I LOOOVE road trips!! Like LOVE them LOVE them. One of the things I looked forward to, and was terrified of, when we moved to Greece was taking road trips. Looking forward to exploring all the amazing history and geography of Greece, yet I was terrified, of course, by the driving. I knew how challenging driving was in Athens, so I surmised that the craziness of Athenian driving would extend to the highways.

Well, I’m happy to report that either Greeks are not such fans of road trips, or that tempers cease to flare as the wide road opens before you, because I’ve found that road tripping in Greece is some of the easiest and most stunning driving I’ve ever done.

There are few classic highways, and if speed is your thing, this is probably not the best place for you. However, if you want to drive among olive groves, across stretches of uninhabited land, under bright (dare I say majestic?) skies, then Greece is the place.

And, there are some really fantastic places to see close to Athens. There are many further (more on those later), but close to Athens are some incredible sights and archeaological sites too!

Here is my favorite road trip in Greece. It’s short (3-4 days) and not a lot of driving for the amount of sight seeing. The itinerary is Athens-Nafplio-Epidavros-Athens, but it can also be done in reverse, depending on your schedule.

Travel tip: if you don’t have access to GPS, get a GPS from the car rental company or borrow one. A GPS is necessary, but as with everything in Greece, take it with a grain of salt. Read road signs and ask around. We have found ourselves in some funky situations because our GPS, whose nickname is James and speaks to us patiently in his kiwi accent, sometimes identifies roads that don’t exist or wants us to drive in places where clearly no car has gone before. So, with everything, use common sense and remember.. Greece is not organized!!

 

Screen Shot 2016-07-13 at 7.57.32 PMDay 1

  • Leave Athens in the morning, and stop at the Corinth Canal about 40 minutes into the trip.  Plan to stop for about 20 minutes stop to stretch your legs and see an amazing feat of engineering!  It’s exit 9 towards Loutraki on the way out of Athens. My knees get wobbly walking across the bridge, so if heights aren’t your thing, take a deep breath. It’s simply stunning! If you dare, check out the bungee jumping, which was on the Amazing Race a few seasons ago! http://zulubungy.com/
  • Drive about 45 minutes to the Mycanean ruins.
    If you want historical context, read up elsewhere on what the ruins are and mean, as the signage in Greek historical sites is woefully inadequate, and the English translations are often dense and meaningless

  • After exploring the ruins and seeing Agemmenon sleeping in the adjacent mountain, go to Nafplio, about 20 minutes away, and stay here for either the night or a full day and two nights. Depending on the time of year and your constraints, there may not be enough to do for two days.
    • We love this place: http://www.hotelmarianna.gr/ 
      • Travel tip: use booking.com for large hotels, and to search availability, but to actually book a smaller hotel, call them directly; they often give you a better deal than booking does.
    • Nafplio is the former capital of Greece and has a beautiful Venetian castle to explore. You can drive to the entrance or walk the reported 999 steps to get there, which will require strong legs, healthy lungs, and lots of water. There is a lot of ground at the castle itself, to cover even if you drive there, so if it’s a blazingly hot day (and in the summer, it probably will be), drive up to the castle and explore!!
      http://www.lonelyplanet.com/greece/the-peloponnese/nafplio/sights/military/palamidi-fortress

Day 2-3

Day 4

  • Head back to Athens
  • Stay and play in Epidavros and the beaches and then drive just before dinner and eat at Piperi off the highway in Corinth. It’s on the water, and the sunset is incredible. Take exit 11 towards Ag Theodori to get there. https://www.facebook.com/Piperimeetingthequality/

Extending your road trip with and island visit:

Happy road tripping!!!

 

Posted by:beaniebrady

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