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Need Advice - possible Greece/Turkey Itineraries

Need Advice - possible Greece/Turkey Itineraries

Old Feb 13th, 2011, 01:30 PM
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Need Advice - possible Greece/Turkey Itineraries

We are trying to decide on a Euro trip for June/July 2011. Our initial option was to fly into Istanbul, and take a 7 day Windstar cruise to Athens. Price wise this would cost $5K plus. We liked the idea of a cruise, so that we would not need to move our stuff to go to a new place, and we wanted to minimize hopping and avoid spending two days here, and moving to the next spot to spend two days, and so on.

I started to think, for our 3 wk trip, why couldn't we pick about 4 bases to spend anywhere from 4-7 days at? This would minimize hopping, but allow us to actually see the places we are at, vs being at them for 10 some hrs on the cruise ship.

So right now I am starting to look at this option to see what the pros/cons are compared to the cruise option mentioned above. I would love opinions on this. Right now, I have two land only options in mind to fill up three weeks, and would like to know what people think about these - would one be 'better' than the other? would one be more condusive to our needs of minimizing hopping?

I will add the must sees are Santorini and Istanbul - these need to be on the itinerary.

Option 1:
Fly to Athens, and fly/ferry directly to the first Greek island (this seems to be general advice in this forum).
Maybe Crete would be the first choice. Spend ~5 days.
Ferry to Santorini. Spend 4-5 days
Ferry back to Athens. Spend 1-2 days - just enough to see the highlights.
Fly to Istanbul. spend ~7days.

Option 2:
Fly to Athens. Spend 1-2 days.
Overnight ferry to Crete.
Ferry to Santorini.
Ferry to Samos/Kos/Rhodes
Ferry to nearest Turkey port (Kusadasi, Bodrum, Marmaris)
To Istanbul

Bascially it's either backtracking (option 1) or trying to do a loop (option 2) & avoid going bk to Athens.

For option two, would it be best to nix Crete? and would we enjoy spending time on Samos/Kos or Rhodes (i.e. would it be 'ok' to miss crete, but get to see Samos, Kos, or Rhodes)? Which combo of greece to turkey port would be ideal?

For option 1, is crete a good choice? or are there other recommendations...maybe something to contrast santorinin?

I will add neither of us has been to greece or turkey.

I will say thank you in advance for any opinions/thoughts!
travel_world is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2011, 01:43 PM
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Here's another option:

Fly into Athens, explore, then take ferry to Crete, then ferry to Santorini, then ferry to Rhodes, then ferry to Turkey at Bodrum or Marmaris where you can fly or bus to Istanbul, stopping wherever you want (Ephesus?) along the way. Fly home from Istanbul. This requires an "open jaw" ticket so you don't have to retun to Athens for the flight home.
brotherleelove2004 is offline  
Old Feb 13th, 2011, 04:38 PM
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I like Brotherlee's idea with the added note that in your 2 long ferry rides if you time it right you and can sail overnight (save time!) Start in Athens days1- 2-3, take OVERNIGHT ferry to Chania, Crete, explore crete days 4-5-6-7-8, sail to santorini 9-10-11, night of 11th sail to Rhodes, days 12-13-14 Rhodes... day 15 sail to Samos? Day 17 - hop to Ephesus? night of 17, fly to Istanbul, Days 18-19-20... fly home day 21.

To make this come out right u would need to check the Blue Star I & II sailings from Santorini to Rhodes which go 3x per week ... all other transport available daily. A final, biased note: u should not spend less time in Athens than in Istanbul... the great landmarks in the latter (Hagia Sophia etc) aren't Turkish, they are Classical or Byzantine Greek, "converted" by the Ottomans.
travelerjan is offline  
Old Feb 14th, 2011, 04:46 AM
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I am sorry but i will not comment following any ethnic posting based on wrong information.

Just to correct one misconception, "there are very few structures which are Turkish in all of Turkey, built before 1920. From 1320 to 1920, whatever was built was Ottoman Architecture, with most of the architects being Armenian, Italian, Genovese, French, Hungarian, etc.

The whole Ottoman Empire ruling group were converted Christian slave boys. Turks were just another racial group discriminated against and classified together with Gypsies. They were not allowed to conduct commerce like the greek, armenian and Jewish populations which, on the other hand, were taxed very havily.

All Ottoman Sultan wives and mothers were originally Christians from europe, france, serbia, Poland, Russia, etc.

The largest atrocity conducted by an Ottoman ruler was not against armenians but against turks in the early 16th century, when hundreds of thosands of Alevites were massacred in anatolia. (there are now about ten million or so still surviving but still descriminated against.

And, no i am not an alevite. I come from a very Ottoman family, tracing my ancestry over two hundred years on both mother's and father's side. Of'course i will not accept my ancestors' sins. Yet i can be very objective about them. But i cannot be objective about biased people.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2011, 07:06 AM
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I've apreciateed very much your answer to the previous post.
Believe you are the right person to help me to prepare my trip to Turkey this spring.
I'm Portuguese and intend to visit your country end of April as my wife has a lot of curisoity for your country and believe this could be the right season as in the summer perhaps too hot.
I'm 67 my wife 65 but in quite good shape, sofar.
We are both interestted in knowing the country,your culture and people and although willing to spend 1 week max 10 days.
Can you please help me to make a program for our visit?
renato_tavares is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2011, 10:49 AM
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Regarding how many days to spend in Athens vs Istanbul, even many Athenians agree that Istanbul deserves more time. Read this interesting thread on Trip Advisor:
Heimdall is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2011, 11:40 AM
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Renato, please start another thread rather than piggybacking on this one.

You can also send me a personal message on Trip Advisor (same name), also specifying whether you wish for the standard tourist fare or for something different. Please also specify if you are willing to rent a car outside Istanbul.
I am the same age as you, although my wife is much younger. But we always try to see and feel on our trips, rather than accumulate scenes and museums and buildings in the dark recesses of our minds.

I will also appreciate it if you read my two reviews on Fodors Lounge and one review on Fodors Europe, and tell me if you wish your trips to have some similarities to any of those.
Just click on my name to get to my profile and you will see all my former posts and trip reports.

We are planning a trip to the Languedoc and if we can swing it we may extend it to Andorra, Northern Spain and Portugal as well. At that time we can ask for your help in return.
otherchelebi is offline  
Old Feb 16th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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I liked brotherleelove's idea as well and have been to all the places but Kos and Rhodes that you've mentioned. I did Santorini, Mykonos, Ios, Naxos, Samos...to Kusadasi (which is a nice port). His ferry plan is good and flying can be a pain but if time isn't an issue nor is seasickness, then why not ferry? And if there's no wind, no seasickness. Greece can be a couple of trips easily so you may want to do Crete another time? Anyway, a few other considerations: I could spend a lifetime sitting in Fira on the island of Santorini looking over the caldera. Depends on your interest and how much time you want to spend contemplating the culture and ruins. The Plaka is a lovely little place but I didn't care for Athens as a whole. Turkey is fascinating, really but for some people, they aren't totally comfortable there. But Turkey might be less expensive than staying in parts of Greece...so those are some things to consider. Both countries have a lot to offer. Good luck in planning, it's a great trip!
lenlu is offline  
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