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Need Advice: 14 Days in Paris, Greece and Istanbul...is this possible?

Need Advice: 14 Days in Paris, Greece and Istanbul...is this possible?

Oct 20th, 2013, 09:36 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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Need Advice: 14 Days in Paris, Greece and Istanbul...is this possible?

Hi Folks!

First time poster here, but long time reviewer of these amazingly useful travel posts.

My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe next year, and are trying to narrow it down to a few must- do's that we'd like to hit before we settle down and start a family.

Last year, we did Barcelona and Rome for 8 days in total, and found that it was ideal for what we were looking for: top site-seeing toured, great restaurants sampled and wonderful memories engendered.

This year, we would like to see Paris, Greece, and Istanbul. As with Greece, the two cities we would like to see are 1) Santorini and 2) Athens. I am looking at doing 14 days in total, including travel. As both my wife and I work extremely hectic jobs, 14 days will be the absolute most we can take off in one sitting from either of our jobs. So please take this into consideration.

Also, when viewing other posts on here where folks have requested feedback for their itineraries, the general response back from some of the forum experts has been: "How can I tell you if you are spending enough time in a city, without knowing what your interests are and what you want to do there?" So for us on this trip, we will be looking into completing TripAdvisor's suggested travel guide itinerary of the top highlights of each of these cities in 2-3 days (i.e. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Guide-g18...de_France.html).

We followed these TravelGuides and mixed them up with Fodor's in Barcelona and Rome and found it to be suitable for our needs. For some added color on us, we are huge foodies, we love adventure, we are interested in learning more about history of these great sites, with particular emphasis on art, religion and culture. We are also fairly social people who strike conversation with others fairly easily. Also, exciting nightlife will be a part of the trip, but is not required every night.

So here is the itinerary I've been working on. Please let me know your thoughts of how it should be improved. If you think we've bitten off a bit more than we should chew, and this should be narrowed down a bit, I am open to suggestions as to what should be changed.

NYC -> Paris
Saturday (arriving in Paris at 9:45 am) - Wednesday (departing at 1:00 pm)
Staying in Peyris Opera

Paris -> Athens
Wednesday (arriving in Athens at 5:15 pm) - Saturday (departing at 10:20 am)
Staying in Athens Lotus

Athens -> Santorini
Saturday (arriving in Santorini at 11:05 am via plane) - Tuesday (departing at 11:45 am)
Staying Rena's Rooms & Suites (in Fira)

Santorini -> Istanbul
Tuesday (arriving in Istanbul at 3:15 pm via plane) - Friday (departing at 2:45 pm for NYC - Home)
Staying in Sultan House

So that's it. Does this look do-able provided someone is happy with seeing the TripAdvisor top sites in 3 days for each city?

Also, I've been able to find the intinerary listed above including all flights, hotel, transfers and breakfast for about $4,700 for 2. Does this sound fairly reasonable? I've been using EuropeanDestinations and they are the cheapest I've found. Can I expect these prices to drop more so in the New Year or should we be booking now?

Thanks in advance for your review, insight and positive feedback.
VinnyChenze is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:38 AM
  #2  
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Join Date: Oct 2013
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FYI...i forgot to include the timeline for the desired itinerary is early-mid June. Thanks again!
VinnyChenze is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:51 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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It's a bit rushed but as long as you don't want to branch out to other areas of Greece and Turkey you should be fine.
brotherleelove2004 is online now  
Oct 20th, 2013, 10:16 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,640
Three days each in Athens and Santorini looks fine to me, but I would pick a hotel in Athens with a better location. Somewhere around Syntagma, Monastiraki, or Akropoli metro stations would be more central, and in nicer areas.
Heimdall is online now  
Oct 20th, 2013, 10:23 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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You actually only have two full days in each city. That would not be enough for my taste. I'd skip Istanbul.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 10:26 AM
  #6  
 
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You actually only have two full days in each city. That would not be enough for my taste. I'd skip Istanbul.
Tabernash2 is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 11:48 AM
  #7  
 
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Santorini does not fit into the pattern, but maybe that is why you included it.

You have three great vibrant cities with terrific restaurants and night life as well as culture. And you add a very picturesque small, expensive honeymoon island while taking away from the cities.

You may wish to consider leaving Santorini out and adding the saved days to Paris and Istanbul. Or add a day of beaching to either Athens or Istanbul, with some outside city sightseing, like Ephesus and Kusadasi as a day trip from Istanbul.
otherchelebi is offline  
Oct 20th, 2013, 12:46 PM
  #8  
 
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You can make it work logistically. However, you are spending a lot of costly time traveling from place to place, especially considering the little time you have in Paris and Istanbul. On your other trip, you had only one transfer from Barcelona to Rome, so much less tiresome transport time wasted. On your other trip, you did 2 major cities (2 bases) with 1 transfer in 8 days. You had 3 full days in each place. Now you are doing 3 major cities and one resort island (4 bases) with 3 long transfers in 14 days with only 2 days in most places. Very rushed, especially for Istanbul.

Personally, at the least, I would take a day from Santorini and add it to Istanbul, one of the most beautiful and exciting cities I've ever seen.

Actually, I would skip Santori and add time to Istanbul and take an overnight (or day trip if you could make it work) to Ephesus. Being in Paris, I would want to see Versailles, so might add one day to Paris and the rest to Turkey. Food in Turkey is fabulous, as is Art, culture and architecture. Santorini is a lovely place to relax, IMO, but there are many places to do that, and your trip as it is, is really short-changing Istanbul a lot and Paris some. Logistically and financially, it sometimes make sense to visit places closer to your major bases. Of course, it has to be what you want, and Athens has amazing archeological sites, but you are spending a lot of time and money to go all the way to Turkey to see almost nothing of that fascinating country.
Sassafrass is online now  
Oct 20th, 2013, 09:56 PM
  #9  
kja
 
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So only 2 days, plus a few bits on either side, for Istanbul? IMHO, Istanbul deserves at least 5, if not 6, FULL days. Why waste the time, money, and energy (not to mention the carbon/energy use) rather than waiting until you can actually appreciate your experience there?
kja is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 09:06 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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We just got back from Turkey and spent 3 ½ days in Istanbul. It deserves more…
You enjoyed last year’s trip, with 8 days split between Barcelona and Rome. But next year you will only get 3 days in Paris, 2 in Athens and 2 in Istanbul. It’s a totally different pace…

Personally I would reduce your 4 destinations to 3 (or even 2) and spend a little more time in each, with a day trip outside the city in each case. But it’s your trip and you know your constrains and priorities. I’ve seen worse plans, so have a great trip.
xyz99 is offline  
Oct 21st, 2013, 10:08 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 171
You also have to consider days of the week Your Paris days are a jetlagged Friday, much of which will include getting finished at the airport and hotel arrival duties, then a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the three days having the most site closures in Paris. Athens: Wednesday is shot by travel, then only 2 days for the city. I agree that Santorini is not a good idea. Travel day to Istanbul is a shot day, so you only have two days there. In 14 days you spen 5 traveling. Not a good ratio. Also remeber that there is potential politicl turmoil in Greece and Turkey, so plans may need changing.

You sound like a good planner who just needs to tune up the plan.
Caliban is offline  
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