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 TripAdvisor 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-g187147-l496-Paris_Ile_de_France.html).
We followed these TravelGuides and mixed them a bit with Rick Steve'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.