Last updated on August 10th, 2020 at 11:05 am
Start planning your Greek vacation with these itinerary suggestions for spending 2 weeks in Greece. Includes which Greek islands to visit, where the best beaches are and more!
2 weeks in Greece – Ultimate guide for Greece travel
People visiting Greece for the first time are overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of where to go. In this article, we have put together three itineraries for 2 weeks in Greece, to help you with planning.
Two weeks in Greece is a good amount of time to see some of the highlights of our country. Sure, you won’t get to visit all the Greek islands, but you will be able to check out at least a couple of the Cyclades, or some of the mainland, or a bit of both.
To plan your 2 weeks in Greece, the first and most important step is to decide what you want out of your holiday. Do you prefer to just relax and unwind? Do you want to focus on exploring the archaeological sites and museums? Are you after hiking and getting away from it all? There is no right or wrong answer. This is your holiday, and you should do whatever you feel like doing.
If there are any specific places where you’ve always wanted to go, you should definitely include them in your Greece itinerary. For example, if you heard of Mt Olympus when you were 10 years old and wanted to visit ever since, then you should go. Naturally, if there are too many places that you’ve always wanted to visit, you will have to make a choice!
If you don’t know much about Greece, you can have a look at the most popular tourist attractions 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 will want to spend a couple of days on some of our popular destinations, like Athens, Santorini and Crete.
Athens – 2 days in Athens
The majority of people flying into Greece will land at the Athens airport. In our opinion, any Greece 2 week itinerary should start or finish with a minimum of two days in Athens, unless you are landing on one of the islands.
If you are flying in from the United States or other places outside Europe, you might want to allow for at least one extra day. 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. We generally suggest spending your last night in Athens, especially if you have to catch a morning flight back home.
Athens is also a cool place to stroll around, explore brilliant street art, wander through quaint neighbourhoods and sit for a coffee, watching the world go by.
In our opinion, you should allow for more than a couple of days in Athens, as our capital has tons to offer. You can stay as long as you want and you will find that there will always be something new to see. But we are biased as we live here and can’t get enough of our city!
If you want to see a few off-the-beaten-track areas in Athens, you can consider joining our private Athens walking tours. You will enjoy an unbeatable local experience that with stay with you for a long time!
What to do in Athens in 2 days
If you have two days in Athens, start your first day by visiting the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. It seems that no Athens itinerary is complete without them.
We also love the massive temple of Zeus, one of the most impressive ancient temples in the whole of Greece. To visit the temple of Zeus you will swing by Hadrian’s Arch, another important monument.
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, and the charming, though quite touristy, 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 as well.
On your second day in Athens, you can visit the Ancient Agora and then head to the National Archaeological Museum. If you don’t want to spend more time in a museum, you can explore the quirky neighbourhood of Psiri, and visit the Central food market.
Later on, you can watch the Changing of the Guards in front of the Parliament, and maybe hike up Lycabettus hill for some cool sunset views.
Another idea is to take a half day trip to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. The location is simply fantastic, and the coastal road leading to the temple passes by the beautiful Athens Riviera, where you can stop for a swim. Most hotels should be able to help you arrange this trip, or you can plan it on your own.
2 week holiday Greece – Visiting Santorini
Most first-time visitors to Greece will definitely go to one island: Santorini. There are indeed very good reasons to visit our most popular island. The sunset views to the volcano, the hike from Fira to Oia, the quaint villages with the iconic whitewashed houses and the ancient site of Akrotiri are just a few of them.
That said, you should be prepared for large crowds and relatively high prices, especially if you come in peak season.
As for us, we actually preferred visiting Santorini in winter! Our unpopular opinion is that we wouldn’t go to Santorini in summer, but we totally get why visitors from abroad would want to include Santorini in a 2 week trip to Greece.
We would suggest spending three nights in Santorini. This way you will comfortably see all the highlights, explore the villages and the volcano, and also have some time to spend on the beach. That said, Santorini’s beaches are not very special, so if you are after a beach holiday consider including another island as well.
Check out our guide on things to do in Santorini in 4 days.
2 weeks in Greece – Should I go to Crete?
Crete is Greece’s largest island. It has hundreds of beautiful beaches, dozens of archaeological sites and museums, and some of the best food in Greece. Crete could easily be your only destination for your 14 days in Greece itinerary.
If you have 2 weeks in Greece, you could easily fit in Crete. In our opinion, you should allow for at least six nights on this beautiful, unique island, and even then you would only be scratching the surface.
Some of the highlights of Crete include the following
- Chania, a small, incredibly picturesque coastal town with cobbled streets and a beautiful promenade
- Balos and Elafonisi, two popular beaches to the west of the island
- 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, Matala plus several minor ones
- A quaint island which used to be a leper colony, Spinalonga
- The stunning, remote beaches on the south coast
- Lasithi Plateau and its wild landscapes
If you decide to include Crete into your 2 week Greece itinerary, the best idea is really to concentrate on one side of the island. Or you can also combine Chania, Elafonisi beach, Heraklion and Knossos, which is doable in four days.
To be fair, anywhere in Crete is just fabulous. We are biased though, as we have spent several weeks there in many different trips, and we really like everything about Crete!
You can get to Crete from Athens by ferry or a short flight. There are also several ferries from Santorini to Heraklion, taking 2-3 hours. Note that these ferries do not run in winter.
Classic itinerary for 2 weeks in Greece
Is there a classic itinerary for 2 weeks in Greece? Not really. There are some fairly common two week itineraries, but in our opinion no single two week itinerary in Greece can be called “classic”.
People visiting Greece for the first time often choose to go to Athens and to a few of the Greek islands. This combination is fairly straightforward to organize on your own. You will see the birthplace of western civilization, you will explore some of the most interesting landscapes in our country and you will also get to spend some time on the beach.
If island hopping is not your thing, you could consider driving around Greece and touring some of the mainland. There are dozens of archaeological sites worth visiting, as well as pretty villages, charming towns and beautiful beaches all around the country.
People who want a more active vacation may choose to combine some of the islands and parts of mainland Greece. Just make sure you don’t end up spending half of your time on ferries or planes!
With all the above in mind, we present you with three different itineraries in Greece, that you can modify according to your interests. Remember, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to Greece!
Itinerary #1 – A relaxed two-week itinerary in Greece – 2 weeks Greek islands
If you are after some relaxed time by the beach, you can’t go wrong with the Greek islands. An itinerary including Athens, Santorini and one or two more islands would be ideal for you.
Santorini is one of the Cyclades islands, to the east of Greece. Other popular islands that are easily reached from Santorini include Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Milos, and Ios, as well as Crete.
To maximize your time on the islands, you should choose islands that are directly connected with each other. Furthermore, while in the grander scheme of things the Cyclades might appear similar to each other, they each have their own unique character. So, in order to choose which islands to visit, take some time to think about what you are after.
If you are backpacking through Greece, check out our article on Greek island hopping on a budget. Some ferry tickets are more expensive than others, so if you are budget-minded you might prefer to take slower ferries, or just visit fewer islands.
Which Greek island should I go to?
To be fair, there is no right or wrong answer to the question “which Greek island should I visit”, as they are all lovely in their own ways. It really depends on what you want to do.
Do you want to relax and just spend some time on the beach? Go to Naxos, where you can stay by one of the nicest beaches in Greece. You will definitely love the beaches around Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna and Plaka, where you can swim all day long. At the same time, Naxos main town, the Chora, is pretty unique.
Are you keen on weird landscapes combined with some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches? Go to Milos, one of the most upcoming Greek destinations. We’ve had our best Greece holidays 2016 in Milos!
You can easily spend a week here and explore all the little villages and lovely coves. At the same time, Milos has a unique mining culture, which has actually shaped the life on the island. Finding out more about it is very interesting .
Are you 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 diverse landscapes, stone houses and many pretty beaches. We predict that Tinos will become very popular within the next decade, so go while it’s still relatively unexplored.
Apart from these islands there are plenty more, including famous islands in different island groups, like Rhodes, Corfu and Skiathos. These might be best visited on your next trip to Greece, as getting there from Santorini isn’t straightforward.
You didn’t even mention Mykonos – why is that?
If it is crazy nightlife that you are after, you should really consider Mykonos, the first Greek island ever to be visited by the international jet set. The main settlement, the Chora, is really impressive, and the island has some beautiful beaches.
Be aware, however, 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.
We were actually lucky to visit Mykonos without the crowds in 2020, and appreciated what the island was originally known for – great beaches! Fill it up with tourists though, and it’s not quite our scene.
2 weeks in Greece where to go – 2 week Greek island itinerary
If you are island hopping in Greece, we suggest spending anywhere from three to five days on each island. So, as an example, you could spend three days on Santorini, four days on Milos and four days on Naxos.
That said, you can easily spend more time on any island. As a rule, we tend to spend at least six days on each Greek island, and make the most of our time there.
At the end of your island vacation, you can spend a couple of days in Athens before you take your flight back home.
To recap, your two-week Greece 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 or take a ferry to Milos / Naxos
- Day 4 – Ferry from Milos / Naxos 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
This Greece itinerary 14 days begins and ends in Athens, so you can spend longer in the Greek capital if that’s what you want. Or you can just combine Athens, Santorini and Crete, without throwing in another island, and just spend more time in Crete. The options are endless!
Itinerary #2 – Exploring the ancient sites in mainland Greece
If you are not so keen on spending all your time on ferries and islands, don’t worry – Greece has a lot more to offer. In fact, we always have the dilemma “Greek islands vs mainland Greece” ourselves.
People visiting Greece primarily for the history and culture could consider a road trip on the mainland. The first place that comes to mind is the Peloponnese, the southernmost area in continental Greece.
14 days in Greece itinerary – The Peloponnese in Greece
This large region of Greece is close to Athens, and there is enough to keep you occupied for weeks. You can see ancient sites, byzantine churches, 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.
Some of the most popular tourist attractions in the Peloponnese are the following:
- The Corinth canal, a popular photo-stop for people heading to the Peloponnese
- The castle of Acrocorinth, an impressive castle up on a rock overlooking Corinth
- The site of Ancient Epidaurus, with its amazing ancient theatre, the temple of Asclepius and the adjacent museum
- Nafplio, a picturesque coastal town which was the first capital of modern Greece
- The archaeological site and museum of Mycenae, one of the most important sites in Ancient Greece
- The castle of Monemvasia, a small 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 on a small boat
- Gythio, a picturesque coastal town with some fantastic tavernas and the lovely Mavrovounio beach nearby
- 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
- Kalamata, a lively coastal city built right on a long, sandy urban 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.
2 week holiday Greece – Athens and the Peloponnese
Ar 2 week Peloponnese and Athens itinerary could look like the following:
- Day 1 (Overnight in Nafplio) – Arrive to Athens, drive to Nafplio
- Day 2 (Nafplio) – Visit Mycenae, explore Nafplio
- Day 3 (Nafplio) – Visit Ancient Epidaurus
- Day 4 (Overnight in Monemvasia) – Drive to Monemvasia
- Day 5 (Monemvasia)– Day trip to Elafonissos beach
- Day 6 (Overnight in Gythio) – Drive to Gythio
- Day 7 (Gythio)– Visit Diros Caves and Mavrovounio beach
- Day 8 (Overnight in Kalamata) – Visit Mystras byzantine site, drive to Kalamata
- Day 9 (Kalamata) – Explore Kalamata
- Day 10 (Kalamata) – Day trip to Methoni and Koroni castles and Finikounda beach
- Day 11 (Overnight in Olympia) – Drive to Ancient Olympia, visit the site and museum
- Day 12 (Overnight in Athens) – Drive back to Athens
- Day 12 – 14 – Highlights of Athens
This itinerary will allow you for some free time, while you will also get to see some of the most important archaeological sites in the Peloponnese. Don’t worry though, there will be plenty more for your next trip!
Itinerary #3 – Greece 14 day itinerary – Islands and mainland
For people who are undecided between visiting the islands or the mainland, another option is to combine some of the islands with a visit to Delphi and Meteora. Those two areas are easily combined, and they are both among the best places to visit in Greece.
Delphi was the most sacred area in Ancient Greece, and people came from far and wide to consult the Oracle. Meteora, on the other hand, is home to some of the most important monasteries in Greece.
Apart from their religious significance, however, these two places are fascinating in terms of the landscapes.
If you decide to go for this itinerary, you could spend three nights in Santorini and four nights on another island. You would then need to head back to Athens to begin your mainland Greece trip.
Allow a whole day in Delphi, possibly with an overnight stay in nearby Arachova, and allow at least one night in Meteora so you can make the most of this fascinating area of Greece. Towards the end of your trip, spend a few days in Athens.
Greece two week itinerary – Athens, the Greek islands and the mainland
This diverse 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 Milos / Naxos / 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
This itinerary allows you to spend more time on the islands as you see fit. It is actually possible to visit both Delphi and Meteora on just two days, but we consider it a little rushed. In our opinion, two nights are the minimum you should allow for these two beautiful areas of Greece.
Greece and Croatia 2 week itinerary
Some people can only allow a few days in Greece, as they want to include another country in their European trip. A popular combination is 2 weeks in Greece and Croatia.
There are also numerous types cruises including several countries in the Mediterranean. Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey are often combined.
We are not fans of cruises, as we prefer exploring on our own and avoiding the most popular destinations, especially during peak season. That said, we definitely see why some people would prefer a cruise, and even more so if they are coming from outside Europe. A cruise will take a lot of the planning hassle away – but for others, planning is very far from being a hassle!
If you have decided to visit Europe on a cruise, the best advice we can give you is to try and pick a cruise that allows for enough time at the ports you are arriving at. As an example, four hours in Dubrovnik is really not enough!
We are sure that you understand that you can’t really see Greece in 5 days. Six hours in Santorini can be rather stressful, as access to the island is not exactly quick and straightforward. Eight hours in Athens is just about enough to visit the Acropolis and the museum, and have a quick lunch in a taverna in Plaka.
As long as you don’t set your expectations too high on how much you can actually see, visiting on a cruise can be a good choice for a first time visit. Actually, you could regard it as your first of many trips to Greece!
Greece itinerary 2 weeks – 2 weeks in Greece budget
Budgeting for a Greek holiday can be a daunting task. Obviously, 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 doesn’t include your flights to Greece.
You may find that transportation is your highest cost. If you want to use domestic flights, make sure you book them well in advance. Ferry tickets don’t go up in price, though you might be able to find some non-changeable and non-refundable offers if you book your tickets a few months in advance.
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 30-40 euro a night in the past five years, even in August! As for meals, as a couple, we’ve had many taverna meals that didn’t exceed 30 euro.
Our article with tips for planning your trip to Greece will help you with budgeting your trip to Greece. We have included detailed information on costs, so that you know what to expect.
All-inclusive holidays to Greece may offer better value, especially if booked for the off-season. If you live in Europe, it’s worth checking out these deals. However, make sure that you allow time outside the resort, and by all means head out to the local tavernas for some delicious, proper Greek food!
2 weeks in Greece – Your views
Have you ever had the chance to spend two weeks in Greece? What did you do? We’d love to hear your itinerary!
One final note. If you are wondering what clothes you should take to Greece, check out our guide: What to pack for Greece.