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1-Week Itinerary Suggestions? (Athens & Santorini/Mykonos)

My husband and I are looking to possibly take a trip to Greece in early September of this year.

We'd be flying to Athens from Chicago leaving on either a Friday or Saturday (Saturday would be ideal but we could leave on Friday if necessary) and returning the following Saturday.

We know that we definitely want to do Athens and Santorini. We'd also add in Mykonos if it's worth it, but I've heard that between Santorini and Mykonos that Santorini is the way to go. And talking with others who we know who have been to Greece, they say that 1-2 days in Athens in plenty, so most of our time would be spent in Santorini and/or Mykonos.

So, I know it's tight but could we reasonably do that trip in a week, and what would be a good itinerary?

Posted by
7688 posts

We preferred Mykonos to Santorini but perhaps crowds are less there right now. We loved Paros, Naxos, and Crete as they give you a Greek experience unlike Santorini and Mykonos with foreign workers everywhere. Athens needs 3 nights minimum , not 1-2, which gives you two days. Do not overbook yourselves on such a short stay, Athens plus one island or Napflio on the Peloponnesean Peninsula, two hour drive from Athens, is enough for a week. Our least favorite place in Greece after two long trips there is still Santorini.

Posted by
5540 posts

What do you want to see and do?

You can easily fill 2 full days in Athens. Given such a short time there, if you can manage it, it may make sense to head out to an island at the start of the trip and end in Athens, where you should spend your last night.

Personally, I don’t like Santorini - far too Disneyfied and almost un-Greek. I would opt for Kefalonia, Corfu, Paros, Skopelos or Mykonos in terms of islands (Crete has plenty to offer, but you need longer to do it justice) or head to the mainland - the Pelion is awesome or Nafplio.

Posted by
3184 posts

I agree with Suki about only two locations and Nauplio is lovely and restful. I have never been to Mykonos, but we loved Santorini.

Posted by
1797 posts

If you depart on Friday and return on the following Saturday, you have 7 nights. Departing on Saturday gives you 6 nights. 2 nights gives you one full day.

I wasn’t excited beforehand about going to Santorini; but it truly is lovely, so if you want to see it, go. And this year just isn’t as crowded as normal, so it is a good time to be able to enjoy it more. As others have said on other threads, 3 nights is plenty. Head directly there. I was ok with 2 nights, but it was fast.

3 nights in Athens is probably enough, but I enjoyed seeing Athens slowly last week so the 4 nights I had was good.

So Saturday to Saturday gives you 3 nights on Santorini and 3 nights in Athens. A good taste of both. If you leave on Friday, you have one extra night.

Posted by
1202 posts

With only 5 or 6 (try for 6) nights on the ground I'd do just Athens and Santorini. After you land in Athens fly directly to the island for 2-3 nights then back for the remainder. To really see the major sites in Athens you'll need at least 2 full days unless you sprint through everything. I haven't been to Mykonos (yet?).

Posted by
9 posts

Thank you all for your replies and recommendations! I think we've put together a great/longer itinerary based on this feedback.

Posted by
2933 posts

Yes, fly out to Santorini when you first arrive and save all your time in Athens for the end of your trip. This eliminates any possibility of you missing your flight home due to an unforeseen problem on the island such as a strike, mechanical breakdown, cancellation or extremely high winds.