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Meteora or Mystra?

We are looking for some advice on how to spend our last 2 nights in Greece (July 7th-9th). We will be staying in Napflio on July 6th and leaving from Athens Airport on a 7:30 PM flight (assume we need to be there by 5 PM). We will have a car.

At first, we thought we would head to Mystra, etc., but just started looking at Meteora and wondering if we could do that instead. Any suggestions, including hotels and restaurants, are appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

Posted by
43 posts

While Meteora is an incredible experience it is at least a 5 hour drive from Napflio. 10 hours in the car sounds like a way too much time for your last two days.....Besides I would not want to be 5 hours drive from the airport on my day of departure. I would stick with Napflio for your last couple days and do some exploring in the area. While I was never impressed with Mystra, I believe I am in the minority with my impressions. You could also head up to Delphi for your last night..... that is one of my favorite places in Greece.

Posted by
1073 posts

FWIW, we did the drive to Meteora for just two nights, albeit from Athens, not Nafplio. The drive was an interesting part of the experience.

Meteora is a magical place, not to be missed. For hotel, we stayed at Doupiani House and loved it, right under the cliffs (https://www.doupianihouse.gr/).

Even though we had a car, we used Visit Meteora for a guided tour around the monasteries and village. Wonderful tour with guides who really care about their place (https://visitmeteora.travel/). We did then go on our own tour with the car in the hills around Kalambaka, and it was fantastic.

Posted by
88 posts

IMHO Meteora is way cooler than Mystras but that is a lot of driving so you would have to decide if it’s worth it. I concur with the other post that suggests driving to Meteora, spending the night, spend most of the day there, and then head to Delphi for the second night. Delphi is enchanting at dusk and after the big bus tours leave, and you’d have time to see the sites before having to leave for the airport on departure day.

Posted by
391 posts

This is a highly personal decision imo.

Meteora is excellent and unforgettable but you will be sacrificing a sizeable portion of your last 2 days to the highway

Posted by
1666 posts

We haven't visited Meteora so I can't comment on that. We did visit Mystras last May, and I absolutely love it. I would love to return. I think it's spectacular. I love the location on the mountain and all the churches and monasteries with ancient wall paintings, ruins of ancient tile floors, beautiful flowers, etc.

Posted by
11368 posts

The one place our Greek friends told us not to miss was Mystras. We are so glad we spent time there. It is a Byzantine town, different from all the Ancient Greek sites you will be seeing.

Posted by
1176 posts

I've been to Mystras and it is indeed lovely.

Beautiful location with many of the churches being restored but everything else is in various states of ruin.

You can park down below and walk uphill and even though there are "lanes" with cobbled stones it's basically mountain climbing and many of the cobblestone paths have eroded over time so it can be a bit tricky. Wear good hiking shoes.

You can take a bus to the top and then walk down hill which will be easier but I liked walking uphill.

I haven't been to Meteora and it does look beautiful but it's a long drive from Nafplio and it will consists of more time driving to/from Meteora than at the site.

Have you considered Ancient Corinth which is very close to Nafplio? Beautiful site and easy to get to and return.

There is a huge selection of accommodations and tavernas in Nafplio so you should have no problem finding something albeit July will be very busy and filled with tourists.

There is a huge amount of archeological/historic sites in and near Nafplio to keep you occupied and thrilled rather than driving long distances even to Mystras.

It sounds like you will be driving from Nafplio to Athens on the same day your flight leaves.

Most experienced travelers recommend getting back to Athens at least one day before your flight in case of any delays or traffic problems along the route.

Posted by
1 posts

Because you are staying in Nafplio I would recommend staying on the Peloponnese, you could either travel down to Monemvasia which is a wonderful destination. You could then pass through Mystras and spend a little time in the Mani Peninsula It's an absolutely beautiful place and you have so much to see or do - or if you prefer you could just go to somewhere like Kardamyli which has both a beautiful old town to explore and a nice village to relax in. I think this is a better option than Mereota (not that it isn't a wonderful place to visit because it is I just think you would get more out of your time if you stayed within the Peloponnese xx

Posted by
280 posts

We too loved Mystras very much. We too wanted to go to Meteora but decided against it due to the drive. For us it was a wise choice given how much traveling we were doing. and we have no regrets. We hope to someday go to Meteora.