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Greece Itinerary

5th trip to Greece - doing some mainland with 6 full days in Milos. We have time to shave here or there or add or subtract here or there, but this is what we have - any suggestions?

Day 1 – Arrive Athens 6:25 p.m (Stay Athens).
Day 2 – Athens (Stay Athens)
Day 3 – Athens (Stay Athens)
Day 4 – Drive to Meteora (Stay Meteora)
Day 5 – Meteora (Stay Meteora)
Day 6 - Drive To Delphi (Stay Delphi)
Day 7 – Driving Tour west coast to Diros Caves area
Day 8 – Diros Caves then drive to Nafplion (stay Nafplion)
Day 9 – Nafplion Area (stay Nafplion)
Day 10 – Drive to Corinth then ATH Airport (afternoon flight to Milos)
Day 10 – 16 – Milos
Day 17 – Late afternoon Flight to Athens
Day 18 – Flight to LAX

There are a couple long drives here (to Meteora and a longer one to Diros caves area from Delphi. We're probably into a lot of ruins which is why I left Olympia out this time. More interested in leisurely exploration, villages, lunches, etc. along the way. Will have plenty of time to kick it in Milos.

Thanks for any advice!

Oh, and I know about the necessity for an Int'l Driving Permit having driven in Europe over the last 3 decades...

Posted by
4535 posts

I had to look up Diros Caves but wow, that is a LONG drive from Delphi to Diros Caves. I have driven from Delphi to Olympia and it was about 4 hours. That will at least double your trip to get to Diros. Then to get back to Nafplio from there will be 3-4 hours, leaving you with just one day in Nafplio. Nafplio is worth more than that, especially if you like leisurely exploration.

Plus with that drive you will be passing some of the most incredible sites and ruins in Greece: Olympia, Mistras, and a stones throw from Monemvasia. A day is Nafplio barely gives you time to see Myceanea or Epidavros.

I would seriously consider if Diros Caves is worth it to you on this trip. Meteora and Delphi make sense to link (though they are a long drive between) and you can easily fit Nafplio, Corinth, Myceanea and Epidavros in on the same trip without going too much out of the way or spending all your time behind the wheel. A next trip could be more exploration on the Peloponnese seeing the other places I mention.

You don't mention when you are planning to go. In summer with long daylight hours you can see more. If the shoulder seasons, it will limit your sightseeing if you spend all day driving. You will be hard-pressed to fit in a drive from Meteora to Delphi and seeing the site and museum all in the same day, even in summer.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks for this. We are going in June.

I like driving. I have it mapped as a 7.5 hour drive from Delphi to Diros Caves area - the other drive is really 3.25 hours (Meteora to Delphi) and from Diros caves to Napflion only 2.5. Google maps gives you the drive times.

So Day 8 given that the cave tour only takes about 2 hours at most, we will be in Napflion for lunch, and stay there 2 nights - plenty of time to take the short trips to the places mentioned.

Timeline: For example, on Day 6, we will leave Meteora early in the morning after breakfast because we will have spent a full day and a half there. A 3 hour drive puts us in Delphi before lunch, which allows for a site visit there later in the day when the tourist buses leave. That allows for the early departure back down the peninsula for the long drive. We've already decided to bag Olympia on this trip since you've seen one Olympic stadium, you've seen them all (haha).

Will see about cutting a little here and there, pushing out this or that and maybe working in a couple of the places you mention if possible. I also have the option of adding another day and arriving to Milos a day later...that may be something we consider as well...although we really want the full 6 days there (with travel days separate)

All good thoughts - again appreciate it. James

Posted by
1844 posts

I toally agree with Douglas re: Napflio. It is worth more than one day. My husband and I did a similar trip to Greece several years ago. We went from Meteora to Dephi and then directly to Napflio. From Napflio we toured Mycenae, Epidaurus and Corinth. Napflio has a hill fort with spectacular views of the Aegean. We enjoyed sitting at one of the harbor cafes, having a drink and watching the sunset. If you like leisurely exploration, etc., then this is my recommendation. I would also recommend flying to Milos after touring Athens rather than at the end of the trip as sometimes flights can be delayed or cancelled due to weather, strikes, etc. and this could impact your flight home (if that matters to you). We found picking up the car at the airport the easiest option rather than picking it up in Athens and driving through the city. It takes about 6 hours to get from the airport to Meteora. Also bear in mind that some of the monasteries are only open certain days and it would be wise to check what's open on the days you are there if there is a particular monastery you are interested in seeing.

Posted by
20 posts

Yes, we agree as well, that's why really we have at least 2-2.5 days in Napflion and area (driving in, staying and driving out over 3 days). Only difference is we aren't sitting in a Napfplion hotel for three days but moving into the town on one day, staying two nights (while exploring) and hitting some sights on the way back through to the airport.

Also, there are 4 flights/day between Athens and Milos, the summer winds haven't really starts first two weeks in June (an extremely peaceful time of year weather wise) and our return flight to Athens is the day before our departure to LAX, so in the worst situation we can get a ferry back to Athens that gets in at 11 pm the night before our 830 am flight.

I also have travel OCD...lol...

Posted by
4535 posts

More interested in leisurely exploration, villages, lunches, etc. along the way.

Please don't take offense, but your statement above is in conflict with your itinerary. You MIGHT be able to get from Diros to Nafplio in 2.5 hours, but only driving breakneck speed with no stops for gas, toilets, scenic vistas, sheep crossing the road and getting lost. All of those things are necessary and desirable though (well except for the getting lost part). And you almost for sure will get a little lost in Nafplio finding parking and finding your hotel. You honestly won't have much time (after finding parking, walking to your hotel, checking in and settling in) that first evening other than to stroll around on your way to dinner (nice enough but not a half day). Myceanea and Epidavros are opposite directions from each other and each is a good 45 minutes drive outside town. Epidavros makes for a great stop on the way back to Athens, but not if you plan to stop in Corinth AND make an afternoon flight from Athens.

It just seems like an odd choice of destinations if you don't have the time to stop at places in between. If you are ok with just a driving tour, then go for it. I'm just merely trying to warn you that driving time and orientation in a new place can take longer than you might think.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks for sharing but you obviously didn't look at the itinerary and don't understand how driving or travel works, no offense intended. I don't want to insult you, but personally I'm not old or incontinent so I can make a 2.5 hour drive without having to stop every 20 minutes to use the bathroom. Also, sometimes you pass things by to see other things. Also, in 30 years of travel I have never "gotten lost" except when I have meant to. With all due respect, your comments are a bit naïve and well, stupid (but I don't want to insult you).

I notice a lot of "internet travelers" on this site: people that don't really have experience travelling. We travel to Europe, the Far East, the UK, etc., and we always drive, so we know what is possible and what isn't. Your timing may be based on bus travel with an overloaded carry on: we don't travel that way.

Again, instead of rushing in to tell someone that their plan doesn't work, you need to look at the plan and reason it out, or just keep it zipped, all due respect, and not wanting to insult you.

Posted by
681 posts

Wow that's just rude. If you didn't want opinions then why put up your itinerary...

Posted by
8293 posts

It amusing to see how using the phrases "no insult intended" and "with all due respect" in a post clears the poster's conscience as he proceeds to insult and be disrespectful.

Posted by
4535 posts

My apologies for apparently misinterpreting your travel interests. My advice was based on what was stated in the OP and my own experience driving and visiting the region.

Posted by
179 posts

We did the round about drive in Greece last year. For us we went Athens, Delphi, Meteora, Olympia, Diros, Monevasia, Napflio, Athens.

You might consider changing your order to Delphi-Meteora as you end up backtracking a bit. However, the drive from Meteora all the way to Diros is pretty long so I understand trying to shorten it from Delphi.

I know you purposefully left our Olympia but you may want to consider it.

As an alternate, you could leave Athens early morning on day 4 for Delphi. See Delphi and then drive that night to Meteora. Day 5, see Meteora and then drive to Olympia. Day 6, see Olympia and then drive to Kardamylee and stay there. Day 7, see Diros caves in the morning (be aware last boat was 2:00pm when I was there) and head and stay in Monemvasia. Day 8, drive to Napflio. Stay there 2 nights. Day 10 Corinth and back to Athens.

Posted by
179 posts

Also, since this is your 5th trip, I'm not sure where you have been already. Are any of these stops a repeat?