Start planning your Greek vacation with these itinerary suggestions for spending 2 weeks in Greece. Includes which Greek islands to visit, the best tourist attractions in Greece and more!
Ultimate guide for Greece travel
People visiting Greece for the first time are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of where to go.
It’s true! Greece has over a hundred inhabited islands, located in different regions of the country. There are also dozens of ancient sites and beautiful landscapes all through mainland Greece.
The good news? Two weeks is a good amount of time to see a few of Greece’s highlights. And, if you don’t know much about Greece, don’t worry! Here are some of the most popular tourist attractions in Greece.
I’ve travelled a lot around my country, by road and sea. In this article, I’ve included three example itineraries for your Greek vacation.
Famous destinations in Greece
All in all, the best places for a 2-week holiday in Greece will differ according to your interests and preferences.
Most people visiting in summer will want to spend a couple of days on some of our famous islands. Santorini, Crete, Mykonos, Milos, Skiathos, Corfu, Zakynthos and Rhodes are just a few examples.
People who are after sightseeing and ancient sites will want to visit places like Athens, Delphi, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia and Meteora.
Repeat visitors to Greece will often want to discover off-the-beaten-track destinations. This might include island-hopping to our more remote islands.
Three itineraries for Greece
Is there a classic itinerary for two weeks in Greece? Not really. There are a few fairly common two week itineraries, but in my opinion no single two week itinerary in Greece can be called “classic”.
Above all, you need to remember that this is your holiday, and you should do whatever you feel like doing. To paraphrase the famous saying, one traveler’s nightmare is another traveler’s dream!
Here are three indicative itineraries for people planning a Greek holiday.
Itinerary #1: Greece highlights
This itinerary allows you to experience Athens, Santorini and one more island. In addition, there is time to see two famous landmarks, the ancient site of Delphi in Central Greece and the majestic Meteora rocks in Thessaly.
You will see the birthplace of western civilization, explore some of the most iconic destinations in our country and also get to spend some time on the beach.
Itinerary #2: Athens and the Greek islands
This is a great choice for people who want to experience Athens, spend some time on the bucket list destination Santorini and explore a few other islands.
This combination is fairly straightforward to organize on your own, and you will not necessarily need a car.
Itinerary #3: Athens and the Peloponnese
This itinerary will appeal to people who are interested in driving around and exploring the beautiful region of Peloponnese. You will see quaint towns and villages, lovely landscapes, some of the best archeological sites in Greece.
These itineraries begin and end in Athens, so you can spend longer in our capital city if you want. The options are endless!
And now, let’s look into these itineraries, one by one.
Itinerary #1 – Greece highlights
This is a great option for people who are visiting Greece for the first time.
Apart from their religious significance, these two places are fascinating in terms of the landscapes.
Most visitors will want to experience Santorini. Assuming you want to do some island-hopping, you should look for destinations that are easily accessible by ferry.
Popular islands that you can get to from Santorini include Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Milos and Crete. These are described in the next section.
This two-week Greece itinerary could look like this:
- Day 1 – Arrive in Athens and fly to Santorini
- Days 2-3 – Explore Santorini
- Day 4 – Ferry from Santorini to another island like Milos, Naxos, Paros or Crete
- Days 4 – 9 – Explore your island of choice
- Day 9 – Ferry / flight to Athens, stay in Athens for a night
- Day 10 – Depart for Delphi, visit the archaeological site and museum, stay in Arachova
- Day 11 – Drive to Kalambaka, explore the Meteora area during the evening, stay in Kalambaka
- Day 12 – Explore the Meteora monasteries in the morning, leave for Athens in the evening
- Days 12 – 14 – Athens highlights
If you prefer not to drive, you could also take one of the popular Greece tours to Delphi and Meteora. This tour only calls for one overnight stay in Kalambaka, so you can have an extra day on an island.
Spend 2 days in Athens
Many visitors flying to Greece will arrive at the Athens airport. In my opinion, any vacation in Greece should include a couple of days in Athens, even if you are mostly after a beach holiday.
Travelers flying in from the United States or other places outside Europe might want to allow for at least one extra day in Athens. This way, you can take it easy on your first day here and not worry too much about being jetlagged.
You can either explore Athens when you arrive, or leave it as your final destination. I suggest spending your last night in Athens, especially if you have to catch a morning flight back home.
What is there to do in Athens Greece?
The city centre is also full of bustling markets and souvenir shops, where you can buy everything you can think of. You can find all sorts of clothes, original jewelry, replicas of ancient Greek statues and plenty of tacky souvenirs.
Athens is also a cool place to stroll around and explore our brilliant street art. Take some time to wander through quaint neighbourhoods and sit for a coffee, watching the world go by.
If all this sounds interesting, allow for more than a couple of days in Athens, as the Greek capital has tons to offer.
In fact, you can stay as long as you want and you will find that there will always be something new to see. But I am biased as I live here and can’t get enough of my city 🙂
What to do in Athens in 2 days – Day 1
If you have two days in Athens, start by visiting the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. No Athens itinerary is complete without them.
Nearby, you can visit the massive temple of Zeus, one of the most impressive ancient temples in the whole of Greece. To visit this incredible monument you will swing by another important monument, Hadrian’s Arch.
Note – if you happen to come from around Newcastle upon Tyne in the UK, yes, this is the same Roman Emperor Hadrian, after whom “Hadrian Park” and “Hadrian Road” have been named!
On your first day in Athens, you can also visit Monastiraki with the flea market. Right next door, you will find the charming, if touristy, area of Plaka.
If you have enough energy, climb up Anafiotika area, and you will discover a Cycladic island right in the middle of the city! There is some cool street art here as well.
What to do in Athens in 2 days – Day 2
In the evening, you can hike up Lycabettus hill for some cool sunset views. Alternatively, take a half day trip to the impressive Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.
The location is just fantastic, and the coastal road leading to the temple passes by the beautiful Athens Riviera, where you can stop for a swim. Unless you have a rental car, it would be easier to go on an organized tour to the Temple of Poseidon.
For more ideas on what to do in Athens, check out these detailed articles:
Visit our most famous island, Santorini
Most first-time visitors to Greece will want to go to one island: Santorini. This is one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, to the east of mainland Greece.
There are indeed very good reasons to visit this popular island which was created by a volcanic eruption a few thousand years ago.
Some of the highlights of Santorini are the spectacular sunset views, the out-of-this-world volcano, the quaint villages with the iconic whitewashed houses, the hot springs and the ancient site of Akrotiri.
Best time to visit Santorini
Like with all popular destinations, Santorini gets busy. If you are visiting in high season, be prepared for large crowds, especially on days when many cruise ships arrive at once.
Here is my unpopular opinion: I personally enjoyed visiting Santorini in winter a lot more than in summer. The hike from Fira, the main town, to Oia, the picturesque village on the northern tip, was one of my most enjoyable hikes ever.
However, if you can only visit Greece in summer, you should definitely include Santorini in your vacation.
How long to spend in Santorini
I would suggest spending three nights in Santorini. This way you will comfortably see all the highlights, explore the villages and the volcano, maybe take a sunset cruise or wine tasting tour, and also have some time to spend on the beach.
That said, Santorini’s beaches may be picturesque, but they are not very special to swim on. If you are after a beach holiday, consider including another island as well, like Milos or Naxos.
Where to stay in Santorini
In terms of places to stay, both Oia and Fira have a range of rooms to let. This includes boutique hotels and other expensive accommodation options with a spectacular view to the caldera.
Budget-minded travelers could look into more affordable areas, like the black beach of Perissa / Kamari. Despite first impressions, Santorini can actually be very fairly priced.
Here is my guide on things to do in Santorini in 4 days. As for what to do on the other islands, check right below.
Itinerary #2 – Athens and the Greek islands
This itinerary is ideal for people visiting Greece for the first time. You can combine the capital with some activities and beach time on a few of the Greek islands.
As explained earlier, it’s best to combine Santorini with other Cyclades islands, or Crete, that are easily accessible by ferry.
Greece has many more famous islands which belong to different island groups, like Rhodes, Kos, Zakynthos, Corfu and Skiathos. Getting there from Santorini can be time-consuming and costly, so you could visit those on your next vacation to Greece.
In order to compare and book ferry tickets, you can use search engines like Ferryscanner. These days, most ferry companies offer the option of an e-ticket.
You will notice that some ferry tickets are more expensive than others. If you are on a budget you might prefer to take the slower ferries, or even visit fewer islands. Also, check out my article on Greek island hopping on a budget.
If you are island hopping in Greece, I suggest spending anywhere from three to five days on each island. For bigger islands, like Naxos or Crete, even more days are needed.
An two-week itinerary around the Greek islands could look like this:
- Day 1 – Arrive in Athens, fly to Santorini
- Day 4 – Ferry from Santorini to Milos
- Day 8 – Ferry from Milos to Naxos
- Day 12 – Ferry / flight from Naxos to Athens
- Days 12 – 14 – Athens
If you wanted to include Crete in your Greece itinerary, you could try something like this:
- Day 1 – Arrive in Athens, fly / ferry to Milos / Naxos / Paros
- Day 4 – Ferry from Milos / Naxos / Paros to Santorini
- Day 8 – Ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, Crete
- Day 12 – Ferry / flight from Heraklion or Chania in Crete to Athens
- Days 12 – 14 – Athens
Or, even better, something like this:
- Day 1 – Arrive in Athens, fly to Santorini
- Day 5 – Ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, Crete
- Day 12 – Ferry / flight from Heraklion or Chania in Crete to Athens
- Days 12 – 14 – Athens
Of course, there is always the option to take a cruise or sailing tour around the Greek islands. There are literally hundreds of options and itineraries, usually focusing on the Cyclades, the Ionian islands, or the Saronic islands.
Which Greek island is the best?
There is no right or wrong answer to the question “which Greek islands should I visit”, as they are all lovely in their own ways. It really comes down to what you want to do.
Each of the Cyclades has its own unique character, and it can be really hard to choose where to go. Do some research before your trip, and feel free to post down below for recommendations as I’ve been to all of them 🙂
Here is some information on the most popular Cyclades islands.
Mykonos – Famous for its nightlife
If it is crazy nightlife that you are after, you should consider Mykonos, the first Greek island ever to be visited by the international jet set. Thousands of people love it and visit every summer.
Apart from the nightlife, the island of the winds has a pretty impressive capital, Mykonos town. Despite the massive development in tourist infrastructure, the Cycladic architecture is still prominent.
I was lucky to visit Mykonos without the crowds in summer 2020, and totally appreciated what the island was originally known for – its seriously amazing beaches!
Fill them up with expensive loungers and umbrellas though, and it’s not quite my scene. And it won’t be your scene either if you are after authenticity, relaxation and the Greek way of life.
Should I include Mykonos in my two-week Greek holiday?
Again, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. If you are looking for “the authentic Greece”, it’s probably best to skip Mykonos and visit another island instead.
In addition, be aware that Mykonos is one of the most expensive destinations in Greece. Also, it’s one of the places where people go to see and be seen, so it gets super busy.
If you decide to go, don’t miss the fabulous archaeological site of Ancient Delos, which is a short boat trip from Mykonos.
Naxos – Endless possibilities and fantastic food
Naxos is the largest of the Cycladic islands. While it’s a popular destination, it has kept its authenticity overall.
In my opinion, Naxos has some of the best beaches in Greece. You will definitely love the sandy beaches around Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna and Plaka, where you can swim all day long.
Naxos main town is one of my favourite capital towns in the Cyclades. The ruins of the Venetian castle and white-washed alleys will probably steal your heart.
Finally, the traditional mountain villages like Filoti, Apeiranthos and Halki are all worth visiting. You will see a totally different side of the island, and experience the local life.
Paros – A good fit for everyone
Paros is another popular Cycladic island. It is one of the most diverse islands, as it combines many different elements that would appeal to most types of travelers.
The two main towns, Parikia and Naoussa, offer plenty of options for food and nightlife. Villages like Lefkes, Prodromos and Marpissa will impress you with the quaint architecture.
In terms of beaches, Paros has a good variety, ranging from long, sandy beaches to smaller, quiet coves. Families will appreciate the shallow waters, while active travelers will love trying water sports like windsurfing or kitesurfing.
All in all, Paros is a good fit for everyone, and is a great destination to include in an island-hopping trip.
Milos – Unique landscapes and diverse beaches
Milos is one of the most upcoming Greek islands. It is famous for its strange, wild landscapes and diverse, iconic beaches.
Milos was the result of a volcanic eruption over a million years ago. This is the reason behind its weird landscapes, and its unique mining culture, which has shaped the life on the island over the centuries.
Our Amazon book on Milos and Kimolos has everything you need if you are planning to visit Milos.
Tinos – A hidden gem
If you are after quaint villages and authentic, traditional areas, consider Tinos , one of the lesser known Cyclades islands. Tinos is quite popular among religious Greeks, as it has one of the most important Orthodox churches in the country.
Apart from that though, it’s a beautiful island with fantastic villages, quaint architecture, stone houses, diverse landscapes and many pretty beaches. I am sure that Tinos will become very popular within the next decade, so go while it’s still relatively unexplored.
Sounds intriguing? Our Amazon book on Andros and Tinos has everything you need!
Visit Crete, Greece’s largest island
Crete is the perfect Greek island. It has hundreds of beautiful beaches, dozens of archaeological sites and museums, and some of the best food in Greece.
During peak season, there are several ferries from Santorini and other Cyclades islands to Heraklion, taking 2-3 hours.
You can easily spend all of your 14 days in Crete. I am a little biased though, as I have spent several weeks there in many different trips, and I love this island!
If you are going to Crete, try to allow for at least a week on this beautiful, unique island. Even then, you would only be scratching the surface.
The best attractions in Crete are spread all around the island, which is why it’s impossible to see them all in just a few days.
Some of the highlights include the following:
- Chania, a small, incredibly picturesque coastal town with cobbled streets and a beautiful promenade
- Rethymno, another coastal town dominated by the Fortezza castle
- Crete’s largest city, Heraklion, with a majestic castle right on the sea. It’s also home to one of the best archaeological museums in Greece.
- The archaeological sites of Knossos, Festos, Gortyna and Matala plus several minor ones
- A quaint island which used to be a leper colony, Spinalonga
- The wild Samaria gorge
- Balos and Elafonisi, two amazing, popular beaches to the west of Chania
- The dozens of stunning, remote sandy beaches on the south coast
- Lasithi Plateau and its wild landscapes
Apart from that, Crete has some of the best food and the nicest people in Greece! There is nothing not to like, apart from the fact that you can’t see it all in a few days.
Tips for Crete
It’s normally best to concentrate on one or two regions of the island. The big question is where exactly to go to, as anywhere in Crete is just fabulous.
A popular itinerary in Crete is a combination of Chania, Elafonisi beach, Heraklion and Knossos. This is doable in four days, and would give you a flavour of the island.
In terms of getting around, it is best to rent a car. If you don’t want to drive, you can use the numerous buses that connect the main cities and villages.
There are many air carriers flying directly into Crete from several European airports. Alternatively, you can get to Crete from Athens by ferry or a short flight.
Itinerary #3 – Exploring the historic sites in mainland Greece
If you are not keen on island hopping, don’t worry – Greece has a lot more to offer. In fact, we always have the dilemma “islands vs mainland Greece” ourselves.
People visiting Greece primarily for the history and culture should consider a road trip on the mainland. This article on driving in Greece will be helpful if you decide to rent a car.
The entire region called the Peloponnese is ideal to explore by road. This is the southernmost area in mainland Greece.
The Peloponnese is close to Athens, and there is enough to keep you occupied for weeks. You can see ancient sites, byzantine churches and medieval castles, combined with beautiful landscapes and gorgeous beaches.
If you had two weeks in the Peloponnese alone, you could visit most of the best known destinations, and there would still be plenty left for another trip.
Attractions in the Peloponnese
The most popular attractions in the Peloponnese include the following:
- The Corinth canal, a popular photo-stop for people heading to the Peloponnese
- The castle of Acrocorinth, an impressive fortress up on a rock overlooking Corinth
- The site of Ancient Epidaurus, with its amazing ancient theatre, the temple of Asclepius and the adjacent museum
- The archaeological site and museum of Mycenae, one of the most important sites in Ancient Greece
- The castle of Monemvasia, a medieval town built on a small island, just off the coast
- The beautiful beach of Elafonissos, to the south of the Peloponnese
- The unique Diros Caves, which you will visit in a boat
- The massive byzantine site of Mystras, close to Sparta
- The impressive archaeological site of Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were organized in 776 BC
- The castles of Methoni and Koroni, dating from the Venetian era, located close to the beautiful Finikounda beach
But that’s not all. The Peloponnese also offers some pretty unique landscapes, fantastic wineries and many more attractions. The Peloponnese alone could easily fill up your 2 weeks Greece itinerary.
Where to stay in the Peloponnese
The Peloponnese is full of coastal towns and resorts where you can stay. Here are a few popular choices:
The famous Nafplio. This is a picturesque coastal town, which was the first capital of modern Greece. There are many attractions here, such as the impressive castle and the beautiful neoclassical houses.
The lively Kalamata. This is a pretty coastal city built right on a long, sandy urban beach. There are plenty of things to do in the old town. The olive oil from this region is among the best in Greece. Kalamata also has an international airport.
The picturesque Gythio. This is a relaxed town on the coast. There are a few attractions, some fantastic tavernas and the lovely Mavrovounio beach nearby.
The romantic Monemvasia. This impressive medieval town deserves a stop, and an overnight stay is definitely worth it.
Itinerary for Athens and the Peloponnese
A relaxed Peloponnese and Athens itinerary could look like the following:
- Day 1 – Arrive Athens, drive to Nafplio, stay in Nafplio
- Day 2 – Day trip to Ancient Mycenae
- Day 3 – Day trip to Ancient Epidaurus
- Day 4 – Drive to Monemvasia, stay in Monemvasia
- Day 5 – Day trip to Elafonissos beach
- Day 6 – Drive to Gythio, stay in Gythio
- Day 7 – Day trip to Diros Caves and Mavrovounio beach
- Day 8 – Visit the Byzantine site of Mystras, drive to Kalamata, stay in Kalamata
- Day 9 – Explore Kalamata
- Day 10 – Day trip to Methoni and Koroni castles and Finikounda beach
- Day 11 – Drive to Ancient Olympia, visit the site and museum, stay in Olympia
- Day 12 – Drive back to Athens
- Days 12 – 14 – Explore Athens
If you follow this itinerary, you will get to see the highlights and important archaeological sites in the Peloponnese and Athens. And there will be many other ancient sites to discover on your next visit!
Budget for a 2-week Greece itinerary
Budgeting for a Greek holiday can be a daunting task. How much you will end up spending depends on what you will do, how many different places you want to visit, what sort of accommodation you are after, how you are planning to get around and many more factors.
Based on two people sharing, your 2 weeks in Greece cost can actually average at around 60-70 euro per person per day, though most people would probably end up paying more. This does not include your flights to and from Greece.
You will find that transportation inside the country is one of the highest costs. If you want to use domestic flights, make sure you book them well in advance.
Ferry tickets don’t go up in price, but don’t leave them for the last minute, as they might be sold out. If you book your tickets a few months in advance, you can often find some non-changeable and non-refundable offers.
Accommodation and meal prices in Greece
Depending on what type of accommodation you choose to go for, hotels and rooms for rent can be fairly inexpensive.
We’ve actually had apartments for 20-40 euro a night in the past five years, even in August! Sky is the limit though, and caldera-view suites in Santorini can cost well over 1,000 euro for just one night.
As for meals, as a couple, we’ve had many taverna meals that didn’t exceed 25 or 30 euro.
Our article with tips for planning your trip to Greece will help you with budgeting your trip to Greece. I have included detailed information on costs, so that you know what to expect.
Also, here is our own budget for a month-long trip in the Cyclades. Verdict: Greece is not expensive!
Should I go all-inclusive?
My personal opinion would be to avoid those, as you won’t see much of the real Greece. With that said, all-inclusive holidays to Greece may offer better value, especially if booked for the off-season. It might be worth checking these deals out.
If you go for an all-inclusive, do allow for time outside the resort. Don’t miss the local tavernas where you can have the famous Greek salad, local seafood and other delicious Greek dishes!
Frequently asked questions
Visitors planning a trip to Greece often ask the following questions:
Is two weeks in Greece too long?
Not at all! Two weeks is a great amount of time, and you will get a good feel of some popular destinations in Greece.
How much does it cost to go to Greece for 2 weeks?
This can vary a lot, and will depend on factors like type of accommodation, transportation, any private tours etc. Budget-minded travellers could keep costs under 1,000 euro per person for 2 weeks, however most people would be looking at 1,500 or even 2,000.
How do people spend two weeks in Greece?
There are no set-in-stone itineraries. Some visitors might want to island-hop, while other will want to rent a car and explore famous sights on the mainland. Most itineraries include a few days in Athens and Santorini.
How many Greek islands can you have in two weeks?
This depends a lot on which islands you want to visit and how much time you want to spend on ferries. Allow 3-4 days on islands like Santorini, Mykonos or Milos. Larger islands, like Crete, Rhodes or Naxos will need more time. Unless you are on a cruise or sailing trip, I would suggest a maximum of 4 or 5 islands in two weeks.
How many days do I need in Greece?
If you only want to see Athens and Santorini, even a few days are enough. However, if you want to see various regions and go to many islands, you will need much longer. Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to appreciate the highlights of Greece.
Two weeks in Greece – Your experience
One last tip – check out my guide on what to pack for Greece. It will help you travel light, and bring the appropriate clothes for every season.
If you’ve ever had the chance to spend a couple of weeks in Greece, I’d love to hear your itinerary! Please feel free to comment right below.
Hi! I am Vanessa from Athens, and I love exploring my country. I hope this article has helped you plan your holiday in Greece. Please follow my FB page for news about Greece and notifications on new blogposts.