A journey by mainland Greece is an expertise of time journey. In at some point, you possibly can transport from a contemporary, city metropolis to the abode of an historic mountain oracle. The town of Athens, itself, is a visit by hundreds of years in only a few steps! One week in Greece will fill your thoughts with historic trivia details, your stomach with tasty mousaka, and your coronary heart with the recollections of pleasant faces. It’s a heat nation, each in climate and in hospitality, and one week will solely go away you pining for extra. Merely put, Greece is pleasant!
Dive Into Historical past
Per week in Greece needs to be on everybody’s bucket checklist. Let’s Roam presents partaking scavenger hunts that may enable you uncover historic cities, similar to Athens. A whole lot of different places might be looked for on our app, so that you’re assured a culture-rich expertise irrespective of the place you roam!
Extra to Greece Than Islands
A overwhelming majority of the journey guides involving Greece revolve round Aegean island hopping. Now, don’t get us unsuitable, the Greek islands are fabulous! We love the windmills of Mykonos, the seashores of Naxos, and the attraction of Paros, too, however equally as gorgeous and traditionally fascinating, the mainland deserves per week of your time!
On this article, we are going to lay out the proper seven-day highway journey by mainland Greece, particularly the Peloponnese. The Peloponnese is a rugged panorama of mountains and gorgeous seashores, related to the mainland by a skinny strip of land. We’ll drive deep into the mystic mountains of Delphi, discover the hilltop village of charming Monemvasia, go to historic beehive tombs in Mycenae, and wander by deserted Byzantine cities. It’s gonna be a visit for the books. With just one week, a Peloponnese highway journey might be a whirlwind, so pack evenly and be prepared to maneuver! Let’s get to it!
For all our solutions and journey suggestions particularly on Greek island hopping, take a look at “The Biggest Greek Island Hopping Itinerary.”
Think about a Mainland Journey
Whereas islands like Delos, Crete, and Patmos actually have non secular and historic significance, mainland Greece journey is that occasions ten! Vacationers who get pleasure from archaeology, have a passion for Greek Mythology, or wish to study extra in regards to the iconic empire of Historic Greece, will get pleasure from a visit by the Peloponnese. You’ll must be snug driving in one other nation, however don’t fear an excessive amount of. Driving in Greece is fairly straightforward, particularly when you’re out of Athens.
It’s vital to do not forget that most historic archeological websites take some creativeness to get pleasure from. You should be ready to join guided excursions, take heed to app-guided strolling excursions, or be keen to do a big quantity of studying with a purpose to actually perceive the importance of the positioning and what you’re looking at. You could even be keen to spend a number of hours a day within the automotive to overcome this journey. It wouldn’t be an excellent journey for individuals who can’t sit for lengthy intervals of time, hike by hilly terrain, or for younger youngsters.
Journey Tip: Technically, as an American, you’re speculated to have a global driver’s license to hire a automotive in Greece, although most automotive rental businesses don’t adhere to the coverage. To keep away from any hassle, it’s possible you’ll wish to think about making use of in your worldwide license earlier than your journey. You may apply by the mail with AAA, or on-line by the IDA.
Excellent Seven-Day Greece Itinerary
“Excellent” is a kind of humorous phrases that actually doesn’t imply a lot within the journey world. Let’s be trustworthy. Each traveler is totally different, and what makes a “good” journey for one appears like a nightmare for others. This seven-day itinerary for the Peloponnese is, after all, heavy on archaeology, however we have now additionally tried to maximise the views alongside your drive, offer you time to get pleasure from a fast seaside go to, and absorb loads of recent Greek delicacies and wine tastings! We’ve additionally included just a few choose eating places and beautiful lodging to ease the burden of your journey planning.
Arrival in Greece
The overwhelming majority of worldwide flights will arrive at Athens Worldwide Airport, Eleftherios Venizelos. When you arrive, spend a while within the terminal grabbing an area sim card for information and GPS and pulling euros from the ATM. Greece, particularly in rural areas, nonetheless makes use of money routinely. When you’ll have the ability to predominantly use your bank card, it’s clever to have euros available. Don’t carry wads of money, however having 100 euros obtainable is a good suggestion.
Attending to the Metropolis
From the airport, you’ve got the traditional choices of bus and taxi to town heart, however the best possibility is to hop on the metro. The road runs on to Syntagma Central Station, which might be inside strolling distance of your Plaka lodge. It prices €8 and takes 40 minutes. A daytime taxi will value near €40.
Journey Tip: Should you’re arriving in Patras Greece from Italy through ferry or cruise, it’s possible you’ll think about beginning your journey with Delphi and continuing from there, saving Athens till the tip.
Day 1: Getting Settled in Athens
Keep: Acropolis Choose Resort or related close to Acropolis
Sightseeing: Self-guided strolling tour of Plaka, Acropolis Museum, and sundown on Mars Hill.
Meals: Splurge with dinner on the rooftop at Sense or save at Souvlaki at Avli Psiri Restaurant
Athens usually will get a nasty rap. It’s a extra gritty metropolis than many different European vacationer cities. It feels lived in. The graffiti is outstanding, and a few vacationers are dissatisfied at first sight. Nevertheless, with slightly exploration and correct expectations, Athens is stuffed with hidden gems. It’s a kind of cities you would discover endlessly, however you can even sort out the bucket checklist stuff in a single or two full days.
Athens has fabulous cafe streets, nice procuring, vibrant nightlife in Psyrri, a number of the most well-known archaeological sights on earth, and a provocative vibe. If that is your first journey to Greece, then we propose you put aside two days to go to Athens, after which head out in your highway journey to the Peloponnese.
Athens Day 1
After arriving and settling in your lodging, take the primary day to stroll the world across the acropolis and get a really feel for Outdated City Athens. Discover the winding streets of Plaka. Get misplaced within the lovable structure and improbable views on this neighborhood on the base of the well-known Acropolis. GPSMyCity and Rick Steves have strolling excursions of Plaka if you need a self-guided app tour.
When you’ve got time, go forward and tour the Acropolis Museum and start to wrap your thoughts round some vital elements of Greek historical past, which you’ll see in situ tomorrow. Catch a sundown with the native teenagers and vacationers on the Aeropagus (aka Mars Hill). Then, seize dinner in Plaka at one of many many fancy rooftop institutions or be a part of the locals in “The yard” aka Avril Psiri Restaurant. Get to mattress. Day two is a giant day!
Journey Tip: Should you solely have one week in Greece, and also you’re going to be shifting by Athens shortly, we advocate splurging slightly for a centralized lodge room in Plaka or Monastiraki, inside strolling distance of the Parthenon and different main sights. The Acropolis Choose Resort has an amazing view, and within the shoulder seasons, you may get a room for lower than $75 per night time.
Journey Tip: Day one on any itinerary is all the time a roll of the cube. Journey, particularly post-pandemic, is fraught with delays and cancellations and extremely unpredictable. That being stated, we advocate that you don’t e-book something costly, or any bucket checklist gadgets, in your first day, simply in case you don’t make it there on time. Nevertheless, maintain a listing of secondary sights that you simply wish to see you probably have time, and stick these in in your first day should you arrive early.
As an illustration, you would go forward and tour the Acropolis Museum, as acknowledged, or add the wonderful Nationwide Archaeological Museum. You can additionally make a journey to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, discover the lovable village of Anafiotika north of the Acropolis, or go to the Byzantine and Christian Museum. Should you can slot in at the least one archaeological web site on day one, be sure to purchase your Athens Metropolis Move (extra on this later), so that you don’t have to attend in line on the Acropolis on day two.
Day 2: Exploring Historic Athens
Keep: Acropolis Choose Resort or related close to Acropolis
Sightseeing: The Parthenon, Historic Agora and Museum, Temple of Zeus, First Athens Cemetery, Philopappos Monument
Meals: Theta Restaurant on the Panathenaic Means
Rise up early on day two as a result of you’ve got loads to see at present. First, head for the Acropolis, the towering non secular heart of historic Greece, and take within the nice temple of Athena, the Parthenon. As with most historic websites, it actually pays to have an excellent information. Both pay for a guided tour on the entrance or obtain a strolling tour app like Rick Steves Europe and pre-download the strolling excursions for the locations on this itinerary. In any other case, you’re simply loads of rocks.
After the Parthenon, make a fast cease on the Acropolis museum should you didn’t try this yesterday. Then, head for the Agora, the monetary and civic heart of the traditional neighborhood and a must-see for historical past lovers. The Agora was the bustling market of Historic Athens. It could have been stuffed with poor moms (or slaves of wealthy households) grocery procuring, politicians on campaigns, and younger college students studying on the toes of their thinker sages.
Gaze on the virtually completely intact temple of Hephaestus. A worship spot for blacksmiths and craftsmen, the mammoth is among the most intact Greek temples on the planet, which is humorous as a result of it was constructed very inexpensively and regarded a poor man’s temple. Take a while to peruse The Museum of the Historic Agora and the Church of the Holy Apostles.
Lunch Alongside the Panathenaic Means
Seize lunch at Theta Restaurant overlooking the Agora. It’s considered one of a number of barely overpriced, however useful cafes alongside the Panathenaic Means. You can additionally go for a less expensive souvlaki from a avenue vendor and carry on strolling. You might wish to think about lunch earlier than the Agora tour, as the remainder of the archaeological websites on the checklist received’t take as lengthy to tour.
Central Historic Websites
Subsequent on the checklist, are the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. These don’t take lengthy to tour. You can additionally cease by Hadrian’s Library. From right here, take a shady stroll by the unbelievable tombs of the primary cemetery of Athens. Snag afternoon drinks or a snack in one of many rooftop eating places or do some memento procuring in Plaka.
Sundown of Athens
Catch the sundown and among the best views within the metropolis from Philopappos Monument. From right here you possibly can see your entire metropolis, and it boasts an exquisite view of the Parthenon all lit up for the night. When you’ve got any power left, get pleasure from some Athens nightlife on the old-school Galaxy Bar or seize a drink on the rooftop terrace with a stylish native vibe at Couleur Locale.
The Athens Metropolis Move
Journey Tip: Whenever you go to your first web site, ask for the Athens Metropolis Move or mixture ticket on the kiosk. It’ll value you round €30. The move permits you entry to all of the archaeological websites and museums we listed and lets you skip the road. It would prevent money and time. Don’t purchase it on-line! These firms promote dearer passes that embody further perks like tour reductions and journeys on the hop-on-hop-off bus. Whereas an excellent worth, you possible received’t have time to get essentially the most out of them within the quick time you’ve got in Athens.
Day 3: The Magic of Delphi
Keep: Olympia Metropolis Heart
Sightsee: Archaeological websites of Delphi
Meals: Taverna Vahkos
Sadly, you possibly can’t conquer the entire Greek mainland in a single week, so from Athens, you must decide. You may go north to Meteora and Thessaloniki or head west to the Peloponnese. Whereas Meteora is a surprise, in your first time in Greece, we advocate touring the archaeological websites of the Peloponnese. It offers you essentially the most complete tour of the tradition, historical past, and landscapes that make Greece so alluring.
Hire Your Journey
Safe a rental automotive from central Athens. All the most important rental automotive businesses are congregated on Leof. Andre Siggrou is inside strolling distance of your lodge. Decide it up as quickly as they open. Set the GPS for Delphi, and swap your mind into highway journey mode. Don’t overlook to cease at a fast choose in your means out of town for correct highway journey snacks!
Delphi Archaeological Web site
The drive to Delphi is gorgeous, so take a while to tug off on the viewing areas and snap just a few pictures! When you arrive in Delphi, take time to discover the Temple of Apollo, the place the traditional oracle would give her drunken recommendation to dignitaries and kings. Delphi was the “navel” of the traditional Greek world and dates again to at the least the eighth century B.C.
Make sure to benefit from the sweeping mountain views. Try the treasuries alongside the route, and go to the stadium. Then, stroll down the hill to the equally spectacular web site of the Temple of Athena Pronaia. You could stroll between the 2 sights, alongside the primary highway. The doorway to the second sight simply appears like a wheelchair ramp, so take note of the indicators. There’s additionally a really spectacular little archaeological museum at Delphi that’s price an hour of your time.
The Cute Village
The village of Delphi itself is small, nevertheless it’s very charming. Take ten minutes and wander the lovable streets. Go to Taverna Vakhos for a standard Greek/Mediterranean lunch with essentially the most unbelievable view! It’s a family-owned place with pleasant employees, a wide selection of wines from native wineries, an unbelievable terrace, and engaging selfmade meals!
Drive to Olympia and keep the night time within the metropolis heart. On this highway journey itinerary, we’ve typically chosen to optimize daytime sightseeing and make the drives within the night. You’ll keep the night time within the new city and awaken able to discover within the morning! If you end up too drained to drive one other mile, then you possibly can all the time alter the itinerary and make the drive within the early morning hours earlier than the websites open.
Day 4: Olympia and Mystras
Sightsee: Olympia Archaeological Web site, Mystras Deserted Metropolis, Ruins of Sparta
Archaeological Web site of Olympia
Day 4 begins with a tour of the three-fold web site of historic Olympia, the house of the unique Olympic video games. Beginning in 776 B.C., the Olympics are an historic custom that we nonetheless take part in at present, and all of it started in Olympia. Right here you’ll see a monument constructed by the daddy of Alexander the Nice, one of many authentic Seven Wonders of the Historic World, the Temple of Zeus, and the unique Olympic Stadium. Marvel on the measurement of the toppled columns of the Temple of Zeus, study the traditional rituals surrounding the video games, and compete in a foot race within the stadium! Subsequent, go to the archaeological museum for an hour or so, then make a fast spherical of the Olympic Video games Museum.
Maintain the Olympic Torch
From there, spend a couple of minutes exploring the lovable city of Olympia. Cease within the well-known little Apollo Jewellery on the primary row. The proprietor, Nondas, is from a household of Olympians, and he’ll let you know rousing tales of his Olympic recollections and mean you can maintain the torch from the 1980 Olympic video games. He’s a riot! Seize lunch at one of many streetside cafes. Allot round three hours for Olympia, after which head on to Mystras.
Deserted Metropolis of Mystras
Mystras is an unbelievable sight close to the traditional metropolis of Sparta, and the ruins are way more spectacular. With a number of Byzantine church buildings and a mountain-top fortress and monastery, the sight is price a few hours. The town on a hill was deserted when the trendy metropolis of Sparta was constructed, and it’s completely lovely.
Wander by a number of Byzantine church buildings in mint situation, crumbling medieval castles lined in vines, and finish on the mountain-top spoil with a view of the encircling olive groves that’s priceless! From right here, we advocate you go forward and make the drive to Monemvasia. It will likely be a protracted day, however you solely have per week! Should you’re a Sparta-ophile, you possibly can decide to spend an hour exploring the ruins of historic Sparta. The ruins are sparse and far of it’s unexcavated, however the Archaeological Museum of Sparta is stuffed with treasures.
Dinner in Monemvasia
Seize a recent seafood dinner alongside the waterfront promenade and retire for the night! There are two choices for staying in Monemvasia. The trendy city is on the mainland and presents cheaper choices alongside the bay. The traditional metropolis is positioned on the massive, floating rock island that offers this place its fame. The island presents the standard Greek isle really feel and insane views just like the well-known caldera of Santorini, nevertheless it comes with the next price ticket. Decide your poison.
Day 5: Monemvasia and Nafplio
Keep: Airbnb in Nea Kios
Sightseeing: Village of Monemvasia, a beachside village of Bay of Nafplio
A tour of the small island of Monemvasia is an expertise! The little metropolis on the Mediterranean is a favourite weekend spot for mainland locals. The rocky outcropping is related to the trendy city by a brief causeway. It’s a towering edifice that’s harking back to Masada, with an lovable and colourful conventional Greek village tumbling down its cliffs. You may both stroll over or drive and park on the base of the plateau (assuming you didn’t keep on the island). From there, put in your climbing footwear and start your stroll upwards.
The Outdated City of Monemvasia is attractive and actually harking back to the Cyclades Islands, with all of the attraction of Fira or Oia. Take a while to wander the cobblestone streets by colourful structure, cute retailers and cafes, and a sequence of more and more gorgeous views. After the charms of city, maintain heading as much as go to a jaw-dropping cliffside Byzantine church and the ruins of the fortress atop the mountain.
Journey Tip: The cobblestone streets of Monemvasia are very steep and fairly slippery. Put on your finest climbing footwear and take care! Carry water and a hat, as your entire path could be very uncovered.
The Most Lovely Drive
After a fast lunch, make the three-hour drive down the coastal highway to the Bay of Nafplio. It’s one of the scenic mountain drives in Greece, so take your time and benefit from the route. When you’ve got a couple of minutes, take a fast peek across the fascinating little mountain city of Leonidio. It’s buried within the mountains and options attractive yellow conventional constructions with purple tile roofs, in addition to a historic fort and the cliff-hanging monastery Elonas.
Nafplio is the most important metropolis on the bay, nevertheless it’s nonetheless charming and walkable. Decide to remain there, or get off the overwhelmed path within the quaint little beachside city of Nea Kios. The native normal retailer sells handmade ice cream, and the small seaside space has fantastic eating places. This space has a number of the finest seashores in your journey. They aren’t island high quality, however they’re actually good for a night of wave-watching and drinks!
Day 6: Mycenae and Epidavros
Sightseeing: Beehive Tombs of Mycenae, Historic theatre of Epidavros
Meals: Marinos Restaurant Corinth
Day six begins with a tour of the traditional archaeological web site of Mycenae. Mycenae is the house of King Agamemnon, from Trojan lore. The town was as soon as the wealthiest and most vital in historic Greece and boasts a historical past 1,000 years older than the Parthenon!
Stroll by Lions Gate. Benefit from the epic view from the King’s palace, after which spend a while within the well-known chamber tombs, together with the Treasury of Atreus and the Tomb of Clymeneptra. From Mycenae, transfer to the archaeological web site of Epidavros (Epidaurus).
Get Your Therapeutic in Epidaurus
Much like the wonderful UNESCO World Heritage Web site of Butrint in Albania, Epidavros was the abode of the god of therapeutic named Asklepios. It was akin to the traditional model of a flowery yoga retreat paired with a religious pilgrimage. Guests flocked from everywhere in the historic empire to obtain medical remedy on the web site. After a sequence of formality sacrifices and bathing, guests would take to their mattress within the hostel, and the god Asklepios would go to them of their desires to both heal them or reveal what acts they need to carry out to obtain their therapeutic. There may be proof of sensible drugs being carried out within the advanced as nicely, together with surgical procedures.
The well being facet is fascinating, however the primary purpose vacationers go to Epidavros at present is the theatre. The theatre in Epidaurus is among the largest and best-preserved historic Greek amphitheaters. It’s uncommon in the truth that it was so completely designed that even the Romans didn’t carry out their attribute theatre overhaul on the wonder, so it’s authentically Greek. The acoustics are stated to be close to good, and main theatrical performances are nonetheless carried out within the advanced at present.
Enjoyable Truth: Stand within the heart of the large stage and ship your journey accomplice to the tippy high. You may whisper to at least one one other if the theater isn’t crowded.
From right here, end with the quick drive to Corinth and test into any Airbnb alongside the seaside.
Day 7: Historic Corinth
Corinth is a stunning seaside city and was a serious heart of delivery and commerce within the olden days. As such, it has been fought over and occupied by the traditional Greeks, Romans, Ottomans, and Venetians and bears ruins from each period.
Historic Corinth Archaeological Web site
Discover the spectacular little archaeological museum and the traditional web site related to it. Right here you’ll discover the Temple of Apollo, a Roman Discussion board, the Bema Seat the place the apostle Paul was introduced earlier than authorities throughout his lengthy hiatus in Corinth, and a number of smaller monuments and fountains. The ruins of Corinth aren’t in good condition, however the little museum is sort of informative.
Take a while to discover the lovable retailers and cafes in Corinth and revel in a superb conventional lunch at Marinos. After some gasoline, tackle the hike to Acrocorinthos, the traditional fortress that looms over the world. Park within the lot midway up the mountain after which proceed by the chain of fortress gates for a number of the most spectacular views of your complete journey. Take time to peruse the little church buildings and buildings inside the advanced, and end with the final climb to the viewing platform on the peak of the mountain. It’s a 360-degree view of your entire space, and it’s breathtaking!
In case your flight is the following day, it’s possible you’ll think about taking the afternoon to pamper your self in Loutraki. The realm is simply exterior of Corinth correct and boasts the gorgeous Loutraki waterfalls, in addition to a sequence of sizzling springs and spa companies. Loutraki offers a phenomenal, lush atmosphere and loads of wonderful spas to appease these weary highway journey muscle tissue.
From right here, proceed again to Athens in your night time flight or keep in a single day and fly out the following day.
An Island Different
Relying on while you arrive in Athens, you’ll have time to overcome historic Athens in your first day and take a day journey to the lovable island of Hydra in your second day. Alternatively, should you can add at some point to your journey, you would e-book a cruise to the island on the finish of your highway journey.
Hydra is a standard Greek settlement the place no vehicles are allowed and the place donkeys take their place. It’s only a quick ferry journey from Athens to Piraeus. The principle city of Hydra (the identical title because the island itself), is among the prettiest within the Greek islands, and the laidback nature is a welcome aid after that whirlwind highway journey!
After a tour of Hydra city, spend the afternoon at Prophet Elias monastery, or take a horseback driving tour with Harriet’s Hydra Horses. It’s a stunning tour of all one of the best elements of the island, executed on horseback, the Hydra means!
Greece Journey Suggestions
Be Affected person
Life in Greece is about having fun with easy pleasures. Your meals received’t be served shortly. The trains is likely to be late, and should you make an area pal, they most likely might be late for dinner. Typically logistics appear harder than they need to be. It’s simply the lay of the land. Take your time. Undertake a laid-back angle, and glide.
Economic system and Protests
Greece has had a reasonably well-publicized financial disaster and most of the security issues have been performed up a bit. Whereas there are widespread strikes in Greece over financial points, they’ve little bearing on vacationers. They’re typically scheduled prematurely and won’t have an effect on you whereas touring to main websites, particularly while you’re driving your personal automobile.
Faucet Water is Wonderful
The water in Greece is clear and drinkable. Save a couple of dollars by asking for faucet water. You may as well ask for native barrelled wine in lots of eating places and keep away from the excessive value tags of bottles.
Thoughts Your Manners
Most younger Greeks are very open-minded, however the Orthodox church and a conservative mindset are nonetheless very outstanding within the tradition. Whenever you go to church buildings, you would possibly think about taking a scarf or one thing to cowl a summer season outfit. Be sure the seaside is a nude-designated one earlier than you naked all of it. Greeks are very open and hospitable to guests and overlook plenty of fake pas for us, nevertheless it’s finest to be thoughtful.
Hopefully, after this glimpse of the wonders Greece has to supply, you’re already packing your suitcase! Are you interested by this tour of the Peloponnese? Tell us within the feedback, or drop your favourite Greek mainland web site!
For extra Europe journey suggestions, take a look at our information “Journey Europe for Low-cost?”
Incessantly Requested Questions
A tour by the Greek mainland, particularly the Peloponnese, will reward you with jaw-dropping landscapes, fabulous meals, and iconic archaeological websites like Delphi, Olympia, and Sparta!
A tour of the Peloponnese will deal with you to the traditional websites of Delphi, Olympia, Sparta, and Corinth. You’ll get pleasure from attractive villages, lovely seashores, and rugged, untouched landscapes.