Thanks so much for all the great info previously received. At one point I was thinking of flying return to either Istanbul or Athens, (cheaper?),but now think the 'open jaw' method would be better. Fly to Istanbul,then Athens,detour to Crete and hopefully at least one other island, back to Athens, home. How long would be long enough in these cities/islands? I'm thinking 3weeks total. Which islands? Not long enough but better than nothing. Thanks.
Greetings from Cottage Grove! It's a much better use of your time if you don't have to backtrack. Fly to Athens, fly or ferry to Crete, fly (skyexpress.gr) or ferry to Rhodes for your 2nd island, ferry to Bodrum, bus or fly to Istanbul. You can do this in 3 weeks but 4 would be better.
You can spend a lot of time on Crete alone. Check out www.explorecrete.com for good info. Also, PM me if you have questions about the Chania area.
open jaw 3 weeks is plenty time. depending on which city to fly in you may see a price difference so make sure you shop tickets on line with different options. i was able to save a couple of hundred dollars last year by simply figuring out flying into athens is cheaper than flying into istanbul. crete is very close to santorini, so you migh want to spend some time there. you can fly into santorini then boat to crete, it's a about half day smooth sailing on beautiful water. yes crete is very big and you should consider booking hotels in both iraklio and chania. it's about half day bus ride between these 2 places. athens is good enough with no more than 3 days, istanbul can be done in 4 days.
The highspeed ferry between Santorini and Crete only takes 1.5 hours.