9 days in Athens, Santorini & Crete Itinerary

9 days in Athens, Santorini & Crete Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Greece tour planner

Make it your trip
— 3 nights
— 2 nights
— 3 nights



— 3 nights

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Here are some ideas for day two: explore the ancient world of Acropolis of Athens, explore the ancient world of Archaeological Site Mycenae, then get engrossed in the history at Acropolis Museum, then appreciate the history behind Temple of Olympian Zeus, and finally appreciate the history behind Erechtheion.

To see photos, other places to visit, where to stay, and tourist information, read our Athens road trip planning site.

Bologna, Italy to Athens is an approximately 5.5-hour flight. You can also drive; or do a combination of car and ferry. The time zone difference moving from Central European Standard Time to Eastern European Standard Time is 1 hour. Expect somewhat warmer temperatures when traveling from Bologna in September; daily highs in Athens reach 34°C and lows reach 24°C. You'll set off for Fira on the 9th (Thu).

Things to do in Athens

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods · Parks

Side Trip


— 2 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, indulge your senses at some of the top wineries in the area, stop by Oneiro Jewelry, and stroll through Perissa Black Sand Beach.

To see more things to do, traveler tips, reviews, and tourist information, use the Fira road trip planner.

Getting from Athens to Fira by flight takes about 3.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and ferry; or ride a ferry. September in Fira sees daily highs of 32°C and lows of 24°C at night. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 11th (Sat) early enough to ride a ferry to Heraklion.

Things to do in Fira

Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Wineries

Side Trips


— 3 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.
Kick off your visit on the 12th (Sun): take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Saint Titus, explore the historical opulence of Castello del Molo (Koules), then admire the local landmark of Morosini Fountain (Lion's Fountain), and finally explore the ancient world of The Palace of Knossos. On the 13th (Mon), you'll have a packed day of sightseeing: observe the fascinating underwater world at Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos, then learn more about the world around you at The Natural History Museum of Crete, then take an in-depth tour of Historical Museum of Crete, and finally take an in-depth tour of Heraklion Archaeological Museum.

To find reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Heraklion trip maker tool.

Getting from Fira to Heraklion by ferry takes about 2.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 32°C in September, and nighttime lows around 24°C. You'll set off for home on the 14th (Tue).

Things to do in Heraklion

Museums · Historic Sites · Parks · Zoos & Aquariums

Side Trips

Santorini travel guide

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.

Crete travel guide

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.