This colorful 12-day itinerary around Greece features a wide range of cultural activities and outdoor adventures, from sightseeing at the Acropolis to sailing around Santorini at sunset. You'll begin the journey with sightseeing in Athens, then move on to explore ancient ruins at Mycenae, Nafplio, Delphia, and Olympia, the site of the first Olympic Games. Hike around the Meteora before catching a boat to Mykonos and enjoying some relaxation on the island. You'll end the trip with several days in Santorini, plenty of time for exploring island villages, discovering quiet beaches, and taking in a glorious sunset during a sailing excursion.

Highlights

  • Get to know Athens' top sights, including the Acropolis
  • Tour Olympia, the site of the first Olympic Games
  • Explore the colorful neighborhood of Little Venice on Mykonos
  • Discover the breathtaking rock formations of the Meteora
  • Take it easy on two of Greece's most beautiful islands
  • Enjoy unforgettable sunset views on a cruise around Santorini

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & Sightsee Athens
Day 2 Visit the Acropolis Athens
Day 3 Visit Mycenae & Nafplio Olympia
Day 4 Tour Olympia & Hike to Waterfalls Delphi
Day 5 Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa Kastraki
Day 6 See the Monasteries of the Meteora  Athens
Day 7 Transfer to Mykonos & Relax on the Island Mykonos
Day 8 Go on a Cruise to Delos & Rhenia Mykonos
Day 9 Relax on Santorini Santorini
Day 10 Take a Sunset Cruise Santorini
Day 11 Explore Santorini Santorini
Day 12 Depart Santorini - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens & Sightsee

Monastiraki Square and Sunset over Plaka
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: Visit 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 Panathenaic Stadium, the marble stadium where the modern Olympic Games were first held in 1896. Then you'll visit the Acropolis Museum, built to house every artifact found around the ancient citadel, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. The tour finishes 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: Visit Mycenae & Nafplio

The Lion Gate in Mycenae
Today you'll tour the fabled Homeric city of Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and once the capital of one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Start your adventure into antiquity by walking under the famed Lion Gate into ruins that are part history, part myth. Follow in the steps of King Agamemnon as your guide explains the stories behind the imposing ruins of the citadel. You'll then head towards the historic seaside city of Nafplio, where a delicious lunch awaits you in one of the best restaurants in town. This romantic town, the old capital of modern Greece, is characterized by Venetian fortifications and a beautiful waterfront. After lunch, you'll visit local craftspeople, including a potter and a weaver at work in their workshops, to discover how they carry the traditions of the past into the present. You’ll also see a number of other local crafts and goods and a confectionery where traditional almond pastries are still made the way they were generations ago.
 
From Nafplio, the trip will take you through the beautiful Peloponnesian countryside towards ancient Olympia. Along the way, you’ll stop at a honey farm to learn about world-renowned Greek honey from a working beekeeper. Spend the night in Olympia before heading out to tour the city on day four. 

Day 4: Tour Olympia & Hike to Waterfalls

The Millenia Tour: Ancient Olympia & Galaxidi Day 2
Walking around the ancient ruins of Olympia
This morning is devoted to Ancient Olympia, the most important athletic, religious, and political center of the ancient Greek world. Here your guide will let you into the secrets of the temples, the training area, and the original stadium where the ancient Olympic Games were held for centuries. The Archaeological Museum onsite displays world-class masterpieces and treasures, like a breathtaking statue of Hermes and the infant Dionysus sculpted by Praxiteles.

Then it’s time for an outdoor adventure and a memorable lunch. After an easy guided walk through a stunning gorge, you'll arrive at a pair of waterfalls. Your lunch will be served picnic-style, right by the river. You’ll have the chance to swim too! After leaving the waterfalls, continue to Delphi, where you will spend the night.

Day 5: 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 the Meteora.

Day 6: 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. Then circle back to Athens, where you'll spend the night.

Day 7: Transfer to Mykonos & Relax on the Island

Little Venice in Mykonos
Colorful beachfront houses in Mykonos

Catch a ferry to Mykonos this morning and enjoy a free afternoon on the beautiful island! If you want to get your toes in the sand immediately, head to Agios Sostis beach to find your own quiet paradise. For a more active experience, Ftelia Beach is known for excellent windsurfing. Later, stroll through Little Venice, an 18th-century neighborhood where colorful former captains' mansions and seaside restaurants are lined up along the seafront. 

Day 8: Go on a Cruise to Delos & Rhenia

Half Day Cruise with traditional motor sailing boat from Mykonos to Delos and Rinia
Sailing from Mykonos to Delos and Rinia
Today, you'll go on a half-day cruise on a traditional sailboat. The first stop is Delos. You'll go for a walk through the old town and visit the island's main archaeological site. As mythology has it, this is the birthplace of Apollo (god of light and the sun) and Artemis (goddess of the hunt). The second stop is Rhenia Island and a break on the beach at Skinos Bay, known for its clear azure waters. You'll head back to Mykonos later in the day. 

Day 9: Relax on Santorini

Sunset in Santorini
Sunset in Santorini

This morning you'll board a boat for the next island, 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 10: Take a Sunset Cruise

Sunset in Santorini 

Today you'll sail around Santorini and visit the islands of Nea Kameni and Thirasia on a six-hour cruise. The excursion starts from the port of Santorini. Your first destination will be the famous volcano of Santorini. After about twenty more minutes of sailing, you will reach Nea Kameni’s jetty. Hop off the boat and hike to the volcano’s ridge, then return to the boat and keep sailing to hot springs on the island of Palea Kameni. Wade into shallow waters mixed with mud, sulfur, iron, and other volcanic metals — the dip has various health benefits! Continue sailing to Thirasia Island, where you'll stop for a short swim. The end of the sailing excursion coincides with a gorgeous sunset. 

Day 11: Explore 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 12: Depart Santorini - End of Trip

Santorini's Red Beach

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

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