Planning a holiday to Greece is lots of fun but you can be overwhelmed by the information overload out there especially when it comes to Itinerary planning. We recommended at least 2 weeks in Greece but if you have limited time and one week to spend then this Greece 7 day itinerary will help you work out where to go, how to get there and what to see and do in each destination.
How to get to Greece
Most people arrive into Greece at one of the international airports, particularly Eleftherios Venizelos Airport in Athens.
International Airport in Greece are in:
Athens, Thessaloniki, Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes, Corfu, Crete ( Chania and Heraklion), Kefalonia, Alexandroupoli ( East Macedonia), Kavala ( East Macedonia), Chios, Kos, Lesvos, Samos, Paros, Zakynthos and Kalamata ( Peloponnese).
* some of these only take International flights during the tourist season
It is also possible to arrive by sea into the main port of Athens, Piraeus or any of the 228 inhabited islands and countless Mainland coastal towns.
Rail options are improving with the introduction of High-Speed trains internally in 2021 and you can connect with inter-country trains into neighbouring Balkan countries.
Driving into Greece is also popular with border crossings in Albania, FYROM, Bulgaria and even Turkey.
Further reading: How to travel to Athens
Day 1 Greece 7 day itinerary – Athens
The majority of people arrive in Athens at the beginning of their Greek Odyssey. It is a fascinating city and one that deserves at least 3 days if you can do it.
Don’t be swayed by people who say there’s not much to do or see. Athens is full of incredible archeological and historical sites and monuments, has some of the best Museums in the world, and amazing food and nightlife scene and charming neighbourhoods and backstreets to explore.
A lot of international visitors often start their holiday here and also end if with a night or two to avoid missing international connections.
In this tight itinerary, we include 2 nights in Athens which will cover many of the highlights.
- Arrive in Athens. Either use public transport or taxis to get to the historic centre or book one of our favourite private drivers. Read more HERE.
- Head to Syntagma Square, named after a military uprising in 1843. It is located right in from of the Old Royal Palace which is home to the Greek Parliament since 1934
- Watch the very unique changing of the Greek Presidential Guard, every hour on the hour in from of Parliament
- Visit the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier in from of Parliament while you are there
- Head down Ormou Pedestrian Street, the main shopping street of Athens
- Visit the small church of Kapnikarea, about halfway down
- At Aelou Street it is no longer car-free. Turn left here onto Monastiraki Square which is a major gathering place for Athens and home to many cafes and tavernas as well as the Church of St Mary Pantanassa and the Tzisdarakis Mosque Museum of Greek Folk Art
- Head back to Syntagma Square via Mitroloplos Street and stop for lunch at one of the many tavernas along here. This is one of Athens main dining streets and really comes alive at night. We recommend Metropolis Barbeque on the other side of Mitropoleos Square
- Drop into the beautiful Metropolitan Church of Athens ( Cathedral) on the square
- Adapt to ‘Greek Siesta’ in the late afternoon and head out to drinks and dinner from 10pm
Day 2 in Athens itinerary
- Head to the Acropolis bright and early before the crowds. Read our full Guide to the Acropolis HERE.
- Stroll along the pedestrian street Dionysiou Areopagitou which runs along the southern perimeter of the Acropolis. Here you will find vendors selling arts and souvenirs as well as exhibitions and events at different times of the year
- Visit the Acropolis Museum. Again more details are found about this in our complete Acropolis Guide
- For lunch stop for a Yyros at Gyros Pour Gyrevis on Makrigianni Street on the western side of the Museum
- Head onto Athanasiou Diakou which will take you to the park that houses the Temple of Apollo, Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Ancient Sanctuary of Pan
- Walk through the National Gardens which includes Zappeio Hall
- In the evening have rooftop drinks at the famous Grande Bretagne Hotel before heading to Psiri for dinner and nightlife. Don’t miss Little Klook Cafe which is quite mad!
Further reading: Visiting the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum
Day 3 Itinerary in Greece
- Spend the morning exploring other ancient sites in the Ancient Centre such as the Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus.
- The flea market in Monastiraki is also worth a look if you haven’t already done it.
- Explore Plaka, Athens prettiest neighbourhood and home to lots of gems such as Clumsies Bar, Bretoos, The Old Tavern of Psara and the much photographed Anafiotika Cafe.
- Head to Pireaus port and on to the Greek Islands!
Where to stay in Athens
Luxury – The iconic Grande Bretagne has hosted politicians, movie stars and dignitaries from all over the world since 1874. It is located right on Syntagma Square and the rooftop bar has panoramic views of Parliament and the Acropolis and much of Athens
Mid-range: Ergon House is located on bustling Mitropolis Street which is parallel with Ermou pedestrian street and very central. It was newly opened in 2019 and is part of the famous Ergon House food emporiums. With a great rooftop bar and excellent Business Centre and a huge food emporium on the ground floor, it is quite a unique offering in Athens.
Budget: City Circus is located in trendy Psiri and is a modern take on hostels, with excellent facilities and comfortable rooms including family rooms.
Further reading: The best Acropolis view hotels
How to get around Athens
From the airport
Have Terry and his team meet you at the airport and take you to your hotel in airconditioned, private luxury. He can also organise any day trips you might be interested in too.
Book through this link and receive 10% off. This will still only be 2 Euro more than a Taxi!
At exit gate 3 head across the Skybridge to the Metro Station. You can buy tickets from machines or from a manned booth. Head to the Blue Line – Line 3. Fares are 6 euros one way or 10 euro round trip with a discount for children and seniors. The journey to the city centre takes about 45 minutes.
Between exits 4 and 5 you will find the Bus Station. Catch X95 to the city centre and the X97 to Piraeus Port. Fares cost 5 Euros with discounts for seniors and children. Buses run 24 hours a day and you can buy tickets at the station or onboard.
Outside Exit Gate 3 your will find many taxis. You will also find drivers soliciting for business inside the terminal or you can meet your pre-arranged driver here. It should cost around 35 Euro into the city centre during the day and 50 Euro at night. Make sure you agree on a fare before you leave or insist that the meter is running.
Transport in Athens city centre
Most of the historical centre is flat and all the major sites are a short walk from each other. There is a public tram that services the centre and goes down to the seaside suburbs and the Metro is a great way to move around quickly as well.
A great way to see a lot of Athens, especially for first-timers, is on the Red Hop-on-Hop-off bus.
Metro Ticket Machine
Day 3 Greece 7 day itinerary continued – Paros
- Arrive in Parikia, Paros and transfer to your hotel. There is a great range of accommodation in Paros for all budgets, which you can read about HERE
- Get to know your local area – there is a lot to see and do or just soak it all up!
- For dinner, we love To Distrato in Parikia followed by drinks and music at Sativa. In Naoussa head to Yemeni followed by drinks at Agosta
Day 4 – Paros
- Explore Parikia. Start at the Archaic Temple of Athena and the Frankish Castle
next door. Walk along pretty Lochagoi Georgio Gravari lane exploring the shops
and cafes, stopping for a Frappe at Cafe Symposium.
- Visit The Church of Panagia Ekatontapliani also known as the Church of 100
doors and one of the most important religious sites in Greece.
- Head towards to sea and the Ancient Cemetery on Stella Anargyroe. If time
permits it’s a 10-minute walk to your right to Livadia Beach for a swim OR catch the small ferry over to Krios Beach.
- For dinner in Parikia try Ouzeri Apostolis on the waterfront or To Morari back
near the town square.
Day 5 – Paros
- Hire a car and head around the island. Visit the villages of Aliki, Drios, Piso Livadi
Lefkes and the beaches of Faragas, Golden Beach, Ampelas and Santa Maria.
- Be sure to visit the beautiful Church of Agia Triada in Lefkas and stop at the dessert shop “Sweet Smelling Kitchen” or Η πεζούλα της λιχουδιάς for a treat.
- Stop for lunch at Mylos Traditional Grill in the village of Marpissa. They have some of the best Yiros on the island and possibly anywhere and you can sit in the garden of the neighbouring house end enjoy them with a cold beer.
- Also on your travels, you might like to stop by the Marathi Quarries, famous for its Parian marble made to produce icons such as the Venus Di Milo, and the Byzantine Route from Lefkas which is an ancient hiking trail paved with marble.
- End the day in Naoussa. First explore the Harbour and Venetian Castle as well as the labyrinth of shops, boutiques, galleries and cafes.
- Have a night out at the many bars and tavernas in the port – Mario, Barbarossa and Sigi Ikthios are all popular and great for people watching, including celebrities!
- If time permits try and squeeze in a cruise to Antiparos or the Small Cyclades Islands. This really will be one of the best days of your entire life!
Further reading: Things to do on Paros
Paros Hotels, Apartments and Villas
Luxury – Calme Boutique Hotel. A stunning new luxury retreat designed by renowned Alighizakis Architects Located above the quaint southern seaside town of Drios with spectacular views and exceptional service and amenities. Described by many as ‘heaven on earth”.
Mid-range – Paliomylos Spa Hotel. Located on the outskirts of Naoussa in a quiet but convenient hillside position this hotel has well-appointed rooms with kitchenettes, including family rooms and 2 bedrooms apartments. Great breakfasts, exceptional service and a lovely pool and day spa too!
Budget – Irini Rooms. Charming, comfortable rooms located right next to the old town in Naoussa. Spacious, air-conditioned rooms, some with 4 beds – great for families.
Best Villa for groups – Polos Villa
PALIOMYLOS HOTEL AND SPA
POLOS PRIVATE VILLA
How to get around Paros
Bus: The cheapest and safest way to explore Paros is by bus. The main bus stations are in Parikia and Naoussa and are open most days. During high season there are extra services and the timetables are published weekly.
You do not have to purchase tickets in advance nor be at a designated bus stop but simply wave a bus down if you see one. If you need to get to the airport you catch the X96 bus.
Fare range between 2 and 3 Euro and tickets can be purchased on board. See timetables HERE
Taxi: Taxi’s are common around the Port but can be hard to find in other parts of the island. Make sure the meter is on unless you want to hire one for several hours in which case agree on an amount before you start.
It is not unusual for drivers to pick up other passengers on the islands so don’t be
alarmed if this happens.
During peak periods it can pay to book a taxi in advance which your hotel can organise
There are a few small boats that service some popular routes on the island, in particular
Parikia to Antiparos and Krios and Noussa to Kolombithres. These are former fishing
boats and lots of fun but usually won’t run on windy days if the sea is rough.
Car and Moped:
a car may be convenient if you’re staying in a more remote spot. Some people may
prefer a moped (if you have a motorcycle license) or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for
traversing less-travelled routes. Rental agencies are located at the airport as well as in Parikia. You’ll need an international driver’s licence – read more about the HERE – and check your insurance for Moped or ATV hire.
Day 6 Greece 7 day itinerary – Santorini
Time to catch the ferry to Santorini. Try and do this early to make the most of your day there but not so early you miss breakfast. Greece wakes up around 10!
- Transfer to your hotel in Santorini and soak it in. If you have chosen a place with a Caldera view you may be quite content to do nothing for several hours but take in the incredible spectacle before you
- The Fira to Oia Hike ( or vice-versa) is best done as early as possible, before the heat and the crowds. It is a moderately easy ‘hike’ and takes less than 4 hours or you can halve this by doing Imerovigli to Oia instead. Wear good shoes and sunscreen and take plenty of water!
- Enjoy lunch in Oia at Flora Comfort Cuisine which has 5-star food and views at bargain prices
- Explore Oia – the Byzantine Castle, Church of Panagia, Nikolaoua Nomikoua (Blue Dome church) & numerous galleries & shops. Don’t miss Atlantis Books!
- We also strongly suggest a Wine Tasting Tour. Santorini is world-famous for its wine and they are quite unique and not to be missed
- Take in the famed sunset from Oia or, better yet, book a sunset cruise on the Caldera. A truly unforgettable experience!
- If you decide against a sunset cruise then splurge on a special sunset dinner at Lauda, Lycabettus or Petrosia restaurants
- Other activities worth doing are horsebackriding on the beach and a bus tour of the whole island
Day 7 – Santorini itinerary cont…
- Still, want to see more? Head to Black Beach, White Beach or Red Beach ( if
open). Good swimming can be had at Kamari, Perivolos or Perissa Beaches with plenty of sunbeds and facilities
- Explore the ancient village and ruins of Akrotiri and the authentic villages of Megachori and Pyrgos
- Time fly or ferry home or on to more destinations!
Further reading: Things to do on Santorini
Santorini hotels, Villas and more
Luxury – Petit Palace is built into the Caldera with spectacular panoramic views. These luxury suites epitomise contented Greek luxury rooms are elegantly furnished and exquisitely crafted with high-end finishes and amenities. Most have private spa baths and the hotel has a free shuttle bus
Mid-range – Armeni Village is in a great location right in the middle of Oia. The rooms are private and very quiet and some can sleep families or 4 and more. Many rooms have a terrace and panoramic views across the Caldera will some also have small swimming pools.
Budget – Chez Sophie is situated in a quiet part of Kamari on the eastern side of the island. Clean, comfortable rooms with small kitchenettes and balconies, some with bunks for families.
Further reading: Where to stay on Santorini
SANTOXENIA LUXURY VILLA
How to get around Santorini
Bus: The Ktel transportation company operates buses all over the island. During peak travel months most routes are served at least every hour though bus schedules are notorious for changing frequently.
Fare range between 2 and 3 Euro and tickets can be purchased on board. See timetables HERE
Taxi: Major routes, such as those from the ferry ports to Fira, from Oia to Fira, or travel to certain towns from the airports have fixed rates. For these routes, expect to pay anywhere between 10 euros to 20 euros ($11.19 to $22.37), depending on your final
Car and Moped: A car may be convenient if you’re staying in a more remote spot. Some people may prefer a moped (if you have a motorcycle license) or an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) for traversing less-travelled routes.
Rental agencies are located at the airport as well as in Fira.
You’ll need an international
driver’s and check your insurance for Moped or ATV hire.
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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