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Two week itinerary Athens-Meteora-Delphi-Mykonos/Delos-Naxos-Santorini

need help trying to figure out the order of this itinerary! we would rent a car (4 of us) to drive from Athens to Meteora and back thru Delphi. we would ferry from Athens to Mykonos/Delos and then to Naxos, then Santorini, then fly back to Athens. or fly to Santorini upon arriving in Athens, and work our way back to Athens by ferry and doing the Meteora/Delphi road trip last

plan 1: Athens (2 nights), Meteroa (2), Delphi (1), Athens (1), Mykonos/Delos/Mykonos (1) (is this realistic to ferry to Mykonos, go to Delos and back to spend the night in Mykonos), Naxos (3), Santorini (3), then fly back to Athens in time to catch a 1 pm flight back to Seattle

plan 2: Athens (2), Mykonos/Delos/Mykonos (1), Naxos (3), Santorini (3), fly to Athens (1), Meteora (2), Delphi (1), drive back to Athens in time to catch a 1 pm flight back to Seattle

plan 3: arrive in Athens fly to Santorini same day (3), Naxos (3), Mykonos/Delos/Mykonos (1), Athens (2), Meteora (2), Delphi (1), Athens (1) leisurely go to airport for 1 pm flight back to Seattle.

The main questions are 1) taking a ferry from either Athens or Naxos to Mykonos and Delos and spending the night in Mykonos. Realistic? 2) flying from Santorini or driving from Delphi back to Athens in time to catch a 1 pm flight vs staying in Athens the night before, and 3 )is it easier to ferry from Athens to Mykonos to Delos and back to Mykonos in a day vs taking ferry from Naxos to Mykonos to Delos and back to Mykonos in a day?

Thank you!

Posted by
5690 posts

For your return flight, you need to be at the airport for 10 am latest, so unless you want lots of stress on your last day, your last night needs to be in Athens, which rules out options 1 and 2.

If you are flying to Santorini (exceeding overrated island) on your first day, you need to ensure that this is booked through as one ticket so if there are any delays, then it will be the airline’s responsibility to get you to Santorini.

Posted by
8828 posts

I concur with Jennifer. Traveling from afar to catch a flight is a bad idea.

Posted by
24 posts

Myk-Delos-Myk with only one night is too tight. Other than that, both schedules will work, but you probably won’t be relaxed at the end

Posted by
1940 posts

When are you going? You can take a day trip excursion from Naxos to Mykonos during the tourist season (about mid-May to September). That would be easier than switching hotels for one night.

I like your plan 3 — it’s so much better to get over jet lag on an island than in Athens. And definitely spend your last night in Athens (or near the Athens airport).

Posted by
1780 posts

I think you can get to Delos from Naxos so simplify by adding night to Naxos and then flying back to Athens.

Then rent car at airport and drive to meteora and Delphi and back.

Reserve all days in Athens for the end. We stayed in Athens the night before and easily caught a 12 pm flight to the states.


Posted by
1015 posts

Option 3 with a couple of tweaks.

Great choice to immediately fly to Santorini. Getting over jet lag on an island is way better than doing it in Athens.

Tweak. as suggested by goodorf add a night to Naxos and take the day trip from Naxos to Mykonos Delos. You eliminate packing and unpacking and you have a ship exclusively dedicated to these two destinations.

Day trip Delos and Mykonos

Tweak. Fly back to Athens from Naxos. Arrive Athens airport. Do not stay in Athens. Rent the car from the airport and drive to Delphi. Plan to arrive late afternoon which gives you time to stop in Corinth and visit Ancient Corinth and ancient Nemia both very compact and good sites. Arrive Delphi and visit the museum perhaps the lower site and find a hotel. Ours had an amazing view down the side of the mountain all the way to the Gulf of Corinth. Next morning get to the site first thing at opening. That will give you a good two hours before all the bus crowds arrive. By then you will be at the top of the site and will give you another hour before the crowds get to you. Leave the site and drive to Meteora. Plan to arrive late afternoon early evening. Drive up to the Monastery road and visit all of the Monasteries. The crowds will be gone and you will have opportunity to get great views of each one. Stay in Kastraki the little village nestled at the foot of the mountains. The proximity gives you a head start on the crowds on tour buses which overnight at Kalambeka.

Get to the monasteries that are open next day and start your visits. By 10 there will be up to 30 tour buses and people blocking the wonderful vantage points you enjoyed last night. It s an exhausting day so just stay overnight at Kastraki. Next morning get up early and drive up to the monastery road and see everything in the morning light. Then drive back to Athens.
Olympia Delphi Meteora

Drop off the car at the airport and make your way into Athens where you can start your tour of the Ancient sites there.

Tweak. By heading to Delphi rather than spending those two nights in Athens in the middle of the trip you now have one day you can play around with. My suggested plan gives you three days at the end of the trip for Athens. Three days in Athens is fine but it can be done fairly nicely in two days. You could reallocate that one day to Naxos. I suspect you will be very happy with that extra day in Naxos. So much to see and do.
Naxos Mountains and Villages
Naxos Town
Trip around Naxos