Although there are as many itineraries as there are Greek islands, we’ve put together four inspiring routes that should each last around a fortnight. These include a shortlist of the Classical sites, island-hopping in the Cyclades (the ultimate summer experience), a Cretan odyssey and, for Greece aficionados, the road less travelled.
Take your own Grand Tour of Greece’s Classical wonders and you’ll be a budding archeologist in no time. Each stop tells you something new about one of the world’s greatest and most influential civilizations.
The birthplace of many of the most famous examples of Classical Greek architecture and home to incredible museums.
Watch the sunset from the Temple of Poseidon at the tip of the Attican peninsula and you’ll see a view unchanged in centuries.
Visit Ancient Corinth and the fortifications of Acrocorinth, a huge, barren rock crowned by a great fortress.
The city that gave its name to a civilization whose Homeric heroes have become household names.
The sportsground of the ancients whose competitive motto “Faster, higher, longer” is as relevant today as it was then
The site of the famous oracle has lost none of its mystique, seamlessly blending into the landscape.
Crete isn’t just another island but almost a country in itself, at least that’s what the fiercely proud locals will tell you. Minoan sights, beautiful ports and perfect beaches all wait to be explored, best experienced with a rental car.
Vying for the title of the most attractive town in Greece, this is the perfect place to relax and people-watch.
2 Samariá Gorge
The most popular hike on the Greek islands and as perfect a one-day excursion as you can hope for.
A fascinating place with the ideal town beach offering views of a skyline of Ottoman minarets and Venetian mansions.
Crete’s capital is the best base for exploring the outstanding ruins at Knossos and for hiking on the Lasíthi plateau.
Great resort town with a spotless beach, excellent choice of excursions and a very long summer season.
6 Váï beach
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d left the Mediterranean for the tropics at this fine-sand beach lined with exotic palm trees.
Thanks to quick and frequent ferry links, the Cyclades are the best island group to hop between. While you could do this trip in a couple of weeks, three would allow a more leisurely pace.
Green, fertile, culturally exciting and with a fantastic selection of beaches, this is a great introduction to the Cyclades.
Party island for as many sensuous, fun-filled days as your body can take and your wallet can stand.
Choose between island experiences: peaceful hilltop retreats or nonstop happy hours and hangovers.
The activity centre of the Cyclades, this is the place to go trekking, diving or kitesurfing.
It’s camera-out time for the unforgettable spectacles around the crater especially during the sunset.
The place to join a boat ride around the island and swim in some of its inaccessible, kaleidoscopic beaches.
Quiet and good value with excellent beaches and a wonderful inland capital, this is a great place to chill out.
Central and northern Greece barely feature on travel agent radars but you’ll find perhaps the most “Greek” places here. As well as these quirkier sights be sure not to miss Mount Olympus and the monasteries of Metéora.
1 The Pelion
Wind your way down the hairpin roads of this spectacular peninsula, discovering lovely villages, quiet beaches and enjoying a beautifully cool climate.
2 Píndhos Mountains
The Píndhos mountain range offers rafting, skiing and one of the country’s best treks along the 20km Víkos Gorge.
Capital of the Macedonian dynasty, Vergina was the burial place of Alexander’s father and a lot of gold, the latter on show in nearby Thessaloníki.
4 Mount Áthos
One strictly for the boys, but this male-only monastic community offers a unique glimpse of the Orthodox world.