In just under two weeks, you can easily tour Greece’s capital, mainland, and islands. Make your way from Athens to the Cycladic islands to Crete at a slower pace, or pack in guided historical tours or adventurous activities as you hop through the same destinations. You can also elect to explore one specific region, such as Crete or the Greek mainland, where you can discover unique villages and get a feel for the area’s history and culture. Read on for some great itineraries that make the most of a 12-day trip.

Itinerary #1: Relaxed Athens, Santorini, Naxos & Mykonos

Get a taste of Athens before soaking up the rays on the spectacular beaches of three incredible Cycladic islands: Santorini, Naxos, and Mykonos. In this trip plan, you’ll explore each memorable destination in laid-back vacation mode, with lots of time to swim in the sea, explore ancient ruins, and bike through charming villages.

Approaching the main port on Naxos
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Welcome Dinner Athens
Day 2 Athens Food Tour Athens
Day 3 Athens to Santorini Santorini
Day 4 Santorini Catamaran Cruise Santorini
Day 5 Ferry to Naxos Naxos
Day 6 Naxos Beaches and Villages Bike Tour Naxos
Day 7 Cooking Class on Naxos Naxos
Day 8 Beach Day on Naxos Naxos
Day 9 Ferry to Mykonos Mykonos
Day 10 Farm Visit and Mykonian Dinner Mykonos
Day 11 Mykonos Beach Day Mykonos
Day 12 Return to Athens, Sunset at Cape Sounion Athens
Day 13 Depart Athens  

Begin with two days in Athens, where you can explore neighborhoods — like the ancient Plaka and the super hit Pangrati — and wander the grounds of the iconic Acropolis and Parthenon before enjoying a delicious welcome dinner. The next day, taste the city with a guided food tour, then spend the rest of the day exploring Athens based on your preferred pace and preference. 

The next morning, it’s time for island vibes when you transfer to the iconic volcanic shores of Santorini. Make the most of your next two days: wander the island’s walking paths, sack out on any number of vividly-color strips of sand, or check out museums devoted to folklore and archeology. You’ll also board a semi-private catamaran, on which you’ll glide to remote coves, the prehistoric city at Akrotiri, and the mineral-rich hot springs at Nea Kameni.

On day five, you’ll hop to Naxos, where you’ll have several days to explore this gem of an island by beach, bike, and taste. You can enjoy watersports, hike Mount Zas, visit the Temple of Demeter at Sangri, or find your own isolated paradise on remotes strips of sand (the remote Aliko beach is even lined with cedar trees). You’ll spin through a smattering of charming villages on an easy, guided bike tour of the island, and you’ll master local cuisine in a seasonal cooking class set in the home kitchen of a local in the village of Kaloxylos.

The glittering beaches of glamorous Mykonos welcome you for the next three days of relaxation. You’ll be prepared to explore the glitzy island thanks to personalized recommendations from your specialist: go windsurfing or sailing at Ftelia Beach, discover local art galleries, or relax in style with bountiful amenities on the popular Platis Gialos beach. You’ll also meet the Mykonian community through its food, thanks to a guided visit to a local farm, culminating in a beautiful traditional dinner at the home of an islander. 

On day twelve, you’ll return to the mainland, where you’ll visit the Athenian Riveria and the Temple of Poseidon, where you can give thanks to the god of the sea for your epic adventures in the Cyclades. After a final night in Athens, taking in the lights of the Acropolis or dancing at a beach bar, you’ll depart the following morning. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Historic Athens, Mainland Greece, Cyclades & Crete

Buckle up for a non-stop journey through time on this itinerary dedicated to satiate history buffs. You’ll take a guided tour of the Acropolis and stellar sites near Athens then you'll hop to Mykonos, Delos, Santorini, and Crete.

Ancient Minoan ruins in Akrotiri
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens Athens
Day 2 Guided Acropolis Visit Athens
Day 3 Day Trip to Delphi Athens
Day 4 Athens to Mykonos Mykonos
Day 5 Day Trip to Delos Mykonos
Day 6 Mykonos to Santorini Santorini
Day 7 Discover Prehistoric Akrotiri, Ferry to Crete Heraklion
Day 8 Tour Knossos and Heraklion, Travel to Chania Chania
Day 9 Ancient Aptera Tour Chania
Day 10 Return to Athens, Visit Archaeological Site of Eleusis Athens
Day 11 Day Trip to Mycenae and Nafplio Athens
Day 12 Museums and Cape Sounion Sunset Tour Athens
Day 13 Depart Athens  

Your investigation into the history of Greece life and culture begins in Athens, where you can visit the National Museum and relax over drinks and dinner before enjoying a guided tour of the sacred rock of the Acropolis. After you learn about the entire complex, which dates back to the 5th century BCE, discover Anafiotika, the oldest neighborhood in Athens. On day three, you can seek out the oracle at Delphi and wander the scenic footpaths once used by worshipers of the god Pan. 

It’s off to the islands on day four, when you transfer to the gorgeous sands of Mykonos. Take the day to read on a secluded beach or stroll through the 18th-century charm of Little Venice. The next morning you’ll cruise to Delos for a guided tour of this mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. You’ll hop over to Santorini, crowned by a volcanic caldera, on day six: explore the island via walking paths, linger over ouzo in a traditional seaside taverna, or dig your toes in the black sands of stunning Perissa beach. 

The next morning, a guide will help you discover the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri, a potential inspiration for the lost city of Atlantis. Take in the well-preserved streets (thanks to a volcanic eruption), and complement your tour with a visit to the Museum of Prehistoric Thera before you ferry to the island of Crete in time for dinner. On day eight, you’ll plunge into the lore around the 3,500-year-old Palace of Knossos, the legendary home to King Minos, and the labyrinth Daedalus supposedly designed to help cage the mythological minotaur. Spend your final day in the Cyclades learned about the powerful ancient city of Aptera, which was destroyed by an earthquake long ago. 

On day ten, you’ll return to the mainland, where you’ll travel Hiera Odos road to unravel the Eleusian Mysteries at the archeological ruins of Eleusis, which was the initiation site for the ancient cult of Demeter. The next morning, pack your copy of The Iliad for your guided tour of Mycenae, home to the ancient power couple of King Agamemnon and Helen (before she was Helen of Troy), as well as mysteriously-constructed Cyclopic walls. Wind down later at the charming seaside town of Nafplio and the unmissable Bourtzi Castle, which sits in the middle of the bay. 

Spend your last day in Athens relaxing or visiting gems like the Archaeological Museum of Keraeikos before you travel down to Cape Sounion for a sunset tour of the Athenian Riviera and the Temple of Poseidon. Enjoy a late dinner in Athens and rest up before your departure the following morning. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Active Athens, Mainland Greece, Cyclades & Crete

Adventurers will love exploring Greece by foot, bike, and kayak on this trip plan that also includes a fishing excursion and trekking the lush Samaria Gorge. 

Trekking Samaria Gorge
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Welcome Dinner Athens
Day 2 Day Trip to Meteora Athens
Day 3 Fishing Boat Adventure in the Saronic Gulf Athens
Day 4 Ferry to Tinos Tinos
Day 5 Volax to Agape Hike Tinos
Day 6 Ferry to Naxos Naxos
Day 7 Naxos Beaches and Villages Bike Tour Naxos
Day 8 Travel to Chania Chania
Day 9 Trek Samaria Gorge Chania
Day 10 Cretan Delicacies Day Trip Chania
Day 11 Return to Athens, Sunset at Cape Sounion Athens
Day 12 Karathona Beach Kayaking Nafplio
Day 13 Return to Athens, Depart  

Your journey begins with three days in Athens, with the opportunity to check out iconic landmarks like the Parthenon and a scenic train ride to visit the stunning clifftop monasteries of Meteora. You’ll also board a kaiki, a traditional fishing boat, for an angling adventure in the Saronic Gulf. A professional fisherman will teach you traditional paragradi methods to help you reel in your catch, and you’ll spend some time on Fleves island, where you can fish, swim, or simply lounge on the beach. 

On day four, you’ll head to the island of Tinos, famous for Panagia Evangelistria, a church sacred to pilgrims all over. Taste locally brewed beer and dip in the surf before embarking on a moderate hike from the lunar landscape of Volax to the panoramic views of Agape. The hike itself takes 3.5 to 4 hours, but you can extend your adventure by two or three hours if you elect to tack on some time to swim and relax.

You’ll spend the next two days on Naxos, where you’ll take an easy bike ride through the island’s charming villages and can summit Mount Zas, visit the Portara (the entrance to the unfinished Temple of Apollo) or rejuvenate on the sands of Orkos beach. Then, it’s off to Crete for three days to uncover history, nature, and local cuisine. Sack out on the pink-sand shores of Elafonissi beach or wander the Venetian harbor, then tie on your sturdiest shoes for a five-hour hike of the verdant Samaria Gorge, followed by a boat trip to the serene Chora Sfakion. Finally, taste the local flavor with a guided tour of Cretan delicacies, and meet the island’s farmers and best food specialist. 

The mainland awaits on day eleven when you’ll tour Cape Sounion’s stunning views and ancient sites at sunset, then rest up before tomorrow’s big day in the bay, when you’ll paddle out for a four-hour kayaking trip around Karathona Beach. The next morning, enjoy your last breakfast in Greece, then head back to Athens for your departure. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Athens and Crete Family Adventure

This family-friendly trip plan starts with an introduction to Greek mythology and history in Athens, followed by a full exploration of the island of Crete. Laze at the beach, trek through a gorge, ride horses, and learn about local cuisine.

Splashing around on Crete
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Welcome Dinner Athens
Day 2 Acropolis and Ancient Greek Mythology Tour Athens
Day 3 Athens to Chania Chania
Day 4 Old Town of Chania Tour Chania
Day 5 Trek Samaria Gorge Chania
Day 6 Chania Beach Day Chania
Day 7 Explore the Villages of Apokoronas Chania
Day 8 Family Cooking in the Botanical Park, Travel to Vamos Vamos
Day 9 Douliana & Almyrida Nature Walk and Beach Visit From Vamos Vamos
Day 10 Cretan Delicacies Vamos Tour Vamos
Day 11 Knossos, Heraklion, and Rethymno Day Trip Vamos
Day 12 Horseback Riding at Kournas Lake Vamos
Day 13 Return to Athens, Depart  

You and your family will arrive in Athens, where you’ll have two days to uncover the magic of the capital and its incredible ancient neighborhoods. You’ll also learn about ancient Athenian landmarks (including the Acropolis) with a guide who will teach you about the origins of famous myths. On day three, you’ll trade city life for island vibes when you transfer to Crete. You’ll first stay in the gorgeous town of Chania, home to a lively harbor and a nearby pink-sand beach. 

Get to know Chania and its history on day four thanks to a guided tour of its Old Town; you’ll learn about local history, tradition, and — best of all — the delicious food. The next morning, adventure awaits in Samaria Gorge, where you’ll take off on an easy, family-friendly five-hour trek through lush flora and fauna. Rest assured that you’ll have a full day of fun in the sea and sand on day six when you can take your pick of Chania’s fantastic beaches for some relaxing family time. 

On day seven, dive deeper into the island’s history and secrets on a guided tour of the villages of Apokoronas: highlights include a glassblowing factory in Kokkino Chorio, an ancient tomb (dating back to the 13th century BCE) in Aptera, and the remains of what was thought to be a fossilized sea siren in Stilos. Head for the cool shade of avocado groves and beautiful biodiversity the next day, when you’ll tour the gorgeous grounds of the Botanical Park and Gardens of Crete; you’ll even harvest ingredients from the gardens and use them in a family cooking class onsite. 

After spending the night in a traditional village guesthouse in Vamos, you’ll explore the abandoned villages of historic Doulina on a guided nature walk that culminates on the shallow shores of Almyrida, a resort town full of great tavernas and plenty of amenities. The next day, get a taste of Crete with the help of an expert, as you tour the island’s delicacies and culinary traditions; you’ll meet local farmers and food purveyors and, of course, will have the opportunity to sample the island’s many delicious treats. 

Travel back through time on day eleven as you explore the ancient Minoan archeological sites in Heraklion and at the 3,500-year-old Palace of Knossos, the mythological home of King Minos and his infamous Minotaur. Then it’s off to Rethymno, a seaside town distinguished as Crete's cultural and intellectual capital. 

You’ll start your final day on the island with an amazing horseback ride around the azure waters of Kournas Lake; the easy ride is appropriate for all ages. Have a delicious traditional lunch after, then return for more time in Rethymno before you spend your last evening in Vamos. The next morning, you’ll return to Athens to head home or onto your next epic family adventure. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Mainland Greece Road Trip 

Explore the Greek mainland on this trip plan around the Peloponnese. You’ll discover Athen’s mythology and mystery before hitting the road to see ancient sites and wander the grounds of medieval castles.

The traditional fishing village of Limeni
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Welcome Dinner Athens
Day 2 Acropolis and Ancient Greek Mythology Tour Athens
Day 3 Athens Food Tour Athens
Day 4 Travel to Nafplio Nafplio
Day 5 Nemea Winery Exploration Nafplio
Day 6 Mycenae and Epidaurus Day Trip Nafplio
Day 7 Castle of Mystras Mystras
Day 8 Travel to Monemvasia Monemvasia
Day 9 Areopoli & Mani Peninsula Areopoli
Day 10 Pylos & Palace of Nestor Pylos
Day 11 Olympia Archaeological Site to Nafpaktos Nafpaktos
Day 12 Visit Delphi, Travel to Galaxidi Galaxidi
Day 13 Return to Athens, Depart  

Make the most of city life with three days in Athens: you can visit your choice of museums and art galleries before touring the unforgettable Acropolis and other Athenian landmarks on a guided tour of the city’s legend and history. You’ll also taste your way through town on a food tour, as an expert will help you sample the flavors of Syntagma Square, Varvakios Market, and the city’s fantastic spice street. 

Speaking of streets, you’ll hit the road on day four, stopping first at the scenic seaside town of Nafplio, where you can hike up to the medieval Palamidi castle and wander streets dotted with Ottoman fountains and Venetian architecture. It’s off to Nemea the next day for a lesson in the region’s wines; you’ll visit three wineries, sipping along the way, and will enjoy a delicious lunch, accompanied by more perfectly paired varietals.

On day six, you’ll visit two cherished UNESCO heritage sites: the ancient city of Mycenae (with its unmissable Cyclopic walls) and Epidaurus, home to a theater erected in the third century. If you time your trip just right, you may be able to watch a performance on the stone stage. Next, you’ll travel to Morea to see the Byzantine citadel of Mystras, a fortified town built in the 13th century but ultimately abandoned in 1832, leaving behind centuries of history in a beautiful, hike-worthy hillside. The next morning, it’s onto Monemvasia, a medieval town on the coast; wander cobblestone streets, visit a Byzantine-era castle and a remarkably preserved church that dates back to the 12th century. 

Your road trip will take you further along the coast to the Mani region, whose villages are studded with stone tower houses and sea-cliff views. You’ll stop through Limeni (an Instagram-worthy fishing village), Oitylo (a once-popular pirate target), and the restored town of Aeropoli. The next morning, you’ll head to Pylos and the beautifully preserved Mycenean ruins of the Palace of Nestor.

On day eleven, a guide will shepherd you through Olympia, the vast archeological site of the first Olympic Games. After, you’ll unwind for the day in Nafpaktos, where you can enjoy spectacular views of the Gulf of Corinth as well as deliciously prepared local seafood specialties.

Spend your final full day in Greece seeking out the oracle at Delphi; you’ll take a guided tour through the fascinating ruins, but take the time to wander the majestic footpath once tread by worshipers of the god Pan. You'll stop through the resort town of Arachova before enjoying one last dinner in Galaxidi. Walk around its scenic ports and neoclassical houses, then rest up before you return to Athens for your departure the next morning. Learn more

More Great 13-Day Greece Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your Greece trip? Check out these other 13-day Greece itineraries, ranging from active, to cultural, to luxury, or family-friendly trips.

Or, describe your ideal trip and we will connect you with a local specialist to make it happen.


Map of 13 Days in Greece - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 13 Days in Greece - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas