Please sign in to post.

Greece itinerary help for 10 nights

Hello, I'm planning a 10 nights trip to Greece (end of Sep to early Oct). First time to Greece. Besides Athens, I'd like to visit Santorini, Delphi and Nafplio (Myceneae, Epidavros) but I'm not sure in which order.

I'd like to save Santorini for later part of the trip and not jump into it right away. I've read that it's a good idea to get back to Athens from the islands a day or two before the flight back home. To do that, it will chop up my itinerary a bit. Alternately, I found a flight that will leave directly from Santorini to Europe without back tracking to Athens. So I'm torn between the two options.

Option 1:
Sep 24 Sun - arrive ATH 2p
Sep 25 Mon - Athens
Sep 26 Tue - Athens
Sep 27 Wed - Nafplio - (Athens to Nafplio)
Sep 28 Thu - Nafplio
Sep 29 Fri - Nafplio
Sep 30 Sat - Santorini - (Nafplio to Santorini)
Oct 1 Sun - Santorini
Oct 2 Mon - Santorini
Oct 3 Tue - Athens (Santorini to Athens)
Oct 4 Wed - leave from ATH 2p
Option1 is chopped up, and I won't be able to fit in Delphi ... perhaps I should leave Delphi for another trip?

Option 2:
Sep 24 Sun - arrive ATH 2p
Sep 25 Mon - Athens
Sep 26 Tue - Athens
Sep 27 Wed - Athens - Delphi (Day Trip?)
Sep 28 Thu - Nafplio - (Athens to Nafplio)
Sep 29 Fri - Nafplio
Sep 30 Sat - Nafplio
Oct 1 Sun - Santorini - (Nafplio to Santorini)
Oct 2 Mon - Santorini
Oct 3 Tue - Santorini
Oct 4 Wed - leave from JTR 11a

Options 2 flows better and because I don't have to back track to Athens from Santorini, I have an extra day for Delphi. But is there any disavantage with leaving from Santorini versus Athens?

From Athens to Nafplio, I'm thinking of renting a car if the roadways are not too crazy, then I can stop and take a peek at the Cornith Canal. I'll have to drop off the car before heading to Santorini. Otherwise, I'll take a bus.
From Nafplio, looks like it will take a good part of a day to get to Santorini, hopefully before sunset.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks. Not sure what is the etiquette between cross posting on Fodors, RS and TA. Not necessary the same audience.

Posted by
3335 posts

Perfectly OK to cross-post ... just didn't want to repeat myself here.

Posted by
1172 posts

Looks good either way.

Most people leave Athens for the end of their trip. If it's at all possible after landing in Athens get to Nafplio, either by car or take a bus. It may be quite a lot to go straight to Nafplio after a flight but it would avoid a "double-stay" in Athens.

I've stayed in Athens after arriving and returned after visiting other areas to make sure I get back at least one day ahead of a flight home. It works, but it does add to the arrival, transfer to hotel, unpacking, packing, travel to airport/ferry a second time.

In the end do what feels best for you . . . either way staying in Athens (for me anyway) is always a joy regardless of the number of times I've been there.

Posted by
1380 posts

Option 2 is the best choice. Logistics are very important on a Greek trip and this option flows much better than the first one.

Rent the car for the mainland portion of the trip. The road to Corinth is a 4 lane highway (its a toll road) and its in good condition and easy to drive. One thing you have to remember is keep way over to the right. Rental cars simply don't have the power the locals have and you will be doing 100 and cars will be passing you at 150. By staying to the right they have room to pass. The road to Nafplio is a lovely two lane country road. Same rules apply stay as for to the right as you can to allow passing but its all done at much lower speeds.

The car gives you max flexibility to visit this magnificent area. Remember I mentioned Logistics. I would actually rent the car and drive to Delphi. Plan to arrive mid afternoon and find a hotel in the village. Ours had a view down the mountainside all the way to the gulf of Corinth. Visit the museum and perhaps the lower site which has no gate. Next morning get up early and you will have the site virtually to yourselves until the tour bus crowds arrive so you will have at least till 10:30. Then get back in your car and drive to Patras and cross the new bridge and take the National road to Corinth. On the way consider visiting Ancient Nemia once was a sister to Olympia. There is still a stadium there, You might also want to see Ancient Corinth the Roman era city. Both these sites are compact and will take no more than an hour each. Now head south to Nafplio.

The car will be very useful to you in this area. One tip you can walk up to the Palamidi fortress 999 steps or you can find the sneaky back road where you can drive up to the main gate. I do love drive up fortresses.

You can see all this here
Olympia Delphi Meteora https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157645469717811/

Nafplio and Peloponnese http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/

Posted by
25 posts

Thanks for the feedback. Everywhere I read suggests I should be back in Athens at least the day before the flight home, even if I'm flying back from Santorini and not using the ferry. So back-to-back flight from Santorini-Athens-Home is not recommended. This votes for option 2.

stanbr, your suggestion to move eastward to Nafplio from Delphi instead of doing Delphi as a day trip from Athens sounds interesting, much more so then back tracking to Athens. For this route, Delphi-Patras-Corinth-Nafplio, google maps says it's under 4 hours driving time. Is that realistic? If possible, I'd like to get to Nafplio before the road gets dark.

Posted by
1380 posts

Yes its about 4 hours. My plan was for you to stay overnight in Delphi seeing the site and getting back to your car by mid to late morning. That gives you lots of time to get to Nafplio and add sites like Nemia and Ancient Corinth on the way. Even at an hour for each site will get you to Nafplio by late afternoon.