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Itinerary Review Athens Naxos Nafplio Meteroa

My husband and I are travelling to Greece for our 30th anniversary first 2 weeks in July. I have done a lot of research through this forum, other websites and travel guides to come up with an itinerary. I would appreciate any feedback on issues that I may not have thought of. I am striving for a very efficient itinerary to get as much out of our vacation as possible with minimum stress! Here is what I have:

Flight from Toronto to Athens arriving 9:20am; Then sameday flight to Naxos (I know there is a flight at 4:00 but wandering if there is a sooner flight)

Naxos - 5 nts.

Flight back to Athens and pick up car

Nafplio - 5 nts - maybe break it up Nafplio - 3 nts; Mani peninsula (including Monemvasia) - 2 nts

Drop off car in Athens

Athens - 3 nts

Meteora - 1 night (travel by train; do afternoon tour on day of arrival and morning hike on day of departure)

Athens - 1 night before flight home the next day at 12:00pm

Please let me know what you think. I will be booking flights and accommodation this week. Thanks very much in advance!!

Posted by
741 posts

For the most part it looks good. The only issue I have is going to Meteora. You'll be in Athens for 3 nights, leave for Meteora for 1 inight then return to Athens for 1 night.

That's a bit of extra travel at the end of the trip which involves unpacking/packing, checking in/out, get to train station, travel by train, pack up again, travel by train to Athens, checking in, unpacking, etc. Plus it looks like you'll be cramming a lot of activity in Meteora for the short amount of time you'll be there.

I would add 1 more night to Nafplio/Mani because there is far more to do there, especially the Mani which is a large area filled with wonders.

I would finish the end of the trip with staying in Athens rather than breaking it up with a stay in Meteora.

Posted by
2416 posts

Re Meteora -- i f the OP is dead-set on seeing monasteries on pinnacles, at least doing the train thing simplifies it, rather than car rental ... and it can be simpler still if they they just take a simple shoulder bag with overnight things, and stow their biggie suitcases in the hotel's secure luggage room ... with advance arrangement they can arrange for a "skipped night" (hotels are used to that, happens all the time due to excursions), and not do their final check-out until end of trip. ... of course their final night probably will be in a different room.

Re: flight to Naxos: if arriving 9:30, OP can't understand why no flight to Naxos at around mid-day, maybe 12:30 - 1pm. If they are asking US about why no flight, how can we help when they don't give the exact arrival date? We are experienced, but not mind-readers! A tip -- if you are only looking at Aegean/Olympic, did y ou also look at Sky Express? They are now a realiable 2nd option, with same model of plane... just be sure to book the "Plus" level of ticket which allows a checked bag.

Posted by
9 posts

Tommyk5, I think you are right, Meteroa may be a no-go because of the travel time involved. Really wanted to see the monasteries but may have to come back to Greece to see them! A poster on another thread I started (valadelphia) suggested Dimitsana that has 1 monasterry similar to the ones in Meteroa in a great little town. So I think I will 1 add one more day in the Pelponnese to explore this town. Thank you for your feedback.

Janet, I did give you my arrival time which is 9:20 am and was just wondering if anyone know of an earlier flight that we would be able to catch.

Posted by
742 posts

I just did a search for flights Athens to Naxos. I randomly chose July 8. Aegean has a flight at 10:45 which might be a little tight for a 9:30 arrival. Sky Express has a flight at 12:30. Thats perfect for you. You are in high season and those aircraft hold only 50 people and get booked up fast.

If it were I and Meteora was a must do I would keep the car after Nafplio and drive to Meteora. That will be a good 6 to 7 hour drive. You will need to overnight in Meteora. That will cut a day out of Athens which may not be ideal but thats your best way to see Meteora.

Delphi and Meteora
Nafplio and Peloponnese
Corinth area sights

Posted by
1508 posts

I still think Stemnitsana/Dimitsana is the way to go, but if you want to do Meteora, I'd just keep the car and go after Nafplio.

Posted by
741 posts

I would never discourage anyone from going somewhere if their heart was set on it. I was just showing the time needed and hassle of an overnight in Meteora and everything involved with it. I've never been to Meteora, have considered it, but felt it was out of the way for my usual itinerary and schedule for Greece. It definitely looks quite spectacular and if I'd go it would be combined with Delphi.

However if it's a place you feel you have to go to and can deal with what's involved with travel to/from it by all means go for it!

On the other hand it would be something to look forward to for your next trip to Greece. If you go once to Greece more than likely you'll go back. The Greek "Bug" is quite contagious!

Posted by
9 posts

Don't worry Tommyk5 you did not twist my arm. I am just happy for the feedback and will consider everyone's comments in making a decision (which will be hard!!).

Thanks again.

Posted by
481 posts

Check your train schedule to Meteora. We looked into it and found it got in too late to make much of the rest of the day. We ended up driving from Athens and are glad we did (we could drive from monastery to monastery, stay outside of the main town of Kalambaka, and tour up into the hills around Kalambaka).

We also stayed for 1 night. It was enjoyable, but we wish we would have done 2 nights. Next time.

Posted by
742 posts

Just to add to darrens comment the village of Kastraki is nestled at the foot of the Monastery mountains. When we we went out on our hotel balcony we could see three of the Monasteries up in the mountains. I would certainly suggest you look for a hotel in Kastraki. Because of its proximity you can get up to the Monasteries before all the tour buses from Kalembeka arrive.

Posted by
9 posts

I looked up the train schedule and there is a 7:20 train from Athens getting in at 11:30 am into Kalabaka. So we would have the afternoon/evening and the next morning. I prefer the train because it's more relaxing. I also don't want to tour the sites by car because of all congestion caused by the tour buses and others travelling by car. Again, this part of the itinerary may have to wait until the next time we visit Greece!

I really appreciate everyone's input. Thank you.

Posted by
4 posts

Has anyone here taken the train from Athens to Meteora? I am considering it for a 2 night stay. I plan to drop my rental car in Athens and then go to Meteora, before returning by train to Athens for a few more days in Greece. I am traveling with my son, and I will be the only driver, so I thought the train might make it a little easier on me.

I have a few questions about the train and route, but will wait to ask them, to confirm someone has made this trip.

Posted by
9 posts

Erin, you should start a new discussion thread with your question. Otherwise you will not receive a notification of a reply but I will.

I have done the research and I know there is a train to Meteroa Kalampaka early in the morning. You can look up the train schedule for exact times.