10 Days in Greece doesn’t seem like nearly enough to see the whole country, as the islands alone in this popular travel destination could take months to explore. But for most of us, this Greece itinerary will serve as a great introduction to the country! Here’s is a post by a local that knows Greece best!
As someone that lived Greece for almost six years, it’s funny that I’ve yet to step foot on the Santorini and Mykonos. But I want to suggest an itinerary for 10 days in Greece that is a little closer to what the locals would recommend. This also means you’ll see fewer tourists and save a bit of money!
Without a doubt, if you really want to experience all the islands and take some to relax, you will probably need a lot more than just 10 days in Greece. However, with this itinerary, I want to encourage you to visit some must-sees but also lesser-known destinations in Greece.
10 Days in Greece: Tips from a Local
Day 1: Athens | Highlights: Ancient Sites & Sunset at Mount Lykavittos
Day 2: Agistri | Highlights: Secluded Beaches & Relaxed Environment
Day 3: Loutraki & Ancient Corinth | Highlights: Therapeutic Spas & Monuments
Day 4-5: Mycenae & Nafplio | Highlights: Fortresses, Castles, & History
Day 6: Kardamyli & Kalamata | Highlights: Beautiful Churches & Beaches
Day 7-10: Monemvasia & Kythira | Highlights: Peaceful Island & Hiking Trails
Day 1: Athens
From the Athens International Airport, you can take the bus (EUR 6) or the metro (EUR 10) to the city center. The metro is often the better choice because it can bypass the heavy traffic!
I would usually suggest two to three days in Athens. But with only 10 days in Greece, I believe one day in Athens should suffice. It’s certainly enough to see the main sights like the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the Ancient Agora, the changing of the guards in front of the parliament, and some additional ancient sites in the center of the city.
You will start off with a busy day so make sure to take a rest at a restaurant or cafe along the way and enjoy a breather! Many dining options, including delicious vegetarian and vegan restaurants are available in Athens! You’ll also have time for a stroll through Plaka and Anafiotika and see some street art. For sunset, head to Mount Lykavittos, which is the highest hill in the city.
Day 2: Agistri
Agistri is my favorite island in the Saronic Gulf. It’s often overlooked for Aegina which is a bit closer to Athens. But that makes Agistri less touristy, which is great for those looking to avoid the crowds.
From Athens, take the green line to Piraeus (EUR 1.40 per public transport ticket) and then take the ferry or boat to Agistri. I suggest the Flying Dolphin boats. They’re faster than the ferry, and with only 10 days in Greece, we want to make the most of our time here. The Flying Dolphin will take you to Agistri in less than two hours with the price of a return ticket between EUR 23 and EUR 29.
Agistri is a much greener island than the other Saronic islands and is perfect for hiking or renting a bike. If the day spent in Athens was too exhausting, Agistri is the perfect place to relax on the beach. The beaches on the Athenian Riviera tend to be packed and dirty, but Agistri is so much cleaner. It’s an underrated island that deserves to be experienced even if you’ve only 10 days in Greece.
You can spend the whole day in Agistri and then head back to Piraeus and from there to Athens in the evening!
Days 3-6 – Peloponnese
From Athens, I recommend that you rent a car and explore the Peloponnese Peninsula. Althoguh you can get from Athens to Corinth by train, the rest of the peninsula is more convenient to travel by car. Expect to spend around EUR3 50 for a rental car for 4 days. But having a car is going to make this part of your Greece itinerary 10 days much easier to organize.
Loutraki and Ancient Corinth
The Peloponnese has many interesting destinations. If the weather, permits, make sure to spend some hours in the resort town Loutraki, which is close to Vouliagmeni Lake. Loutraki is famous for its vast natural springs and therapeutic spas. It is the perfect destination to take some time off!
Next, head to Corinth. New Corinth can be nice for a walk and provides a good base to explore the surrounding area. But in my opinion, Ancient Corinth is a lot more captivating. In Ancient Corinth, you have to see the stunning Acropolis of ancient Corinth, Acrocorinth. You also don’t want to miss the Ancient Corinth Archaeological Museum and Site. You will see the small but impressive remains of the Temple of Apollo and other ancient monuments.
In many ways, the archaeological sites in Ancient Corinth are even more stunning than the ones in Athens. Better yet, you will surely avoid the tourists that often crowd Greece’s capital city. To be honest, I’m not the biggest archaeology buff, but I really enjoyed Ancient Corinth!
From here, you can discover different regions of the Peloponnese. But for this 10 day Greece itinerary, I suggest going east to the town of Nafplio. This charming destination is a favorite with Greek tourists for its narrow streets and historical significance.
Mycenae and Nafplio
On the way to Nafplio, you can stop in Ancient Mycenae. Here, you will want to see the Acropolis of Mycenae from the 2nd Century BC. This UNESCO World Heritage site gives you insight into one of the most dominant Greek civilizations.
Nafplio’s architecture reflects the town’s Byzantine, Venetian, and Ottoman past and its importance during the Greek revolution. Nafplio’s landmarks are its fortresses Palamidi, Akronafplia, and Bourtzi.
Palamidi is famous in Greece for housing the cave in which Theodoros Kolokotronis was imprisoned after charges of treason. It is an absolute must for Greek history and its magnificent views of Nafplio and the sea.
The second fortress, Bourtzi, can only be reached in the summer by boat. It can also be seen across the waters from the mainland!
If you’re up for exploring yet another fortress, Akronafplia is absolutely worth the hike. It sits atop Nafplio and houses the remains of three castles. You can also opt to stroll through the picturesque town of Nafplio itself instead. Due to its history, Italian influences can be felt within Nafplio, which will be a nice contrast to what you’ve seen in Athens.
A good Airbnb in Nafplio will cost at least EUR 34. You will probably spend two nights here. Alternatively, spend the first night in Corinth and the second in Nafplio!
Kardamyli and Kalamata
Kalamata is going to be our last stop in the Peloponnese. Kalamata is a bit cheaper than Nafplio, and you will find an Airbnb for as little as EUR 29. I suggest spending two days in Kalamata so you get a chance to get some rest on its beautiful beaches.
When you arrive in Kalamata, opt for a lovely stroll through the town. Kalamata is one of the wealthiest towns in Greece and has some very beautiful churches for you to marvel at. It is also a great base for exploring the nearby beaches. The area around Kalamata actually features some of the most beautiful coastlines in the entire Peloponnese!
You have to go to the famous Voidokilia beach, which is super easy to reach and absolutely gorgeous.
Days 7-10 – Monemvasia and Kythira
After exploring the Peloponnese, it’s time to head to our final destination in Greece, the island of Kythira. Kythira is located right between the Peloponnese and Crete so you can get there by ferry from Neapoli.
The ferry from Neapoli to Kythira costs EUR 12.50 per person and EUR 44.50 for a car. You will reach Kythira in 1 hour and 15 minutes.
You have two options after arriving in Kythira: 1) return your rental car and switch to a motorbike for your time in Kythira. This will allow you to reach more remote beaches on the island while saving you money. 2) you can also keep the car and return it at the airport on your last day.
After all the intense exploring of the last few days, I suggest a calm island such as Kythira as opposed to the tourist hot spots of Mykonos or Santorini. Kythira is more popular among local tourists and the perfect place to avoid big tour groups.
The island has stunning, secluded beaches. Even Fyri Ammos beach, which received a Blue Flag award for its amazingly clean water doesn’t get too crowded with tourists.
In addition to beaches, Kythira also offers great hiking trails. There are many waterfalls and gorges on the island that you can explore.
Aside from nature, you can also explore the villages and two Venetian fortresses that surround Kythira.
For an apartment by the beach, you will pay between EUR 40 and EUR 50 a night. But this is still cheaper than Santorini, where the price will be closer to EUR 60 per night!
To end your 10 days in Greece, head back to Athens from Kythira. The fastest option is by plane. The flight will take about 45 minutes, and tickets can be as cheap as EUR 30-40.
What is the Best Time to Visit Greece?
The best time to visit Greece depends on what you want to see and do. October is great for the south of Greece because it’s still warm. During this time, most of the tourists will have left and travel-related prices will have gone down. September is amazing for most of the islands as they’re no longer unbearably hot, and Greek tourists have returned to their homes. However, spending summer on a Greek island is also a wonderful experience. Just make sure to avoid August when the islands are crazy expensive due to the number of local and international tourists!
What is the Estimated Cost for 10 Days in Greece?
Greece is not a cheap destination, and spending ten days in Greece can easily set you back more than EUR 1000 for two people. Of course, you can cut down the cost by getting cheaper accommodation or visiting fewer sites.
If you want to make this trip even more budget-friendly, you could consider scheduling it between November and March when the entrance to many ancient sites is cheaper. On the first Sunday of each month during that time, the top sights in Athens are even free! You could also consider not entering all the ancient sites simply enjoy some from the outside.
Another big expense in this itinerary is the rental car and the tolls in Peloponnese. Buses can take you to the same towns so you can save some money for sure. But I truly believe it’s much easier to explore the region by car!
Where to go in Greece?
Other than the itinerary above, here are a few tours and trips that can help you navigate your visit around Greece!
Nina is a cosmopolitan vegan traveler who was raised in Germany but has lived in Athens for almost 6 years. She is the voice behind Lemons and Luggage, a travel blog dedicated to illustrating the diversity in travel and offering an alternative perspective to male-dominated travel content creators. As a progressive Muslim feminist traveler, Nina writes without exotification or cultural appropriation. Follow her on Pinterest, Instagram & Facebook.