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How do we get to Crete from Cappadocia?

Old Sep 30th, 2019, 08:33 AM
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How do we get to Crete from Cappadocia?

My sister and I (active 40 years old, love hiking and nature, not beach people but an hour or two is nice, and we don't want to overdo it with the ruins) are planning a trip to Greece and Turkey next June. I've been to Istanbul before but this will be my sister's first time.

I'm struggling with how do we avoid backtracking to Istanbul to go to Crete? I'd love to squeeze in Ephesus IF that means a more convenient way to get to Crete or even a city on the coast of Turkey? I'm not sure. Also, how many days should we allow for Athens since we'd love to do a day in Meteora (2 monasteries or a group tour is fine) and then see Delphi (the scenery looks gorgeous). Trying to squeeze this into 18 days maximum. We are pretty fast travelers as long as we get some down time in between.

4 days Istanbul (blue mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome area, the Grand Bazaar/Spice Bazaar, Dolmabache Palace, Topkapi, Bosphorous Cruise with the hike at the end)
3 days Cappadocia
6 days Crete (focusing on the North West part but definitely hiking in Samaria Gorge, not interested in ruins but Elafonissi beach, Kournas Lake, Balos, Day trip to Rethymnon?, Kissamos? all look appealing) Do we need to add another day?
3 days Santorini
3 days Athens (want to see Meteora and Delphi, the Acropolis and its ruins are enough for us, hike for a scenic view of the city, hopefully staying in Plaka)

Thank you!
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 08:45 AM
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On the Skyscanner website, you can search for all flights ending in Crete. I recall there being two small airports in the Cappadocia region.
Are you speaking in days or nights?--three nights in Athens would only give you two full days. I think you would need one more.
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 09:00 AM
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As for Athens, on our trip to Greece we spent more time on 2 islands and only about a day and a half (2 nights) in Athens. That gave us time to walk around on our own and see some of the city on the first half day, then did a full guided tour of the Acropolis, Parthenon, etc. on the one full day we had. For us, that was enough time. So based on what you say your interests are, I would think one full day in Athens would be sufficient for what you want to accomplish.
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 09:04 AM
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How is one full day ample time to visit Delphi and Meteora in addition to sites within Athens?
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 09:43 AM
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I was referring to the time in Athens itself, not to visit Delphi and Meteora. I thought my post made that quite obvious, that I was referring to the Athens portion, but if not, then accept this as a clarification.
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 11:38 AM
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Shortest resp fastest way from Cappadocia to Western Crete:
Nevshehir - plane - Istanbul - plane - Athens - plane - Chania
If you want to spend a day at Ephesos, hat gives:
Kayseri - Izmir - Athens - Chania
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 03:06 PM
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You don't have to backtrack to Istanbul. You can book connecting flights to Athens with only a couple of hours layover at the Istanbul airport. You should check flights from Nevsehir and Kayseri as well(they're both close to Cappadocia) and you may have a cheaper flight or a better schedule from one or the other.

I'd reduce your time in Istanbul to 3 days. You're only 40 years old, so there is no reason to think that you can't return in the future to Turkey if you enjoyed it and you'll go to Istanbul again. The sites you listed for Istanbul can be done in 2 days, but I'm sure you''ll add more to that last as you keep planning your trip, but 3 days for a first trip to Istanbul is fine especially if your whole trip is so busy.

You could add a 4th day to Cappadocia if you like hiking and exploring.

6 days for Crete is fine for a first trip, especially if it is such a busy trip on the whole.

1 day for Athens is way too short, but it's enough for what you planned: Acropolis, scenic view of the city(Philopappou or Lykabettos) and a walk around Plaka.

Delphi can be done in a daytrip by bus.

Meteora really needs a full day at the very least(to enjoy an amazing sunset), perhaps this is where you should add that extra day taken from Istanbul or Crete. If you want make the best of your short time take the evening train from Athens to Kalambaka(change in Paleofarsalos), spend 2 nights in the city(to enjoy the sunset up by the rocks) and next morning take the early train back to Athens, you'll arrive by 10:30 and you'll have almost a whole day in Athens.

Depending on when do you arrive from Crete you may need an extra day in Athens. If you arrive on an early morning flight or by the overnight ferry you could tour Athens on that day and leave for the Meteoras in the evening.

I think if you insist on doing both Deplhi and the Meteoras you'll need 4 days( for this part of your trip(together with Athens). Or you could fly from Crete to Thessaloniki which is closer to the Meteoras and you can avoid backtracking between Athens and Kalambaka.

Last edited by BDKR; Sep 30th, 2019 at 03:08 PM.
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Old Sep 30th, 2019, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by layanluvstotravel View Post
... Trying to squeeze this into 18 days maximum. We are pretty fast travelers as long as we get some down time in between.

4 days Istanbul (blue mosque, Hagia Sophia and the Hippodrome area, the Grand Bazaar/Spice Bazaar, Dolmabache Palace, Topkapi, Bosphorous Cruise with the hike at the end)
3 days Cappadocia
6 days Crete (focusing on the North West ...
3 days Santorini
3 days Athens (want to see Meteora and Delphi, the Acropolis and its ruins are enough for us, hike for a scenic view of the city, hopefully staying in Plaka)
Well, first of all, you don't have the amount of time you've listed -- you are listing 19 days, and that doesn't count getting from one place to another -- which, in some of these cases, will eat a CHUNK of time, and I'm not sure where you think you will get your down time.

It really depends on what YOU want to see and experience, but FWIW, here are my opinions on your plan:
  • I would (and did) find 4 days insufficient for what you list for istanbul -- and I think people would say that I travel pretty hard.
  • 3 days might work for Cappadocia -- if that means 4 nights.
  • 6 days is very little for NW Crete, but could be doable if you REALLY have 6 days there (not 6 nights)
  • IMO, 3 days is NOT enough for Athens AND Meteora AND Delphi unless a truly superficial scratch is acceptable
Honestly, for mainland Greece and elsewhere, you need to identify your interests, check transportation times, add time to either end for any shift in location, figure out when opening / closing times are for the things that matter to you, and plot them on a calendar. None of us can say what is or is not "fine" for you, nor can we speak to your personal calculus of what you will / won't see again. We can give you some rough estimates based on our (potentially mistaken) understanding of your preferences, no more.

Good luck!

Last edited by kja; Sep 30th, 2019 at 04:16 PM.
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Old Oct 1st, 2019, 09:05 AM
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If Meteora is a must, fly from Nevsehir to Thessaloniki. At certain dates, THY offers flights NAV dp 14.55 - SKG ar 20.35. If that works, sleep close to the railway station and leave Thessaloniki the following morning at 6.27 (by IC 51), change at Old Farsalos and arrive at Kalambaka at 9.14.
Leave Kalambaka by direct Athens bound train at 17.15 and arrive at Athens at 21.25
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Old Oct 1st, 2019, 10:08 AM
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A Nevsehir -Thessaloniki direct flight! Wow, what a find!

Do you have a timetable? Dates/season of operation? I can't find anything.

I guess it has to be because of the Anatolian Greek diaspora searching for their roots.
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Old Oct 1st, 2019, 06:41 PM
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Wow. Thank you everyone for your feedback! I'm leaving Delphi and Meteora for "another life". I've been to Istanbul 3 times. It's my sister's first time. I know she'll be back after this first trip. The best I'm doing with this is 20 nights. I honestly get very homesick the 3rd week of any trip, especially if I'm in a big city like Athens so I'm honestly leaning toward 2 nights in Athens. What would you do with 3 nights in Athens? What is the daily budget for Greece (eating out once a day, moderate accommodations with Airbnb in Santorini, excursions, no shopping)? Would you say $150 or $100? Is renting a car in Crete a must? As for our interests: nature, hiking, outdoors, light on the ruins (unless a Must like the Acropolis), eating delicious food especially when it's pretty affordable and we do lots of walking .

4 nights Istanbul
3 nights Cappadocia fly to Crete OR Santorini (flying out of Turkey to either Santorini or Crete depending on airline tickets. This is going to be a long travel day from what I saw on rome2rio website so I've added a day to Crete)
7 nights Crete (focusing on the North West part but definitely hiking in Samaria Gorge, not interested in ruins but Elafonissi beach, Kournas Lake, Balos, Day trip to Rethymnon?, Kissamos? all look appealing), I'm told by a friend that Knossos is a must, stay in Chania then take ferry to Santorini (or fly, depends on $)
3 nights Santorini then take ferry to Athens
3 nights Athens (the Acropolis and its ruins, hike for a scenic view of the city, and ?)
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Old Oct 1st, 2019, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by layanluvstotravel View Post
What would you do with 3 nights in Athens?
You can see what I did with 5 nights in Athens in my trip report. The section on Athens starts with post # 181.
With Gratitude for a Glorious Solo Month in Greece

Originally Posted by layanluvstotravel View Post
Is renting a car in Crete a must?
For the places you list, I would think it would be a great advantage to have a car. For your public transportation options, consult rome2rio.com

Last edited by kja; Oct 1st, 2019 at 06:56 PM.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 03:50 AM
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" A Nevsehir -Thessaloniki direct flight! Wow, what a find! "

Of course not! otherwise it wouldn't last 6 hrs. The OP will have to change planes (same company) at IST.
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Old Oct 2nd, 2019, 04:15 AM
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"Cappadocia fly to Crete"
You can go from Cappacocia to Chania in 1 single day only:
Göreme dp around 6am - NAV dp 8.55 - IST dp 13.10 - CHQ ar 18.50 - Chania city ar around 8pm.

Knossos is about 3hrs by bus from Chania. It's a must for people interested in Minoan History only.
There is no direct ferry or catamaran from Chania to Santorini.
Leave Chania by 5.15am bus and change at Rethymnon (only on certain days) or at Iraklio (daily). Arrival at Santonirni around midnight.
There are several daily flights from Chania too (via Athens: 3 hrs journey, fare around 250 USD/pax

Kissamos: if you go to Balos, you will pass through Kisssamos anyway (but don't worry, there are neither archeological sites nor anything else to see)
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Old Oct 6th, 2019, 11:16 AM
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Thank you neckervd. I don't really care for Minoan history ;-) so will skip Knossos.
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Old Oct 7th, 2019, 05:46 AM
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I found that Athens had several worthwhile museums, aside from the obvious, not sure how you feel about museums.

For my trip to Greece (not sure why I haven't been back!) see: European Spring 2006 -- Wilhelm's Words - Meteora and Athens are in Monasteries and Museums, and Crete in Idling through the Islands. I got from Crete to Turkey by ferries via Kos, but that's too slow for your trip.
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Old Oct 7th, 2019, 06:11 AM
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ERRATUM OF POST 14
it is: Arrival at Santorini around MIDNIGHT
it should be: Arrival at Santorini around NOON
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