14 Days in Greece Itinerary: Crete, Delphi, Meteora, Nafplion, Athens

I love it when you communicate with me asking for a travel tip or sharing your travel experience in Greece. I often receive email messages such as “Need a 14 Days in Greece Itinerary”, seeking ideas for your first-time visit to Greece with a strong focus on the historical monuments and spectacular nature.

While there are endless ways to spend two weeks in Greece, this itinerary – which I have done with variations many times – captures the best of mainland and southern Greece.

Nafplion

With its ever-changing scenery and hidden gems along the way, this road trip is never dull; you get to explore major must-see Greek destinations like Athens, Crete, Delphi, Meteora, Nafplion, Mycenae, and Epidaurus.

Livadia

Along the route, you’ll also have the chance to discover charming smaller towns like Thebes, Livadia, Kamena Vourla, Thermopylae, Corinth, and Nemea – each offering a unique glimpse into Greek history and culture. If you’re currently planning a vacation in Greece, my 14-day itinerary will surely inspire you!

So without further ado, this is my suggested travel plan for Greece.

*Some of the links below are affiliate links.  That means I may make a commission if you click and buy. The commission comes at no additional cost to you.

My Latest Video on Acropolis

14 days in Greece itinerary | Day Break Down

The Odeon of Herodes Attikus in Acropolis of Athens Greece.
Athens view from the Acropolis Hill

Day 1 | Arriving in Athens

After landing in Athens, you’ll likely be looking for a comfortable place to rest for your layover as the next day you will be flying to Crete. We can help you find the perfect hotel near the Athens airport such as the Avra Hotel (mid-range, family-friendly) that offers free pick up from the Athens airport.

Day 2 | Fly to Heraklion Crete

The Venetian port of Heraklion inn Crete with many small fishing boats.
Heraklion Port

After your hotel checkout, you’ll take a flight to Crete (Heraklion). Upon arrival, pre-arranged transportation can whisk you comfortably to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the vibrant city of Heraklion. Wander the charming streets, marvel at the impressive Venetian Fortress guarding the port, and soak up the lively atmosphere. Heraklion is the capital of Crete, offering a taste of the island’s rich history and culture.

pouring cinnamon over a Greek pastry sweet.
Bougatsa phyllo with cream, and cinnamon

A fantastic and fun way to discover the Cretan culture is to book a guided tour of the city that includes food tasting with local goodies! You get to visit 8 local favorite stops away from the tourist crowds sampling:

  • Cretan cheeses.
  • Heraklion’s bougatsa in a family-owned business.
  • Cretan olive oil and find out why it is considered one of the best in the world.
  • Enjoy a glass of local wine and learn about the Cretan wine-making process.

Where to Stay in Heraklion Crete

The room of Stay 365 Heraklion Apart Hotel in Crete Greece.
Stay 365 Heraklion Apart Hotel
  • 5-star GDM Megaron Historical Monument Hotel is a stunning property with views of the Venetian port in central Heraklion (family-friendly).
  • Raise Kornarou City Stay (mid-range, self-catering, family-friendly) is a very beautiful property close to several well-known attractions in Heraklion.
  • Stay 365 Heraklion Apart Hotel (budget, breakfast, family-friendly) is a bit out of the center of Heraklion, with spacious rooms and facilities, and a lovely garden area.

Day 3 | Visit to Knossos Palace (14 days in Greece Itinerary)

Knossos Palace

On day three, you’ll delve into the Minoan civilization at the magnificent Knossos Palace. The Knossos Palace, once the seat of the legendary King Minos, is the largest Minoan palace, offering a glimpse into a powerful civilization reaching its peak during 1600 BCE. Knossos is just 5 km southeast of Heraklion and the entrance ticket is €15.

You can easily get there from Heraklion by taxi, bus, or rental car, or for an in-depth experience, consider booking a Knossos Palace Skip-the-Line Guided Walking Tour with a licensed guide (entrance ticket included).

Day 4 & 5 | Beaches and Villages of Heraklion

Archanes

During your next 2 days, you can chill out at a nearby beach or explore charming villages such as Archanes. What I love about this mountainous village is that it is a small paradise with its stream crossing the village, the colorfully painted houses, and the ambiance of authentic Crete. Archanes is also famous for its vineyards with indigenous grape varieties that you can explore by booking this guided tour with wine tasting.

If you are more of a beach and sun bum here are some fantastic beach choices in Heraklion, depending on your preferences:

  • Explore vibrant Chersonissos and Malia, perfect for soaking up the sun, swimming in crystal-clear waters, and enjoying a lively atmosphere with beach bars and restaurants. (The downside is that they can be jam-packed with tourists).
  • Head south to Matala, famous for its sandy beach and the ancient caves once inhabited by hippies. Explore the unique landscape and soak up the bohemian vibes.
  • Seeking serenity? Venture south to Agiofaraggo Gorge and Beach, a hidden gem. Hike through the dramatic gorge and be rewarded with a secluded beach, perfect for relaxation amidst Crete’s wild beauty.

Day 6 | Athens | Food Tour | Sounion Sunset

Cape Sounion in Athens

It is time to leave beautiful Crete island for more adventures on the Greek mainland 😀

So the usual procedure starts: check out from your hotel, transfer to the Heraklion airport to take the flight to Athens. Arrival and transfer to a central Athens hotel.

Food Tasting for 14 days in Greece itinerary

Since you are going to visit the Acropolis and the other sites the next day, on your first full day in Athens you can choose between:

Athens: Where Best to Stay

The Modernist hotel
  • The Modernist Athens (4-star, family-friendly) is located in the posh Athenian neighborhood of Kolonaki with a beautiful terrace.
  • Kin Athens (4-star, family-friendly) is a modern and spacious apartment in central Athens.
  • The Residence Aiolou Hotel & Spa is a newly introduced modern boutique hotel housed in two beautiful buildings.

Day 7 | Acropolis Hill

Halfway through your 14 days in Greece itinerary, your 7th day is dedicated to the spectacular monument of Acropolis Hill. Strolling Acropolis – an uphill site – will need at least 90 minutes, especially if you are with a licensed guide – which I highly recommend to understand what you see around you. The guide can accompany you to the stunning Acropolis Museum right across from the Acropolis’ south entrance.

Panathenaic Stadium celebrating Marathon race

A great idea is to walk/drive around some important sites of Athens such as the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896 with a short stop.

Hadrian’s Library

Continue and pass by the Prime Minister’s residence (ex-Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, the Constitution Square (Syntagma).

Finish your tour with a well-deserved meal in Plaka’s charming streets listening to Greek music and enjoy your Athenian experiences.

Day 8 | Thebes, Livadia, Osios Loukas

Delphi

The next day you will travel north of Athens to visit one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, the Oracle of Apollo in Delphi. Today recognized as a UNESCO monument, Delphi used to be a significant religious institution in Ancient Greece. It held considerable wealth and influence, providing prophecies from the god Apollo through his priestess, Pythia, to influential leaders, kings, wealthy families, and city-states seeking guidance.

My favorite route to Delphi that passes from beautiful towns and landscapes is through:

Arachova
  • Thebes with a fantastic archaeological museum.
  • River-crossed, souvlaki-famed Livadia town.
  • Osios Loukas monastery, a Byzantine masterpiece of the 11th century CE and finally you arrive at the picturesque village of Arachova, on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, 10 km from Delphi.

Free time to explore Arachova and its traditional cuisine. Must taste in Arachova is local formaela hard cheese.

Hotels I suggest you stay in Arachova and Delphi:

  • Xenonas Iresioni (3-star, breakfast, family-friendly) is a beautiful property with traditional and classical decorations in the center of Arachova.
  • Delphic Horizons (4-star, family-friendly) is one of the most hospitable properties in Delphi, with a stunning balcony view.

Day 9 | Delphi & Arachova

After your breakfast, you will visit Delphi and the Archaeological Site (entrance ticket €12). I highly recommend a licensed guide to explain and describe the temples, the stadium, the theater, and the other buildings inside the site. This Delphi Guided Walking Tour with Admission Ticket has a friendly and knowledgeable guide (Georgia).

Olive Tree Valley in Delphi

After you visit Delphi and the museum, you will probably want to grab something to eat. There are great taverns in both Delphi and Arachova. Just choose one with a balcony that offers a view of the 1 million olive trees valley in Delphi. After your meal, you depart for Kalambaka the town at the foothills of Meteora rocks.

Where to Stay in Meteora

Amalia Hotel Kalambaka

I suggest you stay overnight in Kastraki (2.7 km from Kalambaka) as Kastraki offers more charm than commercial Kalambaka. Hotel Doupiani House (4-star, family-friendly) is in a spectacular location in Kastraki, with a panoramic view of both Meteora rocks and the valley.

I also like Amalia Hotel Kalambaka (4-star, family-friendly, 6 km from Kalambaka) with a large swimming pool, 2 on-site restaurants, and lush gardens.

Day 10 | Meteora Monasteries & Kamena Vourla

On the 10th day of your 14 days in Greece itinerary, you will be visiting the Meteora monasteries built by Greek Orthodox monks in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Meteora Monasteries has been a UNESCO World Heritage Monument since 1988 and it is today the second most important monastic complex in Greece after Mount Athos Monasteries in Chalkidiki. There are usually 2 to 3 monasteries open every day. Entrance ticket for each monastery is €3.

What best to do in Pelion Greece, Thermopylae and Leonidas statue
Leonidas Statue in Thermopylae

When you feel you had enough photos of the magical Meteora rocks, your driver will start the trip to Nafplion which is 478 km to the south. If there is time you can make a stop at historical Thermopylae which is on your way.

Kamena Vourla last December

I suggest you stay overnight at the seafront small town of Kamena Vourla which is an area frequented mostly by Greeks. One exceptional hotel in this town is the impressive Mitsis Galini Hotel (5-star, family-friendly) with a huge swimming pool!

Day 11 | Corinth, Epidaurus, Nafplion

I hope you stayed at Mitsis Galini and you enjoyed both the swimming pool and the sea. Right after your breakfast, you will be traveling once again to the south of Greece, to the Peloponnese and the spectacular Nafplion. These are some of my favorite stops you can make along your way to Nafplion (or not if you prefer to go straight to the town):

I suggest you stay in Nafplion in the Carpe Diem Boutique Hotel (4-star, family-friendly) or Castellano Hotel & Suites (4-star, family-friendly), gorgeous properties.  

Day 11 & 12 | Nafplion

On the 11th day of your Greece itinerary, you will explore the picturesque alleys of Nafplion.

Nafplio was the first modern capital of Greece, right after the Greek War of Independence against the Ottomans in 1821. Today, it’s a popular destination for weekend getaways from Athens and international tourists who flock here year-round.

Palamidi castle in Nafplion

The town boasts a wealth of historical treasures. Explore the three impressive castles: Akronafplia, Palamidi, and Bourtzi (reachable by a short and scenic boat ride). For a taste of the local life, stroll through Syntagma Square, the vibrant heart of Nafplion. And of course, no visit is complete without a walk along the gorgeous seafront with the palm trees, soaking in the breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.

Day 13 | Mycenae & Nemea

wine tasting in Greece
Wine tasting in Nemea

You start your return trip towards Athens with stops at the spectacular Mycenae site and Nemea for wine tasting and the archaeological site.
Nemea is a real hidden gem. Known for its lush beauty and vast vineyards—the biggest in the Balkans—it’s a hotspot for top-notch wine tasting. And, according to Greek legends, it’s also where Heracles fought and killed the Nemean Lion! As it also houses the important archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Zeus and an ancient Greek Stadium, there are plenty of things to do in Nemea.

Overnight in Athens.

Day 14 | Fly Back Home

Check out and transfer to Athens airport for your flight back home. 🙂

Final Thoughts

At Nemea’s Temple of Zeus

I hope you enjoyed exploring the suggested itinerary! Cheers to a memorable journey ahead, and I hope this itinerary serves you well! If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to reach out. Safe travels!

Essential Travel info for Greece

About the author
Evgenia Mataragka
Hi! I am an Athens-based Greek obsessed with exploring Greece and bringing you the best travel experience ever!

Leave a Comment

You cannot copy content of this page

Skip to content