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September itinerary help needed

We are going on a small boat cruise from Athens to Dubrovnik in late September with stops at Hydra, Nafplio, Corfu, And Lefkada. The tour goes through the Corinth Canal.
We arrive in Athens early on Friday for a late Sunday departure. After the cruise we are returning to Athens and will go to Santorini and, I believe, Naxos. Either before the cruise or after the islands I want to spend two nights in Athens. Considering what we will have visited, if we add another 3 nights what sites of the Peloponnese make sense? Delphi, more time at Nafplio? Other?
Also, should we do Athens first or use those first one or two days to get out to the Peloponnese?
I assume I should spend the night before the cruise in Athens.
I would very much appreciate any suggestions or comments.

Posted by
12 posts

We did a road trip on the Peloponnese, Santorini, Naxos and Athens. By far, my favorite part of the trip was the Peloponnese.

You don't mention how long your stop will be at Nafplion. We used that as a base to see Epidavors and Mycenae in a day. We also did Nemea (sister games to Olympia and a couple of neat sites, great wine!) The town of Nafplion itself is really interesting. We used Nafplion as a base and Kardamyli and a base for sites in that area

Have a great trip!

Posted by
57 posts

Thank you so much. I am considering how to work all of this in. I have heard so many good things about Naxos, but with the stops at the islands on the cruise, I have to consider whether 8 should shorten item there for more of the Peloponnese. Obviously I’d like to do it all!

Posted by
12 posts

I am by no means an expert but I have read and researched a lot. What I have learned from that and from my own experience is that less is more. I started out wanting to fit way to much in the 17 days that we had. On the Peloponnese we visited:
Nafplion (Corinth, Epidavros, Mycenae, Nemea, sites of Nafplion) 3 nights
Monemvassia - 1 night
Karamyli - 3 nights
Mystras - 1 night
Santorini - 4 nights (too many. Far too touristed)
Naxos - 2 nights (not enough)
Athens - 2 nights

In May/June this year - we are doing a different trip:
Milos - 3 nights
Sifnos - 4 nights
Paros - 2 nights
Meteora area - 3 nights
Delphi - 1 night
Galaxidi - 2 nights
Sounion - 1 night

I hear that Delphi is very much worth the trip and if you have the time, Meteora/Delphi combo is also excellent but Meteora is about a 5 hour drive from Athens. You'd need a few days to do this combo.

Our Next trips would certainly focus on Northern and Western Greece and Crete. "Next trips?" you ask? Absolutely.Can't help it! Don't worry about trying to fit everything in. Greece has a way of getting under your skin and you'll be back,

Posted by
5659 posts

Our Peloponnese trip 2 years ago (by rental car) took over a week, then finished in Athens. Napflio was an outstanding place to stay for 2 nights, visiting the must-see ancient Nemea, Epidavros, and Mycenae sites, as well as the tremendous outdoor market in Napflio itself. Didn’t have time to hike the 999 steps up to its fortress.

Monemvasia made for a wonderful overnight stay and early-morning hike up the hill to the fortress ruins, but it’s far enough away from Napflio that it might be tough to fit in with just 3 bonus days.

Delphi might require making another decision, as it’s on the mainland west of Athens, not exactly convenient if you’re spending just 3 days on the Peloponnese. The ancient Delphi sights and its museum just up the road are truly worthwhile, although we didn’t care too much for the small modern town of Delphi, a mile away. If you make it to the Delphi area, stay a bit west, in superior Galaxidi. We had one great night there, and one night staying in modern Delphi, and Galaxidi won, hands down. On our next Greece trip, we plan to stay at least 3 nights in Galaxidi.

Posted by
2805 posts

How many days will the cruise be in Nafplio? Will you be seeing any of the nearby sites (Epidaurus, Mycenae) while there?
I think you would either go west to the Peloponnse or north to Delphi. Meteora is even further. How many max days do you have to work with, and what are you most interested in seeing?

Posted by
57 posts

Thank you, everyone.
We are interested in ancient sites, beautiful scenery, and interesting experiences about Greek culture.
On the cruise we will have time to do a bit of Napflio, but I fear not enough. I am considering getting to Napflio first, seeing Mycenae and Epidavros. We will get back there on the cruise when we can spend more time in the town. We will go to Athens to sightsee, then board the ship, and go off to see Hydra, Corfu, Lefkada, Parga. Returning from that we will go to Santorini for three nights, maybe get two nights at another spot like Naxos, and finish with three days back on the mainland to see Delphi and Meteora.
It sounds like a lot, doesn’t it?

Posted by
2805 posts

I am not sure I have a grasp of the days, but yes it is kind of alot!
Three days would be the minimum for Delphi and Meteora--then you have to be back in Athens for a night before departure, right? Would you be driving?

Posted by
57 posts

Thank you all.
I am about to finalize this. I have been obsessing about my after-cruise time, which is not sufficient for all I want to do. A return trip to do Crete, Rhodes, Monemvasia, Naxos, Mílos as a start is required.
We will leave our cruise, which would have visited the islands mentioned above and ended in Dubrovnik on Sunday. I am planning to stay there one night, 2 nights in Santorini, one in Delphi, one at Meteora, and one in Athens.
Two questions...
Should I have replaced Delphi with a ferry to another island, like Mílos or Naxos for a one-night stand. Hardly ideal, I know, but a chance to balance out the too-busy Santorini experience.

After our Meteora/ Delphi part I am having us drive back to the airport, drop off our car, get back to Athens for a late afternoon and evening, and flying out at 2:30 the following day. I would have more time in Meteora/Delphi if I went directly from Delphi the day of our departure but I assume that even though it is only 2-3 hours away that I should be in Athens the day before we leave. Could someone give me feedback on that as well.
Thank you!

Posted by
5659 posts

The ancient sites of Delphi, the oracle location and its sacred way, and the temple site down the road, are historically significant places, and worth seeing if you’re anywhere in the “neighborhood” (Greece). So go, and your trip will be better for it.

As for being in Athens your last night, if your plan was to just arrive at the airport on decent roads at a time of year when weather wouldn’t likely cause road delays, then drop off your rental car and walk to your check-in, then there’s no need to be in Athens that last night. If you had more Athens agenda to complete before you headed home from Greece, then go to Athens for your last night, so you can see those last sights, have that last Athens meal, etc.