31 days in Greece & Istanbul Itinerary

31 days in Greece & Istanbul Itinerary

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Route & dates

31 days in Greece & Istanbul Itinerary

Start: Melbourne, Australia
Fly:  22​h 45​min
1
Athens, Greece
— 4 nights
subway + Fly:  2​h 30​min
2
Milos, Greece
— 4 nights
Fly + shuttle:  3​h 45​min
3
Hersonissos, Greece
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
4
Rethymnon, Greece
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 15​min
5
Chania Town, Greece
— 4 nights
Drive:  1​h 30​min
6
Elafonissi, Greece
— 1 night
Fly:  7​h 45​min
7
Istanbul, Turkey
— 6 nights
Fly:  23​h
End: Melbourne, Australia


Learn more about your trip

4
nights
Athens, Greece

Athens ©
One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Acropolis Museum and National Garden. Next up on the itinerary: steep yourself in history at Acropolis of Athens, let your taste buds guide you at a local gastronomic tour, explore the world behind art at Benaki Museum, and delve into the distant past at Temple of Olympian Zeus.

To see where to stay, photos, reviews, and more tourist information, you can read our Athens trip planner.

Melbourne, Australia to Athens is an approximately 23-hour flight. Due to the time zone difference, you'll gain 8 hours traveling from Melbourne to Athens. Prepare for much warmer weather when traveling from Melbourne in September: high temperatures in Athens hover around 34°C and lows are around 24°C. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 10th (Thu) so you can travel to Milos.

Things to do in Athens

Museums Historic Sites Neighborhoods
Find places to stay Sep 6 — 10:
Highlights from your plan
Acropolis Museum ©
Acropolis Museum
Acropolis of Athens ©
Acropolis of Athens
Plaka ©
Plaka

4
nights
Milos, Greece

Milos ©
The result of thousands of years of volcanic activity, the island of Milos features a craggy coastline interspersed by shallow beaches.
Bring the kids along to Kleftiko Beach and Kalogries Beach. On the 12th (Sat), enjoy a perfect day by the water at Pollonia Beach. The adventure continues: tour the pleasant surroundings at Sikia Beach, enjoy the sand and surf at Paliochori Beach, and contemplate the long history of Venetian Castle of Milos.

For traveler tips, maps, other places to visit, and other tourist information, refer to the Milos travel planner .

Traveling by combination of subway and flight from Athens to Milos takes 2.5 hours. Alternatively, you can ride a ferry. In September, plan for daily highs up to 32°C, and evening lows to 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 14th (Mon) to allow enough time to travel to Hersonissos.

Things to do in Milos

Beaches Outdoors Parks
Find places to stay Sep 10 — 14:
Highlights from your plan
Kleftiko Beach ©
Kleftiko Beach
Sarakiniko Beach ©
Sarakiniko Beach
Paliochori Beach ©
Paliochori Beach

4
nights
Hersonissos, Greece

Hersonissos ©
Wholeheartedly dedicated to tourism, Hersonissos remains best known for its vibrant nightlife, its bars and clubs attracting partygoers from around the world.
Bring the kids along to The Palace of Knossos and Fortress Spinalonga. Explore the numerous day-trip ideas around Hersonissos: Heraklion (The Natural History Museum of Crete, Heraklion Archaeological Museum, & more), Lake Voulismeni (in Agios Nikolaos) and Winery Stilianou (in Kounavi). Plan for a day of cool, family-friendly fun on the 18th (Fri) at Star Beach. There's lots more to do: admire nature's wide array of creatures at Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos, get engrossed in the history at Ιστορικό Μουσείο Κρήτης - Historical Museum of Crete, examine the collection at Lychnostatis Open Air Museum, and go for a stroll along the water at Old Venetian Harbor.

To find maps, traveler tips, more things to do, and tourist information, refer to the Hersonissos journey planner .

You can do a combination of flight and shuttle from Milos to Hersonissos in 4 hours. Another option is to ride a ferry. Traveling from Milos in September, you can expect nighttime temperatures to be little chillier in Hersonissos, with lows of 20°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 18th (Fri) to allow time to drive to Rethymnon.

Things to do in Hersonissos

Theme Parks Museums Parks

Side Trips

Heraklion, Fortress Spinalonga, Winery Stilianou, Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos, Lake Voulismeni
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 18:
Highlights from your plan
Heraklion Archaeological Museum ©
Heraklion Archaeological Museum
The Palace of Knossos ©
The Palace of Knossos
Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos ©
Cretaquarium - Thalassocosmos

4
nights
Rethymnon, Greece

Rethymnon ©
Rethymnon combines the old-fashioned charm of a small town with proximity to long sandy beaches with all the modern conveniences usually found in big tourist resorts.
Kids will appreciate attractions like Matala beach and Reptisland. Get out of town with these interesting Rethymnon side-trips: Athos Workshop (in Aggeliana), Finikas Beach (Palm Beach) (in Plakias) and Lake Kournas (in Kournas). And it doesn't end there: take a stroll through Rethymnon Old Town, view the masterpieces at Cloclo's Art Handmade Creations, contemplate in the serene atmosphere at Monastery of Arkadi, and steep yourself in history at The Venetian Fortezza.

To find where to stay, other places to visit, photos, and more tourist information, read our Rethymnon online journey planner .

You can drive from Hersonissos to Rethymnon in 1.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of bus and shuttle; or take a bus. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in September, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 22nd (Tue) so you can drive to Chania Town.

Things to do in Rethymnon

Parks Historic Sites Beaches

Side Trips

Imbros Gorge, Reptisland, Athos Workshop, Matala beach, Lake Kournas
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 22:
Highlights from your plan
Reptisland ©
Reptisland
Matala beach ©
Matala beach
Lake Kournas ©
Lake Kournas

4
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.
You'll visit kid-friendly attractions like Samaria Gorge National Park and Falassarna Beach. You'll find plenty of places to visit near Chania Town: Kastro Gramvoussas (in Gramvousa) and Balos Lagoon (in Kissamos). There's lots more to do: go for a stroll along the water at Old Venetian Harbor, examine the collection at Greek National Football Museum, cool off at Aqua Creta Limnoupolis, and brush up on your military savvy at Maritime Museum of Crete.

To see photos, traveler tips, maps, and other tourist information, refer to the Chania Town online sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Rethymnon to Chania Town takes 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can take a bus. In September in Chania Town, expect temperatures between 34°C during the day and 23°C at night. Finish up your sightseeing early on the 26th (Sat) so you can go by car to Elafonissi.

Things to do in Chania Town

Parks Beaches Outdoors

Side Trips

Aqua Creta Limnoupolis, Falassarna Beach, Souda Bay War Cemetery, Samaria Gorge National Park, Balos Lagoon
Find places to stay Sep 22 — 26:
Highlights from your plan
Samaria Gorge National Park ©
Samaria Gorge National Park
Balos Lagoon ©
Balos Lagoon
Falassarna Beach ©
Falassarna Beach

1
night
Elafonissi, Greece

Elafonissi ©
Located just off Crete's southwestern corner, Elafonissi offers an alternative vacation idea for those looking to avoid the larger, more crowded Greek islands.
Kick off your visit on the 27th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Aspri Limni Beach, then kick back and relax at Elafonissi Beach, and then tour the pleasant surroundings at Elafonisi Viewpoint.

To find reviews, photos, maps, and tourist information, read our Elafonissi sightseeing planner .

Traveling by car from Chania Town to Elafonissi takes 1.5 hours. Expect a daytime high around 34°C in September, and nighttime lows around 23°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 27th (Sun) early enough to travel to Istanbul.

Things to do in Elafonissi

Outdoors Parks Beaches
Find places to stay Sep 26 — 27:
Highlights from your plan
Elafonissi  Beach ©
Elafonissi Beach
Aspri Limni Beach ©
Aspri Limni Beach

6
nights
Istanbul, Turkey

Istanbul ©
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.
Family-friendly places like Hagia Sophia Museum / Church (Ayasofya) and Suleymaniye Cami will thrill your kids. There's lots more to do: contemplate the long history of Basilica Cistern, take an in-depth tour of Topkapi Palace, admire the masterpieces at Kariye Museum (The Chora Church), and get to know the fascinating history of Sultanahmet District.

To see more things to do, reviews, where to stay, and more tourist information, you can read our Istanbul journey planner.

Fly from Elafonissi to Istanbul in 8 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of shuttle and flight; or do a combination of ferry and bus. The time zone difference moving from Eastern European Time (EET) to Eastern European Time (EET) is 1 hour. Traveling from Elafonissi in September, expect nights in Istanbul to be about the same, around 26°C, while days are slightly colder, around 26°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 4th (Sun) early enough to travel back home.

Things to do in Istanbul

Historic Sites Museums Neighborhoods

Side Trip

Merkez Eyup Sultan Camii
Find places to stay Sep 27 — Oct 4:
Highlights from your plan
Basilica Cistern ©
Basilica Cistern
Dolmabahce Palace ©
Dolmabahce Palace

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