Enjoy some of the most beautiful islands in the Cyclades on this trip, starting on the mainland with mythology tours of the Acropolis, stargazing at constellations, and walks through the Temple of Delphi. Make your way to Tinos, the hidden gem of the Aegean, where you'll enjoy visits to marble villages, an afternoon on the beach, and an art workshop, followed by the glitz of Mykonos and the ancient ruins of Delos. End your trip with historical sites in Naxos, plus gorgeous views, beaches, and a wine tasting in Santorini.


  • Explore the bustling city of Athens with a private tour of the Acropolis
  • Discover the quiet island of Tinos, a hidden gem and culinary pride of the Cyclades
  • Visit historical marble villages and attend an art workshop
  • Walk through ancient sites and historical monuments in Delphi, Delos, and Akrotiri
  • Enjoy the magical villages of Santorini and visit a winery

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Explore Athens
Day 2 Acropolis & Ancient Greek Mythology Tour Athens
Day 3 Day Trip to Delphi Athens
Day 4 Ferry to Tinos, Explore Volax Tinos
Day 5 Follow the Marble Route Tinos
Day 6 Ferry to Mykonos, Day Trip to Delos Mykonos
Day 7 Transfer to Naxos, Explore Naxos
Day 8 Guided Cultural Heritage Tour Naxos
Day 9 Transfer to Santorini Santorini
Day 10 Explore Santorini Santorini
Day 11 Morning Tour to Prehistoric Akrotiri Santorini
Day 12 Return to Athens, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens, Explore

Monastiraki Square and Sunset over Plaka
Athens' Monastiraki Square and Sunset over Plaka

Welcome to  Greece! Upon arriving in Athens, you'll settle into your accommodation and enjoy the city famous for its mythology. You'll discover its towering temples, classical deities, the iconic Acropolis, and the ruins of ancient marketplaces, all in contrast to the vibrant nightlife, bustling flea markets, and contemporary cuisine.

Suggested activities include:

  • Visit the Parthenon, which sits proudly atop the Acropolis rock. This temple has enchanted visitors and locals alike since its construction centuries ago in 438 BCE. Although it's visible from many parts of the city, it's worth visiting these ancient ruins up close.
  • Discover one of the world's first meteorological sites, the Tower of the Winds. Afterward, you can stroll down the neighboring Aeolou Street, which is home to an array of charming local shops and cafés. Try to keep some extra space in your suitcase in case you decide to buy something at one of the busy stalls of the Monastiraki flea market.
  • Take a stroll along the cobblestone streets of Plaka—one of Athen's oldest neighborhoods—where you'll find iconic two-story Athenian houses and charming antique shops. The district is tucked under Acropolis Hill and has a lovely, vibrant atmosphere.

In the evening, your hosts will recommend the best places to enjoy original Greek food. The country's cuisine has evolved over the centuries through a rare blend of Eastern and Western influences, all prepared while using local and seasonal ingredients.

Day 2: Acropolis & Ancient Greek Mythology Tour

A View of the Parthenon atop Acropolis Hill
A View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis

Today's focus is the mythology of Athens, starting at the majestic Temple of Olympian Zeus and continuing onto the world-famous Acropolis and the Ancient Agora. These are the places where ancient myths come to life, allowing you to learn stories about gods and heroes, such as the almighty Zeus, Poseidon, and Athena, goddess of Wisdom and protector of Athens. Discover the truths behind these myths and why the Ancient Greeks created them. Get to the heart of the ancient world and uncover fascinating stories.

In the afternoon, visit the Acropolis Museum, one of the 10 best museums in the world, according to National Geographic. Admire the Parthenon Gallery, which hosts objects and artifacts of everyday life in ancient Athens. Note that the museum café is an ideal lunch spot with a great view of the Acropolis.

As night falls, you can visit the Athens Observatory to see a presentation about constellations, observing them through a telescope. 

Day 3: Day Trip to Delphi

The Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi
The Treasury of the Athenians at Delphi

Get ready for an interesting and historic visit to the village of Delphi, once home to priestesses of Apollo who many believed could predict the future. You'll enjoy a guided tour through this sprawling archaeological site, with stops at the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo, and the expansive, open-air theater. Explore the ruins and venture up an ancient footpath that starts at the temples and continues to Corycean Grotto. Worshippers of the god Pan once used this scenic path for their religious rites. Along the way, you'll be surrounded by a valley of olive trees, plus views of the Corinthian Gulf and the Peloponnese Mountains.

You'll also visit a district of the old town, which is largely abandoned today. If you're lucky, you'll meet the last bell-maker in Greece. In his small workshop, he'll show you how he creates the livestock bells used by local villagers. After a long morning, it's time for lunch. Head back to the town square for a picnic under the large plane trees, where you'll nosh on different delicacies from the region, including local cheeses and the famous Amfissa olives. The local women of the village will also prepare a traditional regional specialty as the main course for you to enjoy.

With a full belly, head to the museum. Don't miss the bronze "Charioteer of Delphi," the haunting "Sphinx of Naxos," and what might be the very first recorded notation of a melody, contained in an ancient inscription from the walls of the original Athenian Treasury. You'll return to Athens in the late afternoon to get some rest before exploring the vibrant Athenian nightlife.

Day 4: Ferry to Tinos, Explore Volax

Views of Tinos Island
Views of Tinos Island

In the morning, you'll board an early ferry to the quiet island of Tinos. Tinos has remained a hidden secret for many years, as it was always overshadowed by its celebrity neighbor, Mykonos, and misconceived as just a religious destination. Considering its excellent beaches, numerous beautiful villages, unique landscapes, friendly people, and distinctive gastronomy with top-quality local ingredients, it's easy to see why there is no other place like it.

After settling in, start your exploration of the village of Volax, which is known for its massive, circular granite rocks known as Volakes. The scenery here is surreal, with a raw and almost lunar-like environment. While strolling through the town, you'll notice the locals' craft of basket weaving. The villagers take extreme pride in their baskets, which come in various sizes and symbolic styles, making for lovely souvenirs.

Take note of the doors in Volax. Verses written by notable Greek poets and lyrics from Greek songs are handwritten in the doors of the old, uninhabited houses. After exploring Volax, freshen up at your accommodation and head out for a lovely seafood dinner as the sun begins to set.

Day 5: Follow the Marble Route

Beautiful Buildings on Tinos Island
Head to the village of Pyrgos to see the open-air sculpture museum and marblework at the cemetery
Plan your trip to Greece
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Today you'll explore the marble villages of Tinos, stopping first at the Museum of Marble Arts. You'll learn how the Tinian craftsmen take a slab of marble and work it until it transforms into statues, fanlights, fountains, altarpieces, tower bells, palaces, and even entire stadiums. You'll see some of the marble work at the cemetery of Pyrgos, essentially an open-air sculpture museum. Afterward, stroll over to Pyrgos Square to have some coffee, ouzo, or raki, plus some sweets or meze (snacks).

Your next stop is the Giannoulis Halepas' house, which commemorates the greatest Greek sculptor and acts as a museum of Tinian artists. You'll then take part in a workshop where you'll meet one of the sculptors. While working on the marble, he'll introduce you to all the stages of production, the tools used, and the secrets of his art. In the late afternoon, you'll finish your visit to the marble villages with a swim at Agia Thalassa Beach. Then when it's time, enjoy dinner nearby in the picturesque fishing village of Panormos.

Day 6: Ferry to Mykonos, Day Trip to Delos

The Terrace of the Lion on Delos Island
Discover the Terrace of the Lion on Delos Island

In the morning, you'll catch a ferry to the sacred island of Delos via Mykonos to join a group-guided visit to one of the most important and impressive archaeological sites in Greece. The entire island is uninhabited, as the archaeological findings are widespread and cover almost the entire surface. Delos was once the center of the Cyclades Islands in the ancient world and the birthplace of the Greek gods Apollo and Artemis. Due to its mystical location, the island became home to the first multicultural civilization and was an important trade center in Ancient Greece.

Your guided tour will take you through the foundations of former traders' mansions, temples, and landmarks, such as the Terrace of the Lions. Don't skip the island's museum, where many of the smaller artifacts and frescoes are housed. In the late afternoon, you'll return to Mykonos in time to enjoy a delicious dinner amid its buzzy nightlife.

Day 7: Transfer to Naxos, Explore

The Port of Naxos Chora
The Port of Naxos

Enjoy your breakfast in beautiful Mykonos and prepare for today's journey to another island, Naxos. You'll arrive either by ferry or plane. Settle into your accommodation and then explore this gorgeous island. Discover the main town, where you can shop and admire the Venetian architecture, a historic Kastro (castle) area, and expansive beaches, the island offers opportunities for both laid-back relaxation as well as water or land activities. The rest of the day is yours to unwind as you choose.

Alternatively, if you prefer something a bit more pastoral, Naxos is also known for its rich agricultural industry. Pay a visit to a cheese-producing facility or a local distillery to sample the famous local citron liqueur. For dinner, wander up the hill through the streets of the Kastro neighborhood to pick out your favorite of the area's tavernas, where you can sample the island's fresh produce in its best form.

Day 8: Guided Cultural Heritage Tour

Streets of Naxos
Streets of Naxos

No trip to Naxos is complete without devouring its incredible history and cultural heritage. Your host will personalize today's excursion, catered toward your interests. Your local guide will lead you through the history of Naxos with visits to the following sites:

  • Portara, which means "huge door" in Greek, is the ruins of the entrance to the Temple of Apollo, set on the islet just off the main town.
  • The Temple of Demetra dates back to about 500 BCE.
  • The two statues of kouros require a little scavenging, as they are extremely tall, manlike sculptures set in different locations on the island.
  • The Venetian Castle is the main site of Naxos and is easily accessible as it's in the main town.

Depending on your preferences, this tour may also include visits to:

  • The many charming and culturally significant villages of Naxos, such as Chalki, Apiranthos, and Kaloxylos
  • Other points of interest, such as castles made out of Naxian stone and the ruins of the Sanctuary of Iria, are dedicated to Dionysus.

In the evening, settle into a traditional restaurant for a big meal after such a long day. Enjoy views of the sea and the sunset.

Day 9: Transfer to Santorini

The Gorgeous Island of Santorini at Night
The Gorgeous Island of Santorini at Night

This morning, you'll travel to Santorini, one of the country's most popular and beloved islands. You'll arrive either by ferry or plane. As you approach the island, you'll spot the famous caldera—the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history—which rises above the sea in a crescent. As the sun rises, it will color the cliffside and its cubic architecture in a golden glow. After settling into your hotel, you can observe the views of the small volcanic islands that formed less than a century ago. Apart from the caldera, the island's volcanic history has helped create many of its unique beaches.

Other suggested activities include:

  • Spend your day relaxing on one of Santorini's many beaches. Both Kamari and Perivolos are excellent choices, connected to the Black Beach on the east side of the island.
    Discover stunning views and locations by embarking on one of Santorini's scenic walking routes. The distance ranges from 2-8 miles (3-13 km).
    At dinner, sample the island's signature cherry tomatoes and white eggplants, along with the main dish of delicious seafood.

Day 10: Explore Santorini

Incredible Views of Oia
Incredible Views of Oia

Today's focus is on exploring all that Santorini has to offer. You'll start in Fira, the capital of Santorini, where you can stroll the narrow streets, admire the Cycladic houses, browse boutiques, and enjoy the peek-a-boo views of the caldera. Next, you'll head to Oia, a postcard-perfect village with whitewashed facades and pastel-hued houses. Lose yourself in Oia's winding streets while ducking under picturesque bougainvillea archways. Next, you'll walk to the Prophet Elias Monastery, which offers some of the most spectacular views of Santorini, as it's the island's highest point. You'll get a glimpse of a monk's daily routine and explore this exquisite monastery.

Next, you'll head to the villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori. Pyrgos is a quaint inland town with incredible views and an iconic castle. Megalochori will make you feel like you're in a time capsule, as it oozes tradition and feels like little has changed over the years. Today's final stop is Venetsanos Winery, where you'll indulge in a three-glass wine tasting overlooking the captivating caldera vista. You'll get to know the winery and learn all about the history of wine production in Santorini. End the day by watching one of Santorini's epic sunsets.

Day 11: Morning Tour to Prehistoric Akrotiri

The Archeological Site of Akrotiri
The Archeological Site of Akrotiri

After breakfast, you'll enjoy a guided visit to one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean: the archaeological site of Akrotiri. Considering that this scenic city was once buried by volcanic ash for more than 1,000 years, its preservation is truly remarkable. Learn all about the history and the strategic position of Akrotiri, which played a determining role in economic growth. Walk among the walls of these prehistoric houses and learn how the inhabitants would leave the city by boat each time the volcano was about to erupt, only to return and rebuild the city from scratch.

You'll then head back to Fira to visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera and the Archaeological Museum. Admire findings spanning over thousands of years, both from Akrotiri (such as entire murals that have been preserved) and from ancient Thera, situated on top of a rock on the east part of the island.

In the evening, stroll the charming streets of Fira and enjoy dinner with a sunset view.

Day 12: Return to Athens, Depart

Aerial View of Athens
View of the Acropolis of Athens

Sadly, it's time to say goodbye to Greece. A private driver will transfer you to the airport, where you'll catch a flight back to Athens. From there, you can enjoy some more time in the city on your own or catch a connecting flight home.

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Map of Discover Ancient Greece & the Cyclades - 12 Days
Map of Discover Ancient Greece & the Cyclades - 12 Days