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How's my itinerarry?

My wife and I are retired Americans. Fully vaccinated (Pfizer). Active.
We'd like to see some places that we've never been to before I've got a tentative plan that I hope allows for us to have good weather at all our stops and miss the crowds.
But with all the unknowns this year, I'm posting an overview of the itinerary for travelers and locals to suggest any improvements.
Thanks in advance

8/29 - 8/31 Madrid
9/1 - 9/3 Athens
9/4 - 9/7 Santorini
9/8 - 9/12 Istanbul
9/13 - 9/16 Pamukkale, Ephesus, Cappadocia
9/21 - 9/27 Lisbon area
9/30 - 10/5 Algarve
10/7 - 10/9 Madrid

Posted by
2048 posts

Very interesting itinerary. I would concentrate on Turkey and Greece, then go to Spain and Portugal. Fly into Athens and out of Lisbon, or Madrid if you went to Portugal first. You have a 5 day gap between Turkey and Lisbon, and 3 days between Lisbon and the Algarve. Is that for leisurely getting from one city to the next or a mistake . Even though you have almost 6 weeks, it seems kinda rushed with those missing 8 days.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Barbara;
(Very interesting itinerary. I would concentrate on Turkey and Greece, then go to Spain and Portugal. Fly into Athens and out of Lisbon, or Madrid if you went to Portugal first. You have a 5 day gap between Turkey and Lisbon, and 3 days between Lisbon and the Algarve. Is that for leisurely getting from one city to the next or a mistake . Even though you have almost 6 weeks, it seems kinda rushed with those missing 8 days.)

Sorry about the gaps, 9/17-9/20 are for Istanbul and excursions getting to know Turkey.

9/27-9/30 are in Lagos.

I started with week in Greece and 8 days in Turkey. Do you think I should spend more time there, less in Portugal?
Are you recommending that I go to Portugal first then Turkey and Greece? Would that make sense in terms of the weather and crowds?

Posted by
2080 posts

With the prospect of complications this year, I would not plan a multi-country trip this year. Just be sure everything is refundable, etc.
If you have all of the travel details worked out, I see no major red flags with the itinerary.

Posted by
4763 posts

In normal times your itinerary is ok, although trying to cover so much ground is going to involve lots of time in transit. I think it’s very ambitious for travel this year, as if say Greece doesn’t permit people from Spain to enter or enter without quarantining, what are you going to do?

I have had some warm weather and some of the worst torrential rain I’ve ever seen in Lagos in early October. I presume you are hiring a car for the Algarve portion, as public transport is poor west of there. How are you getting from the Algarve to Madrid? Transport links between Spain and Portugal are not great.

Personally, I wouldn’t attempt to visit so many countries this year and would focus on Spain and Portugal, which have enough to keep you busy.

Posted by
2793 posts

I'm the opposite of Jennifer. I find Greece and Turkey more compelling than Spain and especially Portugal.
I do agree that with the constantly changing "we'll let Americans in. We won't let Americans in" that a 4 country trip could be difficult, unless you have a backup plan.

Posted by
626 posts

I agree with others that this may be too many places... Mostly because I always count any travel day to be at least half gone with check-out - travel - check-in activities. You have seven travel days and some of them will be totally spent in transit, which is a lot of time even within six weeks.

Posted by
2080 posts

I get being ready to travel, I just would have pause about including four countries when border issues could arise. It is different if you are still working full-time or have obligations or a financial situation that would make it difficult to get home--we all have different levels of risk tolerance.
I can tell you there is no way I would get bored with a month in Spain, Turkey, or Greece. Portugal is smaller, so maybe that would be more of a stretch, but you will not run out of things to see in those three large countries--they are packed to the gills with things to see and do. Since you posted in the Greece forum, I will put in my plug for Greece. In addition to all of the island groups, there is a massive amount of diversity on the mainland.

If you go forward, I wish you all the luck, as it will mean things are stable for us all!

Posted by
169 posts

I'm confused with the start & end in Madrid.. for only 2 days (nights?) each..
If you haven't booked your airfare and there isn't a specific reason for visiting Madrid ... - check multi-city flight options (frequently cheaper than 2 one ways or round trips). I'd try to do Home to Lisbon... do Portugal first then Greece and Istanbul/Turkey.. then flight home from Istanbul. Or start in Istanbul.. Greece and finish in Portugal - flt. home.

If you must "do" Madrid - combine your days into one stop there. Fly to/from Lisbon or Faro ( short, quick and probably pretty cheap) then continue or end your explorations.

I do agree with others that this might not be the year to try to do multiple countries in one trip, no matter the length. I think you could find 6 weeks of "stuff" in any of these countries. Relax and explore more deeply.

Have a great trip!

I'd be worried about hitting all those hot spots. You are likely to end up facing restrictions in one country, having been in another. Also, travel right now requires patience. Flights change, get cancelled, passengers get routed for extra "surprise" testing on arrival (happened to us) and you have very few days between places. You'll loose a day each time you transit which will shorten the time, too.

Posted by
56 posts

Hi!
Throwing my two cents I - I HAD a 5 week multi country trip planned for August/September, started planning in Early March). Due to changing entry policies and rising Covid hotspots and based on info coming from reliable sources in Europe, I have cut my trip to just Greece. I highly recommend it as I know of people being refused entry to other countries even if they’re fully vaccinated (Pfizer), their plane landed in Turkey but they didn’t even leave the airport!

I consider myself well traveled, I am not an alarmist and I’m leaving 8/17 but wondering what that even looks like at this point…

Posted by
5 posts

Grace, since I posted this question I've become aware of how many travel restrictions there are now. Recently I saw that Greece is banning travel to their islands and the US State Department is advising against travel to Greece. You might want to verify this information for your self. Sorry to bring bad news.

Posted by
56 posts

jsjeffjeff
Hi!
Can you send me a link to the info regarding Greece banning travel to their islands? I haven't seen this except to Mykonos through July 26th. I have been speaking with my contacts in Greece and they are saying the Covid cases are mainly in the party areas like Mykonos and nightclubs in Athens etc. That is not me :)

Posted by
1048 posts

Is flying into and out of Madrid set in stone or can you fly an open jaw (multi-city)?