Italy & Greece

Old Jul 15th, 2013, 06:48 AM
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Italy & Greece

Hi There,

Starting to plan a trip to Italy and Greece for September, not yet decided on dates hoping for some insight here. My boyfriend and I are total newbies to Europe and enjoy hearing peoples opinions and suggestions for travel. We think we want to do a fast paced week in Italy followed by a relaxing week in Greece.(2 weeks total trip) We have heard Crete is the place to be during this time of the year, but again any suggestions are welcomed.

We would be flying out of Toronto and aren't picking when it comes to traveling. We are both laid back and really just want to take as many beautiful sites and activities in as possible. We are well aware we won't be able to see EVERYTHING so looking for the highlight spots in Italy. Ultimately we are there for food scenery and culture. Any tips on what flight path/travel routes, and hotels would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your time!
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 07:04 AM
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Take it in order and start now---you are already late:

1. Pick specific dates
2. Buy open jaw tickets--into Rome & home from Athens
3. Set specific itinerary by location---pick two in Italy
4. Book hotels per location
5. Do your homework for daily activities

That will take tons of time---start now !
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 07:53 AM
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You mean in two months? Grasp the sense of urgency first. Look at flights: if you don't know, at least round trip fares and schedules for YYZ-HER-YYZ, YYZ-FCO-YYZ, multi-city itinerary for YYZ-HER then HER-FCO then FCO-YYZ,YYZ-FCO then FCO-HER then HER-YYZ, just to get an idea. Also quickly look at accommodation availabilities. I booked my trip for the similar time frame back in April. Both airfares and accommodation prices are up more than 15% to my destinations since the spring since most of the discount offerings have already been sold. There are things you can be laid back. Airfares are usually not one of them. Accommodations at popular destinations in Italy are the same thing. People booking earlier buy out attractive offerings first. You do hear about people finding deals at the last minutes. That is also true, but you are playing with odds. You might find it, and if you don't, you will be stuck with the overpriced/inconvenient offerings. These are people who play the last minutes deal odds game year after year. Some do find deals. I have an acquaintance who has been doing this for about 10 years and keep postponing a trip. At this rate, they would find a deal when they are in a care facility!
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 10:13 AM
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Agree that you are very late in planning for high season. You need to determine your locations in Italy - I think 2 is the most you can visit in the limited time you have. I would check which airports have direct flights to Crete - if you are sure this is where you want to do - then book tickets Toronto to Rome, wherever to Crete and Crete to Toronto.

IMHO visiting Italy without seeing at least some of Rome is close to criminal - although some people on the board feel otherwise. Only you can decide which sights are must sees for you - I suggest reading a couple of guide books in the next day or so and make your choices.
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 10:26 AM
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Wow, you guys are awesome. Thanks so much for all of the input.

The slap on the hand for being late is absolutely warranted. We have just been so indecisive of where we want to go. I did look up some flights to and from Greece and flying on September 11th allotted for a huge discount in airfare, which made me think the trip with be doable with such short notice. I had also read that September is a low season for both destinations, is that false?

Would anyone suggest pushing this trip to early October? Will we still hit good weather in both locations?
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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You are outside the high season (at least for Greece) in mid September. By October many hotels and restaurants in the resort areas will be closing, but there are always things open, especially on larger islands like Crete. Were it me I would stick with September, but if you can get a really good deal on flights it could be worth waiting for October. Weather will still be warm but more variable, and prices for rooms (but not meals) reduced.
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 10:48 AM
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What would be the two best location to visit in Italy, geographically if we are heading to Greece after? Keeping in mind we have both never been, and our top priority would be good food and wine, and amazing scenery. We wouldn't be as into seeing churches or monuments as much as we would want to drink cappuccino with an amazing view!
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 10:59 AM
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Just about anywhere in Italy could fit that bill--ALL you need to do right now is flight searches. Few people are going to have flights from Italy to Greece memorized well enough to tell you what to do. Go to your favorite flight search engine and start plugging in: Toronto-Italy (insert specific airport)-Greece (ditto but probably Athens)-Toronto
I like Kayak, and I use this map to cover my bases when searching Italy flights: http://goitaly.about.com/od/italyair...rports-map.htm
I'm sure there is something comparable for Greece, but you will probably be limited to Athens (though check the two Crete airports if that is still in your plan).
To search for intra-europe low cost carrier flights, try http://www.skyscanner.com/
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 11:26 AM
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there is a low cost airline ( ryanair ) that flys from rome ciampino to chania ( creta island ) with a very low price ( about 45-50€ for way ) you usually could find the slowest price exactly 2 months before the departure. you could visit rome and florence during your week in italy, or fly from toronto to venice and, after, go to visit rome
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Ryanair indeed has flights from Rome to Chania even in October. Be aware that there are lots of additional charges with Ryanair (checked luggage, etc), so what you pay in the end could be considerably more than the basic airfare.

Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air also have flights to the islands, but you will have to change planes in Athens. Another budget airline, easyJet, has flights from Milan to Heraklion in September and October.
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 12:32 PM
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You guys are so amazing and helpful!

Any suggestions on best/cheapest airports to flying into Italy, and out of Greece.
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Old Jul 15th, 2013, 02:10 PM
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Start here and use multi-city option.
Start now !

http://matrix.itasoftware.com/
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