Istanbul & Greek Islands

Old May 17th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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Istanbul & Greek Islands

Hi! Would love some advice on an upcoming trip in Early September to Turkey & the Greek Islands for 10 days. We'd like to spend 2-3 days in Istanbul then hop to 2 greek islands before heading back to the US. After some research, we've decided Santorini is a must! What other island should we visit? We would like to minimize travel time between Istanbul and the islands- don't want to spend precious time sitting in an airport or on a ferry. And we feel we should spend at least 1 day in Athens to see the historical places. Has anyone else done this trip? Do you recommend flying or using the ferries? hotel or restaurant recommendations are welcome too!
Thinking Istanbul-Santorini-???-Athens-Home
Thanks for you help!
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Old May 17th, 2014, 06:22 AM
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There are no ferries from Istanbul to the Greek Islands, as far as I know. You would have to travel further south in Turkey to find a link to the Greek Islands, then travel by ferry through e.g. Rhodes to Santorini. That would take at least a couple of days. The only practical way would be a flight from Istanbul to Athens, connecting with another flight to Santorini. A layover of 2-3 hours in Athens would be enough for the connection.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 07:13 AM
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Up until September 7 there is a non-stop flight between Istanbul and Mykonos on AtlasJet. This is a summer-only service and the 7th is the last day of service. After the 7th you'll have to go through Athens as Heimdall has stated.

From Mykonos you can use the ferry system to reach Santorini in as little as 2.5 hours, depending on the ferry and the route.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 07:17 AM
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I forgot to mention that depending on your travel day you might need to spend the night on Mykonos to catch the ferry to Santorini, although there are some days in September with later departures.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 08:17 AM
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Thank you Brotherleelove!- when does Atlasjet post their flights to Mykonos? Nothing is listed on their website right now.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 10:18 AM
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It's there now but it's not IST, it's a different airport: Sabiha Gokcen
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Old May 17th, 2014, 10:19 AM
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According to the Atlasjet website "Mykonos flights can be purchased only as round trip."
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Old May 17th, 2014, 11:15 AM
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I didn't see that! Bummer....
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Old May 17th, 2014, 11:17 AM
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I didn't expect that either. It appeared when I tried a dummy booking.
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Old May 17th, 2014, 11:31 PM
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Blue Star have 3 ferries per week from Kos to Santorini - http://www.bluestarferries.com/site/...?sel=624&loc=2

You would need to get to Bodrum for a boat to Kos - http://www.bodrumferryboat.com/en/calendar.asp
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Old May 18th, 2014, 12:11 AM
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"Blue Star have 3 ferries per week from Kos to Santorini"

Yes, that's why I wrote it would take at least two days to reach Santorini by ferry when travelling from Istanbul — not realistic for such a short trip. Amsrunner, if you want to see Santorini, the only practical way is by flights via Athens. You will probably want to fly back to Athens from Santorini as well (Blue Star from Santorini to Piraeus takes 8 hours).
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Old May 18th, 2014, 05:03 AM
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"it would take at least two days to reach Santorini by ferry when travelling from Istanbul"

Theoretically it could be done in less than 12 hours - fly from İstanbul to Bodrum, take the 17:00 boat to Kos, take the 19:45 ferry arriving Santorini at 01:15.
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Old May 20th, 2014, 02:28 AM
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You are absolutely correct, Croesus! I was including the time you may have to wait for that 12 hours of travel. ;-)
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 04:00 AM
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Thank you for all your expert advice! I'm thinking going to Mykonos is not going to happen on this trip. Looks like taking a flight from Ist to Santorini via Athens is going to be the best/quickest route.

Thinking 4 nights in IST, 3 nights in Santorini and 1 night in Athens then home. Would love any advice on hotels, must do's, restaurants, etc.
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Old Jun 4th, 2014, 04:00 PM
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4 nights is not must for Istanbul. You might want to add a day or two....
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