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Do we have time for Greece?

Lincoln, Nebraska
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Do we have time for Greece?

My husband and I are planning a trip to Europe. We have 15 days, and this is my first time going there. We are typically doers, but I do enjoy a good nights sleep. I'm worried that we are cramming too much into this trip and won't be able to enjoy it. Please advice. Do you think we need to take out Greece?

Monday: Arrive in Paris at 1pm

Tuesday: Paris

Wednesday: 6am flight to Athens - Day in Athens

Wednesday overnight ferry to Santorini

Thursday: Santorini

Friday: Santorini

Saturday: Fly from Santorini to Rome

Sunday: Rome

Monday: Train from Rome to Florence

Tuesday: Florence

Wednesday: Train from Florence to Cinque Terre

Thursday: Cinque Terre

Friday: Train from Cinque Terre to Venice

Saturday: Venice

Sunday: Train from Venice to Switzerland

Monday: Switzerland

Tuesday: Fly back to US at 6am

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Ile-de-France, France
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New York City, New...
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1. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

8 different places in 15 days - yes, I do think that is far too many places. Have you looked at the train schedules to figure out how much time you will be spending on the trains plus checking in and out of all those hotels, getting to and from the train station and/or airports - when you fly, you have to be at the airport about 2 hours before the flights.

Going to Rome for that short amount of time then going all the way north just isn't the best use of your time. Rome is a big city, rich with a lot to see and you can barely scratch the surface in four days let alone the time you have set aside for the city. Same with Venice and Florence.

Have you figured what you actually want to see and do in these places and fit them into your schedule to see how much time you need in these areas to see what you want?

It is obviously up to you, but the amount of time you will be spending just getting from one place to another is going to eat up so much of your time - well, it would be a shame.

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Lazio, Italy
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Portland, Oregon
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2. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

Oh, my, we spent 7 days in Paris and still have lots of things to see on our next trip.

Yes, you definitely need to take out Greece. I would also recommend removing one other place of your choice or at least making either Florence or Cinque Terre a day visit or a one day stop.

You need to add at least 3 or 4 days to Paris, and at least 2 or 3 days to Rome, and 1 to Venice.

Now that you've eliminated Greece (we hope) study your guide books and maps and plot a route with priorities.

Many people on TA use the 3 night rule - the vast majority of the time spend at least 3 nights at each location.

Good luck planning!

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Ile-de-France, France
Greece
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Europe
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Province of Florence, Italy
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Italian Riviera, Italy
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San Francisco...
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3. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

Hi rfriend13,

I think most people will agree that you're trying to fit too much in. You might consider getting a rail pass and travel by train only to avoid also having to deal with flights - you'll be spending a good deal of your time getting from one place to another and that's certainly not the most fun part of traveling. I'd suggest not looking at this as your only trip to Europe, but just your first - so try to decide where you REALLY want to go and plan around that. The good thing about a rail pass is that you are flexible when you take a train - you won't have to worry about being anywhere at a certain time.

Having said all that, I think that yes, if you leave Greece out that will help. And I personally, would hate to have to get a 6am flight from Paris when I was still getting over jetlag.

I guess you've already bought your flights? If not, you could consider not going to Switzerland too to allow more time in the other countries. Good luck planning, give yourself some time to soak it all in and have fun! It will be a trip of a lifetime.

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Ile-de-France, France
Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

I agree, too many places in the time available.

Do your sums re the Railpass. Most often you still have to book a seat on any of the long distance trains, eg Rome to Florence at an additional cost and it is very easy to buy tickets for the trains in Italy. Personally I would also leave out Switzerland which I found expensive, and concentrate more on Italy.

Is there any major reason for seeing the Cinque Terre this time. They are five pretty Italian villages on the coast and you can walk between them and take photos of them and that is about it. Nice to see, pretty, but not quite in the league of the Uffizi gallery in Florence or the Colosseum in Rome.

Consider something like this

Paris 3 nights

Fly to Rome

Rome 4 nights

Train to Florence

Florence and Tuscany 4 nights (take a tour to Siena or some hill towns)

Train to Venice

4 nights in Venice

Fly home from Venice

No matter the length of the holiday, you will never fit it all in and these cities are deserving of some decent time to explore them. Fiddle with the nights a bit (always calculate in nights, it makes it easier to visualise hotel requirements etc) remembering that 1 night may mean NO days if you are spending the day in travel, to favour the places you really want to spend time, but four stops in 15 days is plenty.

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Tallahassee, Florida
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5. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

I agree with everyone else, you've planned way too much for 15 days and will spend much of your time traveling. I would cut out Greece and Switzerland. Greece deserves a whole trip by itself (much more to see than just Athens and Santorini) and 1 day in Switzerland is a bit silly. I feel you need to spend at least 3 nights in a city to get 2 whole days of touring time. Otherwise, you're just going to exhaust yourself and not fully enjoy what you're seeing.

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Attica, Greece
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Saint Marys, Ohio
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6. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

Slow down, it's not the Amazing Race! Take time to taste the wine and enjoy where you're at; don't just breeze through it to say you've "seen it." You'll spend as much time travelling from place to place as you will taking in the few sites you'll have time to visit.

I'd cut it way back and save some for the next trip.

7. Re: Do we have time for Greece?

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