My husband and I are arriving at Athens airport two days earlier than the rest of our group and thought we would use that extra time to see Nafplio. We are trying to decide whether to book a hotel in Athens for two nights and travel from there to Nafplio for a day trip, or go directly from the airport to stay in Nafplio and return to Athens when the others arrive. My husband does not want to rent a car so how easy is transportation with luggage? We would appreciate any advice/recommendations for transportation or tours that might help. We are traveling in mid-September with a moderate budget. TIA for any advice
If you do go, I’d recommend the Hotel Aetoma. Delightful stay, kind and helpful hosts. We took a cab from our hotel near the Acropolis to the bus station and the bus to Nafplio, and bus back to Athens. Bought tickets there at the counter. It was all easy enough. It is a lovely town and easy to wander and relax. I would want more than a day trip; we stayed two nights and spent it all in Nafplio, having already visited Epidaurus and Mycenae on a previous trip. Safe travels.
I would recommend taking the bus to Nafplio and spending one or two nights (depending on what your schedule allows) in Nafplio rather than doing a day trip from Athens. The bus ride is about two to three hours, which will cut into your time there if you choose to day trip it. Rick's Greece book does a great job telling you exactly where to go at the Athens airport to get the shuttle to the bus station, and exactly which shuttle to take. There are regular bus departures to Nafplio during the day, and luggage is no problem. It's stored in the cargo hold like any Greyhound, Peter Pan bus in the States. Nafplio is a wonderful, charming, slow-paced town with great seafood restaurants listed in Rick's book. Hotels are very reasonable. We traveled in mid September also, and our hotel room was about $75 US per night. Safe travels and enjoy Greece.
We also did the bus to Nafplio. When there, you don't need a car, as the heart of the city is small and walkable. The bus is easy, inexpensive, and quite timely - don't be late for the departure at either end, as the buses run on time. Round trip bus ticket was 23 €/person. While there, we took another bus to Mycanae, which was a super side trip. We stayed in Pension Anapli for 50€/night.
I recommend staying in Nafplio, which is lovely in evenings. If you wish to do the highly recommended day trips of Epidaurus or Mycenae or any other exploring outside of town, I would consider driving--it is just a highway, nothing onerous about the two hour drive. Otherwise consult a guide book for bus schedules for these excursions.
Patsy I answered in detail your same query on another forum so will simply cut & paste it here:
Do not worry ... there is an excellent intercity(called KTEL) bus, modern, a/c, upholstered comfortable seats, enjoyable 2.5 hr ride with scenery en route (ask for tickets on LH side for best view of sea). It leaves hourly on the half-hour from Kifissou KTEL Terminal. You buy tickets, not in the room with ticket-windows, but across the terminal, by the exit, right beside the Nafplio bus. Unless it's Friday afternoon, there will be seats available for the next bus; try to get there 30 minutes before departure.
To get to Kissifou There's an express bus X93, that leaves right outside the airport exit door, every 30 minutes or so, fare is €6 you buy tickets at a window. However this takes about 70 minutes... a taxi will be faster but will cost about €40 I'm guessing. (Incidentally, when seeking the best advice on things like this, it is thoughtful to give the exact time your plane arrives). When u get thru baggage claim, yu can decide which to choose. The return express busses FROM Nafplio to Kifissou go hourly on the hour... and a taxi from Kifissou to any central Athens hotel is about €13.
Nafplio is absolutlely gorgeous considered THE most beautiful Old Town in Greece... and despite being on mainland, is a peninsula surrounded by water so you have a sea experience (and bring your swimsuit -- the water will be divine, and the tiny town beach is fun for a dip). This website gives a great overview of things to do in 2 days http://www.visitnafplio.com/ -- study it carefully &open all links -- a top link also gives bus info. Here's a great foto album of Naflio beauties, from TA expert "stanbr"...http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632094108982/
From my recent visit, I'd recommend highly checking Hotel Agammemnon for any room w. a sea view; it's one of the only hotels directly on the seafront, another good "boutique" place in Old Town is Omorfo Poli.
Thank you all! This information is very helpful. Special thanks to you, Janet, for the website, such detail on getting the bus, and even where to sit! We are going to Nafpilo and staying there for two nights. Looking into accommodations now and will look at the places you all recommend. Again much thanks!
I'd also recommend Hotel Agamemnon. I probably got this tip from janet a couple years ago :) We drove from Athens to Nafplio and it really is a super easy drive on a nice freeway. Nafplio is so lovely and a great way to spend a first couple days in Greece eating great food, sipping cafe freddo, and shopping lots of local products. If you can only get to one of the nearby ancient sites, I personally preferred Epidavros.
Yes, Janet's info on finding the counter to buy the tickets is spot-on. I wandered around for 20 minutes before finding it. And again her description of Nafplio is good.
Yes, go to Nafplio for those first days before you meet the others. It's a beautiful town, good place to recover from jetlag, and you could probably get a tour or guide for nearby sights like Epidavrus and Mycenae.
Janet is a wonderful resource on this board for travelers to/in Greece.
Wonderful tips in this forum! My husband and I will be in Nafplio (traveling from Athens after flying in from Santorini) for 3 days/ 3 nights mid-October. Then returning to Athens to leave the next morning. (We'll see Athens at beginning of our Greek trip.) We want to see Mycenae and Epidavros while there. I came across a business called Daytrip that provides transportation from Athens airport to Nafplio and you can opt for side-stops like M. and E. That seemed like possibly and efficient way to work in both places en route -- one coming, other going. Does anyone know of this business? Or have recommendations of other ways to work in these side trips? I would rather not rent a car if we can avoid it. Thanks!
Kfree, it all depends on what you want to pay. If one has 2 days for this advance, one can take a bus VERY easily to Nafplio (read my earlier note) for 13.50 1 way per person. THen can rent a car IN Nafplio (for about 35E offseason) to get to Mycenae and Epidaurus eaisly in one day .... For a one-day excursion, you can use that Daytrip and have someone else do all the driving... however you do not say if you've investigated the cost. I would be very surprized if it were less than €400 per day from Athens & back. But if that's fine with your budget, go for it. You cannot ask for opinions without giving cost information, if you want the best advice. If you only have the ONE day from early morning until evening, then your only choice is such a service, no matter the cost.
Janet, thanks very much for your reply. I'm not familiar with this type of useful forum so am learning the best uses. I agree about your point re: providing budget info and will do that in the future. I had not investigated the cost of DayTrip but if your estimate is correct we will probably choose public transport.
Is driving around Nafplio/Mycaenae/Epidaurus stressful due to intense traffic? That is my only concern about renting a car. We do have enough days in Nafplio that we don't have to pack it all into one day.
to Kfree --- Driving around Nafplio is easy & unstressed. I'm quick to admit that I'm not the driver, but I have been Navigator/shotgun seat on at least 6 car situations, both driving from the Airport, and renting car in Nafplio. If you look at a map like this favorite of mine -- http://euro-map.com/karty-grecii/peloponnes/podrobnaya-turisticheskaya-karta-peloponnesa.jpg (click & it gets huge, & you navigate around via side-slides), you can see that the whole area is valleys... gently rolling hills, olive groves & citrus orchards SO bautiful, and smaller 2 lane-roads (with shoulders) ... and low traffic; I've done it in May & June, and no fuss no fret.
When u have booked a hotel, just e-mail & ask them to arrange a car for you, you can get one for about €40. I'd suggest that if you arrive at noon on day 1, you'll want to spend the rest of he day exploring the gorgeous Old Town -- if you are checked in to your hotel by 2, try to see the small & Good Arch. museum right on main square ... it closes at 3. Main reason, it gives good intro to the ancient history of Argolid. You could divide your sightseeing into 2 days -- One day, go early to MYCENAE (about 45 minutes away), get there by 9 & you'll beat the bus tours... when the crowds arrive, leave & go to ANCIENT NEMEA ... Open til 3, NO crowds ... in July 2020 they will have had the 8th "Modern Revival Nemean Games" so plenty of photos of exciting action, kids in Greek chitons, bare feet race-running. TIRYNS is directly ON the road from Argos to Nafplio, if you haven't had enough ruins! On another day, you can take yr car & drive up the BACK of the Palamidi Gibraltar-like "Rock" for amazing views... then go to EPIDAURUS. Again, every afternoon, stroll the town, take a siesta, do NOT miss the sunset at the Seafront... beats anything Santorini can offer, and NO crowds... just lovely canopied cafes with cushiony loveseats ... one sits and gazes in peace.
Janet, you are a one-woman gold mine! I've printed out all your recommendations for travel to Nafplio and enjoying it. I'm so glad we chose it! We will have been in Santorini before it so we'll see how the two compare. Sounds like we won't be disappointed anywhere!
Kfree, Happy that I could help! The best way that both you & Patsy could "pay it forward" for the advice you get on this Forum would be -- after you return home & recover a bit, post a short report labeled something like "Nafplio trip recap" and tell us what you liked best, what worked & what didn't. This helps everyone!