Greece offers many beautiful locales ranging from historically significant sites like Athens to gorgeous beaches along the Mediterranean.
If you're wondering, ‘How many days should you spend in Greece?’ consider your allotted vacation days and what you want to experience most on your trip. With careful planning, you can tick every box of your ideal Greek vacation.
Choosing How to Spend Your Time When You Visit Greece
Planning your trip to Greece should start by deciding how you want to experience the country and what you want your Greece itinerary to include.
Are you interested in visiting Athens, the Greek capital, and the city's ancient ruins like the famous Greek temple of Parthenon and the Ancient Agora, a UNESCO World Heritage Site like Meteora, or prefer modern pleasures like nightclubs and swanky hotels?
Maybe you want to escape crowds altogether, sinking your toes into the sparkling sands of the beautiful beaches on the Greek islands or seeking solace in the gorgeous Greek mountains with a mainland Greece trip.
How many days in Greece is enough to make the most of your vacation? Many tourists want to experience as much as they can during their trip, packing their days to the gills and finding themselves exhausted by the end of their visit.
If you plan to stay for less than a week, visit your favorite city instead of attempting to fit the whole country in a handful of days in Greece or trying to fill each day with a day trip; you can easily spend your vacation away in transit and regret it afterward.
If you're in Greece for a week or longer, we recommend spending at least two nights in each destination before moving on.
This gives you a chance to soak up the ancient history and culture and find hidden gems you might not find if you're trying to cram too much into your trip.
Look below for examples of realistic Greek vacation schedules that let you experience the country while leaving room for fun and leisure.
A Greece Itinerary for Five Days or Less, including the Greek Islands
With so few days to explore the country, choose a city with plenty of activities and nightlife for the ultimate Greek entertainment.
Many travelers visit Athens to enjoy easy access to the most popular historical sites in Greece while indulging in Greek food and taking advantage of city tours.
As a popular hub for Greeks and tourists, Athens offers shopping opportunities for everyone ranging from brand-name stores to flea markets featuring authentic Greek souvenirs.
If you prefer a more upscale Greek vacation, spend your days on the island of Mykonos.
With charming historical sites like the 16th-century windmills atop the island and photo-worthy whitewashed streets, this beautiful island transports you into a different world.
On your Mykonos vacation, you can spend your days:
- Sailing, which makes for a one-of-a-kind luxurious Greece tour.
- Taking a dip in the Aegean Sea.
- Hitting Matogianni Street for the bountiful 'shopportunities.'
Visiting Greece in a Week
If your ideal trip to Greece includes Greek history, contemporary entertainment, and a taste of local flavors, plan to spend at least a week in Greece.
A seven-day itinerary gives you time to visit the most popular tourist attractions and discover local spots off the beaten path.
Choosing a Greek Island -ideally, an unknown island- that sees less tourist traffic allows you to engage more with Greek locals.
Alternatively, you choose to indulge in a Greek island-hopping adventure, so check these out before heading off to Crete or Mykonos, blinded by the beach clubs and famous beaches:
1. Day One to Two: Symi Island
Boasting bold and colorful architecture and plenty of beaches, the Greek island of Symi presents itself as a slowly-emerging jewel in Greece's tourist attractions.
Don’t miss the Castle of Symi ruins, a historical site dating back to the 15th century, and its amazing island life pace.
2. Day Three to Four: Nisyros
Steeped in history and home to an active volcano, Nisyros plays a part in Greek mythology, making it a memorable spot to vacation.
You can reach the island easiest by taking a plane, but once you arrive on the lovely island, you’ll stand in awe of the gorgeous beaches and architecture.
3. Day Five to Seven: Kasos
One of the hardest Greek islands to reach, Kasos will be the last destination on your island-hopping adventure, and it makes up for its distance with stunning natural beauty.
Crystal-clear waters along the unspoiled beaches provide a true island experience unmarred by a crush of tourists.
If you prefer to stay on the mainland, like the Peloponnese with Mani peninsula, or central Greece, and not the Greek islands during your Greece itinerary, you can hire a rental car and travel the landscape on your own, stopping in small towns to live life as the Greeks do, at least for a while.
This option works well for family vacations, couples on their Greece honeymoon, or solo adventurers seeking a getaway from the heavy traffic of the big cities. However, please keep in mind that it is not a choice for off-season vacations.
The Longer You Stay, the More You Can See (and not just the ancient sites)
When considering ‘How many days should you spend in Greece,’ the truest answer is, ‘as long as you can.’
A shorter visit of at least seven days limits your itinerary, so saving up your vacation days and splurging on a long Greece itinerary in this fascinating country and the amazing Greek islands, allows you to experience the best of this extraordinary country.
While starting in the Greek capital, where you can comfortably explore Athens, with the ancient ruins like the striking Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the vibrant lifestyle, and buzzing nightlife, always get a Greek vacation off to a good start.
After a few days, you can enrich your Greece itinerary with some of the many other cities with ancient sites and tranquil landscapes, including:
- Nafplio: Known for its romantic atmosphere and incredible neoclassical architecture, Nafplio offers a different view of Greek life for those seeking an escape from tourist-heavy areas, maintaining a low profile both in the high and off seasons.
- Two Venetian castles stand on hills above the city, providing plenty of opportunity for digging into the town’s rich history.
- Karpenisi: Outdoor enthusiasts love visiting Karpenisi, a town populated by Greek locals, that offers few of the typical tourist attractions you’ll find in Athens or Mykonos.
- After hiking through the mountains and visiting the forests or lakes, you can enjoy a taste of authentic Greek fare at the local eateries.
- Chania: Another beautiful beachside town, Chania offers Crete's most famous beaches and unusual attractions, and you can access it by a direct flight from Athens airport. History buffs should visit the Firkas Fortress, a 17th-century stronghold in pristine condition that hosts the Maritime Museum of Crete.
Visit Greece for Four Days or Fourteen: You’ll Love Every Moment of It
Greek vacations let you experience ancient heritage, modern culture, and Greece's culinary history from one of the oldest civilizations in the world.
When wondering, ‘How many days should you spend in Greece,’ start with what experiences matter the most to you, then work out how you can fit them into your planned itinerary.
Don't try to do too much! Whether you visit Greece for less than a week or a month, try to spend at least two days in each destination to enjoy your trip without feeling like you have to rush.
How many days are enough to see Greece?
In our opinion, less than five days in Greece are not enough to explore the country thoroughly. Everything above that can be done, especially if you trust the hands of the expert locals or a Greece travel agency.
Are 5 days in Greece enough?
Five days in Greece will give you an exciting trip to Athens and to the main islands.
The ancient history of Greek culture can be uncovered by visiting the city's famous monuments and sites within its boundaries.
Of course, a seven-day trip to Greece or longer is the perfect opportunity to discover more of Greece's highlights and explore its ancient monuments.
How long should I spend in the Greek islands?
For a complete immersion into authentic Greek life and culture, we suggest spending between 2 to 3 nights on each island.
From the Minoan ruins of the island of Crete to the highest monastic buildings on the mainland in Meteora, the sandy beaches in Corfu, or the trendy Cyclades islands, it can be argued that Greece has more to offer than a tourist can imagine.
If you are looking to explore the country of sunshine and long beaches, check out our Greece itineraries and plan your Greek vacation!
We can help you every step of the way!