The Ultimate 7 Day Greece Itinerary
From ancient cities to island paradise, explore the best of Greece with this 7 day itinerary
Thousands of years of history. World famous archaeological sites. Endless beaches and islands. Warm Mediterranean sunshine. Incredible food and drink. We could go on, but you’ve already read this a thousand times in every travel magazine you've ever picked up. To cut a long story short, we think Greece should be on everyone’s bucket list. The famous Greek philosopher Socrates once remarked ‘for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing’. We’re not philosophers, but here at Plum Guide, we do know all the best places to go, what to do there, and where to stay - Especially where to stay. Our fastidious home critics have chosen only the very best rental homes, so wherever you are in the world, you’re guaranteed a good night’s sleep. So, think about that, Socrates. While we’re sure you won’t want to leave the comfort of your chosen home, we’ve put together a one week Greece itinerary that you won’t want to miss. Here is how to spend 7 days in Greece.
Day 1: Thessaloniki - Begin your Greek adventure
Day 2: Athens - Discover the Acropolis
Day 3: Corfu - Take a trip to the Paleokastritsa Monastery
Day 4: Naxos - Explore the fascinating 13th-century citadel
Day 5: Santorini - Enjoy a romantic trip to the Red Beach
Day 6: Crete - Visit the largest island in Greece
Day 7: Delphi - Make the most of a day trip from Athens
Day 1: Thessaloniki
Begin your Greek adventure
The top of the White Tower of Thessaloniki, with a Greek flag waving against a blue sky, Thessaloniki, Greece
Everyone knows the proverb ‘all roads lead to Rome’, but have you heard the one that goes ‘all flights lead to Thessaloniki’? The busiest airports in Greece are Thessaloniki and Athens, but we think the former is a great place to start your Greek adventure. This port city is the country’s second largest city, and an ideal place for history nerds (or aviation nerds, apparently). With countless old churches, archaeological sites, and museums, there’s plenty to geek over. Take a stroll through Ana Poli, the historic centre of the city. Admire the Byzantine and Ottoman architecture or people-watch in a local coffee shop. Head down to the waterfront, where you’ll find themed gardens and plenty of bars and restaurants along the promenade.
Day 2: Athens
Discover the Acropolis
Amphitheatre at the Acropolis with a view over the city, Athens, Greece
A place that should be on every Greece itinerary is Athens. One of the oldest cities in the world and Greece’s capital, Athens is the heart of the ancient Greek Empire. Start at the Acropolis, one of the most iconic sites in Greece - we recommend getting there early to avoid any tourists ruining your photos. The site is home to some epic monuments including the famous Parthenon, where you'll more than get your culture fix. Want to see more of ancient Greece? Spend the rest of the day exploring the countless relics around Athens, including Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, and the Panathenaic Stadium. After all that, you’ll probably be quite hungry, so grab a drink and a bite to eat at one of the many cafes on Mount Lycabettus. At 300 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point in Athens, and boasts panoramic views of the city. 300 metres? We hear you spluttering out your coffee. Don’t worry, there’s a funicular to take you up.
The National Library in Panepistimiou Street, Athens, Greece
Still in Athens, take a trip to the Hellenic Parliament to see the Changing of the Guard, a hugely elaborate, one-of-a-kind spectacle. Afterwards, head to Panepistimiou Street and Stadiou Street for some shopping. Want to blow your budget at the city’s high end boutiques? Voukourestiou Street is the perfect place for it. Follow up your splurge with a little more history - the National Archaeological Museum is the second most important museum in Athens, and really is the place to immerse yourself in the world of the ancient Greeks. If a rumbling belly transports you back to the present, Monastiraki and Plaka are the best neighbourhoods for trying some Greek cuisine - grab some gyros and head to the National Garden, a great place for some quick R&R.
Day 3: Corfu
Take a trip to the Paleokastritsa Monastery
The courtyard with bells and plants at the Paleokastritsa Monastery, Corfu, Greece
Where do you even begin with Corfu? The beaches? The history and culture? The food? Well, it doesn’t particularly matter, because they are all as incredible as each other. We’ll start with the beaches, because a day stretched out on a luscious sandy strip with a good book is near enough impossible to beat. Make your way to Arillas Beach to get your daily dose of sun, or find yourself a sun lounger at Mirtiotissa Beach, Arkoudilas Beach, or the Canal d’Amour - one of Corfu’s more romantic settings. Legend has it that couples who swim through this narrow passage together are destined to get married - if that’s not a creative proposal idea, then we don't know what is. In addition to the plethora of beaches on offer, Corfu is also home to some fascinating monuments and historical sites, such as The Liston, the Church of Saint Spiridon, and the Paleokastritsa Monastery. Spend time at the latter, admiring the architecture, artefacts, and views, as well as the bundles of heritage and culture on display. Relax in the garden out front, and marvel at the mosaics all around the church and grounds - and whatever you do, don’t forget your camera.
Day 4: Naxos
Explore the fascinating 13th-century citadel
A small street with white houses and blue doors in Naxos, Greece
No holiday in Greece would be complete without some island hopping. If you want to party with the cool kids, head to Mykonos, but if wild parties aren’t so much your scene, we recommend going straight to Naxos. Naxos is best for history, outdoor adventures, and local cuisine (slightly more up your street, right?). Start at the Old Town, a maze of alleyways packed with souvenir shops, boutiques, bars and tavernas, before exploring the fascinating 13th-century citadel. Naxos also has some of the best beaches in Greece, with Agios Prokopios Beach and Plaka Beach the best spots to enjoy the turquoise waters and golden sands. If you need to get out of the sun for a bit, head into the hills and up to Vallindras Kitron Distillery - Kitron is a liqueur distinct to Naxos, made from the fruit and leaves of the citron tree. See how it’s made the old school way and sample a few shots - be careful when making your way back down though.
Day 5: Santorini
Enjoy a romantic trip to Red Beach
A white building with a blue domed roof behind bright pink flowers in Santorini, Greece
On day five, head to Santorini. Once you set eyes upon it, you'll quickly understand why this is one of Greece’s most popular islands for couples. There are plenty of romantic things to do here, from volcano hikes and boat tours, to wineries and delicious food. A must-see is Red Beach - with its red sands (well done, Sherlock) and dramatic amber cliffs, it’s one of the most unique beaches in the world. One of Santorini’s most distinguishing features is the whitewashed view of caldera towns, spilling down the cliff sides like icing or bubbling champagne foam (yes please). Walk round Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira to see these beautiful buildings up close, and stick around to witness the most picturesque of sunsets. After that, you’ll need a drink (probably), so head to Sigalas Winery. One of many boutique wineries on the island, you can see how grapes are harvested using ancient techniques.
Day 6: Crete
Visit the largest island in Greece
A view of a beach from within the clear blue sea, Crete, Greece
Being Greece's largest island (and the birthplace of the oldest civilisation in Europe, the Minoans), Crete has a little bit of everything. Explore the many Bronze Age archaeological sites across the island, including Knossos, a captivating palace and its encompassing city. Crete is also unsurprisingly home to countless beaches, but Elafonisi beach is one of its finest - famous for its pink sand, the lagoon has shallow, turquoise waters which are ideal for swimming. Need to burn off all that baklava you’ve been having? Take on a 16km hike through the gorge-ous Samaria Gorge. It's also well worth sparing some time for a trip to Rethymno, Crete’s third largest city - it also has the best preserved Old Town on the island. Once behind walls, the city’s cobblestone alleys date back to the 14th century. Another city to visit is Chania, with its old Venetian harbour which dates back to 1320. Nowadays it’s packed with bars, restaurants and shops - a great place to get a taste of local life.
Day 7: Delphi
Make the most of a day trip from Athens
Well-preserved ruins of columns of a temple in Delphi, Greece
By the seventh day of your Greece itinerary, chances are you never want to leave. If you’re heading back to Athens, we recommend making time for a quick day trip to Delphi. One of the most famous historic sites in Greece, Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located 180km northwest of Athens. There are several important ancient Greek remains here, like the Temple of Apollo and the renowned Theatre. If you’re heading back to Thessaloniki, why not relax in a hammam before your onwards journey? During Turkish occupation, many hammams or Turkish baths were built in the city, so you'll be spoilt for choice. The oldest one is Bey Hammam - built in 1444 - and although no longer in service, it’s still worth admiring the luxurious paintings and decor. You could also head to a more modern hammam, if getting your back scrubbed by a stranger is your kind of thing.