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Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

Toronto, Canada
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Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

Hey guys,

Me and my cousin are planning on going to Turkey and Greece in late May for 2 weeks. We will be landing in Istanbul, and we planned on spending around 3 days in Istanbul, flying to Izmir and spending another 2 days there.

From Izmir we wanted to take individual Ferries (or a convenient cruise if one exists) and visit Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Milos, Mykonos as our list of possible options. We have never been to Greece and Turkey, and we want a full experience of the cultures, sites and foods, as well as some relaxing beaches and fun activities to do (snorkelling, kayaking, hiking etc).

In addition to the Greek islands, we also want to spend a day or two in Athens, and we are unsure of what other places we should be seeing in Greece. We have tentatively planned on renting a car in Greece and driving to Meteora (while making a quick couple hours stop in Delphi). Most likely we would spend the night and part of the day in Meteora and drive back to Athens and take a flight back to Istanbul in the end.

I'm assuming this is gonna be too much to take on in 2 weeks so we probably need to shorten the time we spend in some cities or preferentially cut back on some of the places we would stop over at (most likely some of the islands). And we sort of wanted to know how realistic it is to drive from Athens to Delphi and arrive in Meteora in one day, tour Meteora the next day and head back to Athens, or if that would even be worth it for us to do?

ps. if you could make any suggestions or give any ideas on how much it will cost and how difficult it will be getting from one island to another we'd also appreciate that...thanks!

Kamala, Thailand
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578 posts
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1. Re: Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

There's no way you can do even half of this in two weeks! And do you have 14 full days, or does this period include arrival & departure? That will eat into your time further.

From Izmir, you can only take a ferry to Chios, and your onward connections are very limited, especially in May (basically Piraeus). This means you'll need to travel on from Izmir to Kusadasi (for Samos), Bodrum (for Kos & Rhodes) or Marmaris and Fethiye (for Rhodes).

You then need to sort out a route based on these islands. Read the sticky at the top about planning island-hopping trips - you need to take account of different island groups. Getting across to the Cyclades (Mykonos, Santorini etc) from the Dodecanese (Rhodes, Samos) can take a bit of planning, especially in May.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g189398-i192-k6367…

Forget Milos - too much out on a limb!

And then you want to add Athens, Meteora and Delphi! You can't do island hopping and fit all this in!

You can realistically go from Turkey to one island, perhaps Rhodes, Kos or Samos, spend a few days there, then fly to Athens (ferry trips from Dodecanese to Piraeus are long - but they are overnight, so you would save time there, I suppose) and spend a couple of days there, plus a day trip to Delphi.

You can find Greek ferry schedules here: http://www.gtp.gr/RoutesForm.asp

Edited: 18 February 2014, 01:23
Kamala, Thailand
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578 posts
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2. Re: Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

Sorry for double post!

I've just seen anthanasios's reply to someone else ["A month's itinerary"] about flights between Lesvos and Samos that call in to Chios:

Our SkyExpress flight from Lesvos to Samos is a surprise (although I should have expected it) – it is a tiny plane – two seats one side of the aisle and only one on the other… about 30 seats in all. We fly for about 35mins to Chios and touch down there to drop off and pick up and then head off again to Samos… great fun – such a good way to island hop and all for E56 – the ferries would have cost that much and taken many hours. Not that I don’t LOVE the ferries but between these eastern islands they are not very frequent and becoming unreliable too.

This might help you - but I guess you need to book well in advance with the limited seating. Worth checking out, though.

Toronto, Canada
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3. Re: Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

Hmm I see, thanks a lot for the information and yeah we already thought it's going to be way too much to do in that time frame. And as far as the time goes, we will be landing in Istanbul on the 25th of May and our plane leaves Istanbul on the 7th of June.

I looked into some Ferries that we can take and it seems like we can get from Rhodes to Santorini and Santorini to Naxos and from Naxos to Piraeus which will lead us to Greece and I think that's manageable in roughly 8 days time period. But as you said There's no Ferries from Izmir to Rhodes, only Bodrum to Rhodes. So my question is, is Izmir a must see in Turkey, or would we just be better off flying from Istanbul to Bodrum and heading to Athens and then flying back to Istanbul from Athens and basically skipping Izmir all together?

Kamala, Thailand
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4. Re: Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

I wouldn't bother going to Athens at all.

I like Izmir, but I'm really fascinated by its history. Actually, the ferries don't go from Izmir, but from Cesme (which is a 1 hr's bus ride away)

If I were you, instead I'd fly further south in Turkey, spend a bit more time exploring the Turkish coast, and then do a little circuit of eastern Greek islands (eg Rhodes, Samos, perhaps Kos), back to Turkey - either the port you left from or another - and fly back to Istanbul from there.

You could perhaps fit Santorini in - personally, I wouldn't bother, but that's just me -- you need to take a good look at the ferry connections.

Toronto, Canada
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5. Re: Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

Ok thanks a lot, that really helped narrow things down for us!

6. Re: Two weeks in Greece and Turkey

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