We are taking 2 Rick Steves tours back to back. Will end up in Kusadasi, Turkey on Sept 18th and don't have to be in Athens until Sept. 20 (evening). Can't seem to decide on what to do with those couple of days. Go to Samos and fly on the 20th to Athens or go to Selcuk and then fly out to Athens from Izmir? Don't want it to be too busy--would like just a little downtime--small hotel close to water or pool maybe. Does anyone have any other suggestions? Or comments on the 2 options we have found? Appreciate any and all help.
Waiting until the 20th to return to Athens is taking a big risk unless your plane home doesn't leave until the 21st or later. There is no direct flight from Izmir to Athens. You'll have to pay for a flight to Istanbul with a connection from IST to ATH.
If there is a ferry from Kusadasi to Samos you can catch on the 18th I suggest you go there and take the very next flight or ferry back to Athens. Don't wait until the last minute.
Donna - I'm making an assumption that your second tour is the Greece tour and it starts on the evening of the 20th.... I can't comment on either from experience, but we're in the planning stages for our Turkey trip (later in September) and also need to get to Athens from the end point of Kusadasi.
We finally decided on Samos for some downtime on our journey from Kusadasi to Athens. The Pegasus non-stop Izmir to Athens flight only goes a couple of times a week so there are few options if the flight gets cancelled as we did not want to hassle going back through Istanbul to fly to Athens. We chose to spend our time Samos because there were many flights a day to Athens and the ferry is a backup.
We are looking at the Hotel Princessa in Pythagorion so we can relax by the pool and at the beach and then head into town at night. We are also considering the Hotel Samos. It seems to be in a good location and not far from the beach. A friend has stayed at the Emily Hotel and she really enjoyed it. It's small with no pool, but it's convenient to town and the beach. Right now we're leaning towards relaxing at the Princessa and a morning flight to Athens.
Pythagorion is also very close to the airport, so you could stay 1 or 2 nights on Samos and very easily take an early morning flight to Athens. Only issue might be reliability based on Lee's warning - the flights seem to go basically on time several times a day, but I'm not sure if there have been issues in the past.
Enjoy your tours! Went on the Greece tour a few years ago and it was amazing. I enjoyed every minute of it. The time in Athens is rushed, so maybe you will have a chance to stay and extra day at the end of the tour. You could also go to Athens through Samos as Lee suggested on the 18th and enjoy a couple of days in Athens at the beginning of your tour.