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Help with A Peloponnese trip

Atlanta. georgia
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Help with A Peloponnese trip

We are older. experienced travelers.

I am 73 and have a wonderful wife of 65.

We have been to Greece twice and mostly toured Athens and some Islands, Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, and Mykonos.

This trip we plan to take time and visit Peloponnese.

Here is where we would like some of suggestions.

We will be flying to Athens around 25 May(we fly standby and need several days to catch a flight) and we will be flying to Milan 17 June, late morning on Easy Jet. All else is open, that would give us about three weeks to see parts of Greece we have never seen before.

We will most likely hire a car in Athens and begin our touring.

When we traveled to Sicily and Ireland, we just traveled the ocean roads and stopped when we found a place we wanted to explore in more detail. We hike regularly and could walk 8-10 kms a day. I am an accomplished driver, having driven the Amalfi Coast and throughout Europe cities.

With that as some background, have you some suggestions for us. We travel to meet people and enjoy their culture. We also travel to eat.:)

Thank you very much.

Edited: 26 October 2013, 13:41
United Kingdom
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for Lesbos, Zagorohoria
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1. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Sounds as though you will really get a great experience from travelling the Peloponnese. Firstly because you are happy to drive you have total flexibility. In May/early June you should have no problem finding places to stay on the wing - so when you reach a place you like you can stop & move on when the mood takes. You also have ample time to really enjoy places - apart from visiting main sites you will have the luxury of time to stop & stare or turn down those intriguing little side roads to a glorious viewpoint or an old monastery.

Get hold of a dedicated guide to the Peloponnese, read, mark the places that take your eye & come back with further questions. It is an area that offers so much to those who want to hike - my partner & I are a little younger than you (not much) & we had some very enjoyable hikes of the length you quote in various parts of the Peloponnese. Look at the Viros Gorge & Taygetos foothills area around Kardamyli, the Lousios Gorge in Arcadi, The Vouraikos Gorge (which follows the cog railway from Kalavryta down to the coast) & the Lower Mani. You have time to see them all, plus visit some major sites like Epidauros, Monemvasia, Mystras & Olympia, & also take in the varied countryside & towns like Nafplion.

Do be aware that some online car hire companies have an age limit - varies from 70 to 75 - so you just might have to check this out. I can personally recommend an excellent local based independent company (as opposed to anonymous online broker/franchise) who will meet you right off your flight with a car & get you on the road quickly & smoothly. AFAIK they have no age limit - just that you have the correct valid driving licence/permit.

http://www.athens-carrental.com/

(contact the owner Nicolas for a quote - they all speak perfect English & will provide exactly what you need)

The roads are very good, the weather should be lovely that time of year, (especially for walking) & you will find no crowds. Only hospitable & friendly locals & excellent food!

The Peloponnese could easily eat up the full 3 weeks, but if I were you I would look at including a trip to Delphi - a Greek highlight!

Lots of experienced travellers on here will help with details & some very knowledgeable people will advise on routes & timings where you need assistance. Start with a good guide book

Edited: 26 October 2013, 14:24
Stavanger, Norway
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2. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Here are a few walks in the Nafplio area, and I will hopefully add more in the next months:

visitnafplio.com/visitnafplio.com/Walks.html

Athens, Greece
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3. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Your plan sounds wonderful, and the time of the year most agreeable. This is the best way to taste the culture of Greece, not rushing when travelling.

You might wish to check Kalambryta (a wonderful train ride over small streams, a day trip), Monemvassia, and Mystria.

Nanaimo, Canada
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for Chania Town, Naxos
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4. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Looks like we will both be heading to the Peloponnese on the 25 of May. This will be our third trip there. On the first two we were so captured by the experience that our whole plan just fell apart and we began to live in the moment and just enjoyed where we were rather than worrying about sticking to a plan.

We picked up the car at the airport and stopped at Corinth saw the Canal then stopped at Ancient Corinth and Ancient Aptera. The latter two were easily done in an hour each but are well worth the time.

We then stopped at Nafplion for two days to get over jet lag. Two days really is a must for Nafplion there is so much to do there and so much charm.

We took a day trip and visited Ancient Tyirns, Mycenae and Epadarus. Then headed out to Sparti to visit Mystras. That site will easily take 4 hours as you meander down the mountainside enjoying the Byzantine ruins. We then went to Monemvassia. WE were so captivated by this 15th century town that we stayed two nights in period room inside the city walls. One truly can step back into time here.

From Monemvassia we headed over to the Mani and did a one day round the peninsula trip. We spent two hours wandering around the ruined tower houses of Vathey. If we were to do it agian I think we would take two days for that trip. From there our time was up so we drove back to Nafplion and crossed the montians at Sparti and took the coast road back to Nafplion. That is a remarkable drive, switchback and digs and coastal views. We had no reservations just found small hotels when our day was done that was pretty easy at this time of year.

In 2014 we plan to do the western Peloponnese, hopefully 10 days will be enough.

Here are some images of this trip.

Nafplio and Peloponnese flickr.com/photos/…

Have fun planning

Edited: 26 October 2013, 15:45
Bristol, United...
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for Messenia Region, Laconia Region, Magnesia Region
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5. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

You are going to have such a wonderful trip! I have visited the Peloponnese many times and I can recommend the best guide book, if you can get hold of it - the Bradt Guide to the Peloponnese by Andrew Bostock which gives a lot of history and background as well as the usual recommendations.

amazon.com/Greece-Peloponnese-Bradt-Travel-G…

You have already had some great suggestions above. Do also explore the mountains of Arcadia, with beautiful villages such as Andritsena and Dimitsana. Ancient Messini (not to be confused with Mycenae) is one of the best ancient sites we have visited and is relatively little known. And the towns of Koroni and Methoni are lovely.

Happy planning (but as has already been said, no need to plan too much, just go where the road takes you and have a great trip!)

Molaoi, Greece
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for Naxos, Peloponnese
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6. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

You've received some very good suggestions, STB, from posters who know the Peloponnese well. It would be sensible to start at Nafplio as it is only a couple of hours from Athens airport and base yourselves there for a few days to visit the many ancient sites in the area.

After that, work your way down to Monemvasia which is about a 4 hour drive from Nafplio if you take my preferred route via Leonidio and Skala. It's a wonderful drive and you can visit the Elona monastery and the picturesque village of Kosmas with wonderful views down to the Aegean. Monemvasia itself doesn't need a lot of time as it's quite compact but make sure you take the stiff walk to the top of the rock with the Agia Sofia church and, on a clear day, views as far as the western Cyclades. There are a number of marked hiking trails in the hills to the south of Monemvasia which might interest you.

From Monemvasia, drive into the Mani via Gythio and Areopoli and spend some time exploring this fascinating area. Afterwards, you could drive up to Sparti to visit the old Byzantine site of Mystras and after that go on to the Lousios Gorge as other respondents have suggested to see the beautiful villages of Dimitsana and Stemnitsa.

You would still have time to see ancient Olympia but, as tsipouro suggested, try to include a visit to Delphi which I consider to be the greatest of all ancient sites, albeit not in the Peloponnese but close enough to fit into your itinerary.

Atlanta. georgia
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7. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Malianna

Just the type of walks we enjoy. Will look forward to any others you may send.

We will probably make Nafploi our first stop after a long flight.

Any suggestions for a reasonably priced B&B or place to stay to tour the area and get our clocks adjusted. We will most likely stay three nights.

We will have wheels, so we do not need to be too close to town(unless you think we should stay in town).

A place to stay that will not be too difficult to find since we will probably have been going for 24 hours or more.

Todd

Edited: 28 October 2013, 19:13
Stavanger, Norway
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8. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Hi again!

Most of the b&bs, or pensions as they are called in GReece, are in the old town of Nafplio, and it is the best place to stay anyway, or at least close by. It's not so easy to find parking in the old town itself, you must usually park at a huge parking place by the sea front and walk 2 - 5 minutes to your lodgings, or drive between this big parking place and the old town and up to the part of the old town called Psaromachalas.

The latter is the easiest option if you DON'T arrive a weekend, because then the parking place up there often is packed. But the good thing about staying there is that you can park very close to the pensions.

I have no idea what is "reasonnably priced" in you opinion, but "down" in the old town, check out the pensions Isabo, Omorfi Poli and Kastello, and hotel King Othon, all relatively close to the big parking place there - depending where on the big lot you park, of course.

Up in Psaromachalas, check pensions Nikolaos and Eleni.

If none of these seems ok, please be a bit more specific and I can give you other suggestions - there are plenty to chose from!

Salisbury, North...
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9. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

If one had to choose (sadly) between staying in Kalavrita or Dimitsana which would one is more appealing?

United Kingdom
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10. Re: Help with A Peloponnese trip

Afraid it is chalk & cheese as they both have their individual charms. Probably hinges on what you want to do. Kalavryta has the cog railway & the Holocaust Museum which I would not have missed for the world. Dimitsana has the wonderful Arcadian landscape, the Water Power Museum & the awesome Lousios Gorge. Both towns have fascinating monasteries nearby. If you really have to choose draw the winner from a hat - neither will disappoint.