The allure of the Greek Islands is irresistible – whitewashed churches, ancient monuments, and sidewalk cafes on the shores of the Aegean Sea. Your Greece island itinerary exploration begins in Athens, where centuries-old archeological sites show off an energetic, trendy downtown.
Discover Mykonos’ shops, bars, and restaurants on the water or read on its white-sand beaches. Explore Santorini’s hilltop community of Oia, where the cliffs are colorful, and take in its breathtaking views.
The Greek Islands provide spectacular views, delicious cuisine, and rich history. What’s not to love about this paradise?
Day By Day Greece Island Hopper Itinerary
DAY 1: Arrive in Athens
Once you arrive in Athens, pick up your bags and meet the transfer representative to escort you to your hotel. After checking in, you have time to explore on your own before your evening sightseeing tour.
ATHENS BY NIGHT
Your evening will begin with a panoramic drive through the city center. From the slope of the sacred hill, you’ll see the Acropolis illuminated in the night. You’ll walk through the narrow streets of Plaka, the Old City, then dine in a classic Greek tavern. Dinner will be followed by a floor show, complete with live music and traditional Greek folk dances.
Eat a leisurely breakfast, then head to your hotel lobby to meet the guide for your private half-day city sightseeing tour. When you return, spend the afternoon and evening exploring the squares and back streets of Upper and Lower Plaka. Sample some saganaki – a hard Greek cheese that’s fried and sprinkled with lemon juice – or a slice of flaky spanakopita.
PRIVATE HALF-DAY ATHENS SIGHTSEEING TOUR
This tour will highlight the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Your expert guide will show you the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. You’ll pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Parliament, Memorial of the Unknown Soldier, Academy, University, National Library, and Syntagma Square.
At the Acropolis, you’ll visit the architectural masterpieces of the golden age of Athens, namely the Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and the Parthenon, known as “the harmony between material and spirit.” Afterward, discover the statues and artifacts in the Acropolis Museum.
Stay: 2 nights
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DAY 3: Arrive in Mykonos
You’ll have the better part of the morning and early afternoon to do some final independent sightseeing before meeting your driver in the hotel lobby for the ride to the airport. When you arrive in Mykonos, you’ll be met by your transfer representative and escorted to your hotel. Mykonos is known for its nightlife, so don’t change into those pajamas just yet!
On the docket for this morning is a private half-day tour of Mykonos Town and Greece island. In the afternoon, enjoy lunch at a waterfront restaurant or lay back on one of the island’s copious white sand beaches and let the sun warm your body and soul.
HALF-DAY CITY AND ISLAND PRIVATE TOUR OF MYKONOS
You’ll begin your tour on the quiet, narrow streets of Mykonos Town. Your guide will give you the history of Old Town and take you to the famous windmills in search of Petros the Pelican, the mascot of Mykonos. You’ll then board a bus and set out to explore the coast and inner landscape of the island. Along the way, you’ll pass fishing villages, houses, and chapels built in the Cycladic style. In Ano Mera, the second main village of Mykonos, stroll through the square or visit the 16th-century Tourliani Monastery. Your next stop is Kalafatis Beach, where you’ll have some time to relax before heading back to town.
Take the morning to wander through the Archaeological Museum or stroll along the waterfront promenade of Little Venice. After lunch, meet at New Port to depart for your tour of Tinos.
TINOS FULL-DAY TOUR
Experience the beauty and charm of old Greece on this visit to the inviting big-brother island of Mykonos. In Tinos Town you’ll visit Evangelistria Church, the most important church in Greece and home to an icon of the Virgin Mary that’s believed to have miraculous powers. Scenic vistas abound on the bus ride across the island. Highlights of the drive include the marble village of Pyrgos, the women’s Monastery of Kechrovouni, and Volax, the village of basket makers. Enjoy lunch (not included) at a traditional taverna. Spend your evening free time in Tinos Town walking along the harbor or wandering its colorful shops.
Stay: 3 nights
Read more: First time in the Greek Islands Guide
DAY 6: Arrive in Santorini
After breakfast, head to the lobby to meet the transfer representative who will escort you to your ferry to Santorini. The high-speed ferry takes approximately three hours but can take a bit longer depending on weather conditions. When you arrive in Santorini, your transfer representative will meet you on the pier to take you to your hotel. This would be a perfect night to dine in one of Fira’s restaurants. You may pay a bit more if it has a view of the island’s caldera, but the vista is certainly worth the splurge!
Make sure you slather on the sunscreen before you head off on your tour of Oia and Santorini’s caldera. For dinner, treat yourself to an authentic Greek meal of tomato fritters and roasted lamb, followed by a glass of wine from one of the island’s many vineyards.
CALDERA – OIA
In the port of Athinios, you will board a boat for your visit to the active volcanoes atop the island of Nea Kameni. You’ll then sail to Palea Kameni, where thermal springs remain luxuriously warm despite the chill of the wind and surrounding water.
Your next stop is colorful Thirassia, a typical Cycladic village that has remained resistant to the tourism boom. Lunch here will be on your own, and you’re free to explore and sample some elements of traditional Santorini cuisine.
From Thirassia you’ll head to your final destination: exquisite, whitewashed Oia. The village is built into the sloped sides of the island’s caldera. Also, it is one of the most photographed places in all of Greece. A magical Oia sunset is the last item on the Greece Island itinerary before your return.
Take today to savor the beauty of Santorini and do some exploration on your own. Hike down from Oia to the colorful port of Ammoudi for lunch in a fish taverna. In the Museum of Prehistoric Thera, discover some of Akrotiri’s most extraordinary excavations. Make your way to the top of the caldera to see the temples and mosaicked houses of ancient Thira. On your last night in Santorini, treat yourself to an indulgent meal and then grab a drink in a bar overlooking the caldera.
DAY 9: Arrive in Athens
After breakfast, meet your driver in the lobby for your flight back to Athens. Collect your bags and meet the driver who will take you to your hotel. Once you have checked in and dropped off your bags, you’ll head out for your tour of Cape Sounion. Afterward, the evening is yours to enjoy on your own. Consider taking in a movie at open-air Cine Paris, located on a rooftop in Plaka with views of the Acropolis from a few lucky seats.
This tour will take you along the coast, past the beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza, to Cape Sounion. Here, at the southernmost point of Attica, stand the white marble pillars of the Temple of Poseidon. After a visit to the temple, you’re free to explore the rocky promontory of Sounion on your own.
After a final breakfast on your Greece Island itinerary, meet your transfer representative in the hotel lobby for the ride to the airport. Reflect on your wondrous trip as you watch the Greece islands recede into the distance when your plane takes off.
Stay: 1 night
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