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Italy and Greece- month trip- seeking advice

Planning a trip summer 2017 for both Italy and Greece. We have been to Italy several times including Positano (planning to go back). We are up for suggestions on changing length of time or cutting parts.

here is what I am thinking- I am not sure if this is logical or not.
Greece-
1. Fly into Athens and then get out immediately-
--go to hydra for 3 nights,
--then Crete (3 nights),
--Santorini (3 nights),
--- Mykonos (2 nights),
--- Athens (4 nights) with day trips planned

Italy
then fly to Sicily (not sure which place to go (either Catania or Palermo)
--- and depending on which one- spend 4 nights in one and 3 nights in the other- suggestions?
--- then fly to Naples- get out of naples
---go 7 nights in Positano (Capri one day and Sorrento one day)
--- then Naples for 3 or 4 days- going to Herculaneum for one of the days and flying home from Naples

--- posting this in both the Italy and Greece forums- thank you for your help and suggestions

Posted by
21045 posts

In your Italy thread I've suggested dropping Hydra and shifting that time to Sicily. If that for some reason isn't possible, I'd still drop Hydra and add the time to Crete. Crete is a large island, and three nights wouldn't be enough to see much. So I really think you need to do something to extend your time in Crete.

I confess to not having been to Hydra, but it's my impression that it's the Greek island for people who don't have time to go much farther from Athens. You have a good bit of time in Greece, and I think you don't need to include Hydra on this trip.

Posted by
989 posts

I too am contemplating a Greece Sicily vacation. Direct flights from Athens to Sicily cease in late Sept but Aegean does have direct flights to Catania earlier in the season.
Even though distances don't appear to be very far even a short hop by ferry takes up a minimum of half a day. For instance your hydra to Crete hop will likely get you in to Crete by noon the earliest. More likley 5pm so essentially a full day shot. You will have to ferry back to Piraeus then bus to the airport for a flight to Crete. I think the advice to drop Hydra makes sense. There are better islands to use those three days and cutting out one hop adds a half day to your vacation.

Logistics on Crete can be interesting. What do you want to do? There are two airports Chania in the west and Heraklion in the center. The ferry to Santorini departs from Heraklion so you probably need at least one night there. Its really interesting for about one day but then you will likely want to go somewhere else.
Heraklion https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157655935354556

Perhaps head south to the Libyan sea, or east or West to Rethymnon or Chania. You can easily spend several days in either of those cities so add your three days to Crete. If it were me I would fly to Chania as soon as you arrive Atehns. Spend a few days around Chania and western Crete then head to Heraklion for the last night.
Here is what you will see.
Western Crete http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632115757899/

Chania http://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157632117917828/

Your Santorini Mykonos trip is really 2.5 days in Santorini and 1.5 in Mykonos. I would contemplate dropping Mykonos and adding that time to Crete as well. Mykonos is the second most expensive island after Santorini but there are lots of islands out there like Naxos which are just as lovely but half the price so why go to Mykonos.

We have been to Catania which is a lovely city and is close to Syracuse, Terimina and the Valley of Temples each being about a two hour commute from Catania.
Catania Sicily https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157661708265665
Sounds like a great trip

Posted by
963 posts

Even getting over jetlag, I could not stay 3 days in Hydra. I like Crete, so 3 days good-- also like Rhodes and Corfu ( too far from this itinerary?).
Santorini's caldera and the sunset were the most beautiful in my opinion; the crowds are not so lovely there & in Mykonos, tho I have faith that you can get away from them.
September is a lovely month in Greece- summer is rather warm if you are not used to it.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you everyone. . . based on the feedback we have tweaked the plans, but still interested if anyone has additional thoughts or suggestions.
Fly into Athens and then fly out (same day-
Crete (3 nights),
Santorini (3 nights),
--- Naxos (4 nights),
--- Athens (4 nights) with day trips planned
Italy
Athen to Sicily via air
--- Catania or somewhere in the area (suggestions!?!?) for 4 nights
--- Palermo (3 nights)
fly Palermo to Naples then to Positano
--- Positano (6 nights)
---Naples (2 nights)
--- Fly home
still posting this in both the Italy and Greece forums- thank you for your help and suggestions

Posted by
21045 posts

I wouldn't fly to Crete for 3 nights. It's a large island. Keep it for another trip when you have more time for it. You might add that time to mainland Greece--maybe go to Nafplion? Getting on and off the islands isn't quite the same as hopping on a train. The Crete-Santorini boats leave from Heraklion, in the center of the island. A lot of people prefer the west.

You have a cut-and-paste problem at the bottom of your most recent message in both forums. I think the last few lines need to be deleted.

Posted by
2933 posts

Crete is huge. It takes a minimum of a week with a rental car just to barely scratch the surface.

15 nights is not a lot of time in Greece, especially if you're trying to fit in 5 destinations. Limit yourselves to 3 stops and you'll have a much better and more-relaxing experience.

Posted by
15 posts

we are planning to take a ferry between locations. I realize that 15 days is not a long time, but it is what we have. We are perfectly fine with "scratching the surface" as we can always return at a later date to see more. The only flight that we are planning would be Athens to Crete
As I stated, I am open to suggestions. . . we did make edits based on what others have posted.
Do you have any suggestions for changes- given the time frame that we have.
thank you.

Posted by
147 posts

I just completed a month long trip just about as you planned
We spent
4 night Athens. Loved it plaka area great people and sites
3 nights Mykonos beautiful town
3 nights Naxos a winner great town and beaches hotel was wonderful galaxy view
3 nights santorini stayed volcano view. Amazing views. But cruise ships ruin the islands main towns
3 nights Sorrento. Wonderful town excellent restaurants and great value on shopping we also did Herculaneum which was amazing. A farm tour with cheese making and pizza making. Was great. And visited olive oil production facility. Worthy of a visit.
4 nights Positano. Just amazing. Stayed at Buca di Bacco and that is sumptuous hotel. Positano is fabulous
5 nights rome. Lots to explore and do a nice city. Stayed in piazza novo a area.

My favorites in order
Positano Naxos Sorrento Mykonos Athens rome and last santorini

Posted by
963 posts

I prefer Rome to Naples- have you enjoyed Rome at a slow pace before, revisited favorite spots? Herculaneum is 2-3 hours. Climbing Vesuvius is 2 hours. Pompeii 3-5/6 hours at most. Just curious why Naples, after you have been in Positano.

Posted by
15 posts

hi Melissa-
We have been to Rome several times and yes, there is still more to see there. We have only been to Naples for a couple of hours as part of a stop on the way to Pompeii from Rome- for a tour. We want to have a couple of days there to explore the museums and the area. It is close to Positano and we can fly home from Naples.
Any other suggestions- thank you for the ones you have provided.