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extremely draft itinerary for Greece and Turkey next summer

extremely draft itinerary for Greece and Turkey next summer

Old Aug 10th, 2015, 06:32 PM
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extremely draft itinerary for Greece and Turkey next summer

We have purchased our airline tickets for a 21 day journey landing in Greece on June 1st departing from Istanbul. Now comes the fun part of filling in the days.These are some very preliminary thoughts - your input is most appreciated.
My biggest question is how to get between stops with the least possible stress. I love the idea of the ferries - but the schedules look erratic and some of the journeys look quite long, and what happens if you reserve tickets and then the trip is cancelled due to weather?

Quick background - we are a couple in our fifties, we love history, countryside, nature, small towns, hiking, art and artisans, museums of all stripes, local food and music - but not looking for a party scene

So some initial thoughts:
4 nights Athens (figure we'll spend the first day stumbling around exhausted, get lost, nap, eat, stumble around some more and maybe manage to find a museum before collapsing) - then two full days to enjoy the acropolis and other areas.
1 night overnight guided tour to Delphi, and maybe Attica or Meteora (or other suggestions)
4 nights Crete - ferry to Rhodes
4 nights Rhodes
2 nights Samos
Ferry to Kusadasi and visit Ephesus and Pergamum
1 night Assos - drive to Canakkale see Troy and Gallipoli
Overnight in Canakkale
find a way to get to Istanbul without driving?
4 nights Istanbul

Alternatively - forget the whole Samos - Kudasi thing and fly from Athens to Istanbul and then take guided tour to troy and Gallipoli - or ferry to Iznik?

as you can see I'm befuddled by the whole how do we get from here to there part.

also wondering if we should try to fit Corfu in?
Are we traveling to too many different island groups in Greece and would we enjoy it more if we chose one area and concentrated there and if so which is your favorite?

ok, lots of questions, any advice is much appreciated.
lauramsgarden is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2015, 07:31 PM
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"Ferry to Kusadasi and visit Ephesus and Pergamum"

Is it actually possible to see both in one day? I spent 5 or 6 hours at Ephesus, plus a couple of hours at the excellent Ephesus museum in Selcuk, which also has a wonderful market and several other sites that I thought worth visiting. I spent several hours at Pergamon, not counting the LONG drive there and onward....

"4 nights Istanbul"

IMO, that's very little time for Istanbul, but it depends on your interests. (I thought 5 very full days -- six nights -- insufficient.)

"also wondering if we should try to fit Corfu in?"

IMO, no no no no NO! You are already trying to fit in too much, IMO. YMMV.

I haven't been to Greece yet. You might find some useful information in my trip report on Turkey. FWIW, I thought the Rough Guide the best of the half-dozen guidebooks I used to plan my time there. Among other things, it provides great info on transportation options.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Old Aug 10th, 2015, 08:21 PM
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We visted Ephesus and Pergamon on two different days, a lot to see and absorb.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Old Aug 10th, 2015, 11:26 PM
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Since you have been planning for quite some time now, your proposed plan above shows that your main interest is Greece and Greek islands.

And, on that subject, are you sure you wish to spend 4 nights at Rhodes which has very few sites to visit and fewer locations of interest than Crete? You can actually add a day to Crete and do Corfu or another island instead.

In that case, why don't you do just those on this trip with a short excursion into Istanbul at the end? Just pick your last Greek island with the easiest possible air connection to Istanbul.

I guess I was not very clear on my post on your other thread in terms of distances and times. So please disregard it altogether.

Are you interested in Gallipoli because of Anzac grandparents and Troy because of the Iliad or the film? Otherwise, this is a two day tour from Istanbul and may be rather disappointing.

You will not wish to have a day or two days excursion from istanbul, unless you decide Istanbul is not much worth your attention as you seem to think, but that can be decided on the spot easily when you arrive.

I hope you will start to read not only travel books but also some historic or literary books on all the areas and regions you wish to visit while you still have time.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2015, 12:52 AM
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I can't think of a more difficult island itinerary than the one you have chosen. There is only one ferry per week between Crete and Rhodes, leaving on Wednesdays and taking 14 hours. Aegean Airlines has daily flights from Heraklion to Rhodes, though.
Heimdall is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2015, 02:35 AM
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I would spend a few days island hopping from Athens to Crete and then catch a flight with Sky Express to one of the eastern Aegean islands, Kos, Samos or Chios, for a ferry to Turkey. (Missing out Rhodes).
Croesus is offline  
Old Aug 11th, 2015, 03:11 AM
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That's a good suggestion from Croesus! Another would be to skip Crete as well, and spend your time island-hopping in the Cyclades, which has very good ferry connections. Then go back to Athens for a flight to Istanbul — that may seem like backtracking, but would be quicker than working your way up to Istanbul through the Greek Dodecanese and mainland Turkey.

The suggestion I made about Aegean Airlines flights from Crete to Rhodes was for direct flights, and there is usually one each afternoon. Most of the flights will be via Athens, though.

You have lots of options, and none are wrong. Just pick an itinerary that fits best with your goals and the time you have available.
Heimdall is offline  
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