The gorgeous land of sunshine and seas, Greece known for its weatherworn ancient architecture in it cities and isles full of coastal caves, sheltered bays, and powdery beaches. There’s so much to experience during a trip to this beloved European destination, so we created a seven day itinerary full of the can’t-miss highlights. From meandering through the cobblestone streets and visiting the Acropolis in Athens to exploring some of the smaller islands that will give you the Greek isle experience without the crowds of Mykonos and Santorini, here’s how to plan seven spectacular days in Greece.
Day 1: Arrive in Athens
We recommend staying in the center of the city, either near the Acropolis or the royal gardens. This will put you right in the middle of the places you’ll want to experience within one of the oldest metropolises in the world. After you check in to your hotel and freshen up a bit, start exploring Athens by wandering around the streets in search of your first taste of Greece’s famous cuisine. Prepare for a fabulous sunset (either before or after dinner, depending on the time of year and when you prefer to eat) by walking up the hill at Mount Lycabettus for some of the best sunset views in the city. You’ll spy the Acropolis, all of the surrounding neighborhoods, and the Aegean sea in the distance.
Day 2: An Ancient Adventure
Wake up early and start your day at the legendary Acropolis—a UNESCO heritage site, one of the wonders of the world, and certainly one of the most famous architectural marvels in all of Europe. Like most heavily touristed areas, the Acropolis is usually the least crowded first thing in the morning. So get in line before it opens and experience the site with the fewest tourists. Have a relaxing lunch before returning to your hotel, checking out, and catching a cab to whisk you away to the ferry. Yep, after just one day in Athens you’ll be heading to the gorgeous island of Milos (but don’t worry, you’ll be back in a few days). We recommend having a rental car ready on Milos, as it has limited public transportation. Pick up your car and head to your hotel in the town of Polonia. Finish the day with a good meal and a taste of the local liquor called Ouzo. The national drink of Greece, this spirit has an anise flavor and is made from grapes using the remnants of fruit used to produce wine.
Day 3: The Island Life
Milos isn’t one of the most famous Greek islands, but it’s definitely one of the most marvelous. Home to some of the best beaches on the Aegean, luminous turquoise bays, and fantastic seafood, Milos is also where the famed statue Venus de Milo was discovered. After breakfast you can explore small and peaceful fishing villages, many with homes built right into the rock as you make your way down the coast to Plaka, Milo’s capital town. Take in the traditional blue and white houses as you peruse the shops in search of souvenirs. Before leaving Plaka, head down toward the ancient Roman amphitheater and the catacombs. Venus de Milo was found near the stones that still stand to make up the amphitheater and you can walk right into it, picturing the world thousands of years ago. The Plaka Catacombs is the burial site from the first to the sixth centuries, and having been a destination to visit for more than 1500 years it’s actually filled with graffiti that dates back to the 1700s.
Day 4: Cruising to Kleftikos
Wake up early in Polonia for a quick breakfast before starting your day’s adventure—a boat tour to Kleftiko, a small and secluded bay in Milos that is most often visited by boat. With times ranging from hour to nine hours, you can choose how long you want to stay in this beautiful area. The cruises include taking in the breathtaking scenery of Milos island before stopping at Kleftiko Beach for some much-needed fun in the sun. From simply swimming from the sand into the tranquil water to cliff jumping directly into the clear-blue cyan sea, you can be as mild or as daring as you like. Your tour should give you plenty of time to swim, snorkel, and explore the beautiful cliffs and caves. If your Kleftiko tour ends early enough, you can take the ferry to stay on the island of Sifnos for the night. Otherwise, you can leave first thing in the morning. You won’t need a rental car here and can rely on public transportation instead.
Day 5: Seafood & See Views on Sifnos
An even smaller island than Milos, Sifnos is mostly a destination for Greek tourists who come to enjoy the picturesque villages and famed culinary scene. The home of Greece’s most famous chef (Nikolaos Tselementes), who wrote the country’s first official cookbook in the 1930s, Sifnos is a foodie’s paradise with plenty of traditional and modern dishes. Along with eating well, the island is also famous for its hiking trails, allowing you to burn off the extravagant meals with over a dozen hiking options. One of the most popular hikes starts in Apolonia and takes trekkers to magnificent views of Sifnos Kastro (Castle), with its white exterior and blue dome perched above the vibrant blue sea. The small village of Kastro is over 3000 years old and is filled with plenty of ancient artifacts along with its own archaeological museum.
Day 6: Beach Morning & Afternoon Sail
If you love sleeping in, this is the day to do it. You can also explore more fishing villages (like Farros) or spend some time on the beach in the port town of Kameres. There are lots of lounge chairs set along the water next to beachside restaurants. Enjoy the water views and dine at one of the local eateries before heading to the ferry that will take you back to Athens. Check into the same hotel you were at before, or take this opportunity to experience a different one. Then finish the day with another Athens dinner.
Day 7: The Final Day
This is your last chance to explore the city of Athens before your afternoon or evening flight home. (Alternatively you can take an early flight the following morning.) Wake up for another spectacular sunrise on Philopappos Hill, with picture-perfect views of the Acropolis and plenty of places to have breakfast. Nearby, don’t miss the incredible Acropolis Museum, built in 2009 entirely above an ongoing archeological dig. One of the museum’s highlights is the first floor being made almost entirely out of glass, letting you walk directly above the dig—complete with archeologists below you excavating any newly found antiquities. Don’t forget the second floor, with glass walls offering an amazing view of the Acropolis itself. Finish your trip with some more souvenir shopping in Athens before heading home full of fantastic photographs and marvelous memories.
Ready to see Greece for yourself? Contact your GOGO-backed travel advisor to start planning.
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