Greece/Turkey in July

I accidentally posted this in General Europe first. Sorry admins! I am looking for some help on a vacation to Greece that starts and ends in Turkey. I will be flying into and out of Istanbul for 19 nights in July (closed jaw is much less expensive from where I work in the Middle East, even with Istanbul-Athens flights added on). Here are my tentative plans: 4 nights in Istanbul, 3 nights in Athens (one-way early morning flight from Istanbul), 2 nights in Hydra, 1 night in Delphi, 2 nights in Meteora (stay in Kastraki), 2 nights in Litohoro, 2 nights in Thessaloniki, Day in Thessaloniki with overnight bus to Istanbul,
Last night in Istanbul. I am interested in food and wine, beautiful landscapes and history, and I like laid back towns. Is there anything I am missing? Does this schedule seem reasonable? Will transportation be an issue? Any help, information, or comments would be greatly appropriated! Brad

Posted by Alan
Brighton, UK
631 posts

Brad Other people may have different ideas but this looks somewhere between very optimistic and wildly over-ambitious to me. If you are planning to hire a car then it's very optimistic but if you plan to use public transport then it's pretty much impossible. For example, to get from Hydra to Delphi on public transport is around seven hours at the best. Delphi to Meteora is around the same. That means to maintain your schedule you would have almost no time actually in Delphi. In that case there seems little point in going there. I understand that it's really tempting to cram in as much as possible but I think you need to knock something out. Sorry to be so negative. If you adjust the balance a little I'm sure it'll be a great trip. Alan

Posted by Brad
Wauwatosa, WI
2 posts

Alan, Thanks for the response. I am planning on using public transport, so maybe I should reconsider Hydra. I was hoping to experience an island, but it isn't a high priority. Say I take out Hydra, does anyone have suggestions for 2 additional nights on my route back to Istanbul? This would be my revised schedule then: 4 nights in Istanbul, 3 nights in Athens (one-way early morning flight from Istanbul), 1 night in Delphi, 2 nights in Meteora (stay in Kastraki), 2 nights in Litohoro, 2 nights in Thessaloniki, Day in Thessaloniki with overnight bus to Istanbul, Last night in Istanbul.
+2 nights added somewhere along the way... but where?

Posted by Alan
Brighton, UK
631 posts

Brad Have a look at the bus timetables here http://www.athensguide.com/practicalinfo/busschedulesB.htm I've never done this but my guess is that to get from Delphi to Meteora you will need to backtrack to Thebes. This gives you a 5 or 6 hour journey, depending on connections. One possibility from the Meteora is to go on to Metsovo - the road is pretty spectacular - and then straight up to Thessaloniki. This misses out Litohoro. Did you have a particular reason for going there? If you dropped that you could have more time in Delphi or, if you do want to fit in an island, get a night on Hydra. Alan