Greece Itineraries

Although there are as many possible routes as there are Greek islands, we've put together four inspiring Greece itineraries that should each last around a fortnight. These itineraries list a wide range of experiences and destinations, from travelling through the Cyclades islands and exploring Crete in detail to delving deep into the history of Athens and other classic Greek sites.

Itinerary tips from Julia: your Greece Travel Expert

" Creating an itinerary in Greece is not just about planning a trip, but a cultural adventure," says our Greek travel expert Julia. Realising the importance of a well-designed itinerary in Greece, a country rich in history and natural splendour, is essential. Greece is a rich mosaic of age-old customs, stunning landscapes and deeply rooted cultural experiences. From the historic avenues of Athens to the serene beaches of numerous islands, each area has special appeal and offerings. A customised itinerary ensures a complete introduction to the unique elements and cultural attractions that make Greece an extraordinary place to visit.

Armed with a wealth of experience and in-depth local knowledge, I can help you navigate the intricacies of designing the perfect itinerary. Whether your interest lies in discovering the secrets of ancient sites, savouring the dynamic local gastronomy or exploring the little-known natural beauty of both the mainland and the islands, a well-designed itinerary promises a smooth and rewarding journey.

Together, let's craft a journey tailored to your preferences, tempo, and flair, ensuring your trip to Greece is truly memorable.

Santorini, Greece. Picturesq view of traditional cycladic Santorini houses on small street with flowers in foreground. Location: Oia village, Santorini, Greece © Shutterstock

Santorini, Greece

If you are planning your travel to Greece yourself, use these itineraries created by our travel writers as a starting point for inspiration.

For more inspiration, check our itineraries by duration: 7 days - 10 days

7 day Greece itinerary

Enjoy the perfect combination of culinary delights and cultural highlights on this 7-day Greek journey.

Begin in Athens, immersing yourself in a traditional welcome dinner on day 1. Day 2 will begin with a visit to the Varvakios Agora and a hands-on cookery masterclass, before exploring the Acropolis. On day 3, you'll head to Delphi to taste mountain cuisine.

On day 4, you will travel to the island of Mykonos where you will savour the delicacies of the sea. On day 5 you'll enjoy a cookery workshop and an introduction to Mykonos, and on day 6 you'll cross to Santorini for wine tasting and a sunset dinner.

On day 7, you'll explore the cultural gems of Santorini and finish with a feast of local specialities. This thoughtfully designed itinerary seamlessly blends Greek culinary treasures and historical wonders, and each day will celebrate Greece's rich heritage.

Port Mykonos in evening, Greece © Shutterstock

Port Mykonos in evening, Greece © Shutterstock

10 day Greece itinerary

Immerse yourself in a fascinating blend of cultural sights and natural wonders as you depart on an exciting 10-day Greek adventure.

Begin your journey in Athens, where you'll see the majesty of the Acropolis on day 1. Day 2 will begin with a stroll through the historic streets of Plaka and neoclassical architecture. On day 3, you'll travel to Delphi to learn about ancient oracles and admire the mountain scenery.

On day 4, you'll travel to the charming coastal town of Nafplio, where you'll discover historic gems. On day 5, head to Crete, immersing yourself in Minoan history at Knossos. On day 6, you'll travel to the medieval city of Rhodes, where local markets and historic sites await.

Days 7 and 8 will be spent on the enchanting island of Santorini, known for its breathtaking scenery. Explore the ancient site of Akrotiri and immerse yourself in the island's unique charm. On day 9, discover Corfu's historic tapestry, shaped by Venetian, French and British influences.

Conclude your journey on day 10, returning to Athens for one last exploration or rest. This 10-day itinerary promises diverse treasures of Greek culture and natural wonders, and each day reveals a new facet of Greece's rich heritage.

Kerkyra, capital of Corfu island, Greece © Shutterstock

Kerkyra, capital of Corfu island, Greece © Shutterstock

Crete Itinerary

Follow a fascinating journey through Crete, starting with the ancient wonders of Knossos, the cradle of Minoan civilisation. Wander the historic ruins before heading to the bustling capital, Heraklion, to explore its intriguing museums and bustling markets. Head to the south coast to the idyllic town of Rethymnon, where Venetian architecture and pristine beaches await. 

For a taste of authentic Cretan village life, visit the quaint mountain villages of Anogea and Axos, nestled amongst the rugged landscape. A trip to the mesmerising Samaria Gorge offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in Crete's natural splendour. Finish your adventure in the charming coastal town of Chania, the perfect blend of history and relaxation, ideal for strolling through the old town and lounging on the shores of the serene harbour.

Samaria Gorge. Crete, Greece © proslgn/Shutterstock

Samaria Gorge. Crete, Greece © proslgn/Shutterstock

Santorini Itinerary

Don't miss the opportunity to experience a charming journey around Santorini, starting with iconic views of the caldera at Fira. Explore lively streets dotted with charming shops and tavernas. Move on to Oia, known for its mesmerising sunsets, where white-washed buildings cling to the cliffs. 

Delve into the island's history with a visit to the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, a Bronze Age settlement frozen in time. Visit the picturesque village of Pyrgos, located in the heart of the island and characterised by panoramic views and traditional charm. Laze on the black sands of Perissa and Perivolos beaches or head to Red Beach for a unique seaside experience. Experience Santorini's unique blend of history, natural beauty and relaxation.

Vourvoulos beach, Santorini, Greece © Olga Davydova/Shutterstock

Vourvoulos beach, Santorini, Greece © Olga Davydova/Shutterstock

Greece Itinerary Classical Greece

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.

Start your journey in Athens, where the monumental Acropolis and the pulse of everyday life converge. Head to Sounion to see the temple of Poseidon, which provides an ethereal backdrop for sunsets that have remained unchanged for centuries. In Corinth, discover the ancient wonders of Corinth and the majestic Akrokorinth, where panoramic views echo the stories of antiquity. 

Mycenae invites you to explore royal tombs and echoes of Homeric legends. Olympia, home of the Olympic Games, is filled with an unwavering spirit of competition. Finally, the mystical aura of Delphi, once home to a revered oracle, beckons with its ancient prophecies and seamless integration into the stunning natural landscape. 

This tour is an in-depth journey through Greece's unparalleled heritage, where each destination unfolds as a chapter in the epic narrative of an ancient civilisation.

The Corinthian Canal in Greece © Shutterstock

The Corinthian Canal in Greece © Shutterstock

Greece Itinerary from Heraklion to Platanias

Set off on a journey to Crete, an island so rich in culture, history and natural beauty that it feels like a separate country. The Cretans, fiercely proud of their heritage, invite you to explore their homeland. This diverse island is a paradise for those looking for a combination of ancient history, vibrant city life and stunning natural landscapes, all accessible by hire car.

In Hania the relaxed atmosphere is perfect for leisurely exploring and people-watching. Adventure seekers will find their thrill in the Samaria Gorge, the perfect place for a day hike amidst breathtaking scenery. Rethymnon offers a unique historical tapestry: its picturesque town beach is set against a backdrop of Ottoman minarets and Venetian mansions. 

The capital, Heraklion, is not only an urban centre but also the gateway to the ancient ruins of Knossos and the rugged Lasithi plateau. Ierapetra charms with its pristine beaches, many excursions and long sunny season. End your journey at the exotic beach of Vai, a Mediterranean oasis with a tropical touch.

Each destination in Crete reveals a different facet of this magnificent island, ensuring that your journey is as fulfilling as it is unforgettable.

The North Entrance of the Palace with charging bull fresco in Knossos at Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

The North Entrance of the Palace in Knossos, Crete, Greece © Shutterstock

Greek Island-hopping itinerary

The Cyclades, with their efficient ferry network, are offer an unparalleled island adventure. Start with Andros, a green island filled with cultural energy and beautiful beaches, setting a fantastic tone for your journey. This is followed by Mykonos, a stark contrast with its endless parties, where the days are as lively as the nights. Paros offers a double treat - tranquil hilltop retreats and lively beach bars for those looking for rousing nights out.

Naxos is the activity centre of the Cyclades, ideal for trekking, diving and kitesurfing enthusiasts. Then, there's the iconic Santoríni, where every sunset over the crater is a spectacular sight. Milos beckons with its boat trips to hidden colourful beaches. Finish your trip on tranquil Serifos, an island of understated beauty, great prices and relaxing beaches offering a peaceful respite.

Each of the Cyclades islands is a unique gem, forming a mosaic of experiences ranging from exciting to serene, ensuring an unforgettable Greek Islands adventure.

Naxos island in Greece, Cyclades © Shutterstock

Naxos island in Greece, Cyclades © Shutterstock

Majestic Greece itinerary

Explore Greece with this 10-day tailor-made trip starting in Athens, home to a rich history dating back more than 3,000 years. The first evening will include a stroll through Athens' cultural neighbourhoods such as Plaka and Anafiotika. The next day will begin with a tour of the Acropolis and its museum before heading to the temple of Poseidon for a sunset tour.

Venture into the Peloponnese region, exploring Corinth, Mycenae, Epidavros and ending your journey in the romantic city of Nafplio. Next, discover the Byzantine and ancient Greek history of Sparta and Mystra.

Explore Ancient Olympia and the seaside town of Katakolo before travelling to Patras and then Preveza. The next stop is Ioannina, where you can explore the castle and take a boat trip to an island on Lake Pamvotida. On day eight, head to Meteora for a sunset tour of the monasteries.

Drive through historic Thermopylae and reach the picturesque mountain village of Arachova near Delphi. Finish your journey with a visit to the archaeological sites at Delphi and the monastery of Osios Loukas, before returning to Athens and hitting the road.

Monastery perched on a rock in Meteora, Greece © Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

Monastery perched on a rock in Meteora, Greece © Sergey Novikov/Shutterstock

The best time for a Greece holiday

Greece reveals its charm at different times of the year. The best time to visit is late spring and early summer (May-June) and autumn (September-November). During these periods the weather is pleasantly warm, creating ideal conditions for exploring historic cities such as Athens, Thessaloniki and Crete, as well as for outdoor activities amidst stunning scenery, including the Peloponnese and Mount Olympus.

Summer (July and August) attracts beach lovers, especially in coastal harbours such as Santorini and Mykonos. However, temperatures can be higher inland. Winter (December to February) is characterised by cooler weather, providing a great opportunity to tour cultural towns, and snow is possible in the mountainous areas. With fewer tourists, winter offers a more authentic and tranquil experience, ideal for those seeking a deep connection to Greek history and culture. 

Greece's varied seasons cater for a wide range of interests, from cultural exploration to seaside holidays and adventurous travel.

Rough Guides Editors

written by
Rough Guides Editors

updated 22.01.2024

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