If you only have 7 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 7 days in Greece itinerary will allow you to visit two amazing Greek Islands and Athens, with some variations depending on the time of year and what type of traveller you are.  It covers where to stay, how to get around, what to do in that time, even where to eat and drink!

This Greece itinerary 7 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 

 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 19 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 6 island groups – the Cyclades, the Dodacannese, the Saronic islands, the Sporades Islands, the Northern Aegean islands, the Ionian Islands, and Crete, so island hopping in the Greek Islands might be popular but it 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. If you feel your tour guide, driver or restaurant waiter did a great job then 10% is a fairly common tip.

Passports, Visas, 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.

Passports need 3 months clear validity ( ie. does not expire until the day after you arrive home as a minimum), but many transit countries require 6 months so we recommend that as a minimum. 

You may still be 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

7-day itinerary 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:

Santorini – 2 days

Naxos – 3 days

Athens – 2 nights 

Variations for 7 days in Greece

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

Travelling with Small Children? Spend 5 days on Naxos.

Already been to Santorini? Try Milos instead.

Looking for off-the-beat islands with no airports? Swap Santorini and Naxos 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

7 DAYS IN GREECE: Day 1 – Santorini

10 days in Greece

We suggest trying to flight direct in to Santorini or book a connection from Athens airport at least 2 hours after your arrival.

Even after our own 24-30 hours flights we prefer to get straight to the islands and get all our flying out of the way. Athens airport is over 45 minutes from the ancient centre so doing Athens first can add extra cost and waste time. It’s also the best shopping in Greece so its better to do that at the end rather than lugging your purchases around with the entire time.

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. The small international airport has several flights to Santorini 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.  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 cable car, taxis, and donkeys. Book your transfers and tours with Santo Luxury Escape with the promo code ‘gts2024″ for a 10% discount.

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 has squad rooms and is 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 1:

Breakfast: this will likely be included in your hotel tariff. 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 1:

  • 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
  • Check out the many upmarket boutiques and jewelry shops in Oia
  • walk down to Oia Castle and jostle with the crowds for those famous sunset photos!
is santorini worth it
santorini instagram spots
10 days in Greece

7 DAYS IN GREECE : DAY 2- Santorini

Where to eat in Santorini on Day 2:

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 2:

 

7 DAYS IN GREECE: Day 3 – NAXOS

7 DAY ITINERARY GREECE

Ferry to Naxos – BOOK HERE

 

We recommend the Blue Star ferries which are big and stable and like cruise ships, with cabins, bars, restaurants and big outdoor decks. They may take longer but it’s a very pleasant experience and if the sea if rough you will be very thankful not to be on the smaller ferries with a lot of sick people.

 

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and offers something for everyone. It is famous for its stunning sandy beaches, rugged mountains & quaint mountain villages, charming Chora, and picturesque, whitewashed Naxos villages and towns.

There are numerous day trips you can do, especially to the stunning Small Cyclades islands or next door to the island of Paros, which is just 30 minutes by ferry.

There are over 20,000 permanent residents on Naxos and apart from tourism, it has a thriving and very important Agricultural industry. In fact food from Naxos is sent all over the Cyclades and across Greece. It is especially renowned for the Naxian potatoes and they are in the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest potato fry up. Their cheeses, herbs and honey are also outstanding.

Further reading:Things to do on Naxos  

 

How to get around Naxos:

If you want to explore the island and given its size, it is worth hiring a car, at least for one day. Then you can drive up to the mountain villages, see some of the archaeological sites and perhaps do a few of the excellent hikes and explore the southern beaches.

A lot of people love ATV’s but if it is summer this can be a very hot and dusty way to get around.

The bus system is also very good and very cheap.

Where to stay in Naxos :

For couples: Astir of Naxos is one of the most popular luxury hotels on the island and has a beautiful swimming pool and spa as well as a children’s playground. We also love Nissaki Beach Hotel which is right behind Agios Georgios Beach.

For families and groups: Hotel Grotta or Nastasia Village, which have newly renovated rooms in a quiet spot a few streets back from the beach and the main part of town. Ikaros Studios and Apartments has a great pool but is only a short walk to the popular family beach.

Solo: Hotel Galini is a lovely budget option as is Anatoli, on the hill behind the town

Where to eat on Naxos on Day 3:

Breakfast: this will likely be included in your hotel tariff. Otherwise, Hug Me in Chora is very popular for brunch as is Bossa Cafe.

Lunch: Head to St.George Beach for a lazy lunch at one of the beachfront tavernas like Kavouri or Manolo. Get the potato salad at Manolo – the best on the island in our opinion!

Dinner: Do not miss To Elliniko or, if you want something a little smaller and more romantic than Nostimon Hellas across the road.

Things to do in Naxos on Day 3:

  • Explore the Chora – it’s a large and multi layered town. There is a long harbourfront lined with cafes, bars and tavernas and behind that you will find the Old Market and the Kastro, a venetian castle and 13th century neighbourhood. There are a lot of shops too so this can easily take up an entire day.
  • Enjoy the beach. There is St.George beach to the south which is big and shallow and usually protected from the wind too. There is also Grotta Beach at the north of the town and you can swim north of the port too, just under the Portara Gate at the Temple of Apollo.
naxos villages
naxos villages

7 DAYS IN GREECE: Day 4 – NAXOS

Things to do in Naxos on Day 4:

  • Explore the mountain villages.

Either pick up a car or catch the buses up into the mountains. There are almost a dozen villages you can see but with just one day stick with Filoti, Aperianthos, and Chalki, with a side trip to the Monastery at Moni if you have time.

A lot of people may also incorporate a visit to the mountains with a hike to Mt Zas and the Cave of Zeus. Do this very early before the sun heats up.

Further reading: The Mountain Villages of Naxos

  • Explore the beaches

Hopefully, you will also have time to explore some beaches, especially if it is summer. There are many to choose from and if you have a car you can easily visit several before or after the mountain villages.

Drive down to the Cedar Forest of Alyko, not much of a forest these days but rather a large, sandy  nature reserve with several beaches. Then drive north to Paralia Glifada, Kastraki, Orkos, Plaka and Agia Anna before ending at Agios Prokopios, our personal favourite. There are lots of tavernas and places to rent sunbeds here. Don’t miss the pink lakes at the top too, which is also where you will find plenty of carparking.

Further reading : The Best Beaches of Naxos

Where to eat on Naxos on Day 4:

There are plenty of fantastic tavernas in the mountain villages. Cheap, authentic, and very delicious, this will be some of the best food you will have on your trip.

Stop for a coffee at Platano on the square, under the shady plane trees. There are some great little shops to explore here and some good tavernas too but we recommend continuing on for lunch.

In Apeiranthos there are some great choices for lunch. One of our favorites is also called Platanos – Taverna Platanos, and they have a fantastic house salad and baked eggplant with a lovely view over the valley. ‘Ο Αμοργινός’ ( O Amorginos) is excellent too.

Many visitors also love Rotonda. This is a large restaurant and bar high in the hills before Apeiranthos with sweeping views over the valley and out to sea.  It is a popular tourist destination and a reservation is important during the tourist season.

On the way back to town stop it at lovely Chalki for a Kitron Gelato.

 

Agia Anna Beach

Alyko Beach

Things to do in Naxos on Day 4:

  • Explore the mountain villages.

Either pick up a car or catch the buses up into the mountains. There are almost a dozen villages you can see but with just one day stick with Filoti, Aperianthos, and Chalki, with a side trip to the Monastery at Moni if you have time.

A lot of people may also incorporate a visit to the mountains with a hike to Mt Zas and the Cave of Zeus. Do this very early before the sun heats up.

Further reading: The Mountain Villages of Naxos

  • Explore the beaches

Hopefully, you will also have time to explore some beaches, especially if it is summer. There are many to choose from and if you have a car you can easily visit several before or after the mountain villages.

Drive down to the Cedar Forest of Alyko, not much of a forest these days but rather a large, sandy nature reserve with several beaches. Then drive north to Paralia Glifada, Kastraki, Orkos, Plaka, and Agia Anna before ending at Agios Prokopios, our personal favorite. There are lots of tavernas and places to rent sunbeds here. Don’t miss the pink lakes at the top too, which is also where you will find plenty of car parking.

Further reading: The Best Beaches of Naxos

If you are into history and archeology this is one of the best sites on the island. Built between 530-530BC this is a fantastic example of construction using Naxian marble. You will drive very close to is when going from Chora to the mountain villages anyway.

There is a small, but worthwhile museum on site too.

Where to eat on Naxos on Day 4:

There are plenty of fantastic tavernas in the mountain villages. Cheap, authentic, and very delicious, this will be some of the best food you will have on your trip.

Stop for a coffee at Platano on the square, under the shady plane trees. There are some great little shops to explore here and some good tavernas too but we recommend continuing on for lunch.

In Apeiranthos there are some great choices for lunch. One of our favorites is also called Platanos – Taverna Platanos, and they have a fantastic house salad and baked eggplant with a lovely view over the valley. ‘Ο Αμοργινός’ ( O Amorginos) is excellent too.

Many visitors also love Rotonda. This is a large restaurant and bar high in the hills before Apeiranthos with sweeping views over the valley and out to sea.  It is a popular tourist destination and a reservation is important during the tourist season.

On the way back to town stop it at lovely Chalki for a Kitron Gelato.

 

7 DAYS IN GREECE: Day 5 – NAXOS

Things to do in Naxos on Day 5:

  • A Day Trip

One of the very best things about Naxos is its proximity to other islands, which makes day trips quite viable. This is not the case for many islands.

Paros is right next door and can be as quick as 30 minutes on the ferry. Mykonos to the north is only 40 minutes away.

Even better, there is a group of islands that wraps around the southern coast of Naxos called the ‘Smaller Cyclades’, or sometimes the ‘lesser Cycades. They include the 3 islands of Koufonisia, home to some of the best beaches in Europe, as well as Donousa, Iraklia, and Schinousa.

You can explore these islands by public ferry (Ano Koufonisa then has little sea buses that go around the beaches) or on sailing trips. There are many of these trips advertised around the Harbour in Chora and it is a truly magical day out, usually including lunch and many swim stops.

Where to dine out on Naxos on Day 5:

Assuming you’ve had lunch on another island or a sailing trip you might want your last dinner to somewhere really special, perhaps with some cocktails and even some dancing and entertainment.

Head to Avaton 1739 for sunset drinks. Located on the side of the Castle this place has incredible views of the town and harbour as well as the mountains on the other side. You can stay for dinner, the food is great or perhaps head into one of the small, charming places in the Old Market like Lithos or Labyrinth. For something by the harbour, we love Barozzi which is fine dining, or Musique behind it.

For some great live music, plate smashing and dancing the Flamingo Bar is the place to be.

Ano Koufonisi

DAY 2 – Athens

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

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. 

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 is 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. It’s across from Zillers and part of the famous Ergon House food emporiums.

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, or for something really special book Dinner in the Sky (book well in advance)

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

DAY 2 – Athens

10 days in Greece

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

 

 

This itinerary for 7 days in Greece offers something for all types of travelers to Greece and at all price points, visiting 2 of the best Greek islands as well as spending time in one of the oldest cities in the world.

It is a busy itinerary and, of course, can be adjusted depending on your style and pace, but it will give you highly enjoyable insight into the many wonders that Greece offers.

 

3 Alternate itineraries for 10 days in Greece

An itinerary for History/Archaeology buffs:

Meteora /Delphi – 1 night

The Peloponnese – 4 nights ( stay in Nafplio)

Athens – 2 nights

An itinerary for Instagrammers:

Santorini – 3 nights

Mykonos – 2 nights 

Athens – 2 nights

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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