DIY Travel Guide Series: 11 Days Exploring Greece

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor June 22nd, 2015 Posted in DIY Travel, Europe, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 34 Comments

Greece is commonly known as the birthplace of western civilization, the land of the Gods and Goddesses and the home of Greek Mythology. Ready to Travel to Greece?

DIY Travel Guide-Travel to Greece
The Acropolis of Athens

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Acropolis of Athens.

Travel Tips:

Athens

Visit the National Archaeological Museum, which has the best collection of ancient artifacts dated since B.C. and walked around Ermou Street (the shopping district). Take a bus/train from the airport to Athens. It’s cheap, convenient and fast.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Athens and National Archaeological Museum

DIY Travel guide: Greece
At the Acropolis of Athens

Santorini

I recommend that you stay in Oia whenever you plan to visit Santorini. It’s the most beautiful town on the island. You can stay in traditional cave houses, they normally offer a very good accommodation with daily breakfast, and the location is unbeatable for its price. We are very fortunate that our cave house is just 1-minute walk from the Oia Castle Ruins which is the best sunset spot in Santorini. Many tourists are having wine while waiting for the “golden hour” to pass. It was the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen. Couples kissed, everyone else applauded after watching this beautiful show of nature. We bought most of the souvenirs in Fira (capital of the island) because the prices are lower than Oia.

Do not miss Greek yogurt with honey. Also try Gyros to take away, it’s one of the most popular Greek dishes, really delicious and cheap.

From Athens, alternatively you can take the ferries to visit the islands, which is cheaper but you will have longer travel time.

Have a seafood dinner at Ammoudi bay. This is optional but if you can, tip generously, most places are not charging much for their service and the crew is not getting that much for their days work, they deserve some extra.

Related Article: Looking for affordable accommodation in Greece? Check out deals in Agoda.

DIY Travel guide: Greece
The golden hour of Santorini sunset

Mykonos

You can take a ferry from Piraeus port (near Athens) to Mykonos which is a cheaper option, but again this will consume much of your precious time. I rented a quad bike, so I can go at my phase to see the best of the island. Yes, with my Philippines driving license they allowed me to drive a quad.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Mykonos.

Mykonos is a windy island the whole of Cyclades is a windy place and this day was one of the usual windy days. I was just wearing a light shirt and shorts. Bad idea.

Exploring around Mykonos town, you can see the Whitewashed colorful houses, small rock paved alleys and traditional Greek tavernas. Beautiful! You should see the unique stalls of famous boutiques all following the unique Cyclades architecture.

Elia beach is very popular for nudist so prepare yourself for what you’re about to see. Make sure not to take pictures of nude sunbathers, respect your fellow tourists. It was a nice place to spend the rest of the day, golden sand beach, clear waters and cool breeze.

Mykonos is well known for its parties, so I did not let it pass. The Scandinavian bar is the most popular, but feel free to explore the other places, which are all interesting and unique. Delos is a nearby island rich in archaeological artifacts and history. It’s the birthplace of Apollo according to legends. Super Paradise Beach is the most famous beach in Mykonos and well known for its crazy beach parties during summer. Make sure to have a full stomach when you come here; food is ridiculously expensive.

You can also visit Paros and Naxos in the Cyclades Islands if you have a tight budget.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Naxos

Zakynthos

In my sight-seeing trip on this island, the tour guide showed us the best places. We’ve also been to a mountaintop where you see the amazing views of the town to old historic Venetian style churches. The guide did not miss to show us the local life as well, where the Greeks are docking their boats, gathering for a barbecue and discuss politics.

It’s amazing to know that there are 1 million olive trees on this island, more than its population of 40,000 and of course, we also visited the olive oil museum.

Monkey DividersDaily Budget:

 DIY travel guide: greece

 DIY Travel Guide: greece

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Trip Highlights:  

Santorini – Oia Town, Red Beach, White Beach, Volcano

DIY travel guide: greece
View from the balcony of our cave house in Santorini
DIY Travel guide: Greece
Santorini is also an artists paradise
DIY Travel Guide: Greece
View from the town of Oia

Mykonos – Mykonos Town, Little Venice, Wind Mills, Super Paradise Beach, Elia Beach

DIY Travel Guide: Greece
The famous whitewashed houses of Mykonos

Zakynthos – Zakynthos Town, Blue Caves, Navagio Beach

DIY Travel guide: Greece
Aerial view of Navagio Beach in Zakynthos
DIY Travel guide: Greece
Enjoying the blue waters of Navagio bay in Zakynthos

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Visa Requirements:

Schengen Visa is required to visit Greece. Kindly check the website of the embassy or consul of the country of your residence to check the requirements.

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Itinerary Details:

DAY 1:  Singapore to Athens via CDG (Paris)

Afternoon arrival in Athens

Visited the National Archaeological Museum and Ermou Street (the shopping district).

Hotel Check –in Best western museum hotel

DAY 2:  Athens to Santorini

Early flight to Santorini –  I took the 45-minute bus from Syntagma Square to Athens Airport where my friends met me to join the trip.

Arrived in Oia, Santorini at 07:00H, we pre-arranged the airport transfer to the hotel.

We stayed in a traditional cave house, overlooking the Caldera and spent the rest of our morning just relaxing on the balcony.

In the afternoon, we went to Oia Castle Ruins to watch the sunset. A must see during your trip to Santorini.

DAY 3: Visit the Volcano, Hot Spring, and Island of Thirasia

We had a volcano tour for half day to Ammoudi Bay where we boarded our wooden boat.

The boat sailed its way to Fira to pick up more passengers.

It’s 30 minutes tough climb to the volcano up on rocky hills. Amazing view!

After the volcano, we sailed slowly behind to the hot springs, and we reached the Island of Thirasia after 10 minutes. It is very close to Oia, and in this place, we had the best seafood lunch of our trip. After a couple of hours on the Island, and went back to Ammoudi Bay and Oia. Everything was arranged perfectly by the tour operator, so I would recommend you do this if you have many days in Santorini.

DAY 4: Visit the Red Beach, Wakiki Beach and Fira.

We visited the Red Beach; it’s about 20 to 30-minute drive from Oia. The views of Red beach is amazing, a giant reddish cliff and beach.

Next stop, Kamari beach is the black sand beach, just behind Santorini airport. I was born in the Philippines and seeing the best beaches around the world this did not impress me much. But still worth a visit because it’s quite different and a good place just to chill and relax.

After few hours in Kamari beach, we headed to Fira which is the capital of Santorini. There are more shops and restaurants and cheaper than Oia. We walked around town and took many pictures of course and head back to our place in Oia. 

DAY 5: Sailing in Santorini

From morning until early afternoon, we just stayed in our cave house.

Around 3 pm, We went to Ammoudi Bay for our afternoon sailing around the Caldera in Santorini. We boarded our huge and luxurious catamaran with a private room and showers, personalized service, sumptuous dinner and the free flow of drinks were included.

First stop is the red beach. Next stop is the white beach. It’s not a white sandy beach; they called it white beach because of the white rocks on the shore.

We sailed back slowly near Ammoudi bay to watch the sunset while on board, unfortunately, it’s quite a rough windy and cloudy that day and the sunset was not that gorgeous. But the whole trip was value for money. The experience was top of the line and yes, luxurious. Truly, a “feeling mayaman” moment!

DAY 6: Santorini – Athens

Catch the 08:00 flight to Athens.

We took a taxi from Athens Airport to our place in Athens which we booked through AIRBNB. We chose a place which is very near the center and walking distance from the Acropolis. Greeks are better in speaking English, comparing to other European countries I visited (France, Switzerland, Italy, and Netherlands), finding our way to our apartment was no hassle.

We took our time walking around Acropolis where on top you will see the most famous landmarks of Greece, including the Parthenon and the amazing view of the city. From Acropolis, we walked around Ermou street (shopping area) and Syntagma Square.

 DAY 7: Athens – Mykonos

Catch the morning flight to Mykonos.

Arrived in Mykonos and checked-in in our hotel.

Sight-seeing using a quad bike, I visited the windmills and the little Venice.

In the afternoon, I explored the other side of the Island all the way to Elia beach, and after few hours I headed back to town again to see the sunset.

In the evening, I went to enjoy the nightlife of the island.

DAY 8: Super Paradise Beach

I canceled my trip to Delos island due to a bad hangover from the night before, so I ended up in Super Paradise Beach.

At night, back in Mykonos town and had dinner in a tavern.

DAY 9: Mykonos – Zakynthos

I took an evening flight to Zakynthos on this day and had a 5 hours stopover in Athens. I took a bus to Athens from the airport and headed straight to town.

Arrived at 8 pm in Zakynthos and checked-in in the hotel.

DAY 10: Zakynthos

After breakfast, I joined the sight-seeing trip of the island.

One of the best parts of this tour is Navagio Beach also known as the Shipwreck beach.

In the evening, head to an Italian restaurant for dinner and head back to the hotel ready for my flight.

 DAY 11: Zakynthos – Athens – Paris – Singapore

This was my last day in Greece and did not have time to go around. So I spend time editing pictures and writing postcards to family and friends. No time wasted.

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Monkey DividersAbout the Writer

Jaypee LicudanJaypee Licudan is a Filipino Expat based in Singapore. He’s a traveler and writer for Two Monkeys Travel Group – Community Travel Blog and has been to over 30 countries across four continents. He’s major long term goal is to go back to the Philippines for a long time travel to discover the hidden gems of his home country. Follow his blog: The Rustic Nomad

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34 thoughts on “DIY Travel Guide Series: 11 Days Exploring Greece

  1. Greece is an amazing destination with multifarious tourist attractions. Handpicking a few prime tourist attractions for a short visit is a cumbersome task. Thank You Greece Visa (www.greece-visa.co.uk) Team for all your assistance in getting this organized. It was a wonderful decision to choose the services offered by your visa professionals.

  2. Hi
    The Santorini and all other photos are just amazing. Am planning a trip there in early April but still confused as to where best to stay in Santorini. Some recommend Imerovigli for the sunset & caldera view. Would like to hear your take on whether Oia or Fira or Imerovigli or Firostefani is the choice considering sunset view & walking to good reasonable F&B joints. Thank you. ??

  3. You have a beautiful photos of Greece! In Greece sunset looks marvelous always. I am sure there are alot of people who had put Greece in their priority travel bucket list.

  4. Great post.. every one should visit these location ….. I love your informative and Enjoyable content..Thanks for the publishing this content.

  5. Hello,

    I have questions about planning for the santorini trip.

    1)Did you buy your plane ticket to santorini after getting the visa or before?
    2)If santorini is in my itinerary, do i need to present to the consul a plane ticket as well from athens to santorini?

    Im actually checking flights from athens-santorini-athens via ryan air and I dont know how to reserve one. I think I need to pay for it already.

    1. Yes, you need to show proof of all your hotel accommodations and transportation means for the visa application. Yes, you need to pay it already and RyanAir is cheap naman!

  6. Most beautiful place to relax and unwind in paxos, and the food is amazing too, such a warm welcome. We will definitely come back to stay here someday x

  7. Very nice tips and very beautiful photos! next time try to climb into a helicopter and see Mykonos from above! A tour of the island

  8. Hi Jaypee! I read your article and ita was very good.. I’m planning also to visit on Greece this October for 5 days.. i would really love to go to zakynthos.. can i ask, if where u book the tour package for the navagio beach and shipwreck beach, also the the amazing view from the cliff.. thank u so much! Hope to hear from u soon!!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this, I’m going to Zakynthos next year for 2 weeks and can’t wait. Those oceans look so blue!

    Corinne x

  10. I remember how found was my grandmother of Greece, after a holiday there she was delighted. I would like to visit it too.

  11. Greece is one of those places I want to visit so much one day – it just seems like such a beautiful, historical country. x

  12. I have aways wanted to go to Greece! Thank you so much for your tips! I will be referring to it often! Love the pics here too!

  13. Ah, I went to Greece, sailing around smaller islands as my first holiday abroad and it was stunning (but I hated sailing!)… this makes me want to go back!

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