12 days in Crete, Santorini & Athens Itinerary

12 days in Crete, Santorini & Athens Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Greece tour itinerary planner
Make it your trip
— 7 nights
Taxi to Heraklion, Ferry to Akrotiri
— 3 nights
Bus to Santorini, Fly to Athens
— 1 night


Rethymnon — 7 nights

Rethymnon combines the old-fashioned charm of a small town with proximity to long sandy beaches with all the modern conveniences usually found in big tourist resorts.
Your list of things to see and do now includes Old Venetian Harbor, Samaria Gorge National Park, Preveli Beach, and other attractions. Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Lake Kournas and The Holy Monastery of Preveli. Step out of the city life by going to Varkotopos Beach and Gorge of Mili. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Rethymnon: Kalivaki Beach (in Georgioupolis) and Livadi Beach (in Bali). There's much more to do: visit Rethymnon Old Town, steep yourself in history at The Venetian Fortezza, stop by Elements Handmade Jewels, and enjoy the sand and surf at Georgioupolis Beach.

To see reviews, ratings, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Rethymnon day trip tool.

London, UK to Rethymnon is an approximately 7.5-hour flight. You can also do a combination of bus and ferry; or take a bus. The time zone difference moving from Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) to Eastern European Standard Time (EET) is 2 hours. In July, Rethymnon is a bit warmer than London - with highs of 37°C and lows of 25°C. You'll have a few hours on the 30th (Sat) to wrap things up before traveling to Akrotiri.
Parks · Outdoors · Beaches · Nature
Side Trips

Akrotiri — 3 nights

Located on Santorini's southwestern coastline, the small village of Akrotiri sits just a short walk from one of Europe's most significant Bronze Age archaeological sites.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Anastasis Church, Sunset in Oia, Castelli of Pyrgos, and other attractions you added. Get in touch with nature at Mesa Pigadia Beach and Caldera Beach. There's still lots to do: explore the ancient world of Akrotiri and kick back and relax at Red Beach.

To find more things to do, photos, maps, and other tourist information, read our Akrotiri journey planning tool.

Do a combination of taxi and ferry from Rethymnon to Akrotiri in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of bus and ferry. In July, daily temperatures in Akrotiri can reach 35°C, while at night they dip to 27°C. You'll have a few hours on the 2nd (Tue) to wrap things up before traveling to Athens.
Historic Sites · Outdoors · Parks · Beaches
Side Trips

Athens — 1 night

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Your day by day itinerary now includes Acropolis of Athens. Start off your visit on the 2nd (Tue): pause for some photo ops at Erechtheion, steep yourself in history at Acropolis of Athens, then visit Plaka, and finally explore the ancient world of Temple of Hephaestus.

For maps, photos, and other tourist information, go to the Athens online attractions planner.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Akrotiri to Athens in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of ferry and taxi; or ride a ferry. When traveling from Akrotiri in August, plan for somewhat warmer days in Athens, with highs around 39°C, while nights are about the same with lows around 29°C. On the 3rd (Wed), you'll have the morning to explore before heading back home.
Historic Sites · Neighborhoods

Crete travel guide

Beaches · Ruins · Nightlife
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

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.