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10 day Greek vacation


I have 10 days off that I would like to plan next year for a trip to Greece. I understand that due to the time difference, the first day is kind of shot, so basically I am working with 9 days. The majority of the trip is to be spent in 1 or 2 Greek islands (Santorini, etc) 1-2 nights in Athens. Is going to Egypt for 1-2 nights going to be too much in too little time? I just don't want to feel rushed and I know that traveling to so many different places takes time out of your vacation days, so what do you all think? Is doing 5 nights in Santorini, 2 in Giza, and 1 in Athens enough for everything? I don't know, just trying to plan ahead and with my wife wanting to spend more time on the beaches than myself who would like to see the sights, she is going to win out on this vacation. I just don't know when I would be able to visit the pyramids on any other vacation though. Should we just stick to Greek islands and Athens? What does everyone think? Thanks!

Posted by
536 posts

Hi Casey - I believe you should concentrate on Santorini and Mykonos and leave Egypt for another time. It's fun riding the camels BUT The Islands will definitely keep your attention for nine days.
And prior to going to the Islands spend at least a day exploring Athens - La Plaka and the Acropolis are very nice. Monisteraki is right next to La Plaka and fun to look at the Market and Shops.

Have A Great Trip, Greg

Posted by
31272 posts


With only 10-days (actually more like 8-days, as the last day is usually spent on the flight home), I would strongly suggest leaving Egypt for another visit. You also need to allow for travel times between locations, so trying to fit Athens, one or two islands and Egypt into an eight-day time frame is going to be very difficult.

You might want to have a look at the Athens & Peloponnese Guidebook for touring ideas in that area. You might also consider a short visit to the island of Hydra. You could also have a look at the Lonely Planet, Rough Guides, or Cadogan books for information on the islands (unfortunately, Rick doesn't have a book that covers those).

Happy travels!

Posted by
5208 posts

For what you mentioned and forgetting Egypt for now, I would suggest the following as the minimum itinerary:
Day 1: Fly out of the US
Day 2: Arrive Athens, stay in Athens the first night, just using the afternoon to decompress and get some exercise.
Day 3: Early ferry to Mykonos
Day 4: Mykonos
Day 5: Ferry to Santorini
Day 6: Santorini
Day 7: Flight to Athens
Day 8: Athens
Day 9: Fly out, Arrive in US

That leaves you one day of flex to add to Mykonos or Santorini, maybe laying over in Naxos, Paros, or Ios as they are one the route from Mykonos to Santorini.

Posted by
15 posts

Thank you everyone for your help so far. I struggle with not going to Egypt because I never know when I will ever be in a position to go again (if ever!). The other thing is that my wife wants it to be more of a relaxing vacation because our last one was very touristy and sight-seeing, thus not very relaxing. This means that a place like Athens is going to only get 1 night. Rather than doing 7-8 nights on a Greek island or two, I was seeing if I could conceivably sneak in a few days more for "me" over in Cairo. Hmm, decisions decisions...

Posted by
125 posts

Glad to hear Ricky's now got a book out on Athens, but wonder if the Greek Islands will be also in the works.

Posted by
10344 posts

"Glad to hear Ricky's now got a book out on Athens."

Rick's new book covers Athens and some Peloponnese locations.

I'm guessing there is no plan for a Rick book on the Greek Islands.

Posted by
2556 posts

Rick isn't doing a book on the Greek Islands because ... because he doesn't really LIKE Greece, the way he Loooves France Italy and Germany. He doesn't have any recent info on the Islands, which means he'd have to spend time there (he hasn't been for 10 years), so don't look for a Rick book on the isles.

That's fine with me, because the Rickheads follow blindly what he does, and look what has happened to the Cinque Terra since he promoted it ... a long line of people single file all day long on the paths. I'm just as glad he hasn't fallen in love with some of my favorite Greek islands Xxxxxxx, xxxxxx, and xxxxx.

Posted by
10344 posts

"Two nights and one day is more than enough time to enjoy everything Nafplio has to offer." Rick, Athens & The Peloponnese.

Janet: your thoughts on the above?

and Rickheads, whatever you do, do not go to Naxos, Sifnos, or Samos.

Posted by
2556 posts

Don't egg me on, Kent.

On the other thing, Frommer to blame for crowds in Paris, Rome. etc. No comparison. These are major world capitals... they will always be crowded. My point is that what I call Rickheads are people unaccustomed to travel outside the US, who do not do their own independent research and homework and so do not find their OWN lesser-known gems, and who are afraid of taking any chances, and only feel comfortable going EXACTLY where Mr. Steves goes in his TV series. They are not travelers, they are followers. If rick says, see athens for 36 hours and leave, that's what they do. If Rick says, don't miss the serene and little-known (hahaha) Cinque Terra, they don't check recent re-assessments, off they go to Cinque Terra.

Posted by
31272 posts


"because the Rickheads follow blindly what he does, and look what has happened to the Cinque Terra since he promoted it "

Actually, Rick is not totally to blame for the popularity of the Cinque Terre. One of my Sons used to live in England, and apparently that area was well known as a tourist destination long ago. On my last visit there, I encountered people from Germany and other countries that had never heard of Rick Steves.


Posted by
5208 posts

Well Casey, to get back to your question, I never underestimate the value of a site to an individual. If seeing the pyramids is very important, then plan your trip around that. Here is an alternate Plan:

Day 1: Fly out of US

Day 2: Arrive Athens, spend the night in Athens.

Day 3: Catch an Aegean Air Flight (50 Euro to 200 Euro each way) to Cairo. Note: Since they do not fly everyday, you may have to plan out what day you leave and return

Day 4: See the Pyramids and the Arch. Museum

Day 5: Fly back to Athens

Day 6: Ferry to Mykonos or Paros or Santorini (However, Santorini would not be my pick for Beach)

Day 7: Beach

Day 8; Beach

Day 9: Head back to Athens

Day 10: Fly back to US

Depending on travel connections, some of those travel days may include significant beach time, you may also be able to arrive in Athens from Cairo, and get to an Island the same day.

Posted by
5 posts

Hi Casey,

I was in Greece for 10 days a couple summers ago. We traveled to Athens, Delphi, Mykonos and Santorini through a company called Fantasy Travel. ( The travel packages were excellent because they provided all the vouchers for hotels, boats, tours, and transportation to and from destinations when we arrived at the airport. This was not a tour, although you could select to participate in different tours if you would like... just add it on to your package. I would highly recommend planning your trip through them because they made it so easy to get from place to place, and we really didn't have to worry about anything!

I personally LOVED Mykonos the best, and it was especially nice when the cruise ships were not around. Santorini is incredibly breath taking as well. The different islands have such diversity.

Posted by
33 posts

re Paul's itinerary. You said if you go to Egypt it is for some time for yourself. I wasn't clear if you would do that on your own while your wife relaxes on a beach in the Greek islands or whether you'd both go to Egypt. I've never been to Greece, and I just posted my first query, so this isn't specific to Greece or Egypt. I do know that when my husband and I want different things in a vacation, we often divide up for a while and each do what we want, and that works well for us occasionally or as a small part of the trip. Obviously, if the most important aspect is spending time together, this would defeat it! :-) Just wanted to raise that option if you haven't considered it.

Posted by
632 posts


Unless I dreamed this, I think the last RS tour that he took (as a guest included in the tour instead of as a guide) he and his wife went to Greece...that was last year I believe...someone will undoubtedly correct me if I have it wrong...if you have read his book Travel as a Political Act, you will understand why he choses to write what he writes...he's not against island and beach vacations (although you'll never see him do a book on the Canary Islands, even though he loves Spain)...he just doesn't equate a beach vacation with traveling....

As for Naxos...I loved it...but then I guess there is no accounting for taste. Full disclosure required, I love Islands....spent 3 months in the Canary Islands, 3 months on Formentera (smallest of the Balleric islands)...several months on Kauai...many weeks on other miscellaneous islands including 3 Greek Islands, and even one weekend on Catalina Island...I can't help's addictive.

Posted by
2556 posts

Well, some countries can't help being partly about islands because the islands are such a huge part of the country and its history! That's not Greece's fault.

Now, I can see why Capri isn't very significant in Italian history ... but you cannot t Greek history without Crete AND its magnificent Minoan civilization that fostered the Iliad-era empire and its legacies, and its heroic struggle against oppressors for nearly 2,000 years. And what about Chios?? When an island suffers the murder of 25,000 people in ONE day in 1821, and the enslavement of all the survivors ... is that just a "vacation spot" that has nothing to do with history?

If you are interested in travel as a political act, you SHOULD travel to an island , Crete, which resisted the Ottomans AND then the Nazis, despite their towns being burnt to the ground. PLUS, if Rick believes that travel can be a political act, what is he doing plugging Turkey as a wonderland, a country that oppressed Greece for nearly 500 years, and is still denying the massacre of millions of Armenians. Seems to me like kind of a double standard.