Greece: Island Hopping
Greece is often considered to be a country of ruins and gods, but it is also a spot filled with art, beaches, and bars. On this Greek island itinerary, you can explore the hard-to-reach areas of Greece that each have a rich history. Pick up an Interrail Greece Island Pass to start your Grecian adventure.
Price Range: $$
Recommended Days: 2-3 weeks
Riding Hours: Approx. 38.5 hr
Distance: 1,414 km
Piräus: Historical Intrigue
Piräus, just outside of Athens. In this beautiful maritime city, you will find history, culture, and a great starting location for many Grecian adventures. You will be able to explore museums, bars, restaurants, and stadiums to keep you occupied during your stay.
The Archaeological Museum of Piräus shows the history of the city through its exhibits that have been created from donations and excavation findings. Throughout the two-storey building and ten rooms, you will be able to learn about the history in chronological order. The Naval Museum shows the maritime elements and traditions of the city that have made the naval history of the area what it is today. Through the halls, you will be able to view sea paintings, archives of photos, maps, and much more.
The Pasalimani is where to go for entertainment and also relaxation. Having a bountiful amount of bars and restaurants, you can enjoy the sunshine whilst looking out over the harbor, sipping on a cocktail.
Piräus Ferry Port → Vathy | Duration: 9:15h | Transfers: 0
Samos: Home Of Hera
Just off of the Turkish coast is Samos Island. Home to beaches, forests, and mountain ranges that makes for an interesting resort city. You will have the chance to taste the sweet local wine. See Hera’s birthplace, and explore the caves where the Pythagoras theorem was discovered. There are villages to wander, hiking paths to undertake, and plenty of waterfalls and secluded coves to discover.
Heraion of Samos is the temple ruins for the celebration of the Greek goddess Hera. Now only one of the previous 115 columns still stands of this pagan place of worship. It now offers incredible views over the vast landscape. The Tunnel of Eupalinos is an aqueduct that is 1 km long, and you can explore the entire length of the tunnel.
Kokkari is a fishing village that is filled with colorful homes and delicious cafes. You can enjoy a cup of coffee as you look out over the harbor or wander along the pebble beaches of the coastal village. The Potami Waterfalls is a great place to venture to. Walk through pools and river beds to the foot of the waterfall which you can scale with a rope, or climb the wooden stairway to see the incredible views that it has to offer.
Pythagorion → Kos Ferry Port | Duration: 3:20 h | Transfers: 0
Kos: Medicinal Marvels
Kos is an island of paradise off the Turkish coast. It has incredible sandy beaches, as well as being home to Roman and Greek monuments. You can enjoy valleys of green, columns surrounded by wildflowers, and plenty of activity within the three main resort areas of the island.
The Asklepieion is a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius who is the god of medicine and healing. Within the sanctuary, you will find the remains of a temple, hospital, and medical school that were visited daily by many for their ailments. The Archaeological Museum of Kos takes you back in time with its collections of artifacts that have been found when excavating the island.
You will be able to explore the statues, mosaics, and pottery of the past. With around 112 kilometers of coastline, there are plenty of beaches to enjoy lounging upon. Each beach has its own draw, from incredible views, thermal waters, and best spots for crowds and low-key spots that tend to not be frequented by the tourists. Whilst at the beach enjoy an adrenaline rush with water skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, and scuba diving to keep you entertained.
Kos Ferry Port → Rhodes Ferry Port | Duration: 2:50 h | Transfers: 0
Rhodes: Medieval Wonders
A favorite summer destination, Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands and has a rich history that combines with its culture and nightlife. You will be able to explore quaint villages, monuments, castles, and beaches during your stay. The old city of Rhodes is a great spot to start your adventure, as it is the largest medieval city on the European continent. Wander along the narrow streets where you will see classic architecture, churches, and bridges that take you to a different era of Greece.
Butterfly Valley is surrounded by hills and streamlets that are full of colorful butterflies. If you just want to explore the valley you can head along the walkways. Or you can enjoy some Greek cuisine in the restaurant and watch the butterflies flutter around you.
The Museum of Modern Greek Art is located on Symi Square and shows the cultural identity of Greece. With a variety of collections in different forms of media, you can enjoy the work of many contemporary Greek artists and their interpretations of the country.
Rhodes Ferry Port → Thira | Duration: 15:30 h | Transfers: 0
Santorini: Hidden Cities
Santorini is famous for being the Greek island with blue-domed buildings and often used in films, such as Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, and Mamma Mia. It is a playground for tourists due to the sheer cliffs, turquoise sea, and picturesque villages that climb the mountainous cliffs. It is a haven for visitors with plenty of activities to keep you entertained.
Watch the sunset in Oia, a beautiful cliff-top town that has incredible views over the island. Either find a spot within the town or book a meal at one of the restaurants that hang over the town. Either way, you will not be disappointed with the outcome. Santo’s winery is a great spot to stop off for a bit of wine tasting. With a range of Greek wines that are served with olives and other nibbles, it is a good place to spend a lazy afternoon.
Atlantis is often considered to be a myth, but due to a volcanic eruption. Santorini has its very own Atlantis due to the misleading legend of the island being swallowed by the ocean below. If you head to the Akrotiri Archaeological Site you will be able to get a glimpse of the former island of Santorini. Famous for the eruption that lost half of the island, you can hike to the top of Santorini Volcano, and also stop on the way to some of the geothermal points for a heated dip.
Thira → Mykonos Ferry Port | Duration: 2:40h | Transfers: 0
Mykonos: Crashing Cultures
Mykonos is a spot that attracts tourists and celebrities alike due to its breathtaking beaches and beautiful landscapes. You will also find rich history and culture as well as vibrant nightlife.
The unofficial mascot of Mykonos is pelicans due to the story of Peter the pelican that was nursed back to health by a fisherman in the ’50s. Now you will find three pelicans that call the island their home and it can often be a fun game to spot them.
Feeling like you’re not in Greece anymore? Little Venice is reminiscent of the Italian city due to its elegant houses and colorful windows that stand above the sea. Check out the Folklore Museum of Mykonos. It’s an interesting place to visit as it hosts collections of furniture, ceramics, and more to help understand the cultural identity of the island.
Mykonos Ferry Port → Piräus Ferry Port | Duration: 4:50h | Transfers: 0
The last stop on your Greek island itinerary is heading back to the beautiful setting of Piräus where you will be able to explore all that you missed, or even hop over to Athens to explore the Greek capital.