Our Big Fat Greek Adventure – the Best Things to do in Greece in 5 Weeks



Our unique Greece itinerary including four of the best Greek islands & some other Greek gems (such as Athens & Meteora)

We were lucky enough to spend five weeks exploring beautiful Greece and the Greek islands. We left behind our home living in Whistler. And embarked on our big fat Greek adventure.  We’d been itching to do a short backpacking trip and Greece featured highly on both of our bucket lists. So, the decision was an easy one. My husband is excellent at finding cheap flights and so we found a great deal to Corfu. The flight was via Eindhoven, but as we always say a quick sight-seeing detour is a positive. And so our big fat Greek adventure began.

Here’s our unique Greek itinerary in short, more information if you scroll down –

  • Corfu – 4 nights
  • Athens – 4 nights
  • Naxos – 4 nights

So, here it is our ultimate 5 week unique Greece itinerary featuring the best Greek islands. With the best tips on which hotels to stay at & where to find the yummiest restaurants. Greece is certainly a country not-to-be-missed! Why not visit Greece this Summer?

CORFU

Corfu is one of the cheaper Greek islands and public transport on the island is incredibly efficient. It’s easy to see the whole island in a short period. A top recommendation from us would be to visit Corfu town. Corfu town is a lot bigger than you’d expect with lots of quirky cobble-stoned back streets that you can spend hours getting lost in. 

corfu, greece, balcony
Paul “working” on booking us the best hotel deal in Corfu

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Corfu, as a very popular holiday destination in Greece. Corfu is what it says on the tin – a holiday-makers paradise with lush green scenery and turquoise-water beaches. We spent five days here in total.

The best things to do on Corfu

  • Hop on the Corfu Hop On Hop Off Bus – hop off at famous sights like Corfu Old Town, Panagia Valcherna Monastery and Pondikonissi Island. The bus does the route regularly so you can hop back on when you’re done with your stop. This tour is very reasonable and starts from €19 per person.
  • Go on a Cruise to the Blue Lagoon (also known as the Greek Carribbean) – the boat trip takes you to two stunning beaches where you can go snorkelling or explore some sea caves. This is a full-day experience, allow 7-10 hours total. The boat departs from Corfu town port or Lefkimmi port.
  • Do a Guided Food Tour through Corfu Town – your guide will introduce you to a less-explored side of historic Corfu Town, chat with locals and taste their homemade food and then sit down to lunch at a highly-recommended restaurant.

Best places to stay on Corfu island

We stayed at the gorgeous family-run Hotel Kaiser Bridge in Benitses, a beachside town 14km from Corfu town. Benitses is very easily accessible from both Corfu Airport & Corfu town. In fact, we caught the local greenbus into Corfu town regularly & it was hassle-free. There’s lots of accommodation options in Benitses too.

There are lots of yummy Greek restaurants in Benitses, most of them with lovely outdoor seating areas. In fact, our favorite restaurant in Benitses is Paxinos Restaurant. We visited on our first evening & I believe we ordered almost everything on the Menu – it was that delicious.

Another beautiful beach (and one of our favorites on the island) is Paleokastritsa. Located 25km northwest of Corfu town. You can also catch the local greenbus here but the roads are quite steep & winding.

Two hotel recommendations for Corfu Island are Thomas Beach Studios in Paleokastritsa and Kapetonios Luxury in Agios Georgios. All the hotels in beautiful Paleokastritsa can be found here.

corfu town, greece
The backstreets of Corfu town

METEORA

Meteora is to put it simply a series of Greek Orthodox Monasteries on top of extremely high rocks. It sounds crazy, but my photos below show more than I can explain with words. Now I’m sure most of you have never heard of Meteora, but believe me once you visit you will want to return time and time again. It is one of the true treasures of Greece.

It was a unique experience and one of our favourite stops on the trip. We spent our days here hiking to the Monasteries (there are six active Monasteries in total). The photo opportunities when you get to these Monasteries are incredible.

To get to Meteora you catch a train straight from Athens. Two top recommendations from us would be to book a hotel with a view of the Monasteries (there aren’t many so book in advance). Also, book a sunset tour to see the valley bathed in a magnificent pink.

meteora, greece, monasteries, greek orthadox, the best greek islands

The Best Things to do in Meteora

  • Do a Meteora Sunset Tour – to visit the monasteries and take some epic photos of the sunset behind the rocks. This is a 4 hour tour and you will visit 2 monasteries and take photos of the exterior of the other 4, then you will be brought to the secret viewpoint to witness the best sunset in Greece!
  • Book a Guided Tour to the monasteries, this half-day tour is great value for money and includes a visit to 3 monasteries. Your guide will give you a great insight into life in the monasteries and the history of the area. We found our guided tour so interesting. Prices start at only €25 per person.
  • Go on a Guided Hike through this unique landscape – this 4 hour hike takes you off-the-beaten track and enables you to see the glorious monasteries from a different perspective. The hike starts from Doupiani rock and ends at Grand Meteora Monastery, you will also pass Ypapanti and some of the smaller rock monasteries. Prices start from just €35 per person!

I’ve written an incredible detailed guide about Meteora and the best things to do there. I am sure you will find it helpful if you plan on visiting this gorgeous part of the world!

Best Places to stay in Meteora

We stayed at the very beautiful Meteora Hotel, the views from here have to be the best from any hotel in the world. With the magnificent Meteora rocks in prime viewing position from the outdoor pool and your suites balcony. Meteora Hotel is a little pricier than the smaller hotels in the nearby town of Kalambaka, but it’s worth every penny in my opinion. Some other highly rated hotels in Meteora include Grand Meteora Hotel and Only Yours Meteora. There are several accommodation options in Kastraki and in the larger town of Kalabaka.

Thankfully, there are lots of authentic Greek restaurants within a short walk of the Meteora Hotel. In the nearby town of Kalambaka some of our favourite restuarants included Elias Garden & Restaurant Meteora.

ATHENS

Walking through ancient Athens is like being in a history book. There is so much to do in Athens that you will never see it all unless you’re here for a long time. You can purchase a ‘Multi Ticket’ which gives you access to most of the ancient sights (including the Acropolis) for about  €30.

athens, greece, acropolis
Overlooking the Acropolis in Athens

We stayed very close to the Acropolis and we highly recommend staying near the Acropolis or Monastaraki Metro stations, Athens is a big city and you don’t want to be too far out from all the major sights.

We also recommend NOT to go in July and August as the crowds are at their biggest and the weather is at its hottest. It was 40°C when we were there. Overall, Athens is a great insight into true everyday life in Greece.

The Best Things to do in Athens

  • Whilst in Athens you must do a Guided Tour of the Acropolis – this small group tour is personalized and gets you a skip the line ticket so you don’t need to queue in the hot sun. This experience is up to 3.5 hours in duration and we learned so much from our knowledgeable guide.
  • Go on a Day Tour to Delphi – explore the Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi on this 10 hour guided tour that departs from Athens. You will see gorgeous mountain scenery on the drive and also stop at the Sanctuary of the oracle and see the remains of the Temple of Apollo.
  • Hop on a Boat Tour to some colorful Greek islands – including Hydra, Poros and Aegina on a luxurious cruise ship. You will stop at all 3 islands and have free time to explore each and also be treated to a buffet lunch on board, Prices start from €92.

The Best Places to Stay in Athens

We were lucky enough to grab last-minute deal at Adams Hotel, just a two minute walk from Hadrian’s Arch. We were even luckier to be upgraded to a larger room with a huge terrace featuring an excellent view of the Acropolis. Adams Hotel is close to many excellent restaurants including Electra Roof Garden (for sunset cocktails with a view of the Acropolis) and our personal favourite 7 Food Sins.

The Athenian Riviera Hotel & Suites is also highly recommended as well as the Four Seasons Palace Hotel if you’re after somewhere truly luxurious and romantic. Here’s a list of all the best hotels in Athens.

sunset, athens, greece
A beautiful sunset near Athens

SYROS

Syros island is in the Cyclades region famous for its sunsets and white-washed houses. Syros is one of the first stops on the ferry from Athens to Santorini. It’s one of the least-visited islands in this region and so it was a pleasant change for us after the crowds in Athens.

galissas, Syros, cyclades, the best greek islands

We stayed literally next to the beach in a region called Galissas. A sort of sleepy beachside resort, populated mostly with Greek holidaymakers. The village of Galissas has no more than five restaurants, all very good mind you. And every night we climbed the steps of the little white church on the hill, sat on its wall and watched the sun set into the ocean with a beer in hand. Heaven.

Best Things to do on Syros Island

  • Climb up to Agia Pakou church in Galissas for sunset – every single night we bought some beers from one of the little corner shop in Galissas and climbed up to this gorgeous white church on the hill. Then, we sat on the wall and watched the sun sink into the ocean for what seemed like hours.
  • Explore the island’s biggest town Ermoupoli – Ermoupoli is the administrative capital of the Cyclades. Filled with narrow cobbled streets, white-washed houses and everywhere you look gorgeous sparkling blue water (enticing you to jump in). I did jump in! Whilst Paul climbed up to Ano Syros I went swimming off the pier. Afterwards, we had lunch down a narrow colorful lane – a frappe and a gyros for me always.

I’ve written a detailed guide to staying on Syros – that will be helpful if you plan on visiting this gorgeous small island.

Where to stay on Syros Island

We stayed at the bright and modern Hotel Remvi. Gorgeously decorated and airy rooms featuring a fantastically large balcony. A lovely pool to dive into after a hot day of exploring. Also worth noting is the excellent breakfast and the very reasonably priced beers at the bar.

Apollonion Palace in Ermoupoli for luxurious rooms and direct sea access. Doras’s Studio and Apartments in Megas Gialos for great views, clean and luxurious rooms and friendly service. Aktaion in Ermoupoli for neoclassical beautiful rooms right in the heart of the town. Aegean Paradiso in Azolimnos is just steps from the beach with a lovely outdoor swimming pool. You can search all available properties in Ermoupoli here in Megas Gialos (also knowns as Megas Yialos Nites) and in Azolimnos here.

Every evening on Syros island we undertook the short walk to the beach front to enjoy dinner at either Savvas or Iliovasilema .

Syros town, chora, greece
Swimming off the Pier in Ermpouli

NAXOS

Naxos is ‘in the middle’ both in terms of its geographic location between Athens and Santorini and its popularity with holiday-makers.It is more touristy than Syros, but less so than its neighbour Santorini. It is very popular with Dutch and Scandinavian tourists and it is indeed very beautiful.

chora, naxos town, greece
The white-washed streets of Chora, Naxos

We stayed next to probably the prettiest beach on the whole island – Prykopios, it has some of the clearest water in Greece, in fact the clearest water  we’ve ever seen. It honestly gives the Carribean waters of Cuba a run for its money. A lot of the restaurants here are on the beach, so it makes for a unique dining experience. More so for the fact you can watch the sunset from your table.

Our top recommendation would be to spend an evening in the islands capital town – Chora. The white-washed streets here are very similar to the famed streets of Mykonos.

The Best Things to do on Naxos Island

  • Go on a Cruise around the island – on a luxurious catamaran and swim in the crystal clear waters, it also includes a fresh local lunch.
  • Go on a nature hike – this 6 hour hike takes you to Kourounochori and Potamia Valley.

The Best Places to Stay on Naxos island

We stayed at Annas Studios, a short walk from the hustle & bustle of the beach. It features a very welcoming pool area out front and spotlessly clean rooms. As our rate at Annas Studios didn’t include breakfast, we walked into town to enjoy breakfast at the very colourful Cafe Hideaway.

Melidron Hotel and Suites also in Prykopios is highly recommended as well as Naxos Riviera Suites in Chora. Here’s a list of the best places to stay in Chora (the island’s capital).

agia anna, naxos, greece
Rose gold sunset in Agia Anna, Naxos

SANTORINI

Santorini tops the list for most people’s trips’ to Greece. Sure, the crowds can be manic, it’s expensive and it’s a little pretentious. BUT its sunsets are beyond outstanding, its local people surprisingly friendly and what other place in the world can you find hotels built into the side of a cliff? What can I say about Santorini that hasn’t already been said, it’s top of a lot of people’s ‘Bucket List’ for good reason.

imerovigli, santorini, greece
The view from our hotel in Imerovigli

It’s an instagrammers dream in Oia, the way the light falls onto the quirky ‘cave houses’ is magnificent any time of the day. Most of the hotels here have a pool, but there is also a black sand beach in Perissa if that tickles your fancy.

Our top tip for here is NOT to stay in Oia or Fira (the crowds here are crazy) instead opt for Imerovigli or Pyrgos which offer the same views with less crowds. If you haven’t booked your Summer holiday, we hugely recommend Greece.

The Best Things to do in Santorini, Greece

  • Enjoy the sunset and avoid the crowds is to book a sunset boat tour. Most tours leave from either the port of Ammoudi in Oia or the port of Athinios every day at 15:00. The tours are typically 5 hours in duration and include a tour of the island of Santorini from the ocean and maybe even a spot of swimming or snorkeling. The tour ends with you dropping anchor in a prime spot to watch the sunset near Oia.
  • Go on a Wine Tour – why not try a slightly more unique wine tour and do a sunset tour – most tours include a stop at 3 wineries, ending in a winery with an epic view of the famous sunset. Worth noting is that some tours offer a full dinner, while most offer a cheese platter and nibbles. There are 5 different sunset wine tours to choose from.
  • Book a Guided Tour to to Akrotiri – the Greek Pompeii. This one of the most important archaelogical sites in Greece. This is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Santorini! The town of Akrotiri was abandoned after a series of earthquakes, then covered by volcanic ash somewhere between 1620 and 1530 BC following a volcanic eruption. The ash has exceptionally preserved the settlement

P.S. I’ve written a detailed blog post on the best things to do in Santorini!

Where to stay in Santorini, Greece

We stayed at the phenomenal Above Blue Suites on the cliffs of Imerovigli. Even though it was pricier than the rest of our accomodation on our Greek itinerary – it was to be expected for Santorini. We are so glad we splurged a little, as Above Blue Suites is perfect. The breakfast every morning is so fresh and yummy. Plus, you can easily walk along the cliffs to both Oia and Fira.

Two other great places to stay in Santorini include: Afroessa in Imerovigli – brilliant value for money for what you , each room has a private balcony with stunning views.Carpe Diem Santorini in Pyrgos – no kids allowed in this adults-only resort. For the views alone and the stunning rooms it’s great value for money.

All the walking we undertook on Santorini certainly took its toll on our apetite and we enjoyed some delicious meals in both Oia and Fira. In Oia we love Fino, consistently rated as one of the best restaurants on the island of Santorini. Whilst in Fira we loved the more casual dining affair that MeRaki offered. Again, Me Raki is a very popular restaurant and is currently No.1 on TripAdvisor. So, get there early to avoid disappointment.

Thanks for reading my blog, Aimee x

boat tour corfu greece
Thanks for reading!

Greece is more beautiful than the photos show and the warmth of the local people together with the insanely good food make this country one of our favourites to date. I trully hope you will add Greece & the Greek islands to your Summer holiday bucketlist. As for me, I would go back every year if I could.

Tell me, what do you think of our picks for our unique Greece itinerary?

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Our unique Greece itinerary that will satisfy all types of travelers. Here are our travel tips for exploring the best of Greece.
Our unique Greece itinerary that will satisfy all types of travelers. Here are our travel tips for exploring the best of Greece.

28 thoughts on “Our Big Fat Greek Adventure – the Best Things to do in Greece in 5 Weeks

  1. Iga Reply

    What an awesome guide. Syros looks lovely, I hadn’t heard of it until now. And I’m dying to see Meteora. Will definitely add both to my list of places to see next time I am in Greece.

  2. Ophelie Reply

    The Greeks islands are amazing! I have been to Santorini, Mykonos and Corfu and I loved them! Corfu especially was a nice surprise”: less famous but so beautiful and perfect if you like beaches, swimming and cute towns!

  3. Daniella Reply

    I’m planning a trip to Greece next year and this itinerary seems like the perfect mix of culture, history and island vibes. Definitely saving it to help you plan our own itinerary. I love that you spent 4+ days at each destination to really explore it. Most itineraries give you max 2 days at a destination which I think is too short.

  4. Terri Reply

    I can taste the Greek olive oil & fresh seafood. What a dream trip.

  5. Dani Reply

    This sounds like the trip of a lifetime! Greece is so beautiful and I can’t wait to visit someday.

  6. sarahs324 Reply

    What a fantastic trip. I hope that time gave you the ability to really explore the different islands. Stunning pictures, too. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. Smita Reply

    What a lovely detailed blog. Prykopios sounds lovely. Definitely aching to go next year. Bookmarked the page.

  8. Marvi Reply

    I’d love to backpack around Greece too! It’s islands are indeed mesmerising! How many days in total did you spend here? Santorini, Meteora and Athens are definitely high on my list of places to visit. I love the sound of Syros Island too with fewer visitors. Sounds like a paradise IN a paradise!

  9. Baia Reply

    All of the places look amazing, but I think I would go to Santorini, Corfu, and Meteora. Thanks for showing us your big fat Greek adventure 😀 love the title, btw!

  10. Ali Dunnell Reply

    Really enjoyed reading this and looking at your lovely photographs. Greece is a fantastic destination for history, climate, scenery and amazing food. Thanks for sharing 🙂

  11. Mayi Mac Reply

    I’m dying to go to Greece. Island hopping sounds like the best way to explore the country. Athens (i love history) and Syros Island (pretty pictures) sound pretty amazing too.

  12. Mohana Das Reply

    The monasteries of Meteora have forever fascinated me. How do you get to the top of those craggy pillar-like formations? Syros looks gorgeous. I’d love to swim in those clear waters.

  13. Kathryn Rossiter Reply

    Ah we LOVED our time in Greece… especially Siros island which you mention here. We didn’t get as far south as Santorini as we were sailing on a yacht and it takes a lot longer than the ferries but we saw 7 beautiful Greek islands… and definitely got a taste of where we want to head back to and stay for a lot longer!

  14. Zoe Reply

    Greece is a place I have yet to visit but somewhere i must add higher to my travel list. These destinations are gorgeous and thank you for the tip regarding Meteora, I would love to hike there!

  15. Amber Tatton Reply

    I’m off to Corfu in a week so I would love to pick your brains about the transport and what it is like! I would love to visit Santorini but the crowds have always put me off!! Also Athens would have to be an autumn or spring destination as i can barely deal with 30 degrees haha!

  16. Holly Goodyear Reply

    Great post, your pictures are wonderful. I would love to go to Greece, but would take your advice and not go where all the crowds are!

  17. Hayley Reply

    I was in Greece last year and it has to be one of my favourite destinations! Definitely want to go back and this time explore other islands – like Corfu and Naxos which both sounds amazing!!

  18. Fran Norero Reply

    I really love Greece, the landscapes, the food, the people. I have to go back to discover Meteora for sure

  19. Christina Holthuis Reply

    Omg this is amazing!! I LOVE GREECE! I’ve only been to Corfu and Crete yet, but Santorini is definitely on the list! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂

  20. Lucy Reply

    What I lovely trip! I love Greece and have been to many of the islands and mainland. It is so relaxed there!

  21. Lina Reply

    It Looks amazing! Im on my way around the world and hadn’t plan to go to Greece but after meeting a lot of Greek people I might visit it on my way home! Thanks for a great post!

  22. Jennifer Lund Reply

    I love the title of this article haha! Greece is amazing, I’ve been there so many times. I love it. Ios is definitely my favourite island!

  23. Amanda Reply

    What a great trip!! Greece is on my list, but I’d never heard of several of the places you went. Adding them to my must-sees. Gorgeous pics too.

  24. The Gypsy Gurl Reply

    Hi what a lovely read and the pictures are just perfect match for your text. I am planning a trip to Greece early next year so this has been an inspiration for me. Thank you 😊
    From,
    http://www.thegypsygurl.wordpress.com

  25. Maria Angelova Reply

    Island hopping is the best way to explore Greece. I’m lucky enough to live in a neighboring country so I can always go there for the weekend but I admit I never spent too much time there.

  26. Farah Reply

    You make Greece look even more beautiful. Amazing all the places you went to . Love it.

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