Please sign in to post.

Greece and Turkey Vacation with Focus on Archaeoloy

My husband and I are going on an 8 day archaeological tour of Greece in April 2016. From there we can go straight to Istanbul or take a side trip to Crete to see the Minoan sites. We would probably spend only 3 days in Crete. My question is should we go to Crete for 3 days--is it work it for that amount of time, or would it be better to use that time for Turkey's western archaeological sites? We would probably have about 8 days in Turkey, but that part of the trip has not been worked out.
If there are any archaeology buffs out there and have done a similar trip, please advise.
Thank you. Jan

Posted by
1940 posts

Skip Crete and spend the extra days in Turkey. From north to south, important archaeological sites include Pergamon, Ephesus, Knidos and Patara. If you have just 3 days, do the first two. Ephesus especially is a must-see.

Posted by
3261 posts

I think Troy is a must-see. Not because the ruins are so great, but just the feeling that you get actually being there! And I assume you'll go to Mycenae in greece and Troy is the companion site.

Posted by
2951 posts

I agree wholeheartedly agree about Troy (Truva). There's a sense of timelessness there that I've never forgotten, in spite of the sparseness of the ruins. It's definitely worth your time if you're a fan/student of history and mythology.

Posted by
15075 posts

Loved Ephesus, but Aphrodisias even more though much smaller.

Posted by
5269 posts

I haven't been to Turkey but I spent a few days in Crete last month. Can't tell whether the previous posters have been to both places. That said, I'll put in a plug for Crete for part of your available time. Why? Remains of a civilization more ancient than Mycenae or Troy, with notable sites like Knossos, Gortyn, and Phaestos. Excellent archeological museum in Heraklion. It's a one-hour flight from Athens. And, if I understand your timeline, you'll still have 5 days or so for Turkey. Crete is definitely worth a few days, imho, of the time you have available. So Crete + Turkey = a win-win for your trip!

Posted by
2951 posts

As for me, yes, I have been to Crete. It takes a minimum of a week with a rental car just to barely scratch the surface. It's a huge island and deserves more time than you have.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you all for your knowledgeable comments. We have decided to not visit Crete on this trip but rather to wait until a future date when we will be able to do the touring of the large, archaeologically-rich island, justice. We simply will not have the time after settling on the amount of days we will spend in Western Turkey.