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the Greek Islands

We are planning a three week trip to Greece. After spending three days in Athens, we will rent a car and
and plan to visit: Thermopylae, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Mystas, Monemvasia, Nafplio, Corinth, Mycenae,
Epidavros. We also plan to spend two nights on Evia, three nights on Kythira, and two or three nights
on Hydra.

Any comments on the above itinerary?

Would appreciate any comments on each of the islands, especially Kythira and Evia. Hydra is already
highly recommended by Rick in his book Greece: Athens and the Peloponnese.

Posted by
1167 posts

Just wondering: you know that Mycenae and Epidavros are easy day trips from Nafplio?

I don't actually have insights into the islands. We are doing a 4 week trip to Greece and visiting many of the places you mention, but not those islands. Sorry.

As for the rest of the itinerary, Im assuming you read about each place and chose it because it appealed to you for a particular reason or reasons? I think that's the important part.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the reply Jessica. Yes, we plan to stay two nights in Nafplio and make day trips to Corinth,
Mycenae, and Epidavros, We have purposely chosen our other stops based on research and interests.
I am particularly looking for feedback on the island of Kythira, as it is a relatively out-of-the-way island.

Posted by
20843 posts

We've recently had someone say that she really enjoyed a multi-day stay on Hydra. I've never been there myself and don't doubt her experience. I do want to point out that Rick doesn't cover the islands in his book. I have always assumed that Hydra is there because of its proximity to the mainland and the relative ease of getting there from Athens, where every traveler to Greece goes. Hydra is typically recommended for people who just don't have time to get to one of the more distant islands.

That said, Hydra may still be right for you. It's just that I don't think Rick is really recommending Hydra over Naxos, Crete, etc.

I've checked out Kythira on a map, and if you had an additional 3 nights or so, I'd be pushing hard for Crete as your second island, but the time you have allotted to Hydra would be silly on Crete.

I have a vague impression (from decades of reading guidebooks) that Evia is an interesting spot. Whether it makes sense to go there for just two nights, I do not know; it's quite large.

Sorry I cannot provide concrete help. This sounds like a very good trip. I enjoyed both Mystras and Monemvasia a lot, and Nafplion is at the top of my list for my next trip to Greece.

Posted by
1882 posts

What time of year will you be traveling? And have you looked at a map, and ferry schedules, and figured out the logistics of visiting the three widely-separated islands you mentioned? It's not exactly "you can't get there from here," but it's close.

As you may know, there are more than 200 populated Greek islands. They are divided into 7 groups. It is generally easy to travel within one island group. It becomes more complicated to travel between groups. You would be attempting to travel between three.

I know it's easy to see a beautiful picture or read an article and get fixated on an island. But I suggest that instead, you select one island group and focus on three islands within that group. Check any Greek guidebook. The Thomas Cook Greek Island Hopping Guide is especially good for a first-time Greek visitor. It doesn't have to be new ... you aren't looking for exact ferry schedules, just the general connections between islands.

Evia is its own "group", but along with the nearby Sporades islands, you could plan a lovely vacation with minimal travel complications.

I've not been to Hydra, as it seems to me to be a "Greek Island Experience" for travelers who can't spend an extended time on an island. And I would caution you on Kythira. I know it's beautiful; but I looked into visiting there once, and found that ferries to and from are sparse, which always creates the possibility of being stranded there for a day or two in case of a storm or ferry cancellation.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for your reply. We are travelling ion May. Yes, we have made extensive use of a map in planning our trip.
Our plans are to spend about 13-14 days on the mainland and the remainder on the islands. We are well aware
of the different island groups and the distance between the three islands we mentioned, but we do not plan to go from
one island to the next in succession. Rather, we will intersperse mainland stops with island visits (kind of taking a break)
that are near mainland stops we intend to visit. For example, you can drive from Athens to Evia ... Hydra is near Nafplio ...
Monemvasia is near Kythira.
Appreciate your comment about travel to Kythira. I had read about the same caveats you mentioned.

Posted by
2812 posts

A drive from Athens to Evia can be done, but it will take a day. Also, unless your itinerary calls for just driving there, and direct return to Athens, a drop-off fee for your car can be horrendous. Greece does not have the major network of car rental agencies like the US, so small agencies have to SEND a 2nd car with 2 drivers, to pick it up. Thus a drop-off fee can be as much as the charge for a week's rental. Hertz, Avis may now have drop-off arrangements for somewhat less -- you should Google "Athens car hire with low drop off fee in _____"

As for Hydra's closeness to Nafpiio, well, it's not really a day trip. You'd have to drive or take a KTEL bus to Ermioni, leave the car, ferry to Hydra & back. And as for Monemvasia-Kythera, yes quite close if you can walk on water ... but the only ferry route I could find on the Pelopponese is Gythio not even on the same "finger" as Monemvasia ... and last year when I looked up ferry service for someone to/from Kythera to Gythio or Crete was 1-2 x per week.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for the response ... unless one is walking, travel from Athens to Evia is not a full day trip. The drive from
Athens to Evia is less than 2 hours (according to a distance finder website). Also, you can drive onto the island
of Evia via the land bridge at Halkida. This avoids any drop off fee for the car, which you allude to.

Regarding "walking on water" from Monemvasia to Kythira, it is preferable to make the short drive from Monemvasia
to Neapoli and then take the 1.5 hour ferry ride to Kythira. We will be sure to verify the ferry schedules.

Posted by
6 posts

thank you for your comments regarding ferry service from Neapoli to Kythira. We will keep your advice in mind
as we proceed. appreciate your response.

Posted by
1882 posts

From your initial post, I did think you intended to visit the three islands in succession, which would be very difficult. But it sounds like you've done your homework. I hope everything works out and that you have a wonderful time in Greece.

Posted by
6 posts

Thanks for your follow-up post and good wishes. We are very much looking forward to our trip.
Hope you have a great spring/summer.