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6 days in Greece without driving?

Hello all, The answers on here are so helpful! Thank you. Due to an expiring airline ticket, I find myself on a very last-minute trip to Greece next week! I've never been there and I'm a woman traveling alone. I work in the theater field so I am very excited to see sites related to ancient drama. After doing the research, I was hoping to do a circle from Athens (2 nights) to Delphi (1 night) to Nafplion (2 nights, with trips to Epidauraus and Mycenae) and back to Athens (1 night). The only snag is that I really do not want to drive. Is there a simple and reliable way to do this itinerary without hiring a car? It seems like there should be, but I can't seem to figure out exactly how to do it and I'd like to feel secure about it before leaving. I arrive this Sunday and leave next Sunday. Thanks for any help you can offer!
Megan

Posted by
38 posts

Megan, the comfortable KTEL bus will take you from Athens to Nafplion, but schedules are not set up to accomodate tourist visits to Epidaviros or Mycenae. You may take the Ktel bus to Nafplion and rent a car for one day to see other sights or use a combination of Ktel bus and a cab which may be a wee bit pricey. You may also take the KTEL bus from Athens to Delphi although I have not done this myself. The alternative is the one day bus trip to Delphi which I believe runs year round. Have a great time!

Posted by
2862 posts

Driving on the mainland highways isn't that bad, and signs are in both Greek and phonetic English. Having a car will be the best use of your time....no waiting. If you do decide to drive be sure to go to your local AAA office to pick up an International Driving Permit, no test or membership required.

Posted by
3 posts

Thanks! So, I understand it's possible to take ktel buses from Athens to both nafplio and Delphi. My next question: can I take the bus - or some other public transport - from nafplio to Delphi (or vice versa) or do I have to go back through Athens? I'd love to see some more of the countryside, but will not be driving. It looks like it's possible to get a bus from patra to delphi, but I can't tell if it's realistic to imagine getting from nafplio to patra in time to get a bus to Delphi. Has anyone done this or do most people on here usually drive?

Posted by
4524 posts

You'll have to go between Delphi and Nafplio via Athens. A couple more things to consider: There are lots of day trip tour companies that go to Delphi. Though it's off season, you may have good luck finding one. That's a better option that taking a public bus since the schedule is set and coordinated for being a tourist. Check online for companies and schedules. Matt Barrett's site might list some too. If in Athens, your hotel can help with that too. Getting to Nafplio is fairly easy from Athens on a public bus. But as others have mentioned, there is no good way to get to Myceanae or Epidavros from there. Epidavros especially is very remote and about an hour drive from Nafplio. Honestly, you'll need a car for that or pay a lot of money to hire a taxi for the day. If you hire a taxi, pre-arrange the cost before you leave Nafplio. Maybe your hotel can recommend a taxi. You cannot rent a car or drive in Greece without an International Drivers Permit. If you don't have one, you're out of luck renting.

Posted by
1249 posts

Megan There is a way to get from Delphi to Nafplio by bus, but I'm not sure you can do it in the time allowed. There's a bus from Delphi to Nafpaktos, which is on the north of the Gulf of Corinth, which leaves Delphi mid morning (10.30 from memory). From Nafpaktos you can, in theory, get a bus across the Rio - Antirio bridge to Corinth, and then pick up the Athens to Nafplio bus at Corinth. The reason I say 'in theory' is that I'm not certain how frequently the Nafpaktos to Athens buses run. I've done this trip but we stayed overnight in Nafpaktos and caught the bus at 9 in the morning from there. I think if I was you, and you can afford it, I would probably do a day trip with an organised tour to Delphi. Both CHAT and Go tours do this. http://www.chatours.gr/sub_cat_page.asp#5 http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/tour/show/04 It's not ideal but it isn't possible to do a day to Delphi with KTEL. You have too little time actually there. If you do take a tour I recommend not taking the inclusive lunch. You'll lose time on the site sitting around in a fairly unatomospheric hotel. As other people have said the KTEL trip to NAfplio is straightforward. I've never had any problem getting from Nafplio to Epidavrus or Mycenae by KTEl but other people obviously have and so the bus times may have changed since I last did this three years ago. One other thing. There is now an overland train from the airport to Corinth. Depending on what time you arrive it would be possible to take this and then go straight down to Nafplio. This would save going in and out of Athens. Trains run from the airport every two hours at 5 minutes past the hour. They start at 07.05 and the last train is 17..05. Have a great time. Alan

Posted by
2862 posts

If you want to organize some tours by bus you might try contacting Dolphin-Hellas Travel and Fantasy Travel, both in Athens, both with websites and both very skilled in arranging such transfers, both group, public and private.

Posted by
3 posts

Wow! The responses and private messages are SO helpful, thank you everyone. I think the idea of taking a tour bus sounds great due to the predictable schedule, convenience, and safety for a solo traveler who doesn't speak Greek -- the only problem is that I haven't been able to find any tours which allow an overnight in either Delphi or Nafplion in March (there are many in April through the fall which look wonderful). Since I'm so excited about communing with the ancient sites, especially Delphi, I really want to have time there, and particularly time in the late afternoon or early morning, when there aren't a lot of others around. This doesn't seem possible with a one-day tour. Any recommendations about places that might offer these 2-day tours in March? (I have checked Fantasy, Dolphin, Chat, and GO tours, as suggested) Perhaps I'll just have to settle for the one-day tour, or maybe once I get to my hotel in Athens on Monday they can help me figure it out. Thank you again. I hope everyone I meet traveling is as nice as those on this website!
Megan

Posted by
4524 posts

If you want to stay the night, then just take the KTEL bus. You really won't find it a problem not speaking Greek. Many speak basic English and almost everyone is friendly and helpful. Delphi is easiest as the town is short walk from the site and you can spend as long as you wish and stroll back in the evening to see it at dusk (you can see much of the site from the road). Nafplio is absolutely worth 1-2 nights. But as previously mentioned, it is hard to get to Myceanae and Epidavros without a car. But people in town or your hotel will help you figure out a way to get there. Pension Marianna is really nice if you need a recommendation there.