See some of the most popular spots in Greece with this one-week itinerary for the whole family. You'll start in Athens, where you can listen to Classical myths atop the Acropolis, practice your athleticism in the home of the first modern Olympics, and learn to cook Mediterranean-style. Then jet off to Santorini for sunset views and relaxation on the sand.

Highlights

  • Listen to mythical tales atop the Acropolis
  • Race through the Panathenaic Stadium
  • Watch the sunset on Santorini's famous caldera
  • Learn about the lost city of Atlantis where it may have stood

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & Explore the City Parks Athens
Day 2 Athens Mythology Tour, Cooking Class & Evening in Plaka Athens
Day 3 Olympic Games Workout & Athenian Riviera Tour Athens
Day 4 Athens to Santorini Santorini
Day 5 Oia Walking Tour & Beach Day Santorini
Day 6 Fishing Trip & Lost Atlantis for Families Santorini
Day 7 Santorini to Athens & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens & Explore the City Parks

Views from Athens' Hills
Views from Athens' Hills
Welcome to Greece!
 
Trade the bustling markets and ancient sites of Athens for a little reprieve in nature to help you settle in. Greece's lively capital is home to its fair share of peaceful and verdant parks and hills, all reachable within the city center.
 
From the hill atop Mt. Lycabettus, you'll enjoy sweeping, panoramic views of the ancient city, including the famed Acropolis Hill and the Saronic Gulf. Avoid the long lines at the funicular and follow one of the innumerable paths to the top. Along the way, you'll pass several viewpoints and pockets of green to enjoy a rest, picnic, or game of frisbee. The park feels like a different world despite being in the middle of buzzy Athens.
 
For a different perspective, Philopappos Hill just southwest of the Acropolis is one of the best places to get those perfect city views. On top of the hill, you'll find a mausoleum dedicated to its namesake: a famous mogul and benefactor of Athens. Philopappos lived in the city from the 1st and 2nd centuries CE. Along with the nearby slopes of Pnyx and Nymphs, the hill is a favorite amongst Athenians and visitors alike and a great spot for a pleasant walk or picnic.

Day 2: Athens Mythology Tour, Cooking Class & Evening in Plaka

Photo from Alternative Athens
Look out over Athens from the Acropolis

Explore the Acropolis and Ancient Agora with your family, learning about Greek mythology and history while enjoying kid-friendly activities and panoramic views of the city.

After meeting your guide, you'll start your walk up to Acropolis Hill, the "Sacred Rock" that defines Athens. You'll visit all its popular monuments, including the Parthenon, Theater of Dionysus, Temple of Athena Nike, and Temple of Erechtheion. Listen to the legends of the Greek pantheon, such as the mighty Zeus, Athena (goddess of wisdom), Poseidon (god of the sea), Dionysus (god of wine and theater), and more. The stories will keep kids entertained and asking questions.

After enjoying Acropolis Hill and learning the city's secrets, you'll walk down to the ancient marketplace, the Agora. Socrates and Plato hosted many political and philosophical discussions on this plaza. At the end of the tour, enjoy a family activity inside the ancient Agora, using all your newfound knowledge about Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes.

Next up, a family-friendly cooking class will teach you how to make some of Greece's most beloved delicacies. Set within an organic grocery store filled with Greek products, you'll learn about important local favorites, treats, and ingredients from across the country. 

Together with your host, you'll discover some of the most authentic Greek recipes and secrets as you prepare your meal. This hands-on session produces a traditional Greek meal with horiatiki (Greek salad), gemista (stuffed vegetables), a delicious milk pie from Mani (Mani galatopita), and more. 

When finished, you'll enjoy the fruits of your labor and eat together like locals, the key principle of well-known Greek hospitality. Greeks love to welcome visitors into the healthy and flavorful world of the Mediterranean diet. Chat with your host over a glass of Greek wine, beer, or ouzo (kids can enjoy juice) and relax.

Day 3: Olympic Games Workout & Athenian Riviera Tour

The Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium

Get your blood pumping and try your luck as an Olympian at the very venue where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. You’ll start your day at the Zappeion, a neoclassical building set just below the National Garden. Here, you’ll meet your trainer and learn how the Ancient Olympics impacted society for over a millennium.

The year 1896 marked the revival of the ancient Olympic Games, which occurred every four years starting in 776 BCE. You’ll stand in the very spot where the athletes stood and learn how they trained, what the games entailed, and how the competition evolved.

After learning about the games, you'll start your workout in a historic gym. Your trainer will teach you some classic techniques from the original Olympic events, including the discus and the javelin throw. You'll also practice more modern sports, such as the shot put, long jump, and relay race. 

All of your training will prepare you for your own competition—a race in the Panathenaic Stadium! This stadium is the only one in the world made entirely of marble. Following the hallowed track, you'll race around the arena before receiving your official certificate of participation.

Next up, a private car will whisk you along the Athenian Riviera, a beautiful coastline with hidden bays and beaches. You will pass from the Stavros Niarchos Cultural Center and Park and then by the Flisvos Marina with its family-friendly restaurants and coffee shops. 

You can make an optional stop here to visit the Neraida Floating Museum. If you and your kids love ships and boats, and especially battleships, do not miss the opportunity to visit the Park of Naval Tradition inside the marina. Historic vessels are docked there, such as the destroyer “Velos” (now a museum of the struggle against the military dictatorship), the only copy of an ancient trireme named “Olympias” and the cable-laying ship “Thales of Miletus" constructed in the U.S. in 1909.

Opposite the marina, you will find the Benaki Toy Museum, which opened to the public in 2017. Its holdings, based on the collection of Maria Argyriadi, include toys, books, ephemera, clothing, and other items associated with childhood from Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. You can opt for a private tour and interactive activity here as well.

Further south, another optional stop is at the rescue and rehabilitation center for sea turtles, run by the Sea Turtle Protection Society of Greece in Glyfada. Its purpose is to treat injured and sick sea turtles and eventually release them back into the sea, as well as to raise awareness regarding this rare species that reproduces in the sandy beaches of the Mediterranean Sea. Take part in the sea turtle rescue tours, adopt a sea turtle for 10 days, and enjoy a meal on the Glyfada beach. 

The tour ends at the tip of Cape Sounion, home to the famous Temple of Poseidon that overlooks the Saronic Gulf and its islands. Before heading back to the city, you can opt for an early dinner at a traditional taverna right on the beach. Enjoy fresh seafood caught just a few feet from where you're sitting, plus good company and the sound of the waves lapping the shore as you watch the sunset.

Plan your trip to Greece
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Day 4: Athens to Santorini

Enjoy the caldera views from Santorini

Hop on a short flight of about an hour to get to Santorini. There's nothing like a Santorini sunset, as the island's viewpoints are some of the Cyclades' best. It isn't easy, however, to find a spot without extreme crowds. Get off the beaten path and discover the hidden go-to's so you can have the views mostly to yourself.

Perhaps the best way to enjoy the caldera views is along the Fira to Oia Walking Path. This route runs underneath the island's main road, offering a peaceful and quiet stroll while enjoying endless, uninterrupted views. You don't have to trek the entire trail to reap the benefits; a great entry point is at the Pantheon between Imerovigli and Oia. From here, enjoy a short, easy, and mostly downhill walk with excellent views.

One of the island's best spots for sunset is Skaros Rock, an impressive rock formation that juts out into the sea. The views require a short hike from the trailhead at Imerovigli, so wear some sturdy shoes. The terrain is rocky, so pay attention to where you step, especially when returning from sunset after dark.

If you're interested in savoring those perfect panoramic views of Santorini without the crowds, visit the Monastery of Prophet Elias. This is the highest point on the island, so you'll get a 360-degree view of the sea, rocky cliffs, and white-washed villages. Before making the drive, take a peek at the weather report, as it tends to get a little foggy at the top.

To catch views of Santorini's entire crescent-shaped caldera, you can hop on a quick 30-minute ferry to Thirassia, one of the remote volcanic islands set within the crater. To get the best views, leave the small port and walk up to the village. On the way, you’ll enjoy scenes of the entire caldera from a unique vantage point.

Day 5: Oia Walking Tour & Beach Day

Explore the Streets of Oia
Explore the streets of Oia

Explore Oia, Santorini's picture-perfect village, with a private, local guide. Dramatically perched atop the cliffs of the caldera, this scenic town contrasts famously against its natural surroundings. Rusty rocks and azure-blue waves complement its pastel cave houses, whitewashed facades, and colorful harbor. Enjoy strolling through the charming streets while admiring the views over the caldera and volcanic islands.

As you walk through the main streets and back alleyways of this enchanting village, your guide will make several stops to point out exceptional viewpoints and interesting island history. Listen to stories about Oia's culture and heritage, then discover the picturesque fishing harbor of Ammoudi. You'll descend 300 steps along the caldera's rim, ending at a small port untouched by time.

Afterward, it's time to hit the beach. Most of the island's banks feature dark volcanic sand in black and red hues, contrasting perfectly with the deep blue sea and whitewashed villages. Enjoy relaxing, swimming, or snorkeling in the surreal scenery, but don't forget your sandals or water shoes, as the dark sand becomes incredibly hot in the midday sunshine.

Santorini is home to several beach options. For families, try Kamari Beach, the most upscale and touristy of Santorini's beach towns with a fun and family-friendly vibe. The beach's black sand and pebbles stretch for over three miles, providing numerous restaurants, cafes, and bars. You'll also find places to rent jet skis or snorkeling and scuba diving equipment. 

For somewhere a little less busy, Monolithos Beach is home to Santorini's best sand and the most family-friendly beach on the island. It offers a quiet and relaxed vibe with a small cluster of hotels and restaurants. You can rent umbrellas and loungers and enjoy watching the white-capped waves flow onto the shore.

Day 6: Fishing Trip & Lost Atlantis for Families

Enjoy Your Fresh Seafood Dinner - Photo from Giorgaros Fishing Tours
Aboard the vessel [Photo from Giorgaros Fishing Tours]

Experience Santorini's famed seafood aboard a traditional fishing boat while eating the catch-of-the-day for lunch or dinner with a fishing trip that can take place either first thing in the morning or in the evening. You'll start your excursion at Vlychada Marina. As you head for one of the deepest and most diverse spots in the Aegean Sea, your boat will release nets and creels in hopes of catching shrimp and octopus.

Your expert guide will teach you about the island's traditional fishing methods and help you get acquainted with your equipment. After learning a few basic techniques, you'll try your luck in the water. Whatever the ship catches, you'll enjoy for a meal!

After fishing, you'll dock at a gentle harbor where the crew will prepare your seafood. While you wait, enjoy swimming or snorkeling in the sea. If you haven't snorkeled before, your guide is happy to help you learn some diving and breathing techniques. 

If you choose to take an evening trip, after dinner, you'll return to the open sea and watch a famous Santorini sunset. Enjoy views of the caldera as the sun melts in the sea before returning to Vlychada.

Before or after your time on the water, depending on how you choose to schedule your day, learn the story of Lost Atlantis. Live the myth at the new experiential museum in Santorini, the only museum about Lost Atlantis in the world. You can learn about the myth of Atlantis, how it is connected to Santorini, experience its destruction, and explore multiple digital installations.

Then continue to the possible inspiration behind the legend at Akrotiri, one of the most significant prehistoric settlements of the Aegean Sea. This archaeological site features an ancient city preserved by volcanic ash for thousands of years. You'll walk through the city's remarkably preserved ruins and learn why this site played such an essential economic role. Stroll amongst the ancient walls of the houses and learn what the inhabitants did each time the volcano erupted, how they took their ships out to sea only to return and rebuild their settlement from scratch.

Day 7: Santorini to Athens & Depart

Acropolis over Athens

Catch a flight back to Athens for your international transfer home or onto your next adventure.

Map

Map of Family Highlights of Greece: Athens & Santorini - 7 Days
Map of Family Highlights of Greece: Athens & Santorini - 7 Days