UK -> Flight to Greece -> Italy -> and back via trains - advice?

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Xno-
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Report Thread starter 6 years ago
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Hey TSR. I'm trying to plan out a road trip for myself and a friend. Here's the details... I'd appreciate any advice that can be offered!

Dates: Leave at the start of June for a 3 weeks (and potentially a few more days)
People: 2 students
Leaving from: UK

Rough plan:

1. London -> Greece flight

2. Spend a week in Greece.
  • Possibly fly to Santorini and do some day trips to any local islands
  • Finish off with a ferry or flight (suggestion?) to Athens and spend a day or two there

3. Greece -> Italy
  • Options: ferry from Patras if we make our way over there or a flight from Athens - which is best?
  • Possibly could do an overnight ferry.

4. Spend a week in Italy
  • No prior travel booking for trains as I understand the prices don't really change for Italy?
  • Flexible plans - would like to see Amalfi Coast, Rome and Florence. Venice would also be nice, but I feel like it would be difficult to fit that in.

5. From Italy travel across Europe by train and onto Eurostar or Ferry back to the UK
  • Which places should we visit in a week (or slightly more) by train?
    • Would quite like an alps stop for some outdoor activities like mountain biking. Particularly interested in outdoor/natural beauty areas that are easily accessed.


6. End


Questions
How does the plan look? Any suggested amendments? I'm conscious of spending our time just hopping between places!
Any suggestions on Greek Islands?
Route back to Athens?
Most appropriate way to get to Italy from Greece?
Suggestions on places to visit from Italy -> UK.
Advice on trains? I'm thinking railpasses probably won't work out cheaper for this, but not sure on exact route yet.

Thanks!
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BKS
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I think you should decide if you want to spend your time travelling, personally I like getting to see some of the country, or if you want to see the destinations/cities. If you like travelling then fly as little as possible. If you like the destination then maybe get one ferry but fly the rest.

Does the Greece-Italy ferry end somewhere you want to go? If not I'd say fly or you'll have a three art journey which will likely be pretty time consuming given your limited time and the amount of travelling you're doing.

For Greek islands, perhaps stick to just going to Athens then go to ones easy to reach from there to reduce the amount of travel if that's bothering you. Or pick a major one then fly to Athens and just do one more close by one. I assume there are loads of ferrys from Piraeus (practically in Athens) that don't take too long.

I think decide on two places to stop on the way back to London plus Brussels or Paris for a quick stop since you need to go there anywhere (either try to arrive early and leave late or spend more time if you are particularly interested in them). I think don't try to go too far- SE Germany, Switzerland, West France and Luxembourg. Pick a place you really want to go to then look at the trains from there to Paris/Brussels and pick somewhere on the route or where you'd need to change trains anyway. Once you know where exactly you are going then you can work out what's cheapest.

Don't worry so much about not going everywhere and seeing everything, you'll travel plenty more times if you want to, make sure you make the best of the places you do go even if it means you go one less place overall.
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Thanks for your response!

(Original post by BKS)
I think you should decide if you want to spend your time travelling, personally I like getting to see some of the country, or if you want to see the destinations/cities. If you like travelling then fly as little as possible. If you like the destination then maybe get one ferry but fly the rest.
I do like travelling, and I feel that flying will restrict our flexibility as we will have to book far in advance and can't just hop off and have a look at places like you can sometimes with trains.

(Original post by BKS)
Does the Greece-Italy ferry end somewhere you want to go? If not I'd say fly or you'll have a three art journey which will likely be pretty time consuming given your limited time and the amount of travelling you're doing.
It arrives in the South East and I was thinking of making our way from there over to Naples area, perhaps to the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii then up to Rome. Apparently the trains are high speed from Rome so that should help a bit.

(Original post by BKS)
For Greek islands, perhaps stick to just going to Athens then go to ones easy to reach from there to reduce the amount of travel if that's bothering you. Or pick a major one then fly to Athens and just do one more close by one. I assume there are loads of ferrys from Piraeus (practically in Athens) that don't take too long.
Yeah, this is why I was thinking Santorini. I am more interested in the islands than the mainland for this trip, and I feel like Athens + the mainland would be another trip in itself but it's hard to avoid Athens if we want to get to Italy.

(Original post by BKS)
I think decide on two places to stop on the way back to London plus Brussels or Paris for a quick stop since you need to go there anywhere (either try to arrive early and leave late or spend more time if you are particularly interested in them). I think don't try to go too far- SE Germany, Switzerland, West France and Luxembourg. Pick a place you really want to go to then look at the trains from there to Paris/Brussels and pick somewhere on the route or where you'd need to change trains anyway. Once you know where exactly you are going then you can work out what's cheapest.
I've been to Brussels and Luxembourg, although with Paris as the penultimate stop cost is obviously a little bit of a concern. Issue is I'm not exactly sure where I want to go! I'm thinking that maybe Switzerland is a good option for a mountain/outdoor activities stop then it would make sense to carry on through France back to the UK.

(Original post by BKS)
Don't worry so much about not going everywhere and seeing everything, you'll travel plenty more times if you want to, make sure you make the best of the places you do go even if it means you go one less place overall.
Absolutely. I'm trying to be conscious of this as I do want to enjoy the trip rather than dash about all over the place. Some of Italy and some of Greece are the main ambitions.
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