Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

The windmills of Mykonos Chora are a bright blue and white against the elegant blue of the Med

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete - visitors ask us their travel questions and we are more than happy to help. Below is a Q&A for the Greek islands from a group of friends passionate about ancient history.

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

Hi We Love Crete Team,

Hope this finds you well.

We are planning our October trip to Greece and will spend several days revisiting Crete. My friend (co-writer for our ancient history textbook) have included a chapter  on Minoan Crete for the new final high school Ancient History text we have just finished writing. 

We are keen to visit all the palace sites again - and to include some that have been discovered since we were last there several years ago and some we did not get to visit last time. So as you will see from the itinerary below, we will include the usual palaces and add Palaikastro, Galatas, Petras and some others.  Archaeology is our chief focus, and we are taking our husbands who will have to be just as keen as we are.

We are wondering if you have any special recommendations for our visit - and any tips that would be useful?

I have outlined our itinerary below - and also the list of possible accommodation that we are investigating.  Any advice would be very welcome! 

Maxine and Paul


Our trip plan so far:

  • Arrive Athens 5 October, visit new museum
  • Athens
  • Athens
  • Athens to Mykonos
  • Day trip to Delos return to Mykonos
  • Hydrofoil from Mykonos to Santorini
  • Santorini--Akrotiri
  • Santorini--Museum
  • Santorini
  • Santorini
  • Hydrofoil from Santorini to Heraklion
  • Heraklion day trip to Knossos, Galatas and Phaistos
  • Heraklion day trip to Rethymnon, Armeni & Chania
  • Heraklion
  • Heraklion trip to Malia, Gournia, Petras & Sitia. Overnight in Sitia
  • Sitia day trip, Palikastro and Zakros. Return to Heraklion
  • Heraklion
  • Heraklion to Athens then Rome


We love MykonosWe love Mykonos! You will too!

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

Maxine and Paul, your trip to Europe sounds very exciting. We have added our tips and suggestions below.

Please find below some suggestions for Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Crete. We have made suggestions for accommodation, it is up to you of course where you choose, these are the ones that we suggest based on character, being small hotels, and usually location, being walking distance to the hub of things.

As you will be aware, there is so much to see in Athens, you will have your days full of history. If you do however want to take a day trip out of the city, we can make some suggestions. The day out to Hydra Island, for example, is wonderful. No doubt you will be inhaling the museums. We have put some short tour suggestions below, just to mix things up a bit.

We have chosen budget to mid-range places in Santorini, as it is really so expensive. This means staying away from the edge of the caldera and not having a view from your accommodation.

The ferry from Santorini to Heraklion arrives late at night so we suggest you take a convenient hotel close to the port to relax that evening. Then we suggest that, rather than staying in Heraklion town, you stay in the charming village of Archanes which is 14 km south of town, very convenient to Knossos, to town and to all the locations you have in mind, without the hustle bustle of town. There are some charming country guesthouses there, with the authentic character of Crete.

Overall the long distances you are covering in Crete are manageable, with very early morning starts, because you will need to leave much longer to drive anywhere in Crete than on our roads (as you will be aware). Even on the national highway, leave time for the unexpected and for navigating difficulties.

As you may know, the opening times of archaeological sites vary. It is best to check on the official government website, The Ministry of Culture, then check again with your hotel the day before, just in case.

Our information pages for these destinations are below, which go into more depth on each place.



Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete
Your Personal Trip Plan

The caryatids Καρυάτιδες of the Erechtheion, an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of AthensThe caryatids Καρυάτιδες of the Erechtheion, an ancient Greek temple on the north side of the Acropolis of Athens


Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

Day One - Fri 5 Oct

Arrive Athens 12 noon
Taxi transfer airport to town
Visit Acropolis Museum
Consider booking a ‘Skip the Line’ ticket and short tour to get your bearings, then go it alone, there is just so much to see, no doubt  you will need another visit
Stay within the Plaka district
Stay at Zillers Boutique Hotel

Day Two - Sat 6 Oct
In Athens
Consider a small group food walking tour (3 hours)
Stay within the Plaka district
Stay at Zillers Boutique Hotel

Day Three - Sun 7 Oct
In Athens
Consider a walking tour of Plaka and surrounds (3 hours)
Stay within the Plaka district
Stay at Zillers Boutique Hotel

Day Four - Mon 8 Oct
Depart Pireaus port of Athens for Mykonos - 2 hours 45 mins
Stay in Mykonos Old Town or Chora
Stay at Matina Hotel

Day Five - Tues 9 Oct
Day trip to Delos
Stay in Mykonos Old Town or Chora
Stay at Matina Hotel

Day Six - Wed 10 Oct
Depart Mykonos for Santorini
Ferry Mykonos to Santorini - 2 hours 5 mins
Stay in Fira at mid-range San Giorgio Villas
Or stay in Perissa at budget Villa Dimitris (black beach on southern coast)

Day Seven - Thu 11 Oct
On Santorini
Visit Akrotiri
Stay in Fira at mid-range San Giorgio Villas
Or Stay in Perissa at budget Villa Dimitris (black beach on southern coast)

Day Eight - Fri 12 Oct
On Santorini
Visit Archaeological Museum
Stay in Fira at mid-range San Giorgio Villas
Or Stay in Perissa at budget Villa Dimitris (black beach on southern coast 10 km from Akrotiri and 10 km from port)


Santorini is a highlightAthens Mykonos Santorini Crete - enjoy the magestic views and classic Cycladic architecture in Santorini

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

Day Nine - Sat 13 Oct
On Santorini
Consider small group winery tour (4 hours 30 mins)
Stay in Fira at mid-range San Giorgio Villas
Or stay in Perissa at budget Villa Dimitris (black beach on southern coast 10 km from Akrotiri and 10 km from port)

Day Ten - Sun 14 Oct
On Santorini
Consider small group caldera walking tour
Stay in Fira at mid-range San Giorgio Villas
Or Stay in Perissa at budget Villa Dimitris (black beach on southern coast 10 km from Akrotiri and 10 km from port)

Day Eleven - Mon 15 Oct
Day on Santorini
Ferry Santorini to Heraklion (arrive in evening late)
Stay in town close to port
Stay at the Lato Hotel

Day Twelve - Tue 16 Oct
Pick up hire car
Self-drive to Knossos, Phaistos, Agia Triada (perhaps Gortyna) 76 km around 150 km round trip
Start Heraklion town
Stay in Archanes Village
Stay at Archontiko Studios or Villa Archanes

Day Thirteen - Wed 17 Oct
Self-drive day trip to Rethymnon, Armeni  and Chania (perhaps Galatas) 174 km one way, around 350 km return, this would be a big day
Stay in Archanes Village
Stay at Archontiko Studios or Villa Archanes

Day Fourteen - Thu 18 Oct
Perhaps a visit to the new Heraklion Archaeological Museum
Stay in Archanes Village
Stay at Archontiko Studios or Villa Archanes

Day Fifteen - Thu 19 Oct
Self drive to Sitia
Visit Malia, Gournia, Petras and Sitia total 147 km
Perhaps lunch at Mochlos beach (after Gournia) at tavernas by the sea
Stay in Sitia
Stay at Villa Aquarium (4 km out of town) or Porto Kaza Apartments

Day Sixteen - Fri 20 Oct
Self drive to Palekastro and Zakros, return to Heraklion/Archanes 220 km
Stay at Archontiko Studios or Villa Archanes

Day Seventeen - Sat 21 Oct
Rest/visit Heraklion

Day Eighteen - Sun 11 Oct
Depart from Heraklion Airport


Zakros ruins are close to the seaZakros Palace ruins are close to the sea at the idyllic beach of Kato Zakros


Information Pages for Your Trip

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete - lots of background info from our website to help plan your independent holiday around Greece and Crete...


The Throne Room at Knossos with the beautiful Minoan FrescoThe Throne Room at Knossos with the beautiful Minoan Fresco

Athens Mykonos Santorini Crete

Ancient History of Crete

More Ancient History of Crete

Minoan Palaces of Crete

Knossos Palace





Crete Travel Guide
Travel to the Greek Islands
Travel to Athens




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