Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

Newbie help: Backpacking(ish) Mediterranean Itinerary

Newbie help: Backpacking(ish) Mediterranean Itinerary

Old Mar 11th, 2010, 11:37 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Newbie help: Backpacking(ish) Mediterranean Itinerary

Hi! I am in my first year of grad school and my sister is in college. We are looking to plan our first trip to Europe this summer and do a bit of back-packing/hostel/budget hotel staying (we are planning on using Trip Advisor to find lodging that will get the most for our $). The trip was originally only going to include Italy and Greece, but it is a ton cheaper to fly into Madrid (which we wanted to see anyways). Would you mind looking over my tentative schedule and letting me know if this is doable? I know we won't get to see it all, but our main focus is the traveling experience and a little taste of the Mediterranean. Here is what I came up with so far:

Fri- Leave Charlotte, NC (USA)
Sat- Arrive Madrid in AM (check in to hostel, rest, tapas, see a flamenco show)
Sun- Madrid (casual tour of city, tapas, etc)
Mon – FLY to Marseille around lunch time, take BUS/Train to Cassis (market, dinner)
Tues - Cassis (breakfast, calaques tour, beach)
Wed- BUS/Train to Marseille, FLY to Rome
ThuR - Rome
F - Rome
S – TRAIN to Florence for a winery tour/tasting (We are open to renting a car to drive outside the city in order to reach whatever winery), stay over night at winery
S – Leave Florence and train to Verona
M - Verona (tour city, outdoor opera)
W - Venice
R - Venice
F – FLY to Athens and take over night ferry to Crete
S - Crete
S - Crete
M – Ferry to Ios
T - Ios
W - Ios
R – FERRY to Santorini
F – Santorini
S – Santorini
S- FERRY to Athens in AM, Check in to hotel and tour city a bit and stay overnight
M- Taxi to airport in AM, FLY home to Charlotte, NC (USA)

What do you guys think? I would appreciate any help/advice you can offer me! Thanks so much.
aliciabee23 is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2010, 11:40 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
*Also, we WANT to try and add a day to Rome and a day to Cassis (or Madrid). But it all depends on my work schedule. Do you all think that would be necessary? Thanks again!
aliciabee23 is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2010, 04:53 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 11,212
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It seems that you're on a budget since you are flying to Madrid to save money and looking to stay in hostels and save money on lodging. However, have you looked at how much it will cost to move around to all the places on your list? Lots of money. Plus a one-day car rental is expensive and gas costs about 80 USD per tank.

I also think you're trying to fit too much into a three week trip. I understand that you're young and have lots of energy but you're moving around so much that you're not giving yourselves time to adjust to new cities and to absorb the ambiance.

Why not fly directly from Venice to Crete as you'll already be at the Athens airport instead of taking a night ferry. And why spend so much time getting to Cassis which is out of your way. You could fly from Madrid to Rome and have more time in Italy and Greece since that was your original focus.

You might want to post on the thorntree site as that site is geared to the younger traveler and backpacker.
adrienne is offline  
Old Mar 11th, 2010, 05:12 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57,890
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Do not use tripadvisor for lodging. You need true budget places - like you wil find in student guides - Let's Go, Rough Guide or thorntree as advised.

Agree you are moving too fast to see much and will end up spending a lot on transit to get from one place to another. I would focus on no more than 4 places (preferably 3) - and do day trips from there via local transit to avoid spending so much on places and trains.

I think if you spend longer in each place you will not feel so rushed and will get a much better feeling for the various cultures - instead of airports and train stations.
nytraveler is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 05:49 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,699
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi AB,

You have 9 venues in 3 weeks.

If you are on a budget, you want to limit your venues. Travelling from place to place costs you about 1/2 day as well as the price of air/train fare.

In addition, a whirlwind tour leaves you exhausted and with few memories other than train stations (I did that when I was your sister's age)

I suggest limiting your visit to France/Spain, France/Italy, Italy/Greece OR (what I would do) three weeks in Italy.

Enjoy your visit.

ira is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 06:42 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks everyone! I appreciate the advice and am going to try and redistribute my cites and leave off something.
aliciabee23 is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 07:13 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Posts: 7,160
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Rome/Florence/Verona part of your trip seems too rushed. You need more time in Rome. It doesn't look like you're going to see anything of Florence, and there's not enough time for driving around Tuscany. Maybe skip Florence/Tuscany entirely.

I'm not - yet - knowledgeable about Greece so can't comment there.

But you need to allow a little bit for jet lag if you're flying overnight from the states. It's not just the time change. Most of us don't sleep well on overnight flights. I'd conk out well before the flamenco show started. Maybe an afternoon nap would help.
Mimar is offline  
Old Mar 12th, 2010, 07:41 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 27,539
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
If you're on a budget, besides looking at Lonely Planet, Rough Guides and Let's Go, I'd suggest using venere.com, eurocheapo.com and hostels.com, plus I like Pauline Frommer's new guides.
thursdaysd is offline  
Related Topics
Original Poster
Last Post
Mar 5th, 2015 08:31 PM
Jun 28th, 2014 07:14 AM
Dec 30th, 2013 02:48 PM
Jan 18th, 2012 12:13 PM
Apr 1st, 2009 12:49 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -