I'm planning out a three week trip for my sister and I in September and was hoping to get some advice. Below is the itinerary I'm considering. I had a few questions and included some more details at the bottom. In general, we have three weeks and have prioritized Paris, Italy, and Greece as the three places we want to visit. We're trying to do this as cheaply as possible, so plan to look for hostels each night and would appreciate any advice to that end.
- Sept 2 - 8am flight from Seattle to Paris
- Sept 3 - 9:30am arrive in Paris. Versaille? I hear they have a fountain show on Weds and figured being outside would help with jetlag. Eiffel tower at sunset? Sleep at a hostel in Paris.
- Sept 4 - Orsay in am, Seine river tour at sunset. Paris hostel.
- Sept 5 - picnic at Luxembourg Gardens, Louvre in the evening (open til 9:45pm on Fri). Paris hostel.
- Sept 6 - any other museums, churches, relaxing. Flight to Florence, arrive 8:30pm. Florence hostel.
- Sept 7 - Uffizi. Florence hostel
- Sept 8 - Accademia Gallery. Florence hostel.
- Sept 9 - train to Rome midday? Rome hostel.
- Sept 10 - Colosseum, Pantheon. Rome hostel.
- Sept 11 - Trevi Fountain, St. Peter's Basilica. Rome hostel.
- Sept 12 - general Rome. Rome hostel.
- Sept 13 - 2:30pm flight to Santorini ($54!). Santorini hostel.
- Sept 14 - Santorini
- Sept 15 - Santorini
- Sept 16 - ferry to Athens (or Naxos? see question #1 below)
- Sept 17 - Acropolis, Parthenon. Athens hostel.
- Sept 18 - general Athens. Athens hostel.
- Sept 19 - 2:30pm flight to Naples, train to Sorrento. Sorrento hostel.
- Sept 20 - Amalfi coast. Sorrento hostel.
- Sept 21 - Pompeii, Herculaneum. Naples hostel.
- Sept 22 - general Naples. Naples hostel.
- Sept 23 - 6:40am flight from Naples to Seattle.
I'm really looking forward to the Greek islands and am wondering if it would be better to skip the Amalfi coast and spend a couple days on Naxos or another Greek Island instead. Looking at cheap flights, we could fly from Athens to Naples on Sunday (9/21) rather than Friday (9/19), but wouldn't get in until 5:30pm, so would only have one full day - which would be spent going to Pompeii before flying out early the next morning.
If we do choose another Greek Island rather than going to the Amalfi Coast, which should we choose? Keep in mind we'd prefer a hostel or hostel-prices. Would a Greek Island or the Amalfi Coast be more expensive to stay/eat/etc?
What is the ferry trip through the Greek Islands like? Living in Seattle, we're no strangers to ferries and I'm not sure if it's better to spend the time on one of the islands and fly to/from or if the 6+hrs for the ferry would be well spent to see the other islands.
I've heard it's best to buy the cheap short-hop plane tickets ASAP as the prices go up as seats fill. Is it important to get train tickets from Florence to Rome ahead of time? It would be kind of nice to have the option to flex a day forward or back depending on how we feel.
Lots of questions! I'm really looking forward to this trip and want to make the most of it. I feel pretty good about our itinerary, but have those few nagging questions where input is appreciated! Thanks for any advice!