Pair historic Athens with the sun-soaked beaches of the Cycladic isles with this weeklong adventure. Begin in the Greek capital with the Acropolis and a local neighborhood tour. From here, ferry to Mykonos for relaxation and nightlife under the island's famous windmills. The grand finale is Santorini—gleaming white cliffs, caldera views, sunset cruising, and wine tasting await.

Highlights

  • Explore the historical sites, museums, and flea markets of Athens
  • Ferry from Mykonos to Delos island, the mythological birthplace of Apollo
  • Tour a farm at Ano Mera and taste produce grown in the fields
  • Visit Santorini's wineries and learn about the island's volcanic vintages

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens Athens
Day 2 Athens to Mykonos Mykonos
Day 3 Explore Authentic Mykonos Mykonos
Day 4 Mykonos to Santorini Santorini
Day 5 Santorini Catamaran Cruise Santorini
Day 6 Wine Tasting Tour Santorini
Day 7 Santorini to Athens and Depart  

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 both the iconic Acropolis and so much more. The mythology of this spectacular city precedes it, with towering temples to 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 temple to Athena has enchanted visitors since its construction was completed in 438 BC. It's probably the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of ancient Greece and is visible from many of the city's high points.
  • Stop at the sprawling National Museum for a crash course in ancient iconography. Be sure to seek out the room housing the Antikythera mechanism, essentially an ancient astronomical computer.
  • Visit a smaller archaeological site at the Tower of the Winds, then stroll down 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. 

Spend your evening exploring the up-and-coming Pangrati neighborhood or amid the nightlife and mezze of the Psyrri district.

Day 2: Athens to Mykonos

Bright balconies of Little Venice
Bright balconies of Little Venice

You'll start your tour of the Cyclades on Mykonos, one of the larger islands in this 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 into your 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:

  • If you need to get your toes in the sand immediately, head to remote Agios Sostis beach to find your own isolated paradise.
  • For a more active experience, Ftelia Beach is known for its excellent windsurfing.
  • Take a short ferry over to the archaeological site at Delos for a day-trip. This entire island is full of ancient ruins and is one of the most important in the country for its history as both a sanctuary and the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
  • 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 for great photo ops.

Day 3: Explore Authentic 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 charming villages, little harbors, and remote beaches with your expert guide.

You'll start with a panoramic view of Mykonos town before heading to the port of Agios Ioannis, a protected harbor where fishing boats launch. Hear the stories of its namesake saint and view the cell he was held in. Then, head to Ano Mera village, where you'll tour 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 enjoy lunch with products grown in the fields.

After a visit to the village square, including a monastery tour and stroll through the open-air market, the shores of Kalo Livadi, Kalafatis, and Aghia Anna all await your camera lens. Wrap your tour up on the picturesque narrow streets of Mau, home to the Mykonos dam.

The evening is yours to spend as you will, whether you want to relax by the sea, wind away the hours with a sundowner in Little Venice, or dance the night away on the boardwalk of Paradise Beach.

Day 4: Mykonos to Santorini

Santorini's caldera
Santorini's caldera

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 island's caldera side. Spend your day relaxing at the beach or catching some exercise—and even more views—from one of Santorini’s scenic walking routes, ranging from two to eight miles each.  At dinner, try the island's signature cherry tomatoes and white eggplants as guest stars in savory seafood dishes.

Day 5: Santorini Catamaran Cruise

View from Fira
View from Fira

Enjoy a leisurely morning breakfast with time to stroll through town and scope out the small shops and boutiques. Head over to Fira, the capital of the island, which offers plenty to explore. History buffs will be delighted by 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 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 at Aspronisi, the Ancient LighthouseIndian Rock, and the prehistoric city at Akrotiri, hidden away at the southern tip of Santorini. These ruins 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: Wine Tasting Tour

Vineyard hills in Santorini
Vineyard hills in Santorini

Raise your glasses to your last full day in the islands with a vineyard tour. Visit three of the island's ancient wineries, where you'll learn about some of the award-winning volcanic vintages of Santorini. With twelve varietals, all accompanied by local cheese and other snacks, the history of the island will be right at the tip of your tongue. 

Don't miss one more sunset before you go. You can visit the smaller town of Firostefani or stay on the other side of the caldera rim out in Oia. The furthest town along the rim of the caldera, Oia's arty streets are the perfect spot for sunset views. Stake out your viewing platform over the panorama, then stick around to wander the alleys and linger in the town's tavernas into the evening.

Day 7: Santorini to Athens and Depart

Santorini sunset
Santorini sunset

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.

Have a few more days to spare? Consider this 10-day excursion that offers many of the same highlights, plus a day trip to Delphi and more. 

Map

Map of Discover Athens & the Cyclades - 7 Days
Map of Discover Athens & the Cyclades - 7 Days