Egypt, Turkey, Greece itinerary help.
June 1, 2010 10:08 PM   Subscribe

Egypt, Turkey, Greece itinerary help. I have seen the other related topics here but I'd like advice for a longer trip than has been mentioned before.

Forewarning long post ahead.

I'm an American arriving in Egypt from Israel around July 4th via bus most likely. I plan to spend time in each country about a month (though if someone recommends differently, let me know). I have to be back in Israel the 21st of September. Everything else is open.

For Egypt I plan to mostly stay in Cairo with ventures to Luxor and Siwai (I don't have much interest in Alexandria though I'm open to it). For Turkey, the places I have in interest in are the following: Istanbul, Izmir, Selçuk, Bodrum / Gümü┼člük, Fethiye, Sakikent Gorge / Kalkan / Kabak / Kalekoy, Antalya, Goreme (Cappadocia). For Greece, I've got less of an idea but interest in the following: Rhodes, Crete (Chania), Santorini, Paros, Naxos, Mykonos, Delos, Athens, Skopelos, Meteora.

I'm mostly going to be staying at hostels, pensions and beaches (etc). I have some money but hope to spend at most 30 USD a night for most (less when possible and more when absolutely needed). The stuff I'm interested in doing includes some touristy stuff (though less interest in the high admission museums and more emphasis in caves and ruins etc), street culture and food in urban areas, and relaxing beaches/nature (especially some of the more isolated areas), as well as some night life. A Couple of more specific questions.

1) Looking for general breakdown of trip posssibilities. I was thinking I'd fly from Cairo to Istanbul and train from Izmir to Greece.

2) Should I be splitting it up differently than 1 month per country? Obviously I will decide as I go.

3) Am I missing anything or should I exlude anything I already listed for each country. I'm specifically interested in people's responses to the locales I mentioned in Greece as island hopping sounds quite expensive. I'd lean to islands where it's not a big deal to sleep on the beach.
posted by pbeans to Travel & Transportation (2 answers total)
Do you mean ferry from Izmir to Greece? If I recall what a friend told me there are no direct ferries to the mainland but you can hop a few islands. The train trip from Istanbul to Thessaloniki, FWIW, is long and not very fun.

For travel within Turkey, I highly recommend traveling by bus. I used Metro Bus but have also heard good things about Ulusoy and Varan. Insanely comfortable, with a person who serves hot coffee and snacks every few hours, also with frequent rest stops at massive company-owned food shops where the buses get washed each time. For specific recommendations about where to stay I've noticed that the Guardian has SO much Turkey coverage. You'll have to sift through the luxury hotel reviews but the budget options are totally there too, going back a few years.

Also if you like sleeping on the beach you can try Albania, which is cheap and just a stone's throw away from Corfu, Greece. You can hitchhike or take a minibus up the coast and just stop at any little wild beach that catches your fancy, or Dhermi/Drymades for a little more infrastructure and a nightclub right on the beach. However the food is nothing special and it's drastically less comfortable/accustomed to tourists.

I've heard that tourism in Greece is really low at the moment, due to the strike and ash cloud and various other things, so you may be able to get some great deals if the trend continues through the summer.
posted by acidic at 10:44 PM on June 1, 2010

PS I'm surprised that there aren't more people chiming in, but you may want to try the Thorn Tree Forums at Lonely Planet, which have tons of users who can definitely give you specific help.
posted by acidic at 7:43 PM on June 2, 2010

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