Travelers often dream of a trip to “the Greek isles,” but as the country boasts around 200 inhabited islands, your trip planning will require you to be more specific. One of the most popular island chains is the Cyclades, home to the hotspots of Mykonos and Santorini.
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Santorini is always a good idea, whether you are visiting in fall or during summer. The spring is perfect for enjoying warm weather, hiking, and exploring the island in a more intimate atmosphere. During the summer, you will enjoy swimming in the sea, several cultural events, and a lively scene. Fall is all about art and history, while winter makes for the perfect romantic getaway.
With Mykonos being an all year round destination, you will easily find something to do in every season. Watch beautiful colors take over the island in spring and visit places such as Delos Island and enjoy a lot of sightseeing. When summer arrives, you will find an abundance of watersports, parties, and great adventures. Enjoy the warm weather in the fall and explore the museums, talk with locals, and go kayaking along the coastline. Winter makes for a quiet getaway with solitude, charm, and excellent shopping opportunities.
Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades, with some of the best beaches and most beautiful scenery. Nature sets the island apart from the others because of the green landscapes and hills, blending with the ocean colors. From spring to fall, there are a lot of activities taking place, and you can enjoy culture, watersports, festivals, and fantastic food. Every season has its charm, and the summers are highly popular among tourists, while winters are romantic and quiet.
Most travelers will find that 9 to 12 days is perfect for a well-paced Greece trip with stops in Athens, Naxos, Santorini, and Mykonos. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in 7 or 8 days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Travelers with more time can enjoy extra sights and activities at each stop, or explore more of the country—some of our favorite itinerary extensions include Chania, Ios, or Nafpaktos. Get inspired with our Athens, Naxos, Santorini, and Mykonos trip ideas below.
Seven to 10 days is the most popular trip length for Greece travelers interested in visiting both Athens and Santorini, especially when also including Mykonos. If you're only headed to Athens and Santorini, you can enjoy a comfortably-paced trip in 5 to 7 days. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as 4 days. For the best itineraries including Athens and Santorini, keep reading below.
Seven to 11 days is a great length for a Greece trip with stops in Athens and Thessaloniki. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as 3 days. With more time, you can enjoy extra activities at each stop or a few days in another region like Crete. See more ideas for Athens and Thessaloniki itineraries below.
Nine to 12 days is the most popular trip length for travelers interested in visiting Athens, Naxos, and Mykonos, especially when also including Santorini. For travelers wanting to visit Athens, Naxos, and Mykonos exclusively, plan 7 to 8 days for a well-paced trip. For the best itineraries including Athens, Naxos, and Mykonos, keep reading below.
Travelers to Greece typically plan a trip for 9 to 12 days when combining both Athens and Naxos with Santorini and Mykonos. For travelers wanting to visit Athens and Naxos exclusively, plan 5 to 8 days for a well-paced trip. Check out our favorite Athens and Naxos trips below.
Ten to 14 days is the most popular trip length for travelers interested in visiting Athens, Naxos, and Ios, especially when also including Tinos and Syros in the itinerary. If you're only headed to Athens, Naxos, and Ios, you can enjoy a comfortably-paced trip in 7 to 8 days. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as 5 or 6 days. Check out our favorite Athens, Naxos, and Ios trips below.
Travelers to Greece typically plan a trip for 7 to 10 days when combining Santorini with Athens and Mykonos. If you're not interested in Athens and Mykonos, 3 to 4 days is enough for your Santorini trip. With less time, it's still possible to see the highlights in as few as 2 days. Check out our favorite Santorini trips below.
For most travelers, 7 to 8 days is the perfect amount of time for a Greece trip with stops in Athens, Naxos, and Tinos. If you don't mind a fast-paced journey, you can see the highlights of this route in less time—as few as 6 days. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Mykonos, Ios, or Chania. Keep reading for more inspiring Athens, Naxos, and Tinos itineraries.
Most travelers will find that 7 to 10 days is perfect for a well-paced Greece trip with stops in Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. Travelers with less time can hit the route's highlights in 4 to 6 days, which makes for a fast-paced journey. Or, extend your trip and explore more of the country—some of the best-loved trip extensions include Naxos, Chania, or Elounda. Get inspired with our Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos trip ideas below.
Nine to 12 days is the most popular trip length for Greece travelers interested in visiting Athens, Naxos, and Santorini, especially when also including Mykonos. If you're only headed to Athens, Naxos, and Santorini, you can enjoy a comfortably-paced trip in 8 to 10 days. Even travelers with limited time can see the highlights in as few as 5 to 7 days. For the best itineraries including Athens, Naxos, and Santorini, keep reading below.
Combine ancient Athens with Santorini sunsets on this quick 6-day jaunt through a few of Greece's most stunning sights. After discovering the capital's classical treasures and gastronomic gems, you'll hop over to Santorini to finish your trip with a taste of island life—sailing its rugged coast, exploring whitewashed villages, and sampling local wines.
Visit two Greek classics during this 5-day tour of some of the country's most beautiful and iconic sites. You'll start in Athens, with a day to experience the Acropolis and the capital's buzzing neighborhoods. End the trip in Santorini with its white-topped cliffs and caldera views, complete with island cruising, wine tasting, and stunning sunsets to spare.
Seeking the perfect Greece itinerary? Look no further. We sent 3 people all over Greece to do research. We interviewed 2 experts. We analyzed 250 actual trips. We did in-depth interviews with 5 travelers. Then we took their advice, factored in how much time average travelers to Greece are likely to have (and what they most want to see), and identified the best Greece trips from 7-14 days. This is what we found.
This dynamic road trip takes you through some of mainland Greece's best kept secrets, starting with a mythology tour of the Acropolis in Athens and a visit to the wineries in Nemea. Then head into the picturesque Peloponnese Region where you'll discover the ancient ruins in Sparta, the medicinal tales of Ascelpius, and the charms of historic Mani villages. Visit the birthplace of the Olympics in Olympia, hike to an alpine lake for a swim, and visit a family-operated olive farm to learn all about the production process and to taste different varieties.
Enjoy some of the most beautiful islands in the Cyclades on this trip, starting on the mainland with mythology tours of the Acropolis, stargazing at constellations, and walks through the Temple of Delphi. Make your way to Tinos, the hidden gem of the Aegean, where you'll enjoy visits to marble villages, an afternoon on the beach, and an art workshop, followed by the glitz of Mykonos and the ancient ruins of Delos. End your trip with historical sites in Naxos, plus gorgeous views, beaches, and a wine tasting in Santorini.
Discover Greece's distinct culture and gastronomy, starting in Athens with a private tour of the Acropolis and a hands-on cooking class, followed by a transition to some of the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades. Begin in Syros for food tours and explorations of medieval cities, then head to the hidden gem of Tinos for some of Greece's best cuisine, plus a visit to marble villages, an art workshop, and an afternoon swimming in the Aegean Sea. End your trip in Naxos where you'll discover ancient sites, historic streets, medieval monasteries, and, of course, delicious, locally-sourced cuisines, the pride of the Greek Islands.
Visit some of Greece's most important sites on this archeology and mythology tour, starting in the buzzy capital of Athens, atop the famous Acropolis Hill, and at the Temples of Delphi. Then head to the islands, stopping in Crete to explore Heraklion, Chania, and the Arkadi Monastery, followed by Mykonos and Santorini for prehistoric ruins. End your trip on the island of Delos where you'll walk the Terrace of Lions, then head back to Athens for one final day visiting the Temple of Poseidon and chasing the sunset along the Athenian Riviera.
This family-focused trip features all that Greece has to offer, but with a kid-friendly twist. Start in the bustling capital of Athens where you'll take an interactive language class and tour the incredible Acropolis, followed by an archeological tour and beach day in Nafplio. End the trip on the island of Crete, where you'll visit beaches, enjoy guided tours of historic sites, and become archeologists and artists in a simulated excavation and a mosaic-making class.
This luxury tour of Greece starts in the bustling capital of Athens, discovering its incredible architecture and charming neighborhoods, followed by the exploration of the islands of Mykonos, Naxos, and Santorini. Live the posh life as you relax at world-renowned beach clubs, enjoy sunset cruises, tour villages around the islands, and discover the taste of Greece with food tours and wine tastings. Score incredible views of the islands and the Aegean Sea with hikes, trips to hot springs, and sunsets from your own private pool.
This tours focuses on the amazing food, wine, and culture provided by the vibrant country of Greece, highlighting bustling cities like Athens and Chania, as well as the islands of Santorini and Naxos. You'll enjoy numerous food and wine tours, allowing you to taste Greek cuisine, delicacies, pastries, and local wines and liquors, plus your own handmade dishes with a cooking class in Crete. Along the way, you'll visit an olive farm, a family-owned cheese shop, wineries, and bustling food markets, indulging your taste buds in some of the country's most beloved treats.
Over 10 days you will discover Greece's best islands, learn about ancient Greek mythologies, watch the sunset over Santorini during a cruise, and much more. The trip will start with two days and a city tour in Athens before heading to Greece's most famous archeological site, Delphi, and then to Meteora which is home to spectacular clifftop monasteries. We then head to the islands, starting with a few days in Santorini before taking a ferry to Crete where you'll learn about the local history and culture of Chania during a village tour.
Hit major Santorini hotspots on this four-day tour of the island's beautiful and iconic sites. Spend the trip exploring its classic white-topped cliffs and caldera views, complete with island cruising, wine tasting, and stunning sunsets to spare. This is an ideal tour for travelers short on time in Greece, who want to experience some of the best the country has to offer.
Experience the culture, scenery, and romance of Athens, as well as Folegandros and Santorini, some of Greece's most beautiful islands. After exploring the exciting Greek capital with private tours to the Acropolis and tales of its mythology, you'll head to Folegandros for dramatic views of red-stone cliff-sides and traditional meals in quaint towns. Polish off your trip in Santorini, the glittering gem of the Aegean Sea, for incredible hikes along the caldera, wine tasting, swimming at secluded beaches, sea kayaking, and enjoying romantic sunsets in Fira.
Discover the storied heart of Ancient Greece in this 10-day escorted journey. Begin your trip in Athens before taking an idyllic sail around the Saronic Islands. Spend three days island-hopping, enjoying small seaside towns, beautiful beaches, and a relaxed ambiance. Once back on land, head to the Peloponnese peninsula, home of the original Olympic Games and the famously warring cities of Sparta, Corinth, and Argos. Your journey ends where it began, with a bike tour through the iconic capital city.
It may be winter, but in Santorini, it's far from the worst weather of year with a glimmer of fairer temperatures hanging around still. The crowds, though, are most certainly gone, and this month you can enjoy the island in its authentic state: try a quiet coastal hike alongside a huge volcanic caldera, dine in one of the excellent local restaurants, explore Santorini's history at museums and archaeological sites, and sample native wines at one of many wineries.
November is the last month of autumn and the first of the low season. Its weather can be a mixed bag, with vestiges of sunny summer weather and the hints of winter both possibilities. Still, Santorini at this time has a more favorable climate than much of Northern Europe in the height of summer, and there are no crowds to be seen. Watch out this month for those restaurants and tours which have closed for the season, but get ready for seeing a side to island life that has a distinctly more local flavor, and for superb deals on accommodation.
October is an ideal time to visit Santorini. Many seasonal flights and restaurants finish for the year this month which means that, despite it being shoulder season, the crowds that filled Santorini over recent months are gone. And yet the weather remains very pleasant: the sun is still out, and the heavy autumn rain holds off for at least most of the month. October also sees the opening of the year's wine barrels on Santorini, giving you many excuses to stick around and join in the fun.
More of the same glorious summer weather continues throughout September, although the odd day of rain is not unheard of. The balmy climate, somewhat decreased visitor numbers, and abundance of festivals make this month an excellent choice for a visit. Be warned that while early September will see all visitor facilities in full swing, but the latter part of the month may see hotels and restaurants reduce opening hours (or shut down completely). Adding extra color throughout September: the island's annual grape harvest.
High season reaches its zenith in August, invariably the most crowded month of the year on Santorini. The warmest sea temperatures of the year, not to mention another month with almost no chance of rain, mean beach time should definitely be on visitors' itineraries. Another must this month is to check out the island's wineries, especially photogenic as the sun has ripened the grapes and precipitated the year's harvest.
July ushers in Santorini's finest weather of the year, and it's the ideal time to get down to one of the island's delightful beaches for a long sunbathe or a swim. But the gorgeous weather comes with a cost: the highest costs of the year, in fact, as high season continues for a second month running with maximum prices for hotels, and with all traveler facilities—from accommodations to tours to beachside lounges—at full capacity.
High season has arrived on the island, and with it, some of the best weather of the year: a gorgeous 13 hours of sunshine each day on average, and temperatures regularly topping 80°F. It's no wonder that all traveler services from hotels to boat tours are running at full throttle (and at their highest tariffs). It's getting too hot now to prioritize much beyond beaches and tavernas—although if you want to brave the heat to explore, cultural activities abound.
High season is not yet here, but it's starting to feel a lot more like it on the island this month. The crowds continue to increase, but the positive news is that weather continues to improve as well, and the much sunnier, much warmer days now tempt most people to the beach for a swim.
After a long winter's break which has lasted on Santorini in some cases since last September or October, everything from restaurants to hotels to tours to flights are all fully operational by the end of April. The increase in visitors from last month is dramatic, and the weather has undergone a similarly radical transformation, with much longer days and much less rain.
March is a fickle month on Santorini, throwing some of the nastiest and nicest weather of the year at visitors. When it's bad, expect rain showers, January-low temperatures, and many places still closed. Yet when it's good, it can be excellent, with sharp spring sunshine and enough heat for a spot of beach time. Freshness in the air ensures hiking is enjoyable now too. The other big upside is the lack of other tourists and deals on hotels: come in March to experience the island blissfully free of high season masses.
The weather has not improved since January on the island this month, but neither have the crowds increased. Cool and prone to heavy rain showers (and the year's chilliest water temperatures), February is a good month to find the island in its authentic, tourist-free state. There is more chance for mixing with locals at Fira's restaurants, and a glut of archaeology and winemaking heritage to discover. Come now to enjoy most of Santorini's iconic sights without the masses to disrupt the peace and quiet.
The weather is just about as miserable as it gets on Santorini this month, but unlike many Greek islands in wintertime, this one still has plenty of things to do. It's the perfect time to relax in a cave villa that would be unaffordable for many in high season, to get to grips with the island's fascinating archaeological heritage, or simply to soak up life as the locals live it—with refreshingly few tourists to be seen.
People often think that Athens is too cold to visit in November, but this couldn't be further from the truth. Although there are certainly wet and chilly days, there are also plenty of days that are bright and sunny with blue skies overhead and pleasant temperatures. And best of all: there are hardly any crowds.
October is an excellent time to visit Athens, especially toward the beginning of the month. The weather is still warm yet the crowds have mostly disappeared. It doesn't rain much and you can take advantage of great shoulder-season prices. As the month goes on, however, the colder weather begins creeping in as the first signs of winter arrive.
September is truly one of the best months of the year to visit Athens. The weather is comparable to August, offering sunshine and blue skies, yet a huge portion of the tourists leave as kids go back to school and summer vacations come to an end. In terms of both weather and crowd sizes, it's an ideal time for a Greek vacation.
Summertime is at its highest point in August when the weather is hot and sunny and the tourists are all on vacation. In Athens, the city fills with sunshine as visitors flock to museums and other attractions. The beaches are stunning with bright blue skies and warm, crystal clear water.
July is one of the most spectacular times to visit Athens, although it's also one of the busiest. It's the pinnacle of high season so you'll have crowds at all of the tourist sites and the museums will have lines out the door. However, given that the skies are blue, the water is warm, and the beaches are absolutely stunning, it's nevertheless a wonderful time to visit.
By June, summertime is in full effect in Athens. The temperatures are hot (sometimes bordering on stifling) and it's muggy throughout the city. It's the perfect time to hit the beach or head to one of the islands for a weekend trip. In the urban areas, you'll find heavy crowds but the atmosphere is fun and festive so it can be worth braving the masses. Plus, you won't have to worry about rain.
Just about anyone who's traveled to Greece will tell you that the month of May is one of the best times to visit Athens. It's a bright and sunny time with flowers blooming and pleasant temperatures everywhere. The water is still a bit chilly, but it begins warming up slightly and many of the island resorts open for business. What's more, it's still considered shoulder season so the costs and crowds are manageable.
April is unquestionably one of the best months to visit Athens if you want to take advantage of the "best of both worlds" atmosphere. By this time of year, it's sunny and increasingly warm (though not summertime-hot) and wildflowers start blooming left and right. Best of all, you can enjoy all of this splendor without the swarms of crowds.
By March, the coldest part of the winter is wrapping up and you can begin seeing signs of spring. Wildflowers start blooming and warmer days sneak in, scattering themselves among the colder, grayer days. The atmosphere is pleasant yet none of the tourists have arrived—and since it's still considered off-season, you'll enjoy smaller crowds and cheaper prices, too.
February is a fantastic time to visit Athens. Although the first part of the month can still be wintery and frigid, by late February the temperatures begin warming up slightly and the Carnival season (called "Apokreas") descends. This fun, indulgent time in the three weeks leading up to Lent involves all sorts of fun and festivities. The best part? Due to the colder weather, there are hardly any crowds.