|Subject: RE: Greece|
Hello Evan and welcome to the list.
As I live in Athens, I will try to help you to prepare your trip to my country.
Is this your first trip to Greece? If yes, I propose you to stay more than a day in Athens. There is not only Acropolis you have to visit. Our National Archeological Museum is a MUST and you need more than 5 hours to see only the most important exhibits. Also Museum of Cycladic Art and Benaki Museum are between the musts while in Athens.
You write that you want to blend historical/archaeological sightseeing with beaches, scenery and relaxation. I think Peloponnissos is a good selection. You can stay in Nafplio, where I propose the hotel Candia House (they have a web page http://www.greekhotel.com/peloponnese/nayplio/candiahouse/home.htm and my favorite one, which is the hotel VYRON, 2 Platonos str., tel +30 - 752 - 22351, FAX: +30 -752 - 26338 (there is also a WEB site, http://www.dilos.com/hotel/byron_nafplion.html for that hotel).
If you want, I can ask the prices for you.
From Naflpio you can visit the close places with historical/archaeological interest: Corinth (Ancient town - Akrokorinthos), Mycenae, Epidaurus (not only the theater, but also the museum) and the beaches Tolo and Astros (very-very nice place to swim).
In Peloponnissos, there is a place I adore, which I propose to every visitor: Monemvassia. It's close to Sparti, it's a Byzantine castle located in a rock inside the sea... Excellent place, excellent view, excellent food, excellent sea. While I was a child, I was every year there for my summer holidays because my father was born in that village. Have a look at the place http://www.koala.gr/monemvasia.htm.
If you want to stay there, I can propose you a very nice hotel, in front of the beach, which unfortunately has not a web page.
From Monemvassia you can go to Mystras (the capital of Greece while Constantinople was under occupation from the Franks of 4th crusade), where there are the ruins of the emperor's palace and an excellent Church.
Then you can continue to Gytheion ( nice place to swim) and Vatheia (where there are traditional medieval towers, now used as hotels), and of course to the famous Dyros cave.
Next stop I propose to be at Messinia prefecture, where you can visit Kalamata, Methoni, Koroni, Pylos and Nestor's palace. Following the coastal route, don't miss Olympia, the temple of Apollo in Vrysses and then continue to Dimitsana, Andritsena, Stemnitsa, Karitena, Langadia and Vytina.
To do the tour of Peloponnissos you need at least 2 week and I think it's better to rent a car in Athens. If you want, we can meet after your arrival in Athens and design together in the map your itinerary.
Now I have to finish. I will continue tomorrow. If there is something special you want to visit, please let me know.