One Week in Greece: Perfect 7 Day Route for First Time Visitors [2024]

Kalimera (good morning) and welcome to my insider’s guide to experiencing the best of Greece in just one week! As a seasoned travel writer living in Athens since 2017, I’ve explored every nook and cranny of this incredible country. 

This meticulously crafted itinerary will help you uncover hidden gems, savor local flavors, and create unforgettable memories.

Days 1 & 2: Athens – Beyond the Ancient Ruins

Image of Anafiotika neighborhood in Athens

Athens, the vibrant capital of Greece, is a city steeped in history and culture. While the ancient ruins are a must-see,there’s so much more to discover in this captivating city. From charming neighborhoods to hidden culinary gems and vibrant nightlife, Athens offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you enchanted. Over the next two days, we’ll delve into the city’s vibrant atmosphere, exploring its unique neighborhoods, indulging in local flavors, and discovering hidden gems that often go unnoticed by tourists.

Day 1 – Morning

Anafiotika

 Begin your Athenian adventure by escaping the crowds and wandering through the enchanting Anafiotika neighborhood. This Cycladic-style village, tucked away on the slopes of the Acropolis, offers a tranquil escape and stunning views of the city.

Acropolis Museum

After exploring Anafiotika, make your way to the Acropolis Museum, a world-class institution housing a vast collection of ancient artifacts. The museum’s innovative design and stunning views of the Acropolis make it a must-visit.

Day 1 – Afternoon

Plaka & Roman Agora

Stroll through the historic Plaka neighborhood, browsing the artisan shops and soaking up the charming atmosphere. Don’t miss the Roman Agora, a sprawling archaeological site that offers a glimpse into ancient Roman life.

Lunch at Yiasemi: Tucked away in a quiet corner of Plaka, Yiasemi is a hidden gem serving up delicious, authentic Greek cuisine in a beautiful courtyard setting.

Day 1 – Evening

Rooftop Cocktails

As the sun sets, head to one of Athens’ many rooftop bars for cocktails and breathtaking views of the illuminated Acropolis.

  • Sense Restaurant: This elegant rooftop restaurant at the AthensWas hotel offers fine dining and unparalleled views of the Parthenon.
  • Couleur Locale: For a more local and relaxed atmosphere, head to Couleur Locale, a hidden rooftop bar tucked away in a Plaka alleyway.

Dinner at Seychelles

This trendy restaurant in the Metaxourgeio neighborhood is known for its innovative Greek cuisine and lively atmosphere.

Day 2 – Morning:

Acropolis

Start your day early to beat the crowds at the Acropolis. Allocate at least two hours to explore the vast complex, including the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike.

Changing of the Guards

Head to Syntagma Square at 11 am to witness the unique and elaborate changing of the guards ceremony performed by the Evzones.

Day 2 – Afternoon:

Kolonaki Lunch

Indulge in a leisurely lunch in the upscale Kolonaki neighborhood.

  • IT Restaurant: This stylish eatery offers innovative Mediterranean cuisine with a focus on seasonal ingredients.
  • Numismatic Museum Garden Café: Enjoy a coffee or light meal in the serene garden of the Numismatic Museum.

Benaki Museum

Explore the Benaki Museum, a diverse collection of Greek art and artifacts spanning from ancient times to the 20th century.

Day 2 – Evening:

Mount Lycabettus Sunset

Hike or take the funicular up Mount Lycabettus for a breathtaking sunset over Athens.

Dinner in Psiri

Venture to the Psiri neighborhood for a lively dinner at one of its many tavernas.

Day 3: Exploring the Athens Riviera & Ancient Mysteries

Morning:

Temple of Poseidon

Embark on a day trip to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, a dramatic clifftop sanctuary dedicated to the god of the sea. The KTEL bus from Athens offers a convenient way to reach this iconic landmark.

Afternoon:

Sounion National Park Hike

After visiting the temple, lace up your hiking boots and explore the nearby Sounion National Park. This hidden gem is home to 40,000-year-old cave dwellings, abandoned churches, and scenic trails. Remember to pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water.

Evening:

Vouliagmeni Beach Hopping

Return to Vouliagmeni and spend the evening relaxing on one of its many beaches. If you have time, try to discover some of the “Limanakia” – hidden coves that offer a more secluded experience.

Dinner at Vouliagmeni Lake 

After a day of exploring, enjoy a delightful dinner at one of the restaurants by Vouliagmeni Lake. Savor fresh seafood or traditional Greek dishes while taking in the lake’s magical ambiance.

Days 4 & 5: Unveiling the Magic of Mykonos

Day 4:

Arrival in Mykonos

Take a ferry or flight from Athens to Mykonos, known for its vibrant nightlife, picturesque beaches, and iconic windmills.

Mykonos Old Town Exploration

Get lost in the charming alleyways of Mykonos Old Town, admiring the whitewashed houses, colorful doors, and blooming bougainvillea.

Lunch at Kiki’s Tavern

Make your way to Agios Sostis beach and enjoy a delicious lunch at Kiki’s Tavern, a beloved local spot known for its grilled meats and fresh seafood.

Day 4 – Afternoon & Evening:

Little Venice

Explore Little Venice, a picturesque neighborhood with colorful houses built right on the water’s edge.

Sunset at 180 Sunset Bar

As the sun begins to set, head to 180 Sunset Bar for breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea and the iconic Mykonos windmills.

Dinner in Mykonos Town

Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of Mykonos Town’s many restaurants.

Day 5:

Delos Island Excursion

Take a morning boat trip to the uninhabited island of Delos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a significant archaeological site. Explore the ancient ruins, including the Terrace of the Lions, the Sacred Way, and the Temple of Apollo.

Wine Tasting at Mykonos Vioma

In the afternoon, immerse yourself in Mykonos’ wine scene with a tasting at Mykonos Vioma, a family-owned vineyard producing organic wines.

Days 6 & 7: Santorini – Caldera Views & Volcanic Beaches

Day 6:

Arrival in Santorini

Take a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, a volcanic island famous for its dramatic caldera views and stunning sunsets.

Fira Exploration

Settle into your accommodation and explore the charming town of Fira, the capital of Santorini. Wander through its narrow streets, admire the whitewashed houses, and take in the breathtaking views of the caldera.

Lunch with a View

Enjoy a leisurely lunch at one of Fira’s many restaurants overlooking the caldera.

  • Volcano Blue: This restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean cuisine and stunning views of the caldera.
  • Argo Restaurant: Another great option for caldera views and fresh seafood.

Day 6 – Afternoon & Evening:

Akrotiri Archaeological Site

Visit the Akrotiri archaeological site, a Bronze Age settlement buried by a volcanic eruption and often compared to Pompeii.

Sunset in Oia

Make your way to the village of Oia, renowned for its iconic blue-domed churches and breathtaking sunsets. Find a spot to watch the sun dip below the horizon and paint the sky with vibrant colors.

Day 7:

Fira to Oia Hike

Embark on the scenic Fira to Oia hike, a 10km trail offering spectacular caldera views.

Ammoudi Bay Lunch

After your hike, descend the 300 steps to Ammoudi Bay, a picturesque fishing village with excellent seafood restaurants.

FAQs for Your One-Week Greece Adventure

Is one week enough time to see Greece?

Absolutely! While you could easily spend months exploring Greece’s countless islands and mainland attractions, one week is a great starting point. This itinerary allows you to experience the iconic highlights of Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini, while still leaving room for relaxation and personal exploration.

What is the best time of year to visit Greece?

The shoulder seasons (May/June and September/October) are ideal for enjoying pleasant weather and avoiding the peak season crowds. Spring (March-May) offers comfortable temperatures for hiking and exploring, while autumn (September-November) provides warm days for swimming and beach activities.

How do I get around Greece?

Greece has a well-developed transportation system. Ferries connect the islands, while domestic flights are available for longer distances. In Athens, you can easily navigate the city using the metro, buses, and trams. Taxis and ride-sharing services are also readily available.

What should I pack for a trip to Greece?

Pack comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, and swimwear. In the summer months, lightweight,breathable clothing is essential. For visiting churches and monasteries, be sure to pack a scarf or shawl to cover your shoulders and knees.

What is the currency in Greece?

The currency in Greece is the euro (€). Credit cards are widely accepted, but it’s always a good idea to have some cash on hand for smaller purchases and tips.

Do I need to speak Greek to travel in Greece?

While knowing a few basic Greek phrases can be helpful, English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Most restaurants and shops have English menus, and locals are generally friendly and welcoming to visitors.

What are some traditional Greek dishes I should try?

Greek cuisine is renowned for its fresh, flavorful ingredients and simple yet delicious dishes. Be sure to try souvlaki(grilled meat skewers), moussaka (a layered eggplant and meat dish), horiatiki (Greek salad), dolmades (stuffed grape leaves), and tzatziki (a yogurt and cucumber dip).

Is Greece a safe country for travelers?

Greece is a safe country for travelers. However, as with any destination, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take basic precautions to protect yourself and your belongings.

Do I need a visa to travel to Greece?

Citizens of most countries do not need a visa for stays of up to 90 days in Greece. However, it’s always a good idea to check the specific visa requirements for your country before you travel.

Your Greek Odyssey Awaits!

I hope this expanded itinerary, enriched with my personal recommendations and local insights, provides a comprehensive guide for your unforgettable week in Greece. Feel free to ask if you have any more questions!

Yia sas! (Cheers!)

Alice xo


Alice

One Comment

  1. Hi- I’m from the US and planning to solo travel to Greece this summer for about a month in May/June. I’m thinking of getting an AirBnB and staying in a town like Naxos for the majority of the trip, and maybe doing some island hoping. Just curious your opinion on staying in one place rather than traveling around!

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