This excursion takes you through the major highlights of the country's capital and two of its most popular islands, all in a 6-day timespan. In Athens, you'll visit the iconic Parthenon constructed in 438 BC, then go souvenir shopping at the bustling Monastiraki flea market. In Mykonos and Santorini, you'll lay on famous beaches, explore agricultural villages, eat fresh cuisine, and of course watch the sunset.

Highlights

  • Witness the rich history of Athens at the Parthenon and Tower of the Winds
  • Visit the beaches of Mykonos where you can lay on the sand or take up windsurfing
  • See Santorini's central caldera where a large volcanic eruption happened
  • Take a catamaran cruise to Santorini's Red Beach and White Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens Athens
Day 2 Athens to Mykonos Mykonos
Day 3 Explore Mykonos Mykonos
Day 4 Mykonos to Santorini Santorini
Day 5 Santorini Catamaran Cruise Santorini
Day 6 Santorini to Athens  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens

Monastiraki Square and the Acropolis
Monastiraki Square and the Acropolis

Welcome to Greece! You'll begin your trip in Athens, home to the iconic Acropolis. The mythology of this spectacular city precedes it, with towering temples, classical deities, and the ruins of ancient marketplaces rubbing shoulders with lively nightlife, crowded flea markets, and contemporary cuisine. Make the most of your time in the city at some of these spots:

  • Check out the views of the can't-miss Parthenon. (Pro tip: The Parthenon is the temple, the Acropolis is the hill.) This is the temple to Athena and has had enchanted visitors since its construction was completed in 438 BC. It's visible from many of the city's high points.
  • Stop at the National Museum for a crash course in ancient iconography. Be sure to visit the room housing the Antikythera mechanism that's essentially an ancient astronomical computer.
  • Visit a small archaeological site at the Tower of the Winds, then stroll down the neighboring pedestrian Aiolou Street to stop at shops and cafes. 
  • Find your perfect souvenir or sun hat in the busy stalls of the Monastiraki flea market

In the evening, you'll sit down to enjoy one of the two: a welcome dinner with views of the Acropolis or wine tasting in a bar in downtown Athens.

Day 2: Athens to Mykonos

Bright balconies of Little Venice
Bright balconies of Little Venice

Today you'll travel from Athens to Mykonos, one of the most famous islands in the Cyclades chain. Known for its glitzy restaurants and nightlife, art scene, and jet-set crowds (it was recently home to a Gucci pop-up boutique), Mykonos will throw you headfirst in an island adventure.

Your first day's itinerary is up to you. You'll receive a personalized list of tips for exploration, but some highlights include:

  • Head to the remote beach of Agios Sostis to experience your own isolated paradise.
  • For a more active experience, discover Ftelia Beach that is known for its excellent windsurfing.
  • Stroll through Little Venice, an 18th-century neighborhood where colorful former captains' mansions and seaside restaurants seem to sprout straight from the sea. It's also right next to the island's famous hillside windmills that make for great photo ops.

Day 3: Explore Mykonos

Colorful boats bobbing in Mykonos' Old Port
Colorful boats bobbing in Mykonos' Old Port

Today, you'll sneak away from the cosmopolitan side of this island to discover Mykonos' authentic heart, touring charming villages, little harbors, and remote beaches with your expert guide. You'll start with a panoramic viewpoint of Mykonos Town to capture the perfect 360-degree shot. Then head to the port of Agios Ioannis, a protected harbor where fishing boats now launch. Hear the stories of its namesake saint like the church dedicated to him and the cell he was held in, which is now home to an annual festival. 

Next, you'll go through the island's agricultural and livestock country, past cultivated fields and animals grazing. At Ano Mera village, you'll explore a farm with its superintendent and even have the opportunity to help out with some farm work or say hi to the animals. You'll also sample a light lunch with products grown right in the fields. After lunch, the colorful village square awaits, where you can tour the monastery and shop at the open-air market.

From there, the shores of Kalo Livadi, Kalafati, and Aghia Anna await your camera lens as you pass them on your way to the island's site of former mines. The now-abandoned structures used to mine lignite from the island's soil. Wrap your tour on the picturesque narrow streets of Mau, home to the Mykonos dam.

The evening is yours to spend as you will, whether it's relaxing by the sea, winding away the hours with a sundowner in Little Venice, or dancing the night away on the boardwalk of Paradise Beach.

Day 4: Mykonos to Santorini

Santorini's caldera
Cliff views from Santorini's caldera, where a large volcanic eruption occurred

After breakfast at your hotel, you'll get an early ferry to Santorini. Nothing says "good morning" like watching the sun coming up over the island's iconic cubic architecture. Upon arrival, you'll take in the island's central caldera—the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history—rising above you. 

The island's volcanic history has led to the formation of some of the more unique beaches in the Greek islands, along with the dramatic cliff views on the Mykonos' caldera side. Spend your day relaxing at the beach or catching some exercise—and even more views—from one of Santorini’s more than 12 scenic walking routes, ranging from between two to eight miles each.  At dinner, sample the island's signature cherry tomatoes and white eggplants as guest stars in seafood dishes or the main event.

Day 5: Santorini Catamaran Cruise

Red Beach, Santorini
Catamarans floating near the shores of the Red Beach in Santorini

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before taking some time to stroll and scope out small shops and boutiques. Explore Fira, the capital of the island, which offers up plenty of museums to visit. History buffs will be delighted by the proximity to the Archaeological Museum of Santorini, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, the Folklore Museum of Emmanuel Lignos, and the church of Hypapante.

As the late afternoon unfolds, you'll head toward Vlychada Port to board your semi-private catamaran cruise around the island. Your first stop will be at the Red Beach to swim and enjoy the sun, followed by a second stop at the White Beach to take in all the distinctive-colored sands of Santorini.

Barbecue will be served on board while you sail past landmarks like Aspronisi, the Ancient LighthouseIndian Rock, and the prehistoric city at Akrotiri, hidden away at the southern tip of Santorini. The ruins of Akrotiri are the site of some of the Bronze Age’s most advanced settlements, which prospered for centuries before being destroyed by a great volcanic eruption in the mid-second millennium BC. Top it off with a jump into the hot springs at Nea Kameni, where the mineral-rich volcanic waters are believed to have therapeutic properties.

Day 6: Santorini to Athens 

Take one last look
Sunrise views overlooking the Aegean Sea

It's time to say farewell to Greece! Savor one more breakfast in Santorini before your transfer to the airport or your ferry to begin your journey home.

Map

Map of Athens, Santorini, & Mykonos Exploration - 6 Days
Map of Athens, Santorini, & Mykonos Exploration - 6 Days