A holiday in Greece is every traveler’s dream. Imagine long days spent relaxing on the stunning sandy beaches and swimming in crystal clear azure waters, while the afternoons slowly lingering into evenings as you enjoy small life pleasures — dining in local taverns with breathtaking sea views. Greece caters to all tastes and ages, from ancient ruins, to cultural wonders, sensational cuisine, heartfelt hospitality and breathtaking natural beauty unlike anything you have experienced before. A trip to Greece is a trip of a lifetime. To help you make the best of your two-week Greece itinerary we have compiled a guide to how to spend 14 days in Greece.
How to Spend 14 Days in Greece: A Two Week Greece Itinerary
Chances are you will be arriving directly into the capital of Greece, Athens. Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport is a hub that connects most European cities directly with Athens, the Greek islands and many other international destinations.
Greece itinerary 14 Days: Day 1 & 2 — Athens
The Greek capital has a lot to offer and we recommend that you dedicate at least two full days to discovering its wonderful offerings. As cliché as it may sound, a visit to the Acropolis is an absolute must.
We recommend that you get to the Acropolis as early as possible to avoid the crowds which usually gather here by noon. Perched on the highest point of the city of Athens, this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage Site dates back to Neolithic period (4000/3500-3000 BC). The crown jewel of the Acropolis, is the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena. You can either visit the Acropolis at your own leisure or on a guided tour.
There are two entrances which lead to the Acropolis, the less crowded one is closer to the Acropolis Museum and leads you through the Dionysus Sanctuary and the Dionysus Theater. Allocate at least two hours to visiting the Acropolis.
You can either buy a single use ticket which grants admission just to the Acropolis or opt for a combined ticket that is valid for 5 days and gives you access to other landmarks such as Ancient Agora of Athens, Archaeological Museum of Kerameikos, Hadrian’s Library, Kerameikos, Museum of the Ancient Agora, North slope of Acropolis, Olympieio, Roman Agora of Athens, South Slope of Acropolis. You can buy your tickets online on the official website of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.
What not to miss in Athens
- Odeon of Herodes Atticus: one of the top attractions in Athens was built in AD 161 by a Roman Herodes Atticus for his wife Regilla. If you are visiting Athens in the summer check out the Athens & Epidaurus Festival program which takes place at the Odeon of Herodes. Over the years some of the world’s most elite performers such as Luciano Pavarotti, Maria Callas, Sting, and many others have taken its stage.
- The Acropolis Museum: tops the lists of the best museums in the world. The new museum which opened its doors in 2009 is a piece of art designed and completed by New York’s, Bernard Tschumi together with the local Greek architect Michael Photiadi. The Acropolis Museum spans over three floors and houses the frieze of the temple of Parthenon among other prized possessions such as the five Caryatids which are the original version of the maidens that supported the porch of the Erechtheion.
- Hadrian’s Arch: The Arch was build in 131 AD by Emperor Hadrian to separate the new and old cities of Athens. It is located along the main road which leads right to Syntagma Square.
- The Temple of Olympian Zeus: stands behind the Hadrian’s Arch, its construction began in 515 BC by Pisistratus, the son of Hippocrates yet was only competed in 129 AD by Emperor Hadrian.
- The Panathenaic Stadium: is closely linked with the history of the modern Olympic Games and is one of Athens’ most important landmarks. The first modern Olympic Games were held here for the first time in 1896. The best time to visit the stadium is either early in the morning or in the evening.
- Visit Plaka and Anafiotika Neighborhoods: these two quaint neighborhoods in the heart of Athens resemble the feeling of being on a Greek island. Anafiotika was built here in the 19th century when the builders moved to the capital from the Cyclades island of Anafi, a tiny island next to Santorini. Here you will find gorgeous whitewashed buildings with colourful doors and windows, adorned with blooming flowers and bougainvillea. There are several taverns lining the narrow streets where you can enjoy a refreshing drink, lunch or dinner.
- National Gardens: this peaceful retreat right in the heart of Athens, was once a private refuge of King Otto and Queen Amalia. Located next to the Hellenic Parliament Building.
- The Changing of the Guards at the Hellenic Parliament: admire the beautifully dressed guards right in front of the Hellenic Parliament building. It is considered an honour for young gentlemen to serve the position of Evzones during their military obligations. The changing of the guards takes place every hour on the hour, seven days a week.
- Syntagma Square: this is the main square of Athens which was named after the Constitution that was granted by the first King of Greece Otto. Across from the Square you will find the Greek Parliament Building and from the other side the main shopping street of Athens, Ermou Street which leads all the way to Monastiraki Square.
- Monastiraki Square: one of the liveliest square of Athens is also home to the landmarks such as the Hadrian’s Library and the Ancient Agora. This is also the largest flea market where you can buy souvenirs, leather sandals and Greek artisan products.
- Psyrri neighbourhood: Follow the famous Pittaki Street decorated with numerous lamps, chandeliers and lanterns. It will take you to the popular neighbourhood of Psyrri full of bars, restaurants and taverns.
- Visit the Athenian Riviera which consists of several resort areas that line the coastal road which leads all the way to the southernmost tip of Attica region. Take an afternoon tour to visit the Temple of Poseidon, one of the most famous sunset spots.
Greece itinerary 14 Days: Day 3 & 4 — Mykonos
Mykonos, a destination on its own, a playground for the international jet-set, has gained worldwide popularity for its sophisticated flair, bustling nightlife and quintessentially Greek character. This cosmopolitan island in the Cyclades, is a two and a half hour ferry ride from the Port of Piraeus. There are several ferry boats heading to Mykonos on a daily basis and travel time varies from 2.5 to 6 hours (depending on the ferry).
The main ferry companies which connect Athens with Mykonos are Blue Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways, SeaJets and Golden Star Ferries. The fastest one is SeaJets and departs from the Port of Piraeus at 7:00am. The price is approximately €60 one way. There are cheaper options, however the travel time is longer. An alternative way to get to Mykonos is by flying from Athens to Mykonos International Airport (JMK), there are numerous daily flights connecting the Greek capital with Mykonos.
Mykonos offers a wide selection of accommodation options, from luxury private villas to gorgeous 5-star resorts, boutique hotels, budget hotels, studios and apartments.
Getting Around Mykonos
To get around Mykonos you can either rent a motorbike, scooter, Quad bike (ATV) or car. Although a car would be a safer option, parking is quite limited near the Mykonos Town. There are several buses running to the popular beaches of Mykonos, the departure point is Fabrika Bus Station which serves Ornos, Agios Ioannis, Platys Gialos, Paraga and Super Paradise Beaches. There are also buses running to and from the airport. To check the routes and schedule click here.
Taxis are available but there is a shortage during high season. The main taxi station is at the Plateia Manto Mavrogenous, inside Mykonos Town (Chora) and queues can be extremely long. Some hotels offer their own transportation services which you can pre-arrange in advance.
What to do in Mykonos
Depending on your interests, Mykonos offers an array of activities from sea kayaking, scuba diving, party beaches, bike tours, food tours, boat trips, shopping and much more. Whether you prefer to spend the whole day lounging at one of the numerous beaches or explore the lesser known Mykonos, the choices are endless.
- Mykonos Town (Chora): this is the gem of Mykonos, the main village of the island where you can experience the typical Cycladic architecture. Whitewashed cubic houses with colourful wooden doors and windows (many are painted in shades of blue), beautiful churches, and narrow cobblestone streets lined with blooming bougainvilleas which add to its mesmerising island charm. Every corner is picture perfect and you will find plenty of photo opportunities in this part of Mykonos. Mykonos Town is the heart of the island that never sleeps. At all times of day it is filled with visitors who come here to shop, dine and party until early morning hours.
- Little Venice: the most famous part of the island gets very busy especially during sunset hour. This picturesque neighbourhood of two and three-storey houses graciously overlooks the Aegean Sea. During the 16th and 17th century the pirates used it as their hideaway. Today, Little Venice is the most romantic spot on the island where couples flock to watch the magical sunset disappear below the skyline.
- The Windmills of Mykonos: the most recognised landmark of Mykonos acts as a gorgeous backdrop for photos. During the 17th and 19th century the windmills played a crucial role in the island’s economy. They were used for production of grain which was exported to neighboring countries.
- Panagia Paraportiani: is a remarkable national cultural monument, which is in fact a church made out of five smaller churches. The church is a mix of four different architectural styles,Byzantine, vernacular, traditional and western style. The church was not built here all at once but rather over the centuries, five churches were constructed one on top of another, which resulted in the final outcome that stands here today. Panagia Paraportiani is the most photographed of the 400 churches that dot Mykonos.
- Visit the village of Ano Mera: this inland village is the second largest on Mykonos and is located an approximate 15 minute drive from Mykonos Town. Here you can get a feel of a typical Cycladic Village, with its traditional stone houses, large main square and local taverns. Ano Mera is also home to Panagia Tourliani Monastery which was built here by two monks in the 16th century. The monastery houses beautiful Byzantine icons. From here you may also hike up to the Monastery of Paleokastro, today you can only see the remains of a Byzantine castle which were built on top of an ancient temple. The views are stunning!
- Mykonos Vioma Winery: wine lovers will definitely enjoy a visit to the small family-run vineyard in Ano Mera which offers an authentic experience. The Mykonos Vioma winery produces organic wines for over 20 years. In a peaceful and relaxing environment guests can try the wines paired with traditional Myconian products such as louza (dry cured ham) and kopanisti cheese (creamy, salty and full of flavor). The secret of the beautiful vines? They grow listening to classical music which the owner Nikos Asimomytis plays to them. For an off the beaten track experience join his daughter Dimitra on one of her Yummy pedals bike tours, where you can visit the lesser known beaches and learn all about the other side of Mykonos.
- Take a day trip to Delos: one of the highly recommended experiences is a visit to the nearby island of Delos. This small island served an important role in the history of ancient Greece and its significance had much to do with the Greek mythology. Once a major religious centre and a crossroads for trade, Delos was the birthplace of Apollo, god of light. Here you can explore the magnificent Doric temples, villas with mosaics and an ancient amphitheater. The Archaeological Museum of Delos houses an impressive collection of statues which were excavated on the site. Delos has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Greece itinerary 14 Days: Day 5 & 6 — Santorini
Santorini is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Its multi-coloured cliffs dotted with cubic houses, striking sunsets and an aura like no other have positioned Santorini as the most sought after destination to visit in Greece. For those who are visiting Greece for the first time, must definitely add a visit to Santorini to your itinerary.
The best way to get from Mykonos to Santorini is with a ferry. The ferry ride takes 2.5 to 3 hours and there are several daily boats connecting Mykonos with Santorini and vice versa. The two companies that operate ferries between Mykonos and Santorini are SeaJets and Hellenic Seaways. The price of a one way ticket is approximately €67, please refer to the mentioned ferry websites for reservations and exact prices.
Getting around Santorini
Depending on where you are staying and if you want to explore Santorini, you will definitely have to move around. Walking is not an option if you wish to get from one town to the next. For your convenience you may either rent a car, motorbike, quad or take a taxi. There are also local KTEL buses on Santorini which leave from Fira. You can check out the bus schedule here. If you only have a few days to spend on Santorini, the easiest and fastest way to get around is by renting a car.
What to see and do in Santorini
- Oia: the most famous village on Santorini is set on a dramatic cliff overlooking the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. At sunset this part of the island fills up with people who flock here from all corners of the island, just to witness the magical sunset. Situated 11 kilometres north of Fira, Oia is characterised by the charming colourful houses, blue-domed churches and narrow picture perfect alleyways.
- Ammoudi Bay: follow the 300 steps leading from Oia to Ammoudi, a small port from where boats depart for the nearby island of Thirassia. The shoreline is lined with a few charming local taverns, serving fresh catch of the day. Here you will find the small, rocky Armeni Beach.
- Imerovigli: this picturesque village is located a short 2 kilometres from Fira (Thira), approximately a 30 minute walk. Built amphitheatrically around the Caldera it is commonly referred to as the balcony to the Aegean. From here you may also admire the Skaros Rock, originally one of Santorini’s five settlements it has been abandoned since the early 1800s following several eruptions.
- Akrotiri Archeological Site: this pre-historic town was once a Bronze Age settlement that was inhabited as early as the 4th millennium BC. A large texted of the settlement has been preserved where visitors can admire the elaborate drainage system, multi-storeyed buildings, and impressive wall paintings. The town’s last inhabitants were forced to leave in the end of the 17th century following severe earthquakes. Like the ruins of Pompeii in Italy, this ancient Minoan town has remained well preserved.
- Akrotiri Lighthouse: one of the most beautiful and oldest lighthouses in Greece, it was built here by the French in the 19th century. From here you can admire the view of all the caldera as far as Oia. The Lighthouse is a fantastic sunset spot.
- Kayaking adventures: if you are a fan of water sports, how about a sea kayaking adventure to explore the numerous hidden caves and cliffs surrounding the Akrotiri Archeological Site.
- White Beach: Located in the village of Akrotiri, 14 kilometres from Fira, this breathtaking small beach with soaring white cliffs and crystal clear blue waters is a sight not to be missed. This is an ideal spot for relaxation and snorkelling. To get here one can either take the boat from the nearby Red Beach or walking from the Kambia Beach, although the path is not easy.
- Red Beach: this is the most famous beach of Santorini. Located in the Akrotiri village, in the southernmost part of Santorini this striking red colour beach is a natural marvel created by the volcano. Surrounded by steep red hills, the beach is made up of small pebbles and different color sand, mainly red.
- Hiking: if you are a fan of hiking there are several scenic routes which you can take that guarantee stunning views and plenty of photo opportunities. The hiking trail which leads from Fira to Oia is approximately a 3-5 hour hike that takes you past the volcanic caldera, gorgeous whitewashed houses and traditional villages (Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia).
- Discover the wine treasures of this volcanic island: the history of vine cultivation in Santorini goes back to the pre-historic times. Some of the oldest vineyards in the world are found in Santorini. The volcanic soil produces four classic varieties: the white Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani, and the red Mandilaria. To protect the vines from strong winds, producers apply an ancient cultivation method, where the vines are twisted into large nests, sort of shaped like a basket (or kouloura). This helps to maintain the humidity during the hot summer months.
- Sensational flavors: every island is known for its own unique culinary traditions. The Cyclades produce capers or capari in Greek which are used to garnish salads and adds taste to many dishes. Santorini capers are prepared in a unique way. They are left to dry under the scorching sun until they turn slightly blond. The Santorini tomato is listed as a PDO product (Protected Designation of Origin), the small tomatoes were initially brought here from Egypt. Requiring little water they found their ideal cultivation conditions on the island. The Santorini tomato was sun-dried and used as tomato paste during the winter and soon it became the island’s main export, shaping Santorini’s economy. Most of the industry was destroyed by the earthquake of 1956. To learn more about the tomato industry you may visit the Tomato Industrial Museum in Vlichada. Another popular dish to try is the Santorini fava, a delicious velvety puree made of yellow split peas.
Greece itinerary 14 Days: Day 7,8,9,10,11,12,13 & 14 — Crete
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and we recommend that you allocate at least a week of your trip to discovering its wonders, which are plentiful. Crete’s rich and diverse history, architecture, nature, tradition and cuisine will enchant you. Gorgeous sandy beaches, hundreds of traditional villages, breathtaking gorges, lake, caves and historical monuments dot the landscape of Crete. Not to forget, the warmth and hospitality of its people, is a reason on its own to visit Crete.
To get from Santorini to Crete, the easiest way is with a ferry. Starting from mid-April until late October, two ferries per day run between Santorini – Crete and Crete – Santorini. The high speed catamarans take approximately 2 hours to complete the journey from Santorini to Heraklion. Check out all the options and book tickets here.
Our collection of four sophisticated and traditional villas is located on the outskirts of Rethymnon, in the picturesque village of Asteri and the seaside settlement of Stavromenos, approximately 13 kilometres (20 minute drive) from Rethymnon Town.
Crete is a large island and to make the most of your visit we recommend hiring a car from Heraklion, upon your arrival. Alternatively you may use the public transport, buses run regularly during the summer season however it will take longer to map out your routes. You may check the buses schedule online.
What to do in Crete
Covering the whole island of Crete in a week will be impossible, however you can allocate your travel itinerary between visiting a few towns, depending on your area of interest. Rethymnon region enjoys a prime central location, therefore making it a good starting point for all your day trips around the island.
Upon your arrival on Crete, if you do end up coming with a morning ferry from Santorini and will rent a car, we advise that you spend some hours exploring Heraklion before heading out in the direction of Rethymnon (approximately 80 kilometres).
Crete is the cradle of ancient civilisation and one of the sights not to be missed is the Knossos Palace. It is located at an approximately 20 minute drive from the port of Heraklion. If you are visiting Crete with your children check out our post on What to do in Crete with kids.
- Rethymnon Town: enjoys a wonderful combination of a dramatic natural setting, Ottoman charm, Venetian splendour and folkloric authenticity. Its signature landmark is the 16th century Venetian Fortress, Fortezza which hosts numerous cultural events, concerts and performances during the summer months. The harbour of Rethymnon is also characterised by an imposing Egyptian Lighthouse, Crete’s largest after the one in Chania. Rethymnon Town is beautiful at all times of day, its historical sights, monuments, charming alleyways and authentic traditional character will offer you a wonderful opportunity to experience one of Crete’s finest gems. Discover more of what you can do in Rethymnon in our posts: The Charms of Rethymnon Town and Exploring the Riches of the Rethymnon Region
- Famous Mountain villages: Once you traverse away from the exquisite coastline and follow the mountainous roads, you will come across numerous villages. Mount Psiloritis also know as Mt. Ida, the highest mountain on Crete is located in Rethymnon. Some of the famous villages which we recommend that you visit are Spili — known for its impressive Lion Fountains, Anogia — a bold and lively place, home to some of Crete’s most famous musicians like the late Nikos Xylouris and his brother Psarantonis. Margarites — famous for its colorful folkloric pottery, Loutro — which can only be reached by a boat. The village itself is built to the very edge of the crystalline bay. Above the village is the barren, uncompromising beauty of Crete’s rocky south coast, golden rock against a turquoise sea. Also check out:
- Arkadi Monastery and Eleftherna: The Arkadi Monastery and the Ancient Museum of Eleftherna are two of our favorite sights. We recommend them to our guests who love learning about ancient culture and significant historic moments. Only a 30 minute drive from each other these two sights can be visited in the same day. You may combine the visit to these two sights with a stop at the village of Margarites.
- The Beaches of South Rethymnon: you cannot leave Crete without taking a trip to the South of Rethymnon. Whether you are traveling as a family or looking for a romantic escape, these beaches are everything you’ve dreamed of and more. Preveli Beach is one of the best beaches on Crete where a heavenly river lagoon meets the Libyan Sea and a lush palm-forest dots this unique landscape. Check out our post on: Top Beaches of South Rethymnon
- Discover Chania: the route from Rethymnon to Chania is approximately an hour drive. One of the most beautiful towns in Crete, Chania is full of Venetian influences and has a myriad of architecture styles, old town districts and outright charm to discover. The Venetian Harbor is one of the best places to soak in the magnificent atmosphere of Chania. If you are a fan of museums there are several of them located right in the heart of the harbor. Stroll through the Old Town districts full of beautifully preserved historic buildings with Venetian, Ottoman and neoclassical influences. Admire the numerous historic churches and mosque which are scattered around the town. The Mosque of the Janissaries (Yali-Tzamisi Mosque) – is the oldest Islamic structure in Crete. It was built in the mid-17th century over a church. Now, the city holds public exhibitions here (located right in the heart of the Chania Venetian Harbor). In the afternoon grab a drink onDaliani Street, which is a pedestrian way known for its bars with a sea view. In the evening enjoy a traditional Cretan meal in one of the numerous taverns and restaurants. For more information see: Day Trip from Rethymnon to Chania.
- Beaches of Chania: some of Crete’s most famous beaches are located in Chania. It will be impossible to visit them all in a day as the distances between them are quite far. The top ones which we highly recommend are, Balos Lagoon Beach — the most photographed beach on Crete. You will have to drive 56 kilometers northwest of Chania, that’s why starting early in the morning is highly recommended. The beach can be accessed in several ways. You can take a morning ferry which leaves from Kissamos where visitors get to experience the wild shores of Gramvousa. The second option is to drive a car or motorbike which involves heading down a dirt road starting at Kaliviani and runs to Cape Gramvousa. Elafonisi Beach is Crete’s most exotic with pink and white sand, this place is like paradise. It has been racked as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Another one of our favourites is Falassarna Beach, where a perfect white stretch of sand meets exotic green waters. This is a popular beach for full moon parties which take place here in the summer. Also see our post on 6 Amazing Cretan Beaches.
- Visit a Local Winery: Crete’s ancient Minoan civilization was known for wine making. Cretan wines are considered to be some of the best in Greece. Over the past few decade or so, new wineries are showing off the award-winning quality wines of the island. Find out more here: Visit Cretan Wineries
Other useful posts to help you plan your trip to Crete
Top Tourist Sights of Rethymnon Old Town
Our Local Picks: Rethymnon Old Town Restaurants
Our Local Picks: Rethymnon Restaurants
This guide was compiled taking into consideration the distances between islands and how easy it is to access each one of them in order to make the best of your 14 days in Greece. Crete has two main airports which connect directly with Athens and other major European destinations, the Heraklion International Airport and Chania International Airport. You can plan to fly directly out of Crete.
We hope that you find our two week Greece itinerary useful in crafting your trip.