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KISS for Greek Isles or Istanbul and Greek Isles

KISS for Greek Isles or Istanbul and Greek Isles

Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 06:59 AM
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KISS for Greek Isles or Istanbul and Greek Isles

Keep It Simple Stupid! I have done alot of independent travel in Italy, France and Spain almost always using the train / public transportation. I want to go to Greece, really more some of the Greek Isles (but I don't really know which ones) than Athens but I am overwhelmed with planning this trip. Hoping some of you posters can help me with a basic itinerary. Here is the really big picture - I hope to go in May or early June. I like to be gone about two weeks, I like to stay in each location at least three nights so I am thinking fly to Athens and then ferry / fly to maybe two different islands. I would prefer that the islands have good public transportation for sightseeing. Also would like an island that has good connections to other nearby places for possible day trips. We like a mix of sightseeing and down time (cafe sitting or sun worshipping. Actually I would much rather enter or leave from Istanbul, and include 3 or 4 nights there as part of the two weeks. But again, I am at a loss how to constuct this trip. My favorite travel mentor, Rickie Stevio, has not put out a guidebook for this corner of Europe and the others I have picked up cover so much that I have not been able to consturct the basic itinerary. So take a moment out of your holdiday busyiness and give me some direction. Many thanks! SueC1
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 08:21 AM
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Actually, 'Stevio' does have a new
guidebook and it's Istanbul.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Fly into Istanbul then go south to see Ephesus. From nearby Kusadasi you can catch a ferry across to the Greek island of Samos (port of Vathi), and from Samos you can make your way back to Athens with stops on one or more islands, depending on which ferry you choose and the direction it takes. Get yourself a good guidebook for the Greek Islands to help you decide which route to take based on what appeals to you. If you have a specific island in mind you can use this website to see which other islands are accessible from that island.

http://www.openseas.gr/OPENSEAS/index_en.vm

Choose your first island out of the selection in the "From" menu and those islands you can reach will automatically be selected for the "To" menu.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 09:41 AM
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I just went on a cruise that hit the Greek isles...I particularly liked Katakolon, it was beautiful adn I didn't even get over to see Olympia...great people there too. Santorini is very very crowded in the summer months, so use caution when looking into this place if crowds aren't your thing. Rhodes was nice, a lot of nice beaches and the old town is nice, but surrounding areas reminded me of Tijuana, Mexico (or worst places-seemed to be no pride). Mykonos was fantastic with a great night life, again with fantastic people
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 09:55 AM
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jello - what cruise did you take? I am also considering that option but am torn as to whether to see alot of islands as part of a "swarm" if you know what I mean - or to go on my own and have more time to soak up the island - but chosing which ones and getting around keeps bogging me down!
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 11:09 AM
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suec1-

One factor to keep in mind when deciding whether or not to sign up for a cruise is how much time you get ashore at each stop. Some stops are for as little as 4 hours, which means all you really have time to see is what's right at the port or wherever you're tendered ashore. For example, on Santorini most cruise ship passengers are tendered ashore at the Old Port, and you must then take a gondola car up the cliff into the main village. Lines for the gondola cars are very long during the cruise season, which is in full swing by mid-May, so expect to waste a lot of time waiting for your turn going both up and down the cliff.

If possible, try to find a cruise itinerary that will allow you at least 12 hours ashore at each port of call.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 11:22 AM
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We went on Costa Cruises. Very nice and enjoyable...the entertainment was..entertaining (some nights reminded us of high school like plays/concerts). Accomodations (we had the cheapest interior room) were nice and spacious. The dinners got better every night. We went towards the end of September so there were few ships operating in that area which helped lend to nice/non crowded stops. Our ship was about 65-75% full and it didn't feel crowded (though Costa Fortuna is a really big ship). Very cost effective, just hard if you want to spend more time in one place rather than on a ship.
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Old Dec 23rd, 2008, 11:25 AM
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I think you have a couple of options. Brotherleelove2004's itinerary sounds good to me, although it may not include some of the Greek islands that you're most interested in seeing.

My advice is to "keep it simple, stupid", and only pick one of these two incredible countries. Otherwise, you'll be constantly traveling, and eating up a lot of time getting place to place.

What probably makes the most sense is to visit Greece this time, and visit one or two of the Cyclade Islands, which are easily connected by hydrofoil and regular ferries.

SOme of the most popular ones are of course Santorini and Mykonos, from which you can easily visit the islands of Delos, Paros, and Naxos.

You can then ferry or fly back to Athens from Mykonos.

I would save Athens for the end of your trip to avoid backtracking, but make sure you are in Athens at least one night before your flight home to avoid any potential delays coming from the islands.

By the way, May is a perfect time to visit! We were in Greece last May, and really preferred our trip then to other trips taken in later June/July, and brutally hot (!) August.

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Old Dec 25th, 2008, 02:50 PM
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How about a Turkish Gulet? It is a small traditional wooden ship (with a sail ) and a motor. You really could fly into Istanbul and spend a few days. Then down to Ephesus and from there get to Bodrum or Marmaris , or probably lots of nearby towns where you can get a cabin on a gulet or charter 1 for your party. They go around the coast of Turkey and hit all sorts of wonderful places on the Aagean and the Mediterranean. I'm sure you can get a Captain to hop over to a Greek Isle. I think many of them are closer to Turkey then Greece.
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