Take older kids and teens on this two-week itinerary that will get you out into some of the most interesting natural landscapes in Greece. You'll start in Athens, exploring the capital's parks and street art scene, then head to Nafplio to explore ancient theaters and monuments by both land and sea. Visit the castles of the Mani Peninsula, learn about Greek cooking in Kalamata, and tour the Classical-era temples at Delphi before you head home.

Highlights

  • Take a tour of the Athens street art scene
  • Kayak over the sunken city of Epidaurus
  • Learn Greek cooking styles at a honey farm
  • Seek the oracle on a hike at Delphi

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & Explore the City Parks Athens
Day 2 Acropolis & Ancient Athens Mythology Tour, Athens Street Art Tour Athens
Day 3 Family Cooking Class & Athenian Riviera Tour Athens
Day 4 Athens to Nafplio & Castle Hike Nafplio
Day 5 Epidaurus Guided Tour & Sunken City Sea Kayaking Nafplio
Day 6 Family Cooking Class & Explore Lake Stymphalia Nafplio
Day 7 Nafplio to Mani Peninsula via Castle-Town of Mystras & Mosaic Workshop Mani Peninsula
Day 8 Monemvasia Castle and Upper Town Tour Mani Peninsula
Day 9 Explore Villages of Mani & Transfer to Kalamata Kalamata
Day 10 Biking & Paddleboarding at Gialova Lagoon & Voidokilia Beach Kalamata
Day 11 Kalamata to Olympia with Archaeologist Experience & Honey Farm Dinner Olympia
Day 12 Olympia to Delphi via Nafpaktos & Galaxidi Delphi
Day 13 Delphi Tour with Painting & Hike Delphi
Day 14 Return 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: Acropolis & Ancient Athens Mythology Tour, Athens Street Art Tour

At the Parthenon
Discover the endless history of Athens with a mythology tour through the heart of the city. Your guide will share captivating stories from ancient Greek mythology and expose the real-life events and characters behind them.

After meeting your guide and learning a bit about what the tour entails, you'll set off into the world of Ancient Greece. You'll start at the Temple of Olympian Zeus, then make your way to the Theater of Dionysus and world-renowned Acropolis. Here you'll find some of the city's most famous sites, including the Temple of Athena Nike, the Temple of Erechtheion, the Propylaia, and the spectacular Parthenon.

As you visit these historical places, your guide will help bring ancient myths to life. You'll learn the popular and secret stories about Greek gods and heroes, such as Zeus, Athena (goddess of wisdom and protector of Athens), Poseidon (god of the sea), and more.

As you continue the tour, you'll head into the Ancient Agora, democracy's place of birth and where great philosophers, like Socrates, spoke. Explore the perfectly preserved Greek temple, Hephaisteion, and hear more mythical stories about other popular characters, including Theseus and the Minotaur, Hera (the wife of Zeus), and Aphrodite (goddess of love and beauty).

Next, get a little more modern as you learn why Athens is a street artist’s paradise. You'll examine all different methods, including tagging, bombing, stencil, and painting, and learn about some of the city's 2,000+ street artists. From iconic images beloved by Athenians to controversial pieces, you'll explore the city's iconic street art scene, its history, and the greatest players.

Your local guide (a street artist themself) will show you some of the most interesting pieces in unusual places. Some neighborhoods support and showcase art more than others, but each district has its own style. You'll experience everything from authentic grit in abandoned industrial spaces to formal techniques in exhibition centers. Your guide will help you understand how each artist and each piece relates to Athens' current social and economic situation.

Day 3: Family Cooking Class & Athenian Riviera Tour

Explore the Ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion

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

Before you begin, your host will share the history, tradition, and cultural importance of Greek cuisine. Together, 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.

After your class, 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 and its historic vessels.
 
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 endless 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.

Day 4: Athens to Nafplio & Castle Hike

Fortress at Acrocorinth
Fortress at Acrocorinth
Enjoy a scenic drive from Athens to Nafplio, which takes about two hours.
 
Stop along the way to take photos of the impressive and narrow Corinth Canal. Built around 1890, the canal created new sea routes between the Saronic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth. You can also view the ancient Diolkos, a paved road that once transported boats by land, at its western edge.

Once you arrive in Nafplio, stretch your legs with a hike to the top of Acrocorinth, one of the biggest castles in Greece. This moderate trek takes you past unique natural springs to incredible views of the sea and surrounding countryside. Along the way, your local guide will share interesting stories about the area's history, geology, and cultural significance, including its "hidden" path to Penteskoufi, the very top of the fortress.

Come down to spend the rest of your day exploring Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece and one of the country's most beautiful towns with its mix of Venetian, Ottoman, and Greek architecture.

As you gaze across the sea and down into Nafplio's Old Town, get your bearings and try to spot a few of the other must-see sites. The Fort of Bourgi sits on a small island right in the middle of the harbor. You can take a short boat ride to the islet, circling the area to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Look for a red-tiled dome to find the Vouleftikon Building, the very first Greek Parliament. Nearby is Constitution Square, also known as Syntagma Square, the main plaza in Nafplio. It's a lively spot in the city with many restaurants, bars, and cafes to enjoy. It's also a great place to people-watch under the sycamore trees and witness typical Greek life. 
Plan your trip to Greece
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.

Day 5: Epidaurus Guided Tour & Sunken City Sea Kayaking

The Ancient Theater at Epidaurus
The Ancient Theater at Epidaurus
Discover the unique history and significance of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus. Your guide will take you through the ruins, starting with the Temple of Asklepios and the Temple of Artemis. You'll then visit the Tholos, the Ceremonial Hall, the Stadium, the Greek Baths, and the Stoa. You'll learn about how the site functioned in terms of medicine, often compared to a hospital or "holistic therapeutic center." The entire complex is a significant testimony to the healing devotions of ancient Greeks and Romans.

Next, you'll visit the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, known for its perfect acoustics and for being the best-preserved theater of its time. The Greeks performed many plays here, during celebrations and events, and as part of the Sanctuary's regular healing traditions. During the summer months, you can watch a play on Friday or Saturday evening, as part of the Athens & Epidaurus Festival.
 
Get a different perspective on these ancient sites with a kayak tour of the sunken city. As you follow the coastline, you'll paddle over the ruins of Epidaurus, which was built in 1200 BCE. You may know it better as Argolida’s Lost Atlantis. Here, you'll find an entire metropolis preserved under the sea. After stopping at an isolated beach, you can snorkel and take underwater pictures of the ruins.

Before heading back, enjoy a homemade picnic and some free time at the beach. You can snorkel, swim, sunbathe, or play on the sand.

Day 6: Family Cooking Class & Explore Lake Stymphalia

Learn About Winemaking and the Myths of Greek Gods and Heroes - Photo from MAMAKITA
  Explore the scenic vineyard [Photo from MAMAKITA]
Enjoy time to bond with your family and learn some new cooking skills. You'll visit a winery in Nemea, famous for its ancient stadium where the Nemean Games took place. Here, you'll find a region known for the red Agiorgitiko grape, the most developed PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) grape in Greece.

First, enjoy a tour of the vineyard. Then take a seat to hear a professional storyteller telling Greek myths and learn the mythology behind Dionysus, the god of the grape harvest and winemaking, and a favorite hero, Hercules. Next, you'll start your cooking class. Your host will deliver a crash course about some of the region's most common raw materials, plus both traditional and modern cooking techniques. With the help of your teacher, you'll create an entire meal to enjoy, along with wine pairings for parents.
 
Afterward, stretch your legs with an exploration of the natural beauty of Lake Stymphalia, a mythologically and ecologically significant area in Greece, linked to the labors of Hercules and the slaying of the Stymphalian birds. But apart from its legends and myths, it's also an important ecosystem that belongs to the European Network of Protected Areas (Natura 2000). While visiting, you can browse the modern and interactive Environment Museum of Stymphalia and learn more about the interdependence of humans and nature throughout the region. 

After exploring the museum, head to its balcony, where you can catch a family-friendly, 1.5-mile (2-km) path to the shores of the lake. Rugged mountain peaks (sometimes dusted in snow) surround the lake, and the landscape is always changing colors depending on the time of day and season. Keep an eye out for migratory birds that use the marshy wetlands as a stopover. You might spy some herons, egrets, or bitterns.

Day 7: Nafplio to Mani Peninsula via Castle-Town of Mystras & Mosaic Workshop

The Despots Palace, Mystras
The Despots Palace in Mystras
Enjoy a scenic drive from Nafplio to the Mani Peninsula. You'll travel 105 miles (170 km), which takes about three hours. Along the way, consider stopping at Sparta to enjoy the archaeological site, the Museum of Olive Oil, or the Castle of Mystras.
 
Erected in 1249 CE, the castle is the most important Byzantine monument in Greece, sprawling across a steep mountainside. You'll enjoy walking through this preserved archeological site led by a local expert guide. Mystras is very atmospheric and photogenic, set into three distinct zones representing different historical eras. You can tour the Upper City (Ano Chora) with the Despot's Palaces, the Lower City (Kato Chora) with the Metropolis, and the Outer City (Exo Chora). Your guide will share important historical information and detail what daily life was like in the city.
 
Once you arrive on the Mani Peninsula, get creative with this mosaic workshop set at the base of Mt. Taygetos in the authentic Greek village of Xirokambi. In the garden of a traditional home and atelier, your family will explore your artistic side while learning about the region's mosaic history. Then get to work creating your own masterpiece to bring home with you.

Day 8: Monemvasia Castle and Upper Town Tour

Monemvasia from Afar
Monemvasia from afar
Discover the mysteries of Monemvasia with this private tour of the castle and its scenic Upper Town. Throughout the centuries, Momenvasia evolved into a popular castle-town and a strategic base of trade and military. Many cultural influences came and went, including the Venetians, the Turks, and the Pope himself!

Today, Monemvasia is a living medieval castle-town, one of the most beautiful of the Mediterranean Sea. A private guide will take you through the castle's narrow cobbled paths and under vaulted arches to admire the historic architecture. The entire town sits on the island's rugged southern side, entirely walled on both sides and down to the sea. You'll visit the many traditional shops and tavernas inside the old walls while learning about the castle's fascinating history, culture, and mythology.

After visiting the Old Town, you'll start your trek through the Upper Town. The massive cliffs in the middle of the castle stand at nearly 1,000 feet (300 m). The walk to the top is quite difficult and steep, but your hard work will be rewarded with incredible views and a visit to the Church of Aghia Sofia.

Day 9: Explore Villages of Mani & Transfer to Kalamata

The Historic Town of Vathia
The historic town of Vathia

Enjoy a road trip today through the villages of Mani, ultimately ending in Kalamata.

Start with Areopoli, meaning the "City of Ares," named after the ancient Greek god of war. This town is the area's capital and features a large square with the statue of Petrobay’s Mavromichalis. Enjoy wandering through the charming stone alleys with preserved tower houses and churches and stop to visit the shops, taverns, and bars.

Continue to picturesque Oitylo, an ancient Greek city that formed part of Menelaus’ kingdom, according to Homer. Then, head to Limeni. Once a pirate cove and the old harbor of Areopoli, the town now hosts a wonderful seaside resort in its small fishing community. Pop into one of the restaurants or cafés for stunning sea views. Although there isn't a beach, stone steps lead directly into the crystal-clear waters.

If you like caves or need to escape the summer heat, consider a visit to the Caves of Diros and admire the unique and "natural underground cathedral," as it's described. There are three caves, but only one, Vlyhada, is open to the public. You'll take a guided punting boat and admire the impressive stalagmites and stalactites inside.

Next, head to the natural port of Gerolimenas. In ancient times, it was the most important port in the area, transporting goods to Pireaus and the island of Syros. Nowadays, it’s an authentic fishing village with delicious restaurants and a pebbled beach.

Another worthwhile stop is the traditional settlement of Vathia, full of characteristic tower houses. The village sits atop a high hill аbоve thе sea, its rοаds winding around it. From the top, you'll enjoy beautiful pаnοramic scenes οf thе entire villagе.

End your day in the southernmost point of mainland Greece at Cape Tainaron. The ancient Spartans built several temples in the area, the most important one being the Temple of Poseidon, honoring the god of the sea. Enjoy a stroll to the lighthouse at the end of the cape and savor the incredible sea views.

Day 10: Biking & Paddleboarding at Gialova Lagoon & Voidokilia Beach

The Famous Flamingoes - Photo from Explore Outdoor Activities
The famous flamingoes [Photo from Explore Outdoor Activities]
Explore Gialova Lagoon, one of the most important wetlands in Greece and the European continent. You'll cycle through an environment that supports numerous species of endemic and migratory birds. The lagoon is near the world-famous Voidokilia Beach and attracts naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe.
 
Start in Gialova village, following mostly flat gravel and asphalt roads and enjoying the passing views of old olive groves as you descend to the coastline. Make your way through the lagoon and keep an eye out for wildlife. The wetlands support 270 bird species, including its famous flocks of flamingos resting in the shallow waters. Your guide will bring binoculars so you can get a better view of any birds you see.

You'll reach Voidokilia Beach, known for its calm turquoise lagoon, fine white sand, and powdery dunes. Experience this world-famous beach with paddleboarding and snorkeling in its crystal-clear waters. You'll paddleboard toward a nearby cove and take a break on the beach. Then swap your board for snorkeling equipment and dive into the deeper water to search for fish around the rocky walls of the cove. As you turn back, you may be able to catch a few waves and surf them! To end your excursion, enjoy some free time to swim, sunbathe, and savor a delicious picnic.

Day 11: Kalamata to Olympia with Archaeologist Experience & Honey Farm Dinner

The Impressive Archaeological Site of Olympia
The archaeological site of Olympia
Take the scenic two-hour drive from Kalamata to Olympia along the Gulf of Kyparissia.
 
When you arrive, roll up your sleeves and become an archeologist for a day in historic ancient Olympia. This kid-friendly activity starts with a guided tour of the archaeological site of Olympia, the exciting birthplace of the Ancient Olympic Games.

Once you learn all about the site, it's time to dig! Your family will put on your archeologist hats and conduct a simulated excavation of a house from the 5th century BCE. You'll also find ruins from an ancient gymnasium and a Roman bathhouse with beautiful mosaics. As you dig, a professional archeologist will help you understand the science behind the human past and the excavation process.

When finished, visit a conservation lab and learn how archeologists preserve the buildings, monuments, and artifacts they find. You'll even do a little conservation work yourself! Before you end the day, take it to the races and practice some Olympic sports while learning Greek mythology.

In the evening, savor a delicious private dinner at a local honey farm. Your host will welcome you with a generous spread of regional cuisine. Experience Greek hospitality as you interact with your hosts, try different recipes, sip drinks, and chat in the garden of a traditional farmhouse.

After your meal, Clio will share the beekeeping process with an interactive workshop. She ensures that both kids and adults will enjoy the fun, revealing the secrets of honey and caring for bees. Then, enjoy a honey tasting paired with a traditional diples dessert. This crunchy fried dough is best when drizzled with local honey!

Day 12: Olympia to Delphi via Nafpaktos & Galaxidi

Along the coast
Enjoy a scenic drive from Olympia to Delphi, which takes about three and a half hours. As you leave Olympia, consider a slight detour to the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology in Katakolo. Here, you can view a working copy of the Antikythera Mechanism, the first-ever analog computer, and the oldest device that could predict astronomical positions and eclipses.

As you make your way toward the Gulf of Corinth, enjoy passing through the lush Elis Valley, filled with olive groves and oak trees. At Nafpaktos, you'll cross the Rio–Antirrio Bridge, one of the world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges (and the longest among the fully suspended ones). 

Nafpaktos makes an ideal stopover to break up your journey. A historic town wraps around the scenic fortified old port, where you’d never guess the naval battle of Lepanto took place in the 16th century. The waterfront promenade, central square with views of the old port, and statue of Miguel de Cervantes (to honor his participation in the Battle of Lepanto) have made Nafpaktos a favorite spot for locals and visitors.

Visit the hilltop Venetian castle or stroll around the historic port for a scenic view of the now-calm harbor and the Rio bridge that connects Central Greece and the Peloponnesian peninsula. The Fethiye Mosque is the largest Ottoman-era mosque in the city, complemented by the old mansions along the streets. 

For the drive's final stretch, enjoy views of the Gulf of Corinth coastline. Hidden in a picturesque bay on the northern side of the Gulf of Corinth, you will find the picture-perfect village and fishing port of Galaxidi. Famous for the wonderfully restored old shipowners' mansions, this coastal town makes you feel like you are on an island rather than on mainland Greece. Take a stroll down the seafront promenade and enjoy the sea breeze with beautiful views and a choice of cafes and restaurants for when you'll need a pit stop.

Galaxidi is all about the locals, so grab any opportunity to engage in a discussion with the fishermen, the cafe staff, or little shop owners, they always have interesting stories to tell. Keep an eye out for the locally crafted miniature ships for a unique souvenir.

Day 13: Delphi Tour with Painting & Hike

Ancient Temple in Delphi
Ancient temple in Delphi

Visit the ancient archeological site of Delphi, known as the "center of the world," where Apollo spoke through his oracle. A family-friendly guide will lead you through this UNESCO World Heritage Site, set against a scenic mountain landscape. You'll explore the most sacred place of the ancient civilization while walking amongst ruins and learning all the secrets of the old prophecies.

As you discover different treasures of Delphi, you'll hear stories and myths of ancient Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes. Follow along the paths and view the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, and the preserved Theater. Then, walk up to the stadium for stunning views of olive groves and the Corinthian Gulf.

After the tour, you'll explore your artistic skills and enjoy a unique painting workshop with a specialized guide. Choose your favorite scene of Delphi or its natural surroundings and work to create your own masterpiece. Your guide will help you learn a few painting techniques and offer advice as you work.

Next, it's time for some activity as you hike an ancient footpath and enjoy some new views of the enchanting archaeological ruins. You'll start from the foothills of Mt. Parnassos and follow a forested route to the village of Delphi. Along the way, enjoy exceptional views of the ancient sanctuary, rolling olive groves, and the Corinthian Gulf.

The moderate trail begins at the Livadi Plateau, an altitude of nearly 4,000 feet (1,200 m). You'll walk along the same path that once led Pan’s worshippers to the Corycean Grotto. Today, it's a part of the E4 European trail. Along the way, enjoy a picnic in a traditional sheep barn. Then, you'll descend toward the famous Delphi sanctuary where the Peloponnese Mountains come into view.

Day 14: Return to Athens & Depart

Roman Agora in Athens

Wave goodbye to Greece as you return to the Athens to catch your flight home or onto your next adventure.

Map

Map of Greek History, Nature, and Culture for Families: Athens & the Peloponnese - 14 Days
Map of Greek History, Nature, and Culture for Families: Athens & the Peloponnese - 14 Days