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Travel to Greece and Istanbul

My husband and I are planning on traveling to Athens and Istanbul for 2 weeks in April. The itinerary so far is at least 4 days in Athens, 2 in Hydra, and 4 in Istanbul with a cushion for travel time. I would like to know if there is any advantage to flying into Istanbul or Greece first. Either way, we plan on flying into one country and flying out of the other. We enjoy sightseeing on our own, walking the city, seeing local life. We're not into racing from one site to the next, that is why one island is enough. Thanks for any help you can give us 60- year old young at hearts! Also, is a local guide recommended?

Posted by
12314 posts

Look at it both ways using Turkish Air. They generally have great rates to the US.

Posted by
48 posts

I just booked it yesterday. Into Athens out of Istanbul. $100 less this way with a 56 euro one way. Savings enough for one nights accommodation for solo traveler in Athens and I get to fly new airline Aegean. $44 Savings okay I'm in.

Posted by
3 posts

I might've booked the same itinerary just a few days earlier - and I didn't know Aegean was a new airline - looking forward to it and thank you for your response!

Posted by
48 posts

Aegean not new. Just new airline for me personally to fly.

Posted by
1 posts

It might make most sense to spend your time in Istanbul first as it's such a huge, magnificent, crazy mega-city - you'll probably get caught up in the energy. Then you can make your way to Greece for a more relaxed end to your break and arrive home more refreshed.

Posted by
16847 posts

Both are busy cities, but there's a chance that you'd find Athens a bit more familiar to start (it's Europe), and might pick up more heavy souvenirs in Istanbul that you won't want to carry everywhere.

Posted by
3 posts

We are flying into Athens and out of Istanbul - since I suffer from jet lag badly, a relaxing few days in Hydra sound good, progressing with more gradual energy-exerting travel - by the time we're fully immersed in traveling it'll be time to go home! Great tips, Rick Steves' travelers!

Posted by
179 posts

If you wind up on Turkish air to/from the states you'll be very probably be going via Istanbul. Then you'd just have to figure out which direction you'll be going when you pass through the airport on when you'll stay there.