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Greece & Istanbul in 12 days, you think that's enough time? Please help...

Greece & Istanbul in 12 days, you think that's enough time? Please help...

Old Aug 21st, 2012, 04:12 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2
Greece & Istanbul in 12 days, you think that's enough time? Please help...

I'm planning a solo trip to Greece and Istanbul next year. I want to plan it as early as possible so I have enough time to scout out places and air fares. So here's my situation: I'm only allowed 2 weeks off from work. In a span of 14-days I only have 12 to spare if you deduct my travel time. Do you guys think that's a decent amount of time to explore both places? Am I being too ambitious?
Greece would be my main destination. I'm interested in seeing historical sights and the beaches which is really what I'm dying to see and experience (scuba diving). I was thinking of tweaking Fodor's suggested itinerary to accomodate my time restrictions. I just don't want to compromise not seeing more of Greece just so I can visit Istanbul. On theflip side, I don't want to missed the opportunity to visit Istanbul because I would be so close.

I guess the point is, I want to experience as much as I can in every trip that I make.
So please offer your advice. I'll take any suggestions you have on places to see, itinerary, best transportation option, etc. BTW, I mainly want to see Hagia Sofia and some Byzantine architecture. Thanks!!!
WanderingTurtle is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
We went to both Istanbul and Greece this spring -- for about 3.5 weeks. IMO you ought to skip Istanbul this time and plan a trip to Istanbul and beyond for later. Istanbul is a very large and vibrant city. It deserves several days at least. And if you're interested in history and archeology, there's a lot in Turkey. As well as beaches and scuba diving. I really wanted to go to Ephesus, but we weren't able to make time this trip. Next time.

But you say Greece is your main destination. There's a lot to see there too, especially if you have the time: Athens of course, the Peloponnese, the many islands (Santorini is a must), Delphi. Two shy weeks won't get you everywhere. Given your interest in beaches and scuba diving, you'll probably want to spend a lot of time in the islands. Crete might be a good destination for you: more historical ruins than the average island.

Research what you want to see and do in Greece. I'm sure you'll fill your time and more.
Mimar is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 04:59 PM
Join Date: Dec 2006
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I'm with Mimar: If we are correct that your primary interest is Greece, you'll probably have a difficult enough time trying to fit what you want to see into 12 days. It sounds like you will also enjoy Turkey when you have a couple of weeks to give to it. Enjoy!
kja is offline  
Old Aug 21st, 2012, 05:29 PM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 6,740
You don't have enough time for both countries unless you just want a been-there-done-that sort of experience. You're going to be on the move the whole time if you try it.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Sep 26th, 2012, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 73
We just returned from a trip to Greece and Turkey. We had 15 days total including travel days so only a few days less than you have. We traveled to Athens and directly on to Santorini via air flight - stayed in Oia for 3 nights. We then took the ferry to Naxos for 4 nights and back to Athens via ferry for 3. Flight to Istanbul for 4 nights.

You can do a similar trip I would take out one night in Naxos and one night in Athens. We had an excellent trip and going to both is highly recommended. I would not change a thing unless I just wanted a beach type of vacation and then I would just go to all of the greek islands and go to Turkey on a separate trip. The above was a great itinerary for our first trip to Greece and Turkey.
sph is offline  
Old Sep 27th, 2012, 05:52 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
sph must not be too interested in history and archeology if s/he thought one day in Athens enough.

There are examples of Byzantine architecture in Greece (and Italy). Look up Byzantine churches in Athens and elsewhere. And the town of Mystras in the Peloponnese looks fascinating.
Mimar is offline  
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