If you only have 10 days in Greece for your first visit it is still possible to cover a lot of ground and ensure you are planning your next visit before you’ve even left!

Here’s our suggested itinerary that will allow you to visit three incredible Greek Islands, Athens and the extraordinary monastaries of Meteora, including where to stay, how to get around and what to do in that time. Even where to eat and drink!

This Greece itinerary 10 days covers EVERYTHING!

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When to visit Greece

The best times to visit Greece are April-June and September-October. The weather is mild and most places have few crowds. High season is late June to early September, and prices will reflect that as will the crowds, the number of cruise ships and accommodation availability.

Summer is still great, especially for beach time and in some of the lesser known spots. The water is warm, there are blue skies every day and a fun holiday atmosphere.

Easter is an especially wonderful time to visit Greece as it becomes very festive with parades, parties, and on many islands bonfires , fireworks and other activities and traditions. There are many festivals throughout the year that can vary for place to place and can be quite fascinating to witness.

Best beach and swimming weather: June to September
Best sightseeing weather: March to June and September/October

 

DAY 1- Athens

ruins in greece
Athens is the capital of Greece and home to some of the most iconic and important historical sites and monuments in the world. 

There are several way to get to Athens which cover air, sea, rail, driving and even on foot!

Apart from the many things you can do in Athens including great shopping, incredible food and all the ancient sites there is also great nightlife with a plethora of bars, tavernas and clubs to choose from. There are a lot of new hotels and restaurants many with incredible rooftop views especially of the Acropolis. The Acropolis museum is world class and needs to be enjoyed either before or after you visit the Acropolis.

 

Where to stay in Athens :

 

For couples : Zillers Hotel has only 10 rooms and amazing Acropolis views from some rooms and the lovely rooftop bar and restaurant and its right on Mitropolous dining street,or The Foundry Suites in Psiri are uber cool and was once an industrial foundry.

For families and groups: The Pinnacle is a 2 bedroom suite that sleeps 6 or these Twin Lofts can sleep up to 12!

Solo: I love to stay at Ergon House when I’m on my own. Its across from Zillers and part of the famous Ergon House food emporiums. They have even let me use my room until my 6pm International flight at no extra charge!

 

Where to eat in Athens on Day one:

 

Lunch: Nikitas in Psiri for cheap and cheerful homecooked meals or Kostas for amazing Gyros.

Dinner: Maiandros or Athinaikon in Monastaraki/Syntagma

Drinksenjoy Sunset drinks at the Grand Bretagne Rooftop bar 

 

Things to do in Athens on Day One:

  • explore the area around your Hotel and get your bearings
  • wander down Ermou Pedestrian Street
  • Visit Syntagma Square and see Parliament House and the Changing of the Greek Presidential Guard – the Evzones
  • wander through Plaka and the many cafes, shops and galleries
  • stop by the Monastaraki flea market
  • walk into the Athens Central Food Market
monataraki athens

DAY 2 – Athens

Where to eat in Athens on Day Two:

Breakast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise the Brunch Factory does incredible meals for breakfast and lunch.

Lunch: Cafe Melina is one of the prettiest spot in the Plaka or Gyros Pou Gyrevis for fantastic Gyros near the Acropolis Museum.

DinnerYiasemi in Plaka ( the much photographed steps) or Lithos Taverna in Psiri does my favourite Moussaka.

 

Things to do in Athens on Day Two:

DAY 3 – Meteora 

The Meteora Monasteries are located close to the city of Kalambaka in Greece, near the Pineois river and the Pindus Mountains, about 360km north of Athens.

The word “meteora,” means “hovering in the air” which, whilst a literal description of the famous monasteries, also shows just how otherworldly they are.

The complex is made up of twenty-four Eastern Orthodox monasteries that were built on giant sandstone rock pillars between the 14th and 16th centuries. Six of them are still in use today and can be visited by the public, whilst others are popular for sightseeing externally by hikers and photographers.

This UNESCO world heritage site is truly one of the most remarkable and visually beautiful places you will visit anywhere in the world. Even if you only have 1 night to spare on your trip to Greece you will not regret the effort to visit Meteora for a moment!

 

How to get to Meteora:

There are two ways to get to Meteora: either by signing up for one of the numerous guided Meteora tours from Athens or Thessaloniki or by using your own means of transport and staying a night or two in the city of Kalambaka or the village of Kastraki, and visiting the monasteries at your own pace.

It takes about 4 hours to drive from Athens or you can catch a train and bus which takes about 5.

Where to stay in Meteora :

Doupiani Hotel, Kastraki – great for all types of travellers and one of the closet hotels to the Monasteries as well as having incredible views of them. In fact it is feasible to walk to two of the monasteries from the hotel with not too much effort.

Where to eat in Meteora:

Breakast : Doupiani Hotel do a fantastic breakfast spread!

Lunch: Taverna Efrosino

Dinner: Meteoron Panorama for extraordinary views and food. Book a table outside!

 

Things to do in Meteora:

  • Its all about the Monasteries! Read our complete guide to Meteora, including how to visit each Monastery and what they each represent. 
st stephens meteora
monasteries greece

Day 4 – Santorini 

caldera view
Santorini is a bucket list destination for most people and for good reason. Despite the cruise ships and the crowds it remains one of those places that not only meets your expectations but probably exceeds it.

It can get a bit crazy when the cruise ships come in each day so a room with a pool and terrace makes for a great escape for an afternoon siesta and sundowner’s. When you reemerge for dinner most of the tourists will have floated away !

We love to stay in Oia which is considered the most picturesque village, although a lot of people also enjoyed Imerovigli which is about a 20 minute walk along the nice flat footpath that runs along the Caldera seam.

There is a surprising amount of things to do on Santorini with  beaches, wineries, hot springs, great shopping and some of the worlds most iconic and photographed sunsets. 

 

How to get to Santorini

 

You can travel to Santorini by ferry or by plane from Athens. Return to Athens from Meteora either on your overnight tour, by driving or by train.

The small international airport has several flights to Athens a day as well as regular flights in summer from other European destinations like Rome and England. Check flight schedules HERE.

There are also many ferries each day, year round. Most service either the Western or Eastern Cyclades Islands and on to Athens whilst some come from Crete. Book ferry tickets HERE.

TIP : Both the port and the airport can be quite nuts in summer and there can be long waits for the cablecar, taxis and donkeys. It REALLY pays to have a private transfer waiting for you!

Where to stay in Santorini :

 

For couples : Ducato Di Oia ( adults only) suites in Oia or Above Blue Suites in Imerovigli for more isolation and at a lower price point.

For families and groups: White Harmony Suites have 2 bedroom suites or Theoxenia Boutique Hotel have squad rooms and are not far from, dare I say it, McDonalds.

Solo: Kivotos in Imerovigli for a splurge or Abelonas Retreat on a tight budget

Where to eat in Santorini on Day one: 

 

Breakast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise Our Corner in Fira and La Scala on Oia are great choices.

Lunch: Lefkes Taverna in Oia is hard to beat for food or service. It often books out well in advance.

Dinner: Santorini Mou in Oia or Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna in Ammoudi Bay.

 

Things to do in Santorini on Day One:

  • check into your hotel and explore your local area. If cruise ships are in you may want to rest up and explore at night when it is less crowded and cooler.
  • explore the maze of streets in Oia including Panagia Platsani Church
  • visit famous Atlantis Books for a unique bookshop experience
  • check out the many upmarket boutiques and jewelry shops in Oia
  • walk down to Oia Castle

Day 5 – Santorini 

Where to eat in Santorini on Day Two:

Breakast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise see Day One.

Lunch: enjoy lunch either at one of the wineries or at Aeolos Taverna in Akrotiri. If heading to Black Beach enjoy lunch at Akro Beach Bar.

Dinner: Book a sunset dinner cruise on the Caldera

Drinks V Lounge Cafe & Cocktail Bar in Fira or Le Moustache Pool Lounge 

 

Things to do in Santorini on Day Two:

Day 6 – Naxos 

naxos chora
Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades Islands. It is famous for its lush and fertile lands along with its picturesque, whitewashed villages and towns and beautiful beaches. In fact, as many of the beaches are wide, shallow and often calm some people say Naxos has the best beaches in the Greek Islands! 

With a small local population and large area of mass there is actually quite a lot to see and do and its easy to see why Naxos is so popular, especially with families. Its also a very affordable island and represents great value for money for all types of travellers.

 

How to get to Naxos

 

You can also travel to Naxos from Sanotirini by ferry which takes about 2 hours. There are several ferries each day, year round. The main town of Chora is also the main port.

Book ferry tickets HERE.

 

Where to stay in Naxos :

 

For couples : Antony Suites are gorgeous, right near St.George beach and are Adults Only

For families and groups: Ippokampos apartments are in the Chora and can sleep up to 5 while Aegean Land have 2 bedrooms apartments right on the beach at Plaka

Solo: Mystique of Naxos is right near the beach in the Chora and has stunning rooms and a great little rooftop pool and sundeck. Walk to everything and cheap too!

Where to eat in Naxos on your first day:

 

Naxos has some legendary food in Greece and is particularly famed for its potatoes and cheeses. 

Breakfast : If not included in your hotel tarrif try the Chocolat Cafe Creperie or Glikofournismata ( can you pronounce that!), which are excellent.

Lunch: Boulamatsis Oinomageirion is our favourite place to eat and watch the ferries come and go in the port. Try the stuffed squid!

Dinner: We ate at Nikos Taverna on our first night in Naxos and will continue to return.

 

Things to do in Naxos on your first day:

 

  • Explore the Chora including the Old Market
  • visit the Kastro
  • drop into the Bazeos Tower
  • spend some time at the Folklore Museum
  • Visit the Portara at sunset
  • wander down to Saint George Beach for a swim and perhaps stay for dinner

Day 7 – Naxos 

 

Where to eat in Naxos on your second day:

Breakfast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise see Day One.

Lunch: Try and get to O Vasilis in Melanes for a beautiful lunch in the country

Dinner: Nissaki at St.George beach or Greek Tavern Giannoulis at Agios Prokopios

Drinks: anywhere facing west for fantastic sunset views over Paros

 

Things to do in Naxos on your second day:

  • Hire a car and venture out to other parts of the island;
  • Visit some of the other wonderful beaches on the island such as;

Agios Prokopios

Plaka beach

Agia Anna

Kalados

Panormos Beach

Abram Beach

  • If you don’t want to rent a car a fantastic alternate activity is a boat trip around the Small Cyclades Islands. Crystal Clear aquamarine water, sea caves, tiny churches, swimming and lunch – a day you will never forget! 

Day 8 – Paros

caldera view
 

For many people Paros is the perfect Greek island. Not too small nor to big, with something for everyone. It’s also strategically located as the first ferry port from Athens to the popular Cyclades islands and therefore a great place to access the mainland coming from the other direction.

We like to stay in Naoussa on Paros which many say is like a small, cheaper version of Mykonos with a lively mix of tavernas, bars and nighclubs as well as lovely whitewashed alleys full of great cafes and boutiques and gelati stores. The port town of Parikia is also nice and a little more affordable than Naoussa.

 

How to get to Paros

You can also travel to Paros by ferry from Naxos which takes about 30 minutes.

There are many ferries each day, year round. The port town is called Parikia and that, or Naoussa are the best options to base yourself. Book ferry tickets HERE.

Where to stay in Paros :

 

For couples : Lilly Residence is stunning and Adults Only or Senia Hotel is a perennial favourite year round.

For families and groups: Paliomylos Hotel and Spa is where chose to stay for special birthday celebrations with 38 family and friends. Chrys and the team are amazing!

Solo: Parian Village Beach Hotel is right across from the beach near the port town of Parikia and have great value single rooms with beautiful sea views and a nice pool.

 

Where to eat in Paros on your first day:

 

Breakast :  Ragoussis Bakery is huge and amazing! In fact there are many excellent bakeries across the island.

Lunch: If staying in Naoussa head to Kargas for delicious Gyros and cold beer. In Parikia eat at Filoxenia Seaside Grill and have a swim at the calm beach across the road.

Dinner: You cant visit Naoussa without dining at one of the lively port restaurants like Sigi Ikthios or its famous neighbour Barbarossa which is favoured by celebrities. We love Sativa Music Bar in Parikia which has great food as well as entertainment.

Drinks: if you’re wanting to kick on after dinner, Agosta bar in Naoussa or any of its immediate neighbors, are the place to be.

Things to do in Paros on your first day:

  • Explore the villages of Naoussa or Parikia depending on where you are staying.
  • Naoussa: don’t miss the Venetian Fort, the old fishing port, Kapopoulos Fine Arts Gallery,  the ducks at the Harbour Bridge and  the Church of the Virgin Mary ( Panayia).
  • Parakia: The Church of 100 doors ( and its museum), the Frankish Castle, the Archaic Temple of Athena, the myriad of shops and cafes in the back alleys and the Port.

naoussa bar

Day 9 – Paros

 

Where to eat in Paros on your second day:

 

Breakast : this will likely be included in your hotel tarrif. Otherwise see Day One.

Lunch: O Mylos in Marpissa have the best Gyros we’ve eaten anywhere! If you dont want to drive then catch the little ferry from Naoussa to Kolymbithres Beach for a swim and lunch at Paros on the Rocks. If in Parikia Meltemi Cafe is a great spot to stop if you’re exploring the southern end of town and the windmills.

Dinner: We had a beautiful night at Statheros on the water in Naoussa recently. A little further out of town Siparos remains one of our favourite restaurants in Greece and has incredible sunset views and excellent service. Tell Paris we sent you!

 

Things to do in Paros on your second day:

  • Hire a car and do a loop of the island taking in various villages and beaches along the way
  • visit Moraitis Winery in Naoussa
  • spend a few hours at Paros Park – an historic nature reserve with a lovely beach and beach club
  • stop for a coffee in Piso Livadi fishing port
  • visit the once famous Marathi Marble Quarries – marble or the Venus De Milo and Napoleons tombstone came from here
  • visit the Medieval village of Lefkas
  • do a day trip to neighbouring Anti-paros

Day 10 – Lavrio

caldera view
Lavrio is a town south of Athens on the Greek Mainland. The word Lavrion comes from ‘Lavra’ which means alley or paths and the area is thought to have been inhabited since Neolithic times.

It is a much prettier port than Pireaus and is also closer to the airport which is about 35 minutes drive away. Stopping here for a night will give you a feel for the area called the ‘Athenian Riviera” and it’s a very pleasant way to end your time in Greece.

The main point of interest in Lavrio are the fishing village itself, the Mineralogical Museum and nearby Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounio, a 15 minute drive away.

 

How to get to Lavrio

You can travel to Lavrio by ferry from Paros which takes about 3 hours but you may need to connect on Syros or Mykonos. Timetables for this route are often not released until Spring so keep an eye on schedules HERE.

If a ferry is not running at the time you require you can fly to Athens from Paros and catch a taxi to Lavrio.

Where to stay in Lavrio: 

Cape Sounio, Grecotel Exclusive Resort is a sprawling resort on the beachfront and is a great choice for all travellers.

Where to eat in Lavrio:

Breakast : this will likely be included in your hotel tariff. 

Lunch: Syrtaki is an excellent taverna overlooking the ocean near Cape Sounion.

Dinner: Marida is an excellent fish taverna in town that has huge portions at great prices.

    With this itineray you will spend 10 days in Greece visiting 3 of the best Greek islands as well as spending time in and around the fascinating ancient capital and the beautiful Thessaly countryside.

    Of course you can adjust it for a slower pace simply by extending a few places by a day or two.

    You will take in stunning vistas, fascinating historical sites and information, hang out at beautiful beaches, visit medieval Greek villages and monastaries and world class wineries. You will see authentic Greek fishing villages, sail on the clearest azure water you’ve ever seen and indulge in some of the best food and nightlife on the planet.

    This itinerary for 10 days in Greece offers something for all types of travellers to Greece and at all price points. We’d love to know your experiences on your trip! Don’t forget to drop us a line or leave a comment below. 

     

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