Greece and Istanbul Help.... Please

Old Sep 18th, 2009, 05:07 PM
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The open jaw is a great idea.
As much as I love both countries, transportation in both has always been horrendous for me. Olympic Air notoriously gives seats away even if you arrive far ahead of time. Taxis, ferries, etc. in both countries can be iffy as well.
Perhaps that's changed.

Regardless, as said, there's so much to do in both countries that you may want to savor a few locations rather than 3 or more.
One more thought if you want more time and amazing ruins check out Ephesus, Turkey. I actually like the ruins better there than Athens. Love Athens, hate the smog and congestion.
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Old Sep 18th, 2009, 08:53 PM
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Ephesus is truly amazing, isn't it? But OP won't have time to see it with the existing itinerary.

OP, I hate throwing my thoughts on you without knowing why you want to visit an island for those days. I've had too many folks tell me things I wasn't even interested in or applicable to my post.

You aren't beach folks so if you'll tell us why you want to include those island days maybe we can help you with other islands.

If you want to just tour around an island or two, you can take a daytrip from Athens to Poros and Hydra. Poros is an adorable island, no cars/buses/etc... just donkeys, a wonderful little town, gorgeous views, great places to stop for food or a cocktail, and great walks/hiking getting lost along the coast or in the rambling 'neighborhoods'. Then you could onto Hydra if you like. After seeing Hydra, you could take a water taxi over to the Peloponnese, hire a taxi to be your guide up the Peloponnese (stopping by Epidaurous) and dropping you at the bus stop in Corinth. From there, you can take a bus back to Athens.

Wouldn't involve any flights to an island and back. Use the hydofoil from Pireaus to Poros. Ferry to Hydra. Water taxi to Peloponnese.

Just a day or two on these islands which allows more time for Athens and Istanbul.

Whatever you decide, have a wonderful time!!!
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 10:39 AM
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>

Likely true if the OPs itinerary is written in stone.
The OP would definitely have to switch something out.

I also am not exactly sure what the OP is looking for except historical locations.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 11:11 AM
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Actually, Joannyc has it wrong. It's Hydra where there are no cars or buses, where donkeys are the main source of transportation.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 11:55 AM
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Thanks for all the input. A little bit of information overload ! We have been to Italy/France/Spain numerous times and have always enjoyed visiting small towns. We were hoping to take in the historical treasures of Athens and also spend some time visiting some slower paced areas of Greece. Initially I was thinking of Crete however as the other posters have indicated, it would require too much travel time. Peloponnese sounds like a great alternative as there are some great historical sites and towns to stay in/visit. I've always wanted to visit Istanbul (the trip was initially to be to Turkey but no FF flights available through Continental) so Istanbul is someplace I do want to keep on the itinerary. That being said, I'm currently (always open to suggestions) thinking about the following

Day 1 Arrive Athens and Drive to Nafplion
Day 2 Tour Peloponnese from Nafplion
Day 3 Tour Peloponnese from Nafplion
Day 4 Tour Peloponnese from Nafplion
Day 5 Drive to Athens to depart for Istanbul
Day 6 Tour Istanbul
Day 7 Tour Istanbul
Day 8 Tour Istanbul
Day 9 Depart for Athens
Day 10 Tour Athens
Day 11 Depart Athens

Comments ????
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Brotherleelove, your absolutely correct... I did get it backwards! It is Hyda. Thanks!


Spinesrgn, I'd probably take a day away from Nafplion and add it to Athens.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 02:26 PM
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Sorry, meant Hydra.
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 05:06 PM
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I am a lover of Nafplio, but I agree; drop a day from there to add to Athens. I would keep the sequence the same (driving from airport & back to drop car is the easiest, but go back to the airport on day FOUR for your Istanbul flight. Then come back to Athens on Day EIGHT and have 2 full days instead of just one.

And when you say "tour peloponnese" -- don't go crazy! You say you want slower-paced but you don't write that way. Day One afternoon, and morning of Day 2, explore Nafplion old town. (Go to Cultural office, next to OTE building, for FREE audio Guide to walk Old town). Aftrnoon of Day 2, Epidaurus? Day 3 -- Mycenae, & how about Tiryns? or Nemea, the sacred games site? or Assine, which has a nice beach. (PS - you have never told us WHEN you are going -- hot weather or cold??).
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Old Sep 19th, 2009, 07:51 PM
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We are going the last week in July.
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 02:29 PM
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I was able to change my flights so this is our itinerrary:

Arrive July 28 Athens Drive to Nafplion
July 29 Nafplion
July 30 Nafplion
July 31 Nafplion
August 1 drive to Athens
August 2 Athens
August 3 Fly to Istanbul
August 4 Istanbul
August 5 Istanbul
August 6 Istanbul
August 7 Fly home from Istanbul

Any comments ?
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Old Sep 26th, 2009, 07:39 PM
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A heckuva lot better!
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Old Oct 1st, 2009, 01:51 PM
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I'd take a day from Nafplion and add a day to Athens. Glad to see that you're doing an open jaw ticket!
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 06:15 PM
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Thanks for all of the great input. Because of our convoluted flights from the US to Greece, we probably won't arrive in Nafplion until around 8:00 pm on 7/28. That gives us three days in Peloponnese. Still one day too much ?
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 08:44 PM
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NO not too much! You need a little time to recover, to acclimate... and Nafplion & vicinity is a great place to do it... none of the Athens bustle .... fortunately for you, by May 28 the sun doesn't set until about 8:45... go immediately to the waterside cafes to sit, see the afterglow, heave a great sigh, and say... we're heeeeere. As a reminder, re-run slide-show of stanbr's, link i gave you, above.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 08:46 PM
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PS: you can get a really early start August 1 driving back to Athens, 6:30 or so (because by then you'll be rested) you'll be at airport by 9 to drop car, metro gets u to syntagma square by 10 a.m., so you'll have almost 2 full days in athens.
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Old Oct 6th, 2009, 11:13 PM
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Glad to hear you made the flight change in order to take in Istanbul - - it is a magnificent city! I just returned from a cruise which started in Istanbul, took in Ephesus, Delos, Rhodes, Santorini, ancient Olympia, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Crete, and Athens - - only way to go. I'd have liked to have had more time in Istanbul and Athens, but at least I was there. Islands of Rhodes and Santorini are certainly worth seeing, and ancient Ephesus is awesome; however, I can see your time constraints when you're doing your own transportation. But Ephesus isn't too far from Istanbul so perhaps you could get to that site. Cruising from one island to another during the night gets you around to lots of places in less time; and Oceania Cruises is absolutely wonderful - - truly luxury cruising.
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 09:20 AM
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On Land, gomama, ephesus is not easy or quick to access from Istanbul, even if they fly it would involve busses. You are speaking from the prism of cruises, which is entirely different. Please, don't get this couple worked up again -- we have spent enough effort getting them to be realistic about what they can accomplish!!
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Old Oct 7th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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Yep, upon looking again at the geography, I realize that. Their trip sounds well-planned, travelerjan, I'm sure they will see awesome sights and have a wonderful time! I was really impressed by Istanbul- - just hadn't known exactly what to expect; Athens was what I expected, ancient and modern as well. Travel to Greece had been No. 1 on my "bucket list" for a very long time. Bon voyage, spinesrgn!
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Old Oct 15th, 2009, 08:38 PM
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Thanks for the great input. I think we're on our way to final plans !
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Old Oct 17th, 2009, 10:11 PM
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I love both Greece & Turkey. Not sure if you can work Delphi in but I highly reccomend.We were 5 days in Istanbul & had plenty to do. We've been to Greece 2 times & loved both & plan to go back.When I'mdowninthe dumps i picture myself ina little white house looking at that BLUE water of Greece. Eating the wonderful fresh food.
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