Hi again!! (and BTW I constantly complain bout TWO annoying features of Rsteve forum #1, the maximum length and #2, when one hits reply, the whole thread disappears so one must open another window to refer to previous posts -- Moderator, pay attention!).
Joy I appreciate your careful turnabout of the schedule, because of fear of Santorini crowds. however In OCtober this is not as severe as in high season, and you can find serenity by staying in Firostephani -- at the north edge of Fira, walkable to all its attractions, but totally bypassed by cruisers & tour busses. On the other hand, the turnabout schedule raises several concerns for me:
• Starting ATHENS sightseeing "full-bore" at 8 am Day #1 can be daunting! Exhausting! SO much walking Much easier to start on an Isle ... believe me! Ive done it both ways, even while younger its a challenge! Ask those who've done both.
• The business of getting back from Nafplio to the Airport-- whether by car or by KTEL bus + Metro (a hassle) in time for a mid-morning Naxos flight is too anxiety-making!!
•Doing Chat tour at end offers relaxation ; I dont often recommend tours, but this really works. Do think things over.
If you insist on the turnabout, her are my comments:
OCT 16 - I would recommend getting the 9:30 bus or at latest, 10:30 (arrival by 12, or 1).. and staying at a convenient sea-level hotel or Pension in Old Town (look at Omorfi Poli, Hotel Agamemmnon, Hotel Athena, Ippoliti) Reason I urge getting to Nafplio by 1 is that its museum (small, terrific! gives best overview of ancient civ in area) may close by 3 pm.
• OCT 17 - by saying "day excursion" I am guessing that you plan to rent a car locally for the day... GOOD idea. There used to be a local day-excursion thru a travel agency but no more... locals tell me that it's because most people who want guided tour come with one from Athens, or off a cruise ship. A great loss. But if you rent a car ( when you confirm your hotel booking, ask hotelier to arrange it beforehand so it will be at the door at 8 AM), you can get to Mycenae by 8:45 ... then and/or by 11 or noon go to Nemea, or to Epidaurus. Former v. certainly will close by 3... Maybe latter will be 5. Get the phone #s off internet, and have your Athens Hotel desk phone (spaking greek) and confirm operations hours -- advance planning avoids disappointment. Also check on hours of Palamidi -- You do NOT have to climb the 999 steps! U can do just what all invaders did... go up the back way! You eithr can drive or there's a "happy train" tour-thing @ €5 if it's still running in Oct... or do a taxi. Oct sunset is about 6:30, don't miss it at harbor one day ... or, there's a cute taverna on the Cove at Asine with fab view of water & sundown.
• OCT 18 - Now you confuse me! for 10/16 you say "bus." but for this date you say "drive." That implies an Athens rental and Airport drop-off. Alas, Joy, no can do. In most of Greece you cannot do one-way rentals without HUGE charge (that's because there aren't large daily interchange of cars in a network, even the biggies mostly charge because they have to SEND a car + 2 drivers to retrieve vehicle).. I think you could rather, on Oct 16, rent car at airport -- there's NO city driving, you go on Greece's most modern divided highway, without a single stop or turn until you exit for (lo-traffic) local road S. to Nafplio. SO easy -- i've done it with a first-time Southern-rural driver, in a rain-shower.
IF you do have a rental car from the airport, you will have to leave NAFPLIO super-early to make the flight to NAXOS -- the only flight that day is 10:40 AM (and it's a small plane so it fills up many weeks ahead; do not dawdle to book! ). Working backward, you must check in 1 hour ahead (= 9:40) it takes 2.5 hours driving time back to airport & you must figure 1/2 hour to turn in car, so u must start by 6:30 and watch the clock!
Do think, & heed voice of experience.