Planning Your Ultimate Trip to Greece
Greece contains countless wonders, and it looms large in traveler’s minds for its ancient history, art, and archaeology. The following itineraries take both geography and timing into consideration, allowing you to see the most with the time you have by grouping sights that are close together or easier to travel between.
Our recommendation for seven days in Greece efficiently combines the country's most enticing elements—ancient history and island time—by splitting the trip between classic three stops: Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. For more 7-day itinerary ideas, see this article.
There are plenty of ways to build on that foundation. With three more days (making it a 10-day trip) we recommend swapping Mykonos for two lesser-visited Cycladic islands, Tinos and Naxos. For more 10-day trip ideas, see this article.
With another full week at your disposal (making it a 14-day trip), you can an extra day to each of the classic stops plus five days on beautiful Crete, the largest Greek island with a culture all its own. Given Crete's size and the number of cultural attractions, beaches, and possible day trips available, you'll need multiple days to do it right, and a longer trip is the perfect opportunity. For more two-week trip ideas, see this article.
In 7 Days: A Classic Trip to Athens, Mykonos & Santorini
- A perfect mix of ancient history, culture, and Greek Island exploration
- Spend two full days at each classic stop: Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini
- Take a day trip from Mykonos to legendary Delos
- Enjoy beach time, hiking, and sunsets over Santorini's iconic caldera
The highlights of this week-long tour include the Acropolis in Athens, beaches, and temples on Mykonos and nearby Delos, and a sunset hike of the caldera in Santorini.
You’ll spend your first two nights in Athens, using the first day to take in iconic views of the Parthenon, ancient treasures at the National Museum, and bargain for some modern treasures at the bustling Monastiraki flea market.
On day two, your full day in Athens, you can take a guided tour for a closer look at the entire Acropolis complex – not just the Parthenon but its surrounding buildings and the Acropolis Museum – as well as other archaeological sites like the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Agora. You can also spend your evening at the Athens Observatory, spotting the moon, distant planets, and constellations overhead.
On day three, it’s onto the beaches of Mykonos, along with a stroll through the 18th-century quarter known as Little Venice, and day four will have you headed to the nearby island of Delos to wander the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis.
Your last two full days, days five and six, will be spent fully immersed in the wonders of Santorini, taking a wine tour of the island, exploring the iconic blue dome of Oia and medieval villages like Megalochori and Pyrgos, and taking in 360-degree views of the caldera on an epic hike. You should also take a boat trip out to explore the caldera, seeing how volcanic explosions have shaped these islands, and enjoying a Greek BBQ buffet as you watch the sunset on the final night of your trip. Learn more
Customize your trip with help from a local travel specialist.
In 10 Days: Swap Mykonos for Naxos & Tinos, Plus a Delphi Day Trip
- Maximize time by swapping Mykonos for Tinos and Naxos
- Visit less-visited Cycladic isles packed with culture and natural beauty
- Day-trip to Delos from Tinos instead of Mykonos
- Enjoy an extra day of touring in both Athens and Santorini
With 10 days in Greece, you can see Athens and the ruins at Delphi, take a day trip to Delos, visit the pilgrimage sites of Tinos, take a culinary tour of Naxos, and tour the caldera by boat from Santorini.
Your first two days in Athens will unfold much like the previous itinerary. With a third night here, you’ll also be able to fit in a day trip to the ruins at Delphi, once home to the mystical priestesses of Apollo and now a sprawling archaeological site.
On day four, you’ll ferry to Tinos, another of the Cyclades’ hidden gems. The island is dotted with beautiful villages, including Pyrgos, known as a center of marble production and artistry in the 18th and 19th centuries, documented at a marble museum. The entire island is dotted with windmills, painted dovcecoats, and Venetian ruins among ever-changing landscapes, and also has some sparsely populated beaches that are perfect breaks from the busier beaches of Naxos and Santorini.
You'll day trip to Delos by ferry on day five, as outlined in the seven-day trip (this time from Tinos instead of Mykonos). The next day, on to Naxos. Hike up Mount Zas, the mythical childhood home of Zeus, and take in the views. Try local liqueur and learn how it’s made in the town of Chalki. Pay a visit the Temple of Demeter. You can also devote an entire day – your second day on the island – to the unique cuisine of this island, with a food tour that will have you sampling loukoumades fried donuts, keftedes meatballs, and plenty of Naxian cheeses.
Days eight and nine will follow the previous itinerary, as you experience Santorini’s towns and villages like the famed Oia as well as Megalochori and Pyrgos, taking in the caldera on a hike and a sunset boat trip. Learn more
In 14 Days: Deeper Dive into Classic Stops, Plus 5 Days on Crete
- Spend five days exploring Crete, the largest Greek island
- Trek the famed Samaria Gorge, ending at a beautiful beach
- Enjoy additional culinary tours in Athens and Crete
- Add an extra day each in Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos
With this two-week itinerary, enjoy additional time in each of the original stops. In Athens, for example, take a guided food tour from the stalls of Syntagma Square to the spices of Varvakios Market. Sample olive oils, honey, cheeses from around the country, cured meats, olives, and more. You'll also spend a day getting to know the "authentic Mykonos," visiting villages, enjoying lunch al fresco on a working farm, and touring areas intrinsic to the history of the island.
From Santorini, you'll hop a ferry to Crete and spend five days exploring the largest of the Greek islands. Take a day trip to the magnificent Palace of Knossos, a 3,500-year-old Minoan maze of royal chambers, grand staircases, and workshops. Take a guided walk through Heraklion, exploring the old city's medieval streets and Venetian architecture. Check out Chania's waterfront districts, wandering among former tanneries and factories. And trek the island's famed Samaria Gorge, an all-day affair that takes hikers from mountain forests all the way down to the glittering sea.
End your time in Crete in Apokoronas. This region's villages—seven of them—are home to an Ottoman fort, historic churches, a folklore museum, and other important cultural sites. Visit the hillside ruins at ancient Aptera—one of the largest city-states in Crete until it was destroyed by an earthquake in the seventh century, a glassblowing factory in Kokkino Chorio, and the old square of Gavolochori, where you can see hand-knit lace created using a Byzantine technique. Learn more