6 weeks from Athens to Istanbul... is it possible?
I am probably the least prepared person in the history of bike-touring 3 weeks out from a trip. Unprepared equipment-wise, but at least I have done a month-long trip once before, in a Kyushu summer here in Japan.
Can I do Athens to Istanbul in 6 weeks: going south island-hopping and over to Turkey's SW corner, maybe inland up to Istanbul. Is this insanity, given the famous Turkish winter and my legendary unpreparedness? Or do-able?
Sure, do-able. Surviveable is debateable. 900-1100 miles by land, so 20-30 miles a day. by sea, even faster. I lived in Turkey for 2 years long ago and survived when my bus slid gently off of the road north of Ankara one winter. The winter roads were not in good shape. Neither were the drivers. A somewhat "As Allah wills" acceptance of fate. If you must do it take boats all the way to Adana then put your bike on a bus to Ankara.
I agree with Ken, Northern Greece this time of year is going to be tough. Very cold and very few places to stay. Taking a boat would be your best option but you could still get stranded on an island if the weather turns for the worst. There are a couple journals on www.crazyguyonabike.com, but I don't remember anyone cycling there this time of year.