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Peloponnesus and islands - can we do it in one trip?

We are looking into a 12/14 day trip next June for three (one DD, 9). It is hard to winnow! Except for a trip to Crete, I have not been anywhere else in Greece. Of course we’d like see Athens and have friends there, so minimum two-three days, I assume? Next I’m very drawn to Napflio and hitting Epidaurus and Mycenae, another two or three nights? Then Monemvasia for one night? I know it’s a bit of a drive but it sounds like my kind of place. Not sure how or where to fit in Delphi or Hydra, but I am intrigued by both. I would also like to do other islands and as a first timer was thinking of Cyclades. Perhaps a flight to Santorini for a night or two. I know it’s busy but I still have it in my head as bucket list. If I can carve out more time, where else should we consider? Mykonos would a no for us. We are not lay on the beach types. So while might to choose to take a dip here and there, I’m more interested in towns, sights, or walking around rather than “best beaches.” Naxos seems to be a crowd pleaser and Folegandros sounds good too. Thanks for any tips!

Posted by
11368 posts

Skip Hydra and Santorini. Mykonos is better than Santorini but Paros or Naxos would be even better. I don’t understand your comment on Mykonos, lay on the beach?? Regardless, skip it.
Napflion is my favorite place, near to Epidavros, the Mycenae. Charming town center.
Delphi is so amazing.
Discover the real Greece.

Posted by
2150 posts

The answer is yes, you can do the Peloponnese & a couple of islands. Many people on this forum have structured a trip like this:
Fly immediately to Santorini after arriving in Athens. Allow a couple of hours between flights if they’re not on the same ticket.
Spend 3 nights on Santorini. Then ferry to Naxos for 4 nights; fly back to Athens, pick up car, drive to Napflio & explore Peloponnese for 4 nights, return car & spend last 2-3 nights in Athens.

Try doing a search of this forum for Greek trip reports & you should find lots of helpful hints.

Posted by
2066 posts

Since you would like to go to Nafplio then Monemvasia there is one island that is obvious and on your way, it is the island of Kythira.

Having already visited a dozen Greek islands we loved Kythira. Lots of things to see and do, few tourists (in June), sometimes a Cycladic feel. Beaches, mountains, valleys, forests, hikes, lots of authentic villages and taverns.

Here is (roughly) the first part of the trip we did last year.

  • Arrival in Athens, pickup car rental

  • Athens → Nafplio

  • Nafplio → Monemvasia via Leonidio by the coast.
    (you can spend a night somewhere between Nafplio and Monemvasia, for example in Leonidio)

  • Monemvasia → Neapoli (1 hour drive) to take the ferry to Kythira

  • Neapoli → Kythira by ferry, 1h15 crossing with Triton ferries - (total cost 2 passengers + 1 car: €70)

  • 6 nights on Kythira

What you can do next depends on how much time you have left, either you return to Athens or you can continue your trip for a few days in the Peloponese.

It's up to you to determine the number of nights in each location.

3 nights in Nafplio to visit the city + Epidaurus + Mycenae

1 night (or not) between Nafplio and Monemvasia

1 night in Monemvasia would be enough in my opinion, there is not much to do and see apart from Monemvasia itself, although photogenic, is very touristy without any real inhabitants or local life.

A member of this forum to whom I recommended Kythira is there at the moment, just sent me a message this morning:

"I’m sitting on my balcony in Kapsali having yogurt, fruit and coffee breakfast looking out over the harbor/beach/sea on another beautiful sunny morning. Everything is wonderful : )"

Ferry to Kythira:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/UfPCUAL46sWP2sau7

Some pictures:

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Ez7wWiY52shNsBNP8

Posted by
11368 posts

Our first trip to Greece was four weeks long and we did Athens, Nafplion and surrounding areas of Mycenae and Epidavros, Crete ( two full weeks) , Mykonos, Santorini, Paros, Delphi. So if you delete Crete and a few islands you’ll see it can be done. Future trips to Greece for us will not include Santorini nor Mykonos.

We never felt rushed. Second trip was to Greece was focused on the Dodecanese, Rhodes, etc.