One of my hub’s favorite part of travelling is jumping in a car and exploring whatever country we may be in. Guys and their cars, right? But, I secretly love it too. After a lot of research and indecisiveness we settled with: DELPHI, METEORA, NAFPLIO, & HYDRA.
Day one consisted of us taking an early flight out of SANTORINI to ATHENS. The company we used for the car rental was Athens Car Rental. We didn’t have the best experience with this car rental company. They were really late meeting us at the airport and the car lacked what every good road trip car requires – bluetooth or a USB port. So we had to stop for an AUX cord since our agreement with road trips is that I pick the music – thank you Google Play!
Once we got that all sorted, our journey began & first on our list – DELPHI. It took approximately 2 hours and 20 mins to arrive at our destination. The weather took a turn on mainland, it was a rainy day. This was a bit of a shock to us coming from the warm sunny island life vibe.
The famous Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi lies at the foot of Mount Parnassos. I’m not a big history buff, but in short, Delphi was where the oracle of Apollo spoke – the oracle was consulted about important decisions the country needed to make in the past. Also, the Greeks considered Delphi to be the centre of the world.
This UNESCO protected archaeological site is impressive. You are able to wonder through the remains of the sanctuary of Apollo and of Athena Pronaia, an ancient stadium and theatre. They also have an incredible archeological museum that displays artifacts and statues found among the ruins.
Since Dan and I are from Canada, we aren’t used to being exposed to so much physical history. I recall the moment when we asked someone working at the museum what is real and what is a replica, she laughed and told us “all of it, 100% of it, is authentic.” With big eyes, we looked at each other amazed. DELPHI is definitely worth the visit whether you are a history buff or not.
From DELPHI, we were supposed to drive to METEORA. Like I said, the weather took a turn and rain was in the forecast for the next couple of days. With METEORA being another 4 hour drive north, we made the decision to bypass METEORA. While it broke my heart to do this, it just made more sense. After a quick brainstorming session over a delicious gyro, we proceeded to our next destination – NAFPLIO. This is the beauty of road trips – it allows for spontaneity, which makes any trip more exciting! METEORA is still on our list and will have to visit on our next GREECE trip.
It took us 3 hours and 30 mins to reach NAFPLIO from DELPHI. NAFPLIO, you were a gem. The old capital of Greece turned out to be one of the prettiest and most romantic towns we visited in all of GREECE. From the photos, it doesn’t even look like you’re in GREECE. You don’t feel like a tourist in this town since its filled with locals.
We spent an entire day strolling through the nooks and crannies of this beautiful town. We stopped and wondered through most of their shops and indulged in the delicious food, wine and coffee – all day. It was lovely. One place you need to hit up is Gallika Salon de Thé & French Bakery. We met the owners and got chatting. They are a couple who lived in Paris and moved to NAFPLIO because they fell in love with it while travelling and opened up a French Bakery. Sounds like heaven to me! We had the fluffiest, mouth watering croissants here. I would do anything to have another. This makes us look forward to our FRANCE trip later this year!
Another must do in NAFPLIO is visiting Palamidi Fortress. It can either be accessed by foot or a short drive. We opted for the lazy option and took our car up. This fortress was built on NAFPIO’S highest point, which gives panoramic views of the entire town. This fortress was initially used for military purposes and then used as a prison for some time.
A beach near by to hit up is TOLO BEACH. It wasn’t beach weather when we went, so we didn’t get a chance to enjoy it, but we did go visit and read really good things about it.
After some quick research we decided to have dinner at Maria’s Restaurant in Tolo Beach. This family run restaurant provided beautiful views of the water and had one of the best Moussaka we’ve ever tried. The waiter told us it was their grandma’s recipe and that she made it every morning for the restaurant – While we initially didn’t buy the sales pitch, after trying it, we were convinced.
Since we didn’t get to visit METEORA, we were able to do a day trip to ANCIENT CORINTH. It took approximately 1 hour from NAFPLIO to CORINTH. The reason why we wanted to visit CORINTH was because Apostle Paul did a lot of his missionary work here.
We spent the afternoon visiting archaeological sites and museums. We went and visited the remains of the Temple of Apollo, which sits on the highest part of the city. Again, these sites are impressive, you see ruins that are still being discovered today!
GREECE actually has a ton of islands and they are grouped into the following regions: Cyclades, Dodecanese, Ionian, Peloponnese, Sporades, Saronic & Crete. HYDRA is one of the Saronic Islands in Greece.
We caught an early ferry from Ermoni to Hydra and did a day trip since it was our last day in GREECE. The ferry only took 20 minutes! Once arriving to the port, you are greeted with Donkey’s waiting to transport you and your luggage to your hotel.
This Island takes you back in time since the only means of transportation on the Island is by foot or by donkey! Cars are banned on this Island and no new buildings are allowed, only restorations of old buildings. HYDRA does attract a lot of tourism, however, it remains unspoiled for these reasons. This quaint Island offers cobbled stone streets with Italian architecture. I would have loved to stay overnight here, next time! You need to fit HYDRA in your GREECE itinerary.