

Posted by
1510 posts

The Divani palace has some Acropolis view rooms and fits your budget. It is a short walk from the Acropolis, with good breakfast (at extra cost--try for a special rate with that included).

Posted by
742 posts

Since you are arriving late afternoon your best option is to spend the night in Athens then take the bus the next morning fo Nafplio. I fly from Boston to Athens and it's a long flight with one layover. I've done it numerous times and unless I can get an early morning arrival in the city to go elsewhere I spend the night. I can only imagine a flight from Seattle to Athens will be even more tiring.

I always stay at the Attalos on Athinas St. It's one of the better tourist hotels and prices are very good. Nothing fancy but clean, safe and an excellent location. It has one of the best roof-top bars/garden in the city and the views of the Acropolis and all of Athens are spectacular.

We spent 9 days in Nafplio and explored the entire Argolis Peninsula plus did a day cruise to Hydra/Spetses from nearby Tolo. We stayed at Hotel Leto back in 2011 but I heard the hotel was sold and the service isn't what it use to be. Sorry, can't help with other accommodations but you should have a good selection in a range of prices. However, in your price range I'm sure you can get something really nice. I've heard the Marianna is outstanding and maybe far less than what you booked.

Bear in mind you'll be spending most of your time outside the accommodations and you may be able to find something at a lower price but still nice in either Athens or Nafplio. You can then spend the extra money on better things like Greek Food!

Here's the BEST website for Nafplio and surrounding area:
http://www.visitnafplio.com/

Athens deserves a minimum of 2 days with 3 being better. There's more to Athens than just the tourist sites.

Best site for Athens and all of Greece:
https://www.athensguide.com/

I think three in Athens and four in Nafplio would be good.

There is decent bus service in Nafplio but a car rental will give you far more flexibility to go to places the bus doesn't.

I go to Greece every October and driven on numerous islands and for the most part the traffic is very light, almost non-existent in more rural areas. The most you'll see in or near the road are goats. Even a rental for a couple of days will be worth it and there really isn't nothing to worry about as far as the roads. You even get to drive on the same side of the road as you do back home!

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks, everyone. I will check out the suggested hotels and get some more transfer quotes. Got one for €200 from Welcome. Last year we did pay $170 for a transfer from Heathrow to Chipping Campden because it saved us from a long taxi-train-taxi journey after our international fight. It was definitely worth it. But a night in Athens, in a hotel with a rooftop bar, sounds good too.

Tommyk5: rental car.... We love exploring by car, and back in the day we always rented cars, but we’re older now—just 70s though—and have reluctantly decided that our driving days in Europe are over. It does limit our options, but I think all the other drivers will be relieved:).

Still thinking about the Nafplio/Athens split. I have 5 nights at the Agamemnon Hotel, just in case, and can always change it.

Posted by
742 posts

That's quite a bit of money for a transfer from Athens to Nafplio. A bus will be around 14-15 euros ($16) one way . . . quite a difference and the money you save can get you a real nice room in Athens or save it for other things to do in Greece.

The bus will take around 2+ hours and once you get off the main highway you go through a more rural area with lovely scenery. The buses are modern, AC, nice windows for gawking and everyone is friendly.

One note there are no WCs on the buses so don't drink too much coffee before leaving!

Posted by
2416 posts

But also to add to tommy's note re restrooms... the KTEL Nafplio bus does have a 15-minute rest stop at about half-way, about 1 hour out, at the Highway Bus Depot outside of Corinth... clean restrooms, and a snack bar as well.