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Update re March trip

Thanks very much everyone for your help with our 1st trip to Greece. Had a fabulous time and fairly quiet, but beautiful Spring flowers. We did take the metro in from the airport and had no problems, but very aware and certainly it got busy in town. We were staying near Monastiraki, Hotel Adrian, near everything, but quiet at the back. Did a historical walking tour for 4+ hours including the Acropolis. Only 6 of us on the tour and wonderful guide. The Acropolis Museum in the afternoon was great but if time to do only one museum do the National Archeology Museum which is amazing. Metro to Victoria.
After 3 nights in Athens took Blue Star Ferry to Paros. Plenty of ticket offices in Piraeus which we reached by Metro at 6:30am. Make sure you know where the bus goes to link up with the ferry port as we were misdirected 3 times, but made the 7:25 Ferry. We did not buy upgraded seats, but enjoyed sitting out on deck. Coffee on board cheap, but tepid. Bring with you if you have a spare hand. Went to Naoussa by bus for some downtime and caught the next day Blue Star ferry at Parikia to Santorini. Sit out on deck as you come in to port. Easy bus transfer to Fira, which was well organized. We were travelling very light so just walked up to Firostefani to our hotel. Did full day tour of the island including an hours guided tour of Akrotiri which was fancinating. Wonderful sunset at Oia (we were lucky). Next day we did the walk to Oia which was very worthwhile and took the bus back to Fira. Flew back to Athens the next day. Easy bus ride to the airport from Fira. Rented a car at Athens airport and drove to Delphi that afternoon. Stopped off at Arachova which was packed with skiers and had a real buzz to the place. Stayed in Delphi and were 1st in line to get into the museum the next morning. We found doing the museums first on sites was the best way as could envisage where things were on the sites and just take advantage of a quiet museum, before the tours get underway. Stayed the next night at Nafpaktos. If travelling on a Sunday make sure that you have sufficient gas as very little open on semi-rural roads. Crossed the fabulous bridge over the sea of Corinth and on to Olympia. Very quiet in March. Next day we travelled down the coast to Pylos. Took our time with several stops on the coast enroute. When going through small towns watch that you do not go off route as signage is tricky. We did not have GPS.
We enjoyed Pylos and the locals very friendly. My husband even went in swimming with one! Very few tourists about. Next day we did go to Messini which was terrific as far as scenery was concerned. Amazing amount of standing columns and stadium. The wild flowers were everywhere, but signage on site could have been better. We had fun getting back to the E65 road. Met 3 sheep dogs taking a group of goats up into the hills and then further on 3 dogs taking sheep up. No human in sight. We stayed at Nafplion for our last 3 nights. Wandered the streets the 1st day and went to the Archeology Museum which was good, but get the free audio phones as that makes a difference. Next day we went up to Mycenae which is a pretty drive and worthwhile. Very good dinners in Nafplion at a couple of tavernas.
We were staying on the hill at the back of the old town, which made parking easy as used the parking near a hotel which had seen better days and is just decaying. The dock area in Nafplion is being re-organized, so I think most parking fairly tight. Our last day we went to Epidaurus. The theatre itself is worth the visit. I was also very interested in the medical treatment BC.300s. We took the coast road up to Corinth, again scenic, but do not do if you are in a hurry. Good seeing all the islands off shore.
We stopped at the canal, which is worthwhile for 10 mins, but immediate surrounding area not.
We pulled off the E95 and found a very good rural taverna not far from the sea for a late lunch before getting back to the modern airport of Athens.

Posted by
2416 posts

Hey hey fdesson .... glad to read that you got to most of the places on your wish list, and that your "counterclockwise" Peloponnese drive worked out OK. I appreciate (and it will be helpful to newcomers) your assessment of things like, when to go to Museums etc. and the tip about audio phones in the Nafplio museum (they didn't use to have these). Agree w you about Epidaurus -- the theatre is The Big Thing ... rest of site is a jumble of ruins, more of interest to Classical Studies grad students. Just curious about where you stayed in Nafplio up by that parking square -- which hotel "which had seen better days"?? I have my thoughts but would like to know. Also good thinking about ending of trip, to jump off the highway, there are some nice places overlooking the sea, before you get into the industrialized part of the seacoast N. of Athens.

Posted by
14 posts

We had booked at the Aetoma in Nafplio last year, but they overbooked so Booking.com had to come up with an alternative two weeks prior and pay the price difference. We stayed at the Amfitriti Palazzo which worked well. Prior to arriving we were sent a video by the hotel of how to drive there and where to park.

Posted by
2416 posts

Oh that place! Way overpriced in luxe category but not up to snuff ... govt.-built then I thnk went bankrupt & bought by a chain. Lots of little 2-star places up that way with great views & balconies, just not uniformed staff ... famly-run.

Posted by
14 posts

The place we stayed at was a family run place with 7 rooms. No uniforms. I think you are thinking of a different place.