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7-Day Itinerary for a Greek Holiday in the Cyclades

2022, Greece

Amit and Aditi @ Oia, Greece
Us @ Oia, Greece

Greece, a country steeped in history and myth, calls to travellers from across the globe to uncover its timeless treasures and bask in its unaltered beauty. Greece’s stunning idyllic islands scattered like jewels in the Aegean Sea offer a journey like no other. As we embarked on a journey through this enchanting destination, we indulged in its rich culture, savouring delectable cuisine, and creating memories that will forever be etched in our hearts.


We are presenting you with our 7-day itinerary for a Greek holiday that focuses on exploring the Cyclades and living life the Greek way.


We are going to break this down into three parts:


Before we get into details about our time in Greece, let’s answer some burning questions that will help you plan your Greek holiday.


How to get there?

With its prime location and global popularity, it's a breeze to reach this enchanting destination. From anywhere in the world, you'll find plenty of flights to get you to Greece.


For a magical start to your adventure, we recommend flying straight into the Cycladic islands. Santorini and Mykonos both have international airports, making it a piece of cake to land directly on these dreamy shores. We chose a Delhi to Mykonos flight during our trip to Greece!


And that's not all - you can also embrace the sea, opting for ferries and cruise ships that effortlessly connect Greek islands to other parts of Europe and Asia.


What islands to visit in Greece?


Among the 220 Cycladic islands spread across the Aegean Sea, only 33 are inhabited, offering a blissful escape from the bustling world. Since we are talking about a week of holiday, visiting all islands is going to be a bit too much. So, our suggestion is to split your days between three islands so that you can spend enough time at each place.


Santorini and Mykonos are two absolute must-visits if you are travelling to Greece. These islands boast unrivalled charm and captivating landscapes that will leave you speechless.


For the thrilling third choice, brace yourself for a tough decision between Paros, Naxos, and Milos - each a gem with unique offerings. Rest assured; you can’t go wrong with any of the islands that you choose!


So, prepare to sail away to a world of wonder as you split your days between these three Cycladic treasures.



What is the best time to visit Greece?


While the islands are hotspots for travellers all year long, summers can get super crowded, making it hard to even take a picture without bumping into other travellers. But worry not, we've got a secret to share!


For an unforgettable experience with more breathing room, plan your visit during the shoulder months - September to October & April to May. The weather is just right, the activities from peak season are still up and running, and best of all, you'll save some bucks on accommodations!


What should you wear in Greece?


We are going to help you out with everything you need to pack for your holiday in Greece. For men, lightweight shorts paired with comfy linen or cotton shirts are spot on. Ladies, embrace the island vibe with shorts, skirts, or flowy sundresses that let you soak up the sun in style.


Don't forget the practical essentials! Opt for sneakers or comfortable walking shoes, as the island terrain can be a bit uneven. Leave those heels behind - they're a strict no-no here.


Of course, swimwear is a must! You must dive into the crystal-clear Aegean Sea.


For the unpredictable evenings, pack some layers to stay cozy. While days are hot, the nights can get a little chilly. And oh, don't underestimate the fierce Greek sun! Remember to shield yourself with caps, beach hats, sunscreen, and stylish sunglasses (We learned this the hard way with a Mykonos sunburn).


Pro-tip: Mykonos is one windy wonderland, so if you don't want to channel your inner Marilyn Monroe, avoid flowy dresses that might get a bit too playful in the breeze.


What is Greek island hopping?


Greek island hopping is a popular way to explore the diverse beauty of the Greek islands spread across the Aegean Sea. It involves travelling between multiple islands in the Aegean Sea, getting to know the unique culture, history, and landscapes of each destination. Whether you're sailing on a traditional ferry or cruising on a luxurious yacht, island hopping allows you to experience the magic of Greece, from the vibrant beaches of Mykonos and the dramatic cliffs of Santorini to the serene charm of Paros and the historical riches of Crete. Islands are well connected with ferries operating between them carrying people, cargo and even cars.



How safe is it?


We found the Cyclades to be extremely safe. Mykonos and Santorini, two of the most popular Greek islands, are so safe that we were told the police don’t even need to patrol the city during off seasons as there is no crime. Since both islands welcome millions of visitors each year, the local authorities prioritize the safety and security of tourists.


However, like any travel destination, it is essential to exercise common sense and take necessary precautions. Keep an eye on your belongings in crowded areas, avoid displaying valuable items openly, and be cautious when using ATMs. Additionally, always be mindful of your surroundings, especially during late-night outings as some areas get very quiet at night.


It is worth noting that both islands can get quite busy during the peak summer months, so be prepared for larger crowds and take care when navigating through crowded areas.


In our experience, it is one of the safest places we’ve been to.


Our adventure

Now you're all set to rock your Greek island adventure in comfort, style, and safety, let’s give you a feel of what a vacation in Greece would look like.


So, our adventure started as we boarded our flight from Delhi to Mykonos. There are so many flights that operate to Greece that you shouldn’t have any problems finding one. But as we said earlier, consider taking a flight directly to either Santorini or Mykonos. Now let’s get straight into our time in Greece.


Day 1: Mykonos



We had to buckle up for a wild landing in Mykonos! The island's strong winds had our plane shaking like crazy, but our skilful pilot safely touched us down despite the challenging conditions. Stepping into the petite Mykonos International Airport, we were in for a pleasant surprise as it only took us 30 minutes to get out of the airport. There were 2 small counters for immigration checks and the guy was super happy to stamp everyone’s passports without asking a single question. Our luggage appeared on the belt in no time!


However, our excitement was short-lived as we stepped outside and realized we had no internet or network connection. Panic set in as we couldn't access our Airbnb address, leaving us clueless about our next move.


After seeking help from several cab drivers, we finally found a kind soul who knew exactly where our Airbnb was located. As we got into the cab, our trust issues kicked in (being Indians, it comes naturally).


What if the guy is lying? How could he figure out the address with just the name of the Airbnb? Is he trying to scam us? How will we call for help without any network?


And as we were contemplating our life choices, the guy told us he had to make a stop for 5 mins at a place on the way.


Is he going to kidnap us? Or is he stopping to get his friends who will rob us?

Well, none of that happened. He was a nice guy who just had to buy some stuff for home (as he was going that way to drop us). We reached our Airbnb in about 20 minutes and thanked the driver (and God for saving our lives :P).


Once we reached our cozy Airbnb and shared our roller-coaster ride with our hostess, Maria, she had a good laugh and assured us that Mykonos is an incredibly safe place with a nearly non-existent crime rate. She said the locals don’t even see cops in off-season and it’s only when tourists start pouring in, is when the police patrol the town. Feeling relieved, we freshened up and set out to explore the charming Mykonos town.



With its picturesque narrow streets and elegant white buildings, Mykonos town welcomed us with open arms. There are shops, cafes and stores in every street and corner. We had a wonderful time exploring the web of streets. After roaming around the markets, we headed towards the iconic Little Venice. Then we walked all the way up to the famous windmills, that are seen in all the pictures of Mykonos. They are just the perfect spot for Instagram pictures.


Pro-tip: Mykonos sunset is extremely popular, and all restaurants expect a reservation if you wish to dine and watch the sunset in peace. You can also enjoy the sunset without paying for a meal at a restaurant but be prepared to navigate a crowd of tourists.


Several amazing places in that area have tables right by the sea with exceptional views. We got a table at a restaurant (Nice n Easy) which is right at the shore and offers amazing sunset views. We had pasta and Greek salad. Although the food was fine (we’ve had better) but the Mykonos’ sunset lived up to the hype. The view just fills your heart with unending gratitude for this beautiful world.


Mykonos Sunset with a boat
Sunset in Mykonos

After an eventful day 1, we went back and had a good night’s sleep.


Day 2: Mykonos


Exploring the captivating Mykonos on wheels was the highlight of our trip! With the island being so compact (just 15 km at its widest), we opted for a scooter to easily roam around its scenic wonders.


Pro-tip: Although ATVs are trendy, we chose to stick to a scooter due to safety concerns and lack of experience. Also, some rental places have ATVs with smaller engines that won’t be able to take you up a steep hill and people end up getting stuck.


Renting our trusty ride from 'Hercules Rentals' near Mykonos town was a breeze. Our Indian driver's license was all they needed but we could tell from the look that they don’t see it very often! Donning helmets, we embarked on our adventure to explore Mykonos.



Pro-tip: Make sure to carry skull caps for added hygiene as the helmets provided by rental companies are used by so many renters. Alternatively, a shower cap could also do the trick.


Our first stop was Ornos, a slice of paradise. We drove along the windy ocean road gazing into the horizon and soaking in the majestic views. The serene beach and charming cafés made it irresistible for a delightful brunch.


Next up, Paradise Beach welcomed us with open arms! The Tropicana Beach Club offered beachside cabanas, cool vibes, groovy music and mouthwatering delights, making it a must-visit spot for everyone in Mykonos.


Pro-tip: Nighttime brings Mykonos to life with its legendary nightlife and wild parties. So if you love parties, you can also visit the club at night.


Amit @ Casa di Giorgio
Dinner @ Casa di Giorgio

As the sun began its descent, we headed back to town, not wanting to miss the mesmerizing sunset. A beautiful sight that left us in awe! The perfect end to our day was an incredible dinner at Casa di Giorgio.


Day 3: Paros


Aditi overlooking Paros as the Ferry docks at Port
Docking @ Paros

With bittersweet feelings, we bid adieu to the dazzling Mykonos, the pearl of the Aegean Sea, and set our sights on Paros, another gem in the Cycladic islands. After a leisurely morning in Mykonos town, we packed our bags and Maria, our gracious hostess, offered to drop us at the New Mykonos Port, where we were supposed to catch our ferry to Paros. As we reached the bustling port, the sheer number of tourists visiting Greece became evident, but we found our way to the indoor waiting area. There we enjoyed our favorite game of observing fellow travelers, playfully giving them nicknames and imagining their life stories.


Our ferry arrived but we were told to hold off until the cars were loaded into the ferry. After a short wait, we hopped on board. There are different sections inside the ferry based on the seats you have selected. However, we gave it a skip, opting for the dock floor, where we enjoyed the wind in our hair as we sailed through the enchanting Aegean Sea.


Pro-tip 1: Several ferries operate between the islands but 'Seajets' is the fastest one. You can book it online or compare the fares with others before booking.


Pro tip 2: Ferry ride may cause sea sickness. Make sure you take precautions/ medicine if you feel sick while on the ferry.


After a 45-minute sail, we arrived in Paros, and without wasting a moment, we headed straight to our cozy Airbnb.


Paros welcomed us with a plethora of enticing experiences.


Here are the top tourist attractions in Paros that we would recommend:


1. Stroll around Naoussa - A charming town with fine dining, luxurious hotels, and a vibrant nightlife.

2. Kolymbithres Beach - A unique beach with turquoise waters and stunning rock formations that will leave you in awe.

3. Party at a Club - Embrace Paros' buzzing nightlife with fabulous clubs located in Parikia and Naoussa.

4. Shop in Paros - Don't miss the chance to find beautiful souvenirs and local accessories in the island's shops.


We soaked in the laid-back vibes of Paros, taking it slow and cherishing every moment of this delightful island escape.


Day 4: Santorini


Santorini New port Top view
Santorini New Port

The next leg of our adventure took us to the mesmerizing volcanic island of Santorini, one of the most popular destinations on the planet. With eager anticipation, we hopped on a ferry for the two-hour journey, treated to amazing sights that kept our spirits soaring high.


Arriving at Santorini's New Port, we grabbed a cab to our Airbnb in Thira. Santorini's uniqueness lies in its caldera, a vast crater formed by its volcano. Consequently, the ports are nestled at the bottom of the cliff and require a thrilling climb to the top driving through numerous of hairpin curves. But after a 20-minute ride, we were at the heart of Santorini, a town called Thira.


Santorini is simply otherworldly, surpassing every ounce of its hype. This place has an indescribable charm that captivates us from the moment we set foot on its soil.


Fun fact: Santorini's history is just as fascinating as its beauty. Originally, the island formed one giant ring with a central volcano. Over thousands of years and multiple eruptions, it eventually split into three landmasses - the main island with the majority of the population, the volcanic island at the center, and ‘Thirasia’: another remaining island from the original ring.


Santorini Map
Highlighted parts submerged after an Eruption

Settling into Thira, we couldn't wait to explore and admire the famous caldera views. Walking alongside the cliff, we wandered through the streets of Thira, capturing countless pictures of its timeless charm. Our walk along the cliffside led us all the way to the chic town of Imerovigli, where you can find many fine resorts and restaurants.



As the day drew to a close, we settled in for a dinner with a view and witnessed the most breathtaking sunset we've ever experienced. Truly, no words can describe the magic of Santorini's sunset, leaving us in awe of its unmatched beauty. All we can say is that we don’t think any other place in the world can beat the sunset in Santorini.


Day 5: Santorini


The next day, our exciting plan was to visit the Old Port, nestled right at the foot of the mesmerizing caldera. There are three options to get there:


1. Ropeway - A convenient two-way ticket takes you down to the old port and back up to the town.

2. Donkey Rides - For a unique experience, hire donkeys or ponies to carry you to the port.

3. Karavolades Stairs - Adventurous souls can take the 588 steps leading to the port.


Note: The donkeys use the same stairs, and you’ll find donkey poop all over the place. The stairs also have a steep angle and are way too slippery. So, you make the decision wisely.


Opting for the stairs, we embarked on our Old Port journey, though the presence of donkey poop wasn't ideal. Nonetheless, it turned into a good workout!



Once at the port, we captured picturesque moments and soaked in the Sun. It was then that a surprise knocked on our door. A departing boat had a few spots available for the famous Santorini volcano tour. The guide asked us if we would care to join them and without hesitation, we said yes. We paid for the tickets at the counter and hopped aboard.


The boat took us to the central island, home to active volcanic craters (though the volcano itself is dormant). We trekked for 45 minutes to reach the top, where we caught a whiff of sulphur near the active crater. The view from up there was breathtaking, offering a glimpse of the remnants of the volcanic ring and the stunning collapsed portions. Thira, sitting atop the cliff, provided an awe-inspiring sight.


Note: Don’t expect lava spewing out of the craters. It is just a rocky hole in the ground. You can smell the Sulphur but nothing else Volcanic is happening down there.


After the volcanic adventure, the boat headed to another attraction - hot springs and a mud bath in Palea Kameni. The warm springs, fueled by the volcano's heat, offer an incredible swimming experience, while the mud, rich in sulphur and iron, is believed to have Thirapeutic benefits for the skin.


Pro-tip: Your clothes are likely to be ruined by the mud as it has high Sulphur content which leaves stains and a pungent smell.


Returning to the old port, we chose the ropeway this time to get back to Thira. Back at the top, we stumbled upon a heavenly spot named 'Louyo,' serving frozen Greek yogurt that instantly stole our hearts! We can’t even remember how many of those we had while we were in Santorini. We highly recommend it.



As the day concluded, we cherished the memories of our unforgettable Santorini adventures, grateful for the surprises the day brought for us.


Day 6: Santorini


Amit and Aditi driving a Convertible in Santorini
Ready to ride!

We couldn't contain our excitement the next morning, as we decided to rent a convertible to explore the island. With the help of our kind host, we secured the car at our Airbnb, all set and raring to go by 8:30 a.m. Our first destination was none other than the famous Oia, which is another top tourist attraction, renowned for its enchanting blue domes and dazzling white buildings.


Pro-tip: To capture the beauty of Oia without the bustling crowds, make sure to arrive early in the morning.


Heading towards Oia, we had two road options. The first, is a winding mountain route along the caldera, while the second, is a picturesque highway tracing the island's eastern coast, offering breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea. Without a doubt, we recommend the highway for its scenic splendour.


Arriving in Oia, we were bewitched by the sight of those iconic blue domes that truly lived up to the Instagram hype. We managed to capture some incredible shots, and luckily, only a few couples were ahead of us in the queue for those perfect picture spots. But as we left, we noticed the queue had grown substantially, so we are again emphasizing the importance of arriving early.



Oia's architecture was nothing short of striking, and strolling through the town felt like wandering a carefully curated movie set.


Next, we set our sights on the east side of the island, home to some magnificent beaches. Santorini's beaches are unique, with black sand resulting from volcanic activity.


Our first stop was Kamari Beach, a mesmerizing expanse of black sand, small rocks, and pebbles, a sight you won't find on typical sandy beaches. A must-visit for its uniqueness.


Continuing our exploration, we arrived at Perissa Beach, another black sand gem. Unlike the bustling crowds, we found this beach to be more relaxed, offering a peaceful ambience. Alongside the beach, a road lined with restaurants and bars provided beachside seating options with umbrellas. We savoured an amazing burger, fries, and a chilled Coke, the perfect treat after a day of adventure.


As the day came to an end, we journeyed back to our cozy BnB.


Day 7: Saying our Goodbyes


A Hat and sunglasses with Aegean sea in the background
Meet HATwatti

Our final day in Santorini and Greece was tough, as we dreaded bidding farewell. To savour every moment, we strolled to Fira town for breakfast at a cafe with breathtaking Caldera views. That meal was pure bliss, etching Santorini's essence into our souls forever.


As a parting memento, Aditi got a handmade pendant with her name in the Greek alphabet, a precious keepsake from this enchanting island.


As we packed our bags, reminiscing the incredible times we had, bittersweet emotions filled our hearts. But our adventure wasn't quite over yet, folks! One last ride in our trusty convertible awaited us, taking us to the airport for our next destination, Paris.


At the airport, we bid adieu to our car and boarded the flight to another adventure in Europe. Santorini may be behind us, but its memories will forever linger in our hearts.



How much does it cost to visit Greek Islands?


As any holiday, budget for a trip to Greece depends on what you want the holiday to be. It could be a honeymoon, some time off work or a romantic getaway. So, we have broken it down into 3 categories (Budget, Comfort and Luxury), which will give you a ballpark figure for the budget, for any kind of holiday that you may be planning.

  1. Budget - Focus on exploring the place but not spending much money on accommodations, fancy dinners, comfort or indulgences. By budget, we don't mean staying in hostels, but a decent budget hotel or Airbnb.

  2. Comfort - Focus on exploring the place but also includes spending a little extra money on a comfortable stay, good food and occasionally indulging in a luxury. Most people fall in this category. They want to spend wisely and enjoy as much as they can.

  3. Luxury - Focus is on an exotic and luxury experiences while travelling to new places. Ideal for Honeymoons, romantic getaways or extravagant experiences.

(All amounts are minimum daily/one-time expenses for a single Visitor, except Airfare, which is a return fare between Delhi <-> Mykonos)

Expense Type

Budget

Comfort

Luxury

Visa (if applicable)

~125 USD

~125 USD

~125 USD

Flight

~1033 USD

~1033 USD

>6000 USD

Hotel

~150 USD/Night

~240 USD/Night

>600 USD/Night

Food/Beverages

~50 USD/Day

~65 USD/Day

>90 USD/Day

Ferry

~70 USD/prsn/trip

~70 USD/prsn/trip

~70 USD/prsn/trip

Bike/Car Rental

~30 USD/Day

~40 USD/Day

>150 USd/Day

So going by the above table, you can calculate the approx. cost of your trip, based on the number of days you are travelling for.


For example, a 7-Day comfort trip to Greece (Mykonos, Santorini & Paros) should cost around 3200 USD for one person and 5056 USD for two people. See below for the cost break-up.


1 Traveller

VISA (125$) + Flight (1033$) + Accommodation (1440$) + Food (455$) + Ferry x2 (140$) + Bike/Car rental X 3 (120$)


Total ~ 3200 USD/person ( ~2,60,000 INR )


2 Travellers

VISA (250$) + Flight (2066$) + Accommodation (1440$) + Food (900$) + Ferry x2 (280$) + Bike/Car rental X 3 (120$)


Total ~ 5056 USD/person ( ~4,15,000 INR )


Important Note 1: Airfare used in the calculation is the average price for a return flight from New Delhi, India. If you are travelling from any other place in the world, substitute with the fare from your place of departure.


Important Note 2: These estimates are based on our research online for our trip and our personal experience in Greece. Although, the results align with our own expenses for the trip, the numbers are not set in stone. Actual prices may vary based on numerous factors.


Please drop us a comment or DM us on Instagram if you have more questions about the budget.

 

In the end, we just want to say that our Greek holiday and our time in the Cycladic islands was nothing short of a dream come true. From the breathtaking sunsets in Santorini to the hidden gems of Paros and the charming streets of Mykonos, each destination had a unique allure that left us spellbound. The warm hospitality of the locals, the delectable Greek cuisine, and the rich history and mythology that surrounded us at every turn added an extra layer of magic to our adventure.


Greece truly cast its spell on us, and the memories we created here will forever hold a special place in our hearts.


Whether you're captivated by the Aegean Sea, seeking adventure among the Cycladic islands, or craving a taste of Greece's rich heritage, this remarkable destination offers something for every traveller.


Opa!

2 則留言


訪客
2023年7月25日

Very enlightening article. thanks

按讚
Amit Sharma
Amit Sharma
2023年7月26日
回覆

I am glad you liked it. Thanks for writing back :)

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