itinerary take two

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Oct 1st, 2015, 02:55 PM
  #1
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itinerary take two

With some trepidation I submit my revised thought on next June's Greece/Turkey adventure. Thanks to all who commented and suggested so far - especially for the suggestion to get a copy of the Greek Island Hopping book. I'm still totally befuddled by the whole ferry thing because there are so many companies and the schedules that are posted now won't be the same ones as in June, but from what I've figured out so far here are two possible ways to go. comments and advice always helpful.

Option One (allows us to visit 3 islands - but less time in Turkey)
2 nights Athens
2 nights guided trip to Delphi/Meteora and perhaps another stop, being dropped either at Pireaus
4 nights either Paros (easier to get to?) or Naxos (looks really special) arriving by ferry
ferry to Crete - 4 nights Chania area
ferry to Rhodes - 4 nights
fly to Istanbul - 6 nights Istanbul....or fly to Izmir, 2 nights Assos and Cannakale and then final 4 nights in Istanbul (or 5 nights Istanbul with an overnight to Cannakale to see Troy and Gallipoli)

advantages of Option One - get to visit the 3 main islands we want to see, disadvantage, don't really get to see the coast of Turkey and 4 nights may be too short to really settle in on the islands, especially if the ferry boats take most of the day.

Option Two
2 nights Athens
2 nights guided trip to Delphi/Meteora - dropped at ferry
5 nights each at two out of three (Crete, Rhodes and Naxos - but which to choose?!)
ferry from Rhodes to Bodrum (or Marmaris if that doesn't work)
or....fly to Izmir
3 nights traveling up the Turkish coast - Ephesus, Assos and Cannakale (Troy/Gallipoli) and
5 nights Istanbul

Advantages of Option two is that we settle in more on the two islands we do visit, and we get to visit the Turkish coast in a more in depth/leisurely way and have five full nights in Istanbul.

and I know that everyone will have different perspectives - but if you can let me know if you think these are practical itineraries and any suggestions or concerns that would be so helpful.
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Oct 1st, 2015, 05:06 PM
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Laura, when you re-post a complicated question it's always a good idea to do a quick recap (how many are going, exact dates of travel, major interests etc), so that those who missed out on the previous discussion will be up to speed.

As fpr opinions, remember that you ARE posting this in the Greece forum, so here you're probably going to get votes for most time in GREECE ... unless you are also posting it in Turkey forum.

One aspect to consider ... unless the refugee thing is clarified by the time you go (I forget already when that is), it may affect the Turkish coast ... right now, none of the Greek destinations u mention are particularly affected by that.
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Oct 1st, 2015, 05:29 PM
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kja
 
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IMO, 5 nights is very little for Istanbul. The only way I personally would spend less than 6 nights in Istanbul would be if I was simply going there because of travel convenience, and then only with the full expectation that I would make it my focus on another trip. JMO. Similarly, it doesn't seem to me that you have allocated enough time for the things you want to see on the Turkish coast. YMMV.

I haven't been to Greece yet and so can't comment on that part of your plan.
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Oct 1st, 2015, 08:03 PM
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Hi Jan, my apologies: two travelers, in our fifties,arriving June 1st and departing June 22nd, so 22 nights total = we are in decent shape, love history, nature, museums, art, wandering country roads and small towns. We've never done a beach vacation abroad so this is a first for us, getting our heads around how to combine "chillin" at a beach or enjoying a resort experience with more active "sight seeing."

I did post Turkey as well. And I am concerned about the refugee crisis, not just selfishly thinking of our vacation, but heartsick about what people are enduring. I will monitor the situation, and that may argue for focusing on Istanbul during the Turkey part of the trip. ..and I hope to find constructive ways to help as well. I always try to give back in some small way to the countries or states we visit, so I am keeping my heart and mind open, and would welcome suggestions.
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 01:28 AM
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Note there are few ferries between Crete and Rhodes (maybe one per week), but there should be one direct flight per day from Heraklion with Aegean Airlines. If the direct flight isn't running next summer you will have to return to Athens for a connecting flight to Rhodes.
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 08:26 AM
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that is so helpful Heimdall, I will check it out. The dilemma for me is balancing seeing as much of Greece as we can without spending too many days in transit as I find those tiring and it always takes a while to readjust to the new location. A direct flight would definitely make things more possible.
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 08:53 AM
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Also Sky Express for flights from Heraklion to Rhodes - http://www.skyexpress.gr/en-us/home.aspx
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 10:01 AM
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Good point about Sky Express! I see the baggage allowance for Heraklion - Rhodes flights has increased to 25 kg, much more than the last time I checked. Sky Express is a small Crete based airline with a good reputation.
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Oct 2nd, 2015, 01:52 PM
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Neither of your plans allow enough time on the Turkish coast. You essentially will do a one nighter at each destination. That certainly will not allow you "more in depth/leisurely way." How do you get back from Cannakale? In option 1 are you skipping Epheseus?
Crete is a large island with lots to see. Its a shame to take the time to get their and then only see Chania which is lovely.
I think 5 nights would be fine in Istanbul. Obviously the more time you spend, the more you can see, but 5 days should allow you to see most of the main attractions.
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Oct 3rd, 2015, 01:34 AM
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kja
 
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Once again, you are so welcome!
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Oct 3rd, 2015, 07:19 AM
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Don't go oit of hour way to visit Canakkale/Troy. Pergamon is worth it as is Ephesus.
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Oct 3rd, 2015, 02:36 PM
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yes, option one skips Ephesus, and probably hire a guide for the side trip from Istanbul. I think the decision we must make is between having the time to see at least part of the coast of Turkey and one of the Greek islands - time will not stretch further no matter how many ways I turn the guide books And of course since this is a first time for both countries for us it is hard to know what is best (and it is probably all wonderful). My timing on the Turkish coast was based on Otherchelebi's original recommendations.

Although i realize Gallipoli and Troy do not have as much to see as some of the other sights - (or sites) it is hard to imagine being so near and not visiting, and I do imagine we will see many ruins whilst in Greece...but we will go back to the drawing board.
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