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njstickler Mar 3rd, 2015 12:55 PM

Greece and Turkey
Is Athens, Santorini and Istanbul too much to tackle in an 8 day trip? We are a family of four - two in their 20's and two in our 50's. We are excited about the itinerary but I am wondering if we would be spending too much time traveling between locations. Thanks.

yorkshire Mar 3rd, 2015 01:03 PM

Have you researched what the travel between the three will entail?

njstickler Mar 3rd, 2015 01:13 PM

Yes; there are no direct flights between Santorini and Istanbul. So if we arrive in Athens (from Chicago)- it would be Athens, Santorini, then fly back to Athens to connect on to Istanbul, then home from Istanbul.

yorkshire Mar 3rd, 2015 01:24 PM

And have you identified what you want to see and how many days you will give each?
It would be too much time wasted in transit for me, but I am trying to help guide you to the best answer for you. If there is an opportunity to return, I would want more time in either country.

wannachat Mar 3rd, 2015 01:26 PM

I notice there is a ferry from Santorini to Bodrum (Turkey) with one change over.
Bodrum seems to have a lot of beaches etc. to offer tourists!!
I am flying back to London from Bodrum.

njstickler Mar 3rd, 2015 01:42 PM

We will be in Athens just long enough for a city tour - so a few hours or one evening, depending on flight times. We have been told two or three days is more than enough time to spend on Santorini, our real destination. Because of that and the length of the flight for us to get there we are looking around for an additional destination and hit on Istanbul. I did look in to the ferries but other on this site said their schedules are unreliable and the trips themselves lengthy. We are open to going to another destination. Our original plan was to spend the week on Santorini until everyone started telling us that was too long.

yorkshire Mar 3rd, 2015 01:49 PM

There is always the entire mainland of Greece and the gazillion other islands, haha. I guess my point is only you can decide if you want to travel that much.
Thoughts to consider: Will you be up for a tour the day you arrive in Athens? If not, you might need two nights there or to head directly to Santorini upon arrival, then do the tour when you return, before flying out.

greg Mar 3rd, 2015 03:50 PM

You will unlikely to have a satisfactory itinerary if you only go by "I was told" without asking your self if it is relevant to you.

How many full days do you have? When new posters say 8 days, they often count arrival and departure days. So I am suspecting your trip is 7 nights on ground and 6 full days?

Planning in terms so many places so many days would unlikely to match your interest and constraints. Look at actual flight schedules, realistic time to goto airports and back with checkin, luggage retrieval delays, and hotel checkin/out overhead would give you what is left. Then you decide if that is what you want.

kja Mar 3rd, 2015 06:23 PM

"Is Athens, Santorini and Istanbul too much to tackle in an 8 day trip?"

IMO, yes. Example: I think Istanbul itself deserves a minimum of 5 full days.

I recommend that you get some good guidebooks (or spend some time with a few in your local library), identify the things you most want to see in each location, note their opening/closing times, and mark them on a calendar. Then pencil in your transportation, add some time on either side (for getting to/from the train/bus station or whatever, checking in/out, packing/unpacking, getting oriented, etc.). Then see how things fit together.

FWIW, I thought the Rough Guide the best of the half-dozen or so guidebooks I used while planning my time in Turkey.

trtourorganizer Mar 4th, 2015 04:50 AM

Istanbul is challenging your itinerary, it is another country and dont have ferries or flights from any Greek islands. Mykonos used to have a direct flight to Istanbul operated those flights but they are not published in their website so no trustworthy. skip istanbul this time or do istanbul and a couple of cities around it only. I see Santorini is the most important attraction to you so i recommend an arrival day at athens and connecting it to Santorini directly. spend 4 or 5 days there, and take a ferry to Naxos or Paros which are nearby. oen of them have daily flights to Athens. Fly back to athens, do a day trip there and fly back home. this will show you santorini, another greek island, a ferry experience on the calm waters of the Aegean and small propeller planes Greeks use in between the islands, so much fun :)
happy travels,

njstickler Mar 4th, 2015 05:22 AM

Thank you everyone - we will concentrate on Santorini and nearby islands for the family. My husband and I can take more vacation than our two children so we will add some days on our own and go to Bodrum and Istanbul.

HappyTrvlr Mar 4th, 2015 08:31 AM

And Athens deserves much more time too.

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