11 days in Greece will get you a perfect combination of history and relaxation.
- Arrive in Athens- check in to your hotel- great hotels include: Hotel Grande Bretagne, Coco Mat Hotel Athens(luxury), FOS Residential Apartments, InnAthens(semi luxury) Hotel Cypria Athens, and Athens House(inexpensive)
- Relax at the hotel for the rest of the day and explore Athens
Day trip to Meteora: full day train trip to the outstanding monasteries of Meteora.
Day trip to Nafplio: trip to the seaside town of Nafplio as well as the Ancient city of Epidaurus.
Personally, I would choose the day trip to Nafplio because it is a shorter distance from Athens and more beautiful than Meteora in my opinion. But, if you’re a hike person, Meteora would be for you, but Nafplio does have great hikes as well.
Explore the Acropolis of Athens
I would recommend the combo ticket (30 euros) which will allow you to see all of the ancient ruins.
Then visit the Acropolis Museum, which has some of the most valuable artifacts from the Acropolis.
Next, explore the pretty town of Plaka. A good idea is to get a hotel in Plaka. There are ,any hotels here, so you won’t have a problem booking anything unless you book too late.
Plaka, the town under the Acropolis
Do a boat trip of the Saronic Islands. There are a few options you can chose from. I’ll list my two favorites:
This is a full day cruise from Athens to the islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina.
This one is a full day cruise from Athens to the islands of Aegina, Agistri, and Moni. It includes a snorkel in Moni’s transparent waters.
In my opinion, the second option is better because it is not as rushed since those islands are all very close to each other. But, if you love walking, then maybe you’ll prefer the fist option.
Go to Santorini. You can either take a ferry or a flight. I prefer the flight since it is only 30 minutes, while the ferry is, on average, 3 hours, and because the flight is more comfortable.
Once you get to Santorini, check in to your hotel. Good towns to stay in include: Fira (capital and great place for shopping), Oia(sunset), and Imerovigli(romantic), all of which give you great views of the caldera.
In Fira: San Marino Suites by Calm Collection(semi-luxury), Aria Suites (Fancy luxury hotel with fantastic views), or Athina Luxury Suites (luxury hotel with incredible caldera views)
In Oia: Canaves Oia Suites (wonderful luxury hotel)
In Imerovigli: Absolute Bliss (Awesome luxury hotel) or Astra Suites, another luxury hotel
Depending on where you choose, spend your day exploring the town. You can visit a beach if you want as well. Some great beaches include: Kamari, Perissa, and Monolithos (all of which have black sand)
Visit the site of Akrotiri. It is an ancient site with old artifacts that were preserved after a volcanic eruption (similar to Pompeii in Italy).
After that, do a sunset cruise of the caldera.
It includes a dip in the hot springs, a visit to Red Beach and White Beach, and a stop for the sunset in Oia
Do the hike from Fira to Oia (or Oia to Fira, but Fira to Oia is considered better because you can see the white buildings of Oia in the distance.)
This will start on a path near the Atlantis Hotel in Fira. You will walk through the towns of Imerovigli and Firostefani on the way.
Hike from Fira to Oia
After you finish your hike, explore Oia and feel free to cliff jump in Ammoudi Bay.
Take a bus to Kamari. From there, there is a bus to Ancient Thera, the ruins of an ancient city. If you’ve had a ruins overload skip it, though I do highly recommend it.
Come back to Kamari and spend the day exploring the town and visiting Kamari Beach.
At around 7:45pm, go to Kamari Open Air Cinema. It starts at 8:30, but lines can be long. It is a great experience, and you can buy food at the snack bar.
Take a ferry to Paros. You probably thought I was going to say Mykonos. But nooooo. I’ve found Paros to be a less crowded, cleaner, and MUCH cheaper Mykonos. Feel free to go to Mykonos instead, but I’m sticking with Paros. When you reach Paros, stay in either of the two main towns: Noussa or Parikia. I would prefer Parikia, because it is easier to get around, but Noussa has fancier hotels. If you truly chose Paros because you wanted to exchange it from Mykonos, then you should stay in Naoussa, because it is more like Mykonos than Parikia is.
Explore Parikia, and go to Marcello Beach to end your day, and go to the Archaeological Museum.
Go to Kolymbithres Beach, then visit Noussa. At about 3 pm, visit Lefkes, the mountain village.
Take a flight to Athens. Stay at a hotel near the airport. (you can leave on this day, but I prefer going the next day)
Take a flight back home.