This itinerary combines 3 of Greece’s most loved destinations, each popular for very different reasons. First you will visit the ancient city of Athens, one of Europe’s most historic and cultural cities. You’ll then head the volcanic island of Santorini, Greece’s most photographed island, known for its stunning vistas and its picturesque cliff top towns, before finishing on the island of Crete, which boasts some of Greece’s best beach resorts.
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3 Nights – Athens
3 Nights – Santorini
4 Nights – Crete
✈ UK – Athens (3 Nights): Arriving in Athens, take some time to wander around this bustling ancient city. With three nights here, you’ll be able to enjoy the city’s squares and public gardens and relax into the alfresco café culture. The city boasts a thriving contemporary arts scene as well as a happening nightlife – head to the Syntagma and Monastiraki areas for chic bars after dark. Also, the up and coming neighbourhood of Metaxourgiou is known for its art galleries and hip restaurants.
Obviously, no stay in Athens is complete without exploring its ancient past and there’s no better place to start than by climbing up to the Acropolis, home of the 5th Century BC Parthenon. The new 2.5-mile Archaeological Promenade is a pedestrian-only tree-lined walkway that links all the city’s major archaeological sites and makes exploring the sites a breeze. Make sure to see the Acropolis at night too, when it is floodlit it’s truly magnificent.
⛴ Athens – Santorini (3 Nights): Then, from the city’s port of Piraeus, you’ll catch a ferry to the nearby island of Santorini in the Cyclades. Famous for its traditional white-washed villages that cling to the high clifftops, this volcanic island is instantly recognisable from many postcards of the blue-domed churches backed by brilliant blue skies.
With three days here you will have the perfect amount of time to enjoy the busy towns, archaeological sites, and the exquisite black beaches. Santorini was shaped by a devastating volcano in the 16th Century BC which left a rugged landscape and dramatic volcanic crater known as a Caldera, peeking out of the sea and is what makes Santorini so unique, so take in these famous sights and enjoy the Caldera’s hot spring. The main towns of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia, are spread along the cliff overlooking the caldera and walking between the towns, or even part of it, makes for a perfect day. There are countless dramatic viewpoints, enchanting lanes, and spellbinding stairwells. Also, make sure you head to Oia to take in the famous sunset – something not to be missed.
⛴ Santorini – Crete (4 Nights): Sailing onto Crete, the largest of the Greek Islands, you’ll find some of Greece’s most popular beach resorts. You can spend your days relaxing in a luxurious beach hotel, however there’s much more to Crete than just beaches.
Birth place of Minoan civilisation, spend a day exploring the ancient ruins of the Palace of Knossos and learn about all the Greek mythological tales linked to it. Also head to the nearby city of Heraklion, to walk around its historical centre with its bustling market and the recently renovated Archaeological Museum. Another must-do day trip is a hike through the Samarian Gorge, the longest and most impressive of Europe’s limestone gorges. Chania is also well worth a visit, the Venetian Harbour, the old port, the narrow shopping streets and the waterfront restaurants are all wonderful to wander around.
✈ Crete – UK: After 10 days enjoying this wonderful country you’ll be able to fly direct from Crete back to the UK.
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