Will have four days/nights in Athens in August, arriving in Piraeus on a cruise from Istanbul at 7:00 AM. Thinking of 2 days/nights in Athens, then renting a car and doing an overnight in Delphi. The question is where to spend the last night before our flight home. Back to central Athens? Another part of Athens closer to the airport? Our flight leaves at 10:00 am. Also, any advice about what to do on the way back from Delphi...ie, any interesting side trips?
If you end up just wanting a hotel near the airport where you can relax the night before your flight home you can stay right there at the Athens Airport Sofitel if it's within your budget. But if you want something less expensive check Peri's Hotel and the St. Thomas B&B. They both offer free shuttle to and from the airport. If your rent your car at the airport, a good idea so you can avoid having to drive inside Central Athens, once you return the car you can call one of these hotels and they'll come pick you up and bring you back in the morning. Both have websites.
Ed Another option would be to stay in Rafina which has several nice tavernas on a pleasant little town square. The Hotel Avra there is nice http://www.hotelavra.gr/ From Rafina there is a regular bus service to the airport which takes around 40 minutes. Alan
Just thought I would tell you what we are doing in May as we have 2 days in Athens. First day we are seeing the sites in Athens. Second day, We are taking a day trip from our hotel in Athens with Spiro-taxi service-(great reviews on Trip advisor) who will take all 6 of us out to Delphi for the day and then he will drop us at the airport in the evening as we have a late flight to Santorini. Good Luck.
I would stay nearby the airport or back in Athens. Alan's idea sounds good. One night is all that is needed for Delphi. In fact, I suggest staying in a town like Galixidi or along the Gulf of Cornith coast, rather than Delphi itself. It's a beautiful, 30 minutes ride. A little ways off the road between Delphi and Athens is the Byzantine monastary of Hosias Loukas. It's fabulous even if you are not much into churches. Don't forget if driving in Greece that you must have an International Drivers Permit along with your state license. You get them from AAA for a nominal fee.
HI, I just returned from a student tour in Greece (with my son's high school). I loved the Delphi ruins. I do not think that staying overnight in the area is really necessary to an enjoyable experience unless you specifically want to explore the general area more. Which would be quite nice- but it was not our our tour plan! We visited Delphi as a one day excursion. There is a very cute town on the road prior to arriving in Delphi that looked like it had cute shops, interesting restaurants and I assume lodging. I cannot recall the name of that town. But quite attractive and vibrant. There was a ski equipment shop so I assume there is skiing/tourism in the area during winter. Wished we could have stopped there but again not on the tour plan. Our group had lunch at a very nice restaurant in Delphi with a beautiful mountain overlook but the town itself was sleepy and not particularly interesting. The restaurant is "Iniohos" in the town of Delphi(which is further down the road past the ruins). If you hire one of the Delphi tour guides ask for "Chris". She was terrific. Greek/Brittish parents, short reddish hair. I do suggest hiring a guide or having a podcast tour at Delphi as the history and stories associated are really fascinating and bring the ruins to life.
If you find yourself with one day open and you can bear getting back on a boat we did a one day cruise that was rather fun. I think we left at 8:00am ish and arrived back to the dock around 6:00pm. We went to Hydra (loved Hydra-unique artisan shops and stunning shoreline, walking etc), Poros and Aegina Islands. The boat was actually quite nice, and while time at the individual islands is brief it was a nice way to see more of the Islands and ultimately I was glad we did it. Cannot recall name of the boat but should not be too hard to locate via this site or Google. Enjoy.
I'd recommend the overnight stay at Delphi but I would leave Athens around noon, drive to Delphi and stop at Hosios Loukas on the way and maybe stop in Arachova for dinner. I have stayed twice at the Hotel Fedriades and thoroughly enjoyed the accommodations. Get to the archeological site when it opens at 8:30 am and enjoy it without the hoards of tour buses. I've done the museum first and the ruins first, really, no preference. Around noon you can have a nice drive back to Athens and maybe stop in Arachova for lunch.
Unless you are really set on Delphi, I would instead go to Nafplio. You can rent a car right from Piraeus and be in Nafplio in a few hours. You could spend the afternoon in Mycenea and the next day explore the Fortress and Epidavros. Return to Pireaus the next day, drop off the car, and take the underground to the city centre. Then you can have two nights (which gives you enough time to hit the highlights of the city) before taking the bus from Syntagma Square directly to the airport.