Discover the delights of Greece and Malta, two Mediterranean jewels known for their rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning natural beauty.

Greece, with its ancient ruins, picturesque islands, and sun-kissed beaches, offers a perfect blend of historical exploration and seaside relaxation. Wander through the historic streets of Athens, marvel at the architectural wonder of the Parthenon, and soak in the breathtaking views of Santorini’s caldera.

Malta, a tiny archipelago, boasts charming villages, crystal-clear waters, and a unique blend of influences from various civilizations. Discover the medieval wonders of Valletta, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and explore the mysterious underground chambers of the Hypogeum.

Greece and Malta promise an unforgettable adventure, and this itinerary covers everything you need to know to make the most of both incredible countries.


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When to visit Malta and Greece

The best times to visit the Mediterranean are April-June and September-October. The weather is mild and the crowds are generally low.

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.

Easter is one of the most important and festive times to visit both countries but as Greece is Greek Orthodox and Malta is Catholic Easter is not usually at the same time. Many people also love to visit Malta in July when the Malta Jazz Festival takes place.

Christmas in both countries is very special as are the many other religious holidays and celebrations. 

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

Suggested Greece and Malta Itinerary

Malta is a tiny country – only 319 sqm (196 miles), so it doesn’t take a long time to explore. It is, however, spread over three islands and two of them are densely populated and pack a lot of bang for your buck.

Greece is much bigger and has over 220 islands and a large and diverse mainland.

As such, we recommend spending at least a week in Greece, although two or three is better, and four or five days in Malta.

There are regular flights between Athens and Malta with Aegean Airways and often with airlines like Ryanair. There are also flights between Crete and Malta in Summer. The flight time is approximately two hours.

If you choose to visit Greece first you can then fly from Malta to numerous cities such as London, Paris, Madrid, Munich and many other European cities as well as Istanbul. Or you could do it in the reverse.


Santorini: 2-3 days

Book a direct flight to Santorini or connect straight through from Athens

caldera view

Santorini is a bucket list destination for most people for good reason. It is one of those places that not only meets your expectations but probably exceeds it.

We love to stay in Oia which is considered the most picturesque village, although a lot of people also enjoy Imerovigli which is about a 20-minute walk along the nice flat footpath that runs along the Caldera seam. For a truly authentic Greek experience consider staying in the interior village of Pyrgos.

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 to Santorini by ferry or by plane from Athens. 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.

TIP: Both the port and the airport can be very busy in summer and there can be long waits for the cablecar, taxis and donkeys. It 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 budget. 

Things to do in Santorini

italy and greece itinerary

Naxos 3-4 days

Ferry from Santorini to Naxos on a BlueStar Ferry


Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands and is famous for its lush and fertile valleys, its picturesque, whitewashed villages and towns and beautiful beaches.

Despite being such a large island it has a small local population and there is a surprisingly wide array of things to see and do. It’s a very laid back destination and its easy to see why Naxos is so popular, especially with families.

It’s also a very affordable island and represents great value for money for all types of travellers.

How to get to Naxos

Most people travel to Naxos from Santorini by ferry which takes about 2-3 hours. There are several ferries each day, year-round. The main town of Chora is also the main port.

It is possible to fly but you will need to connect with another flight back at Athens airport.

Where to stay in Naxos

For couples: Antony Suites are gorgeous, right near St.George beach and are Adults Only

For families and groups: Ippokampos apartments are in the Chora and can sleep up to 5 while Aegean Land has 2 bedrooms apartments right on the beach at Plaka

Solo: Mystique of Naxos is right near the beach in the Chora and has stunning rooms and a great little rooftop pool and sundeck. You can walk to everything and it’s very affordable too!

Things to do in Naxos

italy and greece itinerary

Athens – 2 to 4 days

You can fly or ferry from Naxos to Athens

italy and greece itinerary

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

Once you’ve arrived it’s easy enough to get into the city centre and having a private driver waiting for you is our favourite way to do it!

We recommend at least three days in Athens and if you can increase it to three or four days you will not be disappointed. 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 so many amazing day trips you can do, as well.

The Acropolis Museum is world-class and needs to be enjoyed either before or after you visit the Acropolis so it’s the perfect activity for your second day. Make sure you read our complete guide for lots of great tips including how to beat the crowds!

Where to stay in Athens

For couples: Zillers Hotel has only 10 rooms and some have amazing Acropolis views. There is a lovely rooftop bar and restaurant and it’s right on Mitropolous dining street. Also, check out The Foundry Suites in Psiri which is a very cool converted former Foundry with lots of retro elements.

For families and groups: The Pinnacle is a 2 bedroom suite that sleeps 6 or these Twin Lofts can sleep up to 12!

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 a small business centre and very helpful and attentive staff.

Things to do in Athens


How to get to Malta from Greece

Since no direct ferries are traveling between Greece and Malta, the only option you have is by air.

There are 2 to 4 weekly flights weekly from Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport (ATH) and arriving at Malta International Airport (MLA). The flight is around 1 hour and 50 minutes, and the main airline serving this route is Aegean Airlines.

Where to stay in Malta

If you have three days or less stay in Valletta and do a day trip out to either Gozo, Comino or Mdina.

If you have 4 days or more split your time between Valetta and Gozo or Marsaxlokk if it’s summer or Mdina if it is winter.

If you are mostly interested in parties, bars and casinos you might be happy to spend the whole time in St.Juliens or Sliema.

Top Things to do in Malta

Below we cover the main towns and islands in Malta and things to see and do in each. If you are short on time and unable to stay at more than one or two you may benefit from a broader tour of Malta such as:

Island of Malta Private Tour

The Malta Experience Private Tour

Gozo Full Day Jeep Tour with Private Boat

Highlights of Malta and Mdina with Lunch


greece and malta

Europe’s smallest capital, Valletta is an extraordinary town with over 300 monuments and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

There are many unmissable sites in Valletta, starting from Saint John’s Co-Cathedral, built by the knights of the Order of St.John. It is a magnificent example of Baroque interiors with marble and gold, paintings by Caravaggio, and nine ornate chapels.

Another must-see in Valletta is Fort Saint Elmo. This is the oldest fortress in Malta, and it sits right at the entrance to Valletta’s Grand Harbour. The fortress was built in 1488, and it is star-shaped. In addition to having defensive purposes, it was used as the tomb for the knights of the Order of St. John.

Inside Fort Saint Elmo, visitors will also find the National War Museum, the island’s oldest museum. Valletta has more museums to discover, including the National Museum of Archaeology and the National Museum of Fine Arts.

If you are looking for a great viewpoint, head to the Upper Barrakka Garden, as public garden is located on the southern walls of the city. From here, you can marvel at breathtaking views of the Grand Harbour, the sea, and the Three Cities.

Below the Barrakka Gardens is a line of cannons known as the Saluting Battery, which were used in the past to greet ships entering the harbor.

Other attractions you shouldn’t miss while in Valletta are the Triton’s Fountain, the Grandmaster’s Palace, and the colorful Gallarija (balconies) of the historic houses in the city center.

Where to stay in Valletta

For couples : The Cumberland  Hotel and Palazzo Consiglia are the two premier 5-star hotels of Valetta and are both grand restored Palaces with sumptuous interiors.  We loved our stay at Casa Ellul, which is right around the corner from the newer The Coleridge. Both are boutique hotels in a very central location that is hard to beat.

For families and groups:  Wonderful Domus Zamittello have 2 bathroom suites with sofa beds or this great three-bedroom townhouse can sleep six and has sea views as well.

Solo:  All the hotels suggested for couples are great for singles too. We also love Ursulino Valletta who serve breakfast on a wonderful rooftop with sweeping views of the harbour.

greece and Malta

Top Things to do in Valletta

  • Visit St. John’s Co-Cathedral and marvel at its opulent interior, home to Caravaggio’s famous painting, “The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.” We found having someone guide you through here is very beneficial.
  • Enjoy stunning views of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities from the beautiful Upper Barrakka Gardens. Explore the Grandmaster’s Palace, which houses the Office of the President and the House of Representatives of Malta. 
  • Discover Malta’s prehistoric artifacts at the National Museum of Archaeology, including the famous “Sleeping Lady” figurine and the “Venus of Malta.” Visit Fort St. Elmo, a star-shaped fortification that is home to the National War Museum, detailing Malta’s military history.
  • Stroll along the Valletta Waterfront, a picturesque promenade lined with colorful 18th-century warehouses now hosting restaurants, bars, and shops. 
  • Tour Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th-century palace that is still a private residence, offering a glimpse into the life of Maltese nobility. Attend a performance or take a guided tour of Teatru Manoel, one of Europe’s oldest working theaters, known for its beautiful Baroque interior.
  • Explore the Lascaris War Rooms, an underground complex used as a secret command center during World War II. Watch the Malta Experience, an audio-visual show providing an overview of Malta’s rich history, perfect for newcomers to the island. 
Explore Valetta by Segway

Beat the heat and the hills with a guided Segway tour!


greece and malta

The former capital of Malta, Mdina, is a stunning fortified city with lots to discover. Due to the long-ruling presence of the Arabs, the town has typical Arab architecture. Mdina’s other major development period was the 16th-17th centuries when the Knights of the Order of St. John settled in Malta.

The best way to explore Mdina’s history and architecture is by getting lost in the grid of narrow cobblestone streets of its old center. 

Just 300 people inhabit this gorgeous walled city, and only a limited number of cars are permitted to circulate in town, which enhances Mdina’s charming old-time atmosphere. It is often referred to as the ‘Silent City’. 

Where to stay in Mdina

There are not a lot of hotels in Mdina and they often book out well in advance! It’s also worth considering Rabat, next door.

The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaus is the most sought-after hotel in the town.


Top Things to do in Mdina

  • Museum lovers and those traveling with kids should also visit the Knights of Malta Museum. This museum displays episodes of war and medieval life in Mdina through an interactive tour complemented by wax reconstructions.
  • Check out the Mdina Dungeons Museum, which provides a dramatic experience with exhibits dedicated to corporal punishment that was used on the island for centuries.
  • Explore St. Paul’s Cathedral, a magnificent Baroque cathedral with a stunning interior and an interesting museum showcasing religious artifacts and artworks. Wander through the narrow, winding streets of Mdina, which are lined with beautiful palaces, historic buildings, and quaint shops.
  • Discover the Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum, an impressive medieval palace filled with a diverse collection of art, antiques, and historical artifacts. Experience the Mdina Glass workshops where you can watch skilled artisans create beautiful glassware and even purchase unique souvenirs.
  • Take a tour of the Mdina Gate, the main entrance to the city, and admire its impressive architecture featured in numerous films and TV shows.
Book a Guided City Walking Tour or Mdina and rabat


Gozo is the other inhabited island of the Maltese archipelago. Located 6 km northeast of Malta, it is easy to reach by ferry and offers amazing things to do.

Tourists visit Gozo mainly for its amazing natural beauty, which can be discovered by walking coastal trails and enjoying stunning panoramic views.

Among the best viewpoints is the Tal Mixta Cave, accessible by walking straight up the cliff from Ramla Bay.

For more beautiful views, head to the Salt Pans of Xwejni which stretch across 3 kilometers of seafront.These salt pans have been used to harvest salt for centuries and are located in the village of Marsalforn.

Another peculiar rock is the well-known Fungus Rock in Dwerja Bay, which rose to fame after being featured in Game of Thrones’ first season.

Gozo isn’t only a natural beauty. It also has several villages worth visiting and many wineries and farms. Gozo also boasts millennia-old temples, incredible coves and beaches perfect for swimming and snorkeling, such as Xlendi Beach and Ramla Bay.

How to get to Gozo

From Valetta, you need to get a bus or taxi ( or drive) to Cirkewwa Port.

By Bus and Ferry:

  • Take a bus from Valletta, St;. Julians or Mdina to Cirkewwa (routes 41, 42, 101, 102, or 222). The journey takes about 60- 90 minutes
  • Ferry to Gozo:

  • The Gozo Channel Line operates ferries frequently between Cirkewwa and Mgarr.
  • The ferry operates 24 hours a day, with more frequent services during the day and less frequent at night.
  • You can check the ferry schedule on the Gozo Channel Line website.

Where to stay in Gozo

For couples and solo visitors : The White Knight Boutique Hotel is close to the port and is very charming as is L-Ermita Boutique Hotel which has a pool and is great in summer.

For families and groups: If it is summer then there’s a great seafront apartment at Masalforn which has two bedrooms and bathrooms. Families also love the Sunset Farmhouse, which has a pool and views over the island, and T’Anna Farmhouse is a stunning, new 3 bedroom villa.

Top Things to do in Gozo

  • Visit the amazing salt pans and purchase a bag to take home.
  • Stroll around the town’s Medieval citadel to soak up the charm of its ancient buildings, all perfectly preserved.Around the citadel, you can see several churches and museums. Among the religious buildings, stop by the Cathedral of the Assumption, famous for its false dome frescoes.
  • Visit the Gozo Museum of Archaeology and the Gran Castello Historic House, which is dedicated to Gozitan folklore.
  • The Ggantija Temples are a UNESCO-listed site that predates Stonehenge. Built between 3600 and 3200 BC, this megalithic temple complex was dedicated to the goddess of fertility and is considered the oldest construction in the world.


greece and malta

Comino is a small limestone island in the middle of the sea between Malta and Gozo. Once a haven for pirates and smugglers, given its isolated position, it was used to quarantine people during cholera and plague epidemics.

Today, it is a renowned tourist spot for the presence of the Blue Lagoon. This lagoon is the most beautiful place for swimming and snorkeling in Malta, thanks to its breathtaking turquoise-blue waters. In summer, the Blue Lagoon is packed with tourists, so if you want to swim with a lesser crowd, head instead to the equally beautiful Crystal Lagoon.

Two other great swimming spots in Comino are Santa Maria Beach and San Niklaw Beach. If you are an expert diver, don’t miss the Cominotto Reef and the Santa Maria Cave, around which you can see the P31 wreck, a patrol boat that was used by Maltese armed forces lying 20 meters underwater.

If you don’t like to spend the whole day at the beach, you can go for a hike around the island, which takes around 3 hours in total, during which you can admire the landscape and the historical site of Saint Mary’s Tower.

This is also a large bastioned watchtower built in 1618 to defend ships traveling between Malta and Gozo from corsair attacks.

How do you get to Comino?

To get to Comino from Valetta and the main island there are a couple of options:

Head to the Cirkewwa Ferry Terminal in the northern part of the island. Several companies operate ferry services to Comino, such as Comino Ferries Co-Op and other private operators. The ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes. Be sure to check the schedules and availability, as they may vary depending on the season.

Alternatively, you can join a day trip tour. Numerous tour operators in Malta offer day trips to Comino, often including stops at the Blue Lagoon, Crystal Lagoon, and other highlights. These tours can be booked in advance online or through local travel agencies and usually depart from Sliema, Bugibba, or Cirkewwa. Tours typically include transportation to and from Comino, and sometimes food and beverages.

You can also catch the ferry to Comino from Mgarr Terminal on Gozo and there are day trip operators there too.

The Three Cities

greece and malta

The Three Cities of Birgu, Senglea, and Cospicua, which can be spotted from the Upper Barrakka Garden in Valletta, were once fortified cities fundamental to Malta’s defense.

Birgu’s top attraction is Fort St. Angelo, the main stronghold on the southern side of Valletta’s Grand Harbour.

On Birgu’s waterfront, you will also find the Malta Maritime Museum housed in the former Royal Naval Bakery building and various churches, such as St. Lawrence’s Church. 

Senglea is a lovely residential area away from the tourist scene and is home to The Senglea Basilica – a grand church near the neighborhood’s entrance. Its main attraction is a wooden statue of Mary, known as Il-Bambina, carved in 1618 by a still unknown sculptor.

Right on the point of Senglea’s peninsula, you will find the Gardjola Gardens at the top of the Citadel, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

The newest and largest of the Three Cities, Cospicua is home to ramparts and other defensive structures built by the Knights of Malta. 

How to get to The Three Cities

To get to The Three Cities (Vittoriosa, Senglea, and Cospicua) from Valletta, you have a few options:

By Ferry:

Ferry: Take the Valletta Ferry Service from the Valletta Waterfront to Birgu (Vittoriosa). The trip takes around 10 minutes and offers scenic views of the harbor.

By Bus:

Bus: Take bus numbers 1, 2, or 4 from Valletta Terminus to The Three Cities. The journey takes about 20-30 minutes.

By Taxi or Ride-Sharing:

Taxi/Ride-Sharing: A taxi or ride-sharing service like Bolt or eCabs takes about 15-20 minutes.

Where to stay in The Three Cities

Senglea Suites is a beautiful small hotel near the waterfront and very affordable too. The IBB Hotel Palazzo Bettina is also quite exceptional, with views back over Valetta and a wonderful rooftop pool and bar.


Top Things to see in The Three Cities

Birgu (Vittoriosa)

  • Inquisitor’s Palace: Visit this unique museum to learn about the history of the Inquisition in Malta and see various artifacts.
  • Malta Maritime Museum: Discover Malta’s maritime history through fascinating exhibits, including model ships and historical artifacts.
  • Fort St. Angelo: Explore this historic fortification that played a crucial role in Malta’s defense and offers panoramic views of the Grand Harbour
  • Birgu Waterfront: Stroll along the picturesque waterfront lined with charming cafés, restaurants, and yachts.

Senglea (L-Isla)

  • Gardjola Gardens: Relax in these beautiful gardens and enjoy stunning views of the Grand Harbour and Valletta from the famous watchtower.
  • Senglea Main Gate: Admire the impressive architecture of the city’s main entrance, which has historical significance.
  • Basilica of Our Lady of Victories: Visit this historic church that played a significant role during the Great Siege of Malta.

Cospicua (Bormla)

  • Dockyard Creek: Explore the historic dockyard area, which has been transformed into a vibrant marina with shops and eateries.
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception: Marvel at the beautiful architecture and interior of this historic church.
  • Cospicua Waterfront: Enjoy a leisurely walk along the waterfront, taking in the sights of traditional Maltese boats and the scenic harbor.

St. Julians & Sliema

greece and malta

St. Julians is Malta’s main tourist city. The city is packed with restaurants, clubs, shopping venues, and casinos. With a vibrant and cosmopolitan atmosphere, St. Julian is the most crowded area in Malta. However, there are areas of St. Julian that still retain its old Maltese fishing village charm.

Among the best things to do in St. Julian is taking leisurely strolls up and down the seaside promenade, which starts from Spinola Bay. This is a picturesque bay with colorful Maltese Luzzu fishing boats, seafood restaurants, and bars for an evening drink. 

Another great place in St. Julians for a refreshing swim is St. George’s Bay. This urban beach is man-made and frequented by tourists and locals alike. With many bars and restaurants all around, St. George’s Bay has been awarded the Blue Flag.

How to get to St.Julians

St. Julians is a flat 30-40 minute walk from Valetta or a 10-15 minute taxi ride.

Where to stay in St.Julians

The most exclusive hotels in St. Julians are The Westin Dragonara and the Hyatt Regency.

For families and groups AC Hotel by Marriott and Hotel Mistral both have great swimming pools, central locations and adjoining rooms with twin beds.


Top things to do in St.Julians

  • Stroll along Spinola Bay, you can walk to Spinola Palace, a 17th-century building in Baroque style.
  • Swim at the quieter inlet of Balluta Bay, the top swimming spot for swimming is St. Julians; here, you will find various cafes as well as the Carmelite Parish Church and the art nouveau Belluta Palace.
  • Try your luck at one of the many casinos such as Dragonara Casino. Built in 1870 as the summer residence of a wealthy local family, the building is a stunning landmark and a grand transformation. Other popular casinos are Portomaso and Casino Malta, both located in Paceville, Julian’s main nightlife hub.
  • Visit Spinola Palace – the former retreat of Fra Paolo Raffaele Spinola, an Italian knight of the Order of St John, the palace features a belvedere, a chapel, and decorated gardens that can be visited. The palace also has an onsite restaurant that serves Italian dishes.
  •  On the edge of Balluta Bay and overlooking its crystal-clear waters are the neo-Gothich Carmelite Parish Church, the art nouveau Belluta Palace, and Georgian-style terraced townhouses.


greece and malta

Nestled in the far eastern edge of Malta, Marsaxlokk is a picturesque harbor village with centuries-old fishing traditions. It’s the ideal place to visit if you want to explore a more authentic side of the island.

Marsaxlokk is tiny, and you can stroll around admiring colorful wooden fishing boats docked in the lovely waterfront. The village is the best spot in Malta to admire the iconic luzzu boats, characterized by a distinctive design.

With its curved lines and bold colors, the luzzu boats have been used by local fishermen for centuries as they are masterfully built to navigate rough waters.

How to get to Marsaxlokk

By Bus:

Direct Bus: Take bus number 81 or 85 from Valletta Terminus. The journey takes about 30-45 minutes. Check the Malta Public Transport website or tallinja app for schedules.

Taxi or Ride-Sharing:

Taxi: A taxi ride takes around 20-30 minutes. Taxis can be found at stands or booked via apps.

Ride-sharing: Use services like Bolt or eCabs for a similar travel time.

By Bike:

Cycling: Cycle for about 13 kilometres, taking 45 minutes to an hour.

By Tour:

Guided Tour: Join a guided tour that includes transportation to Marsaxlokk.

Where to stay in Marsaxlokk

The OSiRiS is a gorgeous boutique hotel that has only opened in 2023. The Shipwrights Lodge is also a solid choice with sea views and is pretty affordable too.

Top Things to do in Marsaxlokk

  • Stroll along Marsaxlokk’s waterfront, where many boats have painted on their bows a pair of painted eyes to bring protection and good luck to the fishermen on their journeys. 
  • Also on the waterfront indulge in the many old restaurants serving the freshest seafood cooked following traditional recipes. 
  • Visit the Marsaxlokk Parish Church, built in the 19th century. Inside, you can also see several paintings by Maltese artist Giuseppe Calì. 
  • Fort Delimara is one of Malta’s coastal defense buildings constructed by the Knights of Malta. You can admire Fort Delimara from the outside by hiking up to it or by a boat tour around Delimara Point.
  • St. Lucian Tower is an impressive structure built again by the knights of the Order of St. John in the 17th century. This is the second largest watchtower on Malta.
  • Walk from Marsaxlokk’s center is to reach Għar Dalam Cave. This prehistoric cave is thousands of years old and houses evidence of the earliest and oldest human settlement on the Maltese islands.

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