worth going to Athens after Italy?

I know this is kind of a loaded questions, but I need a little perspective to help me decide whether or not to fly over to Greece. My husband and two teens are planning a 3-week trip to Italy, which will include a week in Rome. I've read that you can get pretty cheap airline tickets from Rome to Athens, so we have talked about flying over to Athens to see the ruins and then relaxing in Nafplion or Tolo for a few days before returning home. Our money will be running low, so we don't intend to hop a ferry and go out to the islands. Our main reason for the extra trip is to see the Acropolis and other ruins. Then I figured we'd just put our feet up for a couple days near the sea before heading home.

It looks to me from the pictures I've seen that most of the ruins in Greece are in much worse shape than those in Italy, save a small handful. So I have three questions.... Are the ruins in Greece as stupendous as those in Italy or are they a bit of a letdown and much fewer? And in your opinion (yes, I realize everyone feels differently) would you be worn out after 3 weeks in Italy and be bored of ruins unless they were dramatically different? Is it worth still going to Greece since we are so close?

Posted by Ash
Tulsa, Oklahoma, US
290 posts

Greece is a fantastic plase to visit, well worth the 2.5 hour flight from Rome IMHO. The Acropolis, Agora and the Archeological Museum are musts, as well as the new Acropolis Museum. The Plaka is a great place for dinner and an evening stroll. And Nafplio is a good place to kick back for a day or three; a side trip to Mycenae is easy from there, also. Pick up a copy of RS new 'Athens & the Peloponnese' guidebook for lots of good information. Enjoy your trip.

Posted by George
Philadelphia
653 posts

Cindy, I very much agree with Ash, above. Such a trip would be worthwhile for everyone but especially for your teens. I've not seen it, but the new Acropolis museum will be another plus. Nafplio is a good choice. You will NOT be bored in Italy or in Greece.

Posted by Steve
Cocoa, FL, US
34 posts

I wouldn't go to Athens unless you really wanted to see the Acropolis. Don't get me wrong, it is a beautiful place and deserves a first visit, but the cost of traveling, plus time, makes it a stretch for limited budgets. It's a great place for a day or two, and then move on to the islands or depart the country. I think you m,ight be disappointed if you don't budget time and money fairly for what this visit deserves.

Posted by Cindy
Ely, MN, USA
241 posts

Thank you! Your responses have been really helpful. Greece definitely sounds worth a trip, but I think we'll save it for another one where we can visit the ruins and have time to enjoy the islands both. Thanks, everyone! It's GREAT to get good advice that helps make an educated decision!