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  #1  
Old 12-03-2008
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Italy or Greece?

Some friends and I are beginning to put together a trip in the Mediterranean for 2010. As I am looking to contribute my 2 cents worth I thought I'd look to fellow members for opinions and personal experiences: 1)pros and cons of each of the 2 areas and 2)best time of year/pros and cons of late spring vs early fall. I'll leave it at that for now and if you need more info. let me know. Any information would be very much appreciated!
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Old 12-03-2008
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Having sailed a bit in both areas, they are both great destinations. But if it's one or the other, for vacationing I'd choose Greece.

It is easy to put together a very pleasant, not overly ambitious itinerary among the various island chains in the Aegean. The Dodecanes and Cyclades are especially well suited for island-hopping. You can choose from smaller, less-visited islands, to larger ones with historical attractions and night life, etc, or some combination of the two.

As for timing, I would choose late summer/early fall rather than spring. I think the water would not be overly inviting for swimming in the springtime.

If you go during summer or early fall, you need to read up a bit on the Meltemi -- a diurnal wind that can really blow like stink in certain areas during its season. If you are not a reasonably competent sailor, it could prove challenging and might take some fun out of the experience.

Good luck!
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Old 12-04-2008
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I've not sailed in either but recently got back from 2 weeks in the Greek islands and it was absolutely beautifull.
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Old 12-04-2008
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I forgot to mention, we were there in early October at it blew like stink most of the time. Probably not the best time of the year.
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Old 12-05-2008
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Thanks for the feedback - very helpful. And Prompts a few more questions: for JP - who did you charter with? Bareboat? Captain? For both JP and TS - would Sept. be more agreeable wind-wise than Oct.? Any issues with jellyfish (heard this is more a problem in the fall). Some of us are leaning toward the fall because the water and air temp. should be warmer, more conducive to swimming but there are other factors to be considered as well (jellyfish, wind, other). Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2008
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Don't know for certain but I would think early September would be better. I did not see a single jellyfish while there.
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Old 12-06-2008
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We've done both on flotillas, twice to Greece, and I'd agree to all of John's comments. However, we preferred Croatia.
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During our 2 weeks in the Greek Islands in early October we had high speed ferries canceled twice on us because of wind and sea conditions. The second time the winds we about 50 knots and waves in excess of 10 feet. We ended up taking the "regular" ferry then for about a 12 hour ride! Not pleasant and there were absolutely no ther boats on the water except for a couple of cruise ships. In fact this big monster had trouble docking at one island because of the conditions. I asked our hotel if those conditions were unusual and the answer was no, that they get those conditions 2 or 3 days a month most of the year. That being said, when it wasn't blowing like stink it looked like absolutely georgeous sailing. Most islands are not that far apart and you'll just need to be flexible enough to hole up for a few days if necessary.
We've also been to Croatia and I have to say that that looked great also, as noted by the poster above. I don't think you can go wrong at either location.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by msterns1 View Post
Thanks for the feedback - very helpful. And Prompts a few more questions: for JP - who did you charter with? Bareboat? Captain? For both JP and TS - would Sept. be more agreeable wind-wise than Oct.? Any issues with jellyfish (heard this is more a problem in the fall). Some of us are leaning toward the fall because the water and air temp. should be warmer, more conducive to swimming but there are other factors to be considered as well (jellyfish, wind, other). Thanks.
msterns,

I was not chartering so I can't offer any insight there.

I was sailing in the Aegean during the summer months of June, July, and August. I don't recall seeing any jellyfish while swimming, but we occasionally saw a random one out in deep water while passagemaking.

As summer progressed, the strength of the sun diminished, making it more comfortable (in early/mid-summer, we had temps as high as 49 deg. Celsius). However, while the sun diminished a bit, the Meltemi increased as the summer wore on -- especially in the islands.

Between islands the Meltemi usually accelerates and makes for challenging but fun sailing, Force 6-7-ish. We would often duck under the leeward side of an island for a break, rather than passing it on the windward side with a lee shore below us. The nice part about the Meltemi is that while it blows strong it is a mostly cloudless wind, so it doesn't seem dark and stormy/intimidating.

September would probably be a nice time to charter. Like the U.S., many europeans vacation during August, so you might have fewer tourists.
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Old 12-09-2008
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Re: Italy vs Greece

Thanks much for all the responses. All were very helpful. The vote ended up being for Greece (Italy just seems to be better for land ventures). I personally would have liked Croatia, but most were more interested in Greece. However, the combined feedback plus other sources swayed the group to going in the fall, likely mid. Sept.-early Oct. The Metemi didn't seem to be an issue, interestingly enough. Maybe we'll manage to avoid those 3 days.

Meg

Last edited by msterns1; 12-09-2008 at 09:59 PM. Reason: added name
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