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Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Daejeon, South Korea
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Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

I came back from Greece just last week and I wanted to share the experience.

The trip was for 13 days and 5 days were spent in Athens and for 8days we drove around Peloponese.

I am so glad I decided to go to Peloponese. I went with my husband and I chose Greece in the first place because my husband is fascinated by the ancient Greek history and the Greek mythology.

Upon arrival we stayed in Athens for 3 days. We did all the touristy places: Acropolis, Agora, museums etc.

I won't go on how impressed I was about those places since you'd already know very well about popular places.

Beside National Archaelogical Museum and Acropolis museum, I loved Benaki museum and it's small cafe which was great for a short rest. I loved the collection.

On our 4th day, we picked up the rent car and a friend who joined us and drove out of Athens.

The cities we visited during the next 8days are: Ancient Corinth, Acrocotinth, Ancient Mycenae, Nafolio (we loved Nafplio so much that we stayed for two days), Epidavros, Monembasia, Sparti, Mystra, Messini (Ancient), Kalamata, Olympia and Loutraki. If we had more time, we would have driven back to Athens via Delphi but my friend had to leave so we didn't have enough time.

Among the archaelogical sites, my favourite is Messini. But other sites were all worth visiting. Epidavros is like a city for medical treatment and Olympia is focused on to the sports games while Mycenae is more like a castle on the mountain top. All the cites were very unique even though they shared the formalities.

Tips: for shopping, I strongly suggest Conrinth. The shops around ancient corinth site are very nice and have a good selection that doesn't look that cheap. If you are interested in buying potteries, there's a shop specializing on the potteries. They have large variety of vases and the Attican color (I was told) vases and plates were very unique (in turquoise hue) and I couldn't find that color vase anywhereelse. But I think the price was a bit high.

One of the souvenirs I loved was the indoor shoes which were made from wool and leather. Very warm and cozy. I bought many pairs for my friends back home.

Because I was travelling in low season, it was not difficult to find a room for us. But if you like family hotels and B&B's then you should make reservation in advance, because the place wouldn't be open.

Driving around Peloponese was not that difficult, but the narrow winding road to Monemvasia from Nafplio was going over the mountains and there had been a lot of small scale landslides. It didn't look all that safe. :( I rented an auto-transmission car and I was glad I did. The drive from Nafplio to Leonidio was really beautiful. When we were driving from Mystras to Messini we had to go over another mountain which was covered with snow and ice. Now THAT was scary.

Some hotels we chose to stay were small family hotels and were very unique and the host was kind and friendly. (We loved Faris hotel which was about 20km south of Sparti and I am definitely going back again.) I also loved the boutique hotel in Nafplio (Adiandi) where we got the attic with jacuzzi. And the breakfast at Adiandi was awesome!.

For driving, we used iphone map as the navigator. For this purpose I got a sim chip for my iphone. 5 Euro will give you 500 MB of data transfer. I got it from WIND (one of the phone companies) and they gave me additional 300 MB. but even without the additional 300MB, 500MB was enough to get us the map and location. But beware! the location on the iphone maps are not always correct and some of the coordinates searched on the internet are misleading too. After getting lost a few times, I paid more attention to the road signs.

After returning to Athens, we visited the flea market near Monastiraki and did some shopping. I thought about going on a day tour to Delphi, but we were too tired then.

On the whole, we loved the historic sites that stimulated our imagination, people we met in small towns and hotels, famous Greek food (I already miss souvlaki and tsatziki).

For those who want to go to Greece, yes, this is a must and be prepared to walk a lot and also for rain when you come in Nov/Dec time like I did. Nov/Dec may not be popular time to travel Greece, but there's no midday heat like in summer. I don't think I would have been able to walk as much if I had come in warmer months. And in most places you will have the places to yourself. People are more attentive/kind (informative) to you and you will be able to experience the local life more closely.

Newmarket, United...
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1. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Great report. Thank you! :o)

England
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2. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Enjoyed your report, which reminds me, we must get back to the Peloponnese in the near future it's a fabulous part of Greece.

Thanks for sharing.

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Wow, you certainly covered some ground! Brave of you to do the Langada Pass (Sparti-Kalamata) in the winter, often ok, but can be dodgy :)

A lovely report & you are right, off season is a great time to visit, just have to plan a bit more for weather & shorter site opening times, but lovely to have places almost to yourself.

Telford, United...
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4. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Thank you Sookyoung for your lovely report. It sounds like you had a great time.

South Pole
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5. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

A wonderful account of your trip & some very useful tips in there also. So glad you were smitten by Greece & took the decision to explore the often under-rated mainland. How refreshing to read about someone getting out & exploring on a first visit & you certainly fitted a lot in, yet it does not sound rushed.

Harbin, China
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6. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Hi Sookyoung,

Thank you very much for your report. How lovely it is to hear from someone who realises that there is much more to see in Greece than just the islands. You certainly did cover a lot of ground in those few days !

New York
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7. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Thanks for your report. I've been to most of those places except Messene which is highly recommended by several people in Greece. I love Mystras and Monemvassia and the Kalamata, Koroni and Pylos area. Naplio is nice and I finally did the tour in October of Mycenae and Epidaurus. The Pelopponese is a great area to visit and offers a varied landscape and a diverse set of historical time periods - ancient, Byzantine, modern and lots of different activities. I'm glad you had a great time. Also, I usually travel in late October through Nov. 30 and have found things are open, less expensive, less hot and no crowds. The downside is there are fewer buses to get around on.

Oslo, Norway
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8. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Great report - thanks for sharing !

Athens, Greece
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9. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Brilliant report :)

Thank you very much for sharing!

Best wishes for more great trips and warm hearted greetings to Seoul :))

Daejeon, South Korea
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10. Re: Trip Report 13d in Greece: 8d in Pelop and 5d in Athens

Thank you guys for reading the report.

Before arriving in Athens I was a bit worried because in the TV news they only show how gloomy Greece has become.

But it was nonsence.

People I met during the trip were so nice and kind: a good-hearted waitress in small local taverna, kind and welcoming host of mountain top hotel, old gentlemens at a small coffee shop in a mountain village...

With some of them we couldn't communicate very well, but I could see that they were curious about us and very pleased to have us in their towns.

And Peloponnese has so much to offer to the tourists!

It definitely deserves a better attention!

I am so glad I went to Greece this year.

Efharisto Greece!

Edited: 22 December 2012, 18:56