THE KEY GREEK SPOTS IN COMPLETE FREEDOM
This itinerary goes through the following steps:
Day 1 & 2 : Nauplion
Day 3 & 4 : Monemvassia
Day 5 : The Mani Peninsula
Day 6 : Olympia
Day 7 : Navpaktos
Day 8 : Preveza
Day 9 : Ioannina
Day 10 : Kalambaka
Day 11 : Veria
Day 12 & 13 : Portaria
Day 14 : Galaxidi
Day 15 : Départ
Discover Greece and its key wonders!
This self-drive tour takes a whistle-stop route through beautiful sites in the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. With archaeological sites in mythical cities, you will travel back through 4,000 years of history. But there are also the beautiful Mediterranean landscapes: olive groves, quaint beaches near inlets and villages clinging to mountains everywhere you look.
This tour in Greece is just a possible itinerary that can be modified and extended as you wish. It can be adapted to your budget and the type of accommodation you are looking for.
This trip in Greece is available all year round.
N.B : Contact our greek specialists so they can customize this itinerary and adapt it to your needs and wishes.
In Greece, you can find a wide range of accomodation. 3-star hotels to charming local hotels or even luxury resorts... Tell us what you have in mind for your dream trip and our local specialists will do the rest!
Estimated price per person, based on 2 people
- From 800 to 1100 Euros in a 3-star hotel
- From 950 to 1200 Euros in a charming local hotel
Price set according to the number of people, the season and the vehicle category
- 15 day hire of a category A car (including VAT, unlimited mileage, comprehensive insurance, drop-off and pick-up)
- 14 nights in bedroom and breakfast
What's not Included
- All meals, except breakfast
- Tips and extras
- Tours and activities
Day by Day
Day 1: Athens – Mycenae – Nauplion
130 km. 2 hours
Get your vehicle at the airport and leave for the Peloponnese.
After the hustle and bustle of built-up areas and motorways you will see a more traditional side of Greece. On the way to Athens be sure to stop at the Corinth Canal, a dramatic stretch of water that cuts through the rock.
Visit Mycenae. While it is difficult to distinguish myth from historical fact at Mycenae, you can still walk in the footsteps of Homer’s heroes. The 3000-year-old citadel, still surrounded by outer walls, is sure to impress you the most. It is one of the most impressive archaeological sites in the Mediterranean.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Nauplion.
Day 2: Epidaurus – Nauplion
60 km. 1 hour
A short journey to Epidaurus. You will marvel at the largest and most impressive ancient theatre, where events are still held during the summer months. The sheer size of the theatre demonstrates the importance of the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of medicine.
Be sure to visit Palea Epidaurus where you can enjoy fresh fish for lunch while looking out over the sea.
In the afternoon, upon your return to Nauplion, you can climb the 900 steps leading to the imposing Venetian fortress that towers above the town. In the evening why not soak up the atmosphere in the town centre and bars along the seafront.
Overnight stay in the same hotel.
Day 3: Nauplion – Mystras – Monemvassia
220 km. 4 hours
You will travel deeper into the Peloponnese. The road winds its way round mountains and makes its way over passes, where you can discover the jagged coastline of the Gulf of Argolis.
You will pass Sparta, where little remains of its prestigious past, before arriving at Mystras. Explore the town built by William II of Villehardouin, which thrived under the Byzantines. Nowadays the town is deserted, but you can enjoy roaming the labyrinth of streets and visiting the numerous churches.
Arrive in Monemvassia at the end of the day.
Overnight stay in a hotel
Day 4: Monemvassia
The medieval city is located on a dramatic peninsula facing the sea. It is protected by a network of fortifications. You must venture to the top of the medieval town at the top of the headland if you are to take in the impressive view overlooking the labyrinth of streets below. You can also swim in the lower town and you will find some beautiful beaches 5 kilometres away.
Overnight stay in the medieval city or in a hotel near the harbour.
Day 5: Monemvassia – The Mani Peninsula
110 km. 2 hours
A beautiful coast road will take you along the Gulf of Laconia. You will cut through huge olive groves and orchards, coming across many inlets, where you can take a lovely dip! The landscape of the Mani Peninsula is different. You will travel through an arid, dry region where the mountains drop spectacularly into the sea. Tower houses are the remains of a turbulent past.
Overnight stay in Itylo, a small fishing harbour near Areopoli.
Day 6: The Mani Peninsula – Olympia
220 km. 5 hours
The road winds through valleys along the coast as it ascends to the plateau. The climb is slow but the views are breathtaking.
Make a detour via Messene to see the impressive fortifications protecting this ancient city. If you do not want to spend the day driving, take the coast road towards Olympia. It is a much quicker route, but less scenic.
Or else you could take the beautiful road that cuts through mainland Peloponnese and enjoy the greener, wooded landscapes. You could also stop at Karytaina, a former fortress.
Overnight stay in a charming modern city next to the ancient site.
Day 7: Olympia – Naupactus
160 km. 2 hours 30 minutes
Visit the site at Olympia and the museum. You are bound to enjoy walking around the shaded ruins; just imagine what the ancient games were like.
After Patra you will travel over the impressive suspension bridge, taking you over the Isthmus of Corinth towards Nafpaktos. You can go for a beautiful walk around the Byzantine citadel. It is also the site of the famous battle of Lepante between the Holy League and the Ottoman fleet, resulting in Cervantes losing his arm.
Overnight stay in Naupactus.
Day 8: Naupactus – Preveza
160 km. 2 hours 30 minutes
After Naupactus, rather than travelling by motorway, why not take either the mountain or coast roads to get to Preveza.
Preveza is a quaint seaside town located at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf.
Explore the Nicopolis site. The remnants of this Roman city that later became Byzantine are spread far and wide. Nicopolis was founded by Octavian following his victory over Antony at the Battle of Actium.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Preveza.
Day 9: Preveza - Ioannina
150 km. 2 hours
If you are there at the right time of year, go and enjoy the beach before heading north, back up the Louros valley. On your way, visit Dodona, the oldest sanctuary in Greece. Pilgrims would come from far and wide to consult the oracle of Zeus and hear about their futures through the rustling leaves of an oak tree. The theatre of Dodona with its 2,000 seats and the beautiful natural setting make this little-visited site well worth seeing.
You will arrive in Ioannina, the capital of the Epirus region, during the afternoon. You will have time to visit the city and fortress. This city's beautiful architecture reflects its historic Ottoman and Jewish past.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Ioannina.
Day 10: Ioannina - Kalambaka
120 km. 1 hour 30 minutes
You will cross the Epirus mountains. Why not set off early and take the main road that winds between valleys and woodland.
You will eventually arrive at Kalambaka, the village at the foot of the monasteries at Meteora. It is definitely one of the most majestic sites in Greece. Build on top of rocky peaks, these monasteries defy the laws of gravity and boggle the mind. Set aside an afternoon, or more, to explore several of them.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Kalambaka.
Day 11: Kalambaka - Veria
180 km. 2 hours 30 minutes
Take a beautiful mountain road and then a motorway to arrive in Macedonia. Before you reach Veria it is worth going to see the royal burial site at Vergina, including the spectacular tomb of Philip II of Macedon, finally discovered in 1977.
Arrive in Veria sometime during the afternoon. In the Middle Ages some referred to Veria as “Little Jerusalem”, on account of its 72 churches. Ten or so of the churches are still standing, so why not explore the city centre.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Veria.
Day 12: Veria – Volos - Portaria
200 km. 2 hours 30 minutes
Take the motorway down to Volos. Midway you will pass alongside Mount Olympus, which at 2,917 metres above sea level, is the highest mountain in Greece. In Greek mythology the mountain was regarded as the home of the gods. If you enjoy hiking, you can walk at least part of the ascent by taking the road at Litochoro Only the last 500 metres pose technical problems.
After Volos, the large harbour located at the foot of Mount Pelion, continue your journey towards Portaria, a quaint little village tucked away in the wooded hills.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Portaria.
Day 13: Explore Pelion
200 km. 4 hours
Day devoted to exploring Pelion, the mountainous peninsula that forms the Gulf of Volos, with its small fishing harbours, white villages clinging to the mountains, crystal-clear inlets and magnificent beaches. Make a long stop in Pellies, the "capital" and most picturesque village on the peninsula.
Return to Portaria at the end of the day. In the evening, you could go down into nearby Volos and soak up the atmosphere along the seafront.
Overnight stay at a hotel in Portaria.
Day 14: Portaria – Delphi – Galaxidi
240 km. 3 hours
Stop off at the Thermopylae on your way to Delphi. Little remains of this heroic battle. It is hard to distinguish legend from historical fact. You must stop and pay tribute to Leonidas I, who championed democracy 2,500 years ago!
Visit the Delphi site during the afternoon. It is at the heart of Greek civilisation. It was the centre of the world for almost one thousand years. People came from far and wide to consult the oracle and make offerings. It will take you around 3 hours to explore the site on the slope of the mountain and visit the museum.
Overnight stay in Galaxidi, a charming small harbour in the Gulf of Corinth.
Day 15: Galaxidi – Athens
220 km. 3 hours 30 minutes
Return to Athens in the morning. If you have time to spare, make a detour and visit the Hosios Loukas Monastery in the heart of the Phocis mountains. A monastic gem from Byzantine Greece.
Return your vehicle to the airport.
Highlights of the travel in Greece:
- In Galaxidi, you have the opportunity to eat in a tavern: live an authentic moment.
- This self-drive tour is available all year round
- This trip gives you a global view of the country
- Renting a car in Crete is the best way to visit Greece at your own rythm.
- A 7/7 assistance during your trip
Our advices for this travel in Greece:
- Are you travelling during summer? Bring your swimsuit in your luggage!
- When it comes to visiting Thermopyles, we advise you to give a try to the city baths and especially the natural sources of Loutra Thermopylon.
- During the Pelion tour, we recommend you to visit these two charming villages: Tsagkarada and Zagora. You will find traditional houses and a wonderful nature.
- Near Milies and Ano Lehonia, get on the train called Mountzouris and enjoy the amazing view!
Have an amazing experience in Greece!