What to do in Greece for a Week – 2022 Guide
Greece is a country with a rich ancient history and breathtaking natural beauty, with an amazing mainland and hundreds of small picturesque islands scattered throughout the Aegean & Ionian Sea. The historic city of Athens, where you can learn so many important facts about the ancient Greek civilization, as well as the iconic islands of Santorini & Mykonos with their incomparable beauty and the superb beaches, are among the must-see places in the country. If you’re planning a trip to this fabulous destination, our guide on how to spend 7 days in Greece will come in handy.
Why Should You Spend at least 1 week in Greece?
A short trip to Greece can take no more than five days. In this scenario, your Greece itinerary should definitely include a visit to Athens as well as a stay on an island. You may go to Santorini, where whitewashed homes shine under the Mediterranean sun, or Mykonos, where you can experience the best party time of your lifetime.
We recommend that you stay in Greece for seven days. This gives you enough time to experience the country’s ancient mainland places before visiting a few of its popular islands. Those who are willing to travel more in order to explore as many sights as possible, making a specific & realistic plan would be a good idea as well as flying from Athens to the islands so as to save a lot of time.
Our proposal for the best “7 days” itinerary consists of the below destinations:
- Athens – 1 day
- Delphi – 1 day
- Meteora – 1 day
- Santorini – 2 days
- Mykonos – 2 days
#Athens: day 1
The city of Athens is a beautiful place to start your trip, being the birthplace of Western civilization and having so many magnificent sights. Besides what you learn in history books, there are plenty of things to do in this lovely destination. The capital city boasts a plethora of attractions from ancient monuments like Acropolis and the archaeological museum to magnificent neighbourhoods like Plaka and Monastiraki.
The iconic Acropolis is a must-visit site in Athens and one of the most famous ancient sites in the world. It features some of the most impressive architecture from the era including the Parthenon temple. Make sure to visit Acropolis museum which is located on the same hill as the ancient ruins to learn more about their history.
The ancient temple of Athena, which was originally dedicated to the Goddess Athena and has been beautifully restored, retains most of the building.
This charming neighbourhood located at the foot of Acropolis is perfect for a leisurely stroll. It’s lined with neoclassical buildings, restaurants and cafes. Don’t miss out on trying some authentic Greek food here.
Just adjacent to Plaka, Monastiraki is another lively area in Athens teeming with souvenir shops and street vendors. Be sure to wander around its narrow streets and check out the Flea Market where you can find all sorts of treasures including vintage clothes and jewelry.
The archaeological Museum:
If you want to learn more about Greek history, then a visit to the archaeological museum is a must. It contains an extensive collection of artefacts from throughout Greece’s long history.
Odeon of Herodes Atticus:
This amphitheatre is still a famous place and you can enjoy an opera or concert under the stars. Beware to check the events during your stay in Athens so that you don’t miss anything!
The Temple of Olympian Zeus:
The old temple, a magnificent monument in the heart of Athens, today has just the massive columns left, which are evocative of traditional Greek architecture.
Athens’ highest hill (277 meters) offers stunning views over the city. You can either hike up or take the funicular.
Ancient Agora of Athens:
If you’ve had enough of history and archaeological excavation, here’s another ancient structure that may pique your interest and attention. The Agora was the center of Athenian public life and where Socrates taught. This isn’t one structure, but a complex of excavations that includes temples, concert halls, and arcades. The museum on the premises houses some tiny relics that have been kept intact.
If you are looking for a more nightclubby atmosphere, Athens has that too. Head to the Plaka district which is full of bars and restaurants or Gazi which is known for its trendy clubs and gay-friendly scene. Athens is a city that never sleeps and you will surely have a lot of options to enjoy yourself.
#Delphi: day 2
After spending one day in Athens, it’s time to explore other parts of Greece! A few hours away by car is Delphi, home to one of the most important sanctuaries in Ancient Greece. The archaeological site is vast and includes temples, theatres and treasuries.
The ancient city was a destination for pilgrims who travelled there to pay homage to Apollo and seek counsel from the Oracle of Delphi, or high priestess. Take a trip on your own to Delphi and discover its secrets. Make sure to also visit the nearby town of Arachova for some great food and stunning views.
You can perfectly combine day 2 with the nearby picturesque village of Pavliani, which is about a 1-hour drive. Plaviani is an amazing place to wander around, with its narrow streets and stone houses. There’s also a great little taverna in the village square serving up delicious traditional dishes like moussaka and pastitsio.
If you have time, I would also recommend visiting ancient Thebes, which is only a short drive from Plaviani. Thebes was once one of the most powerful cities in Greece and is home to some of the country’s most impressive archaeological sites, including the Temple of Apollo and the ruins of the Royal Palace.
#Meteora: day 3
On day three, make your way to Meteora which is home to some of the most spectacular monasteries in Greece. Perched atop towering cliffs, these Orthodox monasteries are one of a kind and definitely worth visiting during your trip to Greece.
Meteora is rich in magnificent architecture, with monasteries built on top of near-vertical rock formations. The natural pillars beneath the monasteries extend for more than 400 meters (1,300 feet), such as that under the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.
The best way to experience Meteora is by hiking the trails that wind their way around the cliffs and through the valleys. There are also a few cable cars that offer great views of the monasteries (and cost about €12 per person for a return journey).
No matter what activity you choose, make sure to spend some time wandering around these amazing monasteries – they date back as far as the 14th century!
Some of our favourite monasteries include:
- The Monastery of St. Stephen which offers wonderful views from its location on top of a cliff.
- The Monastery of Varlaam which is the largest and most popular monastery in Meteora.
- The Monastery of Holy Trinity which has a beautiful setting amongst the rocks.
- The Monastery of Great Meteoron which is the oldest of all monasteries and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
After exploring the monasteries, make sure to wander through the quaint villages that are dotted around the area – they offer a great insight into traditional Greek life.
#Santorini: day 4 & 5
After 3 days on Greece’s mainland, it is about time for some island hopping. Santorini will be the next stop on our trip for 2 unique days. This picturesque island is known for its stunning sunsets, whitewashed villages and dramatic cliffs. Let’s explore this stunning island and learn more about its secrets!
Ways to travel from Athens to Santorini:
– Flight: this is the quickest option, with flights from Athens to Santorini generally taking around 25 minutes. We definitely recommend this option in order to save you precious time.
– Ferry: a ferry will take longer (from 4 to 7 hours depending on the ferry type), but it is a more scenic journey and you can enjoy the views of the islands as you sail past.
Where to stay:
There are plenty of places to stay in Santorini, whether you’re looking for something luxurious or want to keep costs down. Some popular areas include Fira, Oia and Imerovigli. Find luxury villas in Santorini and live an unforgettable experience!
Things to do:
- Explore the villages: each village in Santorini has its own unique charm, so it’s definitely worth exploring a few of them during your stay. Fira is the busiest and most popular village, while Oia is known for its stunning sunsets.
- Swim in the Caldera: take a dip in the warm Aegean Sea and enjoy the incredible views of the caldera from below.
- Climb up to Oia Castle: this medieval castle offers amazing 360-degree views over Santorini and is well worth the hike up!
Wander around Pyrgos Village: this charming village is home to winding alleyways, churches and traditional houses.
- Take a hike up to the Akrotiri Lighthouse: this lighthouse offers amazing views over the whole island, it’s definitely worth a visit!
- Go swimming at Kamari Beach: this black sand beach is one of the most popular on the island and offers great swimming and sunbathing opportunities.
- Visit a winery: Santorini is home to some award-winning wineries, so make sure you pop in for a wine tasting!
#Mykonos: day 6 & 7
We keep the best for the end! Mykonos is a superb destination that should be on any Greek vacation list. This is a party island, so make sure to experience its nightlife in any case.
How to travel from Santorini to Mykonos:
There are many ferries per day that travel between the two islands and the journey only takes 2 to 3 hours. You will definitely enjoy this trip and we would propose that you make it during daylight in order to admire the Aegean Sea and the nearby islands.
Where to stay:
Speaking of luxury and style, Mykonos offers premium accommodation for visitors with exquisite taste. If you want to be close to the action, we recommend staying in the heart of Mykonos town. On the other hand, if you prefer tranquility & privacy, there are countless options to stay all around the island’s villages. Find luxury villas in Mykonos that are a perfect blend of traditional and modern architecture and live a unique experience!
Things to do:
- Take a walk around the town of Mykonos: with its whitewashed buildings and blue shutters, it’s a photographer’s dream come true. Don’t forget to visit the iconic windmills and do some shopping at designer boutiques with high-end brands.
- Explore Little Venice: as the houses that make up this sector of Mykonos’ Chora were built by merchants who were influenced by Venice, they gradually gave it a Venetian flavor. The brightly colored buildings are nestled on the waterfront, with balconies overlooking the sea. Arches and alleys in the Venetian style have been constructed as well. The ambience of this place is just incomparable to any other!
- Visit the beaches: Mykonos is known for its amazing beaches, so make sure you visit at least a few while you’re there! Some of our favourites are Elia Beach, Paradise Beach and Super Paradise Beach.
- Hit up a club: With its lively nightlife, Mykonos is the perfect spot for letting loose on vacation. Dance all night at one of the island’s clubs and enjoy a cocktail or two at one of the many trendy bars.
- Explore the island: With its rugged landscape and stunning villages, there’s plenty to explore on Mykonos. Rent a car or scooter and head out for the day to see some of the most beautiful spots on the island.
- Taste the local cuisine: From fresh seafood to traditional delicacies like louza (refined deli meat) and kopanisti (a type of soft cheese), there are so many delicious alternatives that you can have the chance to taste in either traditional tavernas or in the top restaurants on the island.