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Help for two options for Greece/Turkey - extra days

Help for two options for Greece/Turkey - extra days

Old Jan 13th, 2008, 02:38 PM
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Help for two options for Greece/Turkey - extra days

Thanks to you Fodorites, I've been able to plan what seems to be a really nice trip to Greece in June '08.

I've got most everything mapped out, but have a few extra days to play with, so I'm hoping Murat or Brotherlee or any of you other nice folks with experience here can help.

We will be on Samos. From Samos, we will have five days/nights to go somewhere before arriving in Santorini. We have considered the following:

Option 1
Day 1 (last day on Samos) - Samos - day trip to Ephesus, then back to Samos.
Day 2,3,4,5 - island hopping onto Santorini - or maybe go to Rhodes for several nights, then come back to Santorini.

Option 2
Day 1,2,3 (last day on Samos) - trip to Ephesus, then venture down the Turkish coast and end up in Marmaris before taking the ferry to Rhodes.
Day 4,5 - spend 2 days on Rhodes, then head to Santorini (assuming we can either fly or make ferry connections.

Thanks for any help. Don't want to add Crete. Been there already, but haven't seen much else in the Greek islands.

We are mid-30s, not partiers. We do not want to spend all the nights in one place. We like to see and do and not sit around... I know I know... we're supposed to slow down. Just not our style yet! We enjoy hiking, getting off the beaten path, good food, aesthetic and local beauty (I am a professional photographer and you know I'll have my equipment with me!) Ruins are ok, but we may be "ruined out" by this point in the trip.

Again, thanks for any ideas/advice!

RogerHopper

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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 02:51 PM
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Hi Roger,

While you are in that neck of the woods, I must recommend my absolute favorite island experience - Chios.

It is absolutly unique and not nearly as flooded with tourists as other islands. The Mastic villages are amazing - Mesta, Olympi, Pirgi...you can visit the amazing sad monestary of Nea Moni, the tragic Anavatos, the caves of Olympi. Beautiful beaches.

I should note that this island does require a car. Another Fodorite was here and posted some pictures:
Chios

"http://murphypictures.myphotoalbum.c...Name=album08">

Anyway those are my two cents! You could fly out of Chios Town.

Whatever you choose, I hope you post a trip report - I love reading about other Fodorites visits to Greece especially!

MollyBrown

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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 03:23 PM
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mark
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 06:50 PM
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Of your 2 options, I would say #2. THe reason is "Island Hopping down to Santorini" would use up MUCH of your precious days on Ferries. Used to be able to do NEL express to Naxos 2-3 hrs. That boat (only 2x a wk) gone now I believe. So yo have to go to Mykonos and maybe then u get to Santorini, but maybe have to go first to Paros or Naxos if sked don't cooperate.

THe other route would get u to Rhodes (STAY in OLD TOWN), which has much for a photographer, Old town, Lindos etc (tho much "restored" by Fascist architects), then u might get that "Sky Express" plane to Santorini.

I too love Chios, and if u are "ruined out" by then, as a photog u would really like the diversity of the Mastic "medieval villages" and the stunning unspoiled beaches. The dilemma then is -- how to get to Santorini?

Trip would be easier if Santorini were first, then u could fly back to Athens from those further points. Ah well.
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 07:42 PM
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Thanks for the replies. This is what I need.

I know last summer Sky Express flew from Rhodes to Santorini once a day. Hopefully they will again this summer. The new schedule isn't up yet. Hopefully it will be soon.

I haven't found much as far as what to do or see between Ephesus and Marmaris. And can we take a bus to do this portion of our trip?

Chios and the small villages there sound nice, too.

Thanks for the ideas. Keep 'em coming!

Roger
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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 08:23 PM
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We loved Ephesus when we visited in July,but were very underwhelmed by the rest of the coast all the way down to Marmaris. We spent a few days in Bodrum, but found town itself very disappointing- lots of fish n chip shops, jewelry stores, sportswear stores, all catering to the yacht and package tour crowd. YUCK.

And don't get me started on Marmaris, which is one of the tackiest places we've ever visited. Our hotel was like a seedy Club Med, but it did make for some good stories.

However, we loved Istanbul, and would go back there in a heartbeat. We'd also gladly visit Cappadochia, which we missed this time. It sounds like an amazing place to visit.

As for Rhodes, it is one of our favorite Greek Islands. We've been back the last two summers, and really love the Old Town. The island has some of the cleanest, prettiest beaches in the Med ( although I'm not a fan at all of Faliraki-UGH), incredible ruins to explore at Lindos, and the medieval walls of the Old Town. It's a fantastic place to vacation.

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Old Jan 13th, 2008, 08:35 PM
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travelerjan is correct - you have to fly through Athen to get to Rhodes or Santorini. However its still not long...

http://eservices.olympicairlines.com...chedulesE.aspx

for example there is a 7:05 flight from Chios to Athens, then 8:55am from Athen to Rhodes arriving by 10:10am. I did something similar to hit the Cyclades from Chios when I was there a few years ago.

MollyB
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 04:47 AM
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Thanks again for the info.

Here is an additional question regarding Kalambaka/Meteora.

We arrive in Athens at 13:45 from our inbound flight from the US. Is it possible to catch a bus/train and be in Kalambaka by that evening? I know we'll be tired from the flight, but logistically, is this do-able?

Thanks... and thanks for the island suggestions.

Roger
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:12 AM
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SOmeone else may have a train solution; I can only address the bus logistics.


The KTEL bus company has stopped posting its timetable online but this Athens guide still lists busses-- the times may be slightly outdated but will give an idea:


Terminal A lists "Trikala/Meteora" as a destination about 20k? short of kalambaka, as a 4.5 hr ride, going at 1330, 1530, 1700 and 1900 pm. The bus X93 outside airport door 5 goes every 35 minutes to both A & B terminals.
You buy ticket to X93 on the bus (have change) and buy yr LD ticket (for a specific seat) at a terminal window. Busses are comfortable inter-city type, lean-back seats.

If u land at 1345, don't count on getting an x93 OR a taxi before 14:30 and then it's an hour anyway to KTEL bus station A, (where u don't speak the language). You'd have to be incredibly lucky to get the 1530 but which means you'd get the 1700, not reaching trikala until 9:30 pm.

It's your call... but it's a travel marathon I would not relish.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:24 AM
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Whoops! I forgot to put in the bus schedule link:

http://www.athensguide.com/practical...schedulesA.htm
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:30 AM
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Whoops again! A bus trip IS do-able.

The schedule I was looking at was Station B == with that Trikala stop. Now Station A (the link I sent) has Kalamata on it.... with not only a 1530 (uncatchable) bus, but also a 1630 (EXPRESS!) bus listed. The time for all busses is given as 4 hours -- so that would get you into Kalambaka by 8:30pm. Do-able!

Fare listed at 18.90E but probably out dated--maybe 20 or 21 by now.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:35 AM
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Yikes. I would not relish that, either.
Perhaps for this leg we should just rent a car and maybe drive to Delphi first. Spend the night there, then on to Meteora for 2 nights, then back to Athens.
Do-able?
Thanks for all the suggestions.

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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:36 AM
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Thanks travelerjan!

Maybe we can do this by bus.
Is it possible to reserve a bus seat in advance? If not, do they fill up?

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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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Hi again,
travelerjan,
Correct me if I'm wrong, but in your last post, you said I could take the express bus to Kalamata, but this is not in the same area as Kalambaka/Meteora.

I think the bus ride would take longer. Everything I've seen indicates 6-8 hours.

Thanks!
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 07:47 AM
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To my knowledge you cannot book bus tickets in advance by phone or over the internet. You would have to do it in person from the terminal.

That was the case when I was there -
does anyone know if this has changed? (doesn't look like it though).

MollyBrown
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 08:06 AM
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I would forget Marmaris too....yuck. That and Bodrum, Kudasi is not the good part of the beautiful Turkey coast. It has been ruined like so much of the costa del sol and parts of Greece by over development.

But Selcuk near Ephesus is a great area with lots to see. Sirince is fun and do make sure you see the museum in Selcuk which makes Ephesus more rewarding.

You can take a fantastic day trip from Selcuk to Aphrodisias and Pumukkale which are both very special, I would even overnight in Pumukkale and do not miss the Sacred Pool which is the only place in the world that you can swim in ancient ruins!! Great hiking, spectacular views too. Ahhh and the water is wonderful and are open 24/7 so you can do a moonlite soak in the cotton castles if you like.

http://www.soultravelers3.com/blog/4...271A5F99B.html

We spent a lot of time in Greece and Turkey last year, so perhaps our blog archives would be a help to you:

www.soultravelers3.com.

We also loved Rhodes, Delphi, Cappadocia and spent a month in Santorini. We liked Rhodes better than Samos. The Turquoise coast and a gulet trip is great but I do not think you have time for that or Olympus. We did love Olympia ( we left right before the fires last year) so I hope it survived well.

Ephesus is like no ruins that you have seen. We had seen a TON and still were amazed.A Must see...but go early and on a non cruise day.We had it to ourselves for some time even in high season!! Magical.
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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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OK. I apologize for adding to my posts... It looks like I'll cut Meteora in favor of something closer to Delphi.

We'll have 3 nights to play with before we head out to the islands. We will do Athens on the return trip... any suggestions? (Yes, I've been reading. It is just overwhelming. So much to do, so little time).

Also... still interested in suggesions for a Turkish coast itinerary for a few days or island hopping from Samos to Santorini.

Thanks!

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Old Jan 14th, 2008, 08:27 AM
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I have the fondest of memories of my trip to Turkey, and Ephesus was one of my favorite places there. You will love the Roman Celsus Library, the Roman theater, St. John's Basilica (believed to be the site where he spent his last years), and the Temple of Hadrian.
Also Ephesus is believed to be the site of the Cave of the Seven Sleepers, mentioned in the Bible. I visited the site believed to be the Cave.
And the highlight for me was the House of Mother Mary, where she may have spent her last days. Actually this is on a hill called Bulbul, which is close to Ephesus. No one is certain if Mary was indeed ever here, but this was such a peaceful, spiritual place for me.
The Temple of Artemis is believed to be here, and only a huge column remains from it (one of the wonders of the ancient world).
And I agree with WTnow, Pummukale is just magic.
Happy Travels!
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 08:13 AM
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Hi Rogerhopper,
I will look and get back to you, second option looks better. Island Hopping from Samos is difficult and better flying.
Cheers,
Murat
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Old Jan 15th, 2008, 01:55 PM
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Thanks Murat and everyone.

If I do 2 days in Samos, I'll have an extra night to play with before I need to be in Rhodes.

From what I've read, it seems Rhodes is not to be missed.

What about connections in getting to Rhodes?

Also, what about connections from Rhodes to Santorini? I've found that Sky Express flew there every day last summer (one flight per day) but they have not posted their summer schedule yet. Any ideas on when the schedule will be up? I've emailed them but received no response.

Thanks!
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