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July 22, 2008 1:14 PM   Subscribe

Turkey vs. Greece: A colleague of mine is looking for suggestions on the best place to visit for a seaside vacation with her 15-year-old son.

This more or less encompasses the criteria she gave me. She is planning to take a vacation in the next six weeks or so, with her son. They want to go to the seaside in either country, and are looking for suggestions on the best location to choose, where to stay, etc. She did mention the word "resort", but I'm assuming that outrageously expensive locales are to be avoided. Where are the places you've gone, loved, would recommend?
posted by the luke parker fiasco to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
How about choosing both and visiting Cyprus? I hear the Turkish side has some lovely resorts that are affordable and the island is small enough that you can scoot to the ritzier Greek side any time you like.
posted by Vindaloo at 1:19 PM on July 22, 2008

I've gone to both Greece and Turkey. Greece definitely has a more touristy vibe to me and it can be a logistical chore to get from one island to another (unless you're on a tour I guess). Turkey was amazing and more straightforward to manage (I drove from place to place). If Greece, I say check out Crete. If Turkey, try the southwestern coast (say, Fethiye to Kas).
posted by cocoagirl at 2:00 PM on July 22, 2008

I don't have any experience with Greek beaches, but Oludeniz Beach just outside of Fethiye is one of the most gorgeous places I've been in my life. A few old pics at my website. Fethiye is very touristy, but everything is cheap in Turkey.
posted by Paragon at 2:28 PM on July 22, 2008

I visited Antalya 20 or so years ago. It's a beautiful town with friendly people. Definitely was one of my favorite places in the Mediterranean.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 2:47 PM on July 22, 2008

I've been to Turkish Cyprus and I would suggest that - safe, cheap, beautiful. You can even take a day trip to the Greek side and thank your lucky stars that you didn't stay there. Unless you like raves and expensive drinks.
posted by billysumday at 2:49 PM on July 22, 2008

I haven't been to Turkey, but I love Greece and have been going there with my parents since I was a small child. There are definitely a lot of beach-y places that are not "rave and expensive drink" oriented, and the islands of Skiathos and Skopelos are some of my favorites. Re: getting from one island to another and around Greece in general, it can be helpful to have a man on the ground, so to speak, and my family has a travel agent in Athens that helps arrange transport and such. Not expensive in the least, and not tourist-travel-packagey, she just gets tickets for the dolphin boats, arranges rental cars on the less tourist-y islands and such. If you'd like the name and contact info for the travel agent, feel free to pm me.
posted by wuzandfuzz at 4:01 PM on July 22, 2008

I don't know about Turkey, but I'd advise you not to visit the Greek islands in August, because that's when the locals leave town en masse and hit the islands, so everything is going to be really full-up/crowded. I adore Skopelos also (among many), and my husband has 20 days off in August, and I would so love to go there, but there's no way we're going to want to deal with that. September is my favorite month for island hopping; it's still summer weather, but not quite so hot, and it's not crowded or crazy.
posted by taz at 6:36 PM on July 22, 2008

(also, what wuzandfuzz said; having a trusted agent to arrange transport, etc., will be really helpful)
posted by taz at 6:40 PM on July 22, 2008

I just spent 3 weeks in Greece and 5 weeks in Turkey from May to July.

Neither is going to be cheap with the dollar at an all-time low. Turkey is not cheaper than Greece, because tourists get charged "tourist prices" nowadays.

We stayed in inexpensive, owner-run, non-advertised lodgings that were one or two steps above youth hostels. These ran from 40-60 euros in Greece and from 50-100 YTL in Turkey. A rental car was 35 euro in Greece and 65 YTL in Turkey per day. Gas is very expensive, over $10/gal.

I would recommend Greece over Turkey. The tourism infrastructure in Turkey is not quite ready for prime time, in my opinion. It's an inward-looking, developing nation with growing pains. There's traffic and construction everywhere and little appreciation for aesthetics. Many seem to envy and resent Westerners with disposable income.

If they really want to experience both cultures, there are ferries between Turkey and Greece. Go to Greece and take a day trip or two to Turkey! There are more day trips available from Greece to Turkey than the other way around.

It's much easier to relax in Greece. All of it is seaside! My favorite places there include Lesvos, Santorini, and Crete. Rhodes was not as much my cup of tea but might be a good fit for your friend - lots of package resorts and frequent daytrips available to neighboring islands or to Turkey (Marmaris or Bodrum).
posted by ebellicosa at 9:42 PM on July 22, 2008

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