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.
Greece Travel Insights
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.
Whether you're windsurfing, hiking, or sea kayaking, this nine-day itinerary will take you to some of the highlights of Athens and the islands. Start off high atop the Acropolis, then set sail for bustling Naxos, one of the largest islands in the Cyclades, where you can take advantage of one of the best windsurfing spots in the region. Then head to Santorini to sea kayak and hike around the island's famed caldera.
Spend ten days amid some of the most popular spots in Greece. You'll start off in Athens, where you'll experience the Acropolis and the shores of the Athenian Riviera. Then sail into the Cyclades, landing first at Naxos for a hike through the island's history, then continuing to Santorini to explore its beaches and enjoy the caldera views.
This 11-day itinerary takes you through some of Greece's top spots, starting with the Acropolis in Athens. Get better-acquainted with the city from atop the hill before you board the ferry to the Cyclades. Hike through the island's history and spend some time enjoying the sun in Naxos, then continue onto Santorini, where you'll sea kayak and stroll along the famous caldera.
See some of Greece's popular high points and hidden secrets with this itinerary. Start out in Athens, where you'll tour the Acropolis and visit the resort town of Vouliagmeni before you head out to the Cyclades. Your island journey includes Naxos, home to the marble village and a sailboat that will take you out to the neighboring Small Cyclades, followed by Santorini, where you'll explore the iconic caldera and the rest of the island before you return to Athens.
See part of the range of Greek attractions both big and small with this 13-day itinerary. Start in Athens with a guided tour of the Acropolis and its museum, followed by an urban bike ride to get up close with the city. Then sail to the Cyclades, beginning in Naxos, where you can explore neighboring islands and enchanting villages. Continue in Santorini, unwinding with beach time, wine tasting, and a scenic hike along the rim of the caldera before you return to Athens.
Spend two weeks exploring Athens and some of the highlights of the Cyclades with this itinerary. You'll start atop the Acropolis before getting down into the streets of Athens for a morning bike tour, then head over to the Cycladic islands of Naxos and Santorini. Lounge on the beaches, sample some highlights of island cuisine, and hike alongside the famous caldera before you return to Athens.
Get acquainted with some Greek highlights both large and small on this 15-day itinerary. Start off in Athens atop the Acropolis and wheeling through the city streets. Then sail down to the Cyclades, starting with sun, sailing, and snacking on Naxos and following it up with exploration of both the history and landscape of Santorini before you return to Athens.
Hit some of the hottest destinations in Greece on this itinerary. You'll start in Athens, visiting the towering Acropolis and day-tripping out to the archaeological site at Delphi to experience the ancient world. Then head to the islands, where you'll lounge amid the luxury of Mykonos and then stroll along Santorini's volcanic caldera before you loop back to Athens.
Some of the most-discussed spots in Greece are yours to explore on this itinerary. After a city history tour of Athens, you'll set sail for the Cyclades' best-known islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Take a sunset sail out to the sacred island of Delos and sun on the sparkling beaches of Mykonos, then sample the fresh seafood and volcanic springs of Santorini.
You've spent enough time eyeballing them on Instagram, it's time to check out these popular Greek destinations for yourself. Look down at the city of Athens from atop the Acropolis, then get out onto the water. Depart the mainland for the island of Mykonos, where you'll cruise to all the island's top spots, then head to Santorini to explore both its wine traditions and volcanic caldera.
See some of Greece's star attractions on this 12-day itinerary. Start off in the capital of Athens and experience its rich historic heritage and modern food scene. Then ship out to the Cyclades, home to Mykonos and Santorini, where you'll enjoy beaches, archaeological tours, and all the fresh seafood your stomach could desire.
Hit three major hotspots on this thirteen-day tour of some of Greece's top sites. You'll start in Athens, experiencing both the Acropolis and modern metropolis, before hopping a ferry to glamorous Mykonos. Explore both buzzing beaches and smaller island villages before you end your trip in Santorini with wine, hiking, and sailing around the white-topped-cliffs.
Take a two-week jaunt between some of Greece's most popular sites with this itinerary. Start off with a spin through Athens, enjoying a food tour, and views from the Acropolis before you ferry out to Mykonos. Cruise around the island to experience its beaches and bustling nightlife, then head to your final stop in Santorini, where you'll hike, sail, and sip your way through Cycladic culture.
Spend 15 full days discovering some of Greece's most iconic sites on this itinerary. Divide your time between three different spots, starting with a few days to discover what modern Athens has offer from the top of the Acropolis down to the street food stalls. Then sail down to Mykonos for both inland village tours and leisurely beach time to see every angle of the island, and follow it up with the white cliffs and colorful beaches of Santorini as you sip their ancient wines and sail through the classic caldera.
Some of Greece’s most famous tales have come from the sea, so why not get out on the water to create a story of your own? Choose between four different types of boats to embark on your own oversea island excursion.
Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing areas in the world. Sip dry white wine on Santorini, sample rosé on a Peloponnese road trip, try sparkling wines in the mountainous north, or discover the reds of Crete: there is something for every taste. Learn more about the key destinations with this guide.
There are countless reasons to add Thessaloniki (Greece's second largest city) and Macedonia (Greece’s largest province) to your travel plans. From the white sands of Halkidiki to Thessaloniki’s pulsing nightlife, the region is bursting with world-class sites. No wonder that, together, they form the country’s most popular region.
The stunning Cyclades are a group of Greek islands famous for their unique architecture, cosmopolitan nightlife, impressive history, and rocky landscapes. You'll start in Paros, where golden sand beaches and charming villages are yours to explore. Then hop a ferry to neighboring Naxos for a tour of Chora, beautiful whitewashed villages, and countryside filled with churches, archaeological sites, and local distilleries.
The Peloponnese region is the little-visited underbelly of Greece. It's a hotbed of history—the Olympic Games were birthed here, it was the home of ancient Sparta, and even today Arcadian Greece survives largely intact here. The Peloponnese is worth a trip, whether you make a day trip from Athens or road trip through the region on a cultural, culinary, or active tour.