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10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

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10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Family of 5 looking for suggestions as to where to go when touring Peloponnes for 10 days, in a hire car - from Athens. We've done Athens and many Greek islands in the course of many simple isand-hopping holidays over the last 20 years but we'd like to try mainland Greece, this time.

The kids are from 13 to 18 (so this could be the last "family" holiday - eek!) so they need their swims and fun & games, as much as we need to glimpse some of the region's history and scenery. We all like eating and drinking in Greek tavernas and bars!

Above all, we want to see something of the REAL Peleponnes, not the tourist version of things. We would like to stay in 3 or 4 different places on a looping route from Athens around the coast of the peninsula & back, perhaps taking in some of the historic sites in the hinterland. Because we're limited to about 10 days, we realize we can only do so much....I'd prefer to do an hour or two in the car at most, every 2nd or 3rd day.

We would like to visit quiet beeches as well as some of the many historical sites & museums in the region and as I've said, we all love tavernas with good traditional food - and a few beers for the elders!

Accommodation: self-catering places or small hotels are best for us; if we can mix up some simple places with the occasional 'spoil oursleves' hotel, that's ideal.

A good POOL close to where we stay is really a 'must'.

Any ideas at all would be very gratefully received!

THANKS!!

IC

Stavanger, Norway
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1. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Here are my suggestions:

You could start in Nafplio (1,5 – 2 hours drive from Athens), and see as many of the sights in the city itself and the county Argolis as you want and have time for. Nafplio is a beauty, with three castles, lovely neoclassical buildings and a lovely seafront. Close by you’ll find the magnificent theatre at Epidavros, and Mykines, Tirintha, Lerna… (See more here: http://www.visitnafplio.com/ )

Then it makes sense to travel southwards. Depending on your interest, you could visit he ”medieval Gibraltar”, Monemvasia, the ”wild” Mani with its tower houses, the pretty seaside town of Gytheio, the Diros caves…

Travelling north along the coast, you have the opportunity to sunbathe and swim at miles and miles of sandy beaches, or visit some of the lovely mountain villages of Arcadia, like Stemnitsa and Dimitsana - and finally arrive at ancient Olympia, where you can run at the old tracks ☺

As for accommodation, I can only be of help regarding Nafplio. Three hotels has a pool:

Ippoliti, that has a small pool, and Nafplia Palace with a big pool and bungalows with private pools, the latter hotel being very expensive. These two hotels both are in the old town of Nafplio. The third, Amalias, is 4 km outside the centre, in Tirintha.

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2. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Thanks for the quick feedback - much appreciated! IC

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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3. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

You have had good advice from Malianna. Nauplion is a perfect jump off point to start a Peloponnese trip.

On the way to Nauplion you will pass through Corinth. You may wish to stop at the Canal, Ancient Corinth the Roman ruins, perhaps Acrocorinth and certainly look for Ancient Nemia. It was a sister city of Olympia and still has its stadium, a partially restored temple and a very good museum.

On the way to Monemvassia plan to spend a few hours exploring the Byzantine city of Mystras at Sparti.

The Mani is a fascinating trip into the past. Plan to stop at Vathay to explore the abandoned tower houses.

I have some pictures of our trip.

Nauplio

travel.webshots.com/album/551991579dJbWvh

Monemvassia

travel.webshots.com/album/551991579dJbWvh

Mystras

travel.webshots.com/album/551988174qxbTNw

Mani

travel.webshots.com/album/551988658NSgKQY

These albums will give you an idea of what to expect and see what may be of interest to you and your family.

South Pole
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4. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Apart from the classical ruins/sites you might also find the following of interest:

Diakofto-Kalavryta cog railway - an awesome journey through a narrow gorge. Diakofto has harbour, beach & tavernas; Kalavryta has shops, tavernas & the poignant Holocaust Museum & Memorial, plus the nearby Lake Caves.

In Arcadia you can visit monasteries clinging to the sides of the Lousios Gorge, the Folk Museum at Stemnitsa & the Water Power Museum at Dimitsana.

If you take the road down the beautiful Mani Peninsula right to the end you can then walk out to the lighthouse at Cape Tenaron & have the satisfaction of standing on the southernmost tip of mainland Europe.

In Messinia region both Koroni & Methoni are attractive coastal towns with castles to explore & many great beaches nearby. Plus in that area are Polilimnio Waterfalls - worth the half hour walk through the woods!

Philadelphia
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5. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Did you tell us WHEN you are planning to do this ... in Summer 2010 (i.e. from now thru August) or in Summer 2011??? It would make a difference . If the latter, you could plan to go a bit earlier, and miss some of the heat & crowds. When you say "quiet beaches" are you signalling that you will be a bit outside the high-season of July 15-Aug 30? or do u hope for a miracle?

Our Pelops experts have covered much of the Ground already, I'll just add a few 'tweaks':

(1) NAFPLIO AREA LODGING -- the Old Town is really not a Pool place; you might consider staying just outside, a 15-minute drive away (here's where the WHEN matters; in August parking in Old Town can be a challenge in Old Town in August in evening). Check the TOLO area, not the heart of this crowded beach town, but on the fringe is a great little self-catering bungalow cluster at beach with use of pool: I think you'd have to take it for 3 nights ... but it can take 3-4 days & nights to explore all the great Argolis sites ! minoanhotels.com/bungalows--houses/phaistos-…

(2) A CIRCLE or a HALF-CIRCLE -- by saying only 2 hrs in a car only every 2 or 3 days... you more or less rule out Olympia (From Nafplio going on the good Ring road counterclockwise, it's about 5 hours). In the 6-7 days after the Argolid time, you could stay in Monemvasia overnight, go to Mystra next day and maybe get to a beach below Kalamata on the Mani peninsula. Stanbr's pix show the visual highlights... then you can figure out what will appeal to both GRownups AND kids.

PS: don't worry at all about lodgings until you get your route nailed down.

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6. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Just a HUGE thanks for all your messages and help - I'm a stranger to blog and forum, as you can tell ! Nevertheless, to get current information from people who clearly love the area is really very gratifying. I recognize a lot of the sentiments expressed from my experiences of the Greek islands and neighbouring Turkey, too. There are so many wonderful places to visit. I think we have plenty to go on, so thanks to you all !!!

A special thanks for sharing your lovely photos, too. IC.

Nanaimo, Canada
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7. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Have fun planning

greece
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8. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

I couldn't agree more with Merete's suggestions!

As far as northeastern Peloponnese is concerned,which is my area,try to stay in my village Myloi.It's 8km from Nafplion,6 km from Argos, a 15mns drive from Mycenae,and 45mns drive from Ancient Epidaurus

In Myloi there are mostly B&Bs,about 5,that will meet your needs,much cheaper than Nafplion.

Fantastic original Greek non touristy taverna: www.kitsomanis.gr in Kefalari,a picturesque village with Springs 2km from Argos,direction to Myloi.

Maistrali in Kiveri,a village 3 km away from Myloi has nice and cheap seafood,as well as Tsakiris in Nea Kios:check it on facebook

te-in.facebook.com/group.php?gid=72738054214

Traditional greek beer of the Argolis region:Zeos

http://www.greekbeer.com/

Finally,take under consideration that Myloi is situated on the Acient Lerna

check the following for further information:

visitnafplio.com/visitnafplio.com/Region/Ent…

I hope I've helped a little!

Palm Beach, Florida
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9. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

The caves of Diros: Glyphada (or Vlyhada) Alepotripa and Kataphygi are situated south of Aeropoli, in Mani. You can explore them by underground guided boats, with 5000M of tunnels found in 1900. The fish taverns at Aeropoli have Large sea turtles that swim to the restaurant walls to be fed little fish at night during dinner. Of course the management offers you bait!

Facinating. A timeless area of a timeless era: Mani, Greece. ~~enjoy.

Preston, Lancashire
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10. Re: 10 days touring Peloponnes driving hire car from Athens

Hi IC

Picked up your link from a related message asking for more info. We have just completed 14 days touring around the Peloponnese in a car and had a wish list very much like yourself and long experience of Greek Island Hopping!

Our itinery looked like this:

Day 1 pick up car from Athens Airport travel to Nafplio stay 2 nights. More cosmopolitan than both places you will visit. Beautiful old town, quite lively too and lots of shopping!

Day 3 One night in Poulithra (near Leonidhio)

Day 4 Two nights in Monemvasia

Day 6 One night in Yerolinenas (Mani)

Day 7 One night Agious Nikolaos (between Areopoli and Kalamata)

Day 8 One night Langadha Pass

Day 9 One night Korini

Day 10 One night Kalo Nero (near Kiparissia)

Day 11 Stemnitsa

Day 12 Dhimitsana (days 11 & 12 for Lousios Gorge)

Day 13 Cornith when back to airport

Our highlights were Mycenae (amazing tombs), Epidaurus (worth it for the Ancient Theatre alone), Mystra (spectacular views), Olympia (sense of history) and Methoni (super location and great for tunnel exploring!) Acrocornith castle (although we didn't bother with the ancient site below the hill) as regards the ancient sites. Monemvasia (great location and picturesque hora) , Lousios Gorge for walking and West Coast of Messinia for beaches.

Most of the places we stayed at are reviewed under our post.

Have a great holiday!

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