10 Day Greece Itinerary: The Perfect Cyclades Island Hopping Trip
You can’t plan a 10 day Greece itinerary without considering the Cyclades Islands. Pristine sandy stretches, clear azure waters, white-washed Cycladic alleyways, there’s nothing not to love about a summer vacation spent on a Cyclades island hopping in Greece itinerary.
Most people think of the Cyclades Islands as Santorini and Mykonos, but there is much more to discover on this Greece itinerary 10 days. Underrated islands like Milos, Naxos and Paros are also featured in this Greece island hopping itinerary. Combine these hidden gems with the highlights of the Cyclades, and you have the perfect itinerary for Greece.
This 10 days in Greece itinerary features the lunar landscapes of Sarakiniko Beach, amongst other stunning Milos beaches, the charming hilltop towns of Lefkes and Plaka, the vibrant fishing villages of Naoussa and Klima, and the historic capital of Naxos Chora.
Of course, no Greek island hopping itinerary would be complete without a day spent walking along the Santorini caldera and through the delightful alleyways of Mykonos Old Town.
How to get from Athens to the Cyclades Greece, how to get around each island, where to stay and things to do are all included in this detailed 10 days itinerary Greece.
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Greece Itinerary Essentials
GREECE TRAVEL INSURANCE
Check Prices of HeyMondo Insurance
GREECE FERRY TICKETS
Check Ferry Prices on FerryHopper
Check Hotel Prices on Booking.com
SHORT HAUL GREECE FLIGHTS
Check Flight Prices on Skyscanner
GREECE CAR RENTAL
Check Car Rental Prices on Discover Cars
GREECE GUIDED TOURS
Check Day Tours on Get Your Guide
10 Day Greece Itinerary: Overview
Day 1: Milos – Sarakiniko Beach + Charming Villages
Day 2: Milos – Milos Beaches
Day 3: Santorini – Oia with Sunset Cruise
Day 4: Santorini – Fira + Wine Tasting
Day 5: Paros – Naoussa + Parikia
Day 6: Paros – Lefkes + Paros Beaches
Day 7: Naxos – Naxos Chora
Day 8: Naxos – Halki + Filoti Villages
Day 9: Naxos – Naxos Beaches
Day 10: Mykonos – Little Venice + Windmills
Cyclades Greek Island Hopping
10 Days in Greece Itinerary: Transportation Between Islands
The most common and the best way to get around the Cycladic islands is by ferry boat on this 10 days Greece itinerary. Island hopping in Greece is made easy using FerryHopper. I used this website for all of my bookings on my 6-week island hopping Cyclades adventure.
Most islands in the Cyclades will have direct Cyclades ferry routes, especially from islands like Santorini and Mykonos. Companies like Seajets will get you from island to island the fastest along your Greece itinerary 10 days.
If you are on a stricter budget, opt for companies like Bluestar that will have varying durations and associated costs.
All of the islands included in this Greece 10 day itinerary have an island airport. So if waiting at the ferry port and travelling via water isn’t your jam, you can opt to fly from Cycladic island to island.
I use Skyscanner to search and book short-haul flights all over the world.
Do note, that direct flights can be scheduled from Santorini and Mykonos with no problem, but to smaller airports like the ones on Milos, Naxos and Paros, the majority of route selection will be indirect through Athens.
Therefore, I would only recommend flying from island to island on this itinerary of Greece if you have an aversion to water such as sea sickness.
Getting Around on the Cycladic Islands
Car Rental in Greece Cyclades
To make the most of your island hopping in the Cyclades adventure, renting a car is the best way to get around the island after you’ve arrived at the ferry port. If you plan to embark on this Greece 10 days itinerary in the summer months of July and August, I HIGHLY suggest booking your rental car in advance.
Larger islands like Naxos, Paros and Milos are made a lot more accessible when you have your own car. While Santorini and Mykonos Old Town can be done without.
TIP | Depending on your nationality, you may be required to obtain an International Driver’s License (IDP) to drive in Greece.
Scooter or ATV Rental
If a full-fledged car seems cumbersome (believe me, there’s heaps of parking on these islands!), then a scooter or ATV rental is for you. I’d opt for the ATV because it’s more stable on sandy or rocky roads, like the ones leading to Fyraplaka and Tsigrado beaches on Milos.
ATV and scooter rentals can be found around the ferry port on every Greek island.
TIP | Remember to negotiate! You are more likely to get a good deal if you pay in cash (euros).
TIP | A proper scooter class driver’s license is required for rental in the Cyclades islands. If you do not have this, you may be declined a rental.
Each Cycladic island on this itinerary to Greece has a well-established bus system. You can find the main bus stops at the ferry port on Naxos, Paros and Milos. From here you can purchase tickets (ranging from €1.80-5.30 depending on the route) and travel to most major attractions and towns on the islands.
There is something to be said about the extra hassle that waiting for a bus and being dropped at less-than-ideal locations that may take too much time away from your island hopping Greece holiday. So, only choose this option if you are adamant about not driving in Greece.
Best Time to Visit Greece Cyclades
The absolute best time to travel to Greece Cyclades is in the shoulder months of May/June and September/October (Spring and Fall).
It’s important to note that the Cyclades in Greece experience a severe northerly wind called the Meltemi winds. They are at their peak in the summer months of July and August, and can sometimes make for less than ideal conditions along the coastline and while travelling by ferry.
July and August are also the height of the holiday season in the Greek Cyclades Islands, so if you can, avoid travelling to Greece at this time. If you can’t, don’t fret, you will still experience a beautiful 10 days Greece itinerary, just make sure to book accommodation and car rental early!
I spent 6 weeks in the Cyclades Islands in Greece starting in mid-October, and I have to say, it was a treat. The main tourist hoards have gone back home and you can still experience long sunny days. Plus, the Meltemi winds have reduced their strength at this time, too.
This is also the best time to visit Santorini and the best time to visit Mykonos, the most popular Cycladic islands in Greece.
Overall, the Cyclades offer a mild Mediterranean climate with warm, sunny summers and rainy winters (December-February).
How Many Days in Greece Cyclades
Gosh, you can spend as many days as you like along most Greek island hopping routes, but I do find 10 days is a nice amount of time. It gives you a couple of days in the beginning to explore all the best things to do in Athens, and have a travel day on either end of your itinerary Greece 10 days. This way, you only have to take two weeks off of work.
If you do have more time to spend, you can find a Greece itinerary 14 days at the bottom of this page. If you have less time, I’d suggest prioritizing either Naxos or Paros and concluding your Greek islands Cyclades itinerary in 7 Days.
Planning a Trip to Greece:
Greece Trip Cost
Is Greece expensive? Is Greece cheap? How much is a trip to Greece? Obviously, this really depends on what islands and destinations you choose to visit in Greece Cyclades. Islands like Santorini and Mykonos come with a heftier price tag than neighbouring underrated islands like Naxos, Paros and Milos.
Cyclades Greece Vacation Cost: Accommodation
To give you a general taste of Greece accommodation costs, I’ve outlined minimum nightly rates for the tourist season of July and August via Booking.com (where I booked all of my hotels in Greece).
These prices are based on double-occupancy generic hotels rooms with the basic amenities (not hostels or camping or high-end luxury resorts):
- Santorini Hotels (in Oia): Minimum $200USD per night
- Mykonos Hotels (in Mykonos Town): Minimum $250USD per night
- Naxos Hotels (in Chora): Minumum $75USD per night
- Paros Hotels (in Naoussa): Minimum $125USD per night
- Milos Hotels (in Adamas): Minimum $100USD per night
TIP | It’s important to note that accommodation cost in the Cyclades drastically reduces on September 1st, sometimes by up to 50%!
Based on this 10 day Greek island itinerary, you can expect to pay a minimum of $1550USD for accommodation for two people in high season.
Cost to Travel Greece Cyclades: Transportation
How much does it cost to go to Greece in terms of transportation via ferry and rental car? Prices in Greece depend on the season you end up scheduling your 10 day Greek island itinerary in.
If you do decide to go in the shoulder season, you will enjoy Greece prices that are a bit lower than high season. But do be aware, that ferry schedules are reduced during the months of November-April.
I use Ferry Hopper to book all of my ferries in the Cyclades
Average costs of ferries in the Cyclades are €15-€95 per person depending on the duration of the sailing. Ferry costs will be higher if you are making longer journeys like from Athens to Milos, and drastically less for a 30-minute island-hop from Paros to Naxos or vice versa.
This Greece travel itinerary includes six sailings from Athens to Milos, Milos to Santorini, Santorini to Paros, Paros to Naxos, Naxos to Mykonos and Mykonos to Athens. On average you should expect to pay approximately €350 per person in high season on this Cyclades islands hopping trip.
Greece Rental Car Prices
I use Discover Cars for all my rental car needs and have been pleased with my experience thus far. You can expect to pay a minimum of $100USD a day for a rental car on the islands of Naxos, Paros and Milos during the high season of July and August.
The further out your reserve your rental car, the more likely you are to get a good deal. Full-coverage insurance from DiscoverCars also comes in at an economical $7/day.
Food Price in Greece
Food prices in Greece don’t fluctuate much based on season but rather on destination. You can find $ 5 USD Gyros anywhere in Greece, but when it comes to a seafood dinner at a local taverna in Naxos versus the same on Santorini, you will see a dramatic difference.
Here are some average costs of food in Greece (per person):
- Cheap Street Food or Bakery Meal (~ $5USD for a gyro or pastry)
- Local Greek Taverna (~ $10-15USD for a large lunch)
- Global Restaurants (~ $20USD for simple dinner + $500USD+ for multi-course menu with wine pairing in Santorini or Mykonos)
My recommendation is to take advantage of local Greek tavernas, street food and bakeries for the majority of your meals and make a big splurge for a multi-course dinner with wine pairing on islands like Santorini or Mykonos (I had a lovely experience at the famous Kastro’s Restaurant in Mykonos old town).
Average Cost for a Trip to Greece Cyclades
The average cost of a trip to Greece for two people for 10 days during high season is based on my experience and research, and should only be used for basic budgeting purposes. The budget below excluded flights to and from Athens, Greece.
- Greece Accommodation for 2: $2000USD
- Greece Ferries: $350USD per person x 2 = $700USD (six sailings)
- Greece Car Rentals: $100USD a day x 6 = $600USD (six days of this Greece itinerary)
- Daily Food: $80USD a day for 2 people (excluding a splurge meal) = $800USD
Average 10 Day Greece islands itinerary cost for 2 people: $4,100USD
Before your Cycladic Islands Greece Itinerary Begins
I’ve made the assumption and exclusion of your travel day to Greece for purposes of streamlining this 10 day Greek islands itinerary. I’ve also made the assumption that you’ve come to this page looking for an itinerary focused on the Cycladic islands alone, and have excluded any time spent in Athens from the itinerary.
Spend 2 Days in Athens
My top picks for best Athens hotels with rooftop pools for beating the heat
Before starting your island hopping Greece itinerary, spend 2-3 days exploring Athens, if you’ve never had the pleasure to visit Greece’s capital city before. And no Greece itinerary is complete without a visit to the famous UNESCO-listed Acropolis.
Below I’ve given a brief 2 days in Athens itinerary, including the top things to do in Athens Greece.
ATHENS AIRPORT TRANSFER
Private Athens Airport Transfer
BEST ATHENS HOTELS
Top Pick | The Square Six
Luxury | Elia Ermou Athens Hotel
Mid-range | Athens City View Suites
Economy | Dion Suites
ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES TICKET
Acropolis + Archeological Sites Pass
BEST GUIDED ATHENS TOURS
Acropolis + Acropolis Museum Tour
Gourmet Greek Food Tour
Meteora Day Trip by Train
Delphi Guided Tour with Lunch
Things to Do in Athens Greece – Day 1:
- Spend the morning on the Acropolis + Acropolis Museum Guided Tour
- Admire the Temple of Hephaestus
- People Watch in the Bustling Monastiraki Square + Flea Market
Things to Do in Athens Greece – Day 2:
- Save room in your stomach for the Gourmet Greek Food Tour starting at 10AM
- Explore the Museum of Cycladic Art
- Stroll past Hadrian’s Arch + Temple of Olympian Zeus
- Shopping, Dinner + Drinks in Charming Plaka District
Greece Itinerary 10 Days: Day 1 + 2
Destination: Island of Milos
Day 0: Arrive in Milos Greece
Are you wondering how to get to Milos Greece? The journey from Athens to Milos should take approximately 3.5 – 5 hours depending on the ferry company, route and duration you choose on FerryHopper. From Athens city centre you can take the M1 underground train to the Piraeus Port to board your Athens to Milos ferry.
Because this itinerary has you seeing all of the highlights in 10 days (it’s a jam-packed itinerary!), opting for the fastest travel duration is likely best.
Make sure to arrive on the island of Milos the evening before your Greece itinerary starts so you can be up bright and early for day 1 of this island hopping itinerary Greece adventure.
>>> Check Prices + Schedule of Athens to Milos Ferry
If you plan to skip Athens, you can take a 40-minute direct flight from Athens International Airport to Milos Airport to save a lot of hassle. I use Skyscanner to book all short-haul flights. Athens to Milos flights are usually operated by Olympic or Aegean airlines and depart a few times a day during the high season of June-September.
>>> Check Prices + Schedule of Athens to Milos Flight
The most westerly of the Cycladic islands, Milos Greece is one of the most well-rounded islands to visit. Due to the volcanic landscapes, beaches and hills are coloured red, pink, orange and even pure white (in the case of Sarakiniko Beach).
Adamas is Milos island’s main port town tucked into the bay of Milos and protected from the yearly occurring Meltemi winds, a northerly wind that is at its peak in July and August. Adamas Milos is my top pick for where to stay in Milos due to its central location.
Check out Best Areas + Hotels to Stay in Milos
From here, you can explore quaint colourful seaside villages, hilltop castles, lunar landscapes, caves, and idyllic beaches. Most of what Milos has to offer is located on the top half of the island with unpopulated terrain to the south.
Milos in Greece is also the island where the statue of the ancient Greek goddess Aphrodite, Venus de Milo, was discovered in 1820 (now dwelling in the Louvre Museum in Paris).
MILOS FERRY TICKETS
Check Prices on FerryHopper
MILOS CAR RENTAL
Check Prices for Car Rentals in Milos
WHERE TO STAY IN MILOS
Pollonia | Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel
Plaka | Halara Studios
Adamas | Athina Milos Suites
Day 1: Milos – Lunar Landscapes + Villages
Morning in Sarakiniko Beach
Grab a quick breakfast from Artemis Bakery or Mouratos Bakery for the road and jump in your rental car. This morning you will be spending time at the otherworldly landscape of Sarakiniko Beach. Arrive early for the best light and to avoid the throngs of tourists.
Sarkiniko is a top highlight of Milos, so I’ve designed this to be the first thing in your Greece island itinerary to start off with a bang. The purple and pink colours of dawn at Sarakiniko are fantastic, but if you can’t get your head off the pillow that early, between 8-10AM will also work out just fine.
Visiting Sarakiniko Beach: A Detailed Guide
Lunch in Mandrakia
The sleepy seaside village of Mandrakia is located a 10-minute drive west down the coastline from Sarakiniko Beach. Here you will find a charming inner harbour lined with colourful boathouses and a prominent church perched on the rocky peninsula.
Mandrakia is the perfect place to enjoy lunch at Medusa restaurant. With great views of the Aegean Sea and some of the best seafood on the island, take an hour to enjoy the simple pleasures of this Greece trip itinerary.
Mandrakia Milos: The Best Things to Do
Alternatively, you can visit the town of Firopotamos Milos. Similar to Mandrakia but offers less in terms of restaurants and amenities, but still has a lot of charm. If you have the time, do both!
Afternoon in Klima
Once a bustling centre for commerce and arts in the Cyclades, Klima is now a charming seaside village. But what makes Klima extra special is its two-story colourful syrmatas (boathouses) lining the lively waves of Milos Bay. It’s truly a postcard type of experience.
It will likely only take you an hour to explore the colourful shoreline of Klima, with only one church and a couple of shops to explore. Make sure to pop in Pliatsiko store for handmade jewelry and souvenirs.
Read this Klima Milos Travel Guide before visiting
Sunset in Plaka
Plaka, the only hilltop town and capital of Milos is where you will spend sunset at the end of day 1 of your Greek islands hopping itinerary. And boy, are you in for a treat. Park your car at the base of the town, (Plaka is pedestrian-only), and climb through the white-washed alleyways of the town, making sure to stop and admire the Church of Panagia Korfiatissa.
If you are up for it, the best sunset can be seen from the highest peak in Milos, at the Venetian Castle of Plaka. It’s a short 15-minute walk uphill and one of the best things to do in Milos, in my humble opinion. At a close second, you can spend sunset at Utopia Caffe sipping a cocktail and diving into some authentic Greek cuisine.
Day 2 of your Greece vacation itinerary is all about beaches, so tonight is a great night to stay out for a couple of cocktails if that’s the vibe.
>>>Plaka Milos: Everything you Need to Know
Day 2: Milos Beaches
Morning at Tsigrado + Fyriplaka
Have a lie-in if you want, day two of your travel itinerary for Greece is all about relaxation with a touch of exploration. Have a big Greek brunch at Milors restaurant in Adamas (opens at 8:30am), and watch the busyness of the harbour.
Now it’s time to explore the most remote beaches in Milos. Tsigrado and Fyriplaka beaches are located on the southern coastline of Milos island and are a destination in and of themselves. Each offers a different experience, but I highly recommend visiting both.
Park your car in the dirt lot and make your way down to the expansive Fyriplaka Beach, making sure to stop at the panoramic viewpoint. The beach is nestled against the red-orange cliffside indicative of the volcanic landscape here on Milos.
As one of the most popular beaches on Milos (the best beach in Milos to some), you can find a small beach club with sunbed and umbrella offerings and a paddleboat and boat rental shack. Take a travel towel, sunscreen and water bottle with you, as you’ll be spending the next couple of hours here soaking up the Greek sun and wading in the calm waters.
Next door, you have Tsigrado Beach tucked into a cranny along the picturesque Milos coastline. Here you will have to climb down via a rickety ladder. It’s an adventurous climb, but the results are bound to impress you. Or, you can just admire the view from the top and move on, as I did.
Check out The Best Beaches in Milos
Lunch + Laze at Paleochori Beach
After spending the morning exploring Milos’s southern beaches, it’s time to head to Paleochori. Take the 25-minute drive in your rental car through the arid landscapes of the island to reach this remote village. Paleochori has two idyllic beaches along with a few restaurants and hotels.
Saddle up to a table at the railing of Pelagos restaurant or Sirocco Volcanic Restaurant and dig into a large greek salad with local feta and ice-cold beer. Admire the view of Paleochori beach.
In the afternoon of day two of your trip to Greece itinerary, you can choose to stay in Paleochori and laze away at the beach or head to Pollonia. The beach at Paleochori offers deeper water and a few waves to play in.
Optional Activity: Pollonia
If you’ve had enough of laying in the sun on this best itinerary for Greece, you can choose to explore the town of Pollonia. As another great option for where to stay in Milos, Pollonia offers a central beach and a few great things to do.
Start by parking your car in the central parking lot and venture to the Saint Nicholas Holy Orthodox Chapel. Not only is the church itself cute, but the viewpoint from here over Pollonia is hard to beat.
Spend an hour enjoying a tasting of Milian wines at Kostantakis Winery. After witnessing another great view from the Holy Church of Agia Paraskevi (make sure to peek inside), you can find a seafood dinner along the inner harbour of Pollonia or drive back to Adamantas.
Pollonia Milos Travel Guide: The Best Things to Do
Return to Adamas for Sunset + Dinner
If you are truly exhausted after a day of beaches and exploration, you can grab a quick gyro at Gyros of Milos and head back to your Milos accommodation.
But, if you do have enough energy, head to Nostos Seafood Experience. I recommend making a reservation beforehand, as this is a top spot for dinner and sunset in Adamantas.
Sitting along the shoreline of Milos Bay is the perfect way to end day two of this greek vacation itinerary and your time on the greek island of Milos.
Staying in Milos longer? Here are the best things to do in Adamantas Milos
10 Day Greece Itinerary: Day 3 + 4
Destinaton: Santorini Island
Day 3: Arrive in Santorini + Explore Oia
The time has come to visit Santorini, a destination that is on most people’s bucket lists and for good reason. Yes, it’s BUSY and crowded during the high season of June-September, but if you wake up early and make use of the wee hours of the morning, you can find a beautifully secluded Santorini.
How to Get to Santorini
So, how to get to Santorini? Well, using FerryHopper, you can book a Seajets sailing from Adamas Milos to Santorini port. The trip takes 1 hour 45 minutes and should have you in Santorini before noon.
From the Santorini port you will need to find a transfer to Oia, I recommend this Santorini port transfer that will take you directly to your hotel.
The villages of Santorini, like the famous Oia and Fira, are perched along the rugged peaks of the semi-circle caldera (a volcanic crater). During a severe volcanic eruption in approximately 1650BC, the caldera lost half of its landmass resulting in the picturesque half-moon shape of Santorini island.
If you have more time to spend in Santorini, make sure to visit charming Pyrgos and Imerovigli and the beaches along the southern coast that are vivid red or black in colour.
Where to Stay in Santorini
This greek island itinerary 10 days has you staying in Oia and exploring the highlights of Santorini from here. Oia is at the furthest northeastern point of the caldera and has the best sunsets on the island.
85% of my accommodation for my full-time travels are booked through Booking.com. But, there are moments in time that deserve a little bit more luxury, a bit more special touch. This is where Plum Guide comes in.
This growing accommodation platform (similar to Airbnb, but better), has a rigorous vetting process and only the top 3% of properties are selected. What better time to splurge than a bucket list destination like Santorini.
How to Get Around Santorini
You can most definitely rent a car in Santorini, but for purposes of this best Greece itinerary, I’d recommend opting for travel by foot.
You will have just over 24 hours in Santorini and most of that will be either on a boat or exploring the pedestrian-only alleyways of Oia or Fira.
SANTORINI FERRY TRANSFER
Santorini Port/Airport Transfer
BEST DAY TRIPS IN SANTORINI
Santorini Highlights Day Trip
Sunset Catamaran Cruise
Half-day Santorini Wine Tour
BEST OIA SANTORINI HOTELS
Kastro Oia Houses
Marizan Caves + Suites
Cleo’s Dream Villa
Lunch + Afternoon in Oia
After dropping your bags at your Oia hotel, head for a quick gyro lunch at Pitogyros (and a cheeky to-go drink if that’s the flavour of the day).
Ask for a takeaway and sit on a bench in the courtyard at the beautiful Church of Panagia Akathistos Hymn. This was my favourite spot for people-watching in Santorini.
Spend the next couple of hours getting lost amongst one of the most stunning villages in all of Greece. Stop for an afternoon pick-me-up at the ever-so-cute Meteor Cafe, if you feel like it.
Sunset on a Catamaran Cruise
Around 2:30PM you will be picked up at your hotel for your epic sunset catamaran cruise through the Santorini caldera and around the island. Throw on those swim trunks! Since the captain will be stopping in a couple of picturesque spots for swimming.
Enjoy the sunset aboard a luxury catamaran with BBQ dinner and drinks. One of the highlights of the entire 10 day trip to Greece and a must on any Santorini itinerary.
Alternatively, you can pack in with the hoards and watch the sun dip below the horizon at the Castle of Oia. Also a quintessentially Santorini experience. Afterwards book a table in the courtyard at Fino, one of my favourite restaurants on the island of Santorini.
Day 4: Santorini Wine Tasting + Ferry to Paros
Morning Wine Tasting Tour
On day 4 of your itinerary for Greece trip, you have a couple of options. If you love wine tasting, I would recommend partaking in this half-day Santorini Wine Tour. The tour will start at 9:30AM, I know, wine at 9:30AM! But what are greek holidays for anyway (*wink wink).
Enjoy a Tour of Santorini Wineries
Visit 3 picturesque Santorini wineries and taste up to 12 wines, focusing on Assyrtiko, Nykteri and Vinsanto varietals. The convenience of pick up and drop off at your hotel is included in the tour, resulting in a relaxing morning on Santorini.
Alternatively, you can enjoy the morning exploring the town of Fira and the scenic Skaros Rock.
Late Lunch in Oia
Head down the many steps to Armeni Restaurant at the foot of the caldera in Oia for late lunch. Enjoy the last views of Santorini, a top destination in Greece, with a cold beer and a plate of seafood.
Now it’s time to hop back in your ferry port transfer van and make the journey to Paros island.
Bucket list destination, check!
Evening Ferry Sailing to Paros
How to Get to Paros is pretty straightforward. Book a ferry via FerryHopper from Santorini to Paros island. The journey should take 2 hours and 30 minutes from Seajets and have you arriving in Parikia, Paros’s main port town.
>>> Check Price + Availability of Ferry from Santorini to Paros
Where to Stay in Paros
You can choose to stay in Parikia (it’s super central!) or opt for the more vibrant and vibey seaside town of Naoussa, your choice! I’ve included this guide on where to stay in Paros so you can make an informed decision on where to base yourself for these two days in Paros.
Read about the best Paros Areas + Hotels
Do note, that I’ve designed this Greece itinerary with Parikia as your base in Paros, due to its convenience and proximity to the ferry port. So, if you do decide Naoussa is more your scene, it will only take some minor adjustments to the following agenda.
Dating back as far as 3200BC, Paros has had a long and prosperous past.
Due to its strategic position in the centre of the Cycladic islands, it became a naval power and because Paros island was more verdant than other neighbouring islands, it became prosperous for metal deposits, and high-quality marble. Masterpieces like the Temple of Apollo on Delos and Venus of Milo were a result of the latter.
In the 14th century, the port of Naoussa was built by the Venetians to keep pirates at bay.
Today, you can find a plethora and beautiful beaches along the entire coastline of Paros, the charming hilltop town of Lefkes, and the relaxing seaside town of Parikia.
How to Get Around Paros
The absolute best way to see Paros is by rental car. Pick up your reserved car near Parikia’s port and explore the entire island.
What makes Paros special in comparison to other Cycladic islands, is you can journey around the entire circumference of the island stopping along the way at scenic beaches and villages.
PAROS FERRY TICKETS
Check Prices on FerryHopper
WHERE TO STAY IN PAROS
Parikia | Argonauta Hotel
Naoussa | Cove Paros
Lefkes | Lefkes Sweet Path
Chrissi Akti |Golden Beach Hotel
CAR RENT PAROS
Check Prices on Paros Car Rentals
BEST PAROS GUIDED TOURS
Best Sail Boat Tour Paros
From Paros: Delos + Mykonos Day Trip
Paros Island Bus Tour
Paros Island Private Photoshoot
10 Days in Greece Itinerary: Day 5 + 6
Destination: Island of Paros
Day 5: Explore Naoussa + Parikia
Morning in Naoussa
Naoussa is sometimes compared to the old town of Mykonos in terms of liveliness and overall feel. But the lovely thing about Naoussa is it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag like Mykonos.
Naoussa, originally the main seaport of Paros was protected by the Venetians, due to frequent attacks by pirates. Even the famous Barbarossa spent time here. Now it’s your turn to spend time here. Arrive in Naoussa around 10AM and explore the town on foot. Some great shopping can be done here, too.
Walk past the Instagram-famous Linardo and check out the ruins of the old Venetian castle. Have lunch at a table in the alleyway at my favourite Sousouro (avocado toast is nice!) or enjoy a classic Greek meal in the port of Naoussa.
Next, walk up to Saint Anargyri Church and partake in a delicious wine tasting at Moraitis Winery.
For more things to do in Naoussa, read this complete Naoussa guide
Afternoon at Monastery of St. John’s of Deti
It’s time to explore further afield away from the Naoussa Port. Hop in your car hire and head towards the Monastery of St. John’s of Deti, a must on this 10 days in Greece. Take the short walk up to the monastery (it’s easy!) and climb to the top of the building for panoramic views of Naoussa Bay and Naoussa village itself.
PLEASE don’t climb onto the roof of the monastery. There are signs everywhere warning against it, so don’t be that tourist that ignores the customs of a country that isn’t your own.
If time allows, spend some time at the neighbouring Monastiri Beach, or opt for a tour of the Petra Farm, a Paros sustainable food-producing farm.
Afternoon + Sunset in Parikia
The Greek island sunset in summer is around 8:30-9PM so you have plenty of time to explore the old town of Parikia. Similar to Naoussa, you can find quaint white-washed alleyways and charming little shops in the historic part of the town centre.
Start your exploration at the Byzantine-era Holy Church of the Virgin Mary Ekatontapyliani. Make sure to peek inside the courtyard and wander around the complex. Next venture into the Old Town Parikia, and frankly, get lost. I mean that in the nicest way possible.
Check out Other Top Things to Do in Parikia Paros
By this time, your feet will likely be getting tired (unless you’re superhuman!).
Finish your exploration at the panoramic Saint Constantine Church in the centre of the old town and grab a seat at the railing of Kastro Art Lounge Bistrot when they open at 7PM. This is the perfect spot to watch the Cycladic sunset and enjoy a cocktail and pasta.
Day 6: Lefkes Village + Paros Beaches
Morning in Village of Lefkes
Pass on the hotel breakfast and head straight to the delightful hilltop village of Lefkes. The drive inland will take a scenic 20 minutes along well-maintained, yet, winding roads.
Park your rental car in the Lefkes free parking lot and grab a bakery item and coffee from Stratis Bakery. The bakery opens at 7:30AM so you can enjoy the morning light in Lefkes. Grab the Koulouri Thessanlonikis (traditional Greek sesame ring) and thank me later.
It’s time to explore! There is no agenda in Lefkes since every nook and cranny of the village is picturesque and worth seeing. Inevitably though, you will find yourself passing through the quintessential Cycladic courtyard in front of this colourful church.
Stop to enjoy a cuppa at Agiazi Cafe, or continue on to the main feature of Lefkes, the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church.
Explore All the Best Things to Do in Lefkes Paros
Optionally, along your drive to Piso Livadhi harbour, you can stop in the very authentic little village of Marpissa.
Lunch in Piso Livadhi at the Harbour
Piso Livadhi is a sleepy little harbour town centred around the large boat mooring.
It may not sound like the most exciting destination in Paros, but lunch here is a must. You can peruse the many seafood restaurants along the harbour and pick and choose to your liking. Spend a leisurely hour here enjoying the salty breeze of the Aegean Sea.
Afternoon at Chrissi Akti or Aliki Beach
Paros is blessed with many picturesque villages and beaches along its entire coastline, and one of the best things to do in Paros is explore by rental car. The drive itself is a highlight.
I recommend stopping in Chrissi Akti or Aliki Beach, each has its own charm and purpose. Chrissi Akti is more trendy with heaps of sunbeds and umbrellas lining the beach. You can also find a few beach bars here. Aliki is family-friendly and has Greek tavernas on offer.
On the drive back to Parikia, stop at the crystal clear blue waters of Parasporos Beach for a quick dip.
Sunset at Parikia Windmill
It’s your final night on Paros island, so there’s no better way to spend the night than a quintessential Greek sunset from a Cycladic windmill.
Grab a gyro along the promenade or from the famous Hellas, and a cheeky bottle of wine and head to the Parikia windmill. Pass by the Church of Zoodochos Pigi, and stop to admire the architecture before venturing on. Sit on the rocks and reminisce about all of the epic experiences you’ve had so far in the Cycladic islands.
Finish the night at one of the best Greek restaurants in town, Bountaraki. The sauteed calamari is the winner here. And yes, you most definitely need a reservation.
10 Day Itinerary Greece: Day 7, 8 + 9
Destination: Island of Naxos
Day 7: Arrive in Naxos + Explore Naxos Chora
Morning Ferry Sailing to Naxos
This morning you will arrive on the largest island of the Cyclades, Naxos. Spending three days on the island will only scratch the surface of what Naxos has to offer, but you will hit all the highlights and get a taste of Naxian culture.
How to Get to Naxos
Pop onto FerryHopper and book your sailing from Paros to Naxos. This will be the fastest ferry crossing of your itinerary in Greece at a short 30-minute duration.
>>> Check Prices + Schedule for Naxos Ferries
Where to Stay in Naxos
My recommended choice of where to stay in Naxos is the port town of Naxos Chora (meaning ‘main town’). Chora is the hub of activity on the island and is well situated as a base for your adventures here. Plus, it’s where your ferry from Paros to Naxos will arrive, making it super simple and easy to get to your Naxos accommodation.
Detailed Guide on Best Naxos Towns + Hotels
If you would like to stay near a beach, opt for a hotel close to Agios Georgios Beach, the main beach of Chora. And for something a little extra, book a stay at one of the unique boutique hotels in Naxos.
Known for boasting the best beaches in the Cyclades, Naxos also has heaps more to offer. Naxos also has the largest landmass in the Cyclades, with 20,000 people living there. As the main ferry port town and boat harbour on Naxos, Chora houses almost half the population. That gives you some insight into how remote most places feel amongst the fertile landscapes of Naxos.
The most beautiful beaches on Naxos can be found on the southwestern coastline featuring plush gold and white sands, and crystal clear azure waters. Famous beaches here include Agios Prokopios, Agia Anna, Plaka Beach and Mikri Vigla. But don’t forget about the achingly undiscovered beaches like Aliko and Hawaii beach.
Due to Naxos’s fertile landscapes, you can find an island rich with agricultural products like olives, wine and cheese. Given that, taking a Naxian cooking class is one of the best things to do in Naxos.
How to Get Around Naxos
Due to the size of Naxos, renting a car is the best way to see the island. If that’s not an option for you, you can take the local KTEL bus system by purchasing tickets at the Chora bus station.
NAXOS FERRY TICKETS
Check Prices on FerryHopper
WHERE TO STAY IN NAXOS
Chora | Euphoria Downtown
Agios Prokopios | Ampelos Inn
Agia Anna | Majo Suites Hotel
Plaka |Dream On Plaka
NAXOS CAR RENTAL
Check Prices on Naxos Car Rentals
BEST NAXOS GUIDED TOURS
Catamaran Day Cruise with Lunch
Half-Day Cooking Class at Family Tavern
Sunset Castle Walking Tour
Full-Day Historical Bus Tour
Lunch on Naxos Chora Promenade
You’ve found the perfect accommodation in Naxos and you’ve settled in after your ferry from Paros. Take a leisurely lunch at one of the restaurants along the main promenade in Chora. I enjoyed Kaps Brunch and More, but you can find similar.
Afternoon in Naxos Chora
Once you’ve refreshed and refuelled, make your way through the winding alleyways of the historic Castro district. Start at Naxos Old Market Street and peruse the cute shops along the way. Pop your head into the Chapel of the Duke of Naxos to admire the interior.
For an afternoon aperitivo, grab a seat on the patio at AVATON 1739 for a great view over Chora.
Opt for a guided Walking Tour of Naxos Chora
Sunset at Temple of Apollo
Enjoy sunset at the Temple of Apollo, otherwise known as the Portara. Located on a spit of land at the northern end of Chora, you will find the ruins of a never-completed temple from the 600s and 700s. An absolute quintessential Naxos experience.
Yes, this is what every tourist and their dog will be doing, but it’s a must while on the island. Head up to the temple mount and enjoy a brief walk around the peninsula. Watch as the sun hitting the horizon makes the town of Chora light up in a golden glow.
Day 8: Halki + Filoti Villages
Morning in Halki Village
This is a great morning for a little sleep-in if you aren’t bursting with excitement. Once you are ready to roll for the day, hop in your rental car and grab a pastry from Naxos Bakery (opens at 8AM) for the road. Today you will be exploring the adorable Halki village.
Located inland from Chora, the 30-minute drive will be a scenic one. Once you make it to Halki, park your car in the public parking lot and venture into the town centre. Here you can enjoy the bougainvillea-strewn alleyways, sidewalk cafes, and quaint shops full of handmade goods.
Next, take a walk out to the Church of Saint George Diasoritis, a popular walk for visitors to Halki. The leisurely 10-minute walk along flat terrain will take you through ancient olive groves and views of surrounding hills.
Lunch in Halki
Grab a seat outside at Cafe Greco and enjoy a meal while people-watching. Next, opt for a citron cocktail or tasting at Kitron Bar, one of the best things to do in Halki.
Afternoon in Filoti
A hop, skip and a jump (or a short car ride) away, is the town of Filoti. Sugar-cube dwellings drape down the side of one of the tallest hills in the region. Filoti is a bit bigger in terms of explorable area, but a great start is to climb the alleyway to the courtyard of the Church of Panagia FIlotissa. This area is picture-perfect and worth a visit along your Greece itinerary.
Once you’ve had your fill of Filoti’s town centre, venture by car or foot to the Prophet Elias Church for amazing views over the valley. You can find dinner in Filoti, Halki or back in Chora.
Day 9: Naxos Beaches
Morning at Agios Prokopios Beach
Day 9 of your 10 day itinerary for Greece is chock full of stunning beaches. The beaches on Naxos are amongst the most beautiful in all of Greece, never mind the Cyclades. Today, you hop in your rental car or take the KTEL bus to Agios Prokopios.
What’s super special about the beaches in Naxos is they are all located along the same stretch of land on the southwestern coast of the island. Perfect for a day of beach-hopping.
After a short 10-minute drive from Chora, you can park the car at the north end parking lot. Agios Prokopios has the perfect sand for walking along the water’s edge. A medium grain golden sand to sink your feet into.
Spend a couple of hours walking the shoreline and stopping to admire the crystal-clear waters. Grab a sunbed and umbrella and go for a dip.
Read this Detailed Guide to Agios Prokopios Beach
Lunch in Agia Anna
The Town of Agia Anna is located a quick 5-minute drive from Agios Prokopios and is concentrated on the small but glorious Agia Anna Beach. Here you can find a small promenade with a nice beach restaurant offering. Take a seat and enjoy a Greek lunch.
If you want, you can enjoy the beach here, but I think you’ll want to save some time for the next one!
The Best Agia Anna Town + Beach Travel Guide
Sun + Sand on Plaka Beach
Plaka Beach is a secluded paradise located just down the road from Agia Anna. It is less developed than most popular beaches here with one small resort and one spot offering sunbeds and umbrellas.
Grab a pastry or snack from the Artos Lagogianni Bakery and make your way to Mandala. Grab a sunbed and umbrella and enjoy the oh-so-quiet beach experience of Plaka. There aren’t that many amenities down at the south end of Plaka Beach near Mandala, so if you are looking for something a bit more ‘happening’, head to Maragas Beach instead.
Plaka Beach Naxos: Everything You Need to Know
Sunset at Hawaii Beach
After spending a couple of hours at Plaka Beach, head towards Mikri Vigla. This small beach town is a haven for windsurfers, and you can watch a fair share of activity from the expansive beach.
There are plenty more beaches along this coastline for you to stop and try out. But, I do encourage you to make it to Hawaii Beach (my favourite beach on Naxos!), before heading back to Chora. Make sure to take a pit stop at Alyko Beach to check out the hotel ruins and chapel.
This secluded paradise requires a small amount of rock climbing to get down to, but it’s pretty straightforward and well worth the effort. If you have some snacks and drinks with you, stay here for sunset.
If driving back to Chora in the dark isn’t your cup of tea. I encourage you to take the road through the hilltop village of Vivlos back to Chora. Either stop here for dinner or find a nice Greek restaurant in Chora to enjoy your last night in Naxos.
10 Days Greece Itinerary: Day 10
Destination: Mykonos Island
Morning Ferry Sailing to Mykonos
Book a midmorning ferry to Mykonos via Ferry Hopper. The sailing is a scenic 40 minutes and will have you at the Mykonos New Port before lunchtime.
Do note, in order to reach Mykonos town you will have to take an additional water taxi or SeaBus. At the ferry port, head to the inner boat mooring area and find the water taxi there. Make sure to have €2 per person in cash for the ride.
>>> Check Price + Schedule for Ferry to Mykonos
Where to Stay in Mykonos
For the purposes of this Greece itinerary, I have you staying in the famous Mykonos Old Town, the main town of Mykonos. Since you will only be spending a quick 24 hours here, this is the best place to see all the highlights without much travel time.
If you can book a Mykonos hotel in the Little Venice area, that will give you the best proximity to the top attractions.
Originally coming to world fame as a wealthy hippie enclave in the 1960s, the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos is now one of the top destinations in the world.
Today, Mykonos offers a vibrant LGBTQ+-friendly offering of nightlife and cozy bars in the Little Venice district of Mykonos town and a plethora of luxury holiday homes scattered throughout the barren, mainly flat, landscape.
Beyond the modernity of Mykonos, it offers traditional sugar-cube architecture, windmills, churches and picturesque alleyways.
BEST MYKONOS HOTELS
Top Pick | Bluetopia Suites
Sunset View | Sunset Paraportiani Rooms
Apartment | Skepi Town Houses
Windmills | Marietta’s
Afternoon Exploring Mykonos Old Town
After a leisurely lunch at Cosmo Cafe, meander through the alleyways and climb up to Boni’s Windmill. Here you can witness panoramic views over Mykonos Old Town and really get your bearings. This is also a great spot for sunset if you prefer not to spend it in the vibrant Little Venice quarter.
Next head towards the famous Mykonos windmills and take a few pictures of the inner harbour. After getting the iconic shots, it’s time to experience the highlight of Mykonos island, Little Venice. Peruse quaint shops and alleyways, getting lost along the way.
Stop at an afternoon pick-me-up along the water’s edge at either Scarpa or Negrita’s. Make time to see the most picturesque courtyard in Mykonos old town, near the Agia Kyriaki Church.
Sunset in Little Venice
Enjoying sunset and dinner at the famous Kastro’s Restaurant was one of my favourite experiences on my 6 week trip through the Cyclades, so I highly recommend reserving early. If you’d like a table in the picturesque (and Instagrammable) alleyway outside, make sure to specify in your reservation, otherwise, the interior by the window is a great option.
This is the perfect way to cap off your Cyclades island hopping trip!
If the price tag of a fine-dining experience isn’t in your budget, grab a couple of Greek beers from a local market and a gyro and head up to Boni’s Windmill.
10 Days Greece Itinerary: Day 11
Flight from Mykonos
Today, you will head home. I know, sad but true. The best way to leave the island of Mykonos for Athens is via the Mykonos Airport. From here you can connect to your flight at Athens International Airport. I use Skyscanner for short-haul flights all over the world.
Check out Super Paradise or Paradise Beach in the morning if your scheduled flight isn’t until the afternoon.
If you decide to stay and check out more of the Cycladic islands (Tinos or Andros, perhaps?) or have tacked on a couple of days in Athens after your island hopping adventure, you can head back to Mykonos New Port and catch a ferry to wherever your heart desires.
7 Day Greece Itinerary
If you only have one week in Greece, I recommend following the same Greece itinerary, but rather than including both Paros and Naxos, you can choose to spend your time on only one.
Paros or Naxos is a tough one, but generally speaking, Paros is more lively with the seaside town of Naoussa, and Naxos is more chill and family-friendly.
The Perfect 7 Day Itinerary for Greece
Day 1: Milos
Day 2: Milos
Day 3: Santorini
Day 4: Santorini
Day 5: Paros or Naxos
Day 6: Paros or Naxos
Day 7: Mykonos
14 Day Greece Itinerary
If you have more time to spend in this beautiful country, I’ve put together options to add to the detailed 10 day Greece itinerary above to make the perfect 14 day itinerary Greece option.
Day Trip to Meteora
Before leaving Athens, opt for a whole day spent at the awe-inspiring Monasteries of Meteora. This UNESCO world heritage site needs to be visited at least once in your lifetime.
Check Prices of Meteora Day Trip by Train
Day Trip to Ancient Delos Island
When visiting Mykonos, take a day trip to the ancient island of Delos. Here you will find a historic archeological site and the birthplace of Apollo.
Check Prices of Morning Trip to Delos from Mykonos
Day Trip to Koufonisia Island from Naxos
The secluded island of Koufonosia is a scenic boat ride southeast of Naxos. Worth a visit if you love undiscovered beaches with crystal clear waters.
Check Prices of Koufonisia Day Trip from Naxos
Spend More Time on Santorini
My proposed 10 day Greece trip has 24 hours allocated to the island of Santorini to hit the highlights. If you are planning a honeymoon Greece itinerary or just want to discover the sights past the top tourist attractions, spend a couple of extra nights here.
I recommend taking a horseback ride along Vlichada Beach or spending two hours with a private photographer amongst the white-washed buildings and caldera views of Santorini.