Athens, Santorini, Mykonos Itinerary by a Local

If you want to witness some of Greece’s highlights in one go, then this Athens, Santorini, Mykonos itinerary is perfect for you! The itinerary allows you to experience the archaeological gems of the capital and day trips on the mainland before moving on to the stunning island of Santorini famed for its blue-topped churches and white-washed houses, and the chic party island of Mykonos.

This 10-day itinerary around Athens, Santorini and Mykonos gives you a taster of all different sides of Greece giving you the chance to dine on traditional local cuisine, sip sumptuous cocktails overlooking the caldera and snap selfies by the windmills of Mykonos.

How to Explore Athens, Santorini & Mykonos

Day 1: Athens

Acropolis in Athens

How to get to and from the airport

Taxi or Pre-Booked Airport Transfers

Metro

  • The metro station is located slightly outside the airport and you’ll need to follow the signs ‘To Trains’ to find it.
  • Once you get there you can purchase a ticket from the ticket office or use a machine (€10 for a single).
  • The metro line from the airport runs directly to Syntagma Square and Monastiraki so should take you fairly close to your central accommodation.

Express Bus

  • The Airport Bus is a cheap and easy way to get to central Athens with a single to Syntagma Square costing just €6.
  • You’ll want to look out for the blue kiosk outside the airport arrivals halls and then look out for the X95 bus route that will take you into central Athens.

Once you settle to your Athens hotel you can start exploring Athens. There are many things you can do in Athens. Below you will find the highlights.

The changing of the guards at Syntagma Square

Changing of the guards on Syntagma Square

Watching the changing of the guards at Syntagma Square is an absolute must for first-time visitors as you see the adorned military guards ceremoniously change positions in front of the national houses of parliament. Get there early to snag a good spot!

National Gardens

Located directly behind the Greek parliament building, the sprawling National Gardens are a beautiful place to take a stroll. Not only do the gardens boast stunning botanical features but they also include some ancient ruins and mosaics too.

Panathenaic Stadium

The Panathenaic Stadium is an impressive ancient sports stadium built entirely of marble. Having been used in ancient times as well as for the modern Olympic Games, the Panathenaic Stadium is an iconic venue in Greek history and culture.

The temple of Olympian Zeus
The temple of Olympian Zeus

Temple of Olympian Zeus

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is another of Athens’ impressive archaeological sites, with the towering temple columns commanding the landscape. This temple dates back to the 6th century B.C. and stands back from the city with a great view of the Acropolis.

Hadrian’s Arch

Close to the Temple of Olympian Zeus lies Hadrian’s Arch, a marble gateway on the edge of the main road. This is an interesting juxtaposition of old and new and is well worth a visit.

National Archaeological Museum

To learn even more about Athens’ history and archaeology, head to the National Archaeological Museum, an exhibition space filled with ancient Greek art, jewellery, vessels and tools. This is one of the most astounding museums in Greece if not the world!

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

Sunset from Lycabettus Hill

To round off your day of Athenian sight-seeing, head up Lycabettus Hill for a wonderful sunset over the city. This is a great place to get perspective of the city as well as admiring its beauty.

Food and Drinks in Kolonaki District

For your first evening in Athens, travel over to the chic Kolonaki District. Here you can find a whole host of bars and restaurants, from tavernas like Filippou offering traditional Greek dining to Kiku offering some of the city’s best sushi!

Day 2: Athens

Acropolis Athens

The Acropolis

Today you finally get to see The Acropolis up close! This is a real highlight of any trip to Athens and you’ll want to give yourself a few hours to fully appreciate it.

Click here for more information and to book a small group guided tour of the Acropolis with skip the line tickets. The reason I like this tour is that it is a small group one, it starts at 8:30 am, so you avoid the heat and the cruise ship passengers and it lasts for 2 hours.

Acropolis Museum

The Acropolis Museum

After visiting The Acropolis, head down to the Acropolis Museum to witness even more archaeological gems that were found on the site.

Here are some great options for visiting the Acropolis Museum:

Skip the line ticket to the Acropolis museum including the ancient excavation.

A small group tour to the Acropolis Museum with skip the line ticket.

Plaka Neighborhood

Once you’ve had your history fix, walk down towards the Plaka neighbourhood at the base of the Acropolis Hill where you can enjoy drinks, dining and a spot of shopping.

Roman Agora and Ancient Agora

Within this district lie a number of archaeological sites, so take time to visit the Roman Agora, followed by the larger Ancient Greek Agora.

Roman Agora in Athens

Athens Central Market

The Athens Central Market (aka Varvakios) is a modern-day agora that sells everything from fresh meat and fish to seeds, nuts, fruit and, of course, olives!

Monastiraki Flea Market and Square

The Monastiraki Flea Market sells all sorts of antiques, artwork and vintage goods and is a fun way to while away an hour. You can also visit the nearby Monastiraki Square famed for the old Byzantine church that stands in the centre of the high street!

View from Piloppapos Hill

Climb Filoppapos Hill for the sunset

This evening you’ll climb to another vantage point for sunset, Filoppapos Hill, where you can take in the city sights and another sky full of beautiful colours

Food and Drinks in Psiri District

Heading back down from Filoppapos Hill, explore the Psiri District for dinner, an area known for cool bars, interesting street art and some delicious eateries.

Day 3: Day trip from Athens

Delphi - Day trip from Athens
Delphi

There are a number of different day trip options from Athens and it will depend which site you want to see most!

Hydra Island
day trip from Athens - Temple of Poseidon in Sounio
sunset in Sounio

Where to stay in Athens

Herodion: A charming, comfortable hotel at the base of the Acropolis with a great outdoor terrace (with two hot tubs!) from which to soak up the view. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Zillers Boutique Hotel: An excellent, central property with chic styling, amazing Acropolis views and a bar and restaurant on-site that serves up delicious drinks and dishes. Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Attalos: Located in the heart of the city, Attalos is a simple, central hotel that features everything you need for an Athenian city break getaway. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Inn Athens: It is a modern design hotel with friendly staff, stylish interiors and a wonderful location just steps away from Syntagma Square. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Day 4: Santorini

Fira Santorini
Fira Santorini

How To Get From Athens To Santorini

There are two main ways of getting from Athens to Santorini:

By Plane:

  • During summer there are regular flights from Athens to Santorini, with journey times taking around 45 minutes.
  • Flights tend to cost between €40-€175 depending on the season.

By Ferry:

  • There are many ferries a day from Athens to Santorini.
  • Costs and ferry durations vary between €20-€75 and 5-10 hours.

Watch the sunset at Oia

The highlight of many people’s trip to Santorini is watching the sunset from the town of Oia. This can even be done on your arrival day so that you can soak up Santorini’s beauty as soon as you get there! Make sure you save a spot early though for the best views.

Day 5: Santorini

Oia Santorini in November
Oia Santorini

Hike from Fira to Oia

Start Day 5 with a walk from Fira to Oia, the two main towns on Santorini. This hiking trail allows you to witness stunning views of the island and is accessible for most people. The path is well marked and offers churches, cliffs and caldera viewpoints along the way.

Visit The Archaeological Site of Akrotiri

Akrotiri is one of few archaeological sites on Santorini and is well worth a visit with well-preserved pre-historic village ruins showing what life would have been like here hundreds of years ago!

Akrotiri

Visit Pyrgos Village

Pyrgos is a great place to go if you want incredible views of the whole island. Perched on a hilltop, Pyrgos is the highest spot on Santorini and features a castle, medieval houses and a number of stunning churches.

Go Wine Tasting

Santorini is the Greek island most famous for producing wine, not least because the vines grow in a unique basket-like formation to protect the grapes from the elements! The vineyards here are beautiful and offer tasting sessions and charcuterie boards.

I totally recommend the Santorini Half-Day Wine Adventure tour that includes a visit to 3 wineries and sampling 12 different wines.

Explore the village of Emporio

Wandering the winding streets of Emporio is a lovely way to while away the afternoon, with photogenic buildings and alleyways at every turn!

Day 6  – Santorini

Pyrgos Village

Eat Local

While Santorini is famed for chic beach bars and boutique hotels, there are also a number of great local tavernas offering up traditional Greek gastronomy. Some excellent dishes to try are Fava (yellow split pea purée), Ntomatokeftedes (a Santorini speciality) and Melitinia (cheese pies).

Recommended: Metaxy Mas Tavern in Exo Gonia village for reservations +30 2286 031323
Aroma Avlis Food & Wine in Exo Gonia village for reservations +30 2286 033395

Visit The Volcano and Hot Springs

As Santorini is a volcanic island it would be amiss not to take a trip to Nea Kameni to see the volcano itself and Palea Kameni to enjoy the hot springs.

If you actually want to walk on the volcano I suggest the volcanic island cruise.

Red Beach in Santorini

Explore Santorini’s Beaches

Santorini is more famous for its towns than its beaches but the island still boasts a number of options for those wishing to indulge in some beach time. Some of the most popular spots are Red Beach and Perissa which both feature volcanic sand!

Check out my post: The best Santorini Beaches

Take a Catamaran Cruise

Another great way to view the sunsets around Santorini is to take a catamaran cruise which allows you to enjoy beach time, snorkelling, a BBQ meal, a hot springs mud bath and a sunset ride back.

I recommend the Santorini: 5-Hour Small-Group Catamaran Cruise that includes a swim in the hot springs and buffet lunch and drinks onboard or its sunset version.

Where to stay in Santorini

Antonia Apartments: A stunning property located in the centre of Fira, with spacious self-catering studios and rooms. This allows you the convenience of self-catering as well as hotel-style amenities like a small swimming pool and a 24-hour reception. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Astarte Suites: The luxurious Astarte Suites are situated close to the archaeological site of Akrotiri with clifftop caldera views. The well-equipped suites are perfect for a romantic break, featuring free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, minibar, whirlpool tubs and chic, modern interiors. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Canaves Oia: An excellent luxury choice for those who want impressive, picture-perfect accommodation perched on the edge of a cliff overlooking the caldera. All guests are treated to complimentary breakfast, free parking, an infinity pool, spa, gym, bar and restaurant and some rooms even boast their own plunge pools. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Day 7: Santorini to Mykonos

What do to in Mykonos in 3 days
The Windmills in Mykonos

How to get from Santorini to Mykonos

  • The easiest way to get from Santorini to Mykonos is to take the ferry.
  • There are around four ferries per day during summer; the journey taking approx. 2.5 hours.
  • If you book in advance the tickets should cost you around 50-60
  • N.B. Please make sure you collect your actual ticket from the kiosk before boarding.

Explore Chora

Exploring Mykonos Town (aka Chora) is one of the best things to do on the island, so make sure you allow yourself plenty of time on your first day to wander the cobblestone streets and boutiques.

Little Venice- What do to in Mykonos in 3 days
Little Venice

Little Venice

The area known as Little Venice is located towards the south of the town and features restaurants, bars and cafes overlooking the water. This is a lively, bustling part of town and is a beautiful spot to watch the sunset. 

Museums

While most people visit Mykonos for the bars and boutiques, the island also boasts a number of museums such as the Folk Museum and Archaeological Museum which are well worth a visit.

Mykonos from above
Mykonos from above – more windmills

The Windmills

The windmills of Chora are one of the most iconic sites on the island; standing proud on the side of the town. They date back to the 1600s when the Venetians ruled the island and have been well-preserved to keep them looking smart.

A great way to explore Mykonos town and all the highlights is a Mykonos Walking Tour.

Day 8: Explore Mykonos

Archaeological site of Dilos 2-min
Archaeological site of Delos

Visit the Archaeological site of Delos

One of the musts while visiting Mykonos is taking a day trip to the nearby archaeological site of Delos. This was the heart of the Cyclades during Ancient Greece and the supposed birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. Make sure you allow at least half a day to explore this sprawling site as there is a wealth of history and culture to discover.

 Click here for more information and book your trip to Delos.

Take a boat tour at the island of Rhenia

The island of Rhenia is an absolute gem with crystal-clear waters and soft golden sands and the hidden coves is the perfect place to relax for an afternoon. You can swim and snorkel in the warm waters before enjoying a light lunch on board. This boat tour also combines a guided tour to Delos.

Click here for more information and to book your cruise.

Paradise beach The best Mykonos beaches
Paradise beach

Relax in one of Mykonos beaches

Mykonos has some of the best beaches in Greece with white sand and turquoise waters. Pick one and spend a few hours soaking up the sun.

Check here my post about the best Mykonos Beaches.

Day 9: Mykonos to Athens

Panagia Paraportiani Church in Mykonos
Panagia Paraportiani Church

You’ll have a few final hours to soak up the beauty of Mykonos this morning before taking your afternoon flight or ferry back to Athens. This is the last chance you’ll have to take some snaps of the island and pick up some souvenirs.

How to get from Mykonos to Athens

  • Getting from Mykonos to Athens is really easy.
  • You can choose a ferry to Piraeus or Rafina (on BlueStar Ferries, SeaJet or Hellenic Seaways) and take 3-5 hours depending on the service you choose. The ferry generally costs between €28-60 without a car.
  • Alternatively, you can take a flight which will take just 40 minutes and will cost anywhere between €50-150.

Where to stay in Mykonos

Galini Hotel: A simple, central hotel in Mykonos Town that is ideal for those who want to be close to the beach and the island nightlife. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Manolia View: It is situated 2km outside of Mykonos Town and the New Port, offering self-catering apartments, an on-site swimming pool and great views across the Aegean. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

With Inn: A lovely beachside choice in the town of Tourlos, 1 km away from Mykonos port. It offers spacious rooms with sea views as well as standard hotel facilities like air conditioning, free wi-fi, and a mini-fridge. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Kouros Hotel & Suites: If you want to splash out, the Kouros Hotel & Suites are picture-perfect. Located just 10 minutes on foot from Mykonos Town, Kouros Hotel & Suites offer guests bright, spacious rooms with private terraces, an on-site swimming pool, a delicious breakfast and free airport shuttle and parking. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Myconian Ambassador: The stunning Myconian Ambassador is a quality Relais & Chateaux Hotel providing guests with stylish rooms and excellent on-site facilities like an outdoor pool, spa services and a bar and restaurant serving up divine drinks and gastronomic treats. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge: The 5-star Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge is an extraordinary hotel that offers spectacular sea-front suites, a gourmet restaurant a great range of spa treatments and an infinity pool to die for! This stunning property is located on Megali Ammos beach and a is just a 10-minute walk from Mykonos Town. – Click here for more information and to check the latest prices.

Day 10 – Flight Home

Today is the final day of your itinerary so you’ll need to prepare to get to the airport in plenty of time to catch your flight home.

If this is in the evening you may have some extra time to spend in Athens.

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