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Heat in July + time planning

NY
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Heat in July + time planning

1) We'll be in Southern Peloponnese next July and wonder if it is too hot at that time of year for hiking/

Our base will be Plythra (Lakonia) and would like to spend time in Mani region and all over the Peninsula. Are the mountainous areas cooler?

2) We'll have 3 weeks there and plan to check Kythira Island also. Is 3 weeks too long for the region? We have 1 month (July) for Greece and were thinking of going for 1 week to 2 Cyclades islands at the end of the trip and 2 days in Athens. Any thoughts? I assume the islands will be very expensive and crowded in July. Any thoughts? advise?

Harbin, China
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1. Re: Heat in July + time planning

Hi and regarding question 1,

You can expect the temperatures to be high, perhaps too high for hiking but I don't know what you are used to. I have hiked in those areas in July/August and the going can be tough. However, you could start the day early and rest up during the hottest times and then continue later on.

Molaoi, Greece
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2. Re: Heat in July + time planning

First off, Plytra is a lovely spot but hardly ideal for exploring the Mani. It's an hour drive just to get as far as Gythio. That said, there are some excellent hikes in the area in the hills above Monemvasia and, unusually, they are signposted in many places.

July isn't ideal for hiking and this year, the temperatures were in the high thirties the whole month. As the previous poster said, make an early start and that would make it easier.

As for the amount of time to give to the place, you could easily spend a whole summer in the area but a couple of weeks would give you a good flavour. The tricky part would be getting to the Cyclades as you would have to either get back to Athens or take one of the infrequent boats from Kythira, Neapoli or Gythio to Kissamos in Crete, take the bus to Heraklion and pick up a ferry from there to Santorini.

NY
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3. Re: Heat in July + time planning

Do you know if it generally is less hot in the islands of Cyclades than in the Southern Peloponnese?

Bristol, United...
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4. Re: Heat in July + time planning

Hi, I'm guessing it's Poulithra you're going to - near Leonidio? (As always in Greece, many different ways to spell it.!) Poulithra is a gorgeous little beachside place and Leonidio is a lovely small town, completely untouched by tourism and feels like stepping back into the past. Do explore the local shops, especially the grocery with its antique coffee grinding machine. There is a really excellent pizzeria just above the main plateia in Leonidio (near the church) I would highly recommend a visit to eat there. The wood-fired pizzas are wonderful - and very big, but they will provide a box so you can take the left-overs home!

I would recommend doing the very scenic drive from Leonidio up to Kosmas at the top of the mountain, passing the pretty convent of Elonas that seems to hang from the mountainside (you can make a short detour to visit it). You will notice the temperature change when you reach Kosmas, it's considerably cooler than the coast. Have lunch or a drink in the square under the massive plane trees, and buy some attractive ceramics from the little pottery shop. You can also continue down the other side of the mountains to the little-visited Byzantine site of Yerakas. Good luck though, we have never found it open - I think the trick is to stop in the village first and locate the man with the keys.

As has been said above, Poulithra is a great place to chill out for a while but not a great base for touring as it is very much 'at the end of the line'. If you want to explore the whole of the Peloponnese I would suggest at least 2 weeks, three would be better, and at least 2 or 3 different bases. Remember that although distances may not look that great, the roads are often winding and mountainous and slow to drive.

For visiting the Mani (which you must, it is amazing) I would recommend basing yourself in the little village of Agios Nikolaos, near Stoupa. Stoupa itself is a package tour resort and I would not recommend it, but Agios Nikolaos is extremely picturesque and quiet. Alternatively you could stay in Kardamyli which probably has a bit more accommodation. From there you can easily do day trips down into the Mani. Do read up on its history before you go as it will add to your appreciation of the area.

Have a great trip!

Molaoi, Greece
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5. Re: Heat in July + time planning

>>Hi, I'm guessing it's Poulithra you're going to - near Leonidio? <<

Except that Poulithra is not in Lakonia but Arcadia. Plytra is near Asopos on the way to Neapoli. Agios Nikolaos would of course be more convenient for touring the Mani.

nyvoyageur - There won't be much difference in temperature between the Cyclades and the southern Peloponnese as they are on the same latitudes. If you plan to spend time on the beaches, be aware that unless you love crowds and loud music, the beach at Plytra by the Asopitan Plaz bar/cafe will not be to your taste. You need to head to the far end towards Karavostasi or make use of the free sunloungers outside the Araxovoli or Thalamigos tavernas. If you buy a drink, the owners will be happy.

Bristol, United...
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6. Re: Heat in July + time planning

Oh, apologies for the error and for all the irrelevant stuff about Poulithra! Thanks for pointing it out.

Athens, Greece
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7. Re: Heat in July + time planning

July can be very hot, not recommended for hiking, as the temperatures climb from early morning onwards.

Keep in mind that islands have the sea next to them, and a breeze can make a big difference from the inland places.

Molaoi, Greece
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8. Re: Heat in July + time planning

No worries, 2b. It's great advice for anyone staying between Nafplio and Leonidio.

Ljubljana, Slovenia
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9. Re: Heat in July + time planning

The constant meltemi keeps the Cyclades cooler. This July I never experienced temperatures above 32 C and I visited 6 Cyclades. I also stayed in Chania for two weeks in August and the constant heat and high humidity was driving me crazy.

Harbin, China
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10. Re: Heat in July + time planning

Hi,

If you plan on travelling around I agree with the comments made by 2bristolians regarding Stoupa and Kardamili as being good bases to visit the Mani. Indeed, the latter is also a good base for some hiking/walking in the Taygetus foothills. If you are a keen hiker you could walk up to the main peak in the area at 2407 meters. However, it is advisable to stay at the EOS (Greek mountain refuge) at Ag. Varvara for a night and get an early start to the day. It is possible to reach the peak and get back to the refuge within five hours, thus avoiding the heat of the day.

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