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day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

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day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Hello! We arrive in Athens tomorrow evening and our itinerary is still not set!

We will spend two full days, plus one evening and one morning in Athens.

We are thinking of taking a ferry to Hydra and spending a day or part of a day, there. Would you suggest going early in the day or late? We could do something in Athens, then go, or go early?

We have the possibility of a private driver for another day trip. The choices are:

1)Delphi and/or Corinth

2)Sounion

3)Epidavros, Nafplion (these may be part of the Delphi Corinth day, I'm unsure)

4)a custom tour that we set.

We are a family of 5, with boys ages 9,12,14 that are well traveled and like history. We are only in Greece these 4 full days, plus the evening and morning of the flight days.

Thanks for your help!

Katy

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1. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Hi -

With the short time you are there, you will hardly scratch the surface of Athens. It's a sad fact of life that five people can't move as quickly as two. Besides, your boys may find the Acropolis, its new museum, and the National Archeology museum too interesting to rush through. Additionally, they'll probably like the Military museum - my then 14yo nephew loved the place. He also was very moved by the ceremony of the Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Constitution Hall.

Of all the sites you mention, the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion is the easiest to visit. It's most impressive at sundown. All the local tour companies go there at various times of the day. I've used Key Tours, and can recommend them. Their guides are knowledgeable and very patient with young people and their questions, and you know they've heard them all before.

To be honest, if you insist on rushing all over Greece to tick a bunch of sightseeing boxes, you might as well stay home and rent videos. You'll save a lot of money, and you'll have exactly the same cultural and social experience without leaving the comfort of your family room. It's impossible to have any contact with the Greeks and their culture if you're driving madly all day, every day.

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2. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

I would stay in Athens and do a day trip to Aegina - closer than Hydra and more things to see.

There's plenty of history in Athens to keep you fully occupied for two full days of rushing around like headless chickens, and then there are also lots of more modern things worth experiencing. You can do the "postcard tour" via DVD at home, you don't need to come out to Athens for it.

You can't do Delphi and Corinth on the same day - Delphi on its own will take long enough. Epidavros & Nafplio would be my pick, but again, prepare yourselves for a long day.

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3. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Thanks! I kind of felt the same way, but my husband thinks we will run out of things to do. We really are go, go, go kind of people. We enjoy staying busy and don't really tire out, unless its a very long holiday.

I appreciate your help! I guess I will sit down and write out an itinerary to see where we would fit in all the Athens sites, then go from there.

Thanks for your help.

Katy

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4. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Well, you need one full day for the Acropolis, its museum and surrounding areas (Agora, Thisseion, Plaka etc.). Another day for the NAM and Mount Lycabettus (I have assumed you will be starting early and finishing late). You now need to fit in a walk around the city centre, the Panathenaic Stadium, the change of the guards at Syntagma, other sites such as Kerameikos, a couple of churches (if you're interested in this kind of thing), the Benaki Museum, maybe also the Cycladic Art and War Museums, and finally some time for eating, drinking, shopping for souvenirs and resting. Should be a doodle ;-)

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5. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Hello Katy,

A trip to Sounion takes only half a day. The site isn't that large.

I would combine Corinth/Acrocorinth and Nafplion. I might be just my impression, but many non-archaeologist tourists in Greece get tried of seeing continuously ancient ruins. Acrokorinth has Byzantine/Frankish/Turkish fortification and splendid view and Nafplio has a charming townscape (you can substitute the visit to Acrocorinth with Acronafplia).

Have a nice stay in Greece.!

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6. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Hi Katy,

I would be shocked if people who like history got tired of even just downtown central Athens after four days plus 2 half days.

If it were me, I would do something like:

Evening: explore Plaka, Anafiotika (bring flashlights), Ghazi, and Psyrri

Day 1: Acropolis & Slopes, New Acropolis Museum, Ancient Agora & Museum, Kerameikos & Museum

Day 2: Ancient Agora, Roman Agora, Hadrian's Library, Hadrian's Arch, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathenaic Stadium

Day 3: National Archaeological Museum, National Historical Museum, shopping in Ermou area, changing of the guard at Syntagma

Day 4: National Art Gallery, Byzantine Museum, Cycladic Museum, Benaki Museum, National Gardens, Lykavitos Mtn., walk/shop in Kolonaki

Morning: souvenir shopping in Monastiraki / Central Market.

This is just scratching the surface of what Athens has to offer - now granted I am more interested in history than the average visitor to Athens, but I find it hard to imagine coming here and leaving after 2 days thinking I'd run out of things to do! If, like me, you like museums, there are at least 20-30 more very very good ones that I can recommend, but you simply do not have time to see them. If you like archaeological sites, there are many more, although some of them are considerably smaller or more ignored than those mentioned here. If you like Byzantine churches, you should try to fit some of those in too (there are a number of significant ones in downtown Athens, they don't make it onto most people's 4-day itineraries, admittedly).

You don't have to step out of downtown central Athens to fill at least 3 weeks solid sightseeing.

Now if what you are really afraid of is that you won't LIKE Athens, I can't help with that. I agree that Aigina is a better choice than Idra if you like history (there is a surprising amount on Aigina for such a small island; not surprising if you are familiar with Aeginetan history of course). Sounio as a half-day trip is easy and cheap by public transportation and I have it on good authority that it's better that way (I've never done the tour but my mom did and hated it; I've gone by public bus many times and it's very cheap and straightforward to do). Corinth and Nafplio, not to mention Delphi, are quite far, but if you really want to visit them, it might be worth renting a car so you can stop at other sites/sights along the way. Going all that distance and eating up a substantial portion of your 4 days in order to see only one site seems like a shame - if you had a car going to Nafplio, for example, you could stop at any number of wonderful sites along the way (there are dozens) and you can also choose to take a more scenic route (there are many).

Whatever you decide to do, it might be a good idea to get a list of sites that are open early and late, so you can fit them in before the other sites open and after they close, if (like me) you hit the street at 7am. Most sites in Athens open at either 8am or 8:30. That way you aren't stuck waiting around for things to open!

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7. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Delphi is pretty much a full day. It's a large site and the museum is good too.

Corinth, the canal, and Ancient Corinth is an hour by train, bus, or car. Rent a car. Flat ruins site, interesting, accessible. If you take the road along the coast out of Corinth instead of the highway you go right through Epidavrous. A little longer than the highway but it will take you where you want to go. Continue to Nafplio, which was good also. Palimidi's fortress was worthwhile. The boys would love the dungeon and cells carved out of rock.

You could go to Corinth and the ruins, Epidavrous, drive to Nafplio and the fortress, dinner in town, and drive home. Or dinner in Loutraki by the bay, then back to Athens.

We just did both the trip above and the day trip to Delphi. I'd go to Corinth. Save the Delphi trip for later when you can go to Meteora also.That's an overnighter.

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8. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

I too am of the belief that in 4 days you will only just skim through the must see places in Athens.

No one has mentioned the central market yet. It is well worth a visit and is located near the Monastraki area.

We have been to Athens 5 times yet next year we plan another 4 days in Athens, so there is lots to absorb.

Any way I would suggest that your unset itinerary may be your biggest asset here as you can arrive in Athens, visit as much as you wish and if you find you have some extra time book one of the day tours to Mycenae, Epidaurs and Nauplion or alternatively Delphi. This allows you maximum flexibility.

Here are some pictures of Athens. Yu will find plenty to do.

travel.webshots.com/album/570719132pdjjHG

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9. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

Stan, I mentioned the central market for their last morning :-) I would add to that the spice markets and the general Monastiraki flea market experience - it can take a lot longer than you think, there is so much to see and look through. Rushing through is not the way to go!

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10. Re: day trip to ?? Corinth? Delphi?

If you live in Doha, surely there are (better) spice markets and flee markets closer to home?