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Lonely Planet's Laura Lindsay answers your travel questions

Q. I’m planning to spend about 10-14 days travelling through Turkey, Greece and Croatia in August, before heading to Aus. Can you suggest the best use of my limited time? I’d like to visit Istanbul, Santorini, and Dubrovnik if possible, but what’s the best route/ way to get around? Shezza, via email

I have to say that this seems like a crazy route, given your time frame! My advice would be to focus your two weeks on a specific area, spending less time on trains and buses and more time experiencing the destinations. Istanbul is an incredible city and deserves at least four days exploration if you want to really get to the heart of the city. Similarly, if you travel to Greece to visit Santorini, you should also take some time to explore other parts of the country, as it is incredibly diverse. Greece has more than 2000 islands – it would be a shame to only visit one! I would, however, advise that you keep an eye on the economic crisis in Greece as many services could be affected, including transport.

Perhaps focus your trip along the coast of Croatia to combine culture, history and island hopping. Jadrolinija is one of Croatia’s main ferry companies and has a large number of routes starting in Split, including to the islands of Vis and Korcula. A great option from Split is to visit Hvar, Croatia’s flashiest island packed with mega-yachts. Alternatively, you could combine exploration of parts of Greece and Turkey together, spending time in Istanbul, Athens
and taking in a few of the Greek islands.

 

Q. What is the best/ cheapest way to get to Cinque Terre, the five villages on the Italian Riveria? John, via email

There are a number of ways to visit Cinque Terre. You can reach it from the UK by flying into Genoa or Pisa. You can fly to Genoa from London with Ryanair (Stansted) and British Airways (Gatwick) and to Pisa with Ryanair (Stansted) and easyJet (Gatwick and Luton). The most convenient ways to reach this stretch of coast from the airport are by boat or train. Cars are only allowed as far as the village entrances, meaning drivers must pay to park

in a designated car park nearby. Hopping on the train is a much more relaxing and direct method as it runs between Genoa and La Spezia, stopping at each of Cinque Terre’s villages. You can purchase a Cinque Terre card, which includes unlimited second-class train travel between the five towns, as well as unlimited use of the walking paths and electric village buses. You can purchase the card in the Cinque Terre park offices for £7 (one day) and £12 (two days).

A summer alternative is to climb aboard the boat service that runs from Genoa. A return will cost about £27 (golfoparadiso.it). When you arrive, you can continue to travel by boat, as a daily shuttle runs between all of the Cinque Terre villages except Corniglia (navigazionegolfodeipoeti.it), costing about £15 one-way including all stops, £19 return on weekdays and about £20 on weekends. I’d also advise you book accommodation well in advance.

 

Readers’ Tips

City Slicker

If you are flying from or to London City Airport, leave the check-in until a few hours before your flight. If the flight isn’t full, you are guaranteed a row to yourself. Just pick a seat at the back of the plane a few hours before departure (not in the very last rows, though, as these are popular spots) and chances are you’ll be sitting by yourself. Works every time for me!
Barbs, via email

Planned Engineering

When in New York, download a subway app so you can check service announcements. There are no rules on the weekends – there are always changes due to engineering works (kinda like in London).
Mia Radysh, via Facebook


Image: Getty Images

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Travel tips from Lonely Planet guru: must-see destinations in Turkey, Greece and Croatia and city breaks in Italy
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