12 days in Crete, Santorini & Athens Itinerary

12 days in Crete, Santorini & Athens Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Greece route planner

Make it your trip
+2
Drive to Newark Liberty International Airport, Fly to Heraklion International Nikos Kazantzakis Airport, Drive to Heraklion
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Heraklion
— 2 nights
Ferry
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Fira
— 3 nights
Fly
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Athens
— 5 nights
Fly

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Heraklion

— 2 nights
Crete's largest city, Heraklion remains best known for its proximity to a sprawling Bronze Age archaeological site, once the center of a vanished Minoan civilization.
Explore Heraklion's surroundings by going to Kazantzakis Museum (in Myrtia) and Snail Farm and Fun (in Tylissos). There's lots more to do: get engrossed in the history at Historical Museum of Crete, stop by Irida Family Workshop, get up close and personal with brilliant marine life at Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Saint Titus.

For photos, where to stay, reviews, and more tourist information, use the Heraklion travel route builder.

Newark, USA to Heraklion is an approximately 15.5-hour combination of car and flight. Traveling from Newark to Heraklion, you'll lose 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Traveling from Newark in April, things will get a bit warmer in Heraklion: highs are around 70°F and lows about 54°F. Cap off your sightseeing on the 10th (Sat) early enough to catch the ferry to Fira.

Things to do in Heraklion

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Fira

— 3 nights
Fira, the busy capital of Santorini, sits on the very edge of a volcanic caldera.
Fira is known for wineries, nightlife, and museums. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: delve into the distant past at Akrotiri, take in the dramatic natural features at Skaros Rock, pause for some serene contemplation at Panagia Theoskepasti Chapel, and indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area.

For reviews, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Fira trip planner.

Traveling by ferry from Heraklion to Fira takes 2.5 hours. In April, daily temperatures in Fira can reach 68°F, while at night they dip to 56°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Tue) early enough to travel to Athens.

Things to do in Fira

Parks · Wineries · Nature · Historic Sites

Side Trips

Athens

— 5 nights

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Athens is known for historic sites, museums, and nightlife. Your plan includes some of its best attractions: contemplate the long history of Acropolis of Athens, pause for some photo ops at Erechtheion, admire the natural beauty at National Garden, and take in the awesome beauty at Mount Lycabettus.

To see ratings, where to stay, more things to do, and more tourist information, use the Athens trip app.

Getting from Fira to Athens by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of ferry and taxi; or ride a ferry. Expect a daytime high around 70°F in April, and nighttime lows around 55°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Sun) to allow time to travel back home.

Things to do in Athens

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Crete travel guide

4.3
Beaches · Ruins · Islands
Great Island
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete offers travelers more than just sun, sea, and sand. Famed for its warm hospitality, outstanding infrastructure, and contrasting landscapes, the island represents one of the world's richest areas in terms of history and culture. Crete burst onto the world scene over 4,000 years ago, when it served as the center of the Minoan civilization, one of Europe's earliest organized societies. Despite the island's wealth of developed beaches, the traces of the mysterious and enchanting Minoan empire remain Crete's top attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world. The island capital Heraklion provides an ideal base for exploring a renowned Minoan palace complex, the site of Europe's oldest city.

Santorini travel guide

4.1
Beaches · Landmarks · Ruins
Wine Island
Known for dramatic views and romantic sunsets, the island of Santorini draws visitors with its long string of black, white, and red beaches. The largest and most significant of a small group of volcanic islands located just 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland, Santorini boasts just over 15,000 permanent residents. Created by a massive volcanic eruption that likely destroyed a single large island, the archipelago still features an active volcano, which saw its last eruption in the 1950s. The easiest way to explore Santorini's craggy coastline is on foot. Start by visiting the archaeological sites on the island's southwestern side, which offer a chance to discover the area's ancient past with unobstructed views of the famed volcano.