23 days in Italy, Greece & Swiss Alps Itinerary

23 days in Italy, Greece & Swiss Alps Itinerary

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Route & dates

23 days in Italy, Greece & Swiss Alps Itinerary

Start: San Jose, Costa Rica
Fly:  16​h 45​min
1
Venice, Italy
— 3 nights
Fly:  5​h 15​min
2
Thessaloniki, Greece
— 1 night
Fly:  3​h 30​min
3
Rhodes Town, Greece
— 2 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
4
Athens, Greece
— 3 nights
Fly:  3​h 30​min
5
Chania Town, Greece
— 2 nights
Fly:  5​h 45​min
6
Rome, Italy
— 4 nights
train:  1​h 45​min
7
Florence, Italy
— 4 nights
train:  6​h 30​min
8
Zermatt, Switzerland
— 2 nights
train + Fly:  19​h
End: San Jose, Costa Rica

3
nights
Venice, Italy

Venice ©
Virtually unchanged for the last six centuries, Venice is actually a group of islands made famous by a series of canals, bridges, monuments, piazzas, and narrow pedestrian lanes.
Discover out-of-the-way places like Scrovegni Chapel and Ponte dei Sospiri. Family-friendly places like Canal Grande and St. Mark's Square will thrill your kids. Explore Venice's surroundings by going to Castello Estense (in Ferrara) and Basilica di Sant’Antonio (in Padua). The adventure continues: admire the landmark architecture of Doge's Palace, don't miss a visit to Piombi - le Prigioni, explore the world behind art at Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and take in panoramic vistas at Loggetta del Sansovino.

For other places to visit, traveler tips, where to stay, and tourist information, refer to the Venice trip itinerary planner.

San Jose, Costa Rica to Venice is an approximately 17-hour flight. You can also do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, shuttle, and train. Traveling from San Jose to Venice, you'll lose 7 hours due to the time zone difference. Plan for much colder temperatures traveling from San Jose in December, with highs in Venice at 11°C and lows at 1°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 13th (Fri) early enough to travel to Thessaloniki.

Things to do in Venice

Historic Sites Museums Nature

Side Trips

Padua, Castello Estense
Find places to stay Dec 10 — 13:
Highlights from your plan
Canal Grande ©
Canal Grande
Piazza San Marco ©
Piazza San Marco
Doge's Palace ©
Doge's Palace

1
night
Thessaloniki, Greece

Thessaloniki ©
A city with a stormy history and a cosmopolitan heart, Thessaloniki attracts visitors with its diverse culinary scene, dynamic nightlife, and youthful energy.
Start off your visit on the 14th (Sat): contemplate the long history of Hagios Demetrios, take in panoramic vistas at White Tower of Thessaloniki, take an in-depth tour of Museum of Byzantine Culture, then don't miss a visit to Aristotelous Square, and finally contemplate the long history of Ladadika District.

To find more things to do, traveler tips, maps, and more tourist information, go to the Thessaloniki trip itinerary maker app .

Traveling by flight from Venice to Thessaloniki takes 5.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of train and flight; or drive. The time zone difference when traveling from Venice to Thessaloniki is 1 hour. December in Thessaloniki sees daily highs of 13°C and lows of 2°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 14th (Sat) so you can travel to Rhodes Town.

Things to do in Thessaloniki

Historic Sites Neighborhoods Museums
Find places to stay Dec 13 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Hagios Demetrios ©
Hagios Demetrios
Museum of Byzantine Culture ©
Museum of Byzantine Culture
Ladadika District ©
Ladadika District

2
nights
Rhodes Town, Greece

Rhodes Town ©
A conglomeration of many distinct architectural styles, Rhodes Town is the biggest urban center of the eponymous Greek island known for its golden beaches and relaxed way of life.
Start off your visit on the 15th (Sun): tour the pleasant surroundings at Agios Pavlos Beach and then kick back and relax at Tsambika Beach. Keep things going the next day: stroll through Lindos Beach, then take an in-depth tour of Archaeological Museum of Rhodes (Hospital of the Knights), and then explore the historical opulence of Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes.

To find more things to do, ratings, where to stay, and other tourist information, you can read our Rhodes Town trip maker tool .

Traveling by flight from Thessaloniki to Rhodes Town takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. Traveling from Thessaloniki in December, expect Rhodes Town to be a bit warmer, temps between 19°C and 13°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 16th (Mon) early enough to travel to Athens.

Things to do in Rhodes Town

Beaches Outdoors Parks

Side Trips

Lindos, Tsambika Beach
Find places to stay Dec 14 — 16:
Highlights from your plan
Agios Pavlos Beach ©
Agios Pavlos Beach
Tsambika Beach ©
Tsambika Beach
Lindos Beach ©
Lindos Beach

3
nights
Athens, Greece

Athens ©
One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Acropolis of Athens and Plaka. Discover out-of-the-way places like Mount Lycabettus and Erechtheion. Next up on the itinerary: get engrossed in the history at Acropolis Museum, wander the streets of Monastiraki, appreciate the history behind Temple of Olympian Zeus, and explore the world behind art at Benaki Museum.

For maps, where to stay, other places to visit, and more tourist information, use the Athens trip planner .

You can fly from Rhodes Town to Athens in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry; or do a combination of ferry and car. Plan for little chillier nights when traveling from Rhodes Town in December since evenings lows in Athens dip to 9°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 19th (Thu) to allow time to travel to Chania Town.

Things to do in Athens

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Dec 16 — 19:
Highlights from your plan
Acropolis Museum ©
Acropolis Museum
Acropolis of Athens ©
Acropolis of Athens
Plaka ©
Plaka

2
nights
Chania Town, Greece

Chania Town ©
The place where Cretan and Venetian cultures merged in the 13th century, Chania Town attracts throngs of tourists with its well-preserved medieval harbor.
On the 20th (Fri), learn about all things military at Maritime Museum of Crete and then enjoy the sand and surf at Falassarna Beach. On the next day, pause for some serene contemplation at St. Nicholas Church, explore the activities along Lake Kournas, then visit a coastal fixture at Chania Venetian Lighthouse, and finally go for a stroll along the water at Old Venetian Harbor.

For maps, ratings, photos, and tourist information, refer to the Chania Town trip planning app .

You can fly from Athens to Chania Town in 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of flight and shuttle; or ride a ferry. In December, plan for daily highs up to 17°C, and evening lows to 10°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 21st (Sat) so you can travel to Rome.

Things to do in Chania Town

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Lake Kournas, Falassarna Beach, St. Nicholas Church
Find places to stay Dec 19 — 21:
Highlights from your plan
Falassarna Beach ©
Falassarna Beach
Lake Kournas ©
Lake Kournas
Old Venetian Harbor ©
Old Venetian Harbor

4
nights
Rome, Italy

Rome ©
Aptly nicknamed the Eternal City, Rome is the birthplace of the Roman Empire, one of the world's greatest civilizations ever.
You'll discover tucked-away gems like Villa Borghese and Church of St. Louis of the French. Family-friendly places like Colosseum and Trevi Fountain will thrill your kids. Change things up with a short trip to Duomo di Orvieto in Orvieto (about 2 hours away). There's lots more to do: don't miss a visit to Pantheon, take in panoramic vistas at Museo Nazionale di Castel Sant'Angelo, contemplate the long history of Palatine Hill, and admire the striking features of Vatican Museums.

To find photos, maps, traveler tips, and tourist information, read our Rome trip maker site .

Fly from Chania Town to Rome in 6 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of ferry and car. The time zone changes from Eastern European Time (EET) to Central European Time (CET), which is usually a -1 hour difference. Plan for slightly colder nights when traveling from Chania Town in December since evenings lows in Rome dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 25th (Wed) so you can take a train to Florence.

Things to do in Rome

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trips

Vatican City, Duomo di Orvieto
Find places to stay Dec 21 — 25:
Highlights from your plan
Colosseum ©
Colosseum
Trevi Fountain ©
Trevi Fountain
Villa Borghese ©
Villa Borghese

4
nights
Florence, Italy

Florence ©
Considered a cultural, artistic, and architectural jewel of Italy, Florence is the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Centro Storico and Duomo di Pisa. Attractions like Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Campanile di Giotto make great kid-friendly stops. Go for a jaunt from Florence to Pisa to see Leaning Tower of Pisa about 1h 35 min away. The adventure continues: admire the masterpieces at Uffizi Galleries, appreciate the extensive heritage of Piazza del Duomo, snap pictures at Ponte Vecchio, and contemplate in the serene atmosphere at The Baptistery of St. John.

For maps, more things to do, photos, and other tourist information, read our Florence road trip planner.

Getting from Rome to Florence by train takes about 2 hours. Other options: drive; or fly. In December, daily temperatures in Florence can reach 15°C, while at night they dip to 4°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 29th (Sun) so you can take a train to Zermatt.

Things to do in Florence

Historic Sites Museums

Side Trip

Pisa
Find places to stay Dec 25 — 29:
Highlights from your plan
Gallerie Degli Uffizi ©
Gallerie Degli Uffizi
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore ©
Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore
Campanile di Giotto ©
Campanile di Giotto

2
nights
Zermatt, Switzerland

Zermatt ©
Best known as home the Matterhorn mountain, Zermatt serves as a chic ski resort town of the Swiss Alps.
Start off your visit on the 30th (Mon): take in the awesome beauty at Hohbalmen, take in the awesome beauty at The Matterhorn, and then don't miss a visit to Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis.

For maps, traveler tips, other places to visit, and tourist information, use the Zermatt journey planner .

You can take a train from Florence to Zermatt in 6.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of flight and train; or do a combination of flight, bus, and train. You will have some time to spend on the 31st (Tue) before leaving for home.

Things to do in Zermatt

Nature Parks Museums
Find places to stay Dec 29 — 31:
Highlights from your plan
The Matterhorn ©
The Matterhorn
Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis ©
Matterhorn Museum - Zermatlantis
Hangebrucke ©
Hangebrucke

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