12 days in Athens, Santorini & Istanbul Itinerary

12 days in Athens, Santorini & Istanbul Itinerary

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1
Athens, Greece
— 2 nights
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2
Oia, Greece
— 3 nights
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3
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
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4
Athens, Greece
— 1 night
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Athens, Greece

— 2 nights

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
On the 21st (Mon), don't miss a visit to Ancient Agora of Athens.

To find traveler tips, ratings, maps, and more tourist information, you can read our Athens vacation maker.

Newark, USA to Athens is an approximately 14.5-hour flight. The time zone difference when traveling from Newark to Athens is 7 hours. Traveling from Newark in June, plan for somewhat warmer nights in Athens, with lows around 70°F. You will leave for Oia on the 23rd (Wed).

Things to do in Athens

Historic Sites · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jun 21 — 23:

Oia, Greece

— 3 nights
Every day hundreds of visitors come to Oia just to experience its sunsets.
Start off your visit on the 23rd (Wed): make a trip to Oia's Main Street. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 24th (Thu): learn about winemaking at Domaine Sigalas, steep yourself in history at The Castle of St Nicholas, then contemplate the waterfront views at Amoudi Bay, and finally view the masterpieces at Mnemossyne Gallery.

To see photos, where to stay, other places to visit, and other tourist information, use the Oia road trip planning tool.

Traveling by flight from Athens to Oia takes 5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of ferry and taxi. In June in Oia, expect temperatures between 82°F during the day and 70°F at night. You will leave for Istanbul on the 26th (Sat).

Things to do in Oia

Parks · Nature · Shopping · Beaches

Side Trip

Find places to stay Jun 23 — 26:

Istanbul, Turkey

— 4 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Satisfy your inner culture vulture at Hagia Sophia and Sultan Ahmed Mosque. Visit Basilica Cistern and Galata Tower for their historical value. There's much more to do: take an in-depth tour of Topkapi Palace, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Suleymaniye Cami , examine the collection at Rahmi M. Koc Museum, and take in the architecture and atmosphere at Meryem Ana Rum Ortodoks Kilisesi.

For ratings, reviews, traveler tips, and other tourist information, go to the Istanbul online itinerary builder.

You can fly from Oia to Istanbul in 7.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of taxi, ferry, and bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Standard Time (EET) to Turkey Time (TRT) is 1 hour. Traveling from Oia in June, Istanbul is little chillier at night with lows of 63°F. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 30th (Wed) to allow time to travel to Athens.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites · Museums · Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Jun 26 — 30:

Athens, Greece

— 1 night

The Birthplace of Democracy

On the 30th (Wed), get engrossed in the history at Acropolis Museum, explore the ancient world of Theater of Dionysus, and then wander the streets of Monastiraki.

To see where to stay, traveler tips, reviews, and more tourist information, read Athens vacation planning website.

You can fly from Istanbul to Athens in 5 hours. Other options are to drive; or take a bus. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 1 hour traveling from Istanbul to Athens. Traveling from Istanbul in June, expect Athens to be a bit warmer, temps between 86°F and 70°F. Finish your sightseeing early on the 1st (Thu) to allow enough time to travel back home.

Things to do in Athens

Museums · Neighborhoods · Historic Sites
Find places to stay Jun 30 — Jul 1:

Santorini travel guide

4.1
Beaches · Landmarks · Ruins
Wine Island
Known for dramatic views and romantic sunsets, the island of Santorini draws visitors with its long string of black, white, and red beaches. The largest and most significant of a small group of volcanic islands located just 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland, Santorini boasts just over 15,000 permanent residents. Created by a massive volcanic eruption that likely destroyed a single large island, the archipelago still features an active volcano, which saw its last eruption in the 1950s. The easiest way to explore Santorini's craggy coastline is on foot. Start by visiting the archaeological sites on the island's southwestern side, which offer a chance to discover the area's ancient past with unobstructed views of the famed volcano.