If you only have 10 days in Greece it is still possible to cover a lot of ground and take in many of the highlights this incredible country has to offer. This very detailed 10 days in Greece itinerary will allow you to visit two amazing Greek Islands, Athens, and the extraordinary monasteries of Meteora. It covers where to stay, how to get around, what to do in that time, even where to eat and drink!

This Greece itinerary 10 days covers EVERYTHING!

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When to visit Greece

 

The best times to visit Greece are April-June and September-October. The weather is mild and most places have few crowds. High season is late June to early September, and prices will reflect that as will the crowds, the number of cruise ships and accommodation availability.

Summer is still great, especially for beach time and in some of the lesser-known spots. The water is warm, there are blue skies every day and a fun holiday atmosphere.

Easter is an especially wonderful time to visit Greece as it becomes very festive with parades, parties, and on many islands bonfires, fireworks and other activities and traditions. There are many festivals throughout the year that can vary from place to place and can be quite fascinating to witness.

Best beach and swimming weather: June to September
Best sightseeing weather: March to June and September/October

 

other important travel essentials for Greece

 

Basic Facts about Greece

Greece is part of Europe and is situated in the southern Mediterranean between Italy and Turkey and south of Albania and Bulgaria on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula. In Greece, it is actually known as Hellas with its official name being the Hellenic Republic “Helliniki Dimokratia”.

It consists of 132,000 sq kilometres of land including 227 inhabited islands. The population is just under 11 million people.

The religion is East Orthodoxy ( Christian) , they drive on the right-hand side of the road and the calling code is +30. 

How to get to Greece

Most visitors arrive in Greece via Athens but it is also possible to arrive via a number of other International Airports on islands such as Crete, Rhodes, Santorini, Skiathos and Corfu and on the mainland at Thessaloniki, Kavala, Kalamata and Preveza.

It is also common for visitors to arrive by sea on both cruise ships and private yachts and charters as well as by train and road. 

What to see and do in Greece

Greece has many incredible destinations and is considered home to some of the most beautiful and interesting sites in the world. There are 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites with another 16 under consideration.

Most people want to see the Greek Islands and particularly the much-photographed islands of Santorini and Mykonos in the Cyclades Group of islands.

There are 5 island groups – the Cyclades, the Dodacannese, the Saronic islands, the Sporades Islands, the Northern Aegean islands and Crete so island hopping in the Greek Islands is popular but does require some research as most of these groups do not connect with each other by ferry or flights.

Some islands are very romantic and are great for couples whilst others are great for families and many are perfect for solo travellers. 

There are also some incredible things to see on the mainland including Athens – ancient sites like Delphi and Olympia as well as places of considerable natural beauty and wonder such as Meteora and Mt Athos. The northern city of Thessaloniki is also wonderful with some incredible sites and attractions close by. It’s also very affordable too.

The Peloponnese peninsula is becoming more popular and is thought by many to be the ‘real Greece’. It is one of our favourite parts of Greece, in fact anywhere really. 

Money, exchange rates and tipping

The official currency of Greece is the Euro.

Cash is still very much appreciated and credit card facilities in remote areas may be scarce, but generally, Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted.

Legally you must always be given a receipt including and clearly showing the local taxes.

Tipping is a contentious issue. It is not customary to tip in Europe and the system is very different to say, the USA, but tips are always appreciated of course and if you feel your tour guide, driver or restaurant waiter did a great job then 10% is a fairly common tip. 

Passports, Visas, Covid and other protocols

Greece is a member of the European Union and as such all residents of the 26 countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement do not require a visa.

Other countries such as Singapore, Australia and the USA also do not require one but several countries do. Check the official Government website to be sure.

Like many countries Passports need 6 months clear validity ( ie. does not expire until the day after you arrive home as a minimum).

As of September 2022, most Covid19 restrictions have been lifted with the exception of masks which are still required on ferries, other public transport and anywhere in health care including Pharmacies.

You are also still required to have a negative Covid test if embarking on a Cruise.

Again, check the official Government website for more information. 

How to get around Greece

Transport around the country varies and can be at times woefully inadequate or very good. Private drivers are not as common nor as affordable as in some countries but do exist in some popular areas.

The train and bus network is not as modern or efficient as those in say, France or Italy but the Ferry network is probably the most extensive and effective in the world.

In Athens taxi drivers, like many cities, can be a bit hit and miss so it pays to have the details of a trusted one. For private transfers, we use and recommend CATTaxi and if you use the Promo code “GTS” when you book through this link you will receive a further 10% off. If you do catch a taxi make sure the meter is on!

For port and ferry transfers you can book via this article too.

For Ferries we use Ferryhopper and we invariably hire a car at each destination even if it’s just for a day or two. 

Greek Culture

The Culture in Greece is rich and varied and is over 6000 years old.

There are a number of things that make it so unique including the world-famous Greek Hospitality but there’s also the unique architecture, food, dancing, music and more.

The Greek Language is one of the oldest in the world and it always pays to know a few key phrases for your trip.

We have a lot of resources including a whole page on the Greek Culture as well as a Recipe page, and an article full of reading suggestions, one with our recommended Greek Playlist and another about movies set in Greece as well.

If you’re a history buff then be sure to check out this article on Greek Mythology and where to see the most amazing archeological sites.

Further reading: Frequently Asked Questions about Greece 

10 day itinerary for Greece – suggestions

This article focuses on a general itinerary that ticks the most number of boxes for the most number of people, and can usually be done for much of the year.

 

It goes like this:

Athens – 2 days

Meteora – 1 day

Santorini – 3 days

Paros – 3 days

Athens (Lavrio) – 1 night

 

Variations on this itinerary could be:

 

Looking for famous beach clubs and parties? Swap out Santorini for Mykonos.

Travelling with Small Children? Swap Paros for Naxos.

Already been to Santorini? Try Milos instead.

Looking for off-the-beat islands with no airports? Swap Santorini and Paros for Sifnos and Folegandros.

Not interested in the beach but love Culture? Go to Syros or Hydra.

Visiting in the off-season? (November to April) – stick to the Mainland.

 

Further reading: Island Hopping in the Cyclades

10 DAYS IN GREECE : DAY 1- Athens

10 days in Greece
Athens is the capital of Greece and home to some of the most iconic and important historical sites and monuments in the world. 

There are several ways to get to Athens which cover air, sea, rail, driving and even on foot!

Apart from the many things you can do in Athens including  great shopping, incredible food, and all the ancient sites there is also great nightlife with a plethora of bars, tavernas, and clubs to choose from. There are a lot of new hotels and restaurants many with incredible rooftop views, especially of the Acropolis.

The Acropolis Museum is world-class and needs to be enjoyed either before or after you visit the Acropolis

How to get to Athens 

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos, commonly initialised as AIA, is the largest international airport in Greece. It is usually serviced by Emirates, Etihad, Singapore Airlines, Qatar and Air China are the best choices for people flying from Asia, the Middle East or Oceania and budget airline Scoot also now fly into Athens. Aegean Airlines codeshares with Etihad.

From the US & Canada, choices include American, Delta, United, and Air Canada and most European carriers have several flights a day in summer including Turkish Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France, and Ryan Air.

To get to the city centre you can catch the Metro, a Taxi or the bus or, our book a private transfers

There are a number of cruises that terminate in Athens that originate from destinations such as Venice, Istanbul and other parts of Europe and that’s another popular way people arrive in the country. Piraeus Port is in fact the largest in Europe and the 2nd largest in the world!

You can also arrive by Ferry from some towns in Turkey, Albania, Italy and Croatia.

It’s also possible to now arrive by train.You can either catch the Eurostar to Bari in Europe and then a ferry across to Greece or travel down through Greece via Paris, Munich, Belgrade & Thessaloniki. More information is available here. 

Arriving overland is also a fun and fascinating way to arrive. Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and Turkey and it can be a lot of fun and incredibly interesting to arrive by car or bus and to continue to explore Greece by road.

If renting a car in Greece E.U. Member-State citizens may use their own national driving license, while citizens of other countries must have an international driving license together with their own valid national driving license. For further reading check out our comprehensive article on Driving in Greece.

Where to stay in Athens :

 

For couples: Zillers Hotel has only 10 rooms and amazing Acropolis views from some rooms and the lovely rooftop bar and restaurant and its right on Mitropolous dining street,or The Foundry Suites in Psiri are uber cool and was once an industrial foundry.

For families and groups: The Pinnacle is a 2 bedroom suite that sleeps 6 or the gorgeous White House Plaka is a restored historic home that can sleep up to 11 people.

Solo: I love to stay at Ergon House when I’m on my own. Its across from Zillers and part of the famous Ergon House food emporiums. They have even let me use my room until my 6pm International flight at no extra charge!

 

Where to eat in Athens on Day One:

Lunch: Nikitas in Psiri for cheap and cheerful homecooked meals or Kostas for amazing Gyros.

Dinner: Maiandros or Athinaikon in Monastaraki/Syntagma

Drinks : enjoy Sunset drinks at the Grand Bretagne Rooftop bar

 

Things to do in Athens on Day One:

  • explore the area around your Hotel and get your bearings
  • wander down Ermou Pedestrian Street
  • Visit Syntagma Square and see Parliament House and the Changing of the Greek Presidential Guard – the Evzones
  • wander through Plaka and the many cafes, shops and galleries
  • stop by the Monastaraki flea market
  • walk into the Athens Central Food Market
monataraki athens
10 days in Greece

DAY 2 – Athens

Where to eat in Athens on Day Two:

 

Breakfast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise the Brunch Factory does incredible meals for breakfast and lunch.

Lunch: Cafe Melina is one of the prettiest spot in the Plaka or Gyros Pou Gyrevis for fantastic Gyros near the Acropolis Museum.

DinnerYiasemi in Plaka ( the much photographed steps) or Lithos Taverna in Psiri does my favourite Moussaka.

 

Things to do in Athens on Day Two:

 Further Reading:

The Best Rooftop Restaurants in Athens

The Elite Presidential Guard

Private Drivers in Athens

 

 

10 DAYS IN GREECE: DAY 3 – Meteora 

The Meteora Monasteries are located close to the city of Kalambaka in Greece, near the Pineois river and the Pindus Mountains, about 360km north of Athens.

The word “Meteora,” means “hovering in the air” which, whilst a literal description of the famous monasteries, also shows just how otherworldly they are.

The complex is made up of twenty-four Eastern Orthodox monasteries that were built on giant sandstone rock pillars between the 14th and 16th centuries. Six of them are still in use today and can be visited by the public, whilst others are popular for sightseeing externally by hikers and photographers.

This UNESCO world heritage site is truly one of the most remarkable and visually beautiful places you will visit anywhere in the world. Even if you only have 1 night to spare on your trip to Greece you will not regret the effort to visit Meteora for a moment!

 

How to get to Meteora:

There are two ways to get to Meteora: either by signing up for one of the numerous guided Meteora tours from Athens or Thessaloniki or by using your own means of transport and staying a night or two in the city of Kalambaka or the village of Kastraki, and visiting the monasteries at your own pace.

It takes about 4 hours to drive from Athens or you can catch a train and bus which takes about 5.

We HIGHLY recommend staying at least one night – the sunsets are incredible and it is a very authentic and charming part of Greece to enjoy. Great food too!

We have a very popular overnight tour organised with our partners that have a private driver pick you up in his new Mercedes Van and take you, not just to Meteora, but to several other hidden gems along the way including some beautiful waterfalls.

BOOK HERE

Where to stay in Meteora :

Doupiani Hotel, Kastraki – great for all types of travellers and one of the closet hotels to the Monasteries as well as having incredible views of them. In fact it is feasible to walk to two of the monasteries from the hotel with not too much effort.

Where to eat in Meteora:

Breakfast : Doupiani Hotel do a fantastic breakfast spread!

Lunch: Taverna Efrosino

Dinner: Meteoron Panorama for extraordinary views and food. Book a table outside!

 

Things to do in Meteora:

Its all about the Monasteries! Read our complete guide to Meteora, including how to visit each Monastery and what they each represent. It also explains other things to see and do in the area including waterfalls, stone bridges, caves and more!

st stephens meteora
monasteries greece
10 days in Greece

10 DAYS IN GREECE: Day 4 – Santorini 

10 days in Greece

Santorini is a bucket list destination for most people and for good reason.

Despite the cruise ships and the crowds, it remains one of those places that not only meets your expectations but probably exceeds it. The views truly are the stuff of legends and it is little wonder it is so popular with honeymooners.

It can get a bit crazy when the cruise ships come in each day so a room with a pool and terrace makes for a great escape for an afternoon siesta and sundowners. When you re-emerge for dinner most of the tourists will have floated away!

We love to stay in Oia which is considered the most picturesque village, although a lot of people also enjoyed Imerovigli which is about a 20 minute walk along the nice flat footpath that runs along the Caldera seam.

There are a surprising amount of things to do on Santorini with  beaches, wineries, hot springs, great shopping and some of the worlds most iconic and photographed sunsets. 

 

How to get to Santorini

 

You can travel from Athens to Santorini by ferry or by plane. Return to Athens from Meteora either on your overnight tour, by driving or by train.

The small international airport has several flights to Athens a day as well as regular flights in summer from other European destinations like Rome and England. Check flight schedules HERE.

There are also many ferries each day, year round.

Most service either the Western or Eastern Cyclades Islands and on to Athens whilst some come from Crete. Book ferry tickets HERE.

TIP : Both the port and the airport can be quite nuts in summer and there can be long waits for the cablecar, taxis and donkeys. It REALLY pays to have a private transfer waiting for you!

Where to stay in Santorini :

For couples : Ducato Di Oia ( adults only) suites in Oia or Above Blue Suites in Imerovigli for more isolation and at a lower price point.

For families and groups: White Harmony Suites have 2 bedroom suites or Theoxenia Boutique Hotel have squad rooms and are not far from, dare I say it, McDonalds.

Solo: Kivotos in Imerovigli for a splurge or Abelonas Retreat on a tight budget

 

Where to eat in Santorini on Day four:

Breakfast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise Our Corner in Fira and La Scala on Oia are great choices.

Lunch: Lefkes Taverna in Oia is hard to beat for food or service. It often books out well in advance.

Dinner: Santorini Mou in Oia or Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna in Ammoudi Bay.

 

Things to do in Santorini on Day four:

  • do the famous Fira to Oia Hike ( or vice-versa) or one of the other great hikes on Santorini
  • explore the maze of streets in Oia including Panagia Platsani Church
  • visit famous Atlantis Books for a unique bookshop experience
  • check out the many upmarket boutiques and jewellery shops in Oia
  • walk down to Oia Castle and jostle with the crowds for those famous sunset photos!
 

Day 5 – Santorini 

10 days in Greece

Where to eat in Santorini on Day five:

 

Breakfast : this will likely be included in your hotel tariff. Otherwise, see Day One.

Lunch: enjoy lunch either at one of the wineries or at Aeolos Taverna in Akrotiri. If heading to Black Beach enjoy lunch at Akro Beach Bar.

Dinner: Book a sunset dinner cruise on the Caldera

Drinks:  V Lounge Cafe & Cocktail Bar in Fira or Le Moustache Pool Lounge 

 

Things to do in Santorini on Day five:

 

Day 6 – Santorini

Where to eat in Santorini on Day six:

 

Breakfast: Again enjoy your sumptuous hotel spread. Otherwise, see Day One.

Lunch: Grab a Gyros at Pitogryos Traditional Grill House in Oia or Nick the Grill in Fira.

Dinner: You’ll be watered and fed at the Greek Wedding show!

 

Things to do in Santorini on Day six:

Further reading:

 Santorini vs Mykonos

3 days in Santorini – a complete itinerary

Riding a Donkey in Santorini

How to get from Santorini to Mykonos

Winter in Santorini

 

10 days in Greece

Day 7 – Paros

For many people Paros is the perfect Greek island. Not too small nor too big, with something for everyone.

It’s also strategically located as one of the first ferry ports from Athens to the popular Cyclades islands and therefore a great place to access the mainland coming from the other direction.

We like to stay in Naoussa on Paros which many say is like a small, cheaper version of Mykonos with a lively mix of tavernas, bars, and nightclubs as well as lovely whitewashed alleys full of great cafes and boutiques and gelati stores.

The port town of Parikia is also nice and a little more affordable than Naoussa.

 

How to get to Paros

You can also travel to Paros by ferry from Naxos which takes about 30 minutes.

There are many ferries each day, year-round. The port town is called Parikia and that, or Naoussa are the best options to base yourself.

Book ferry tickets HERE.

Book Port and Airport transfers HERE

Where to stay in Paros :

For couples : Lilly Residence is stunning and Adults Only or Senia Hotel is a perennial favourite year round.

For families and groups: Paliomylos Hotel and Spa is where we chose to stay for special birthday celebrations with 38 family and friends. Chrys and the team are amazing! They have family rooms that can sleep up to 6 people, with kitchens too. Hotel Senia is also excellent and have family rooms, 2 bedrooms apartments and are open year round too.

If you prefer something fully-self contained  with a pool then check out Pila Pala Suites or Villa Trifylia.

Solo: Parian Village Beach Hotel is right on the beach near the port town of Parikia and have great value single rooms with beautiful sea views and a nice pool.

 

Where to eat in Paros on day 7:

 

Breakast :  Ragoussis Bakery is huge and amazing! In fact there are many excellent bakeries across the island.

Lunch: If staying in Naoussa head to Kargas for delicious Gyros and cold beer. In Parikia eat at Filoxenia Seaside Grill and have a swim at the calm beach across the road.

Dinner: You cant visit Naoussa without dining at one of the lively port restaurants like Sigi Ikthios or its famous neighbour Barbarossa which is favoured by celebrities. We love Sativa Music Bar in Parikia which has great food as well as entertainment.

Drinks: if you’re wanting to kick on after dinner, Agosta bar in Naoussa or any of its immediate neighbours, are the place to be.

 

Things to do in Paros :

 

  • If you are staying in Naoussa or Parikia you can easily spend a day just wandering around and exploring those towns.
  • One of the most important churches in Greece is in Parikia the byzantine Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani aka The Church of 100 Doors.
  •  There are a lot of cultural activities to enjoy including cooking classes, language lessons and more.
10 days in Greece

Day 8 – Paros

 

Where to eat in Paros on day 8:

 

Breakast : Again, likely be included in your hotel tariff. Otherwise, see Day One.

Lunch: O Mylos in Marpissa have the best Gyros we’ve eaten anywhere! If you don’t want to drive then catch the little ferry from Naoussa to Kolymbithres Beach for a swim and lunch at Paros on the Rocks.

If in Parikia Meltemi Cafe is a great spot to stop if you’re exploring the southern end of town and the windmills.

If you are driving around the island don’t miss the lovely seaside village of Aliki and lunch at To Balcony tou Aki.

Dinner: We had a beautiful night at Statheros on the water in Naoussa recently. A little further out of town Siparos remains one of our favourite restaurants in Greece and has incredible sunset views and excellent service. Tell Paris we sent you!

 

Things to do in Paros :

  • Hire a car and do a loop of the island taking in various villages and beaches along the way
  • visit Moraitis Winery in Naoussa
  • spend a few hours at Paros Park – an historic nature reserve with a lovely beach and beach club
  • stop for a coffee in Piso Livadi fishing port
  • visit the once famous Marathi Marble Quarries – marble for the Venus De Milo and Napoleons tombstone came from here
  • visit the Medieval village of Lefkas

Day 9 – Paros

 

Where to eat in Paros on day 9:

 

Breakfast : Again, likely be included in your hotel tariff. Otherwise, see Day One.

Lunch: Spend the day at a beach club. We love Tango Mar, which is cheap and cheerful and the water is always calm and clear. They have a very extensive and well priced menu.

Dinner: Head to SoSo or Open Garden in Naoussa or Distrato Cafe Bistrot in Parikia. Mira Taverna on the waterfront in Parikia is also excellent and somewhat of an institution.

 

Things to do in Paros :

  • Do a daytrip to one of the neighbouring islands. There are quite a few days trips from Paros that can be done which is another reason it is a great choice for a stay.
  • If you havent already relaxed at a beach club head to one of them. Our favourites are Ambelas, Faragas, Punda and Tango Mar ( mentioned above).
  • more shopping!
  • relax at a day spa
  • do a watercolor workshop and create your own Greek masterpiece
  • go wind or kitesurfing – they don’t have the annual Championships here for nothing!
  • go horseback riding on the beach

10 DAYS IN GREECE: Day 10 – Rafina

Ferry Ports in Athens

If you are heading to or from the islands serviced by Rafina Port this can actually be a nice place to spend a night or two, especially if it’s your last night in Greece before heading to the airport and your flight home.

The airport is only 10 minutes away by car so it’s a great place to spend one last night by the sea, reflecting back on your amazing trip ( and planning the next one).

Being so close to the airport its also a great starting point on your vacation in Greece if you are keen to get straight to the islands rather than going into Athens. 

 

How to get to Rafina

You can travel to Rafina by ferry from Paros which takes about 3 hours but you may need to connect on Syros or Mykonos. Timetables for this route are often not released until Spring so keep an eye on schedules HERE.

If a ferry is not running at the time you require you can also fly to Athens from Paros and catch a taxi to Rafina.

Book Port and Airport Transfers HERE

 

Where to stay in Rafina:

The Avra Hotel is across from the beach and offers a free airport shuttle.

Also check out the nearby beachside suburbs of Artemida, Porto Rafti and Vravrona. We especially like the charming Seasabelle Hotel near Artemida which have stylish beachfront rooms that can sleep up to 4, and at a very reasonable price point too.

Just 7 minutes south there is a big modern 5-star resort right on the beach at Vravrona Bay – only 20 minutes from the airport. This is a huge complex with several swimming pools, a day spa, a water sports centre and a poolside restaurant – great for families! It’s also very close to the Archaeological Site and Museum of Brauron (pictured below) which includes the Temple of Artemis and is rather extraordinary

 

Where to eat in Rafina:

Breakast : this will likely be included in your hotel tariff.

Lunch: Eat at  Taverna Artemis if visiting the Temple. Otherwise there are a number of excellent tavernas around the bay. We love Archontikon especially. You can also head down to Rafina Beach and Kraken Beach bar.

Dinner:  It is hard to choose between legendary places like Seirines or Kaouria to Asimaki aand Palia Rafina and Aγονη Γραμμ are excellent too. These places have some of the freshest, and cheapest, seafood in the Mediterranean.

 

This itinerary for 10 days in Greece offers something for all types of travellers to Greece and at all price points, visiting 3 of the best Greek islands as well as spending time in and around the fascinating ancient capital and the beautiful Thessaly countryside.

Of course, you can adjust it for a slower pace simply by extending a few places by a day or two.

You will take in stunning vistas, fascinating historical sites and information, hang out at beautiful beaches, visit medieval Greek villages and monastaries and world class wineries. You will see authentic Greek fishing villages, sail on the clearest azure water you’ve ever seen and indulge in some of the best food and nightlife on the planet.

 

3 Alternate itineraries for 10 days in Greece

An itinerary for History/Archaeology buffs:

Athens – 2 nights

Meteora – 1 night

Delphi – 1 night

The Peloponnese – 5 nights

Athenian Riviera – 1 night 

An itinerary for Instagrammers:

Athens – 2 nights

Santorini – 3 nights

Milos – 3 nights

Mykonos – 2 nights 

An itinerary for peace and tranquility:

Athens – 2 nights

Meteora – 2 nights

Skopelos – 3 nights

Alonissos – 2 nights

Rafina – 1 night 

Don’t forget Travel Insurance!

It’s important to make sure you are covered for medical expenses    ( some countries may include this in health insurance) but also for lost baggage, flight and ferry delays and cancellations, theft, and emergencies, including something that happens back home while you are away.

This can save you tens of thousands of dollars, or even more.

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greece 10 day itinerary
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