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Author elsslots
#1 | Posted: 12 Feb 2019 11:20 

Author Zoe
#2 | Posted: 12 Feb 2019 13:14 
Any idea how to count visiting Mount Athos without being allowed to go?

Author elsslots
#3 | Posted: 12 Feb 2019 13:39 
Any idea how to count visiting Mount Athos without being allowed to go?

I have not 'been' there yet, but I have no issue with counting it after taking a cruise around the peninsula. One can apparently see the monasteries quite well from the boat.

Author Zoe
#4 | Posted: 13 Feb 2019 00:37 
Sounds great I'll do that in summer :) I didn't want to spend days in a monastery anyway lolz

Author joelonroad
#5 | Posted: 13 Feb 2019 07:29 
If you have binoculars (or a decent optical zoom on your camera) make sure you take them. The boat generally doesn't go within about 500 metres of the coastline, so although you can get a great view of the monasteries, you can't really see much of the detail. To get a better idea, you can check out my video:

Author elsslots
#6 | Posted: 9 Jul 2020 12:21 
In the news today:

Wonder what the order of the Greek nominations will be, they seem fairly active. We have:
2020 - Spinalonga
2021 - none (no cultural at least we know)
2022 - Zagorochoria - North Pindos National Park
2023 - Minoan Palatial Centres or maybe Lavreotiki (Ancient Lavrion)?

Author tsunami
#7 | Posted: 11 Jul 2020 16:19 | Edited by: tsunami 
Cool. I went to Lavrio in 1995.

But all I remember is the bus from Athens broke down on the way, and we had to wait for 1 hour for another bus to pick us up.

Author nfmungard
#8 | Posted: 23 Aug 2020 15:09 
Seems like I am the only one headed to this years meetup... Well, always wanted to see the Peleponnes sites and will make use of it. If anyone is aware of travel restrictions in Greece, I would appreciate a comment. Also, general situation on the ground right now.

General comments:
* Figuring out connections in Greece is a mess. The whole network is tailored for getting in and out of Athens.
* Getting to Bassae seems only possible from Pyros and by including a cab ride.
* I can't work out how to get from Delphi to Hosios Loukas. And then back to Athens. Only options seems to be a cab ride.
* For Bassae and Mycenae I found some information online indicating the sites may be closed.


Sat Transit
Hamburg -> Athens (plane),
Athens -> Nafplio (KTEL Argolidas 20:00-22.10h)

Sun Tiryns, Nafplio Epidauros
Morning to Lunch: Explore Tiryns (8:00-19:00) and Nafplio (Late Medieval Bastioned Fortifications in Greece).
Afternoon: Cab to Epidauros (WHS & Tent). There could be a return bus at 18:10 on Sunday. Or cab back to Nafplio. Open till 19:00h

Mon Mycenae, Sparta
Morning visit to Mycenae. Google suggests it's closed. Greek website doesn't. Open from 8 a.m.
Bus to Isthmus. Bus to Sparta. Taxi/Walk to Mystras.

Tue: Mystras, Pyrgos
Morning visit Mystras. City, so opening hours less of a concern.
Bus to Tripoli. Note: KTEL Korinthian or KTEL Lakonia stop on their way to Isthmus/Athens, supposedly, but it's not shown on their website.
Bus to Pyrgos. Ktel Ileias 17:45.

Wed: Pyrgos, Bassae
6:00 Bus to Figalia (ktel ileias). Then cab to Bassae. Closes at 15:30h.
Note: There is some warning till March 2020 on the homepage for parts of the site..
13:10 Bus back to Pyrgos

Thu: Pyrgos, Olympia, Athens
Morning train to Olympia, Lunch Return. Then bus to Athens

Fri: Day trip to Delphi

Sat: Daphni monastery, Athens, Rhodes
Note: Not open on Monday and Tuesday

Sun: Rhodes, Hamburg
Been to Rhodes before, I just couldn't find a cheap return flight.

Author nfmungard
#9 | Posted: 7 Sep 2020 10:08 | Edited by: nfmungard 

Sat Transit Hamburg Athens
Hamburg -> Athens (plane).
Athens Airport -> Nafplio (Bus)
Note: Several X busses depart from Athens airport. A bit confusing. Don't go to Syntagma, go to the Kiffisos (X93). In Kiffisos, Tickets are sold outside, not in the ticket hall.

Sun Mykene, Argos, Nafplio
Morning: Bus to Fichti. Walk 3.5km to Mykene. Missed my return bus by 5min. Took a cab from Fichti to Argos and would recommend the same to you as the bus schedules don't really work.
Early Afternoon: Argos Agora and Amphitheatre (T).
Later Afternoon: Climbed Palamidi fortress (T) from the city. And also visited Akronauplía (T). Google isn't aware of the stairs, so it will propose a huge detour for Palamidi.

Mon Epidauros, Tiryns, Mystras
Morning: Taxi to Epidauros. Was planning to take a bus back but it never showed. I got lucky as I founda free cab driver, but I would recommend negotiating a return rate with the driver from the start.
Lunch: Tiryns.
Afternoon: Bus back to Nafplio (run every 30-60min). Bus to Tripoli (once a day Mon to Fri). Bus to Sparti (not shown on any website or app, but there are frequent connections as all busses from Athens to Sparti will stop here). Cab to Mystras.

Tue Mystras, Sparti, Kalamata, Messene (T)
Morning: Visit Mystras, then cab to Sparti and visit of Sparta akropolis (free)
Lunch to Afternoon: Bus to Tripoli (really slow) where I got lucky and got the connecting bus to Kalamata as it was delayed, too.
Afternoon: Cab to Messene (T) organized via hotel (60€). Recommended.

Wed Kalamata, Pyrgos, Olympia, Pyrgos Beach
Morning: Bus to Pyrgos (8:30), then bus to Olympia. Museum in Olympia is a must visit.
Afternoon: Bus back to Pyrogs and walked to the beach. Nice and quiet.

Thu Pyrgos, Nea Figaleia, Bassae, Andritsana, Athens
6 a.m.: Bus to the wrong Figaleia (Nea). Waited for 3h to catch the only available cab to Bassae and then drop of at Andritsana (50€). During weekdays there is a direct bus connection to Megalopolis/Tripoli/Isthmus to Athens. Bassae is hardest WHS to visit in Greece by public transport. Only for the faithful or car drivers.
Note: Statement in review re Figaleia from Stanislaw is incorrect. There are two (old and new) Figaleias both 30km apart and the bus goes to the new one. Also, there is only one bus per week from Pyrgos to Andritsana. However, there are busses from Zaharo I think (different KTEL). Best option is to go to Andritsana and catch a connection there.

Fri: Daphni, Delphi
Morning: Visit Daphni. Bus to Delphi. Note: Bus to Delphi runs from Liosion 300, not Kiffisos! Cost me 15€ to correct that.
Lunch: Delphi. Entry is at the museum. Be sure to also visit the sites below the road. Museum is amazing (again).

Sat: Akropolis, Sounion, Lavrion (T)
Morning: Visited the Akropolis and the Akropolis museum. They require two tickets. Stupid. Paid 40€ in total for a combined Athens ticket (30€) plus a museum ticket (10€). Still, a great site and the museum, again, is a must visit. Most other components in the combined ticket can be seen from the outside, so not sure you need to get it.
Afternoon: Caught a bus to Sounion. Several stops in the city, so no need to go to the bus terminal. Google maps even has two stored (near Syntagma and the Akropolis). The Poseidon temple of Sounion is quite famous and part of the Lavrion (T) site. I hiked to the mining area where the primary component was closed. But mines dot the whole landscape so I think I am fine. I think this could make the cut as Mines in Antiquity OUV.
Afternoon: Return by bus to Athens. Note: Not all bus stops are marked. Essentially, these are near hotels etc. Wink to the driver.

Sun: Athens, Home
Morning: Did an early morning run of a few more sites included in the combined Akropolis ticket. Then airport, then home.

Author nfmungard
#10 | Posted: 7 Sep 2020 10:31 
General Comments on Greece
Still missing three island sites, but still feel comfortable providing a bit guidance after now my 5th trip to the place.


4.5*: Akropolis, Meteora
After my revisit, I upgraded my Akropolis rating to 4.5*. It's simply the best Greek site including many surrounding ruins. If you rate below 4* (Hubert, Philipp) you should write a review and argue your case. I think it's misplaced.
Meteroa is just really unique with the landscape and the monasteries, that it should feature on any itinerary for Greece.

4*: OIympia, Delphi, Rhodes
Olympia and Delphi are huge and offer tangible evidence of Greek culture 2.500 years ago. The on site museums show off the high level of artistry. Each has a unique corner for temples. Great.
Rhodes is a lovely place with a great castle and history.

3.5*: Mystras, Mycene, Athos
Mystras is great, but it's not that old and all turned into ruins.
Mycene is nice, especially considering it's from the Bronze Age. But it doesn't have the wow factor of e.g. the Hippogeum in Malta.
Athos I unfortunately stayed in the Russian monastery. I think I should have gone to Lavra to get a better feeling for the site.

3*: Aigai, Corfu
Access to Aigai is well done and nice. When I came plenty was still under reconstruction, so didn't get a full view/appreciation of the site.
Corfu is nice, but a bit touristy. Felt not as great as Malta or Rhodes.

2.5: Thessalonik
Roman ruins and the plentiful Byzantine churches are nice. But not really that impressive as the city itself is too big.

2.0*: Bassae, Epidauros, Daphni
The tent cover of Bassae ruins the whole site. Hard to appreciate as is.
Epidauros has a great amphitheater but overall ruins felt pretty mediocre.
Not sure what Daphni adds to the list considering that Thessaloniki and Athos also contain large Byzantine churches. Maybe other components awe more.

1.5*: Philippi
Should not have been inscribed. Roman ruins are e.g. also part of the Akropolis, I don't see what this added to the list.

Only saw four.
Ancient Greek Theatres - Nope. Best theatres are already inscribed.
Ancient Lavrion - Yes. Classical mining seems not that well covered. Area is huge and has a eyecatching part in the Poseidon temple.
Ancient Messene - Yes. The stadium is plain stunning.
Late Medieval Bastioned Fortifications in Greece - Nope. Best fortifications (Corfu, Rhodes) already inscribed.

Of the rest I would assume that the Minoan palaces in Crete are inscribed.

From what I have seen in Greece, I only see a few gaps:
* Santorini would probably jump to 4.5* for me. The volcano and the houses on the slope are great and impressive.
* Ottoman town. There must be one in Greece. Best I came across was Kavala on my way to Bulgaria. Unless they tore everything down.
* Prehistory. Not sure why there wouldn't be any really old sites in Greece.

Author Colvin
#11 | Posted: 8 Sep 2020 23:26 
Glad your trip went well! Interesting observation about Daphni and how it didn't seem spectacular compared to other Byzantine churches you've seen. I've only seen the outside of a Daphni twice, driving by when it has been closed, but Hosios Loukas has amazing mosaics, and for that site itself, I would likely give no less than a three star rating. Thanks for sharing your impressions!

Author Astraftis
#12 | Posted: 1 Nov 2020 18:26 | Edited by: Astraftis 
Just about how to reach Delphi.

I am surprised that @Nan couldn't find some kind of connection between Patras (right?) and Itea. May I ask when this was? I could imagine that there surely is some way to arrive to Nafpaktos from Patras, and then some line to Itea, at least on the vector pointing towards Athens... but true, I can remember when I wanted to go from Patras to Diakopto (55 kms and on the major road towards Athens) by bus and it literally took me the whole day and two changes. So, even if there were a solution, it would not be practical at all.

But about Delphi and Itea, I'd just like to wild-cardly ask the crowd if anyone knows anything about, or even has ever used, a fabled ferry connection between the northern (specifically Itea) and southern side of the Corinthian gulf. A local source there told me about that, and how it was possible to pursue this more direct route in previous years before it was cancelled... I think my source was not trustworthy at all, and I can't even locate an adequate port on the southern side between Patras and Corinth, but who knows. It would be (have been) for sure my favourite way to reach Delphi.

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