On this well-rounded 9-day itinerary, you'll sightsee in Athens and explore the outdoor attractions and cultural attractions of mainland Greece, then catch a ferry to Santorini to spend a few days on the island. Highlights along the journey include a tour of the Acropolis, a visit to the ancient ruins of Delphi, a tasting at a Greek winery, an excursion to the dramatic landscapes of the Meteora, and time to wander around traditional island villages. You'll also hike, relax on the beach, and spend the night in a mountain lodge in the gorgeous Forest of the White River.


  • Tour the Parthenon and the Acropolis in Athens
  • Explore the traditional island villages of Santorini
  • Sample local wines at a Greek winery
  • Sleep in a cozy mountain lodge in the Forest of the White River
  • Sunbathe on Santorini's famous Red Beach

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & Sightsee Athens
Day 2 Tour the Acropolis Athens
Day 3 Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa Kastraki
Day 4 See the Monasteries of the Meteora  Kranea
Day 5 Explore Mountain Scenery & Sample Local Delicacies Athens
Day 6 Take the Ferry to Santorini Santorini
Day 7 Get to Know the Traditional Villages of Santorini Santorini
Day 8 Return to Athens & Enjoy Free Time Athens
Day 9 Depart Athens - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens & Sightsee

Monastiraki square, Athens
Monastiraki Square in Athens
Welcome to Greece! Your private driver will be waiting at the airport to transfer you to your hotel in Athens. In the afternoon, get out for some sightseeing. Those interested in history and mythology might choose to visit the National Archaeological Museum, the Museum of the Ancient Agora, or the Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos. View fine art at Benaki Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, or the National Gallery. You could also go off the beaten path at the Museum of Cycladic Art, where you can buy truly unique souvenirs, or the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology. You'll overnight in the city. 

Day 2: Tour the Acropolis

The Parthenon at the Athenian Acropolis

Today you'll visit the Acropolis, taking in views of the world-famous Parthenon. This temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, has enchanted visitors since its construction was completed in 438 BCE. Afterward, the tour continues at the Athens Central Food Market (Varvakios Agora), where you'll sample regional delicacies made by Greek cheese-makers, pastry chefs, and food vendors of all kinds. The evening is free to relax or explore the city.

Day 3: Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa

A view over the valley of Amfissa

Today you'll head to the regional capital of Amfissa, where Greece's last handmade bell-maker will show you how livestock bells have been forged by hand in his family for generations. Afterward, stroll through the cobbled streets of the old leather-tanning district. Here, in one of Europe's last remaining tannery workshops, you’ll see what a tanner’s working life was, almost unchanged from a century ago up to today. Enjoy lunch under the shade of the large tree in the town square, where you will taste local delicacies prepared in the village.

After lunch, it’s off to Delphi, where you’ll marvel at the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the Athenian Treasury. You’ll have plenty of time to soak up the magical scenery before visiting the Delphi Museum, home to some fine examples of ancient Greek art, including the world-famous bronze statue of the Charioteer of Delphi. Head north across the mainland towards the Meteora. A few miles before reaching your destination, you will have dinner in a traditional family-run restaurant in the foothills of Mt. Koziakas. You will spend the night in a charming family-run guest house in the pretty village of Kastraki, right under the towering rocks of Meteora.
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Day 4: See the Monasteries of the Meteora 

The Meteora at sunset

Today's highlight is a visit to the Meteora, a stunning natural phenomenon featuring enormous sandstone columns formed millions of years ago. These remote rock skyscrapers became dwellings for Christian Orthodox monks; by the 14th century, large monastic communities were flourishing on the summits of many of these rocks. Today, six monasteries are still functioning, and you will visit two. 
After lunch, you'll visit a local icon painter. In his tiny workshop, you’ll have the chance to learn about the tradition and make your own miniature painting. Then it's a stop at the small but original Book Museum, where you'll get to try your hand in Greek penmanship and hear out about Greek classrooms of the past. Continue onward to the little-known Forest of the White River, a group of small mountain villages hidden in the depths of a massive forest. You'll spend the night here at a mountain lodge.

Day 5: Explore Mountain Scenery & Sample Local Delicacies

Vineyards at a Greek winery

On the last full day of the trip, start with a swim in the nearby river and a tour of a fascinating small monastery rarely visited by tourists. Then you’ll embark on a food tour to discover the local specialties and flavors of Northern Greece! The tour starts with Greek coffee and traditional pastries at a local home overlooking the valley. Then it's off to a nearby winery to taste the area’s best wines, cheeses, and cold cuts. Have lunch at a local tavern, sampling wild mountain greens, juicy lamb ribs, and other regional specialties. Ride back to Athens, where you'll spend the night before the journey continues.

Day 6: Take the Ferry to Santorini

Sunset in Santorini
Sunset in Santorini
Catch a ferry to Santorini. On 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 most unique beaches in the Greek islands, along with the dramatic cliff views on the island's caldera side. Spend your day relaxing at the beach or strolling on one of Santorini’s scenic walking routes. For dinner, sample the island's signature cherry tomatoes and white eggplant, typically served as side dishes with fresh seafood. 

Day 7: Get to Know the Traditional Villages of Santorini

Tables overlooking the water in Imerovigli

In the morning, visit Prophet Elias Monastery, the highest spot on the island. Walk around Megalochori, one of the most picturesque villages on the island. You'll also go on a walking tour of the village of Emporio. Take a break for lunch before heading to Red Beach, one of the most scenic and interesting beaches on Santorini. In the afternoon, you'll have the chance to sample wines at a local winery nearby. At sunset, catch the views of the Blue Dome Church at Firostefani and the spectacular landscape below.

Day 8: Return to Athens & Enjoy Free Time

Boats in the Aegean Sea
After breakfast, you'll enjoy the scenic ferry ride back to Athens. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy. One option is to go on a boating excursion to the majestic Temple of Poseidon at Sounio. This sacred site dating back to the Bronze age will take your breath away with its sweeping ocean views, impressive ancient columns, and intricate history. The boat ride back doubles as a sunset cruise before spending your last night in Athens. 

Day 9: Depart Greece - End of Trip

Ferry from Santorini to Athens
Ferry from Santorini to Athens
The trip comes to an end today. You'll head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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