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Transportation from Sicily to Greece??

C-and-C

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  • Added on: October 12th, 2006
Is there a recommended (and cost-efficient) method of transportation to get from Sicily to Greece?

My boyfriend and I will be travelling in Italy for a month, making our way down to Sicily (4 days), then hopefully heading over to Greece to visit Athens (5 days) and the Greek Islands: Mykonos, Santorini, Crete (9 days).

Any transportation or itinerary suggestions would be greatly appreciated- thank you!!
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makrotantalo

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  • Added on: October 14th, 2006
There used to be a boat that went direct from Catania to Piraeus, but I don't think it exists any more. Your best bet is probably to cross the Messina Straits to Reggio di Calabria on the Italian mainland and take a train from there to Brindisi, from where you can catch the ferryboat to Patras. Alternatively, Alpine wings used to do cheap flights from Palermo/Catania to Athens, but I think they've discontinued this service, I'm afraid. Always worth checking.

b0neman

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  • Added on: October 17th, 2006
Here's a link for some Greek ferry action:

http://www.greekferries.gr/

Now, consider that the ocean travel leg will take you 24 hours alone and you won't be anywhere near Sicily to start it. You'll probably ( and here's where the rest of the Bootsnall'rs can correct me/smack me up the head ) need to get transport from Palermo to Brindisi or Bari and take your boat across from there. When you land in Greece, you'll be at either Igoumenitsa or Patras and will have to figure out the Bus/Train route to Athens. It's not impossible since that's what the Greek folks do, but it is a bit inconvenient. Igoumenitsa would be a LOOOONG haul back to Athens.

I'd look into Olympic Airlines and see what they offer from Palermo to Greece by way of Roma. I did it the other way around and outside of a stupid error in judgement that had me sleeping overnight in Rome Airport, I was quite happy. Cost was about 100EUR in February 2006.

Enjoy and Kalinichta!
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gonorth

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  • Added on: October 17th, 2006
Yep, ferry from Bari or Brindisi to Patras and having done Brindisi to Patras via Corfu for a few days, catching train direct to Athens was right from port area from recall and no great delay.

The onset of budget airlines could make it cheaper by air if a bit weird like having to fly to Rome or even Venice.
Have a look at www.attitudetravel.com and alpieeagles does Palermo - Venice- Athens
windjet will get you to Rome
volaweb to Bara or Brindisi via Milan! could save time & $s, the ferry/train not being a bad way to go.
Myair, I've seen reference to doing Milan to Santorini and going there could be an option to consider if then getting ferries back to Athens is suitable to you, the islands much more enjoyable than Athens in some ways.
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C-and-C

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  • Added on: October 17th, 2006
Thank you everyone for your replies- it's very helpful to get insider advice. Seeing as there's no easy (or quick) route from Sicily, would you all advise skipping Sicily all together or is this a must-see destination on our travels? I realize that's a very subjective question... I'm just wondering if 4 days is worth all the travelling. Thanks again for your help-
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gonorth

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  • Added on: October 17th, 2006
I've got nothing against Sicily but have never been there either, but unless you have a specific reason other than trying to meet a Godfather Smile in going there, and are just looking to get biggest bang for buck and time, it will make sense to look at just not destinations but getting between.

It depends on where you're starting and what you're really after, but there's certainly different routes you can follow that could have you getting various Meditteranean experiences that could well be similar to Sicily.

If your trip is soon and by keeping south, you're looking to keep to warmer climes and if you are flying into Rome, some options could be heading across to Sardinia, less developed than Sicily or to Adriatic Coast to slip across to Slip and back before getting a train to Bari/Brindisi and onto Corfu (another option) and Greece.

You'll find that some ferries are part of the www.eurail.com network and particularly with two travelling together, might be some value in checking out Eurail passes.
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makrotantalo

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  • Added on: October 18th, 2006
I don't wish to sound obtuse, gonorth, but the Sicilian experience is very different from other Mediterranean experiences - for example, its history - absolutely unique. And as far as visiting a Godfather is concerned, this tiresome stereotype detracts from so much else that is worth while in Sicily and makes it unique. I challenge you to find a church built on the Doric columns of an ancient temple; inside of this church you will find Byzantine frescoes, a Norman archway, Spanish altar, arabesque porticos. And that's a small church in Agrigento... I challenge you to find another Valley of the Temples, another Siracusa - Ortygia, another intact baroque town like Noto, (perhaps there are on Mainland Italy).
As for remoteness, try the Albanian villages in the interior, get married in Mafia town Corleone (if you must live vicariously) and visit the splendid Norman Castle built on an ancient 'sacred bordello' (temple of Aphrodite) in Erice and get vertiginous from the stunning view up there. There is plenty off-the-beaten track kinds of places too. You can go and have a look at the gorge near Piana Degli Albanesi where a famous Communist leader was murdered by the Mafia in league with bandits, and you've only just started! In Sicily you have the whole of Wetsern European history encapsulated; and, intriguingly, the Arabic world as well. No, Sicily is not like any other place in the Mediterranean, and if you show an interest in the place, you should go.

gonorth

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  • Added on: October 18th, 2006
Makrotantalo, I think you are somewhat confirming what I had said in that "unless you have specific reasons" and in making light Smile! but as you have yourself offered, there is mafia history as well.

I was simply giving lust2wander some suggestions as to what could be looked at to ease the transportation issue.
But no doubt you may have wetted the appetite more for Sicily and four days may hardly be enough time to do it justice.
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b0neman

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  • Added on: October 18th, 2006
Makro beat me to it...

DO NOT MISS Sicily. If only for the fact that you can make your way to Segesta and see and touch one of the best examples of Greek/Roman temples on Earth. As mentioned, there's the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. Then when you finally make the climb up the Acropolis in Athens you can compare your experience. Erice is another great place to visit. On the east coast you have Taormina and, of course, some of the smaller towns next to Mount Etna.

When you go, RENT A CAR. That's really the only way to see the place. The rail system isn't really designed for hopping from town to town easily like it is on the "boot." With a car, 4 days will be plenty of time to see a good deal of the island. Just plant yourself somewhere in the middle and you can day trip it all over the place.

Costra Nostra types don't care about tourista trash. They need you alive to take all your money anyway!

Enjoy and Ciao!
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