One Week in Greece

 

A week in Greece was just enough time to really start getting to know the culture, food, and history there. Greece is one of those places I’ve been learning about since I was a kid and  just couldn’t get out of my head. The islands looked beautiful, there’s a rich history, and who doesn’t love Greek food?!

If you've read my other posts then you know that when I see a deal, I take it. I hadn’t been to Europe since college and had been dreaming about it for a while after visiting Asia and South America. I knew it needed to by my next destination. I started watching for cheap flights and found one for the perfect dates and just $530 for Greece is a pretty good deal!

Flight was booked and research started. I knew a lot about the history of Greece and had seen countless photos and couldn’t wait to see what it was actually like to be there. It did not disappoint! I've made this itinerary to help you plan a week in Greece to dip your toes in and really start seeing what makes Greece such a unique place. I’m leaving off the arrival and departure day because really, you don’t do anything on those days! But, you need them to take advantage of all the time you want in a place.


Pro-tip: Use different sites to research for the cheapest flight. I use Hopper, Google Flights, TravelZoo and Momondo to check! I found this deal after using the Google Flights map feature.


7 Days in Greece:
Day 1: Athens
Day 2: Delphi
Day 3: Meteora
Day 4: Santorini
Day 5: Santorini/Mykonos
Day 6: Mykonos
Day 7: Athens

Costs per person
International Flight: $535
Hotels/AirBnB: $125
Tours: $203
Car Rentals: $35
Internal Flights/Baggage/Ferry: $174
Food/Tips/Uber: $200
Total Cost: $1272

Athens Day 1:

Full disclosure… I wasn’t there on this day! But, this is what we had planned so I did want to mention it for you all. Elizabeth did all of these things and had an awesome day so highly recommend it still. Take your first day slow, get to know a new city and have some fun!

We originally had booked an AirBnB in Athens, but to make Elizabeth feel more comfortable traveling solo, we cancelled it and booked Philipos Hotel instead. The hotel was very nice, but had a small room. The location was perfect though, they had excellent customer service, and a delicious breakfast. No complaints at all!

Bike tour ($30)

This is a tour I actually found and thought would be really fun. What better way to get to know a city than to ride around on a bike and experience all the different sites so you can go back and explore on your own! Well, because of Expedia and Turkish Airlines (read about the fiasco here), I ended up missing this and we booked a tour for the last day to tour inside the Acropolis as well. Initially, we planned to do this ourselves since we would have this tour... I will say, I was definitely jealous she got to do this even though I was in Istanbul for the day.

City Views

Awesome Dinner

Delphi Day 2: (overnight tour $167)


One of the things I had to do while I was in Greece was see some of the important mainland sites too. Delphi was one spot I had heard about and my parents raved about it after their trip (yes they went before I did and gave me lots of tips), but I was skeptical about this one. I ended up LOVING IT! The history is so interesting.

Fun facts for you history people like me:

People from all over the known world at the time (as far as Asia and Africa) would come to Delphi to speak to the oracle about their life. Getting there must have been so difficult because it was up a very steep mountain and people brought their gifts for the gods. It is definitely a must see spot when in Greece. I had no clue that Greece is mostly mountainous and let me tell you, the mountains in spring were covered in flowers! It was gorgeous!

There are many options for day tours to Delphi from Athens, but we opted for a two day tour to Delphi and Meteora because Meteora was SO worth the extra day. My only complaint about this tour was the fact that we didn't end up having very much time in Delphi. We ended up running around trying to see everything after the tour ended with our 30 minutes to explore and still missed a few things.

Picked up from hotel at 8:30 am


2 hour bus ride from Athens with 30 minute stop


Pro-tip: While you want to be there quick, the stops were clutch since we were stuck on a bus for so long. Plus we got to try lots of different Greek snacks!



Arrive in Delphi at 11:30


Pro-tip: Booking a tour for this trip was a solid choice. Our meals, drinks, and lodging were covered, we had wifi on the bus, and we got to go through with a guide since the ruins did not have signs or very much info.


Lunch on the way

This was my least favorite meal of the whole trip. Really, not much else to report here, but it's difficult to take 40 people's orders all at once so I do feel for them there.

3 hour drive to Meteora

This took the better half of the afternoon. We arrived in Kalambaka at our hotel around 7:30 pm. Our food was included which was really nice. Dinner was at the hotel, but we didn't mind because riding a bus all day with 35 other people really does take something out of you. Not moving and having a nice big hotel room was pretty great. We ended up sitting at dinner with an awesome couple from New Zealand that were on our tour who were traveling for a month through Europe and meeting up with friends in Italy. We loved their stories and shared about our lives. One of the best parts about traveling is meeting new people!

Meteora (Day 3):


I saw photos of Meteora and immediately fell in love. Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is incredibly unique for many reasons. Monks have lived in these very monasteries on top of these spiral shaped rocks since the 500s when they fled persecution. Can you imagine carrying anything up these spires let alone building an entire monastery on top of a rock like these? It was incredible to see. Today, 6 of the 24 monasteries are still functioning and others are in ruins along the cliffs, a reminder of the past and Greek history.

I was blown away at the unique rock formations, monasteries, and beautiful green scenery. I know many people don’t end up seeing Meteora when they come to Greece, but let me tell you – it's so worth your time! Don’t skip this incredible and unique spot in Greece.

Early wake up

See 2 monasteries

We saw one monastery that was very easy to get to. The bus dropped us off close to the entrance and we went in quickly. The second monastery had many stairs you had to climb with a rock gate to enter. It still has a hanging basket that the monastery uses to lift large things to and from the top which was incredible to see working. This was definitely my favorite spot (pictured below). I also loved all the monasteries that are just tucked into the cliffs that are no longer functioning. What a beautiful reminder of the past and mystery of these mountains.


Pro-tip: You have to wear a long dress (not pants) as a woman to enter the monasteries. They provide skirts which were no problem for us as we toured the monasteries. Pack your own if you don’t want to wear one of these!


Lunch in Kalambaka

Kalambaka is known as the gateway to Meteora. You can actually see it from most of the monasteries and then see te monasteries from town. It's so unique and was a fun place to grab lunch. We enjoyed a traditional Greek lunch where the food was home cooked and served right from the stove. So delicious and a little embarrassing after that mess with the bathroom. Fun story – I didn’t see the signs here and used the men's bathroom while there. Should have learned the Greek words for men and women... Oh well!

Back to Athens

We made two stops on the drive back to use the bathroom and get snacks. This was seriously a brutal afternoon trip that seemed to go on forever. It took 5 hours to get back to Athens and we definitely got bored on the drive. I wouldn't take it back though because Meteora was incredible.


Pro-tip: Bring books and things to do besides your phone! While WiFi was great, it was spotty and didn’t work in the mountains. This left us with little to do on the drive, plus it ate our phone batteries which caused us issues getting our plane tickets printed and an Uber in Athens.


Flight to Santorini $37

We had a late night Ryan Airlines Flight and arrived in Santorini at 12:30 am. Thankfully, our hotel was able to pick us up and check us in late (for a $20 charge).

PS - the graphics on the flight safety info were our favorite part of the flight. I was dying laughing while on the plane.


Pro-tip: Many hotels in Greece do not have 24 hour hotel desks. Double check hotel rules before booking. We specifically chose Santorini Reflexions Hotel because it allowed late night check ins and was along the cliffs in Fira.


Santorini (Day 4 and 5)

PS - our hotel is the building with the blue door and individual balconies in this picture. IT WAS PERFECT!

 

Who doesn’t think of Santorini when they think of the Greek islands?! It lives up to the hype and is an incredible place to visit. You could spend a whole week here alone there is so much to do!

We chose to stay in Fira instead of Oia for a few reasons. First, Fira is cheaper than Oia but still just as beautiful with its cliffs, villas, and little rooftop pools. Second, it was more in the center of the island which was better when trying to get to the beaches during the day.

We stayed at Santorini Reflexions Volcano and could not have been happier with that choice. I mean, look at this incredible view above we had at breakfast!!! Yes, three exclamation points because it was that good. The reception was so kind and helpful. The manager helped us call our car reservation to make sure we had a secure pick up, made sure we had an excellent room, gave us free wine, and were so accommodating. There was also parking nearby for free so we were able to easily park our rental car. I LOVED this hotel!

Rent a car $35


Pro-tip: This was a must to get everywhere on our own schedule although there is a reliable bus service in Santorini, it is slower and on a schedule so getting places will take longer. We wanted to stay on our own schedule and rental cars were not expensive so we went ahead an split the rental car cost and went all over the island. We used Santorini Holiday Cars to book in advance and paid through PayPal no problem. They were pretty responsive, but were late dropping off our car which set us back in our day.


Black Sand Beach

Ancient Thera $4

Red Beach

Lunch on the coast

Random stop along our drive with a gorgeous view. They had our favorite lunch with a delicious feta cheese covered in sesame seeds and honey. Just wonderful - I wish I remembered the name, but it was such a random stop after being so hungry!

Walking Fira

Yes, we got fish pedis. Yes, they left our feet feeling soft. No, I didn't even last the trial 10 minutes before freaking out and taking my feet out...

Walking Oia

It was so crowded here! Seriously. I caught the first photo because everyone was on the west side of Oia trying to catch the sunset so I go lucky on that one, but this second one shows you what the crowds were really like.


Pro-tip: Oia is the most popular spot in Santorini in the evenings. It is famous for it's sunsets (NO SURPRISE THERE) so you have to plan ahead. Traffic in Oia was bad. With all the tourists coming in on giant buses, cars could not get through. We were stuck on one road for about 15 minutes at a standstill. This was in April too, but the height of tourist season. Plan ahead and know it’s going to take a while to get there. Parking was about the same. We didn’t have to look for too long, but still, plan ahead.


Sunset in Oia

I’m planning on writing a post about this, but we tried all different spots around Oia. It was obvious that the old Byzantine Church had been recommended a lot because it was very crowded and we couldn't get near the edge to see the sunset so we left. We ended up just stopping along the side of a building and still had a great view.

Dinner at Floga Oia $60 (appetizer, dinner, dessert, and wine)

Floga is rated as a top seafood restaurant in Oia and so when I saw it had open reservations for that evening we jumped on it. It did not disappoint.

This was definitely a splurge, but we were so happy we did it. The restaurant was fabulous and the food was so good. I was in heaven leaving that place. The mussels were my favorite or maybe the calamari - so hard to choose! This place did NOT have an "iconic" sunset view. We made reservations later on (8:30) so we could catch the sunset then head over to an amazing meal on the other side of Oia which is really only a 10 minute walk. Also, funny story… We lost the car because my phone died. My plan was to look up the restaurant that I took a photo of next to the car. Well, my phone died, I couldn’t remember the name of the place and we ended up searching for the car for like 30 minutes that night. Funny now, not funny then.

Morning walk along cliffs of Fira

This walk goes from Fira all the way to Oia along the coast. We had time to walk about an hour of the path and it was the perfect quiet way to see Santorini. Totally recommend!

Ferry to Mykonos $78


Don’t wait to book your ferry tickets!!! I waited until a month before and we missed the regular coach seats. We also could not take the evening ferry as planned and missed some time in Santorini – I was so sad! Book far in advance! We took the high speed ferry and this definitely saved us time. Totally recommend this for people on a time crunch.


Pro-tip: Car rental companies are often fine with you dropping off your rental car at the port or airport. Simply ask when you talk about drop off. We were able to leave our car at the port for the ferry without a problem.


Mykonos (Day 5 and 6):

When you think of Mykonos, you think parties on the beach. Well, we didn’t experience any of that. It was cold and rainy the entire time we were there. We asked many locals, where do people go when the weather is like this? They all said to their homes. NOOOOOO! People were not out, it was cold and gloomy, but Mykonos was still beautiful! The sunsets we saw there were the best and couldn’t be beat.

We stayed at Madres Studios and Apartments. They are truly apartments right in old town Mykonos. The place was clean and beds were pretty comfortable. The only thing that was odd about it was when we arrived, no one was there except an older man sitting on the terrace of the hotel and asked him. He didn’t speak English and called the owner on the phone. When the owner answered he sounded really confused that people were checking into the apartment even though we were there within the hours listed online for hotel check in. It ended up being just fine and we enjoyed our stay. We got our own beds and the room was large. It also had a kitchen and a shower with a bath tub.

Rent a car $30

We really wanted to rent ATVs and beach hop, but because of the weather, we decided to get a car and still visit some different spots. ATVs are a little cheaper than renting a car so this could be a fun and cheaper option for you! It was freezing pretty much everywhere we went. We ended up barely using the car just because we were so cold and didn’t feel like going to beaches.

Walk through old town

We walked through the old port, the little streets, and Little Venice. It was cold, but still beautiful. The water in Mykonos is a bright blue and crystal clear - just gorgeous!

See windmills

I feel like this is an overrated thing to do while in Mykonos. While nice to see, we didn’t really feel like there was much to see there.

Sunset in Mykonos

Not overrated and not to be missed.


Shopping

We did most of our souvenir shopping here because it was when we had time. I probably spent way more than I would have normally, but shopping was the only thing open to do and inside!

Archaeological Museum

This was actually a miss for us, but we really wanted to go. For some reason, the hours listed online said they opened at 4. They actually closed at 4 so we missed it. However, on a rainy day, a museum is definitely a good thing to do!

Dinner

We stopped at a little spot right in old town Mykonos. I cannot stop thinking about this salad! It was so good and this spot was really cute.

Attempted bars and beaches

We went to Namos, we went to Paraga Beach, we attempted Paradise beach too. No one was at any of these places. The beaches were pretty and it was still good to see them. People told me that this was very bizarre weather for Greece in April, but it was what we were dealt. It was still great to see and now I know what to do when I go back!

Mykonos to Athens Flight on Ryan Air ($48)

We took another cheap flight from Mykonos to Athens on Ryan Air and were back Saturday morning

Athens Day 7

We stayed at a very eclectic AirBnB in Athens. It was in a neighborhood we had originally planned to explore a little bit, but because of my flight issues (thanks again Expedia), we didn’t end up exploring it. The AirBnB owner explained it as the Beverly Hills of Athens. Which was fun to think about visiting! It was definitely an eclectic place  and the host was so very kind.

An Uber ride to the Acropolis cost us $10 which was not a bad price.


Pro-tip: Uber works in many different places around the world. If your phone has international service, using Uber can be an affordable, reliable, and safe way to travel.


Tour Acropolis $30 plus $20 for entry

We booked this tour at the last minute while in Mykonos. We decided to take a tour because we had read there were not many signs inside the Acropolis and I had missed our initial bike tour. We were told you don't have to do a tour inside the Acropolis and if we had not had that mix up of a day, we could have explored on our own, but we knew we wanted to learn more about the history before entering. We definitely made the right choice.

There were no signs inside and I recommend you do at least one tour in Athens unless you really know your history. Our tour guide was an archaeologist and very knowledgeable. We liked this tour a lot. However, the downside was we had to pay to get into the Acropolis in addition to our $30 for the tour. It ended up being more than expected.

Acropolis Museum

This is definitely worth a visit. It is located right near the Acropolis and open fairly late which makes it easy to get to even if you only have a day. You also aren't allowed to take photos inside. You guys will have to see this one for yourselves!

Walking through downtown Athens

There's lots of grafitti in Athens that is fun to experience. There are also many Roman ruins scattered near the Acropolis that all have entry for just a few Euros each. We walked through many different ruins and then arrived in Syntagma Square.

We walked the flea market and past all the street art in Athens. It was so much fun to see all of the beautiful places in Greece. We continued walking past Zeus’ temple, the Panathenaic Arena, watched the changing of the guard, and walked through beautiful city gardens. Elizabeth was hoping to find an old book to purchase for a friend. We found a rare book shop and walked to it from the flea market. It was a beautiful walk and we loved the shop! They had wonderful books in all different languages and we had wonderful conversations with them. If you have time, stop at this lovely little rare book shop! We continued to walk, stopped for at Street Souvlaki (as we did on so many days) and made our way back toward the

Sunset over Athens


This was a beautiful spot for a sunset! There is a rock right at the bottom of the Acropolis near the entrances where there is an excellent view of Athens and then you turn around and you get an amazing view of the Acropolis.

Wine and Acropolis Views

After catching the sunset, I started looking for rooftops where we could have a good view of the Acropolis and grab a glass of wine to relax. I found Davani Hotel online. It had a rooftop bar with an awesome view of the Acropolis. It did not disappoint and it was the perfect way to end a long day in Athens. Wine and our final view of the Acropolis.

We went back to our AirBnB basically right after this because we were so tired after walking the entire city that day.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the hotel links, I’ll receive a small commission.

I loved Greece and had a blast on this trip. While the weather didn't cooperate in Mykonos, the trip was a success. As I'm writing this post I am honestly smiling because it was seriously a ton of fun and super easy to plan. Greece was way easier than China, Peru, or Turkey to travel in and felt safe the whole time despite the current economy there! Have you been to Greece? What are your thoughts? Let me know!

If you liked this post, you might also like...

Your Istanbul Layover

  • Christine Morgan

    Wow! This is a trip of a lifetime! Everything you did looked amazing! Greece is stunning!

  • Leigh

    That looks like a whirlwind trip and a great intro to Greece!

  • Leah Helmbrecht

    Love this! Greece is on my upcoming trip list so this was very helpful

    Leah

  • marvi ocampo

    I love your itinerary and the photos! It seemed like you had such a great time! I wouldn’t mind having those fish pedies myself. The last time I tried that I was giggling too hard to completely enjoy it. LOL

  • Marcie Wirtz Cheung

    This is such a helpful post! We cruised through Greece 2 years ago with our toddler and I loved Athens and Mykonos. Santorini was having a heat wave and we got scolded for not putting a hat on our son and basically felt like the worst parents on Earth 🙁 I’ve never heard of Meteora and I feel like that would be a must-see next time we head to Greece.

  • Jen Lund

    I love Greece! Santorini is definitely the prettiest but I found it to be a little too coupley and romantic. Its best to go straight to Ios and party!!

  • Okay, I used to think that Greece would be overrated but after reading this, I am DYING to visit ASAP. Bookmarking this because now I have an urge to plan our next trip lol.

  • PJoan Narciso

    One week in Greece seems a blast. You’ve been to a lot for a week. I’d recommend this link to friends who are going on a DIY Europe tour. AND… great photos! Felt like I’ve been there, too. 🙂

  • Tatum Skipper

    Greece is like a fairytale it looks like! I’ve always wanted to go island hopping around there and hit all the key places, like you did! I can’t believe how cheap flights are to get you around each place! Definitely on my list!

  • Angela Snyder / Little Lives B

    Thanks for this post, Megan! I’m heading to Greece for 2 weeks later this month. 🙂 Heading to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Ios. I’m also a teacher and enjoy reading your content. You’re right, we can absolutely travel on our salary (aka a tight budget!) and I’m glad our travel blogs are highlighting that. Great job!