Below you will find our 10 day itinerary that includes monasteries, historic ruins, wine tasting, scuba diving, climbing Mt. Olympus, sailing, and scuba diving.
This was one of our first adventures as a couple traveling internationally; therefore, we made a few travel mistakes (read: not looking at car rental one-way fees).
I hope you find this useful and feel free to drop a comment at the bottom!
- Explored Athens on foot taking in the views
- Had lunch at Geros Tou Moria on the Plaka stairs (~40 EUR for 1 appetizer, 2 entrees, and 2 beers)
- Visited the Acropolis (20 EUR)
- Relaxed for the rest of the evening at our Airbnb (25 EUR)
- Drove from Athens to Meteora with the rental car (way too expensive 198 USD + a 330 USD one-way fee that was dropped on us when we arrived… so read the fine print. This is definitely a sore subject for us both.)
- Picked up groceries for meals at Lidl (grocery store)
- Trekked along some of the trails surrounding the monasteries
- Visited the Nunnery before closing time (3 EUR entrance fee)
- Pitched our tent at Camping Vrachos (18 EUR for 2 persons with car).
- Packed up camp and headed up towards the monasteries
- Watched the sunrise near the Holy Trinity Monastery
- Visited the Holy Trinity Monastery at opening time to beat the crowds (3 EUR entrance fee)
- Started our 2-hour drive to Mt Olympus
- Stopped along the way at a gas station/restaurant for a Greek salad to munch on (6 EUR)
- Upon arriving in Mt Olympus, we went to the information center at the National Park to get a map and take a photo
- Started our trek up to the summit of Mt Olympus from the Prionia parking lot
- Stayed the night at Refuge A (13 EUR per person for 1 night)
- Summited Mt Olympus on the Mytikas peak
- Drove to Thessaloniki to catch our flight
- Flight from Thessaloniki to Heraklion, Crete (63 USD per person)
- Picked up our rental car for the next 5 days (200 USD total)
- Went for dinner and walked around the town a bit
- Stayed at an Airbnb near the center (60 USD)
- Breakfast at one of the bakery shops and bought a few treats for a somewhat brunch – spent about 12 EUR for about 4 items to eat
- Walked around the center with our snacks and then headed out in the car towards Tsoutsoutros
- Stopped off at the only woman-owned winery in Crete and had some a nice organic wine tasting with a couple whites, a rose, and a couple reds (8 EUR per person for a 5 flight tasting)
- Stopped off at another winery, but sadly they were closed. They were so great though and gave us a free bottle of wine for our “inconvenience” – SO NICE!! The wine was great.
- Ate dinner on the beach in the small fishing village of Tsoutsoutros
- Drove east until we found our own private beach to swim, jump off rocks and relax
- Had dinner and scoped out a place to camp for the night. We settled on Krassas Beach because it was sheltered from the road and away from any buildings. (FYI camping anywhere is considered illegal, but many people still do it, like us)
- Had breakfast at one of the hotels in Tsoutsoutros – egg omelets are common in Greece
- Drove to Sfakia Caves – BEWARE the roads are a bit scary in the tiny rental cars, but we lived…
- Explored the private beach, swam to sea caves, and relaxed for the day
- Drove to Chania
- Walked around the old Venetian harbor admiring all of the shops
- Dinner at Palazzo al Mare (this place was AMAZING!)
- Stayed at an Airbnb in the old town (60 USD)
- Walked around the town of Chania, it is SO gorgeous. It is definitely filled with tourists, but for good reason.
- Visited the informative Maritime museum (2 EUR per person)
- Took a cooking class through Vamos Village where we cooked 5 different Greek dishes (55 EUR per person)
- That evening we checked into our Sailboat airbnb with Nikos (70 USD per night for 2 persons)
- Sailing excursion for the whole day with Nikos on the sailboat we were staying on! We learned how to sail and he cooked us a fresh Cretan meal while we swam in the sea. (250 USD)
- Dinner and cocktails at Pallas in the harbor was yet another great place to eat!
- Scuba diving with Blue Adventure Diving. We did a 2 tank dive which cost us 90 EUR per person. It even included a Greek snack at a taverna in between dives which was awesome. (If you’ve dove in the Caribbean or Thailand, I would skip the diving here)
- After diving, we drove to Balos beach. This was beautiful, but a lot of the cruises go here, so there will be many people there if you visit.
- That evening, we boarded a ferry headed back to Athens. If you’re okay sleeping on the floor, I’d recommend buying the cheapest ticket and find a spot to sleep overnight; many people did this and we wish we had. Instead, we had a shared cabin, which ran us about 60 USD each.
- Dropped off our bags at City Circus hostel (2 EUR per bag)
- They have a fun circus-themed street near the hostel
- Went on a free walking tour of Athens (We paid a tip to the guide of 20 EUR at the end)
- Then, we ate some food on Mitropoleos (street close to Monastiraki metro station). We found a place with a table and had very quick service, as well as super yummy food.
And that’s a wrap to our trip, other than an 18-hour layover in Frankfurt on the way home.
If you have questions about specifics from the trip, costs, etc., feel free to leave a comment and we will be happy to share more!