With so much to see, you may be asking yourself “how many days should I spend in Greece” and “where should I go in Greece”? While it’s just the tip of the iceberg, you can cover a lot of ground with 9 days in Greece. If it’s your first time in Greece, I think it’s nice to stick to mainland Greece and save the Greek islands for another trip. Here’s my recommendation for the perfect 9-day mainland Greece itinerary.
Days 1-2: Arrive in Athens
You’ll likely arrive in Greece midday on Day 1, but that’s still enough time to start exploring the city and see the most famous site, the Acropolis. Use Day 2 to see other important sites like the Panathenaic Stadium, Monastiraki Flea Market, and Lycabettus Hill.
Click here to see exactly how to spend your first two days in Athens.
Days 3-4: Head North to Delphi and Meteora
We booked a one-night tour through Chat Tours which departed from Athens. We headed to Delphi on Day 3 and toured two monasteries in the magical land of Meteora on Day 4. You’ll spend the night in Athens after returning from Meteora.
Meteora is so beautiful and one of my top recommendations for Greece. I had no idea that Greece had such a unique landscape.
Day 5: Visit Hydra, Poros, and Aegina from Athens
I might have said this itinerary sticks to the mainland but I think it’s worth using one day to visit the three islands close to Athens: Hydra, Poros, and Aegina. We booked tickets for the Athens One Day Cruise, a ferry that takes you to all three islands. The boat leaves at 8:15am and got back around 7:30pm.
Click here for my take on this island tour.
Day 6-7: Head to the Peloponnese
Rent a car and drive west towards the Corinth Canal. The canal separates the Peloponnese from the rest of mainland Greece. After a quick stop to see the canal, continue on to Ancient Corinth. You can read more about these stops in Corinth here.
After a morning in Corinth, head to the ruins of Mycenae – one of the oldest sites you’ll see on this trip.
Next, keep driving to Nafplio, a gorgeous coastal town with Venetian influence. You’ll be based here for the next two nights so take some time to explore the town and beaches. You can read more about Nafplio here.
On Day 7, take a quick trip to the ruins of Epidaurus before heading back to Nafplio for some beach time. Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Nafplio are located somewhat close together so you may choose to visit both Epidaurus and Mycenae on the same day instead. You can find out more about both sights here.
Day 8: Explore Monemvasia and Kastania Cave
On Day 8, you’ll head to the southern tip of the Peloponnese to check out the 3 million-year-old, Kastania Cave. The road there is mountainous and winding so drive carefully!
Next, drive to Monemvasia where you’ll be spending the afternoon and night. Monemvasia is a fortified town built entirely into the cliffside. There’s only one way in through a small tunnel-like gate. Take your time getting lost in the streets and climb to the top of the Upper Town for breathtaking views of the Myrtoan Sea.
Check out my guide to Monemvasia here.
Day 9: One Last Stop in Mystras
On your way back to the airport in Athens, stop by Mystras. Mystras was a powerful capital during the time of the Byzantine Empire and was later abandoned in the 1800s as present-day Sparta was built. Spend a few hours exploring the ruins and well-preserved frescoes in the churches.
Are there any stops you would add to this 9-day mainland Greece itinerary? Comment below!