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60days in Europe (Fly In: Paris. Fly Out: Istanbul)

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Dec 23rd, 2012, 01:07 AM
  #1
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60days in Europe (Fly In: Paris. Fly Out: Istanbul)

Dear All,,

We r planning a 4-person (70, 61, 46 & 35 year-old s Malaysian) travel group to Europe for 60 days. Free-and-Easy.

We plan to fly into Paris, France in mid April and to fly out from Istanbul, Turkey in mid June 2012.

Despite the age, my 70 y/o mom is very fit and very eager global traveler. My 35 y/o sister, however, is a recovering from stroke. She is also a keen traveler. I trust all except me, will enjoy certain special price fares on train and ferries.

We hot to stay in central areas where convenience are aplenty.

We plan to visit 7-10 cities with 3-7 nights stay each.


We are planning :
10 days in France (Paris +1)
10 days in Spain (2 cities)
5 days in Portugal (Lisboa ?)
10 days in Italy (Venice, +1)
5 days Greece (Pls suggest ?)
10 days in Turkey (Istanbul, +1)
5 days any other suggestion welcome.

Perhaps rail +ferry could be a good option. Pls suggest.

We though a point-to-point rail pass will be a good option, in addition to some ferry between Italy-Greece-Turkey ?

Much appreciated.

Thanks.

Saml
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 06:35 AM
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I would add your extra 5 days to Italy and with 15 days visit Rome and either Florence and the Tuscan countryside or the Amalfi Coast. There is so much to see and do in Italy that with 15 days you can only scratch the surface.
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 07:50 AM
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r. I trust all except me, will enjoy certain special price fares on train and ferries.>

OK some great sources for planning the rail portion of the trip - fantastic sites IMO - www.budgeteuropetravel.com; www.ricksteves.com and www.seat61.com. And with all that wide-ranging travel some kind of Global Eurail Pass makes sense - a Saverpass - two names on one pass cheaper than two solo passes and a flexipass - good for either 10 ort 15 days of unlimited travel spread out over a 2-month period.
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 04:15 PM
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Consider starting in Spain or Portugal (or Turkey) in April because it would be warmer in Spain than in France.

In Spain, consider Madrid & Andalucia area (Seville, Granada, Toledo) rather than the big two of Barcelona and Madrid.

The second place in Turkey would be Cappadocia for at least three nights.

Add at least two of the extra days to Italy: include Rome and/or Florence (if you like art) or Tuscany (if you want some countryside) or Venice and the AC (if you want to see Pompeii and the beautiful coast).

In France, it would be Paris and Provence.

Look at cheap flights and consider flying to/from some of your destinations.
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Dec 23rd, 2012, 05:29 PM
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I agree with Sassafrass that you should consider budget airlines for flights to some of your destinations. I would do a mix of trains and flights. Here is a website to help you find budget airlines (just be aware of the checked baggage weight limits which are often less than on overseas flights): www.whichbudget.com

For Greece, I would spend a couple nights in Athens, definitely see the Parthenon, and then move on to one of the islands such as Santorini. Note that you will probably have to ferry back to Athens and fly to Istanbul from there.

Another idea would be to visit the Greek island of Corfu, then see Athens, and fly to Istanbul from there.

On a lengthy trip like this I would strongly suggest that you build in some relaxation time -- maybe add a few days for time on a Greek island. It is easy to get burned out on a long trip, and the Greek Islands are a perfect place to "refuel" before you head for Istanbul (which you will love!).
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Dec 24th, 2012, 07:04 AM
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Portugal to Italy would be one link you should fly - and to Istanbul but from Italy you can take overnight ferries to Corfu and Patras in Greece with buses meeting boats to transfer you to Athens or you can go to nearby Olympia from the Patras dock. Save a night in a hotel and travel by night - in the morning seeing a very very lovely coastline from Albania to Patras.
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Dec 26th, 2012, 08:04 AM
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To get to Istanbul from Greece you could do as I did the other way go largely by sea - work your way thru the Greek islands, like Mykynois (Delos), Santonrini, Rhodes, Kos, etc and then take a boat from a Greek island just off the coast to the Bodrum area (for ancient Troy) and then boats up the coast to Istanbul - lovely the whole whole way and to me the essence of Greece in most peoples' minds - the lovely islands.
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Dec 28th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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i love pressing the triangle!

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Dec 28th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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Does your sister's recovery from a stroke involve any cautions about too much stair climbing or too much heat?

If so, I would add the five days you have onto Spain and Greece so you can move more slowly there. I would plan a Greek island stay in addition to Athens. For Spain, combining Madrid with a much less hectic flat town like Cordoba, plus a rental car, might be very nice. Get air conditioning, even early in the year.

I would pick one of the scenic towns right near Lisbon rather than Lisbon itself if your sister has trouble with hills. Transportation into Lisbon is good enough and fast enough your sightseeing won't suffer.

For Italy, flat Florence might make the best pairing with Venice. Get an apartment with an elevator and soundproofing in the center of town.
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