Greece itinerary 10 days - how to plan your dream Greece vacation

There’s a reason Greece has been on the traveller’s radar since the seventeenth century. More correctly, there are several: spectacular ruins, warm sunny skies, beach-clad islands speckled in turquoise shallows, and elaborate meze platters served in small tavernas smelling of ouzo and retsina. So if you’re planning a trip to Greece, read on!

Tailor Made Journey

Tailor-Made Greece: Jewel of the Mediterranean

Experience the riches of Greece on a customizable private journey of must-see sights, including whitewashed Mediterranean villages; ruins that mark the birth of Western civilization; and the sun-drenched islands of Santorini and Mykonos, where you taste local wine and pastries, and absorb the beauty of the rugged, coastal setting.

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There are almost as many Greek Islands as there are days of the year, of which some 200-odd are inhabited

The LGBT+ situation in Greece

The powerful Orthodox Church has fought – largely unsuccessfully – against the normalisation of same-sex relationships, with attitudes on the streets having taken a huge liberal swing over the past decades. Membership of the European Union, a return to democracy, and the country’s tradition of kindness to strangers have all made Greece a popular LGBT+ destination in a country where museums are proud of their homoerotic ancient ceramics.

Photo: Angelo Pantazis

Photo: Ryan Spencer

Best time of year to visit Greece

If you’re planning a trip to Greece it’s good to know that the kindly southern Mediterranean climate means it’s possible to strip off on the beaches from late spring onward, with the early part of the season offering up Easter festivities and a carpet of wildflowers. July and August are the busiest months when temperatures are at their peak and competition for the best hotels can be fierce. The season comes to an end with the grape harvest in late October, after which time you’ll need to swap your beach towel for a pair of skis to make the most of 10 days in Greece!

Top tips for your Greece vacation

Greece may be something of a shock for all those who wholeheartedly embrace the cashless society, with cash still very definitely king. While the big stores in Athens accept credit cards, keep in mind that many restaurants (and even some hotels) don’t. ATMs are readily available in all the big cities and popular vacation resorts, though they can be difficult to find on smaller islands.

Public transport has improved a lot in recent years, but their cheap rates make taxis a popular choice. Unlike elsewhere in the world, drivers might not take your fare if your destination doesn’t suit, and if there’s only a couple of you, you might find yourself sharing the taxi with others – though not, unfortunately, the fare.

Though it shouldn’t be overstated, your biggest threat in Greece is likely to be from pickpockets. If you fall foul of these guys you should report the incident to the tourist police – simply dial 171.

Photo: Klaus Stebani

Choosing the best Greek Islands for your 10 day Greece Itinerary

There are almost as many Greek Islands as there are days of the year, of which some 200-odd are inhabited. Isolated for centuries, many have developed their own unique ways of life, and no two are really alike, which is a wonderful problem to have when it comes to settling on a Greece vacation itinerary.

Greece itinerary 10 days

They may not be the most Indiana Jones of destinations, but Athens, Santorini, Mykonos and the Ionian Islands are popular for a reason. Here’s how to explore them all as part of a 10 day Greece itinerary.

Photo: Serhat Beyazkaya

Days 1 and 2 – Athens

Athens has plenty to entice anyone on a vacation in Greece beyond the obligatory international airport, and it’s well worth lingering for a couple of days before your Greek trip goes offshore. The sometimes gritty and always bustling streets of the Greek capital may not have the immediate good looks of Paris or Rome, but this helps make its long list of attractions even more of a surprise.

Rising above it all is the Acropolis, where the majestic columns of the Parthenon have stood proud against the blue sky for two and a half millennia. Ringing it you’ll find a number of other unmissable ancient attractions, including the Roman-era agora, Socrates’ prison, and the contemporary architecture of the Acropolis Museum – sights that together will easily occupy you for most of the day.

A short way north stands the Hellenic Parliament, at the front of which the kilted and intricately-dressed soldiers known as evzones hold vigil over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and go through an unnecessarily elaborate Changing of the Guard ceremony each morning at 11 am, as detailed in our Athens City Guide. End your time in the Greek capital relaxing amid the cypress trees of the neighbouring National Botanic Garden, complete with its own museum, duck pond, and zoo.

Photo: Evan Wise

Photo: Vasilios Muselimis

How to get to the Greek Islands

During the summer months, Athens is almost awash with flights to Santorini, with up to 20 aircraft a day making the 45-minute run. Slower but more evocative, ferries run from Athens’ port at Piraeus to Santorini in around five hours, with several ships daily, including a useful night ferry that departs just before midnight.

Days 3 to 5 – Santorini and Mykonos

Glamourous, inclusive, and spectacularly beautiful, the whitewashed villages that are home to the best hotels in Santorini may not be heavy on gay nightlife, but do offer some of the finest sunsets on the planet, alongside a laidback vibe that’s a world away from the hectic streets of central Athens.

The rugged remnants of an ancient underwater volcano, the island is perfect for a gentle stroll between long lunches and cocktail hour, or to top up your tan on beaches that are white, red, and even black like Vlychada Beach, a stretch of coast backed by sheer cliffs that is the destination of choice for Santorini’s gay crowd.

Wild, party-loving and unabashed, Mykonos is everything that Santorini is not. While the word hedonist may originate elsewhere in Greece, there’s no better way to describe Mykonos, an island that promises to be anything but boring, with summer parties stretching from dusk till dawn, and proudly flying the rainbow flag above their doors. You can get the full lowdown on the island with our dedicated Mykonos City Guide.

Photo: Máté Markovics

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The rocky coastline hides beautiful beaches a short distance from mountains equipped with hiking trails and ancient ruins

Days 6 to 9 – The Ionian Islands

Strung close to Greece’s western shore, the Ionian Islands – of which Corfu and Zakynthos are the best known – are a fine blend of everything your vacation to Greece has been so far. The rocky coastline hides beautiful beaches a short distance from mountains equipped with hiking trails and ancient ruins, and seas ripe for sailing, water sports, and scuba diving. There’s certainly no shortage of things to do on the Greek Ionian Islands during your three day stay!

Photo: Stefan Stefancik

Photo: Tania Mousinho

Day 10 – Athens

Heading back to the capital for day 10 of your Greece travel itinerary means you can catch up on anything you missed at the beginning of your vacation, but also protects against circumstances that might otherwise force you to miss your flight home. Bad weather can affect flight and ferry schedules, while Greek workers aren’t immune to the odd strike.

Alternatives to the Greek Islands

Prefer to stay on mainland Greece? There are certainly plenty of tempting options if you do, with circuits that take in Delphi, the Peloponnese, and Thessaloniki managing to combine city life, historic wonders, and delightful Mediterranean landscapes. Nor do you have to miss out on the beach life if you don’t want to!

Plan your trip to Greece the easy way

Whether you want a resort vacation, wildlife safari, city break, luxury cruise, wellness retreat, honeymoon, once-in-a-lifetime adventure or weekend escape, the trip curation experts at Mr Hudson make travel planning a breeze. Find out how we can handle the finer details of vacationing in style.

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