Please sign in to post.

Suggestions for Peloponnese Itinerary

Could anyone familiar with the area please help me decide on an itinerary for a family group of 12 - all adults ages 21-75. We are interested in history, beautiful scenery and unique locales.

We have 7 days (including arrival/departure days) to spend in Peloponnese.

I am struggling whether we have time to cover the Nafplio area, and Monemvasia and Deep Mani. Or should we limit our plans to two of these three areas? I am considering:

Day 1 - arrive ATH drive to Nafplio for night
Day 2 - Hydra sleep in Nafplio
Day 3 - Mycenae + Eupidauros sleep in Nafplio
Day 4 - Stop in Mystras - Monemvasia for night
Day 5 - Drive to Pyrgis Dhirou caves - Gerolimenas for night
Day 6 - Drive Deep Mani - Gerolimenas for night
Day 7 - Drive back to ATH in AM.

I know this itinerary requires us to drive at least three hours on Days 4,5,6 and 7. Given that both Monemvasia and Deep Mani are rather remote, it seems unavoidable if we ever want to see them.

Does this look doable? Would you recommend I drop either Deep Mani or Monemvasia and divide my time between Nafplio and one of them?

(We will have a large van with driver, so I hope we won’t have to struggle with the driving, parking, etc.)

Posted by
935 posts

There's a lot to do in and near Nafplio without having to drive long distances.

The other option is to split your time between Nafplio and the Mani, maybe in Gythio to avoid long distance driving.

Here's the best website for Nafplio where you'll find a huge assortment of things to do, see and experience.

https://www.visitnafplio.com/

Posted by
284 posts

We just did the Peloponnese in October 2021.
After 1 week in the islands we did the following:
Day 1 - drive to Nafplio (Amfritti Palazo hotel great view of city)
Day 2 - Mycenae + Eupidauros
Day 3 - Tolo Beach for the day
Day 4 - Drive to Monemvasia
Day 5 - Drive to Neapoli down the Cape Maleas Peninsula which I think may be comparable to Mani (you can see Mani in the distance) including the caves of Kastanea
Day 6 - Explore Monemvasia area
Day 7 Drive back to Athens for 3 nights in city

Similar to your iternerary... I had big plans to drive the Mani Peninsula on Day 6, after all it is one of the world's great drives. But after driving from Nafplio to Monemvasia, and Monemvasia to Neopoli and back, I was spent (and I still had to drive back to Athens!!). The views are spectacular but the driving is intense. I hate to say it, but with limited time I think you should choose one, slow down and really savor it. Even with a driver, that seems to be alot in a short time and Monemvasia deserves more than just a glance. If you do decide to see both, I'd love to hear your thoughts of the two....

Edit - By "one" I mean Monemvavia or Mani. Nafplio is a given.....

Posted by
15 posts

Jimmy666, thanks. Your thoughts are incredibly helpful. Was there anything your particularly enjoyed in Monemvasia?

Posted by
284 posts

lwhitten, We stayed at the Malvasia Hotel, and our room was at the far edge of town, so the views were insanely beautiful. Exploring the old and new towns was cool. Watching the sunrise with nobody else around was special. It's a very unique spot, but we probably could have done 2 nights instead of 3. I feel like if we had just 2 more nights in the Peloponnese, we could have done Mani too, but it is really hard to do anything fast down there. Your large group complicates things a little too, just the logistics of 12 people can be tough. The Mani drive is considered one of the world's best drives per National Geographic. It was a tough choice to leave without doing it.. Good luck!!! When are you going???

Posted by
964 posts

I have responded on Tripadviser but am posting my reply here also.
Its good you have a van and driver which is really important because there is no way you could possibly start this trip driving while jet lagged.

My thoughts.
Your Tripadviser post has a slightly different plan. Day 1 was Mycaenea and Nafplio, Day 2 was Epidavros and Nafplio and day 3 was Hydra.
With that plan my comments were: Day 1 and 2 are fine. Just enough activity allowing for some recovery time.
Day 3. You are doing a Peloponnese/Mani trip. Using a day to go to Hydra is a loss of focus. Nafplio feels like a Greek island because its on the seashore. Use your time in Nafplio as your island time.
Be sure that you find a hotel in Nafplio in the old town area. Its magical wandering around the old town particularly the main square in the evening.
While just on the edge of the old town look at Hotel Agamemnon. Its the only hotel right on the sea front by the waterfront promenade.

So back to day 3. This is when you want to drive to Sparti and Mystras. You need a minimum of 3 perhaps 4 hours to do Monemvassia. Have your driver take you to the top and work your way down. The driver will meet you at the bottom of the site. Be sure to bring snacks and water with you.

Drive to Monemvassia. You asked if anything you particularly enjoyed in Monemvasia?
Monemvassia is called the Gibralter of Greece. Its a massive rock formation on an island (joined by a causeway). It is a walled town and the moment you walk through the bullet scarred main gate you know you are experiencing something very special. The main street is cobblestone and just wide enough for two donkeys to pass. The hotels are actually restored period rooms in 14th century buildings spread out through the village. Your imagination will sore in Monemvassia.
Even our Greek friends love going there, one of them said when you are in Monemvassia you just want to play pirate.

The level above the village was a fortress. It was heavily bombed in ww2 but is still an impressive place. You will not regret dropping Hydra and adding a second day to Monemvassia.

Next day doing Dyros caves and down to Gerolimenas is doable.

For day 6 you do not have to return to Gerolimenas for the night. The Mani should be done as a circle route so you will follow the coast going north. Don't miss the abandoned tower house village of Vathey. We spent a good 2 hours wandering around this amazing place.

You should be able to spend that night in Githio or perhaps Sparti. This will mean you will have a much shorter drive back to Athens on your last day. I am going to suggest that you use that extra time to make a stop in Corinth on the way back. Corinth has some great sites including the canal, Ancient Corinth and the amazing Acrocorinth fortress with its 360 degree views.

We did a similar trip a couple of years ago.

This is what we saw
Nafplio https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157632094108982
Corinth Area. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157711755443483
Peloponnese, Mani and Monemvassia. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157711323535897

Posted by
2812 posts

Listen to Stanbr, his advice is GOLD. There was one typo which might confuse... On the paragraph, "Back to Day 3" -- he meant to type "Y ou need a minimum of 3 perhaps 4 hours to do MYSTRA." (that's the site with a top & bottom).

I also agree Hydra doesn't belong in this itinerary.

Posted by
964 posts

Jan, once an editor always an editor its in the blood.

Posted by
12 posts

Since you're driving between Nafplio and Eupidauros, consider stopping to see the Mycenaean Bridge of Arkadiko. It's a short walk off the highway and shouldn't take much time to tour. We weren't aware of it until after our trip. It is the oldest bridge in Europe so maybe a worthwhile stop if you like old things. It's not well-marked, just an unimproved spot to pullover and small sign saying "Mncenean Bridge".
We spent a night at Hydra. It's a beautiful, small town. Took the ferry back to Athens from there.

Posted by
15 posts

The information you experienced travelers have shared is so helpful. Our trip will definitely be better because of your insights and suggestions. Many thanks.

Posted by
2812 posts

I'm glad kenny pointed out one of my favorite & overlooked Roadside Attractions -- I love stopping at this, and telling my friends that Greeks were walking over this little arch about 2,000 years ago, and still r using it ... it's the oldest bridge in Europe. Here's a wikipedia link - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arkadiko_Bridge -- I've picnicked there; a great photo op!

Posted by
7495 posts

Two of our favorites after Napflio and it’s environs were Mystras and Olympia. Mystras is easy to add when heading south.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you to Jenny666 and all others who commented. Sorry for my delay in responding - daily life got in the way of travel planning. We are going in June. Very excited about touring Peloponnese.