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Peloponnese Question

We are planning to visit Peloponnese from east to west -- 2 nights in Navplion , 2 nights in Monemvasia, and then 2 nights in Koita. How is the drive from Koita to Kardamyli? Is it a must-do since we are already there? Or something we can skip? We would do a day-trip -- don't have the time to stay in Kardamyli -- so, trying to figure out if we should just relax and spend the day in Koita or do the drive. Thanks!

Posted by
3363 posts

I strongly suggest that you do THREE nights in Nafplio, ONE in Monemvasia ... then 2 in Koita. Monemvasia is mainly for the experience of staying overnight in one of those castle-fortress type places. 2 nights, you'd be wondering what to do. By contrast, Nafplio is a Wonderland! In 5 days you'd not discover it all. Ancient sites are everywhere! On the drive from Athens, you can see Nemea... and if you don't fancy the crowds etc for Mycenae, another fabulous Iliad-era fortress, Tiryns, is just 2Km outside Nafplio. Have you used this site: http://www.visitnafplio.com/visitnafplio.com/Home.html -- check it out thoroughly befor u decide how to divide your days.

BTW, Interested in why you have chosen Koita (kita), is it mainly because of that boutique hotel ther??http://www.smallhotelsingreece.com/hotels/peloponnese-and-kythira/citta-dei-nicliani
Or do u plan to drive around Mani, looking at its any medieval towers?
On this superb map http://www.esperides.gr/images/peloponissos_esperides.jpg (click &it gets huuuge) it looks as if you would be IF u are driving back thru Sparta ... if so, Mystras is much closer than Kardymyl.

Posted by
15 posts

Hi Janet -- thanks so much for your post! We arrive from the islands super early on the day we drive to Navplion. So, our plan was to visit Corinth, Mycanae, Epidavros, Nemea, etc on the way. I wasn't aware of Tiyrns, so will take a look and the website you sent. We can't check into our hotel until 4 that day, so were hoping to take our time on the drive and see all the surrounding sites. My plan for the second day was to stay in Navplion and follow Rick's walking tour/see the fort/soak in Navplion.

The following day, we were thinking of taking the mountain/coast route via Leonidio/Kosmas to Monemvasia. It looks like this drive is about 3.5-4 hours, so I did't want to just do another long drive the next day or have to check out of a hotel at noonish. So, was planning on taking it easy by checking out Monemvasia during the day and maybe go to Elafonisos Island in the afternoon. Do you still think this is overkill?

The next morning, drive to Kita and see the sites along the way -- and yes, stay in the boutique hotel you mentioned. It has really great reviews and the prices were super reasonable...nice quiet/beautiful place to relax for 2 nights. We were thinking of taking some time the next afternoon and driving around Mani (towards the west, since we would have come from the east). I was trying to figure out how far west we should plan on going and what some of the sites were -- I will take a look at the map you sent.

Finally, the day we return to Athens, we would stop at Sparta and Mystras.

Thoughts?
Priya

Posted by
3363 posts

My thoughts? That you should take a v. good look at that excellent online Map which I provided (heres the link again) http://www.esperides.gr/images/peloponissos_esperides.jpg, & really LOOK at the location of the Argolid places you named, plus, check a couple of guidebooks and comments about them. And ALSO use the michelin driveplanner site to get realistic drive times between places: http://www.viamichelin.com Driving in Greece is NOT like driving in Eastern US, not even like driving in Western US. Don't count on more than 30-35 MPH after you get off the biggie highways.

First (and look at the map) you cannot do FOUR things en route to Nafplio... Epidaurus is way the H___ off on the other side. Even doing 3, you may be be tired & Cranky, and parents would be double-cranky. You want to get to Nafplio by 4 or so, not exhausted, able to check in, refresh, go down to the seafront promenade to relax, and enjoy the BEST sunset in Greece. Any other plan is just trying to "notch your belt." checking things off your list. My thoughts:

•CORINTH CANAL -- worth It! Jump off big highway at ISTHMUS/ISTHMIA. If u stay on big Interstate highway you can't really see the realllly narrow, reallly deep canal. Park, walk onto Old Bridge, Gasp, take pix, zoom back onto Big Road.

•ANCIENT CORINTH ??? Be sure you want to do this, and not just check it off list. Are any of you ancient history majors, arch. experts or Byzantine specialists? Otherwise, Ancient Corinth is a pile of ruins not well-signed, somewhat puzzling. And the high peak --Akrocorinth has great views but ruins are all medieval. This stop may disappoint.

•NEMEA -- over the canal just 12-15 miles along, Nemea is just 4-5 Km off to the RIGHT ... very worth it! Authenticallly, carefully excavated, repaired by U Cal Berkeley, museum, temple columns. FAB stadium. A real treat!! And in the little village of Nemea, right on main street is a WInery (big tank out back!) where u can see bottle-labeling line, sip some samples, leave w. modest-price bottles of Nemean Red (my alltime Greece fave). Back to biggie highway, and jump off the other side at exit leading to Mycenae, Tiryns, Athens.

•MYCENAE -- Test your party's energy level before deciding if to stop en-route. If so, this is LAST stop until Nafplio.

OTHER SIGHTS -- After a day in Nafplio, you may want to take another day to see more. Tiryns is just outside Nafplio on road back toward Mycenae, u can see it in 30 minutes ... then use Map to go to EPIDAURUS, on E. Side of the "thumb" of Peloponnese. Halfway there, look to left for Arkadilo Bridge -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkadiko_Bridge -- World's oldes Bridge in Continuing Use. Sometimes we stop there for a picnic. Going back to Nafplio from Epidaurus, if it's a HOT day & you want a BEACH, look for the Beach by ASINE, just off the road... KASTRAKI. There's a fish taverna there for a lovely sunset meal.

LAST-DAY DRIVE back to ATHENS -- a stop at Mystras could take 3-4 hours depending on interest & energy; it's at 2 levels. If some in party have less stamina you should start at top, have 1 person drive car to bottom so u don't have to go back uphill. Dont allot any time to Sparta, nothing to see here, a modern city (anything of interest is below the existing buildings & Greeks don't like giving up their homes for sake of archeologists; same problem with Argos -- which is he world's oldest continuously-occupied city, but you'd never know it.