This 8 day Greece Itinerary is from our trip in September of 2018 which includes, Athens, Milos, and Santorini. It is a great itinerary for your first trip to Greece. We choose these areas because we felt we would get a good representation of what Greece was like.
Diary of a Gen-X recommendations for hotels, restaurants, activities or tour companies are based on our own experiences. We do not receive compensation for recommending at any of these nor are we affiliates of any hotels, restaurants, activities or tour companines.
Why We Picked Athens, Milos & Santorini for our Greece Itinerary
We choose Athens for the culture, famous Greek ruins, and for the Old European city life. In contrast, we chose the small island of Milos for more solitude, greek authenticity, small villages and towns, history and the many spectacular beaches. Lastly we chose Santorini for the experience of this famous island, the culture, and the beautiful towns built on the caldera.
Athens has many neighborhoods and we decided on the Plaka area because we could walk everywhere we wanted to explore. We wanted to see the Acropolis and Parthenon, Roman Forum and narrow old streets and shops. Comparatively, Plaka offered all of this within and more walking distance. Overall, we were very happy with this choice.
Milos turned out to be exactly what we wanted and more. Above all, very quiet and not at all busy or touristy. We decided to stay in Pollonia because it is a small village, very quiet and access to everywhere we wanted to go was a short jaunt and easy. Even though our hotel was outside of the village, it was just a short walk down the hill to Pollonia which had many delicious choices for dinner.
We chose Santorini because of the beauty of this island. At Santorini we elected to stay in Imerovigli. We decided on this area because it is right in front of the Rock of Skaros and we loved that view. Altogether, it turned out to be a very good choice with beautiful views of the caldera and amazing sunsets. Imerovigli is also less busy than Fira and Oia, therefore more quiet. which we liked. Imerovigli is also just a 30 minute walk from Fira and it is easy to hop on a bus to Oia. We were more than thrilled with this choice and it was absolutely perfect for us.
Greece Itinerary, Athens, Milos, Santorini
Day 1: Athens
- Arrive in Athens 10:00 am
- Checked in at Hotel, Electra Palace in the Plaka area
- Found a place to grab a coffee and roll. It was raining when we arrived in Athens regardless, we had a great time. Since it was raining, we did not buy tickets to go in the sights but instead enjoyed the sites from the sidewalk.
- Walked around the Plaka Area.
- Lunch on the Plaka Steps at The Old Tavern of Psarras. The Plaka Steps is an area that has restaurants built up on the hillside in addition, table and chars are set up on the steps. We ate inside as it was raining. Regardless, the food and atmosphere were awesome.
- Explored Plaka Shops including Brettos Distillery here since 1909. This distillery has all types of Ouzo, which is a Greek alcoholic drink. Strong and sweet with an anise like flavor.
- Dinner at Electra Palace Hotel, after all, it was convenient as we were staying here as well. As can be seen, the view of Acropolis is spectacular!
- Shopping Plaka at night which, despite the rain, was so much fun.
- Gelato at DaVinci was truly delicious with so many choices.
For additional details, you can read more about our first day in Athens on my blog page Athens on a Rainy Day.
Day 2: Milos-Explore
- Breakfast Electra Palace Athens
- Transfer to Airport
- Morning flight to the Island of Milos, Greece.
- Transfer to Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel
- Rental car at hotel.
- Explore Milos. All things considered, Milos was easy to drive around as there was little traffic where we were going. After all, it was the end of the season.
- Ancient Theatre
- Hike up to Profit Ilias Chapel
- Tour Catacombs of Milos
- Shopped in Plaka, Milos. This is a fun, cute & quaint village moreover, it is a charming area to explore and walk around.
- Snack in Plaka, Milos at Palaios, a bakery & pastry shop. Awesome food, furthermore, a very relaxing atmosphere.
- Relax at hotel. Milos Breeze was the perfect place to stay both comfortable and quiet. In essence, just perfect.
- Supper at Armenaki, Pollonia, Milos. A great fish taverna within walking distance of hotel and in addition, seating along the water.
Day 3: Milos-Boat Day
- Breakfast at Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel
- Transfer to Adamas Port
- Boat day trip around Milos with snorkeling and lunch. Travel Me to Milos had been arranged and overall was fantastic. It was so much fun. The crew was very attentive and informative and not to mention, the food was great.
- Transfer back to hotel
- Rent 4 wheeler at Pollonia for the next day.
- Dinner at Rifaki in Pollonia. Walking distance from our hotel. Fantastic food and service, in addition, seating along the water.
Day 4: Milos-Beach Day
- Breakfast at Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel
- 4 Wheeler Exploring was the only way to discover these amazing beaches. I loved everything we did at Milos but all things considered, this was my favorite activity in Milos.
- Tsigrado Beach was amazing! Although it is a very small beach, the fun is in getting there. After climbing down a ladder, then a narrow passage, and finally a short ladder, you reach the beach!
- Firiplaka Beach This beach was a bit of a trick to get to but definitely worth it. The walk down was easy and the rock formations and colors were awesome.
- Firopotamos Beach this beach was amazing. We especially loved the area above the beach which in addition to a great view there is a ruin of an ancient doorway overlooking the sea.
- Lunch at Taverna Ouzeri, Plaka, Milos. One of my all time favorite places to eat in Greece. Not to mention it is authentic and locally owned, awesome food and service.
- Sarakiniko Beach this is an amazing beach, looks like something from another planet! Go early or late to avoid crowds!
- Papafragas Beach To access to this beach you have to climb down a path and swim under a tunnel. The path had been washed out due to a recent storm so we were unable to go through the tunnel.
- Return 4 Wheeler
- Dinner at Enalion Restaurant in Pollonia, Milos. Again within walking distance from our hotel. Great food. The cheese tray is a must and in fact the cheese is fresh local Greek cheeses.
For additional details click on my post, 5 Best Beaches in Milos. You can also read more about our time in Milos by clicking on my other post, 3 Perfect Days Exploring Milos.
Day 5: Santorini-Exploring
- Breakfast at Milos Breeze Boutique Hotel
- Transfer to Adamas Port, Milos
- Ferry to Athinios Port, Santorini. We were on Sea Jet Ferries and were at Santorini in about 2.5 hours. Great ride.
- Arrive mid morning transfer to Astro Suites, our hotel in Imerovigli I can’t say enough great things about Astro Suites. In essence the best hotel service, people, and views on our trip. In a word, perfect.
- Hike up Rock of Skaros. This impressive rock was once a fortress ruined by earthquakes. It is a bit of a hike but the views of both Imerovigl and the Caldera are amazing.
- Swim at Astro Suites which was amazing! Especially the view!!
- Sunset Dinner at Astro Suites, our favorite meal! Altogether, the food was outstanding, service impeccable and view second to none!
Day 6: Santorini-Fira Visit and Boat Day
- Breakfast Astra Suites
- Hike to Fira from our hotel in Imerovigli. This took about 30 min and was a nice walk, lots of steps but beautiful views.
- Shopping and exploring in Fira. Overall, this was a lot of fun, checking out the narrow streets, churches and stores. Early morning was a good time before the cruise ships arrived!! As you can see, not much of a crowd!
- Transfer to Katamaran
- Sunset Katamaran Trip around Caldera, Swim and dinner. Highly recommend doing this!
- Transfer back to Astra Suites
Day 7: Santorini-Island Tour
- Breakfast Astra Suites
- Blue Shades of Greece Walking Tour of Island. All in all, I can’t say enough good things about this tour and the tour guide. To summarize, this is the best way to see Santorini’s highlights!
- Venesantos Winery is set on the caldera. We had a nice assortment of wines to taste along with a generous assortment of meats, cheeses, fruits and Santorini favorites.
- Oia is a city sitting on the caldera. Popular for it’s blue domed churches. Again, lots of steps, but that’s just Santorini!
- Transfer back to Astra Suites.
- Sunset swim at Astra Suites was a perfect way to relax after a big day of walking! In addition, beautiful sunset views.
- Dinner at Anogi Restaurant in Imerovigli. This is a good place to eat with traditional Greek food and good service. Reservations suggested!!
- Walk to Fira at night. Walking to Fira at night was as much fun as during the day. The town has a totally different exciting vibe.
For more details you can click on my Santorini Trip blog page.
Day 8: Athens-Acropolis & Parthenon
- Breakfast Astra Suites
- Transfer to Santorini Airport
- Fly to Athens
- Transfer to Electra Palace Athens
- Self tour Acropolis & Parthenon. When in Athens you can’t miss the Acropolis & Parthenon. Great area and so much history!
- Dinner at Restaurant
- Shop Plaka at night
- Da Vinci Gelato. We love this place!!
- Breakfast Electra Palace Hotel
- Transfer to Airport
- Fly Home
I am big on planning and planning for a trip is always fun! It helps to have the right resources and if you use a travel agency using someone you trust is invaluable. When planning for our Greece Itinerary, I did a lot of research on line to determine we wanted to go to Athens, Milos and Santorini.
We use True Trips Greece as our Travel Agent. They were highly recommended to us by one of my husbands associates. This group is awesome and they are located in Greece so know all the ins and outs. They arranged all of our hotels, transfers (car, local air and ferry) and some of our activities once we arrived in Greece for our entire itinerary in Athens, Milos and Santorini. From picking us up at the airport the first day to getting us back at the end, everything went smoothly. Everyone was prompt, courteous and had great information! We used there services for both our 2018 and 2019 trip. Currently we are working with them for our 2020 trip which may or may not happen! Regardless they have been there for us and are keeping us informed through this entire Covid mess. I can’t say enough good things about this group.
The Internet is a great place to get information but you need to make sure the sites are up to date and reputable. My favorite site is as follows:
- Greeka.com This site has so much useful information and is a great resource. I have checked out this site many times while trying to decide where to go in Greece.
Guide Books, Maps, and Good Reads
I absolutely love tour guide books, maps and good reads. I think they have great information and are great to carry along. The following are my favorites that I have used when deciding what to do. (I am an Amazon affiliate and receive a small commission for any of these ordered at no cost to you or the vendor.)
- Rick Steves Pocket Athens guidebook and found a lot of useful information in it. There is also a pocket map.
- Top 10 Athens (DK Eyewitness Travel Guide) It includes a top 10 list of restaurants, museums, things to do etc. It also divides into top 10 of each area. This is my favorite guide book. It does come with a pocket map.
- Athens Street Map which was more in-depth and very useful.
- Parthenon on our Roof by Peter Barber. This fun book is a great read to learn more about Greek culture. Peter, an Englishman, moves to Greece and marries his Greek girlfriend, Alex. Read about their adventures as he navigates his new lifestyle in a humorous, relatable way.
We had a wonderful first time in Greece! I hope my Greece Itinerary of Athens, Santorini and Milos is helpful and I tried to include helpful links both from my own blog site and other resources as well. I have included direct sites when possible for hotels and restaurants. We absolutely loved Greece and I will be coming out with another Itinerary over the next few months in reference to our 2019 trip which includes Athens, Crete and Santorini. Although we went to many of the same hotels and a couple of the same resturants there will be lots of new information and more places to discover!
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If you want to read more detail about this trip you can click on the following links!!
A Rainy Day in Athens, Sept 2018
5 Great Beaches in Milos, Sept 2018
First Time Guide-3 Days in Santorini, Sept 2018
Exploring the Acropolis and Parthenon, Sept 2018
Astra Suites Hotel, Santorini, Sept 2018, Oct 2019
To Read About our Other Greek Trip Click Below:
10 Days in Greece-Athens, Crete, Santorini-10 Day trip to Greece Sept/Oct 2019 Athens, Crete & Santorini
54 thoughts on “8 Day Greece Itinerary: Athens, Milos, Santorini”
Wonderful report with many nice details, stunning photos and delicious food!
Thanks for sharing
Thanks for reading! We love traveling to Greece!
Nice to know that!
In case you would like to see some of the most famous mountains of Greece and general mountaineering, feel free to check out my blog.
I keep on following your blog because you have plenty of good articles. 🙂
Thank you! I will check yours out. We eventually want to do a trip in that area one of the years.
Great post and fantastic photos. Greece looks unlike any other place that we’ve visited so far and once the pandemic crisis are over and it’s safe to travel, I would love to visit. It’s been raining nearly every day in Sligo and we crave proper sunshine. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva
Thanks for stopping by, Aiva! We do love Greece! Would love some of your rain!! Here in Iowa we have been over 95F for about 2 weeks!!!
Great post 😁
Greece, would be the perfect trip, besides any place in Asia, for me. I hungrily dream of traveling there. I hear the food is just as magnificent as its views and beaches. I must start twisting my hubbys arms and get him excited for traveling 🙂 Be safe and well.
The food in Greece is so good!!! I actually crave it at times and try to make it at home…not the same though! You stay safe too!!
I can only imagine 🙂 Thanks 🙂
Ahhh we stayed at Electra Palace too and loved it! Great and detailed post 🙂
Thanks! Electra Palace was great!!
Thanks for taking us to Greece. Now, I have had my big drip for the year. Ha Ha. We love Greece and hope to go back some day. Allan
We love Greece also. Looking like we won’t be going this year though!! There’s always next year!! Take Care!! Lori
Beautiful write-up! Beautiful pix! Just beautiful.
Thank you!! Hope you are doing well! Lori
It’s been ages since I last visited Greece. I went to Athens and Santorini; I wasn’t too impressed with the former, but the latter was a lovely time wine-tasting and exploring the white-walled town. I’d love to see more of the country, perhaps island hop from one to the other. Thanks for sharing your adventures!
Thanks for your comments! Island hopping does sound fun!!!
On our bucket list!
It is a great bucket list place!
wow! this is such a wonderful resource for anyone planning a trip to Greece. It looks like all of your planning paid off in a fantastic vacation. If I go to Greece, I know what three place I’ll be going to!
Thank you! I am a planner that is for sure!! But I try to stay flexible as you never know what may change! Pretty sure we are not going to make it to our Greece trip this Sept/Oct but that’s ok. Writing these itineraries are fun for me as I feel like I am reliving the trip a bit!!
Sorry to hear you can’t get back to Greece. But as you note, you have some wonderful memories. Were you planning to visit the same three places?
So last year we went to Crete and Santorini which I’ll be doing an itinerary on at some point. This year we planned on more time in Crete and Naxos for the first time also a few days in Santorini as there were a couple of more things we wanted to do and we just love the place! So all in all we are very blessed and I can’t complain that we’re not going this year. I just think that we will have even more anticipation which will make us even more grateful next year!!! We might do a fall road trip to Utah depending on the safety in the US this fall! Hope you are doing well and staying safe!!!
You will be an expert in traveling to all parts of Greece by the time you are finished. I hope you get to visit Utah – I’ve heard it’s beautiful…
We are all well.
I have heard great things about Utah also!!
You will be an expert on Greece after all these trips. Utah sounds like a good second choice; I’ve heard it is beautiful there…
I like the great detail on the itinerary, The pastry and gelato shops of Athens were among our favourites so I’m not surprised by your recommendations. And I think our trip up to the Parthenon and Acropolis were the highlights of our time there–indeed, it can’t be missed.
Greeka.com was a site we also used extensively when planning our trip–the site well organized and gives so much practical information. DK Guides are another resource I like using. The link for “Visit Greece from Home” is useful as that one is new to us too.
Milos is really intriguing as I have to admit it wasn’t on our radar during our own trip planning but your photos really bring it to life. A return trip to the Aegean is a must!
Thank you for the kind words. We were really impressed with Milos. At times we felt we had the island to ourselves! I would highly recommend visiting Milos!! We loved it!!
Wow this is incredible. You can really see from the photos what fun you’re having. I have bookmarked this as inspiration for my own fantasy trip to Greece, I hope to go there once covid is over.
We had a blast! I’ll be posting my second trip to Greece in a few weeks and it was just a fun! Not looking like we are going to make it there this year but it is definitely our favorite place to travel too!
Cool! The quiet island looks nice. Any other quiet islands to recommend as my bf doesn’t like crowds. That food looks unbelievable! Look forward to part 2
We were going to go to Naxos this year as we hear it is more quiet but looks like we are going to have to wait until next year. The dood really was spectacular….never had a bad meal!!
Naxos….cool will note this down. The dood? is that a pub or restaurant there?
I meant food in Greece!!! Not dood…sorry…typo
This is on my list .its been years since I have been …
We absolutely love Greece!!!
Wow – the architecture, food, hiking…looks like an amazing place too visit, beautiful!!!
It all was just perfect!
All your food pics are making me crave ALL the Greek food!
Nothing like Greek food!! Just can’t seem
To replicate it here!!
What an amazing vacation! Now I’m craving moussaka.
Isn’t moussaka the best!!!??! I love Greek food!!!
It was my most favorite meal in Greece! I can’t wait to go back one day.
My favorite as well! I have tried to make it at home and it is ok, but definitely not the same!!
I found a pretty good one when I lived in Dallas. These days I try to keep my carbs reduced, but if I were to splurge—Moussaka, baby!
I hear ya! Darn carbs just taste so good!!!
Stunning post! Suddenly I feel very hungry😊.
Thank you! Greek food is the best!!
Very nice. There is a Prophet Illias monastry in Santorini as well. Here is my blog: