Athens is known for its year-round mild weather; temperatures in the city rarely drop below freezing. Summer is the high season, when the city’s world-famous attractions are packed with visitors, while the peaceful winters often see a spot of rain (or, rarely, snow). Spring and fall are shoulder seasons, with pleasant weather and thinner crowds, making them a good time to visit. Below, you’ll find some useful tips to help you plan your trip.
Greece Travel Insights
Greece boasts hundreds of islands, which can make choosing the best to visit a daunting task. However, with the right planning, you'll know whether a day trip to the historic isles of the Saronic Gulf or a couple days lazing on the sands of Santorini and Crete is the perfect vacation for you. Or combine locales to get the most out of this region's beaches, food, nightlife, and ancient ruins.
Ancient history, pleasant weather, and tantalizing cuisine draw travelers to Crete throughout the year, with the majority arriving during the summer high season. The spring and fall shoulder seasons are quieter, making them a good time to visit. Crete’s climate is mild and Mediterranean, but also offers variety—visitors can enjoy the island’s beaches in the summer, or head to its mountainous regions in winter for outdoor sports. Below, you’ll find some useful tips to help you plan your trip.
With two full weeks in Greece you can see many of its unmissable sights, and experience many of its greatest attractions. An ancient country littered with historic ruins, with a stunning view around every corner, on this tour you'll combine sightseeing with relaxing and sailing around on a charter yacht. Start in the buzzing capital, Athens, then move on to the cliff-side monasteries at Meteora and the famous site of Delphi. After a dose of culture and history, head to Mykonos to board your charter yacht for a multi-day sailing tour of the Cyclades islands. Enjoy the famous Aegean winds, sparkling beaches, and a slower pace of life.
Greece is known for its ancient history and stunning islands, and you'll spend ample time experiencing both on this 13-day tour. From Athens, with its layers of history, to Meteora and Delphi, culture and history enthusiasts will love the first part of the tour. Then, take the energy level down a few notches and board a private yacht at Mykonos. Spend the remainder of the trip sailing around the beautiful Cyclades Islands, in the Aegean Sea.
Both culture and nature lovers will enjoy this 12-day tour of Greece. Starting in Athens then traveling to Delphi, you'll learn all about classical Greek history and unparalleled museums and archeological sites. Then, the relaxation begins in Mykonos, where you'll meet your charter yacht. Spend the rest of your trip sailing around the Cyclades Islands in the Aegean Sea, a quintessential and unforgettable Greek experience.
Sailing the Greek islands is a quintessential Greek experience. On this 11-day tour you'll explore many islands of the Greek Cyclades group by private charter yacht. Spend your days exploring little villages on islands with only a few hundred inhabitants, or relaxing on beaches, and your nights listening to the waves and Aegean winds. Culture and history lovers are also in luck, as this tour also spends some time in Athens and makes a day trip to Delphi, one of ancient Greece's most important sites.
Greece is a country littered with ancient history and awash with stunning views. On this 15-day tour you'll experience it all, from the buzzing capital to the cliff-side monasteries at Meteora and the famous site of Delphi. After a good dose of culture and history, board your charter yacht for a multi-day sailing tour of the Cyclades group of islands. There you'll discover a slower pace of life, sparkling beaches, and traditional towns, as well as some of those ubiquitous ancient archeological sites.
This 10-day itinerary offers a quintessential Greek experience, including time in the historic capital, and lazy days sailing around the islands of the Cyclades group. With a charter yacht, you'll cruise to islands large and small, including places where you'll feel as though you've stepped back in time, and others with vibrant dining and shopping scenes. With a mixture of down time and sightseeing activities, you'll feel physically refreshed and mentally stimulated by this luxurious and unforgettable trip.
Explore Greece's ancient wonders on this adventurous 10-day tour. Starting in the vibrant capital of Athens, you'll spend a day discovering the mysteries of Delphi before setting sail across the Saronic Gulf, mooring at the spectacular islands of Aegina, Poros, and Moni. Back on land, set off on a self-guided exploration of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, visiting the Bronze Age ruins of Mycenae, the fairytale carved village of Monemvasia, and the Byzantine mountain monasteries of Mystros.
This less-visited Greek peninsula offers a wealth of historic treasures, so it’s worth taking an entire week to explore if you can. But with only a day or two, you can explore the birthplace of the Olympic Games and Ancient Sparta, taste regional culinary delights, and visit a timeline of castles from the medieval to the Byzantine eras. Rent a car to explore the region from end-to-end on your own time, and don’t worry about bad weather thwarting a tight schedule: the Peloponnese is predictably pleasant throughout the year.
With 10 days, you can easily hop between three of Greece's distinct islands—Tinos, Naxos, and Ios in the Cyclades, for example—if you're looking for a variety of experiences. Or, immerse yourself fully in the culture and archaeological sites of one or two larger isles, such as Rhodes and Crete. Let these five itineraries inspire you.
In two weeks, you can experience the highlights of several Greek islands for a variety of relaxing, educational, and exciting experiences. Consider pairing Rhodes with Crete and Corfu, or touring a few lesser-known Cycladic isles like Tinos, Ios, and Syros. You can also choose a more immersive experience by sticking to only two islands—Naxos and Santorini, for example, offer more than enough active adventures and cultural experiences to fill 14 extraordinary days.
The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos is often paired with a visit to its neighbor Paros, as well as smaller surrounding islands. You can visit in 24 hours (it’s a short ferry ride from Santorini, making it a perfect daytrip or overnight). To really experience Naxos, however, consider spending up to five days here: you’ll be able to tour traditional mountain villages, take in the unspoiled nature of the island’s interior, and check out some of the island’s beaches, said to rival those in Santorini.
As the ultimate sailing adventure through Greece's coveted Cyclades Islands, this tour combines bustling city life with tranquil villages nestled in the Aegean Sea. From some of Europe's best nightlife to humble fishing towns and secluded beaches, travelers will enjoy Greece's rich and varied heritage. Enjoy sunsets and local seafood while discovering important and ancient archeological sites, all from the comfort of a private yacht.
Best for those interested in seeing Greece by boat, this sailing adventure combines bustling and ancient Athens with some of the country's most beautiful islands: the Cyclades. Set on a yacht, you'll sail the turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea in search of the region's rich heritage, including gorgeous beaches, iconic windmills, exotic plant life, and beautiful sunsets. The days are yours to indulge in rich, local cuisine, as well as discover archaeological sites, step back in time while meandering small villages, and enjoy some of the best nightlife in Greece.
In seven days, it’s easy to combine Athens or other mainland sightseeing with one or more Greek isles and experiences. You can wind through the medieval ruins of Rhodes, immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and cuisine of Crete, or be a sybarite as you ferry-hop the Cyclades Islands. Let this diverse collection of 7-day itineraries inspire you.
The Greek Islands may number in the hundreds, but with less than a week, it’s possible to sample a variety of isles and experiences. You can rummage among the medieval ruins of Rhodes, immerse yourself in the local lifestyle and cuisine of Crete, or visit the filming locations of the movie Mamma Mia on Skopelos. Let this diverse collection of 5-day itineraries inspire you.
This excursion takes you through the major highlights of the country's capital and two of its most popular islands, all in a 6-day timespan. In Athens, you'll visit the iconic Parthenon constructed in 438 BC, then go souvenir shopping at the bustling Monastiraki flea market. In Mykonos and Santorini, you'll lay on famous beaches, explore agricultural villages, eat fresh cuisine, and of course watch the sunset.
Tiny Mykonos can be crisscrossed by car in about 25 minutes, but that doesn’t mean you should skimp on your time here. Long known as Greece’s party island, Mykonos actually has a lot to see and do during daylight hours if you're interested in its history and culture. You can have a satisfying visit in one day, taking in the Cycladic architecture of Mykonos town and the cocktails of “Little Venice.” But it's easy to fill up to five days of sight-seeing, beach-hopping, and enjoying the island's famous nightlife.
Crete is Greece’s largest island—just driving from one end to the other makes for a five-hour journey, and there's much to do and see in between. If you want to experience all Crete has to offer, plan to spend a full week exploring its monasteries, olive groves, towns, and coast. If you have less time, don't fret: with as little as 24 hours, you can visit a major archeological site, wander through a local village or two, and hike to perches with fantastic island views.
Travel for two weeks across a wide span of Greece's top attractions, from the clifftops of Meteora to the Cretan seaside. You'll start by winding your way through the many columns of mainland historic attractions like ancient Delphi and Olympia. Go out to sea to Santorini for a taste of the Cyclades, then end your trip in Crete's second-largest city.
Mix well-known favorites with some smaller spots on this 10-day itinerary. You'll explore Classical history in Athens and Delphi before heading out to the islands. See the pilgrimage sites on Tinos and ancient sanctuaries on Delos, then continue to Naxos to try out the island's many agricultural products and end your trip cruising through Santorini's volcanic caldera.
See why Santorini and Mykonos are two of the most popular Greek islands on this itinerary. After an introduction to Athens, you'll sail through these Cycladic spots, visiting glittering beaches, Classical sanctuaries, and stunning views.
The crescent-shaped island of Santorini is compact enough that driving from one end to the other takes less than an hour, and it's easy to maximize a short trip. With only 24 hours here, you can see the ruins of Akrotiri, the vineyards at Megalochori, and the whitewashed villages of Oia and Fira. But to really experience Santorini, consider spending three to five days: you'll be able to sightsee, hike, and beach-hop while embracing the relaxed pace of island life.
True, the weather can be cold and rainy—but when the sun shines, it's simply glorious. Above all, December is a month to experience the Greek Islands alongside the Greeks, and at its most authentic. In fact, many islands are perfect wintertime venues, especially for culture vultures, nature lovers, gourmands, and travelers who love road trips.
Yes, winter is coming—but no, it’s not yet too cold for the Greek Islands. Expect a mix of mild to warm sunny days and plenty of rain mixed in. The weather may be less than ideal, but crowds are gone, prices are low, nature is magical, and you can experience the best of Greece like a local.
October offers the best of all worlds: Mild to warm, sunny weather, low shoulder season rates, and fewer visitors to compete with. Win-win-win. By month’s end, however, the chillier autumn has officially arrived, and you’ll most likely encounter prolonged clouds and rain. While September would be a better option for a beach vacation, sea temps are still warm enough for swimming, and this is also a great month for sightseeing.
September is a great month to experience the Greek Islands, as the weather and sea temperatures are perfect as can be. Whether you’re keen on an active adventure, cultural immersion, or simply fun in the sun, late September is an especially good bet, when most other travelers begin to return home and prices are starting to fall.
August is the hottest month of the year, and with Greeks enjoying their holidays as well, it’s also the busiest and the most expensive. But the sea is a perfect temperature for swimming, and Mykonos, Santorini, and other “party islands” are, well, partying as if there’s no tomorrow.
July is high season in Greece, with gloriously sunny weather, azure skies, and warm seas. It's the perfect month for swimming and sunbathing—but you'll be sharing the beaches with lots and lots of visitors, and prices are at their highest. The hottest days can be really toasty, so bring lots of sunscreen plus a shade hat and swimwear. Adding to the appeal, Greece’s music and arts festivals (and nightlife) are in full swing in mid-summer.
The Greek Islands really heat up in June—the official start of summer—and days late in the month can often be sweltering when you’re away from the cooling Meltemi breezes. And rain? What rain? Time to hit the beach! But crowds are building, and price bargains disappear—so the earlier you can go in the month, the better.
May boasts fantastic warm sunny weather and little rain. The waters are just about warm enough for swimming, and spring flowers are at full bloom. Shoulder season bargains still apply. And while visitors are now flocking to the isles in larger number, you’re still ahead of the summer crowds. It all adds up to perhaps the most perfect month of the year, especially if you want to visit the most popular destinations.
April is a fabulous month to visit the Greek islands. The weather is delightfully sunny and has warmed sufficiently for sunbathing, while the seas are just about warm enough for short dips. Wildflowers are in bloom and Easter festivities add their own magical color. Shoulder-season prices still offer a bargain, many bars and nightclubs have reopened, and while this is the cusp of tourist season, the crowds haven’t yet arrived.
Greek winter recedes into the March shoulder season, when visitor numbers begin an uptick yet prices remain attractive. Some restaurants and hotels are reopening, yet the islands are still free of the tourist swarm. The first bloom of spring flowers brightens the islands as the weather starts to warm up, with plenty of crystal-clear sunny days—time to pack the T-shirts and shorts with your cold-weather clothing.
February is Carnival time, and a good time to witness the celebration of Lent—an important part of Greek culture. This winter month is still low season in Greece, with few visitors, a subdued nightlife and cold, often gray, weather but fewer rainy days. Prices are still at their lowest, and this is one of the best months of the year to experience the Greek Islands like a local, forsaking the beaches to experience the culture at its most authentic.
In just under two weeks, you can easily tour Greece’s capital, mainland, and islands. Make your way from Athens to the Cycladic islands to Crete at a slower pace, or pack in guided historical tours or adventurous activities as you hop through the same destinations. You can also elect to explore one specific region, such as Crete or the Greek mainland, where you can discover unique villages and get a feel for the area’s history and culture. Read on for some great itineraries that make the most of a 12-day trip.
With twelve days in Greece, you can dig deep into one region, like the mainland or the Cyclades, and still have time to explore the iconic sights and flavor of Athens. There are myriad ways to divide up your days depending on your desired pace and preferences: hop around an island chain; devote more time in fewer destinations through a historical lens; or hit the road to discover villages, towns, and unique ruins. See some options below.
The vast majority of visitors hit the Greek Islands in the hot heyday of summer, but January offers sublime tranquility and bargain prices, with no other tourists in sight. Weather is unpredictable and chilly, but the sky is often crystal clear. And although many tourist businesses are closed for winter and ferries reduce their schedules, this also a time when the islands have returned to their normal pace and authentic lifestyle.
With 230 inhabited islands and a sprawling mainland, Greece offers more than enough culture, adventure, and relaxation to fill an 11-day trip. You'll likely start with must-see sites in Athens, then explore two or three of the major Cycladic islands. Other options include road tripping the Peloponnese peninsula, going off the beaten path on less-visited isles, or a combination of all of the above.
With nine days in Greece, you can island-hop your way through an island chain like the Cyclades or the Ionian Islands, road trip around the mainland, or mix it up with a bit of both. Many of these itineraries include time in Athens, after which it’s off to adventure at a speed that suits your style, whether you’re a foodie, touring with a family, or excited to sail from port to port. Check out the trip plans below for more ideas and information.
With six days to spend in Greece, you can split your itinerary between one mainland area and an island, or base yourself in one place, with some day trips mixed in. If you’re interested in exploring two locations, start in either Athens or Thessaloniki, then head for an island like Naxos or coastal town like Nafplio. If you’re interested in diving deep in one spot, consider the island of Zakynthos or the Chania region of Crete. See our itineraries below for more ideas.
Five days in Greece offers a great introduction to its ancient treasures and incredible landscapes, and there are two general approaches to make the most of a brief itinerary. First, you can split your time between vibrant Athens and one additional destination, like the seaside town of Nafplio or the island of Naxos. Or, devote your entire trip to one locale, such as Crete or Rhodes, to truly understand the complexities of a specific island or region. See more options for your trip below.
Spend 15 full days exploring some of Greece's most popular destinations on this itinerary. After visiting the Acropolis and Temple of Poseidon, you'll journey to the islands, beginning on glamorous Mykonos. After beach lounging and a sunset visit to Delos, move on to Santorini for a bayside expedition and wine tasting. Then make your way to Crete to wander through the Palace of Knossos and relax in the thermal springs of Elounda before you return for one last Athenian evening.
Gallivant through Greece with this two-week itinerary from Athens to Crete and back. After a tour of the Acropolis, you'll head to the Cycladic islands of Mykonos and Santorini, home to archaeological exploration, bright beaches, and indulgent food and wine. Keep going to the island of Crete to venture through the Palace of Knossos, storied island of Spinalonga, and spas of Elounda before you return for a final night in Athens.
From the heights of the Acropolis to the thermal waters of Elounda, this 13-day itinerary offers a span of the Greek travel experience. You'll start off in Athens, then head south over the seas starting with Mykonos, home to both beach parties and island archaeology. Next is Santorini for wine and secluded bays, then conclude in Crete with historic Spinalonga and rejuvenating spa time.
Span some key Greek island selections on this 12-day trip. Start off getting your historic background information on a tour of the Acropolis, then head out to discover the island architecture alongside the wine and seafood of Santorini and Cretan history.
Spend 11 days traveling across the spectrum of Greece on this itinerary. After your arrival in Athens, you'll hop to Santorini, home of the famous caldera and ancient vineyards, then follow it up with the ancient Palace of Knossos and Spinalonga island off the coast of Crete.
No matter how long you plan to spend in Greece, it’s likely your trip will begin and end in Athens. A destination in its own right, Athens attracts travelers for its architectural treasures, buzzing arts scene, and exciting dining options. If you have less than 24 hours here, the Acropolis should be your priority. But you can easily spend up to five days getting to know the city, with options for day trips including important sites like Delphi and the nearby wine region in Attica.
Visit some of the high points of Athens and the Cyclades with this eight-day itinerary. You'll start with a tour of the Acropolis and its neighboring museum, then journey off to Naxos, one of the largest islands in the Cycladic chain, for a hike through the island's past and present. Finish your trip in stunning Santorini, where you'll sea kayak and see island's classic caldera.