The Greek Islands: Naxos11 Days • 4 Cities The Greek Islands: Naxos
Whether you’re looking for a little you-time, infinite beach time, or a whole lot of party time, the Greek Islands are perfect for your next adventure. Enjoy the fresh flavors and even fresher weather (Greece gets 300 days of sunshine each year) as you explore the Mediterranean with your fellow travelers. As you hop from island to island, you’ll encounter ancient history along the way, and experience a world of new things—including tan lines. So, kick back. Grab a tomato. And bask in the beauty of the Greek Islands.
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What are the top highlights?
- Cruise the azure seas of the Aegean
- Hike to the top of Athens’ ancient and famous Acropolis
- Catch some rays at world-famous island beaches
- Make a wish at Naxos’ Temple of Apollo
- Snap a photo of the whitewashed (and blue-domed) buildings
- Enjoy epic, world-class nightlife in Mykonos
- Flood your Instagram with unreal vistas and Santorini sunsets
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- Ferry transfer from Athens to Santorini and between islands
- 9 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro pass in Athens
- Entrance to select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight to Athens
Board your overnight flight to Athens, the cradle of Western Civilization and one of the oldest cities in the world. Pro tip: if you’re looking to earn some bonus points with the locals upon arrival, make sure you refer to Greece by its real name: Hellas.
Day 2: Introduction to Athens
Arrival in Athens
Welcome to Athens! This city is at least 5,000 years old, but hardly looks a day over 25 (when you look past the historic structures and ancient statues). What we’re trying to say is, Athens is a beautiful city filled with art, literature, history, and about a million Instagram-worthy spots. And it’s the first stop on your journey through the Greek Islands.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport
- Transfer to your accommodation and check in
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive
- Get acquainted with Athens on a brief walk around the city with your Tour Director.
- Welcome Mixer
At the Welcome Mixer, you’ll meet your new friends over drinks and light appetizers. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
Day 3: Explore Athens
The remains of some historically significant and crazy old structures still stand in this ancient citadel, including the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. The rest of the day is yours to explore Athens.
- Step back in time in the historic Acropolis of Athens with your local guide.
- See the Propylaea, the Theatre of Dionysus, and a bunch of other structures you’ll need your guide’s help to pronounce.
- Take in incredible panoramic views of Athens from the citadel’s hilltop vantage point, and understand why the ancient city’s name translates to “high city”.
Free Time Suggestions
Fill Up: Sample ouzo, the local anise-flavored aperitif, at an authentic Greek restaurant, locally known as a taverna.
Dig It: The National Archaeology Museum is considered one of the greatest museums in the world, with pieces ranging from Greek sculptures to Egyptian Antiquities. Mama Mia! That’s quite a collection.
Day 4: Travel to Santorini
You’ve soaked in some history, now it’s time to soak in some sun. Leave the city of Athens behind and immerse yourself in island life, Mediterranean style. You’re headed to Santorini, one of the most iconic Greek Islands, complete with whitewashed and blue-domed buildings, romantic beaches, and endless sunshine.
- Board your ferry to Santorini, and get ready to feel the love in this iconic romantic destination.
- Yell “OPA!” when you land in Santorini, but don’t be surprised if your seat neighbor gives you the stink eye.
- Check in to your accommodation and get to know the picturesque island that you’ll be calling home for the next two nights.
- Sprint to the nearest beach (hint: you’re surrounded by them) and enjoy a Santorini sunset.
Free Time Suggestions
Sun down: Oia is the traditional village in the northwestern end of Santorini and best known for its blue-domed churched, windmills and winding streets that pop up in everyone’s Instagram feeds. And for good reason. Head there before sunset for awe-inspiring sunset views and get ready to capture some likes…errr, photos.
Beach Time: Visit one of Santorini’s top beaches for an evening swim—from Perivolos to Kamari to Ammoudi Bay—there are tons to choose from and you literally can’t go wrong.
Day 5: Explore Santorini & Optional Santorini Wine Tasting & Oia Sunset
Still loving life on this romantic island? Rhetorical question: The answer is obviously yes. Enjoy another day to check out Santorini’s famous sites and hidden gems. Now, here’s your trivia question of the day— What’s black, white, and red all over? Answer: The sandy beaches that cover this volcanic island. Think you know your adult grape juice? Join an optional Cliffside wine tasting excursion.
- Grab your towel and your sunscreen, it’s time to hit the beach(es).
- Take a dip in the Aegan Sea. You can pinch yourself, but we promise you aren’t dreaming, plus you’ll end up with some unnecessary bruises.
- Shop along the narrow streets of Fira, the capital city of Santorini, or just admire the handcrafted jewelry, local artwork, and souvenirs.
- Channel your inner wine-aficionado during an optional tasting at a Cliffside winery.
Free Time Suggestions
The Found City of Atlantis: Visit the Akrotiri Ruins, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement buried in volcanic dust. This site predates Pompeii and is considered by many to be the famed lost city of Atlantis.
The Thira of Everything: Head up to the top of the cliffs on the southeast part of the island to explore this Greek and Roman archaeological site.
Museum On: Get your history on at a few of the island’s museums. The Archaeological Museum of Thera and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera are home to well-preserved artifacts and fossils dating back to 17th century BC.
Cliffside Wine Tasting & Village Tour(extra cost)
Quaint villages, wine, and a breathtaking sunset—it doesn’t get more Greek than this (unless you add in some feta cheese and olive oil). A local guide will take you from village to village, to explore, shop, and take in stunning views of the beachscapes and caldera. Make a stop at the highest point in Santorini, Profitis Elias, and then it’s on to the wine tasting. Sample a variety of local wines at a cliffside winery before hopping on the bus to Oia. When you picture Santorini, chances are you're picturing the views from the village of Oia. It's a must-see for every visitor, and you get a direct ride there to drink in the best sunset in Greece. Don't forget to snap that perfect picture for your fans (AKA Instagram followers).
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 6: Set Sail for Naxos
Leave the romance and sunsets of Santorini behind for the ancient history of Naxos…and more sunsets. Set your sights on Mt. Zas, AKA Mt. Zeus, the tallest mountain in the Cyclades, perfect for hiking and taking in some major views. Oh, and it’s supposedly home to the cave Zeus (yes, THE Zeus) grew up in. Does this make Zeus the original cave man?
- Say goodbye to Santorini, and head to the next stop on your island hopping adventure: Naxos.
- Check into your new accommodation, and thank the Greek gods and goddesses that a place this beautiful exists.
- Join your Tour Director for a hand-picked a group activity, or go lone-wolf and explore the island on your own, or with your fellow travelers. Wolves are a pack animal, so the analogy still works.
Free Time Suggestions
Door to nowhere: The Portara, or Great Door, is all that’s left of the Temple of Apollo. This massive marble doorway is 2,500 years old, and faces Delos, Apollo’s birthplace. Legend has it, if you stand inside the doorway and make a wish, the energy of Apollo will move through you and grant your wish. There’s no explicit rule that you can’t wish for more wishes, but c’mon. Don’t be that person.
Beach bar & chill: The nightlife in Naxos is low-key compared to the raging clubs of other islands. Enjoy this relaxing change of pace, and sip a fruity cocktail in a beachside lounge, or wander along the quaint streets of Chora in search of a local spot.
Day 7: Explore Naxos
Good new! You have the entire day to hang out in Naxos, a paradise fit for the Grecian gods, goddesses, and modern-day travelers alike. Look to the past with the island’s most ancient and historic sites, or look to the horizon from a beach chair with a bottle of wine and your favorite playlist. Or, look to the nearest taverna and fill up on feta.
- Spend time on one (or two, or three) of Naxos’ best beaches. Agios Prokopios and Aliko are some of our favorites.
- Watch windsurfers do their thing off Mikri Vigla beach, and maybe even join in on a few water activities yourself.
- Wander around the streets of Naxos’ old town, Chora. The island’s capital and main harbor is also casually home to a huge Venetian castle. That’s right. A Venetian castle on a Greek island. Makes sense to us.
- Sample freshly baked Greek pastries like spanakopita and baklava in Chora’s local bakeries.
Free Time Suggestions
Temple time: Visit the ancient Temple of Sangri, one of the earlier Ionic temples ever built, made entirely of Naxian marble. This place was built in 530 BC, and a few of the original columns are still standing. Clearly that marble didn’t skip leg day.
Cave in: Get your blood-pumping during a hike up Mt. Zas. Then, check out the mouth of the cave Zeus is said to have grown up in. Is it just us, or do you have the sudden urge to watch “Hercules”?
Day 8: Travel to Mykonos
Head out from Naxos to Mykonos by way of ferry. While Naxos is the star student, Mykonos is the wild child of the family. Though also rich in history, this island’s claim to fame is all-out, non-stop, dance-until-the-sun-comes-up nightlife. Between dazzling seascapes, sandy beaches and the best nightlife in the Mediterranean, get ready—you’ve got two big days and two even bigger nights here.
- Wave goodbye to Mt. Zas and set your sights for Mykonos as your board your ferry.
- Arrive in Mykonos and check in to your accommodation.
- Get to know the area with your Tour Director on a brief walk, and start planning out your evening.
- Spend your free time exploring a few of the islands 800 churches…or maybe just head to one of its 100 bars. You do you.
Free Time Suggestions
Sun of a Beach: The late afternoon is a great time to beach it—a little breeze kicks up and the temperature dips just enough to make it feel great.
Go to Church: Mykonos’ most famous church, the rock-like Panagia Paraportiani, is usually locked, but the fabulously photogenic whitewashed exterior is a spiritual experience in itself.
Day 9: Cruise Mykonos Beach Cruise
Spend your last day in Mykonos doing what you want. Whether that’s a beach day, a food day, a food AND beach day, so be it. In Mykonos there is no wrong choice. Or, take your last day and join an optional excursion and experience the island in a whole new way—by boat.
- Take the morning to rest and recover as you please.
- Lather on the SPF 75 (skincare is important) and head to the nearest beach.
- Pick up that bottle of olive oil you promised mom at one of the many shops.
- Go on a totally optional but 100% worthwhile boat cruise.
Free Time Suggestions
Party in Paradise: By day, Paradise Beach is a hotspot for sun tanners, sand castle-builders, and partiers alike. By night, the sand is your dance floor and the entire beach erupts into a high-energy party that goes ‘til dawn.
Super Paradise: Visit Super Paradise Beach, Paradise Beach’s smaller, quainter neighbor. Relax under an umbrella, hang out in a beach bar, and soak up your last day in this island paradise.
Mykonos Boat Ride(extra cost)
Get ready to yell “I’m on a boat”, because…well, you’re on a boat. As you cruise around the bright blue coast on a boat, you’ll see unparalleled views of the harbor and the iconic windmills. While you’re sailing around, get ready to jump off the boat to swim in the crystal-clear waters and practice your swan dive, cannonball, jackknife, or some made up jump to do that you just invented because when you’re on boat great ideas come to you. While you’re boating and beaching, you’ll also get to experience another traditional “b” thing—an included (and traditional) BBQ Greek lunch.
Please note: This excursion must be booked at least 7 days prior to tour departure.
Day 10: Return to Athens
Athens felt neglected, so it’s a good thing you’re heading back to pay it another visit. End the trip with a bang in a city known for stunning views and world-class nightlife. By now, you’re an old pro when it comes to exploring Greece, so we’re giving you the day to adventure in Athens on your own before an included farewell dinner with the group.
- Take a ferry from Mykonos to Athens, and greet the ancient city like a really, really old friend.
- Revisit some favorite spots from day one in Athens, or go on a hunt to find new hidden gems.
- Check out some of the residential areas for an authentic look at life in Athens.
- Enjoy one last group dinner, and raise a glass to an epic trip.
Free Time Suggestions
Follow the Light: Flood-lit like a beacon towering over the city, Mount Lycabettus offers a spectacular view of the city. If you’ve been holding out on posting a scenic Instagram post, this is your moment.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 11: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for a $30 fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
Come with us to Turkey on our expertly crafted adventure in Istanbul.
Istanbul Extension(extra cost)
Don’t want the fun to stop? It doesn’t have to, with this 5-day adventure to Istanbul. Travel to this cosmopolitan crossroads—where Europe meets Asia, the Middle East meets the Mediterranean, and your face meets all the döner kebabs you can imagine. Join other Ultimate Break groups in the storied Turkish city for an exploration of all it has to offer—and then some. Go inside the world-famous Hagia Sophia, under the city into ancient caverns, and say yes to the full-sultan treatment that you deserve.
Looking for more information? See the full Istanbul extension itinerary here.
Note: This Trip Extension to Istanbul is available for purchase on select dates only. You will join other EF Ultimate Break travelers whose trips end in Athens at the same time as yours. We’ll update your flight info in your account if your flight itinerary changes as a result of purchasing the Trip Extension. Rooming upgrades come at an additional cost and are subject to availability. Trip Extension to Istanbul is subject to EF Ultimate Break Terms & Conditions. Please contact EF Ultimate Break Customer Service with any questions or concerns.
Please note: This extension must be booked at least 31 days prior to tour departure.
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