Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Greece/Turkey 3 week itinerary. Please feel free to critique!

Greece/Turkey 3 week itinerary. Please feel free to critique!

Aug 7th, 2011, 06:34 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Greece/Turkey 3 week itinerary. Please feel free to critique!

This forum has been so helpful. Thanks to everyone for all the great info. I would like to share our rough itinerary and am open to your suggestions! Tell me what you think!

My husband and I are leaving mid September, finishing out the trip on October 9th. We are young and active. He would probably like to relax a bit more but also wants to fit everything in like I do. (We realize it's a very busy itinerary). So well...here you have it:

Day 1 – arrive in Athens midday
Day 2 – Athens
Day 3 – Athens

Day 4 – rent car early and travel to Nafplio – stop in Corinth/Mycenae spend night in Nafplio

Day 5 – Driving tour of Mani Peninsula – spend night in Kardamyli (Mani Peninsula)

Day 6 – drive to Gythio and take afternoon ferry to Kissamos, Crete (with car)
(Thursday ferry - leaves 2:30/3pm arrives 9:30 pm - spend night in Chania, Crete)

Day 7 – Crete – southwest – Samaria Gorge, Sfakion – where to spend the night??

Day 8 – Crete – Knossos/ spend night in Iraklion – drop off car in Iraklion (or should we keep it?)

Day 9 – early morning fairy to Santorini

Day 10 – Santorini – full day and overnight ferry (1:05 a.m.) to Rhodes arriving 9:45 am Tues OR fly on
http://www.skyexpress.gr/ but flight schedule not confirmed for this week (26/27 September)

Day 11 - Rhodes

Day 12 - Rhodes

Day 13 – afternoon catamaran/hydrofoil to Fethiye, Turkey (read that this route is sometimes cancelled and Marmaris is a safer bet)

Day 14 – morning departure from Fethiye for 12 island Blue Cruise (2 days/3 nights) 1st night

Day 15 – 12 island tour 2nd night

Day 16 – return to Fethiye – spend night in Fethiye (*or able to catch a late bus?)

Day 17 – bus to Selcuk. Visit Ephesus – spend night in Selcuk
2nd option: try to fit in Pamukkale somehow??

Day 18 – Ephesus in the morning. Afternoon train to Izmir (1h 20 minutes) Late flight to Istanbul from Izmir

Day 19 – Istanbul
Day 20 – Istanbul
Day 21 – Istanbul
Day 22 – Istanbul
Day 23 – afternoon flight home

Really appreciate any comments you may have. Too much to see in too little time as always!
allcraz is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 07:25 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,597
Sounds like great fun, and you've obviously already done your research. Have you found a car rental agency that will allow you to pick up a car on the mainland and drop it off on Crete?
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 7th, 2011, 10:14 AM
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Actually, I am doubting my source now (re. car idea)!! A lot of people on other forums are telling me they've never heard of doing that. I could have sworn I read it somewhere but I am now doubting my source.

Thanks.
allcraz is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 10:27 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,690
I would have thought that you would have had your fill of the sea by the time you reached Fethiye.

We loved staying at Ecesaray hotel in Fethiye at the marina, and eating at the fish market, where you buy the fish and take it to one of the restaurants for cooking and serving with salad, or the great Pide at Paspatur area in the pedestrian only market streets.

The 12 island cruise is possibly very pleasant, but a visit to Saklikent canyon and Tlos is also quite exciting. (The caretta caretta babies hatched last night at Istuzu-Dalyan and ran to safety already. Was on TV, half an hour ago)

Do not rush to Pamukkale. If you drive it is 2.5-3 hours each way but longer by tour or public bus. Instead, enjoy Selcuk with its museum, castle, culture, basilica, museum, mosque, cats, and if it is a Saturday, its market.

Have lunch or dinner at the restaurant of Hotel Bella. (small spartan rooms but the best regional menu)

Izmir airport is before Izmir itself, so the train may actually reach the airport in less time than 80 minutes. If you're flying by Atlas Jet, they should have a free shuttle from Selcuk.

Make sure you fly to IST and not SAW in Istanbul.

Domestic and International terminals at IST are very close to each other and you may actually consider walking to the international upon your arrival from izmir airport and depositing a suitcase or two at kept luggage there to take some load of you in Istanbul.
otherchelebi is online now  
Aug 7th, 2011, 02:39 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 541
You can rent a car and drive Fethiye to Izmir without drop off fee as we did. That way you can see Saklikent , Tlos and Ucagiz (a highlight, also Lake Bafa) and all the other good stops, like Sirince. www.economycarrentals.com
Tommmo is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 03:53 PM
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
otherchelebi and Tommmo, thank you for your input. It is so interesting to see what everyone has to say. On other forums they are tearing my itinerary to pieces (too much, I know). Will do a good re-thinking before deciding on the final itinerary. Again, very appreciative.
allcraz is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 04:34 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 351
Hi allcraz,
I know it is not what you want to hear but I have been to most of the places on your itinerary and it sounds to me like too much constant travel. Remember to stop and savor the climate, culture, history, and beautiful environs. I think you have allotted enough time in Athens and Istanbul, but too little as you travel from Nafplion through the islands to Turkey. I recommend you cut something out to reduce the transport time and rushing through what is a spectacular place to slow down. Here's a key to happiness: "my husband would like to relax a bit more". If you are the trip planner, make it happen.
parosblue is offline  
Aug 7th, 2011, 11:02 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,597
If as I suspected, you won't be able to hire a car on the mainland and drop it off in Crete, you will have to change your itinerary anyway.

How about renting a car at the end of your stay in Athens to tour the Nafplion/Argolid area, return it to Athens and fly to Santorini (you won't see much in Crete in the time you have allocated anyway). Then, take the overnight ferry to Rhodes and resume your itinerary as planned.
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 8th, 2011, 01:55 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
parosblue and Heimdall. Thank you. At this point looking at cutting Santorini altogether and a day somewhere in southwest Turkey to give at least one more day each to Crete and Rhodes, or two extra days to Crete and then fly to Rhodes. Thank you for your help.
allcraz is offline  
Aug 8th, 2011, 10:19 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,597
That would work better, especially with two extra days on Crete. Olympic Air has direct flights from Heraklion to Rhodes (without going through Athens). There are also flights with Sky Express, which has a very low baggage weight allowance, so you may prefer Olympic. Both airlines use small turboprops on that route.
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 9th, 2011, 02:11 AM
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Still taking lots of itineraries into account but no decision yet. One idea is to allow for more time in the peninsulas, then take the car back up to Athens, then just choose Crete or Rhodes. (Perhaps fly.) And then head on to Turkey. Oh, but which to choose? I think it has a lot to do with the type of traveler you are, but I've read about both and would love both. Crete seems more rugged, untouched in places whereas Rhodes might be more sophisticated...I don't think we'll have another chance to go back and explore the other we don't choose, so I want to choose well.
allcraz is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 06:48 PM
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Ok here is the updated version. We were trying to choose between Crete and Rhodes. When we decided on Crete and then realized we would have to go through Rhodes either way on the way to Turkey, it seemed ridiculous not to have at least a few days to see some of the top places. We totally cut out Ephesus, Fethiye, etc...will have to do another Turkey trip for sure.

1 – arrive in Athens midday
2 – Athens
3 – Athens
4 – rent car early and travel to Corinth – (and Mycenae?) head to Kardamyli – 1st night Kardamyli
5 – Kardamyli – 2nd night
6 – Mani Peninsula Drive – head to Monemvasia – night in Monemvasia
7 – early start to headed to Napflio – spend day and night in Napflio
8 – morning in Napflio. Head back to Athens. Drop off car. Overnight ferry to Chania
9 – Crete - hire car
10 – Crete
11 - Crete
12 - Crete
13 – Crete
14 – drop car off (read that separate Chania pick up/Heraklion drop off IS possible on Crete) evening flight Heraklion – Rhodes (ferries I’ve found either leave or arrive in the middle of the night and only on Tues/Sat according to www.gtp.gr)
15 – Rhodes
16 – Rhodes
17 – Rhodes
18 – 8:30 a.m. hydrofoil to Fethiye (1.5 hours) evening flight from Dalaman to Istanbul
19 – Istanbul
20 – Istanbul
21 – Istanbul
22 – Istanbul
23 – afternoon flight home

Some might still feel like this is "too much." But I don't personally want to spend 9 days on Rhodes and can't bear to just pass it up like that on the way to Turkey. I'd be willing to give one more day to Crete and take 1 day from Rhodes, but my husband thought that seemed a bit ridiculous. I realize that we will not truly get to know any of the places like the back of our hands (you would need months, I think). Truly appreciate any feedback on this new version.
allcraz is offline  
Aug 9th, 2011, 10:45 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,597
Looking good!
Heimdall is online now  
Aug 9th, 2011, 10:57 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 4,690
allcraz, I am sorry for previously disturbing your train of thought with unnecessary information on Turkey. Istanbul also seems to be an unnecessary addition to this itinerary. You may wish to reconsider that also.

Hope you have a great trip.
otherchelebi is online now  
Aug 10th, 2011, 02:40 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
otherchelebi, I can agree with you on that. But the tickets were purchased months ago. Into Athens, out of Istanbul. I'm still very excited to go to Istanbul, though.
allcraz is offline  
Aug 10th, 2011, 01:52 PM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 203
Well I think you're crazy for skipping Santorini. Yes, its crowded and touristy but breathtaking beautiful as well. We hiked both the Samaria Gorge and the hike from Oia to Fira and hands down the hike in Santorini was much more scenic with no crowds whatsoever.

Just my two cents!
CollK is offline  
Aug 11th, 2011, 06:29 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Posts: 351
Your itinerary looks good - thumbs up. It is hard to choose - there are so many wonderful destinations. You have done a good job planning. Enjoy!
parosblue is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:48 PM
  #18  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Ok, this is it. Final decision. Great to be able to "plan out loud" on the forum and have people nice enough to throw in their 2 cents. This is mostly being posted because after all your suggestions and help, I feel obliged to do so. (And let's be honest, because I enjoy having your opinion.) And because I hope that there are now 3 itineraries on the forum that anyone would be able to consider and play with. I kept fretting about the 12.5 kg baggage allowance for the flight from Crete to Rhodes on skyexpress. Although I realize we could probably pay an extra charge, there is no guarantee. I don't want to spend over 2 weeks worrying about how light or heavy my bag is before we even get to that point. And the ferry options (only 2 per week) were not fitting into the schedule correctly. (6 days Crete, 1 day Rhodes... no!) So here we are. Santorini is back. (CollK I hope you are happy!!) Crete will have to be another adventure on its own...

We would love suggestions for places to stay. We are looking to spend on average 70 euros total per night. (some places less, some more)

We have budgeted between 4,000 and 4,500 EUROS not including the international already-purchased flights.

Thank you all ever so much (again!)

Saturday September 17/Day 1 – arrive in Athens midday

Sunday September 18/Day 2 – Athens

Monday September 19/Day 3 – Athens

Tuesday September 20/Day 4 – rent car early and travel to Corinth – (and Mycenae?) head to Kardamyli – 1st night Kardamyli

Wednesday September 21/Day 5 – Kardamyli – 2nd night

Thursday September 22/Day 6 – Mani Peninsula Drive – head to Monemvasia – night in Monemvasia

Friday September 23/Day 7 – early start to Napflio – spend day and night in Napflio

Saturday September 24/Day 8 – morning in Napflio. Head back to Athens. Drop off car. 17:30 fairy to Santorini – arrive 1:15 a.m. – 1st night Santorini (or additional night in Athens and early ferry on Sunday?)

Sunday September 25/Day 9 – Santorini

Monday September 26/Day 10 – Santorini

Tuesday September 27/Day 11 - Santorini

Wednesday September 28/Day 12 – Santorini/Wednesday night 22:15 overnight to Rhodes

Thursday September 29/Day 13 – arrive Rhodes 10 a.m.

Friday September 30/ Day 14 – Rhodes

Saturday October 1/Day 15 – Rhodes

Sunday October 2/ Day 16 – Rhodes

Monday October 3/ Day 17 – afternoon boat (16:30/17:30) to Fethiye/Marmaris

Tuesday October 4/Day 18 – day in Marmaris or Fethiye (boat outing) - evening flight (19:20) from Dalaman to Istanbul - to Dalaman: www.havas.net/en/shuttle-parking/dalaman/

Wednesday October 5/Day 19 – Istanbul

Thursday October 6/Day 20 – Istanbul

Friday October 7/Day 21 – Istanbul

Saturday October 8/Day 22 – Istanbul

Sunday October 9/Day 23 – afternoon flight home
allcraz is offline  
Aug 13th, 2011, 12:57 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 13,927
You have a ? next to Mycenae. It is one of the highlights of Greece's antiquities...Agamemmnon, etc .You will have seen the mask at the Archeological Museum in Athens but must go to the site..very pretty countryside too. Please go there and to Epidavros, the theater, and you will be so happy that you included them. They are very near to Napflion so you could visit them when leaving that beautiful seaside city.
HappyTrvlr is online now  
Aug 13th, 2011, 01:03 PM
  #20  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 12
Yes, of course! Thank you HappyTrvlr. I think the ? was originally put to decide whether to stop on the way south or before/after Napflio. Thank you again.
allcraz is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:14 PM.