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3 replies
Athens to Palermo, Italy
ChicagoMurph
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We (four of us) are planning on traveling from Athens to Palermo, Italy at the end of October 2009 to explore Sicily for four or five days. I have several questions. 1. What would be the best (shortest time; best $ value) method of travel: a) train – ferry – train or b) car – ferry – train or c) ? We will be renting a car for the time we will spend in Greece.

2. Would purchasing a Eurail Pass be worth it?

3. Can you rent a car in Greece and take it to Italy?

4. Would a trip to Naples be doable? We have roughly eight days before we have to get back to Athens.

Thanks!

oldlady
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I’d look for a flight before making any decisions. A cheap flight will save considerable time and may save money for this trip. Use www.whichbudget.com to see which low fare airlines fly which routes and check our “cheap flights” forum for more help and suggestions.

IMO, a Eurail pass will only be worth it if you end up taking the ferry, and maybe not then. Which ferry (which port in Greece to which port in Italy?) are you taking?

You could rent a car in Greece and take it on the ferry to Italy, but my guess is that it will be prohibitively expensive, although returning to Greece may cut down the the huge drop charges for renting in one country and returning in another. However, I think you’re going to find all the ferries very expensive if you take a car. Check Orbitz, travelocity, expedia for starters. If it looks remotely possible then post back here — maybe somebody can come up with.

Palermo to Naples is 9 hours on the fastest train (trains are loaded onto ferries), not doable as a day trip. Flying usually ends up taking 4 or 5 hours each way by the time you add in time to get to/from airports, check-in time, security time and flight time, so IMO there the only day trips that work with a flight are packaged tours. Why do you want to go to Naples????

ChicagoMurph
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oldlady

Thanks for the response. I checked your whichbudget link and there are no direct flights from Athens to Palermo or return. Any other way would be more than expensive and we don’t want to spend all day in airports.

According to the Eurail pass info the ferry is free for walking passengers (deckside all the way though). There are ferries from Patra to Bari. If you book quarters, it would be a third to half price off and we wouldn’t be charged a day of travel on Eurail pass. I haven’t checked what taking a car would cost. I still haven’t gotten an answer about taking a rental car from Greece to Italy

Is Naples not worth seeing?

ChicagoMurph

oldlady
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Quote:
If you book quarters, it would be a third to half price off and we wouldn’t be charged a day of travel on Eurail pass.
Free passage does use a day of the railpass, but only 1 day and you’re allowed to choose which day (departure day or arrival day) to mark on your pass for an overnight ferry. A discount does not use a day of the railpass.

Since you’ve got a couple of days wrapped up in getting from Athens to Palermo, you should check air service between a number of different cities in Greece and a number of arrival points in Italy. Plane plus train is going to be a whole lot faster than train-ferry-train-ferry.

Naples is not a favorite for me and that’s the general opinion you’ll see if you spend some time looking around this website, but there are those who love the place and others who say it’s worth a day.