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Greek Itinerary Help: 8 days Early November w/ 12-yr-old

Greek Itinerary Help: 8 days Early November w/ 12-yr-old

Old Jul 26th, 2016, 02:46 PM
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Greek Itinerary Help: 8 days Early November w/ 12-yr-old

I'll be taking my 12-year-old nephew on his first trip abroad, and was thinking about doing something along the following. We'll be renting a car to keep travel times down a bit. My thoughts:

Day 1: Arrive Athens, drive to Nafplio via Epidaurus Theatre (time allowing).
Day 2: Guided tour at Mycenae, afternoon stroll around Nafplion or the Theater if we missed it;
Day 3: Nafplion Archaeology Museum, Palmidi, travel to Arachova (by way of Patras to avoid backtrack? Other suggestions for a short detour on the way?)
Day 4: Guided tour of Temple of Apollo/Delphi at sunrise, travel to Kastraki/Meteora;
Day 5: Meteora, Day hiking;
Day 6: Drive to Athens (by way of Larissa? Other suggestions for a detour here? Extra time in Meteora?) (stay near acropolis)
Day 7: Athens (stay near acropolis)
Day 8: Athens (sleep near airport)
Day 9: Depart early morning.

In addition to criticism/confirmation of the itinerary, three questions:
(1) Where (within the itinerary) would you pick to take the kid to a busy market? I assume Athens, but perhaps ya'll have some off-the-track insight for a large/raucous experience.
(2) Advice on hiring reputable guides with excellent English. I was thinking Tours by Locals?
(3) Would you recommend forgoing Nafplion or Meteora in favor of Pelion or Mani?

Thank you!!
wildphatdisc is offline  
Old Jul 26th, 2016, 03:40 PM
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I think your itinerary looks fine but do have a couple questions/comments.

Are you arriving on a long overnight flight from the U.S., for example? If so, you may not want to drive that first day upon arrival if you don't sleep well on planes.

I would not give up Meteora for any place! Loved, loved, loved my visit there.

I wouldn't change hotels on my last day in Athens to be closer to the airport. Best to have your last night and memories be of Athens! Save the time of packing up, checking out, traveling to the new hotel, checking in, etc. What time is your retun flight in the morning?
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 05:34 PM
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Thanks Joan! Regarding the drive, it seemed like it made sense despite just getting off a 13 hour flight because (1) I'm committed to ENDING in Athens, which means that I'd be wasting commute time into the city at the start of the trip; (2) we'll have plenty of daylight to complete the 2-3.5 hour drive to Nafplio after we arrive; (3) we'd be too fried to drive into Athens and do anything worthwhile, so we might as well get the drive out of the way; and (4) I think he's going to be so overwhelmed if we start in Athens, I like the idea of getting out a bit. The thinking with the stop at the Theater was to make sure that, if he seemed disappointed at the quick exit, he'd at least get SOME site-seeing in.

If you had to choose between Meteora and Delphi (keeping in mind that the kid prefers nature and will get the Acropolis/Parthenon later, would you skip Delphi if we needed to pull something out? I'm also considering making Day 3 EITHER Palamidi OR the museum, depending on the November weather.

We'll need to be at the airport for the return by about 445 a.m. Though I'd love a 3rd night in central athens, I think that we'll be tired and worn out enough by 9:00 p.m. that we can make the drive out to the Airport hotel. If we stayed in the city center, I'd be too stressed worrying about how traffic would shake out.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 06:38 PM
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Did I get this right - are you thinking of having the rental car while in Athens??? If so, DON'T. You will have absolutely no use for it while in the city, and you can take a taxi to the airport for much less than rental fees for three days plus parking charges.
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 06:57 PM
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A&N--I had been struggling with how to manage that. I assume that I'll just have to take it to the airport for the return when we get in on Day 6...which means that perhaps there isn't much time at all for a detour that day (or maybe all the more reason to detour, because they'll be nothing to do when we get into athens but go to bed).
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Old Jul 26th, 2016, 09:52 PM
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I both picked up and dropped off at the airport, ending my trip in Athens after my automotive explorations. Athens is notoriously difficult to drive in, and it really took very little time to get into the city from the airport after the drop-off. IIRC it's about 40 euros for a taxi from the airport to the city center (fixed rate), or you could take the metro.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 01:43 AM
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Would you recommend forgoing Nafplion or Meteora in favor of Pelion or Mani?

I would not forgo Meteora in favour of Pelion. I did both in my trip. If I was going to the Pelopponese I would not forgo Nafplion either.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 08:45 AM
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Check out Blue Guides or the Oxford guide for excellent resources on archaeological sites. I make copies of the pages I will need. I rarely use guided tours because there is so much information available on line and in guide books and if the tour isn't good then money is wasted. I've been on a couple of great tours but most are only average.
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Old Jul 27th, 2016, 08:51 AM
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Don't skip the theater, Epidavros!
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Old Jul 30th, 2016, 01:07 AM
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Day 1: Some people feel rather dizzy after a long flight and are not ready to drive. Other people feel otherwise. If you have done a drive after a similar flight ok, if not, have a plan B to get some relaxing/sleep and start driving next day. I am not good with Peloponnese driving but I believe it is about 90 minutes to 2 hours driving to Epidavros, then half an hour to Nafplio.
Day 3: I believe you look on 4-5 hours drive non-stop to make it from Nafplion to Arachova through Patra. 3+ hours driving back through Attica.
Day 4: Delphi to Meteora around 4-5 hours driving.
Day 6: Meteora to Athens 4+ hours driving non-stop.

Do not underestimate the effort needed to sightseen and then drive long hours. I guess it is a matter of how someone travels, but I would take it a bit more easily.

If something between Meteora and Delphi has to go, if you plan to do this a circular route, Meteora should go, simply because it is a much longer distance from Peloponnese.
If you seek nature and/or activities other than your main sightseen, remember that you do not really have to criss-cross the country on a limited time frame. Around Nafplion for example there are tiny villages, beaches, coves, less known ruins, caves and much more to check out that people often skip in order to go all the way to an other destination and check again the most known sights.
Around Delphi and Meteora ditto.

Some links to get inspiration:
http://www.visitnafplio.com/ (Non commercial, made by a foreigner living in Nafplio)
http://www.visitdelphi.gr/index.php/en/ (Local municipality's website for visitors, far from perfect but gives some pointers)
https://www.visitmeteora.travel/en/ (This one belongs to a local Meteora travel agency, here you may find a guide if you wish. Good website to get some ideas though)
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Old Dec 31st, 2016, 01:33 AM
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Sorry for the belated input -- I'm just seeing this thread as I plan my own trip to Greece.

If there is any chance that you will have jet lag, I would strongly encourage you to take public transportation for your first night or two. There is mounting evidence that driving with jet lag is just as dangerous -- to yourself and others -- as driving drunk, and nothing you can do will prevent the microsleeps (which you might not even notice) that are the apparent culprit. Seriously -- NOT a good idea, no matter your other constraints and no matter your prior experience!

And IME with rental cars, one rarely MUST use only airport pickup and drop-off locations -- why do you think that's the case? Pick the locations that work for you!
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