Walking around Peloponnese 3 months
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Nov 13, 2012 2:55 AM Last Post By: Nicolapicola
Nov 11, 2012 10:04 PM
Walking around Peloponnese 3 monthsHello everyone
I'm planning a trip of almost 3 months from march to may in Greece.
What I'm planning is to walk around peloponnese from athens to petras, from villages to villages. Basically it's just me, my tent and hopefully a lot of enjoyable experiences. I'm to walk around 20 km a day than put my tent in the outskirks of the town, visit the town than continue.
First of all: Is it feasable? I mean, the distances between villages seems very correct, but I was wondering, could I find food in every small villages of the peloponnese? Are the roads good for walking? Are the people there friendly? I speak some greek so I should be able to interact with the locals. Also, I'm a male of 22 and I would like to meet some people to share drinks and laugh in some villages? Are the villages there lively even though they are small? Is there many young people there or is it mostly old people? Could I be harassed by police or local for sleeping in a tent? What about the temperature?
Ahah I know that's a lot of questions but I'm building my trip and I'm very excited about it, but I'm not sure it's a good way to enjoy the greek life.. I fear I'm to spend to much time walking and not enough time relaxing on the coast in a small taverna..
Well what do you think about it guys? I'm open to any king of suggestions or comments :) Thanks!
Nov 12, 2012 12:28 AM
1First of all, I do not think sleeping in a tent or walk km after km under pooring rain or on low temperature is a pleasant experience. March is a very unstable month in terms of weather, and temperatures overnight are rather low to sleep on the country side even on May.
Concidering your other questions, it is hard to advice specificaly without knowing your route, but note that more or less, villages under 1000 population rarely have more than the odd mini-market and maybe one kafeneion that serves as a tavern too. Very small villages do not even have those, unless of course we talk for an exception eg Olympia is a small place but welcomes thousands of visitors each year, so more stuff around : )))
People from tiny villages commute to near-by larger towns for their grossery shopping etc, so no need for a local shop in town if that makes sense. I mean people usually go once per week or 2 weeks to a large supermarket and load on food etc, rather than pop up every few hours to a local shop for purchases which are more expensive that purchases in the supermarket. Lively villages? Hmmm.... Younger people tend to move to largest towns/cities to get a job and even if they stay in their village they commute to other places for nightlife .In general older people remain to villages on winter and younger members of the family visit on summer months. There is recently a tendancy for young people to return back to their home villages, as they can not support their selves in large cities been unemployed or underpayed. Still it is a long call till to say that countryside is lively or heaving from young people... Always talking for small villages here.... Police in the countryside usually consists of no police at all or a small police station where two sleepy police officers perform mostly buraucratic work.. In some areas a minority, but a considerable minority, is aimed even with violence gainst illegal foreign workers and although I understand that you are not one, some areas might never have seen a visitor before, so misunderstandings are a possibility...Showing in the wrong place in the wrong time might end in a bad way...Locals in general will not be very bothered if you put your tent in a "nutral space", but no one knows if you happen to be in a field of someone who owns a near by storeroom that has been broken in 4 times in last year and so now he chases away with his gun anyone approaching.Note that although in practice no one forces this a lot,by Greek law free camping is illegal, so in case someone complains or whatever, you'll be on the wrong side no matter what!
Edited by: mariha2912
Nov 12, 2012 6:14 AM
2Thank you Mariha
I may consider taking March off the walking track even though I've done much winter camping-walking before in Canada. Then there is surely many great things to visit in greece even when it's not summer?
And what about greek people? Are they friendly, open, closed, doubtful about strangers/foreigners? Are they hospitable if you talk to them in cafés or tavernas?
I do not really fear the rural police, as you say, bad time/moment can happen but it's like that everywhere so it should'nt be a real concern
Thanks for your advice, do you have any recommendations about what to do when it's not summertime?
Nov 12, 2012 7:16 AM
3Baba, as Mariha has said, that sort of camping is illegal. This means the chances are very good that you wil be chased off by local officials or unsympathetic residents many times during your 3 month holiday. As adventurous as you may be, are you prepared to deal with this? What will you do after a long day of walking, having set up your camp equipment, when the local police tell you to leave? In theory you can just move on, but the reality is not the same when your feet are tired and you're hungry and want to rest.
Nov 12, 2012 8:45 AM
4Would you be prepared to consider something like this?
Nov 12, 2012 8:54 AM
5With Grecophile's suggestion in mind you can also check http://www.couchsurfing.org as you go for places to stay along your route.
Nov 13, 2012 12:33 AM
6In general Greek people are hospitable and welcoming. I think that they'll try to make you feel welcome. But try to picture this in your mind: Arriving out of no where in a small village, heading in the square where the local kafeneion is... You enter and a bunch of 70 and 80 years' old people turn their head to look at you. They speak no English. They say hello in Greek and they try to find out what you want.It is a plus that you know some Greek, this will relieve them somehow. Although they will treat you with respect, you will be like an alien to them! When you explain that you just walk around and sleep at the countryside, you will simply seem like a weirdo. Most people will treat you kindly but with some hesitation on your motivation or mental situation. Some people might say "Oh, the poor boy, sleepiing in a tent , and this storm tonight seems to never end... I will talk with my wife and see if we could offer him a spare room for tonight". Other people might say, "what on earth is this foreigner doing here? Surely there should be something else in his mind than just touring this village rather than head to X town, stay in a hotel and have some fun as most 20something year olds do!" You may start some interesting conversations, meet some interesting people and even end up dinning or sleepping to someone's homme.
I understand that this might be interesting and fun experience for a while... But 3 whole months? Walking and walking and walking and meeting mostly old people? I understand that each person travel differently and has different interests and mentality, so I can not know for sure how you will feel, but I think 3 months is a long time to live like that. Maybe you could save 2-4 weeks for this type of travel towards the end of your trip and spend some weeks at first to live a bit more comfortably,eg staying in cheap hotels and visit some of the major sites, move to larg-ish towns and enjoy some nightlife etc. Young people are mostly to be found on towns as I say, and come on now, if a team of young people are in a happy party mood and about to have some fun, obviously a clean, social and active guy is better accepted than a knackered dirty guy who arrives in town after walking 20 kms!
Just my thoughts anyway....
PS: Working in a farm or even couch surfing is obviouslya good way to save some money on accomodation costs and most importantly, that way is a start to fit in in and area and built a social network. I would consider to combine a bit of everything if this is what you want. Maybe some mainstream tourism, and/or some couch surfing,maybe some farm work, then maybe your original plan for a while.
Edited by: mariha2912
Nov 13, 2012 2:55 AM
7Well, you've got three months so if you give it a go and you don't like it you can go to more lively bits of Greece and have a go at that. As Mariha says, there will be little, if any, English spoken in rural villages and probably hardly anything in the way of shops (though they do get mobile vegetable and fish sellers sometimes). but if your heart is set upon it, you should try it. Travel plans are not set in stone - the beauty of independent travel is that you can change your plans at any time during your trip - that's what it is all about. I don't know the Peloponnese well but I do know the Pelion peninsula. It may be illegal but you would probably get away with rough camping there if you were discreet about it and camped in the forest. (but please don't leave any rubbish!). The locals will probably be friendly and kind and curious but the trip you plan does sound as though you will be a bit isolated because there will be nothing much to do of an evening and no-one to talk to. If, however, you drink alcohol, you could pass the evening in the kafeneion and at least there would be company around you (obviously you can have soft drinks too but if you are drinking hooch with them, the local men may be a bit more mellow). In fact, the Pelion peninsula might be a good try out before you go to the Peloponnese as you can escape down to the coastal villages or the more tourist-visited mountain villages within an hour or less if you are feeling the need for company (also you will find more English speakers, probably, in the shops/eating places).
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