Just returned from a fabulous two-week trip to Greece. I went with four lady friends and we used Rick's Peloponnese itinerary as a guide. We traveled in the opposite direction, though, with some changes. We spent three days and nights in Athens, then picked up our rental car and headed to travel the Peloponnese region. We skipped Hydra altogether and stopped in ancient Korinthos (Corinth) on our way to Nafplio. It was awesome to see the remains of the court where the Apostle Paul was once charged with breaking the law for preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I took some awesome photos of the temple of Apollo with the Gulf of Corinth in the background. Unfortunately due to some delays we were not able to visit Mycenae.
We did go to the Palamidi fortress where two of our group climbed down the 999 steps! After two nights in the region we headed to Monemvasia, stopping in Mystras. I didn't realize how much time and hiking it would take to see all the Byzantine churches so this took a good part of our day. It was well worth it though! More awesome photos. By that evening we were checked into our AirBnB in Xifias, on the outskirts of Monemvasia. My sister and I hiked up to the upper town of the castle. More awesome photos and more muscular pain. Lol
After two nights we headed to Messenia, checking in to our AirBnB house up in the mountains. The entire village was made of stones - house and roads alike. It was beautiful! We enjoyed the beach at Stoupa and also visited the beach in Kardamyli - where I ended up being assisted into the water by a Greek actor and director. I could not walk on the stone beach. However, this gracious Greek who insisted on helping me "into the water so you can swim and when you're ready I will help you out. It's called Greek hospitality" made this a very special memory.
After two nights we were on to Olympia. We were in Olympia one day and night but it was long enough to take in Archai Olympia and the fabulous museum. More awesome photos. We even had a comical race at the site of the first Olympic games.
Next was a scenic drive to the Delphi region. We were unable to visit part of the ancient remains due to an ongoing fire. We drove on to the spectacular village of Arachova where we spent two nights in the most beautiful AirBnB yet! The hostess was a gem, baking us morning cakes to take on our trip to Meteora. Visiting the Meteora monasteries was unforgettable! We took the 4-hour tour and then returned to Arachova. After two nights it was back to Athens for one night before flying back home to America.
Important things for you to consider: if you have trouble walking and hiking, this itinerary is not for you. If driving on very narrow roads up and down the mountains - where a 19-mile destination will take 45 minutes, this trip is not for you. I drove the entire time and at the end of the day I was so ready to get out of the car. But by morning I was raring to go and see more fabulous sites. We went everywhere we wanted to, ate out whenever we wanted, wore a mask when required (inside shops if other customers were present, the monasteries, anywhere they were required) and took our vitamins. We were all Covid negative before returning. I fell in love with Greece and the people and was heartbroken to leave it behind. I hope to go back someday. Another piece of advice: when ordering your meal at a restaurant, it's best to share it with a companion because all the dishes, including salads, are HUGE portions. Greeks are generous with their hospitality, their service and their love for Americans!