Read ahead to checkout a 7-day itinerary that will help you explore the best of Greece in under ₹30,000 per person, excluding the flights.
Greece is connected to all major cities of India by airlines such as Etihad Airways, Jet Airways, Qatar Airways, and Turkish Airlines. Flying to Athens in Greece from Mumbai is the most economical option.
Round-trip fares from Mumbai to Athens start at ₹29,500 onwards. Book in advance to get the best price.
Indians need to apply in advance for a Schengen visa to visit Greece. The visa fee is €60 or ₹4,620 per person and the processing time for applications is maximum 15 days as per the Schengen regulation, if you fulfil all the eligibility criteria and have provided all the required documents. You can read more about getting a Schengen visa here.
You can also book your very own customised Greece holiday right here.
In the seven marvellous days you have in Greece, you will get a chance to dive into the rich ancient history of Athens, enjoy the world-famous nightlife in Mykonos, and finally get lost in the surreal beauty of Santorini island.
Depending on when you arrive from India, after freshening up, you can set out to explore the Greek capital of Athens at your own pace. Start at Syntagma Square where the majority of the political protests and demonstrations take place and stop for a photo point at the Parliament Building. Observe the spectacular changing of the guards ceremony at The Tomb of the Unknown Solider that is located opposite to the Parliament Building. It happens every hour during the day. A 5-10 minutes walk will bring you to the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. Visit the Temple of Zeus which is one of the most impressive temples in Athens and make a quick stop to Hadrian's Arch which is right outside the Temple of Zeus. In the evening enjoy a stroll along the Plaka, one of the oldest inhabited streets in Athens. During summer months, the sites are open daily from 8am to 8pm, and between 8am and 5pm in the winter months.
Where to eat: You can stop for lunch at Oikeio to enjoy home-style Mediterranean cuisine.
You can also opt for a walking tour of Athens city – they are usually cheap and a great way of exploring a city with so much history.
Set out to explore the ancient world's most magnificent sight, the Acropolis, today. The architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, the Parthenon and finally New Acropolis Museum is going to take you back in time. A ticket to the Acropolis including the North and South Slopes costs €20 or ₹1,500. The prices are reduced to €10 or ₹750 during winter, (from November 1 to March 31). During summer months, the sites are open daily from 8am to 8pm, and between 8am and 5pm in the winter months.
Where to eat: Have dinner at Mavro Provato where dishes are paired with regional Greek wines.
Head to Piraeus port for your ferry embarkation to Mykonos Island. The ferry tickets cost between €21 to €60 or ₹1,600-4,500 and take between three to five hours depending on the ferry company you choose. If you are short on time, flying is the more economical option. You can book flights from Athens to Mykonos with Ryanair. The journey takes only 50 minutes and the prices start from ₹1,200 onwards.
Mykonos, also known as 'the island of the winds' due to the constant wind that blows here, is one of the most famous islands of the world. The cosmopolitan island of Cyclades group of Greek isles has the postcard-perfect whitewashed village, old-fashioned windmills of Kato Mili overlooking the Ionic sea, and pulsating nightlife. Browse through Archaeological Museum Delos that houses funerary statues and other archaeological findings from Delos and the Aegean Maritime Museum that has nautical history exhibits, reproductions and local model boats. Spend the evening swimming and windsurfing at the Ftelia beach and observe the the beautiful sunset of the Island.
Spend the day at leisure sunbathing on the wondrous beaches of the Greek Isle Ftelia, Agrari, Agios Sostis Beach or simply hop on a boat and set sail into the Delos and other neighbouring islands. You can take a ferry to Delos from the Old Port in Mykonos, close to the city center and the church. In the morning there is a boat at 09:00, 10:00 and 11:00 which return at 12:15, 13:30 and 15:00 respectively. The trip costs € 17 or ₹1300 per person (roundtrip) and takes about half an hour. For the entrance of the site in Delos, you pay € 6 or ₹460 per person. At night head to Caprice bar which is among the best bars in the world and party the night away in the Little Venice district of Mykonos.
Where to eat: Enjoy the Meze and the mixed grill at Joanna’s Niko's or great traditional greek food at To Steki tou Proedrou.
Head to Mykonos port for your ferry embarkation to Santorini Island. The journey takes about three hours on a high-speed vessel and costs €67 or ₹5,000 onwards.
Santorini is a romantic island built on the remains of a volcano crater, renowned for cliff-clinging white villages dotted by blue-domed churches, volcanic black-sand beaches, and spectacular sunsets. Explore the ruins of the prehistoric village Akrotiri featuring an excavation of a preserved Bronze Age settlement. It can be reached by local bus or taxi from anywhere in Santorini and is about 10km away from the city centre. Open hours in April to October is from 08.00 to 20.00, everyday while in November to March it is from 08.00 to 15.00, everyday except on Monday. In the evening enjoy the mesmerising sunset at Imerovigli village which is famous as balcony to the Aegean.
Explore Caldera today, which is the active volcano of Santorini and its hot springs on a cruise today. You can book it online here for €26 or ₹2,000. You can dive or step down into the blue waters or go for a swim in the warm Mediterranean sea. You can take a ferry to nearby Thirassia island of Santorini, where you can either swim, go up to the village or simply relax and have something to eat.
Where to eat: Enjoy the traditional flavors in the village of Firostefani in Santorini when you dine at Aktaion or home-made Mediterranean food in Prygos when you eat at Cava Alta or Metaxy Mas.
Head to the Santorini airport for boarding your flight to Athens. The journey to Athen from Santorini by flight takes only 50 minutes and the prices start at ₹1,200 onwards. Board your departure flight to India via Athens.
The best time to visit the islands and beaches of Greece is from late May to early October when the weather is not so hot and there’s little to no rain. If you are planning on visiting anytime from June through August, make your reservations months in advance as these are the busiest and most expensive months. Also if you are interested in arts and culture, Athens and Epidaurus Festival is celebrated from June to August, when several theatre performances happen at historic venues. You can plan to visit Greece during winter as this is off-season and prices are relatively very low.
The cheapest way to get around in Athens is to use public transport. Regular tickets for metro, suburban trains, trams, trolleybuses or buses start at €1.40 or ₹100 for one and half hours. You can also buy a pass for €4.50 or ₹350 valid for 24 hours that also includes a metro ride to and from the airport. Avoid taking taxis to save money.
Mykonos is one of the smallest of the Cyclades Islands and is best explored on a scooter. You can book it here and it cost €10-22 or ₹770-1,694 for a day. You can also get around by bus, taxi, car, scooter, ATV or boat.
In Santorini, you can use the public bus service to go around in the city. The ticket cost starts from € 1.60 or ₹120.
Flying to the Greek Islands on Aegean Airlines or Ryanair can save time over long ferry rides. You can book ferry tickets online from home a few weeks ahead, or in person.
Flight from Mumbai to Athens: ₹29,500
One-way ticket on ferry: ₹1,200
Stay: Starts from ₹711 on airbnb.
A meal: ₹600
With proper planning, your dream to travel to Europe on a budget can become a reality. What are you waiting for? Start planning your trip to Greece now!