My wife and I will be flying from St. Louis to Athens, arriving Saturday, Oct. 15 (at 9:30 a.m.). We have two weeks, flying back out of Athens Saturday, Oct. 29. I'll give some background on us and our interests: We're in our late 20s/early 30s and both of us are avid photographers, love history and ancient sites, as well as hiking and the outdoors.
We will be renting a car to tour the Peloponnese, as well as visit Delphi and Meteora, before ending with a few days in Athens.
I've read Rick Steve's latest book as well as the Bradt Guide to the Peloponnese, and I've read through a lot of forum posts, and have gotten some great tips, particularly from Janet and StanBR (whose photos have been terrific).
We're getting an AirBnB rental for our days in Athens, but other accommodations we're leaving until later.
We'll basically make a large loop through the Peloponnese, up to Delphi and Meteora and back to Athens. One of the big questions is whether it would be better to head from the airport up to Meteora, or down to Nafplio.
We're hoping to do four nights in Nafplio (doing trips to Epidavros and Mycenae, possibly Nemea, and Corinth on the way from or to Athens, depending on how we structure the trip).
We'll have four nights in Athens (one of the Athens days we may do a day trip to Aegina or Hydra). We plan to do one night in Delphi and two nights in Meteora.
Other stops planned (or under serious consideration): One night in Mystras. One night in Olympia. We also are considering two nights in Dimitsana or Kardamyli to get a day of hiking in and a change of pace from the ancient sites. We've also heard from a friend (and read in the Bradt Guide) that Ancient Messene might be worth a visit after Mystras, but we will be visiting a lot of ancient sites, so we may leave it out.
Here's how it could play out doing a clockwise loop:
Saturday, 15-Oct: Arrive, rent car, drive to Corinth and on to Nafplio
Sunday, 16-Oct: Tour Epidavros
Monday, 17-Oct: Nafplio sites, chilling out
Tuesday, 18-Oct: Nafplio - Mycenae, Nemea
Wednesday, 19-Oct: Drive to Mystras early, tour site. Drive to Dimitsana
Thursday, 20-Oct: Hike/tour Dimitsana/Stemnitsa, visiting monasteries
Friday, 21-Oct: Drive to Olympia
Saturday, 22-Oct: Tour Olympia, drive to Delphi
Sunday, 23-Oct: Tour Delphi, leave for Meteora
Monday, 24-Oct: Tour Meteora
Tuesday, 25-Oct: Leave for Athens, return car
Wednesday, 26-Oct: ATH
Thursday, 27-Oct: ATH (maybe a day trip to Aegina or Hydra)
Friday, 28-Oct: ATH
Saturday, 29-Oct: fly home
The counter-clockwise option would mean an immediate drive to Meteora and doing everything in reverse, before heading to Athens for the final days.
Any advice about the trip would be much appreciated.