Greece and Turkey Honeymoon October

Apr 14th, 2012, 03:14 PM
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Greece and Turkey Honeymoon October

My fiancee and I recently purchased round trip tickets to istanbul arriving on 10/9 and leaving 10/30.

Our schedule at this point looks something like this:

10/9/2012 Istanbul flight Bodrum
10/10/2012 Bodrum
10/11/2012 Bodrum
10/12/2012 Bodrum
10/13/2012 Bodrum Ferry to Rhodes (morning) Rhodes
10/14/2012 Rhodes
10/15/2012 Rhodes
10/16/2012 Rhodes Flight to Crete (Night)
10/17/2012 Crete
10/18/2012 Crete
10/19/2012 Crete
10/20/2012 Crete Ferry to Santorini
10/21/2012 Santorini
10/22/2012 Santorini
10/23/2012 Santorini
10/24/2012 Santorini
10/25/2012 Santorini Flight to Istanbul
10/26/2012 Istanbul
10/27/2012 Istanbul
10/28/2012 Istanbul
10/29/2012 Istanbul
10/30/2012 Istanbul Flight Home

In Bodrum we were think about staying at Macakizi but it looks a little far away from the city proper and we wanted to do dinners there and walk around and whatever other sites Bodrum has to offer. Is it better to stay at MacaKizi or more towards Bodrum proper?

In rhodes we were thinking about Lindos Blu but were curious about being in Oldtown Rhodes. Any suggestions? What is closer to culture activities places to walk dinners etc...?

In Crete we are planning on doing Blue Palace or Amirandes but Chania has struck our interest as well. What area of the island is better to stay in? We do want to see all the ruins and things like that.

In Santorini we were thinking Canaves Oia or Ikies.

In Istanbul we are planning on staying at Empress Zoe as it's central to everything wed want to do in the Sultanahmet.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Is the length of time in each location appropriate? Are there other areas we should look into? Ideally we'd like to be close to nice areas to walk around and that are close to the cultural sites.

A list of things we should do in each location would be very helpful as well.

Lastly does anyone have any good suggestions on dictionaries/phrasebooks?

Thanks so much for your help. The flight is set everything else can be tweaked!

sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 14th, 2012, 11:02 PM
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macakizi is a decent hotel at the upscale Golturkbuku area of the bodrum peninsula. It is ony half an hour by dolmus (minibus) or taxi from Bodrum.
However, the area may be in the process of winding down in October and will not be as lively as you may wish.

On the other hand Bodrum proper will also be left to the cheaper and more rowdy type of tourists or retirees like me.

In your place, I would consider replacing Bodrum with Fethiye area for a 12 month thriving town both local and touristy, catering to all socio-economic groups and more importantly with excellent beaches, natural beauties and antique sites within easier reach than Bodrum. Fethiye also has frequent and regular hydrofoil to Rhodes.

A third and excellent alternative could have been Kas but there is no direct Rhodes connection from Kas.

In any case, consider serious renting a car during your stayfor some truely fabulous historic and natural sites especially in fethiye and Kas regions.
otherchelebi is online now  
Apr 15th, 2012, 05:19 AM
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I don't really care about lively. In fact it may be better after having spent so much time and stress for the wedding.

Fethiye does sound like a really nice area however and there seems to be some really beautiful historic and natural sites around the area? Is there anything similar in Bodrum?

Thanks for your input!
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 15th, 2012, 10:37 AM
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Bodrum has a decent museum and castle, a small Roman theatre.

Is about 70 minutes or so from Herakleia on lake Bafa (Kapikiri village)

About 120 minutes from Priene, Miletus and Didyma, meaning usually a one day tour especially if you add Doganbey, dilek lagoon and Karina also.

about 2-5-3 hours away from bodrum, you have Ephesus, Selcuk museum and sain John's basilica a very significant group of sites.

the sites near Fethiye well worth visiting are Saklikent + Tlos, Patara big
Less but nice, Letoon, Pinara, Xanthos,
Nature : Olu Deniz, Butterfly valley, 12 island tour,
Istuzu beach/Dalyan, Gemiler,
Recent history ; Kaya Koy
otherchelebi is online now  
Apr 16th, 2012, 05:09 PM
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Otherchelebi if you had a day trip from Bodrum which sites would you be sure to see?
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 07:44 PM
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I'm not Otherchelebi, but my vote for a 'do not miss' goes to Ephesus!
joannyc is online now  
Apr 16th, 2012, 07:45 PM
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Oh... and Mary's last house and St. John's Basilica.
joannyc is online now  
Apr 16th, 2012, 11:25 PM
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in Rhodes i would recommend
in Lindos Melenos Hotel
in Rhodes city : Rodos Park Suites, located next to the castle

Your choice in Crete is excellent, i would prefer Blue Palace over Amirandes, which is a Grecotel Hotel.

Elounda is a very nice small village, the hotel is located outside of the village, i would recommend renting a car.

Western Crete is greener than Eastern Crete, with 2 beautiful cities, Rethymnon and Chania.
Hotels in Chania are not of the standards of Elounda, even though they may have 5 stars.
These are hotels that work with all major European Tour Operators, consequently their standards are lower.

Blue Palace is one of the top hotels of Crete !
Now please note that Crete is a huge island, distance from east to west is 350 km, in the short time you'll be there you won't be able to see very much.
Being based in Elounda, you can visit Agios Nikolaos, and drive via Sitia to Vai ( the only Palm Forest of Europe)
Heraklion with Knossos is only 60 km away, and you could drive further to Rethymnon ( 135 km from Elounda).
Chania would be 200 km away, but doable as a day trip.

In Santorini i think Canaves is an excellent choice, i would like to recommend also Perivolas.

In Crete and Santorini weather won't be very warm for swimming ( but you could also be surprised) and Santorini might be a bit sleepy, as it will be the end of the season.

On 25/10 i guess you will fly from Santorini to Istanbul via Athens? In that case aren't you interested in seeing Athens? or have you been there before?
clausar is offline  
Apr 16th, 2012, 11:51 PM
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I agree with Joan, and would also squeeze in Herakleia (Kapikiri) on the way back if you have time. Should also give you some very different photography opportunities.

Unless you are a devout Christian or have a lot of time, you can leave VM's house out. It is currently an operating chapel in an idyllic setting but tiny has no artifacts and the structure has nothing to show the age. So, would basically be a good place for meditation if not for the blasted tourists.

Eat either choep shish (pr) or gozleme on the route on one of the small roadside restaurants or a good regional lunch at the restaurant of Hotel Bella (across from Saint John's) in Selcuk.
otherchelebi is online now  
Apr 17th, 2012, 06:07 AM
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Hi and congrats ! : )
I am not familiar with Turkey and of course a lot depends on your interests and what you want to do/see on each area... But about Greek islands, I sometimes think that people allow nights on each one according to how advertised or well-know it is rather than after looking on a map, check its size and research what is there to see and ... : (
For example:
Santorini : 73 km2 (28 sq miles)
Rhodes : 1,400 km2 (541 sq miles)
Crete: 8,336 km2 (3,219 sq miles)
Even if you spent all your island time on Crete you'll not been able to see "all ruins and things like that".
I know you asked for lists of things to do and see on each location, but I guess you have some ideas on mind to start with, as you choose those locations at the first place. If you mention those it would help to built an itinerary around your must-dos and must-sees and advice accordingly on location especially on the larger islands. I am not sure what exactly "culture activities" means to you. I have a friend who goes to Santorini 10 days every year and loves to explore wineries while he hasn't set a food on any museums or archeological sites while an other person I know spends most of his visit there visiting Nomikos conference center, climbing up to Ancient Thira and he is as happy as it can get that Akrotiri is finally re-opened. Both they insist their visits are of "cultural nature" .Please share some more info on your traveling style and interests, and I am sure you'll get lots of suitable recommendations and ideas!
mariha2912 is offline  
Apr 17th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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As for what I mean by cultural activities I mean both ruins and museum type activities. Though we do love exploring natural sites as well. For our last two non family/friends related vacations we've done old san juan PR and willemstad Curacao. We spent a lot of time wandering around the historical areas and doing beach and other natural sites. Since then we've been saving our vacation time for this trip.

I love wine and we go to a bunch around VA with family and friends but my fiancee is very particular (sweet but not cloying only) so that type of stuff is out.

I think what i mean by cultural activities are the things that make each island unique and special, which obviously include things of historical importance. We want top inundated with the charms of each island.

My fiancee is also very worried about running around so much we don't get to really appreciate things. I am unsure when we are going to be able to get back, which is why I would like to get a feel for each island while not necessarily "seeing everything."
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 17th, 2012, 01:20 PM
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As for Bodrum, St. Johns and Ephesus look wonderful. We are not devout Christians but we have made a habit out seeing religious sites on each of our trips. We are getting married in a Christian ceremony though and our pastor would love to see some pictures of St. Johns. Priene, Miletus, Didyma, Doganbey, dilek lagoon and Karina all look beautiful as well! If I was making a day trip to check out Ephesus and St. Johns could I include some of those?

It will be nice to see some beautiful mosques in Istanbul, as well.

I am excited about the photo opportunities on this trip!!!
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:59 AM
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I will post some random notes and thoughts that come on my mind (about the Greek part of your trip)...
-I am not absolutely sure if direct flight connections are available among Rhodes-Crete and Santorini-Istanbul on October. Ferries are time consuming and even if those flights are available, each time you move from A to B you have to take in consideration time packing/unpacking, checking in/out of hotels, commuting/waiting time to ports/airports, get your bearings on new destinations and so on... So at least half day is spent on transit.
-On October, especially approaching the end of the month,daylight hours start to decrease, so you can fit less in a day. According to my calendar sunset on October 1rst 2012 is at 18.08 and on October 31rst on 17.27 . Quite likely archeological sites and museums might swap on their winter timetable too, so quite likely they'll close by 15.00 .
-Most activities on the islands are related to outdoors.In case of rainy/windy weather there might not be much to do. Summer ambiance is gone by middle October on most of Greek Islands. It is absolutely truth that Crete and Rhodes are south and they have warmer climate and a longer season. They feature a large permanent destination too, so they are a good choice on October. I am not sure if this apply so much to Santorini. It is true that it is a very popular island too, and even till November many cruise ships are docking there for a day. It has a great landscape and it is a really unique island. But its "beach resorts" on the flat side of the island will feel quiet, while if you are active people, after visiting Akrotiri and Ancient Thira archeological sites,two-three small museums in Fira, maybe walking the Fira to Oia path and maybe taking a caldera boat trip, there is not so much to do. If relaxing in hotel balcony with a glass of wine in hand enjoying the amazing views for hours is ok to you, then fine. If not, I think you may start to get bored after a while.
-In contradiction with what I just wrote, I think that no matter how much you love sigh seen, you may get fed up of too many museums, ruins and churches after a while, even if you throw some scenery/nature in the mix. You might want to allow a few relaxing days in between sight seen, some activities that please you too though. That could be anything I guess, from shopping to horseback riding.
-I think that given your interests, you'll miss a lot skipping Athens. Plenty to see and do there, and I would seriously consider to fit some days in itinerary there, especially if you have to go through Athens for flights on Istanbul.
-Greece is not only the islands. I think you miss a great part of the country if you give a complete miss on mainland. Even on the most "tourist-ed" areas, there is a stable permanent population around and life is more "real" there that on the islands, at least on my opinion. As far as you are interested on antiquities and museums, I do not think that is easy to give a miss on the Athens Acropolis or mainland sites such as Delphi, Mycenae etc. Personally I would still skip either Crete either Rhodes and add more days on one of those islands in order to explore one of those more in depth,rather than get only a very tiny glimpse of each.Then I'd spend 4 nights (3 full days) on Santorini. I would try to save at least 3 nights/2 full days for Athens.
mariha2912 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 12:39 PM
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Lot to respond to

Rhodes Crete flight is nonstop through Olympic air. Flight time of 50 min.

Santorini - Istanbul is through Athens however.

As for Athens itself friends had mentioned doing a mainland trip with us in a few years so that's why were keeping it off the itinerary.

The traveling thing. Bodrum to rhodes is a 2 hour ferry and I sort of figure it will be scenic and part of the experience. The flight from Rhodes to Crete is short and it will be at night as well so not a major drawback traveling wise. Again with the ferry from Crete to Santorini it will be part of greek island adventure. It may be far from this in reality It would be nice if there was a direct ferry from either rhodes or crete to Santorini though, but I don't think it exists.

Santorini seems to be on a similar latitude to at least the norther part of Rhodes. So would the temperature be close? I don't really care if it's quiet my fiancee and I are not partyers by any stretch of the imagination anymore and will enjoy just walking around the island. We probably will remove a day from Santorini from our schedule however.

I think we probably will spend time relaxing at each location and not just burn ourselves out running from spot to spot. My fiancee is an early riser so Im sure she will have us relaxing at the pool/beach most morning before we do anything unless it's a day trip type of day. We dont really need to be jumping from site to site as just walking around the towns will be nice for us to do as well. I do hope to be able to get something for her/us on our trip so a little shopping will happen as well.

During our stay in Bodrum I am figuring the first day will be spent completely relaxing. The second day will be our day trip to Ephesus and the third day will be another relaxing day and walking around Bodrum proper.

I have a question about renting cars? Is this difficult to do? Also how is the driving on the islands and Bodrum? I am sued to terrible traffic and bad drivers but are things easy to find and properly marked?

Lastly, do we need a phrasebook or dictionary for Turkey and Greece? Unfortunately I have not had time to study another language (besides AP latin translations) in school or out of it.

Thanks so much for all the suggestions and help everyone!
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 01:40 PM
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-About ferries/flights it is a personal call. As I said, it is the hassle around the actual trip that can be off putting. Fingers crossed you'll meet calm weather, but in case of windy weather the route Crete-Santorini can be an adventurous one-assuming your choice is Flying Cat. I think this is a direct service (?) Some other ferries go through Anafi.
-End of October it can get windy and somehow cold on Cyclades(Santorini), most people would consider its maybe sunbathing time but not swimming time anymore towards the end of the month. Of course it is a personal thing and what water temperatures you are used to. Furthermore it is not only point of latitude but micro climate, water streams, sea depths and so on. I did not look closely on your hotel choices, but in general heated pools are very rare in Greece. Oia does not have a beach as such, caldera side of the island is cliffs. You can climb down to water level and jamb in the sea from man-made concrete platform though. Beaches are on the flat side of the island and mostly consist of black volcanic grit/rocks. About walking/hiking on Santorini you may want to check this link :
On Rhodes I absolutely love Prassonissi area for a beach experience and scenery, but I've never been there on October.
-If you are not an EU driving license holder, then an International Drive Permit is absolutely necessary to drive legaly in Greece.There is a misunderstanding about this.Most car hire companies will hire a car out on an US or Canadian or whatever license, so many people believe that's fine. But it is not. In case of an accident you are not covered by insurance and even on a simple police check, police is entitled to give you a hefty fin or even arrest you. Often police had a loosy attitude on those naive visitors driving illegally around and insisted they should be legal as car hire company told them, but nowadays police is more strict on those matters. Anyway, not a huge deal, on my understanding you just have to go on your local AAA office with 4 passport size photos,I think you pay a small amount, around $15 and you have your IDP in a matter of minutes (I have no personal experience on that one obviously, so maybe a North American in this forum could clarify on this procedure). Otherwise hiring a car is quite straight forward.Make sure you check carefully T&C and always prefer to get the full-insurance option. Before setting off check carefully the car for possible scratches or damages and if there are any, point them out to car hire representative.Driving in Greece is not as bad as they make it to be, but of course it's up to how easy a driver adapts to unfamiliar road conditions and how experienced he/she is. In general Greek drivers can be somehow "aggressive" , this means not much tolerance to people driving slowly to admire the views. Speed limits are there for decorative purposes and you'll see people do some dangerous moves in order to pass other cars on narrow roads. All you have to do is to keep as right as possible and let people pass your car. Navigating around on the most touristy areas is not that hard, names on street signs are written both in Greek and English. Note that sometimes a map comes more handy than a GPS, often people report that GPS sent them on wrong direction or non-existent roads or whatever. If you have both a GPS and a map and you get contradictory advice, go with the map. In case you get seriously lost or in the unlikely event of an accident or a mechanical problem, all car hire companies provide an emergency contact phone number.
- I very much doubt you'll face serious communication problems on your Greek destinations, unless you end up on a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. English is very widely spoken in Greece, people in tourism industry definitively speak very good English plus a handful of other languages, while on touristy areas almost everyone speaks English up to an extend. Younger population even on small non-touristy places in Greece knows English too, it's an obligatory lesson even on junior school,and you'll be able to communicate on simple matters even if someone hasn't practice for ages. Old people might not speak a word of English in those remote areas, but you can still be fine using body language and smile. That said, learning and using a couple of words in local language such as Hello and Thank You always makes an extra mile to "break the ice" .
mariha2912 is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 01:42 PM
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You should have no problems driving in Turkey. The roads are good and the signs are good. people will be helpful even when they do not speak English.

For speed limits and addiional info please check some of my previous posts.
otherchelebi is online now  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for the info about Flying Cat! That really seems like the best way to get to Santorini from Crete as it wont have any other stops In Oct. I am concerned about some choppy weather but Ive done cruises in the Atlantic. However, my fiancee is from the desert originally and has never done much on boats. At about 2 hours though it should be fine. She has to do it sometime.

Sun bathing and maybe some quick dips will be fine on Santorini. The walking hiking info is very informative as well.

I never wouldve thought about an international driving permit. I know people from the UK just drive in the US without doing anything. I will check out my local AAA and ask about it this week. I think I should be fine in Greece I am used to agressive drivers and narrow roads. Not the ideal obviously but I am comfortable with it.

As for saying hello and thank you etc... those were the type of things I was thinking about using a book to learn for but I suppose I can look online as well.

Are there any other types of permits, etc... I should look into before my trip for Turkey and Greece?

I dont believe we need a visa for Greece as it's 90 days for tourists. Turkey it seems I need a visa but can buy it at our port of entry which would be the airport in Istanbul. Is this just a normal part of the entry procedure when we land? or do we need to buy it after we enter at another location? Lastly as we will be entering the country again from Greece does anyone know if we will need to purchase a new visa or will the time limit on the original one work.

Thanks again!
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 04:53 PM
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I will check out other posts about driving in turkey
sfgvacas is offline  
Apr 18th, 2012, 10:32 PM
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You will not need an international drivers permit for Turkey as long as your drivers license contains a photograph, but my BIL and EU citizen SIL were requested to show one at the Greek border just last week although the Greek police allowed them through with just a warning to have one with them next time they came.
otherchelebi is online now  
Aug 15th, 2012, 06:47 PM
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Hi all.

Ive got this trip all booked. The itinerary has changed a bit but overall its the same places, same order, etc...

We have never been on a trip this long before. Does anyone have any recommendations for what my fiancee and i should bring?

What kind of clothes are appropriate for our locations? I know we need to be dressed appropriately for mosques and monasteries. We will probably go out to dinner at some fancy restaurants occasionally as well. From what I understand temperatures will go from approx avg of 80 during the say to lows of 50s at night when we leave from Istanbul. I want to make sure we have everything we need.

Do you have any suggestions on driving maps for the bodrum and the greek islands we should pick up?

Anything else we need to bring? Any and all suggestions are welcome.

Thanks so much again,
sfgvacas is offline  

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