7 Day Itinerary to Visiting Greece
Nestled at the crossroads of history, culture, and natural beauty, Greece beckons with a timeless allure that has captivated hearts for millennia. Embarking on a journey through this ancient land is akin to flipping through the pages of a living history book. Each chapter offers an encounter with the gods, philosophers and adventurers who have shaped its story. From the sun-drenched shores of its islands to the towering pillars of its archeological sites, Greece stands as a testament to human creativity and endurance. Let us delve into a realm where azure seas meet whitewashed villages, where the whispers of the past intertwine with the vibrant present and where the spirit of exploration finds its truest expression.
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Canaves Oia Boutique Hotel
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Athens Capital Center Hotel - M Gallery
A sophisticated blend of modern luxury and classical Greek aesthetics, nestled in the vibrant cultural hub of Athens.
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Chic boutique hotel in Mykonos boasting three restaurants and two bars.
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Day 1: Athens - Unveiling the cradle of civilization
Begin your journey in the heart of Greece, where the city of Athens stands as a testament to the birth of Western civilization. Immerse yourself in the bustling energy of the capital, where ancient landmarks harmoniously coexist with modern vitality.
Morning: Acropolis and Parthenon
Embark on a pilgrimage to the iconic Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site that overlooks the city. Ascend the marble steps and stand in awe before the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Let history envelop you as you gaze upon the grandeur that has inspired generations.
Insider Tip: Arrive early to beat the crowds and the heat and don't forget your comfortable walking shoes.
Afternoon: Plaka and Ancient Agora
Descend from the Acropolis to Plaka, Athens' charming old neighborhood. Stroll through narrow streets lined with traditional houses, boutique shops and quaint cafes. For a taste of authentic Greek cuisine, indulge in a leisurely lunch at a local taverna.
In the afternoon, make your way to the Ancient Agora, an open space once at the heart of Athenian public life. Explore the Temple of Hephaestus, the Stoa of Attalos and the Museum of the Ancient Agora to gain insight into the daily life of ancient Athenians.
Evening: Sunset at Lycabettus Hill
As the sun starts to dip, ascend Lycabettus Hill for a panoramic view of Athens. The climb can be steep, but the breathtaking vista at the summit is well worth it. Witness the city's transition from day to night, with the Acropolis illuminated against the darkening sky.
Insider Tip: Consider taking the funicular railway to the hilltop if you prefer an easier ascent. Also, make dinner reservations in advance at a rooftop restaurant for a romantic and picturesque evening.
Notes for Travelers
Currency: Euro (€)
Language: Greek, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas.
Local Etiquette: Greeks often enjoy a slower pace of life, so don't rush your dining experience. It's common to linger over meals.
Dress Code: Athens is quite casual, but appropriate attire is recommended when visiting religious sites like the Acropolis.
On this first day, Athens invites you to uncover its layers of history and immerse yourself in its vibrant modern culture. Be prepared to marvel at the juxtaposition of ancient wonders and contemporary life, setting the tone for a week of exploration ahead.
Day 2: Delving into Delphi - mystique of the oracle
Today, venture beyond Athens to the mystical site of Delphi, an ancient sanctuary that once held great significance in the Greek world. Delphi was believed to be the center of the universe, where the Oracle of Apollo provided guidance to kings, leaders and seekers of wisdom.
Morning: Journey to Delphi
Embark on a scenic drive through the stunning Greek countryside towards Delphi. The journey itself is a feast for the eyes, with picturesque landscapes and charming villages along the way.
Insider Tip: Consider hiring a local guide who can enrich your experience with stories and insights about the region's history and mythology.
Afternoon: Delphi Archeological Site
Arrive in Delphi and explore its remarkable archeological site. Wander through the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, where the Oracle once prophesied, and the ancient theater, where performances once captivated audiences. The Delphi Archeological Museum is a treasure trove of artifacts, including the renowned Charioteer of Delphi.
Insider Tip: Bring along a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water, as the site is exposed to the sun.
Evening: Enjoy Arachova
After your exploration of Delphi, head to the nearby mountain town of Arachova. Nestled on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, this charming village is known for its cobblestone streets, traditional architecture and vibrant local culture. Enjoy a leisurely dinner at a local taverna, savoring regional delicacies.
Insider Tip: Arachova is also famous for its handwoven textiles and local cheese. Consider picking up some souvenirs to take a piece of Greece back with you.
Notes for Travelers
Driving: The roads to Delphi can be winding, so if you're not comfortable driving, consider hiring a private driver or joining a guided tour.
Opening Hours: Check the opening hours of the Delphi site and museum in advance, as they can vary by season.
Attire: While comfortable walking shoes are a must, also bring a light jacket or shawl as temperatures can vary in the mountains.
Day two unveils the enigmatic allure of Delphi, offering a glimpse into the ancient world's fascination with divination and oracles. As you traverse this historically significant site and experience the charm of a mountain village, you'll find yourself enchanted by the layers of Greece's cultural tapestry.
Day 3: Island escape to Santorini - a feast for the senses
Escape the mainland's embrace and set sail for the mesmerizing island of Santorini, a place where dreams seem to converge with reality. This volcanic gem is renowned for its stunning sunsets, white-washed buildings and azure-domed churches, creating a landscape that is both ethereal and enchanting.
Morning: Arrival in Santorini
Arrive in Santorini, where the juxtaposition of cliffs and sea creates a breathtaking first impression. Take in the panoramic view of the island's iconic caldera and let the beauty of this unique setting captivate your senses.
Insider Tip: Arrange for a private transfer from the port to your accommodation to start your island experience with comfort and ease.
Afternoon: Oia - A Painter's Palette
Explore the postcard-perfect village of Oia, with its narrow pathways, charming boutiques and iconic blue-domed churches. Lose yourself in the maze-like streets, each turn revealing a new vista of the Aegean Sea.
Insider Tip: While Oia is famous for its sunset views, the crowds can be overwhelming. Consider enjoying the sunset from a less crowded spot, such as the Byzantine Castle ruins.
Evening: Sunset Splendor
As the day draws to a close, prepare for an unforgettable sunset experience. Whether from the cliffs of Oia, the caldera's edge, or aboard a sunset cruise, witnessing the sun dip below the horizon and paint the sky with hues of gold and pink is an indescribable moment.
Insider Tip: If you plan to enjoy the sunset from a popular spot, arrive early to secure a good vantage point, especially during peak tourist seasons.
Notes for Travelers
Transport: Getting around Santorini often involves walking, taxis, or rental vehicles. Be prepared for some uphill and downhill walks, as many areas are on cliffs.
Beach Shoes: Some beaches in Santorini have pebbles or coarse sand, so wearing water shoes is advisable for comfortable beach access.
Local Cuisine: Don't miss the chance to indulge in Santorini's local cuisine, featuring fresh seafood, local cheeses and renowned wines.
Day three transports you to the dreamlike realm of Santorini, a haven of romance and beauty. With its mesmerizing landscapes and inviting ambiance, this island is destined to capture your heart as you bask in its idyllic charm and partake in its enchanting sunsets.
Day 4: Santorini's treasures - exploring history and relaxation
As the allure of Santorini continues to unfold, today's journey invites you to delve deeper into the island's riches. From archeological marvels to rejuvenating waters, you'll discover a harmonious blend of culture and relaxation.
Morning: Akrotiri Archeological Site
Embark on a historical adventure to the Akrotiri Archeological Site, often called the "Pompeii of the Aegean." Explore the remarkably preserved ruins of this ancient Minoan settlement, which was buried by volcanic ash around 1600 BCE. Unearth the remnants of an advanced civilization and gain insight into their daily life and customs.
Insider Tip: To avoid the midday heat and crowds, aim to visit the site in the morning. Guided tours are available and provide valuable context to the archeological wonders.
Afternoon: Perissa Beach and Perivolos Beach
Indulge in the serene beauty of Santorini's beaches, known for their black sand and crystal-clear waters. Choose between Perissa Beach, with its lively atmosphere and water sports offerings or the more tranquil Perivolos Beach, perfect for sunbathing and relaxation.
Insider Tip: If you prefer a quieter experience, opt for Perivolos Beach, which is generally less crowded than its counterparts.
Evening: Fira Exploration
Venture to the capital of Santorini, Fira, to discover its vibrant energy and stunning views. Stroll along the narrow streets lined with boutiques, galleries and cafes. As the sun sets, the town comes alive with a lively atmosphere, making it an ideal spot to enjoy dinner and people-watch.
Insider Tip: For a unique perspective, consider taking the cable car down to the Old Port and then ascending back up by cable car or on a donkey ride.
Notes for Travelers
Local Customs: In Greece, dining often takes place later in the evening. Don't be surprised if restaurants are still relatively quiet during what might be considered typical dinner hours in other cultures.
Cultural Sensitivity: While Santorini has a relaxed atmosphere, be mindful of wearing appropriate attire when visiting churches or monasteries.
Day four invites you to uncover both the ancient past and the tranquil present of Santorini. With a balance of historical exploration and seaside relaxation, you'll embrace the island's unique character and find yourself entranced by its blend of culture, beauty and leisure.
Day 5: Mykonos magic - beaches, windmills and nightlife
Bid farewell to Santorini as you set sail for another Greek gem, the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Known for its stunning beaches, iconic windmills, and vibrant nightlife, Mykonos promises a day of diverse experiences that will leave you enchanted.
Morning: Arrival and Beach Bliss
Arrive in Mykonos and take a moment to absorb the island's lively atmosphere. Start your day with a visit to one of Mykonos' renowned beaches. From the vibrant Paradise Beach to the tranquil Agios Ioannis, there's a beach to suit every mood.
Insider Tip: Consider renting a beach umbrella and loungers for comfort and shade, especially during the peak sun hours.
Afternoon: Windmills and Little Venice
Stroll through Mykonos Town to discover its iconic windmills, which stand proudly on a hill overlooking the town and the sea. Continue to the charming area known as Little Venice, where colorful houses stand at the edge of the water. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at a waterfront taverna.
Insider Tip: Explore the narrow alleys of Mykonos Town, where surprises await around every corner. Don't hesitate to get lost in the labyrinthine streets.
Evening: Sunset at Armenistis Lighthouse
As the day transitions into evening, head to Armenistis Lighthouse for a breathtaking sunset view. Perched on the northwestern tip of the island, this spot offers an uninterrupted panorama of the sun sinking into the Aegean Sea.
Insider Tip: The road to the lighthouse can be a bit bumpy, so if you're renting a vehicle, opt for something with a higher clearance.
Mykonos is renowned for its lively nightlife scene. After freshening up, explore the vibrant bars, clubs, and restaurants that come alive as the night unfolds. Dance to the rhythm of international DJs, or savor a relaxed cocktail by the sea.
Insider Tip: Many clubs and bars don't truly come alive until after midnight, so pace yourself if you plan to enjoy the island's nightlife to the fullest.
Notes for Travelers
Ferry Travel: Ferries are a common mode of transportation between Greek islands. Be sure to check the ferry schedules and book your tickets in advance during peak travel seasons.
Local Transport: Mykonos Town can be explored on foot, but if you're planning to venture further, renting a scooter, ATV or car can be a convenient option.
Day five immerses you in the captivating rhythm of Mykonos, where the beauty of the beaches, the charm of the town and the energy of the nightlife converge to create an unforgettable day of exploration and revelry.
Day 6: Enchanting Rhodes - medieval grandeur and coastal beauty
Today's adventure takes you to the enchanting island of Rhodes, a place where medieval history and natural beauty intertwine. Explore ancient citadels, relax on pristine beaches and relish the fusion of cultures that make Rhodes a unique destination.
Morning: Arrival in Rhodes
Arrive in Rhodes and be greeted by the imposing walls of the medieval Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The mix of Byzantine, Ottoman and Italian influences has bestowed upon Rhodes a unique architectural character.
Insider Tip: If arriving by ferry, try to secure a seat on the side of the boat that offers views of the Old Town as you approach the harbor.
Afternoon: Exploring the Palace of the Grand Master
Embark on a journey through time as you explore the Palace of the Grand Master, a medieval fortress that once housed the rulers of the Knights of St. John. Wander through its opulent rooms, admire intricate mosaics and envision the grandeur of the past.
Insider Tip: Consider hiring a local guide to gain a deeper understanding of the history and stories behind the palace's walls.
Evening: Rhodes New Town and Mandraki Harbor
As the day transitions into evening, venture into the modern part of Rhodes Town. Explore the New Town's bustling streets, lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. Don't miss Mandraki Harbor, where the Colossus of Rhodes is said to have once stood.
Insider Tip: Enjoy a leisurely dinner at one of the seafood restaurants along the harbor for a taste of local flavors.
Notes for Travelers
Transport: Rhodes is a relatively large island, so consider renting a car or using local busses to get around if you want to explore beyond Rhodes Town.
Currency: While the Euro is used throughout Greece, it's a good idea to have cash on hand for small purchases or places that might not accept cards.
Day six introduces you to the captivating history and beauty of Rhodes. From the medieval splendor of the Old Town to the modern vibrancy of the New Town, Rhodes offers a fusion of eras that creates a unique tapestry for you to explore and enjoy.
Day 7: Farewell to Greece - serenity in Lindos and departure
As your Greek journey nears its end, spend your final day in the charming village of Lindos, a haven of tranquility and beauty. Embrace the captivating landscapes, explore historic sites and savor the last moments of your adventure before bidding Greece a fond farewell.
Morning: Lindos Village and Coastal Beauty
Arrive in Lindos, a picturesque village known for its white-washed buildings, narrow alleys, and stunning coastal views. Embark on a leisurely stroll through the village, exploring its charming streets and soaking in the serene ambiance.
Insider Tip: Lindos is a wonderful place for leisurely shopping and picking up unique souvenirs, from handmade crafts to local artisan products.
Afternoon: St. Paul's Bay and Relaxation
Descend from the Acropolis to St. Paul's Bay, a beautiful inlet with crystal-clear waters. Relax on the sandy beach, swim in the refreshing sea, or simply unwind under the sun.
Insider Tip: Pack a picnic or bring some snacks to enjoy on the beach, as there might not be many food options right at the bay.
Evening: Sunset Over Lindos
As your day draws to a close, find a spot with a view and savor a serene sunset over Lindos. The golden hour casts a warm glow over the village and the sea, providing a perfect farewell scene to your Greek adventure.
Insider Tip: Consider having a farewell dinner at one of Lindos' charming restaurants, where you can enjoy local delicacies and reminisce about your journey.
Notes for Travelers
Check-Out: Make sure you check out of your accommodation in time for your departure.
Airport Transfer: Arrange for transportation to the airport in advance, as Lindos is about a 2-hour drive from Rhodes' main airport.
Day seven marks the end of your Greek odyssey, inviting you to savor the serenity of Lindos and reflect on the memories you've made during your exploration of Greece's diverse landscapes and rich history. As you bid adieu to this captivating country, carry the warmth of its culture and beauty with you on your onward journey.
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Things to Do in Amalfi, Italy.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Greece.