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spinesrgn Sep 13th, 2009 06:31 AM

Greece and Istanbul Help.... Please
We (early 40s) will have 10 days on the ground starting in Athens. We would like to spend most of our time in Greece but we would love to spend 2 days in Istanbul. Any suggestions for our itinerrary are greatfully appreciated.

Cries_Van_Notebook Sep 13th, 2009 06:51 AM

I honestly don't understand what you are asking for, guv.

Please clarify.


brotherleelove2004 Sep 13th, 2009 08:45 AM

First, where in Greece will you be going?

Second, does your 2 days in Istanbul include travel time from Greece?

Third, does your budget allow for you to fly between Greece and Istanbul?

spinesrgn Sep 13th, 2009 10:18 PM

We are flying into And out of Athens. We would like to spend a couple of days in Athens and then four or five days on one or more of the islands. We are not big beach goers so we would prefer an island(s) with good sightseeing. As stated, we would like to spend some time in Istanbul as well--are two full days sufficient ?

We were planning on flying from Athens to an island and then from Athens to Istanbul and back.

We will have ten days not including travel to and from the U.S.

Any suggestions for our itInerary?

brotherleelove2004 Sep 14th, 2009 12:50 AM

You don't have enough time to spend "couple of days in Athens and then four or five days on one or more of the islands" _PLUS_ 2 days in Istanbul _PLUS_ all the travel time to and from Athens, the islands, back to Athens then on to Turkey then back to Athens.

Save Turkey for another trip or pick one island for 3 days, Turkey for 2 days and Athens for 2 days. Add to that the travel time and your 10 days is history.

Cries_Van_Notebook Sep 14th, 2009 03:24 AM

I don't think two days is sufficient time to visit Istanbul.

If you want history, you could visit Rodos for a few days. A flight on Aegean Air takes less than an hour. A great hotel on Rodos is the Rodos Park Suites just outside the Amboise Gate of the Old Town. The swimming pool is fabulous.

Have you thought about going to Crete???



travelerjan Sep 14th, 2009 05:46 AM

Do you have a flying carpet??? Otherwise, even when you use an airline, count half a day for going between 1 place and another. I.E., Athens - 1 hr minimum, packing, checking out, getting to metro or bus or taxi, 1 hr minimum to airport, 1 hour minmum check-in & waiting for plane, 1 hour flight, 1 hour disembarking, ehcking into hotel ... see what I mean?? Avoid the in-out time loss of TWO stays in athens.

Best scenario: immediately on arrival, check in for flight to chosen island -- Rhodes is a GOOD choice, lots to do in Rhodes Old Town for 2 days, then rent car to explore island for 2 days. Fly back to Athens ( allot 1/2 of Day 5). Then day 6-10 With possible day trip to nearby isle lilke Aegina (30 mins to Piraeus on metro, 45 minute ferry ride). OR take a 2 day Trip to Nafplio on CHAT tours, if it works for your schedule; these trips offered on Tues or Wed.

Nafplio is on a peninsula, surrounded by water, so you get an "island experience" and you see ancient sites (Mycenae, Epidaurus) plus LOADS of free time to explore the Most Beautiful Town in All of Greece in afternoon, evning & a.m, here's a friends slide-show of same:

Main lesson for newbies: Island-hopping even by plane is time consuming and saving Athens time for the end saves u at least half a day, maybe a full day.

spinesrgn Sep 15th, 2009 07:54 PM

How about Athens for two nights, fly to Crete for four nights, fly to Istanbul for three nights (one stop via Athens), fly back to Athens for final night ?

Sound reasonable ?


travelerjan Sep 15th, 2009 08:38 PM

No it doesn't sound reasonable. Sorry. Mostly you would see airports.

Chania Sep 16th, 2009 07:35 AM

You could try 2 nights Athens, fly to Chios for 3 nights. Chios has lots to see. Take ferry to coast Cesme and then bus to Izmir to coast Bandirma and ferry across Sea of Marmara to Istanbul for 3 nights. You can see allot of Istanbul in 2 full days. Fly to Athens 1 night.

BarryAZ Sep 16th, 2009 11:26 AM

One alternative (more expensive) to consider would be a cruise which starts in Athens and ends in Istanbul. Though you would still need to get back to Athens.

We were considering that possibility -- and may well end up with a different option (we've more time to work with). We used frequent flyer miles to get roundtrip to Athens (via London with a 3 days stay in London outbound). There is a one week cruise we are interested in (small ship) which we figure to go on after three days in Athens. After the cruise, two more days in Athens, then on to Israel for 10 days. We'll return to Athens and stay near the airport for the next day return flight marathon home.

spinesrgn Sep 16th, 2009 05:31 PM

After further consideration (and research), I have this proposal.... Arrive Athens and drive to Nafplion for four nights in the Peloponnese. Drive to Athens and depart for Istanbul for three nights. Return to Athens for three nights in Athens. Any comments ????

travelerjan Sep 16th, 2009 07:21 PM

A LOT more sensible, since you seem to be HOOKED on seeing Istanbul during an all-too-short trip to Greece. (A lot of us admittedly are not crazy about favoring a Turkey visit over Greece, because we've read too much history!).

Anyway, your new plan is more time-efficient, especially if you pick up that car at the airport immediately on arrival and go straight to Nafplio on the modern 4-lane highway (only 2.5 hours max), then drop it at the Airport just before you board a plane for your Turkey Trot.

Chania Sep 17th, 2009 05:24 AM

I think your plan is good. The Peloponese, although not a real island experience, is rich in history and beauty. Monemvasia should be included. Gythio; Mystra; Diros caves; Mani penisula; Mani type hotel in Limeni.

alihutch Sep 17th, 2009 05:31 AM

Istanbul is fabulous and very interesting

travelerjan Sep 17th, 2009 07:27 AM

Chania, now you are starting OP on the over-reaching again! and we just got him/her to climb down from a Mission Impossible to Crete. How do you even know he/she is interested in the Medieval and Byzantine (Monemvasia-Mystra) more than the ancient sites? It will take at least one full day, probably 2 to explore Nafplio itself ... then what I call a "ruin-a-thon" day to take in Mycenae, Tiryns and Epidaurus -- & how about a swim at Assine, just outside Tolo? If you drive down to Monemvasia on day 3, takes at LEAST 4 hours, then if u stay overnight, then you have that long drive back to Athens on day 4.

So please don't go on about Gythio and the Mani; leave that for a return trip; we've been striving to keep this trip realistic, not just a driving marathon.

joannyc Sep 17th, 2009 08:18 AM

Didn't read through the entire thread so I apologize if this has already been addressed...

Have you booked your airline tickets already? If not, check into an open jaw flying into Athens and out of Istanbul. It may not cost too much more and you will have more time on the ground.

I loved both Greece and Turkey! Have a great time!

spinesrgn Sep 17th, 2009 07:06 PM

Thanks for all the input. I purchased Business class with miles so I am obliged to fly in and out of Athens. It seems like three nights in Athens may be one too many. With an extra day, should I spend it in Peloponnese or in Istanbul ? Also, who is OP ????

travelerjan Sep 17th, 2009 08:27 PM

Original Poster. And 3 nights in Athens is not too much ... it's been waiting 4,000 years for you, maybe you should try it for 3 days.

joannyc Sep 18th, 2009 04:50 PM

Even though you've already purchased your tickets with miles, you could try calling the airline and asking how much it would cost you to change your itinerary. $100-150 fee may be well worth it.

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