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Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

Portland, OR
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Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

When one thinks of Greece, images of a beach holiday in the islands comes to mind. I knew very little about Peloponnese. After getting some advise on a couple of other threads that I posted on, we have decided to focus on Peloponnnese since many things close down on the islands in October.

We will spend about 3 weeks exploring in October. We are a couple in our mid 50's who enjoy slow travel and off the beaten path destinations. We love to hike, eat and drink but not into clubbing. We especially like sitting at an outdoor cafe with great scenery and people watching. We enjoy interacting with locals and have had some amazing experiences doing so around the world. We want to avoid package tour touristy locations and places that are frequented by cruise ships. We do enjoy meeting other travelers that also have a sense of adventure.

We will have a car. We don't want to move around too much during our 3 weeks as we prefer to settle in a bit and get to know a town. Although we want to see some historic sites/ruins, we know from past travels to Turkey, Italy and Cambodia that we also get "ruined out" after seeing too many.

Here are some places that appeal to us. I mapped these places out and it seems to be less than 20 hours of total drive time starting and returning to Athens.

Delphi - Out of the way but this is on my partners list of places to visit.

Nafplio - Good sized city with lively cafes and most likely mostly locals in October. Maybe stay here for 3-4 nights and do day trips to Mycenae and Epidavros

We are trying to find the best spot for the next few nights and Koroni, Kardamyli, Finikoundas and Pylos appeal to our senses but we are open to suggestions. Ideally, the place we end up would have tavernas along the water, casual and affordable restaurant choices rather than high end places and not be completely deserted. I had put another village in my smart phone memo pad but it auto-corrected it to "Moronic" and now I have no idea what it was! I remember that I read that this place had a harbor lined with inexpensive tavernas. Ring a bell?

Then we will head towards Monemvasia and probably stay 2 nights across the harbor with a view of the rock and walk over to visit in the evening.

From there we are thinking of heading to Elafonisos for 2-3 nights.

Places that I have made a list of that I think may be worth visiting either while enroute from one destination to another or as day trips while at our destination:

Corinth

Leonidio

Elia

Areopoli

Tolo

Mystras

Nemea for wine tasting

Diros Caves

Polilimnio Gorge and Waterfalls

Vathia

Kastania

Flomochori

Gialova

Limeni

Olympia

Palamidi Castle

Now for the questions!

1. Is Delphi worth the detour or are some of the ancient sites on Peloponnese more spectacular?

2. Based on my description of what we enjoy, which smaller village along the coast may appeal to our travel style? We do want some night life but low key, as in sitting with locals in a taverna with great atmosphere.

3. Does anyone know what that village could be that my phone auto-corrected to "Moronic"? Harborside with boats pulled up by a row of tavernas?

4. Nemea - Would love to hear about wine tasting logistics in this area. Should we stay right in Nemea or just make it a day trip or stop along the way to Nafplio?

5. We enjoy winging it when traveling in low season so we are thinking we will book a few nights in Nafplio and have a rough itinerary mapped out along with 2-3 accommodation choices in other villages so we can email or call a day or two to check availability. Is this feasible in October?

6. Is there anything on my list of places that we may want to skip? Anything we should add?

7. Any inland villages that are worth seeking out to stroll through?

8. Although we are not the type of people to lounge around all day on a sunbed, we may want to spend an hour or two here and there if the weather is nice. Do any of the beaches still have sunbeds to rent?

I am sure I will have many more questions but your replies will help shape our trip!

Thanks so much in advance!

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14 replies to this topic
Suffolk, UK
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1. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

Just seen your message and it will take a while to answer everything on the list - probably won't get to it until later. To get you started though, my phone converts Koroni to Moronic too!

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Koroni
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2. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

Haha! Now at least that mystery is solved!! I look forward to your reply when you have time. :-)

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3. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

Here we go - done my best!

1. [Is Delphi worth the detour or are some of the ancient sites on Peloponnese more spectacular?]

Delphi is a wonderful site and October would be a good time to see it, as the weather is cooler and the crowds less. Having said that, in the Peloponnese you have some great sites like Ancient Messini (my favorite), Mycenae, Nemea and Epidavros. There is als Olympia, although I’ve never been a great fan. You certainly have the potential to get “ruined out”! My initial response was to advise you to leave Delphi for another time, but it’s easy for me – I’m only a three hour flight away. If this is going to e your only trip to Greece, then definitely see Delphi. If you’re lkely to come back, then leave it until next time.

2. [Based on my description of what we enjoy, which smaller village along the coast may appeal to our travel style? We do want some night life but low key, as in sitting with locals in a taverna with great atmosphere.]

Your description of what you like is a perfect fit with us, so I can be fairly confident in answering this one. I think Koroni is a good choice – it is certainly quiet in October but not dead. There is a fair sized resident population a - mixture of Greeks and expats (mainly German and Austrian) and still a fair few tourists around. It is a beautiful large village/small town and I have spent many idyllic evenings there at all times of year (even in mid winter). Pylos is somewhat bigger and is likely to have a little more life – sitting under the huge plane trees in the square is a great people-watching position. Finikounda is likely to be very quiet in October, as it has a very small permanent population. It is a nice small village and there will be a few tavernas open, but it will be a bit f a ghost town. Likewise Methoni – worth a visit for the great castle but you probably wouldn’t want to stay there. I’ve only been through Kardamyli once at that time of year and it was certainly quiet, but I’m not really a Mani expert so it might be best to ask someone else that.

3. [Does anyone know what that village could be that my phone auto-corrected to "Moronic"? Harborside with boats pulled up by a row of tavernas?]

That was Koroni! I once wrote a post on here about the village of Vasilitsi and failed to notice before it was too late that it had autocorrected to vaginitis! By the way, Vasilitsi is a village just outside Koroni that has one of the nicest tavernas in the area (O Nikos). His stifado alone is worth the trip.

4. [Nemea - Would love to hear about wine tasting logistics in this area. Should we stay right in Nemea or just make it a day trip or stop along the way to Nafplio?]

Can’t help with that one, I’m afraid, although I will be interested to see any answers for my next trip

5.[ We enjoy winging it when traveling in low season so we are thinking we will book a few nights in Nafplio and have a rough itinerary mapped out along with 2-3 accommodation choices in other villages so we can email or call a day or two to check availability. Is this feasible in October?]

Absolutely – no problem at all.

6. [Is there anything on my list of places that we may want to skip? Anything we should add?]

I do wonder whether 2-3 days in Elafonisos might be a bit much. It’s a nice little island but it’s very small and there’s not much there apart from Symi beach and the cluster of tavernas around the ferry port. Mystras is well worth a visit – if you go there, don’t miss the drive to Kalamata using the old road across the Taygetos mountains – it’s very beautiful. Also make sure that you see Ancient Messini (as mentioned above). If you feel like treating yourself when you’re on the Mani, go to the Kyrimai Hotel in Gerolimenas for dinner – they have one of the best restaurants I know in the Western Peloponnese – not cheap but very special.

7. [Any inland villages that are worth seeking out to stroll through?]

On the Mani there are some beautiful mountain villages above the road from Kalamata to Kardamyli. Two that spring to mind are Ano Verga and Tseria, but there are many more – especially as you move further south on the Mani.

8. [Although we are not the type of people to lounge around all day on a sunbed, we may want to spend an hour or two here and there if the weather is nice. Do any of the beaches still have sunbeds to rent?]

It will all depend on the weather which, as I’m sure you know, is unpredictable in October. In Messinia, if the weather is hot, you will probably still find sunbeds on Zaga beach in Koroni and in the larger places between there and Kalamata. On the west side, there aren’t a lot of sunbeds even in the summer, so you may have to hunt them out (maybe there will still be some in Finikounda. The usual system is that you get the sunbeds free if you buy your food and drink from the bar that owns them.

Happy to help if any other questions arise

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Portland, OR
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4. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

JBMED, I just about spit out my wine when you mentioned your auto-correct incident!!! Soooo funny but I bet you were a bit mortified at not being able to edit it! Or did you catch it soon enough?

Great answers! I am glad you figured out the Koroni auto-corrects to Moronic because that is the town that sounded like a winner to me.

Thanks for the restaurant tips. Vasilitsi looks like a sweet little place to check out. My sweetie will enjoy the stifado but I don't eat red meat so I will leave it to him.

Is Elefonisos best done as just a day trip, perhaps?

Thanks!

Edited: 8:05 pm, June 11, 2018
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Koroni
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5. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

A very brief reply as I am away enjoying my own holiday at the moment. In short I agree with everything JMED said.

If you can only see a couple of ancient sites I’d make those Ancient Messene and Epidavros.

Stay in Koroni or Pylos, preferably both.

Inland villages - Stemnitsa and Dimitsana in the gorgeous Arcadian mountains with scenery to die for. Weather permitting you can stroll, or hike more energetically, in the stunningly beautiful Lousios Gorge.

I would skip Olympia, very famous but many find it underwhelming. Delphi is beautiful but if you feel you’ll have enough of ruins with the sites near Nafplio and Ancient Messene (really not to be missed) then don’t feel you “must” visit Delphi.

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Suffolk, UK
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6. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

No - missed the chance to autocorrect so as far as I know it's still somewhere on this forum!

Regarding Elafonissos, it's definitely worth a day trip (or perhaps an overnight) but that should be plenty.

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7. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

No - missed the chance to correct the slip-up so as far as I know it's still somewhere on this forum!

Regarding Elafonissos, it's definitely worth a day trip (or perhaps an overnight) but that should be plenty.

Portland, OR
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8. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

Thanks 2bristolians! I googled for videos and photos of those two mountain towns and Dimitsana looks to be the most picturesque of the two. Do you have a preference of one over the other and if so, why? You can answer during your morning coffee while on your holiday. :-)

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9. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

I don’t think you can go far wrong whichever you choose. (BTW I am on your side of the pond right now, in Western Canada)

Edited: 12:07 am, June 13, 2018
Portland, OR
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10. Re: Help Fine Tuning Itinerary Based On Our Travel Style Please

Well, I was born in Alberta! So, instead of that coffee, perhaps you are drinking a Molsen beer?

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