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Itnerary feedback on a first visit to Greece. Please!

My daughter and I are going to Greece in May. We are starting with the Greek Islands of Mykonis, Naxos and Santorini. We will then fly into Athens at 9:30am and pick up a car at the airport.
Day 1 - pick up car and drive to Delphi. If there is time sightsee the ruins and spend the night in Delphi or Galixidi
Day 2 - sightsee ruins in the morning if we did not see them yesterday the drive to Olympia. Overnight in Olympia
Day 3 - sightsee Olympia and drive to Gialova for a little beach time in the afternoon and overnight in Gialova.
Day 4 - Drive to Kardamyli and sightsee, hike and beach. Over night in Kardamyli
Day 5 - Kardamyli
Day 6 - drive to Monemvasia via the Caves of Diros
Day 7 - Monemvasia
Day 8 - drive the scenic route from Monemvasia to Nafplio and overnight in Nafplio
Day 9 - Drive back to Athens airport to drop of the car with a stop at Epidavros
Day 10 - 13 Athens and fly home on Day 14
Should we take a day away from our Island hopping and spend another day in Nafplio? That would make a 10 day car rental. Thanks everyone for any ideas!

Posted by
388 posts

It looks like you have a lot planned in this time. First, if you leave early on Day 10, you'll have most of a day in Athens already so you might be able to trim a day off and put it somewhere else like Monemvasia, or Nafplion. Most of the major sites in Athens can be easily seen in 1.5 days. Additionally, Kardamyli has nice beaches as well as does Mykonos, Naxos and Santorini, so you may not need to stay in Gialova freeing up another night for somewhere else.

Second, to get an idea how long you will be en route, use Google maps to see what the driving times and directions will be like. If a route takes about 3 hours driving, estimate at least 5 hours or more en route, especially since you will be doing site seeing along the way as well. As for the cities you have chosen, I think they are well worth your time. If you can get in that extra day in Napflion, then try to see Mycenae and Epidavros as well since they are so close and easily done as a day trip with a car. If you limit yourself on Athens, you might be able to also fit in Ancient Corinth and the Acrocorinth on the way back to Athens from Nafplion.

These are just suggestions but I hope this helps some.

Posted by
1305 posts

A few years ago we did the reverse route but here are a few comments based on our experience:
1)We drove from Kardamyli to Olympia and visited the ruins that same day. We spent two nights in Kardamyli and felt one would have been enough.

2)If you have time, between Monemvasia and Nafplio is Mystras, another worthwhile sight.
3)Agree that you could really spend more time in Nafplio. The town itself is interesting and there are many nearby sights to see. Maybe cutting your night in Gialova could add one night to Nafplio.

4)Also agree that you probably don't need that much time in Athens. We spent three nights there, about 2.5 days, and we saw all the major sights and many of the minor sites and we did it all on foot.

5)We can also recommend Ancient Corinth and the Acrocorinth. You could also stop at the lookout for the Corinth Canal which is a great sight! We spent the night in Loutraki when we visited those sights. If you want to take one night from Athens you could add one night to Loutraki. This would give you time to visit the Corinth sights without rushing and Loutraki also has a nice beach.

You didn't say how much time you are spending on the islands so it's hard to say if you should take any time from that part of your trip.

Hope this information is helpful. We loved our trip to Greece and hope you will, too.

Posted by
4535 posts

Carol has good suggestions - I personally loved Mystras which is just outside Sparta (a modern city not much worth seeing). Mystras was a major Byzantine city that was abandoned and feels a bit like Pompeii now. But Monemvasia will be similar (without as many ruins). I also agree that an extra night in Nafplio might be nice. It's a really great small city and the nicest city you'll probably stay in on the mainland.

Your travel times all work with plenty of time to see the sites at each place. I've done much of this route and it is pretty efficient.

Be sure that ALL drivers MUST have an International Drivers Permit. It is the law and the rental agencies do ask.

Posted by
32 posts

Thanks so much. We have 3 nights Santorini, 3 nights Naxos and 3 nights Mykonis for the Islands. Taking in ferry/and or air travel times it leaves about 2 days on each Island. With that amount of layback time I agree we can probably take out Gialova and add another night in Nafplio. I have looked at time in travel on the road with rome2rio, but thanks for the heads up on adding more time to each trip. We do enjoy hiking, my daughter is in her mid 30 and I am in my mid 60. So I do my best to keep up with her! I guess what I'm saying is I would like a good mix, of sightseeing, beach time and hiking without to much pedal to the metal so to speak.

Posted by
1305 posts

We also spent time on Naxos and Santorini. We took a day trip from Naxos to the archaeological island of Delos and as part of the trip spent about 3 hours on Mykonos. To be truthful, we didn't think much of it. It might be because we spent such a short time there and didn't walk much past the harbor. Also, we were tired from our hiking on Delos. But we loved Naxos (5 nights) and Santorini (4 nights). On each island we rented a car for one day and drove around the island visiting small towns and other sites. Whatever your choices, you will have a beautiful time!

Posted by
16 posts

Hello ,
I've recently returned from 2 weeks in beautiful Greece & these are my thoughts ..
Slow down a little bit , I think you'll be spending most of your time on the move . Airports , ferries , getting to & from them , etc .. is not a very enjoyable way to spend your trip (or your money) .
Kardamyli is a great place to just relax , live like a local , & is ideally located for day tripping .
So is Nafplio .
So is Delphi .
The time & cost of island hopping would be better spent with more time to spend on each island.
Just my thoughts.

Posted by
33 posts

I just returned from 10 days in Greece - 3 nights Athens, 2 nights Naxos, and 4 in Santorini. Each was special. My husband's favorite is Naxos. The Korali Boutique hotel is completely remodeled and close to old town and the beach. Very reasonable. Do not confuse with their other Korali property as it needs renovating!

Posted by
255 posts

I would recommend getting to Delfi and Olympia with enough time to tour the museum at the archeological site. That will give you a good overview and you will understand the ruins in context.