Explore six exquisite islands on this 10-day tour through the Cyclades and beyond. Each island has its own appeal, be it the quiet beaches on Naxos, Santorini’s whitewashed villages, the history of Crete, the waters around Elafonisi, chic Mykonos, or the archaeological Delos. Handcrafted to provide the complete island hopping experience for those relatively short on time, these are ten days of endless highlights and impressions. And just like the Aegean Sea, it’s as laid-back as it can be.
Mykonos – Windmills, Villages and Sunset
Mykonos looks like a vacation everywhere you turn. Blissful Aegean waters surround the island, so calm and peaceful until they dramatically reflect sunset hues. The villages are small and mazy, with hardly any of the streets wide enough for motorized vehicles. Most of the hills are lush and rugged, their green colors complementing the sea. There are beaches, a classic vacation image, along with sights that prove you are very far from home – the Hora windmills just one example. Mykonos has an international airport, so you fly directly into the Cyclades. Within an hour of landing, you will have checked into a boutique hotel in Hora, the main Mykonos town.
From your suite, you can gaze over the Aegean for your first glance of what this island hopping tour will be about. The afternoon will be at your leisure, and it is easy to get around the key Mykonos highlights. Take a walk through the town, your footsteps on cobbles as you come across small cafes and restaurants. Head out to the windmills for the famous Mykonos photo, and then keep walking a little further for some initial beach time. Head back to the hotel for sunset as you have a perfect view from your suite, before checking out the chic, indulgent atmosphere that dominates a Mykonos evening.
Mykonos – The Archaeological Wonder of Delos
Day 3 - 4
Naxos – Relaxing on a Mostly Undiscovered Island
Santorini – Wandering Villages and Vineyards
Santorini – Catamaran Sailing, Ancient Ruins and Another Iconic Sunset
Santorini – An Afternoon of Cruising Around Santorini
Crete – From Minoan to Venetian Histories
Crete – The Clearest Waters in Europe on a Elafonisi Day Trip
Crete – Departure
- Be enchanted by the turquoise waters of Elafonisi, a tiny gem in the Aegean Sea
- Explore the mythologized home of Apollo by spending a day amid the fabulous archaeological ruins on the island of Delos
- Savor the chic vibes of Mykonos with a two-night stay on the most famous Cyclades island
- Go sailing around Santorini and watch the sunset from Oia village
- Discover 4,000 years of history in Crete, with one day taking you from Minoan to Venetian stories
- Wander through the blue and white villages on each of the islands, with tradition found at almost every turn
- Head off of the beaten path with 48 hours of downtime on Naxos, an island of beautiful beaches and quiet pleasures
- Traverse Santorini to explore the villages, vineyards and ancient ruins
The Greek islands are not easy to define. Some represent the cradle of Western civilization, holding 4,000 years of evocative history on their sun-scorched hills. Others feel like postcards of tradition, where mazy blue and white villages are dotted with church domes and tavernas. Some islands feel like an escape, with small coves and quiet beaches, while others have a chic forward-looking atmosphere, with lush seafood restaurants along the promenades and so many Instagrammed backdrops. Some of the Greek islands you are bound to have heard of, while others prefer their place in the proverbial shadow, happy to create a more local travel experience.
This handcrafted tour pieces together the best of the Greek islands, hopping to six different isles in just ten days. The island are all connected by convenient ferry routes, which serve as time and space to relax while you look over the Aegean. Mostly you will be in the Cyclades, the central island group between Athens and Crete. But from Santorini, you will also take a journey to Crete and spend a day on Elafonisi. This private tour is designed for travelers who are short on time but still want the complete Greek island flavors. It can be handcrafted further as each of these islands are worth one or two additional days. So if you have two weeks or more, you can follow the same route at a slower pace.
Fly into Mykonos, an understandably popular island famed for its windmills and whitewashed villages. This Cyclades island has everything you need with traditional tavernas, stylish cafes, atmospheric old sights, coastal views, and incredible sunsets. Ease into your vacation by spending two nights here. The first day is all Mykonos, and then spend the second day on nearby Delos, the mythologized birthplace for Greek gods and the world’s greatest trading center some 2,400 years ago. The archaeological remains are mind-boggling, and you will understand how the Greek islands were at the heart of Western civilization, many centuries ago.
Take the ferry to Naxos, a small and mostly undiscovered island on the sailing route south to Santorini. Naxos is all about you, the island providing silence and sublime beaches to relax on. There is not that much to do, which is why the island is such a nice 48-hour stop. Continue to the most photogenic island of them all, Santorini, where your suite in Oia has a private jacuzzi overlooking one of the world’s most famous sunsets. With three days on Santorini, there are so many different ways to enjoy the island. Go wine tasting at historical vineyards, walk the cliffs to Fira, sail to remote swimming spots, and walk up an iconic volcano. There are ruins as well, along with tavernas that help keep popular Greek islands traditional.
Continue your island hopping with the fast catamaran to Crete, and be there in under two hours. You will disembark in Heraklion and spend the day immersed in history, from the bronze age Palace of Knossos to a medieval old town and then a Venetian harbor. You will be on a one-way private island tour taking you to Chania, where you will indulge with the seafood and get a good feel for why Crete is different. Your final day is spent on beautiful beaches, in and around the tiny island of Elafonisi, which lies southeast of Crete. Think turquoise lagoons, mountain streams, a peculiar green coast, and those never-ending coastal landscapes. Looking for the best Greece travel experiences? Consider browsing our Greece travel reviews page.
$3,245 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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