Greece is one of the most popular travel destinations in the Mediterranean during summer. It has hidden treasures you can discover whether you're a seasoned hiker, a culture chaser or a foodie (like me!). Hiking the tallest mountains in the Peloponnese, paddling on the Mani Peninsula, or just sipping some of the finest wines of the country will make you fall in love with gorgeous Greece.
The best time to visit is probably September or early October. According to this travel microblog, it's also when the prices are the lowest (this post mentions Santorini but it's the same for the entire region).
However, this itinerary is ideal for the summer since some of the destinations included are largely off the tourist radar. You'll be able to enjoy these places without herds of tourists distracting your experience. So here's my seven day itinerary for the perfect summer in Greece:
The Parthenon on Acropolis is dedicated to Greek goddess Athena. Unsplash/Puk Patrik.
Oh my! Athens is fantastic! I think you can easily get lost if you don't have a plan in mind. But even if a lot of blogs are telling you to "lose yourself", I wouldn't recommend doing that. Make sure you know what you want to do, otherwise you'll get frustrated. For this first day, I suggest to wander in the Anafiotika neighborhood, next to the wonderful Acropolis.
The Lousios River is located in the Peloponnese peninsula. Canva/ValEs1989.
Go to Arcadia. Once you are at the Lousios River, get prepared for some water splashing. Raft through speechless gorges to Alfios River, you'll be greeted with breathtaking waterfalls and ancient bridges.
In the afternoon, get some refreshments in the village and head back to Stemnitsa for lunch. This picturesque village sits in the green hillside of Mt Mainalon. You'll thank me later.
Today, you'll hike from Viros Gorge to Kardamyli (pictured above). Photo: WikimediaCommons.
Today, wake up early, wear your hiking boots and bring your swimsuit because what you're about to see is fantastic (and also you want to keep your afternoon free for some kayaking).
After that, visit Viros Gorge. This gorge is fantastic and you will find yourself "wowing" multiple times. I don't have enough words to describe it. The gorge starts at the foot of Mt. Profitis Ilias and runs to Kardamyli. Cypress trees are everywhere, surrounding stone villages and historic churches.
If you're not tired after this hike (2–3 hours), you're ready to kayak on Mani in the afternoon. There are many hidden caves hot pools and water holes. Don't hesitate to stop and swim - it's so relaxing.
For your last days in Greece, you have only two stops left: Kardamyli and Athens.
Breathtaking stalactites inside the Diros Cave. Canva/ph8grapher.
An aerial view of Vathia. Canva/Galyna Andrushko.
Cape Tenaro. Photo: WikimediaCommons.
On your last full day in Greece, it's time to visit Diros Cave on a half-hour boat ride. It's an underground lake lined with incredible stalactites. The ghost-village of Vathia you'll stop at has 16th-century houses and towers that will give you a few ideas for an horror-movie script.
After that refreshing stop, continue your walk to Cape Tenaro for a very short hike. At the end of the hike you'll see a cave where sits the Gates of Hades. Beyond Cape Tenaro, a lighthouse will open your view to the marvelous Cretan Sea
The magnificent Acropolis. Canva/dengsongquan.
You'll have two days for the Acropolis and so much more. Visit the Parthenon, the temple where the spirit of the Greek goddess Athena has been enchanting visitors since its construction in 438 BC.
Tower of the winds. Photo: WikimediaCommons.
After this fill of culture and history, explore the Tower of the Winds, then stroll down Aiolou Street to stop at shops and cafes. These are the last days of your trip so relax and take it easy.
The Monastiraki flea market. Photo: WikimediaCommons.
I recommend that you swing by at the Monastiraki while in Athens. This flea market has probably a few souvenirs you'd like to buy. That's how I've spent my last day in Athens, along with some lazy walks in the city with ice-creams.
The best travel recommendations come from locals. Check out these Wanderguides from Greece by locals sharing their travel tips and hidden gems.