Today we are going to share with you a road trip of greece in 5 days where you will get to know some of the most beautiful cities in the country.
Travelling around Greece by car is an easy and comfortable way to see the most important sites, as the distances between the main tourist attractions are relatively short and the roads are in very good condition.
🚗 Search here for the best car rental prices; and travel at your own pace!
On this 5-day tour of Greece, you’ll see enchanting beaches, historic cities, mythological mountains and a host of archaeological sites that tell the story of thousands of years of history.
🔝 We have included Greece as one of the cheapest countries in Europe to travel to this year. If you want to travel around the old continent and not spend so much, check out the rest in this article!
📜 TABLE OF CONTENTS
Road trip Greece, 5-day travel itinerary
Before we start detailing things to do in Greece in 5 days, we would like to give you a summary of this travel itinerary so that you can start organising your route.
- DAY 1: Departure from Athens arriving at Nafpaktos
- DAY 2: Departure from Nafpaktos via Delphi to Meteora
- DAY 3: Departure from Meteora and arrival at Ioannina
- DAY 4: Departure from Ioannina to Thessaloniki
- DAY 5: Return to Athens along the Aegean coast, passing Mount Olympus.
Total distance:1.551 KM
Now, let’s get started with this itinerary for touring Greece by car.
📷 If you don’t want to rent a car to tour mainland Greece, an excellent option is to book this 4-day tour of Greece from Athens, which will take you to the country’s most popular tourist attractions.
Map of road trip Greece in 5 days from Athens
DAY 1: Visit the coastal village of Nafpaktos and its incredible walled harbour.
Our itinerary in Greece begins in the imposing city of Athens, from where we depart for Nafpaktos, a beautiful coastal town located two and a half hours from the capital.
Nafpaktos, also known as “Naupacto”, is considered to be one of the most beautiful towns in the region of mainland Greece. And although it is not a city visited by many tourists, it has a wide variety of places worth seeing.
One of the most interesting sites in the town is the Nafpaktos Old Port, a small walled harbour located on the seashore where a bronze statue of Miguel de Cervantes lies, commemorating his participation in the Battle of Lepanto.
Perched on a hill at the top of the city, you can see the great Venetian Castle of Nafpaktos, a place full of little streets to wander through and a place with incredible views.
Another site not to be missed on this 5-day tour of Greece is Psani Beach, the largest beach in the area, bathed by crystal clear waters and surrounded by tavernas and cafes.
Psani Beach has all the services you need for a day in the sun and sea, including bathrooms, beach umbrellas and deck chairs for rent, hammocks and a beautiful pedestrian walkway for a stroll.
🔝 Visit the capital of Greece? Here’s things to do in Athens in 3 days.
Where to stay in Nafpaktos
Nafpaktos is a small town, so accommodation is concentrated in the centre and along the coastline. Our recommendations for where to stay in Nafpaktos are as follows:
- Flisvos Hotel Nafpaktos: facing the promenade, spacious rooms, elegant decoration, sea views and free parking.
- Angelland Luxury Suites: flats ideal for couples or families. In the city centre and five minutes from the beach. Modern with full kitchen.
🏨 Looking for other options? Find here the best hotels in Nafpaktos.
DAY 2: Tour the archaeological sites of Delphi and visit the monasteries suspended in the air at Meteora
On the second day of our road trip in Greece in 5 days, we bid farewell to the charming village of Nafpaktos and head towards Meteora.
But before reaching our final destination, we decided to pass through Delphi, a small tourist village on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassus.
The distance from Nafpaktos to Delphi is 98 kilometres, so it is advisable to leave early and spend the whole morning touring this small town.
Delphi played a major role during the Greek empire as the oracle dedicated to the gods was erected here in the 6th century B.C. The entire historic site is very well preserved, as well as the fabulous views of the surrounding mountains.
Some of the must-see sites in Delphi are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Athena Pronaia, the Oracle of Delphi and the Delphi Theatre. The latter had a capacity of 5,000 people and can now be seen in all its magnitude.
The visit is complemented by the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, one of the most important in Greece, which houses a wealth of valuable artefacts from antiquity, many of which belonged to the archaeological site of Delphi.
If you pass all the sights, the tour will take about 4 hours.
📷 Book your Delphi excursion from Athens here, including transfers, expert guide and lunch. You can also choose the 2-day tour from Athens to visit Delphi and the monasteries of Meteora.
After seeing all the wonders of Delphi, we continue our itinerary of Greece, heading towards the city of Meteora, known for its imposing monasteries built on top of large rocks.
Meteora is located in the plain of Thessaly, 235 kilometres from Delphi, so the drive will take you just under 3 hours.
Obviously, the main attractions in this city are the different monasteries that are literally hanging from the mountain, such as the Varlaam Monastery, the Great Meteor Monastery, the Holy Trinity Monastery, the Roussanou Monastery, St. Stephen’s Monastery and St. Nicholas Monastery.
As there are several places to visit, it is ideal to take part of the afternoon to visit one of the monasteries, spend the night in Meteora and use the morning of the next day to continue with the rest of the sites. Moreover, sunset is one of the best times to contemplate the landscape and watch the sunlight reflect on the monasteries.
📷 One of the recommended excursions is to visit the monasteries of Meteora at sunset to see how the last rays of sunlight reflect on the monasteries and the sky turns orange.. For those who like adventure, it is possible to hike through the monasteries of Meteora.
🔝 Check out this article on the guide to visit Meteora and be amazed by the monasteries perched on the mountain..
Where to stay in Meteora
Kalambaka is the lower village and the closest to the Meteora Monasteries. Our recommendations for where to stay near Meteora are as follows:
- Hotel Meteora: located among the rock formations of Meteora, is excellent value for money. Run by its owners, it has a full breakfast and excellent service.
- Hotel Meteoritis: modern facilities and location in the middle of nature. It has a large garden surrounding the property and rooms with a terrace and mountain views. Ideal for relaxation.
🏨 Looking for other options? Find here the best hotels in Meteora.
DAY 3: Enjoy the beautiful Pamvótida Lake in Ioannina and visit the huge castle.
On the third day of our road trip in Greece, we spent the morning visiting the monasteries of Meteora and then headed for Ioannina.
The distance between Meteora and Ioannina is 271 kilometres and will take you approximately 3 hours.
Although the town of Iaónina is not very big, it has plenty of sights to see, including Lake Pamvótida, one of the largest lakes in northwest Greece.
Another of the city’s main attractions is Ioannina Castle, a huge fortification made up of small streets, museums, mosques and shops.
This building is located on the shores of Lake Pamvótida and from here you have a spectacular view where the history of thousands of years blends with nature.
Inside the castle, you can also find the Silversmithing Museum which is an imposing modern structure with Greek relics and jewellery on display.
After the long tour of the monasteries of Meteora and the interesting sites of Ioannina, it is ideal to spend the night in Ioannina and start the fourth day of the Greek itinerary well rested.
📷 There are many adventurous excursions in the vicinity of Ioanina. Book an excursion to rappel down the Krapsi Goura gorge or raft down the beautiful Voïdomátis River.
🔝 If you are also visiting the countries bordering Greece, you might be interested in our mega guide to Bulgaria.
Where to stay in Ioannina
It is best to stay in the vicinity of the castle where you will find the lively life of the town with cafes, restaurants and a nice walk along the lake. Our recommendations for where to stay in Ioanina are as follows:
- Kastro Guesthouse: is housed in a former mansion in what was once the walled part of the castle. The rooms are decorated with stylish furnishings and serve breakfast with homemade products. Ideal for couples.
- Archontariki Historic Boutique Hotel: spacious rooms, each decorated differently. Excellent location and touches of quality in its decoration.
🏨 Looking for other options? Find here the best hotels in Ioannina.
DAY 4: Getting to know the huge city of Thessaloniki and its architectural treasures
On the penultimate day of this itinerary through Greece, we drove 260 kilometres to reach Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest city.
This huge city has museums, churches, squares, fortresses and a lively nightlife, mainly due to the large number of students in the city.
The city’s undisputed icon is the White Tower, a 34-metre high building that houses a museum dedicated to the history of Thessaloniki. If you climb to the top of the tower you will have an incredible panoramic view.
Another of Thessaloniki’s most important sites is Aristotle Square, located in the centre of the city.
Most of the shops, bars, boutiques and lodgings are concentrated there, and other tourist attractions such as the Arch of Galerius and the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, known to be one of the most important in Greece, are located around it.
If you go a little further from the city centre, you can visit Heptapirgion, a Byzantine fortress with 10 towers that has been declared a World Heritage Site due to its great historical significance.
This building is located in the upper part of the city, so if you don’t go by car, you will have to walk up a steep slope.
To end the fourth day of this road trip of Greece in 5 days, we decided to spend the night in Thessaloniki before returning to Athens the next day.
📷 Book your lunch or dinner here at the skylinebar of the OTE tower in Salonica, one of the highest in the city with 360° views of the city centre. If you want to get around the main tourist attractions, the Thessaloniki bus is an excellent alternative.
🔝 We have a travel guide to North Macedonia, in case you are also planning to visit this country.
Where to stay in Thessaloniki
Thessaloniki is a large city, so accommodation is varied and scattered along the waterfront and in the streets of the city centre. Our recommendations for where to stay in Thessaloniki are as follows:
- Nea Metropolis: central location close to museums and main restaurants. Excellent service.
- Orestias Kastorias: excellent location within walking distance of the main attractions to see in Thessaloniki. Without too many luxuries, it is well priced.
🏨 Looking for other options? Find here the best hotels in Thessaloniki.
DAY 5: Tour the Aegean coast and visit the famous Olympus Mount
The last day of this itinerary of Greece has arrived and it is time to return to our starting point. But first, we wanted to pass by the highest and most famous mountain in the country; Mount Olympus.
Mount Olympus is a Greek nature reserve since 1938 and is situated between the regions of Thessaly and Macedonia.
It is a mountain range with the summit of Olympus at 2,917 metres above sea level.
Beyond its height and location, Mount Olympus played an important role in Greek mythology, as it was considered to be the home of the Olympian gods, the main gods of the Greek pantheon.
The journey from Thessaloniki to Mount Olympus is about 106 kilometres and it takes about an hour and a half to reach the town of Litochoro, located at the foot of the mountain.
During your visit to the town of Litochoro, you can also visit the Monastery of St. Dionysios of Olympus, the waterfalls of Enipeas and the caves of Ithakisios.
Once we had toured part of the Olympus National Park, we set off back towards Athens along the Aegean coast.
There are some 434 kilometres of route that can take you more than 5 hours, as along the way there are different panoramic points with incredible views where I recommend you stop.
Once in Athens, we finish our 5-day drive through Greece and get ready to rest after this long journey.
We hope we have helped you plan your trip and look forward to receiving all your questions and suggestions in the comments.
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
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