What can you do in nine days? In Greece, you can travel from the home of ancient gods to the home of the world’s most beautiful sunsets to the home of epic nightlife. After these nine days? You may never want to go home.
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Diving off a boat into the clear-blue Aegean Sea
Posing in front of the cotton-candy Santorini sunset
Snorkeling through a shipwreck off the island of Ios
Channeling ancient goddesses atop the Acropolis
Sipping a glass of red at a cliffside winery
What you'll get
Round-trip flights & airport transfers
3 ferry rides
7 nights in handpicked accommodations
Expert Tour Director
24/7 support from our travel gurus
Insider Acropolis tour with local guide
- Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Athens, the cradle of Western Civilization and one of the oldest cities in the world. Pro tip: if you’re looking to earn some bonus points with the locals upon arrival, make sure you refer to Greece by its real name: Hellas.
- Day 2: Arrive in Athens + Welcome Dinner
Welcome to Athens! This city is at least 5,000 years old, but hardly looks a day over 25 (when you look past the historic structures and ancient statues). What we’re trying to say is, Athens is a beautiful city filled with art, literature, history, and about a million Instagram-worthy spots. And it’s the first stop on your journey through the Greek Islands.
In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
- Meet an EF representative at the airport
- Transfer to your accommodation and check in
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive
- Get acquainted with Athens on a brief walk around the city with your Tour Director.
- Day 3: Set Sail for Ios
Escape the hustle and bustle of Athens and immerse yourself in island life, Mediterranean style. The hilly island of Ios, in the Cyclades, is known for all-day parties, sandy beaches so soft they’ll have you ditching your shoes permanently, and nightlife that stretches into early morning. This is the place to party, relax, and repeat.
- Blow a farewell kiss to Athens and board your ferry to Ios.
- Arrive and check in to your accommodations.
- Join your Tour Director on a walking tour of the area and get a feel for the island living.
- Spend the rest of the day exploring on your own, then get the party started with the island’s famous nightlife.
Free time suggestions
Mylopotas Beach: Head to Mylopotas Beach, located near the island’s main village of Chora, for a day of sunbathing, or hit the water for windsurfing, snorkeling, and Marco Polo-ing. Prepare to get your socks knocked off—this is the most visited beach in Ios…not that you should be wearing socks at the beach anyways.
Pyrgos Hike: Head into the cliff-top villages of Ios and catch a glimpse of the iconic windmills. Then, feel on top of the world after hiking up to Pyrgos, the island’s highest point, and take in some serious views.
- Day 4: Free Day in Ios + Optional Speedboat & Shipwreck Snorkel
Enjoy a free day to explore Ios on your own. By now, you probably already understand why the nightlife on this island is so famous, but Ios is more than just a party destination—it’s full of history, tradition, and activity. Spend the day wandering around island villages, going for a hike, or just relaxing under blue skies on one of the island’s pristine beaches. Bring a bottle of wine, a book, and your personal playlist—you’re in paradise.
- Make your way to the beach for more splashing, sunshine, and sand between your toes, and love that this is now part of your daily routine.
- Head to the harbor to devour fresh seafood and ocean views.
- Snap a picture at the Panayia Gremiotissa bell tower, one of the most photographed spots on the island.
- Dance the night away in the Greek Islands’ most famous party scene.
Free time suggestions
Paleokastro: Explore Paleokastro (translation: old castle) and discover the ancient ruins that have been standing on a cliff’s edge overlooking the Aegean Sea since 1397 AD.
Archaeological Museum: Ios is more than just a pretty face. Soak in some of the island’s ancient history at the Archeological Museum.
Speedboat & Shipwreck Snorkel (extra cost)
Hop on your speed boat, grab a snorkel, and swim amongst a shipwreck. Then, voyage into secret caves in the coast of Ios, relax on our favorite isolated beaches and hidden lagoons, and munch on a light lunch.
This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than five days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.
- Day 5: Free Day in Ios
You can never have too much free time in paradise. Spend the day revisiting your favorite sunbathing spot, exploring new hiking paths, or snorkeling with some fish friends.
- Take a break from the nonstop parties on Manganari beach, a secluded spot perfect for a peaceful afternoon under the sun.
- Trek over to Skarkos Hill for a look at the island’s largest archaeological excavation site, and get a peek into ancient civilization.
- Stay out till the break of dawn (and then stay out a little longer) to end your last night in Ios the right way.
Free time suggestions
Shopping in Chora: Spend some time shopping in Chora, the island’s main village. This classic Greek village offers incredible views and has endless alleys and side streets to explore.
Homer’s Tomb: Pay homage to one of the greatest poet’s in Greek history during a hike in the northernmost part of the island to Homer’s Tomb. If you ever read Odyssey or Iliad in high school, you know who to thank.
- Day 6: Travel to Santorini
Next stop, Santorini! This piece of paradise is one of the most iconic Greek Islands, complete with whitewashed and blue-domed buildings, romantic beaches, and endless sunshine.
- Board your ferry to Santorini.
- Arrive and check in to your accommodation.
- Get to know the picturesque island that you’ll be calling home for the next two nights.
- Sprint to the nearest beach and enjoy a Santorini sunset.
Free time suggestions
Sunset in Oia: Oia is the traditional village in the northwestern end of Santorini and best known for its blue-domed churched, windmills and winding streets that pop up in everyone’s Instagram feeds. And for good reason. Head there before sunset for awe-inspiring sunset views and get ready to capture some likes…errr, photos.
Santorini Beaches: Visit one of Santorini’s top beaches for an evening swim—from Perivolos to Kamari to Ammoudi Bay—there are tons to choose from and you literally can’t go wrong.
Cliffside Wine Tasting & Village Tour (extra cost)
Quaint villages, wine, and a breathtaking sunset—it doesn’t get more Greek than this. Go from village to village with a local guide, exploring the volcanic landscape. Then, sample local wines at a cliffside winery.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
- Day 7: Explore Santorini
Still loving life on this romantic island? Rhetorical question: The answer is obviously yes. Enjoy another day to check out Santorini’s famous sites and hidden gems. Now, here’s your trivia question of the day— What’s black, white, and red all over? Answer: The sandy beaches that cover this volcanic island and are the perfect backdrop for any photo shoot (and pretty nice spots for a nap, too). Think you know your adult grape juice? Join an optional Cliffside wine tasting excursion.
- Grab your towel and your sunscreen, it’s time to hit the beach(es).
- Take a dip in the Aegean Sea. You can pinch yourself, but we promise you aren’t dreaming, plus you’ll end up with some unnecessary bruises.
- Shop along the narrow streets of Fira, the capital city of Santorini, or just admire the handcrafted jewelry, local artwork, and souvenirs.
- Channel your inner wine-aficionado during an optional tasting at a Cliffside winery.
Free time suggestions
Akrotiri Ruins: Visit the Akrotiri Ruins are a Minoan Bronze Age settlement buried in volcanic dust, this site predates Pompeii and is considered by many to be the famed lost city of Atlantis.
Thira Ruins: Head up to the top of the cliffs on the southeast part of the island to explore this Greek and Roman archaeological site.
Museums: Get your history on at a few of the island’s museums. The Archaeological Museum of Thera and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera are home to well-preserved artifacts and fossils dating back to 17th century BC.
- Day 8: Return to Athens + Farewell Dinner
Athens felt neglected, so it’s a good thing you’re heading back to pay it another visit. End the trip with a bang in a city known for stunning views and world-class nightlife. By now, you’re an old pro when it comes to exploring Greece, so we’re giving you the day to adventure in Athens on your own before an included farewell dinner with the group.
- Take a ferry from Ios to Athens, and greet the ancient city like a really, really old friend.
- Meet your local guide and experience the city's highlights.
- Revisit some favorite spots from day one in Athens, or go on a hunt to find new hidden gems.
- Check out some of the residential areas for an authentic look at life in Athens.
- Enjoy one last group dinner, and raise a glass to an epic trip.
Free time suggestions
Go Ancient: Step back in time in the historic Acropolis of Athens, and take in incredible panoramic views of Athens from the citadel’s hilltop vantage point.
All Greek to Me: The National Archaeology Museum is considered one of the greatest museums in the world, with pieces ranging from Greek sculptures to Egyptian Antiquities. Mama Mia! That’s quite a collection.
Follow the Light: Flood-lit like a beacon towering over the city, Mount Lycabettus offers a spectacular view of the city. If you’ve been holding out on posting a scenic Instagram post, this is your moment.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
- Day 9: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 68 authentic traveler reviews
Great trip!Anonymous, traveled Aug.. 2021
This trip was amazing! This was my first time booking through a travel company and I was skeptical but very impressed! The tour guide, Adam, was awesome. He planned a lot of additional things for the group to join in on in every spot! He had amazing restaurants picked out and super fun other excursions. He was helpful & accommodating. The trip itself was un... See more
The Most Beautiful Place I've Ever SeenSierra, traveled Aug.. 2021
This was truly the best vacation I've ever been on. EF plans everything down to the last detail and it is so organized. I had the best tour guide, Theodora, who was an absolute angel. The views, the food, and the people all made this such a great trip. I definitely recommend doing the winery excursion. This gives you an in depth tour of Santorini(which incl... See more
Stress Free Travel ExperienceSydney, traveled Jun.. 2022
This was the most incredible travel experience I’ve ever had! EF took care of everything so I didn’t have to stress whatsoever. I met the most amazing people and explored the beautiful culture. I will 100% be traveling with them again. And the excursions were so well thought up and planned.
Beautiful beaches!Megan, traveled Jun.. 2022
My favorite part of this trip was the island of Ios. The beaches and the water were incredible. The nightlife was insane. The island was genuine and not overcrowded with tourists. I will definitely be back! My favorite part of Santorini was the black sand beach. The Greek islands are a must-do!