40 days in Chiang Mai, Pattaya & The Balkans Itinerary

40 days in Chiang Mai, Pattaya & The Balkans Itinerary

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1
Chiang Mai, Thailand
— 3 nights
2
Pattaya, Thailand
— 2 nights
3
Istanbul, Turkey
— 5 nights
4
Pamukkale, Turkey
— 2 nights
5
Selcuk, Turkey
— 5 nights
6
Akrotiri, Greece
— 3 nights
7
Heraklion, Greece
— 3 nights
8
Athens, Greece
— 4 nights
9
Kalambaka, Greece
— 1 night
10
Dubrovnik, Croatia
— 4 nights
11
Split, Croatia
— 5 nights

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3
nights
Chiang Mai, Thailand

Rose of the North

Discover the diverse history and culture of northern Thailand during a holiday in Chiang Mai, the largest and most significant city in the region.
Attractions like Nature & Wildlife Tours and Mengrai Kilns make great kid-friendly stops. Get some cultural insight at Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan and Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Take a break from Chiang Mai with a short trip to Maeklang Elephant Conservation Community in Mae Win, about 1h 25 min away. There's lots more to do: relax and rejuvenate at some of the best spas, take in the spiritual surroundings of Wat Phra Singh, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Orthodox Church of St. Vladimir.

To see ratings and other tourist information, go to the Chiang Mai itinerary planner.

Washington DC, USA to Chiang Mai is an approximately 26-hour flight. Traveling from Washington DC to Chiang Mai, you'll lose 12 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer temperatures when traveling from Washington DC in October; daily highs in Chiang Mai reach 90°F and lows reach 73°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 12th (Sat) so you can travel to Pattaya.

Things to do in Chiang Mai

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 9 — 12:
Highlights from your plan
Nature & Wildlife Tours
Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan ©
Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

2
nights
Pattaya, Thailand

Pattaya ©

Resort City

Famous for its nightlife and activity-filled seafront, Pattaya remains a major party destination for tourists and expats in Thailand.
Start off your visit on the 13th (Sun): take in the spiritual surroundings of The Sanctuary Of Truth, head off the coast to Koh Larn, and then don't miss a visit to Walking Street Pattaya. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 14th (Mon): get your game on at Megabreak Pool Hall, get your game on at Ripley's World Pattaya, and then stop by Tailor Paul The Designer.

To find ratings, maps, where to stay, and more tourist information, read our Pattaya travel planner.

Traveling by flight from Chiang Mai to Pattaya takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or take a bus. In October, daytime highs in Pattaya are 88°F, while nighttime lows are 76°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) so you can travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Pattaya

Fun & Games · Nature · Parks · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Oct 12 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Megabreak Pool Hall ©
Megabreak Pool Hall
The Sanctuary Of Truth ©
The Sanctuary Of Truth
Koh Larn ©
Koh Larn

5
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Bring the kids along to Hagia Sophia Museum and Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern. There's much more to do: get engrossed in the history at Chora Museum, admire the masterpieces at Istanbul Modern, enjoy breathtaking views from Galata Tower, and browse the eclectic array of goods at Kapali Carsi.

For ratings, reviews, other places to visit, and tourist information, go to the Istanbul online trip itinerary builder.

You can do a combination of bus and flight from Pattaya to Istanbul in 16 hours. Traveling from Pattaya to Istanbul, you'll gain 4 hours due to the time zone difference. Expect slightly colder weather when traveling from Pattaya in October: highs in Istanbul hover around 76°F, while lows dip to 73°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Sun) to allow enough time to travel to Pamukkale.

Things to do in Istanbul

Find places to stay Oct 15 — 20:
Highlights from your plan
Hagia Sophia Museum ©
Hagia Sophia Museum
Topkapi Palace ©
Topkapi Palace
Sultan Ahmed Mosque ©
Sultan Ahmed Mosque

2
nights
Pamukkale, Turkey

Pamukkale ©

Cotton Castle

A popular spa since the second century BCE, the modern city of Pamukkale continues to draw worldwide attention with its hot springs and travertines--naturally formed calcite bathing pools.
Kick off your visit on the 21st (Mon): explore the different monuments and memorials at Anatolia Cemetery, delve into the distant past at Hierapolis, and then take in the natural beauty of Pamukkale Thermal Pools. On the 22nd (Tue), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: Head underground at Kaklik Cave, enjoy unforgettable views with a balloon tour, and then get the adrenaline pumping with an extreme tour.

To see where to stay, photos, other places to visit, and other tourist information, read Pamukkale road trip planner.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Pamukkale takes 4.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of bus and taxi. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 22nd (Tue) to allow time to drive to Selcuk.

Things to do in Pamukkale

Historic Sites · Nature · Parks · Tours
Find places to stay Oct 20 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Hierapolis ©
Hierapolis
Pamukkale Thermal Pools ©
Pamukkale Thermal Pools
Anatolia Cemetery ©
Anatolia Cemetery

5
nights
Selcuk, Turkey

Selcuk ©
An ideal base camp for exploring the Aegean coastline, Selcuk draws big tourist crowds due to its proximity to the ancient city of Ephesus.
Get a sense of the local culture at Ancient City of Ephesus and Ephesus Terrace Houses. Attractions like Bibliotheque de Celsus and Public Latrine make great kid-friendly stops. There's still lots to do: explore the ancient world of Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu, see the interesting displays at Camlik Locomotive Museum, make a trip to Arcadian Way, and get to know the fascinating history of Mermerli Yol.

To see photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Selcuk tour itinerary maker website.

You can drive from Pamukkale to Selcuk in 3 hours. Another option is to take a bus. In October, daily temperatures in Selcuk can reach 76°F, while at night they dip to 54°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) to allow time to travel to Akrotiri.

Things to do in Selcuk

Historic Sites · Museums
Find places to stay Oct 22 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Ancient City of Ephesus ©
Ancient City of Ephesus
Bibliotheque de Celsus ©
Bibliotheque de Celsus
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu ©
Efes Antik Kenti Tiyatrosu

3
nights
Akrotiri, Greece

Akrotiri ©

Greek Pompeii

Located on Santorini's southwestern coastline, the small village of Akrotiri sits just a short walk from one of Europe's most significant Bronze Age archaeological sites.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Akrotiri and Venetsanos Winery. Kids will appreciate attractions like Experience Horse Riding and Nea Kameni. There's lots more to do: enjoy the sand and surf at Red Beach, stroll through Vlychada Beach, see the interesting displays at Tomato Industrial Museum, D.Nomikos, and surround yourself with nature on a nature and wildlife tour.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, photos, and more tourist information, go to the Akrotiri travel planner.

You can do a combination of taxi, ferry, bus, and flight from Selcuk to Akrotiri in 8.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of taxi and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Selcuk to Akrotiri, you'll gain 1 hour due to the time zone difference. Plan for somewhat warmer nights when traveling from Selcuk in October since evenings lows in Akrotiri dip to 63°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 30th (Wed) to allow enough time to ride a ferry to Heraklion.

Things to do in Akrotiri

Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Wildlife

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 27 — 30:
Highlights from your plan
Experience Horse Riding ©
Experience Horse Riding
Akrotiri ©
Akrotiri
Red Beach ©
Red Beach

3
nights
Heraklion, Greece

Heraklion ©
Crete's largest city, Heraklion remains best known for its proximity to a sprawling Bronze Age archaeological site, once the center of a vanished Minoan civilization.
Kids will enjoy The Palace of Knossos and Heraklion Archaeological Museum. Get a sense of the local culture at The Natural History Museum of Crete and Kazantzakis Museum. Explore Heraklion's surroundings by going to Matala beach (in Matala) and Reptisland (in Melidoni). There's still lots to do: get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Saint Titus, and get engrossed in the history at Historical Museum of Crete.

To find where to stay, more things to do, and tourist information, use the Heraklion visit planner.

You can ride a ferry from Akrotiri to Heraklion in 2.5 hours. In October, daily temperatures in Heraklion can reach 75°F, while at night they dip to 64°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 2nd (Sat) so you can travel to Athens.

Things to do in Heraklion

Museums · Parks · Historic Sites · Beaches

Side Trips

Find places to stay Oct 30 — Nov 2:
Highlights from your plan
Reptisland ©
Reptisland
The Palace of Knossos ©
The Palace of Knossos
Heraklion Archaeological Museum ©
Heraklion Archaeological Museum

4
nights
Athens, Greece

Athens ©

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Kids will enjoy Acropolis of Athens and National Archaeological Museum. Do some cultural sightseeing at Acropolis Museum and Fortress Palamidi. Go for a jaunt from Athens to Mycenae to see Archaeological Site Mycenae about 1h 30 min away. The adventure continues: take a stroll through Plaka, take in the awesome beauty at Mount Lycabettus, explore the world behind art at Benaki Museum, and pause for some photo ops at Temple of Olympian Zeus.

For more things to do, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, read Athens online road trip planner.

You can fly from Heraklion to Athens in 3 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry and taxi; or ride a ferry. In November, daily temperatures in Athens can reach 67°F, while at night they dip to 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 6th (Wed) early enough to drive to Kalambaka.

Things to do in Athens

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Nature

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 2 — 6:
Highlights from your plan
Acropolis of Athens ©
Acropolis of Athens
Acropolis Museum ©
Acropolis Museum
Plaka ©
Plaka

1
night
Kalambaka, Greece

Kalambaka ©
The gateway to one of the largest monastery complexes in Greece, the small town of Kalambaka nestles against a landscape of imposing rock formations rising 400 m (1,300 ft) into the air. Nearly leveled during World War II, the town rebuilt and reinvented itself in the post-war period, quickly becoming one of the region's major travel destinations.
Start off your visit on the 7th (Thu): contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada), take in the spiritual surroundings of Monastery of the Great Meteoron, then take in nature's colorful creations at Varlaam Monastery, and finally take in the spiritual surroundings of Meteora.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Kalambaka trip itinerary builder website.

You can drive from Athens to Kalambaka in 4 hours. Other options are to take a train; or take a bus. Prepare for little chillier weather when traveling from Athens in November: high temperatures in Kalambaka hover around 56°F and lows are around 41°F. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 7th (Thu) so you can go by car to Dubrovnik.

Things to do in Kalambaka

Historic Sites · Parks
Find places to stay Nov 6 — 7:
Highlights from your plan
Meteora ©
Meteora
Monastery of the Great Meteoron ©
Monastery of the Great Meteoron
Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada) ©
Holy Trinity Monastery (Agia Triada)

4
nights
Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik ©

Pearl of the Adriatic

Along the Dalmation Coast, the city of Dubrovnik has become famous for its pedestrian-only Old Town surrounded by fortress walls, and its historical heft has earned it World Heritage Site status.
Family-friendly places like Old Town and Zarkovica Animal Shelter will thrill your kids. Do some cultural sightseeing at Dubrovnik City Walls and War Photo Limited. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Dubrovnik: Vino Spaleta (in Kuna Peljeska) and Ston (Church, St. Nicholas & Marlais Winery). There's much more to do: step off the mainland to explore Lokrum Island, enjoy breathtaking views from Upper Corner Tower Foundry Museum, steep yourself in history at Fort Lovrijenac, and admire the masterpieces at Vlaho Bukovac House.

For ratings, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, you can read our Dubrovnik trip planner.

Getting from Kalambaka to Dubrovnik by car takes about 10.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of train and flight; or do a combination of bus and flight. The time zone changes from Eastern European Standard Time (EET) to Central European Standard Time (CET), which is usually a -1 hour difference. In November, Dubrovnik is a bit warmer than Kalambaka - with highs of 62°F and lows of 49°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 11th (Mon) to allow enough time to drive to Split.

Things to do in Dubrovnik

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 7 — 11:
Highlights from your plan
Dubrovnik City Walls ©
Dubrovnik City Walls
Old Town ©
Old Town
Lokrum Island ©
Lokrum Island

5
nights
Split, Croatia

Split ©

Sportiest City in the World

Experience an authentic Adriatic lifestyle in Split, the largest city along the sea's coast.
Your cultural itinerary includes sights like Palazzo di Diocleziano and Franciscan Monastery. Bring the kids along to Spanjola and Galerija Mestrovic. Venture out of the city with trips to Dubovica Beach (in Zarace), Zoo Station Bol (in Bol) and Museum of Brac (in Skrip). There's still lots to do: appreciate the history behind Cathedral of Saint Domnius, test your team's savvy at popular escape rooms, and explore the world behind art at Mestroviceve Crikvine Kastilac.

To find other places to visit, reviews, traveler tips, and tourist information, you can read our Split driving holiday planner.

Traveling by car from Dubrovnik to Split takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can fly; or take a bus. In November in Split, expect temperatures between 64°F during the day and 53°F at night. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 16th (Sat) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Split

Side Trips

Find places to stay Nov 11 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Palazzo di Diocleziano ©
Palazzo di Diocleziano
Spanjola ©
Spanjola
Franciscan Monastery ©
Franciscan Monastery

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