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Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

Ottawa
Level Contributor
65 posts
2 reviews
Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

We are heading to the Peloponnese on May 8th (from Athens) via rental car for 10 days (after, we are heading further north to the Epirus region for 6 days and then the islands for 3 weeks).

Is the following itinerary for the Peloponnese manageable with a rental car? Are we cutting certain areas too short, and therefore need to eliminate an area, or cut back on our island visiting time? If so, what area to eliminate?

Day 1: Athens to Nafplio with quick stop at the canal. Partail day to visit Nafplio.

Day 2: Visit to Mycenae and Epidaurus with remaining part of day to visit Nafplio.

Day 3: Visit Mystras, then head to Monemvasia (few hours in Mystras, second half of day in Monemvasia)

Day 4: Part of day in Monemvasia, then head to Gythio.

Day 5, 6, 7: Gythio and towns in Mani (Vathia, Gerolimenas, Areopoli, Diros Caves, Kardamili)

Day 8,9: Lousios Gorge area (Stemnitsa and Dimitsana)

Day 10: Olympia for first part of day; second part of day drive to Ioannina.

We are also interested in visiting Kyparissi (on our way to Monemvasia), but not sure if we can fit that in?

Thanks in advance for your input!

South Pole
Destination Expert
for Lesbos
Level Contributor
15,979 posts
1. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

That looks good to me. We covered much the same ground in 16 days, but also included time at Kalavryta/Diakofto, Messinia area & on at least four days we were out walking for between 4 & 8 hours so not travelling very far. If you start early in the mornings there will then be time for impromptu stops between your main places.

Nice to see someone giving the Peloponnese enough time to see it properly, although it will still leave you wanting more! Too much Greece - never enough time.

Molaoi, Greece
Destination Expert
for Peloponnese
Level Contributor
4,194 posts
28 reviews
2. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

It's a sensible itinerary which makes a bit of a change as many visitors to the Peloponnese don't realise how big it is and have unrealistic expectations.

I'll comment specifically about Kiparissi. It wouldn't be easy to fit in with Mystras on the same day as you head for Monemvasia as it's out on a limb. You'd have to make a left turn at Molaoi from where it's over an hour's drive and from there it's about the same to Monemvasia provided you don't make any wrong turnings as signposting is not great in places.

It is a truly spectacular drive especially when you get to the coast as the road snakes along the mountainside with wonderful views across the sea to the Argo Saronic islands. Kiparissi itself is a lovely spot.

If you really want to go, why not stay overnight on you way to Monemvasia? Monemvasia itself is wuite compact and can be seen in a few hours and Gythio is only a couple of hours from there.

Washingon DC area
Level Contributor
2,019 posts
6 reviews
3. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

Have you considered visiting Mystras from Gytheo? It's an easy drive on a fast road. I was able to spend as much time as I wanted in Mystras and still get back to Gytheo early afternoon. And this was after getting lost on my way - I thought Mystras was outside Sparta, so I got off the fast road when I saw a sign pointing towards Sparta. But it's not close to Sparta; it's near Sparti.

It looks like Kiparissi would then be on a more direct route to Monemvasia from Napflio.

As you seem to appreciate history and antiquities, you might enjoy a stop in ancient Messini if you can fit it in. It's on my A List of Greek ruins.

Harbin, China
Destination Expert
for Kanchanaburi
Level Contributor
23,665 posts
42 reviews
4. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

Hi,

Have you considered visiting Ancient Corinth on your way to Nafplion? On day three you may have the time to visit Anavriti, another delightful mountain village. Also, depending on the route you take from Stemnitsa/Dimitsana to Olympia you could consider stopping off at the Vassae Temple. The nearest village to it is Andritsena.

Molaoi, Greece
Destination Expert
for Peloponnese
Level Contributor
4,194 posts
28 reviews
5. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

>It looks like Kiparissi would then be on a more direct route to Monemvasia from Napflio.<

Unfortunately not. Some maps show a road along the coast from Leonidio to Kiparissi. Sadly, it doesn't exist.

Washingon DC area
Level Contributor
2,019 posts
6 reviews
6. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

<Unfortunately not. Some maps show a road along the coast from Leonidio to Kiparissi. Sadly, it doesn't exist.>

I know the road doesn't follow the coast completely, but I think I remember being able to go from Monemvasia to Napflio - through Richea and Leonido - along a route that looks like it would make a side trip to Kiparissi less of a hike than if you tried to take in Mystras along the way. Other than a few very challenging kilometers of dirt road (I wasn't in a car) it was an easy ride.

Ottawa
Level Contributor
65 posts
2 reviews
7. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

Thanks everyone. If you think it is manageable for us to add a day or Karpariss in the itinerary above, perhaps the best way may be to go to Monemvasia from Nafplio, and then just day-trip to Karparissi from there? According to my Michelin map, there is a coastal road that takes you from Monemvasia to Kyparissi in about 1.5 hours? I have scheduled three days for the Mani, but maybe I can reduce that to two days to fit Kyparassi in. I just don't want us to be running around like crazy to see things... but would like to see these things. :)

South Pole
Destination Expert
for Lesbos
Level Contributor
15,979 posts
8. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

In May the roads on the Mani will be very quiet (we were there in May), so depending what you want to see two days could work as getting around is very easy. Where have you in mind for a base for the 3 nights or so down that way? You could stay at Kardamyli & easily travel south of there for a couple of days out if you don't want to keep packing up & moving base. Or I can recommend a good place where friends stayed in Gerolimenas (& I can also tell you a place to avoid!).

Apart from the Diros Caves (we did not do these), it is worth spending a couple of hours down at Cape Tenaron - walk out to the lighthouse & you will be standing on the southernmost tip of the European mainland - & explore the ruins there, including some mosaic floors. There is a taverna there that feels like it is at the end of the world! Also nearby Tingaki - the site of a ruined basilica & ancient kastro, which you access across a neck of land where there are remains of salt pans. But especially for this you need good footwear as the rocks you walk on are very sharp underfoot.

Have a look at this website - loads of useful info & might even tempt you to spend MORE time on the Mani, not less. The amount of time you spend in any one area probably hinges on whether you will be returning to Greece in the future.

http://www.zorbas.de/maniguide/index.html

Molaoi, Greece
Destination Expert
for Peloponnese
Level Contributor
4,194 posts
28 reviews
9. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

>I know the road doesn't follow the coast completely, but I think I remember being able to go from Monemvasia to Napflio - through Richea and Leonido<

Yes you can go that way but the road isn't for the fainthearted and IMO, it's actually quicker to go via Kosmas and Skala. The road is good all the way but if you go the other way, there's a very slow steep climb out of Poulithra and a section of unmade road where you pass from Arkadia into Lakonia which would slow you down considerably even in a 4X4. It's a nice drive if you have the time and the right car.

>According to my Michelin map, there is a coastal road that takes you from Monemvasia to Kyparissi in about 1.5 hours?<

Yes, that's right.

Helsinki
Level Contributor
5 posts
42 reviews
10. Re: Manageable itinerary for 10 days?

I would recommend a visit in Kyparissi, staying for not less than 2 nights and using the time for some walks in order to enjoy the beautiful nature. There are very good walking paths available.

I have tried the road going from Poulithra up to Kremasti but I do not recommend it as part of the road is still more or less a donkey path. I would drive from Naufplio via Leonidio and up to Kosmas continuing to Geraki and Ag Dimitrios and then heading for Kyparissi. From Kyparissi it is easy to continue to Monemvasia not having to drive the same stretch of road for more than 15 kms.

Edited: 10:15 am, April 07, 2013
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