how manageable is our itinerary?
Replies: 12 - Last Post: May 22, 2013 8:03 AM Last Post By: possopo
Apr 30, 2013 12:17 PM
how manageable is our itinerary?hi all,
we are planning a 10 day trip to greece and have tentatively decided on the following itinerary. this will be in the the first half of october.
is this a reasonable itinerary? are we missing anything big? we want to see the important sites, eat good food, see beautiful places, hike, and kayak, if possible.
Athens – 2 days
Delphi - day trip
Meteora - day trip
Santorini – 3 days
Olympia – day trip
Hydra – day trip
we don't want to spend a huge amount of money, but we're not on a shoestring budget, either. how hard is it to do day trip tours to these places? is it total highway robbery?
any advice is welcome!
Apr 30, 2013 1:56 PM
Apr 30, 2013 4:41 PM
2Don't look at gawkabout his suggestions are as far away as its possible to get from your other sites -- they are in Turkey.
As to your questions: Is it manageable?? NO. Is it reasonable? NO. Could you do it Even on a huge amount of money? NO. Have you looked at a map at all? or A guidebook? My guess is No.
To do even part of your list (some of the mainland destinations, plus ONE island), it would be necessary for you to fly to an island immediately upon arrival, then come back & do your mainland stuff.
However, to give you good advice, we need to know the basics: what country are you coming from? You are shy about saying even what country you are from. ( R u perhaps in Witness protection program??) What day/date are you likely to arrive. Even what time of day. Yes, in a trip as short as 10 days, even the time of day matters. Why??? Because in order to shoehorn in a few destinations into that time frame, we need to know whether you'd arrive in time to make a plane connection to an island like Santorini. A ferry there would take 8-10 hours & you don't have that kind of time. Plus, is your 10 days 10 full days on the ground in Greece or does it include travel day (from USA you lose 7 hours clock time, thus you land next day), arrival day and departure day? Your time may be only 8 days.
Another thing: early October is beginning to be quite off-season, and one might find that transport is not what you'd expect in "High Season" (which is July - August and the very first of September).
For short answer -- you could fly immediately from Airport to Santorini, spend 2 nights, fly back to Athens Airport. Then do a 4 day bus tour from Key Tours or CHAT Tours (the 2 big companies that run such tours) to get a glimpse of the items on your list. Then 2 days in Athens. Here is a link to Key Tours for a sample: will probably cost you €350-400 per person. http://tours.keytours.gr/Athens/four_day_classical_greece_tour_epidaurus_mycenae_olympia_delphi_meteora-34.html -- you would have to skip Hydra. why is it on your list, I'm curious.
If you are someone who gets a lot of pleasure from sitting in a bus for 4-5 hours a day in order to check "sights" off a list, tours are for you. If you have not done any background prep, and you get a good tour guide, tours take care of that. Of course, the trade-off is that you then will have no time to hike or kayak, you will spend the entire time with 30+ other people, following a guide, riding along a highway, and may have to eat together in pre-chosen restaurants, so not as much interesting food.
Or, you could be more realistic, and either extend your trip to 2+ weeks, or pare your list drastically.
Your hope for day trips to Meteora and Olimpia are not possible -- and the day trip to Delphi is very unsatisfactory. You need to look at a couple of Guide Books; try Barnes &Noble (i'm guessing, probably unfairly, that you are from the USA). Look at this Map of Greece (click & it gets huuge) to see how far apart things are. http://www.explorecrete.com/crete-maps/images/greece.gif TIP: Olimpia is in far west of Peloponnese, by PIRGOS, Delphi is near the word FOKIDA, and Meteora is way up in the mts, Beyond the word TRIKALA. To give u an idea of distances by bus or public transit. One day I left Athens Airport at 10 am, took a bus & 2 intercity busses and arrived at Olympia about 5 pm. OK?
Here's a quickie online site with ovrview of Islands: http://www.greek-islands.us/ Be aware -- most smaller isles except Santorini & Mykonos will be in "closing down" mode in October.
You have time to do some research and make some choices ... october is a long way off.
Apr 30, 2013 5:43 PM
3Blahblah --- I just re-read my post and realized I sounded quite crochety. Naturally you are excited about your first trip to Greece, so you simply have "bitten off more than you can chew" --- I guess I was stern, because I didn't want you to get totally tangled up in logistics, due to an over-ambitious agenda.
Try to limit yourself a little more, and you'll have time to "smell the roses". For instance, if you can forego Meteora and Olympia, you could very well do a nice 3-day tour to Delphi, and the Nafplio area, and even stay overnight there ... Nafplio is breathtakingly beautiful Old Town, with sunsets better than Santorini ... also, cutting back on the mainland travel might allow you to go from Santorini (where the beaches are black grit) to say, AntiParos, or Naxos, for a couple of days, where you could the hiking & kayaking you mentioned.
Example; I'm embarking on my 11th trip ... and only on trip #8 did I get to Olympia. I still enjoy seeing Meteora on videos rather than in person -- but I've had unforgettable experiences in many more reachable places.
Good luck, do homework, and we'll try to help you make your 10 days eventful AND manageable.
Apr 30, 2013 10:49 PM
I was much impressed with your follow-up posting... such refreshing courtesy and consideration to the enthusiastic OP.
I'm heading off for Greece later in the year for a 6 week trip and I have taken note of much of your advice on this branch. And on this occasion, I very interested in your comments on Nafplio and sunsets.
Apr 30, 2013 11:19 PM
May 1, 2013 7:28 AM
6Thank you, Kalki! I try so hard to be helpful, sometimes I overstep.
I'm glad my previous threads may have proved helpful to you ... and how lovely that you will have SIX full weeks for your Greece experience! I came to Greece first in '99 after decades of longing to ... and after a month realized I had to keep coming back as long as I drew breath.
As for Nafplio, I found it at the end of my first trip, thanks to an artist friend on Mykonos. I said, I think I'll go back to Athens & just do daytrips. She said no you won't. You'll spend a night, leave your big bag in the hotel storage and go to Nafplio for 3 days. You'll thank me. I've been thanking her ever since, and I've been back there 7x since. The cafes along the promenade are divine; make your choice on basis of the best cushioned love-seats. The sunsets ... sigh. And no jostling crowds elbowing each other on the Oia rim path (that scene is a nightmare but Americans keep thronging there, like lemmings, persuaded by publicity. Sunsets in Santorini are fine, but let's face it, the sun sets over every Greek island; some just have better PR campaigns. My 2 faves are Nafplio, and the sun setting in the mouth of the Vathy bay in Samos).
Did you know Nafplio has been nick-named "the proposal capital of Greece"? It's so romantic, Greek men bring their sweethearts there to pop the question. (there's a contributor to this forum who said "yes" to her Greek man there). Another factoid from the Jan-machine. Have a great trip, all!
May 1, 2013 7:35 AM
7hi jan, thank you for your response, and i understand your crotchety-ness. you're right that i was overambitious-- it's my boyfriend's first time out of the country, so he wants to see as much as possible.
that being said, out of the ancient/architectural sites, can you recommend the most worthwhile or breathtaking? i had heard that meteora was amazing, and i think we would like walking around and exploring there, but i would be willing to cut out some of the others. of course we will see the acropolis, but what do you think of delphi and olympia? are they not worth it, when we don't really have the time? would we be better off going straight to the islands?
i also think he will insist on santorini, but we could certainly try to fit in nafplio as well (or do you think it's better to choose one over the other?).
May 1, 2013 7:58 AM
8we are planning a 10 day trip to greece
You did not answer jan's questions about what is included to 10 days and from where are you flying from.
Are you gonna have jetlag after a long flight? Even the time of scheduled arrival time and departure time are important to know so that someone could give you spesific advice. 10 days is veeeery short time to travel in Greece.
May 1, 2013 8:03 AM
May 1, 2013 1:36 PM
10Meteora is waaaay out of the way, so in a 10-day trip I can't really recommend it ... Nafplio is a short 2 hr bus ride from Athens, and while there, with a 1-day you can see up to SIX or SEVEN major ancient sites on your OWN schedule not that of a crowded bus tour, so yes, I do recommend it instead. To take a look at this Old Town and the Argolid area, look at this website http://www.visitnafplio.com/visitnafplio.com/Home.html -- it's a totally noncommercial website run by a terrific Norwegian who LIVES in Nafplio... tells you everything.
Since nothing is booked yet, I would ask you to consider scheduling your trip just a tad sooner, such as the last 2 weeks of September -- all the crowds will be gone, but the weather would be perfect, and the days will be longer ... getting into October you could have some rain. It still will be warm enough to swim. Here's another "factoid" -- full moon is approx Sept 17-22.
I have a busy schedule right now, no time for too much keyboarding without a clearer picture I'm nearby to you, so a quick phone call would clarify some stuff, then we could come back to the forum with some progress; to arrangel, reach me at this e-mail address (to foil the spammers), 3ws, janetsgreece at hotmail dot com.
May 2, 2013 3:02 AM
11Hi blahblah !
Mainly I think it is better to do some research and decide for your self what is important to you, where to go/what to skip. Meteora is 4-5 hours train ride from Athens, Olympia 4-5 bus ride from Athens, so Meteora is not sooo out of the way than say Olympia or whatever. Your itinerary is too ambitious, yes, you have to cut many destinations, but it is you who have to decide which those locations will be. I like Nafplion and find it a very scenic place and handy to visit many near by sites, but this doesn't mean there are no other places or you have to automaticaly go there. Nafplion is 2+ hours bus ride from Athens, surrounding by important ancient sites, Delphi is around 3 hours bus ride form Athens featuring the related archeological site, surrounding by many hiking opportunities and only 15 minutes driving from sea on one direction and mountains on the other direction. Other scenic near-by towns too. Santorini offers some hiking and unique landscape, it is a 5-8 hours ferry ride from Piraeus or a 35 minutes flight from Athens airport though. Some people spend a week in Hydra relaxing and taking it all in, other people find a couple of hours more than enough for it. Some people say one full day is enough for Athens, I could spend months there.
Nowadays there is ton of info online, on travel logistics, actual sites, (not so) hidden gems, tips on every kind of aspect for traveling, especially on so known areas. You may want to research this forum for past threads, feel free to research my previous posts where lots of info on travel logistics on your points of interest will appear too.
No place is right or wrong, but I think you really need to decide by yourselves.
May 22, 2013 8:03 AM
12your plans are super ambitious but I understand (as opposed to many people here who are a bit sarcastic). I'm also of the "see as much as possible, go super fast" type. I'm not reasonable but that's the way I am and you might be the same. too bad some are make fun of us but that's how it is.
but when I see hiking, I'm thinking long hours so that wouldn't fit your itinerary at all.
problems on this itinerary are :
all this is absolutely impossible to do without your own car (and even then... you'll see what I mean with Google maps).
but are you going to take your car to the islands ?
daytrips ? hell no !
here is what you can do :
Athens – 2 days
rent a car and go to Delphi
go further North to Meteora
drive down to Olympia
and then the islands.
that will be a lot of time of driving, like really a lot. and very little sightseeing. google picture Olympia and you'll see what I mean. I think it's only worth it if you main focus is the Peloponnese.
in 10 days and if you want to see as much as possible, focus on one island, not too far from Athens (Hydra ?) and then rent a car and drive... a lot !!!!
but don't expect a lot of kayaking, even less hiking.
"Some people spend a week in Hydra relaxing and taking it all in, other people find a couple of hours more than enough for it. Some people say one full day is enough for Athens, I could spend months there."
that is SO TRUE !
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