Greece is a fascinating European country that boasts stunning ancient cities, gorgeous sun-kissed islands, and famous heritage sites for travelers to discover on your 10-day Greece vacation.
With so many options available to you, it is hard to know where to go on a short but sensational stay in Greece. Uncover secluded islands. Embrace famous cliffs for unforgettable sunsets. Discover the marvels of ancient ruins and captivating artwork.
The following are suggestions of Greece’s hotspot destinations to explore in 10 days, with some activities to give you an idea of what to expect of your itinerary.
Athens is the beloved first stop for most 10-day vacations in Greece as it is the heart of ancient Greek history and a cosmopolitan melting pot of many cultures that constitute its modern charm. Lively cafes, museum displays, and private kitchens highlight the preserved traditions, while mythology comes to life in the ruined heritage grounds found on Aegean islands. The following things to see and do are possible in the first few days of your vacation:
What to See and Do:
Athens boasts modern character and vibrant districts, however, history tours give travelers a sense of what it must have been like to live as a Grecian during the height of the Ancient Greek civilization. You will stroll down back alleys and sit on park steps preserving centuries of history, before you reach impressive heritage highlights such as the Acropolis, Olympic Stadium, and the Temple of Hephaestus.
These are not just monuments but mirrors into another time, when Spartans fought epic battles and Greek oligarchs ruled from impressive palaces. Time it right and you could find yourself standing with other onlookers in Syntagma Square to witness the changing of the guard in all its glory and regiment in front of the Hellenic Parliament.
The culinary culture of Athens derives from its prominence in Ancient Greece and its multicultural influences of various settlers, rulers, and modern visitors. You can find an array of cuisines in Athens and enjoy them at gourmet restaurants, yet nothing compares to street food ordered from family-run eateries in the city’s bustling neighborhoods. Souvlaki or kebabs are a staple, and tiropita or cheese pies emphasize why Athens is the home of phyllo pastry. Shop local markets with your guide on a cooking tour and wrap up your day of dining Greek-style, with a Greek coffee and one or two loukoumades, or traditional donuts.
Day Tours to Surrounding Towns
Escape from the city for a day and visit one of the many relaxed and simply delightful towns, such as the original capital of Greece, Nafplio, a coastal gem. The drive from Athens will take you across the Corinth bridge and, on the way back, take the road to Epidaurus to stand in awe in the center of the ancient theatre of the Asklepieion. Shout out and listen to your voice carry to an unseen audience. Another option is Cape Sounion, located at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula.
Enjoy a brief but breathtaking drive across the sun-kissed coastline to reach the home of the Temple of Poseidon, taking in beautiful views of the Saronic Gulf en route, stopping perhaps at Glyfada Beach, before arriving at the ruins of the ancient Greek temple built during 444 and 440 BC. Perched on cliffs overlooking the Aegean Sea, its marble pillars reflect the Mediterranean light and history unravels itself in one of Greece’s idyllic seaside heritage sites.
Explore Athens as though you are wandering through Ancient Greece on mythology tours that unveil the cultural legends and fantastical folklore famously found in the city and greater Greek regions. You will search every corner of Athens, peer inside a selection of historic museums, and chat to locals at authentic Grecian bars about the gods, deities, beasts, and warriors who played roles in the century-old Greek storybooks. Mythological tours can be done on a private basis, in a small group, or as a family, with tales suitable for all ages shared through show and tell-style guiding. Whether by foot or by vehicle, be transported back to a fascinating era.
Thoughts of Mykonos conjure images of gleaming white seaside homes, turquoise seas spreading to the horizon, and glimmering golden shorelines peppered with blissful travelers. The island resort town is one of the prime places to be in Greece, with a new cobbled lane and quaint eatery to be discovered each day, and where one can brush shoulders with celebrities while sipping cocktails with views as far as the eyes can see. Here are a few ways to explore the island for a day or two:
What to See and Do:
Mykonos lives up to its fame as a breathtaking scenic getaway, boasting golden beaches basking in the sunshine and eager travelers catching tans or swimming in the island’s cerulean waters. Beyond the seaside luxuries, visitors and history buffs will find much to adore when traveling off the beaten path in Mykonos. Situated around the corner from ancient Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemins, Mykonos is a gateway to the fascinating world of Ancient Greece and a lens through which to look at the country’s storied mythology.
Mykonos’ culinary culture represents one of the most dynamic in Greece, as fusion seafood dishes typify dining experiences on the island. Despite the influx of tourism, however, certain eateries across Mykonos retain their traditional Grecian delicacies. Fishermen make a living catching mouthwatering seafood, patisseries flood the streets with the fragrances of freshly-baked treats, and family-run restaurants pair perfectly prepared oregano-spiced pork meatballs with a glass of ouzo, a dry anise-flavored aperitif.
The main attractions of Mykonos are its powdery beaches and sensational seascapes that you may savor from the comfort of a recliner in the sand or the stylish terraces of award-winning restaurants, cocktail in hand. Images of white-washed towns clinging to the coastal cliffs, thatched windmills twisting on the shore, and sunsets kissing the rocky headlands and hidden coves are the stuff of postcards, and visitors may lap them up on scenic excursions throughout the island. Local buses will get you from here to there in the town easily, or jump
in a water taxi that will take you along the shoreline, dropping sunseekers off at the beach.
Santorini is the crown jewel of Cycladic charm in the Aegean Sea that attracts travelers eager to explore its panoramic sunsets, unspoiled calderas, and lush vineyards. The island provides insight into the history of the Mediterranean, the preservation of traditional cuisine, and the romance of a European seaside getaway. We recommend the following experiences for your final few days on a 10-day vacation in Greece:
What to See and Do:
Typical thoughts of Santorini will conjure images of its blue-domed Cycladic homes hanging over the sapphire sea from lofty cliffs. However, those fortunate enough to explore the Aegean’s crown jewel island will also discover its old-world charm. One such iconic experience is visiting the ancient city of Akrotiri to find representations of the once-thriving Minoan port, preserved in ash after a volcanic eruption, and trace back Greece’s Cycladic Bronze Age. Inside, you will find ruins, ceramic pots, and frescoes highlighting the settlement’s unique art and point of view.
Traditional Greek cuisine and family-centered dining are typical of Santorini culinary tours, letting you discover all things about Greek flavors in the most authentic way possible. You will be certain that food and festivities combine joyously to create an authentic Greek dining experience. Unlike some of its neighboring islands, however, Santorini is also home to an enticing wine-making history, thanks to the nutrient-rich geothermal soils on which the island’s premier wine grapes are grown. Visitors can savor the sumptuous flavors of Santorini wines while gazing across the Aegean Sea from the Cycladic estates perched atop rocky plateaus.
Enjoy a sunset cruise on the beautiful caldera for an unparalleled view of the colorful horizon, accompanied by a fresh-cooked meal onboard, or hike from Fira to Oia to swoon over Santorini’s azure caldera and rugged cliffs, to which iconic whitewashed buildings cling. The island’s blue-roofed Cycladic homes, whitewashed towns, flowered walkways, and rocky headlands are also dreamy spectacles to enjoy when you are winding down from a day of scenic exploration around Santorini. Pay a visit to a volcanic black-sand and pebble beach, offering cafes, restaurants, and vendors along the seafront.
Crete is Greece’s largest island and comprises grand, dramatic beaches, tantalizing cuisine, and a very rich history. Visit the old towns of Chania and Heraklion, and embrace the culture, cuisines, and inviting beachside resorts that are popular with visitors from around the world. Discover the Venice of Greece in Rethymno and its lighthouse, and listen to locals regale guests with stories of their vibrant past everywhere you go.
What to See and Do:
Archaeological sites around the world have fascinated visitors for years and the Minoan Palaces of Knossos are certainly among the most popular and magnificent. Take in significant castles with Venetian influences, such as the Fortezza in Rethymno, Kazarma Castle in Sitia, and the castle of Heraklion, and marvel at the Byzantine Wall of Chania. Step back in time as you learn about the history of the Arkadi and Toplous monasteries, and spend time at the Historical Museum of Crete.
Known as the home of the Mediterranean diet, you will never have to look far to discover delicious Cretan cuisine. Gastronomy is a priority on Crete, where you can indulge in signature dishes such as kalitsounia, Cretan cheese pies, lamb with Stamnagathi, or fried snails, known as Chochlioi boubouristi. Embark on guided food tours throughout the island, signing off at the end of the day with a glass of locally-made firewater at a taverna or cafe.
Beautiful Beaches and Water
Beautiful Elafonisi, with its pink sand and crystal-clear waters, can be reached by foot at low tide and is a welcoming haven for a day at the beach. Elounda is one of the best honeymoon spots on Crete as it offers private beaches and romance at every turn. Agios Nikolaos is a seaside gem, with Lake Voulismeni the center of attraction. Vai’s palm beach is a major attraction when visiting Crete, comprising the largest natural palm forest in Europe. Spend a day at a local favorite to enjoy fresh fish and quiet time at the small, rocky beachfront of Petres, just outside the town of Rethymnon.
From Athens’ spirited ancient streets to Mykonos’ sun-soaked shores and the enchanting caldera of Santorini, your 10-day vacation in Greece will introduce you to its captivating scenes and cultural heritage during history tours, culinary adventures, and scenic excursions.
Look beyond the fan favorites and discover a few of the many idyllic, quaint, and proudly traditional islands when you combine these to create your 10-day Greek adventure.