Best Tours and Day Trips from Athens

If you liked Athens, get ready to get to know its surroundings: culture and paradisiacal beaches, why choose when you can have it all?

Carmen Navarro

Carmen Navarro

9 min read

Best Tours and Day Trips from Athens

Athens as seen from the Acropolis | ©Gary Todd

The Acropolis is probably the highlight of Athens, but the city has many more corners to explore and behind each of them there are mythological stories that fascinate travelers and locals alike. I tell you all about the best tours to discover them:

1. Guided bike tour of Athens

Temple of Zeus| ©Luke McKernan
Temple of Zeus| ©Luke McKernan

The use of bicycles is widespread in Athens, that's why there are many tours that use this means of transport. The price of these tours, in addition to the guidance of the guide throughout the tour, includes the rental of the bikes. This option allows you to cover a larger area of the city in less time and avoiding crowds, so it is one of the most popular among the guided tours.

In the two tours that I propose, the bicycles used are electric and easy to handle, to avoid excessive fatigue on the part of the traveler. Even so, I recommend that you come to the tour with comfortable shoes (the helmet is included in the bike rental). When you make your reservation you can choose between the different dates and times available.

Three-hour guided tour

The three-hour bike tour of Athens is available in English, Spanish, Italian, French and Dutch and costs $35. Before you start your guide will give you safety instructions and bottled water for the tour. This is the itinerary for this option:

  • Acropolis Hill (site where democracy was founded).
  • The Herod Atticus Odeon Theater
  • The Acropolis Museum
  • The Theater of Dionysus (the first in the world)
  • The temple of Zeus
  • Hadrian's Arch
  • The Zappeion Conference & Exhibition Center
  • The Presidential Mansion
  • The National Garden
  • The Plaka district (an Athens must-see)
  • The Tower of the Winds and the first water clock
  • The agora or Athenian square
  • The agora or Roman square

Four-hour guided tour

If this tour is not enough for you, you also have another four-hour bike tour of Athens with tasting of typical products available in English, French, Spanish and Italian. This one costs 66 euros, but also includes, in addition to the services of the guide and bike rental, water and food during the tour.

You will be able to taste two Greek delicacies: the Souvlaki (a kind of meat skewer) and the Loukoumades (a very popular Greek sweet). The main stops are:

  • The temple of Zeus
  • The Panathinaikó stadium (where the first modern Olympic Games were held)
  • The Zappeion Conference & Exhibition Center
  • The National Garden
  • Syntagmatos Square
  • The Hellenic Parliament
  • The Academy of Athens
  • The Museum of Athens
  • The Central Market
  • Monastiraki Square
  • Hadrian's Bookshop
  • Acropolis
  • The Tower of the Winds
  • The Cathedral of Athens
  • The neighborhood of Plaka

Book a bike tour in Athens

2. Athens mythological walking tour

Parthenon| ©Antonio Campoy
Parthenon| ©Antonio Campoy

I admit that I am partial to this tour and lovers of the ancient world will share my opinion once they have taken it. It is a four-hour walking tour of Athens, available in English and French, with the presence of a specialized guide and with a wireless audio system that allows you to comfortably follow his indications. The best part? It is focused on Greek mythology and it is also intended for small groups of 14 people maximum.

What does this tour consist of?

The tour includes an in-depth visit to the Acropolis in which you will visit its main monuments (Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechteion, Propylae, Theater of Dionysus...) being able to put into context its history thanks to the explanations of the guide. If the names of Zeus, Hephaestus or Athena Ergani are familiar to you, prepare a pen and paper so you can take note of everything you will discover about them.

Although the tour is focused on Athenian mythology, it does not leave behind historical explanations about the way of life of the city and its evolution since its foundation. If you have to choose only one tour to do during your visit to Athens, for duration and quality of explanations this is one of the most convenient for you. Do not hesitate to ask your guide for any kind of recommendations to complete your visit to the Greek capital; he will be happy to give them to you.

Ana's Traveller Tip

The city of Athens has a lot of ancient history behind it, so the explanations of a guide in certain places are essential.

3. Excursions to Delphi from Athens

Delphi Ruins| ©Jorge Cancela
Delphi Ruins| ©Jorge Cancela

The city of Delphi was called "the center of the world" in Ancient Greece and today its ruins are one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. If you travel to Athens you have the opportunity to visit these ruins that are located just two hours away by road from the Greek capital. In Delphi you will find key historical sites such as the Temple of Apollo, the Athenian Treasury, the Sanctuary of Athena or the Delphi Museum itself.

There are many tours to Delphi from Athens, but I recommend you choose between these two: the same-day round-trip tour or the two-day tour that also includes a visit to the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. Here's what you should know about each of them:

Delphi Day Trip

It costs $103 and includes the entrance to the ruins, the transfer with pick-up and drop-off from your hotel in Athens and the services of a specialized guide who will accompany you during the tour and will give you a guided tour of the most important sites of Delphi including the archaeological museum and the temple of Athena Pronaia (the most photographed place in Deplfos). This day tour to Delphi from Athens is available in English, Spanish, Italian and French.

Delphi and Meteora two-day tour

If you have enough time during your trip, you can opt for this tour that combines a visit to the ruins of Delphi with a visit to the Byzantine temples of Meteora. You will spend the night in a 4-star hotel in Kalabaka with dinner and breakfast included. You can do this tour in English, French, Spanish or Italian.

This two-day tour to Delphi and Meteora from Athens includes: accommodation, meals with dinner and breakfast, transportation between the points of interest, pick up and drop off directly from the hotel in Athens, entrance fees to the monuments included in the tour and the services of a specialized guide.

Book an excursion to Delphi

4. Private day tour of Athens and the Acropolis Museum

Acropolis Museum| ©Terrazzo
Acropolis Museum| ©Terrazzo

For true fans of Greek culture, this private day tour of Athens and the Acropolis Museum is the VIP choice among the tours of the city. This is a private tour of Athens with a fully personalized service; an expert guide will be at your disposal for half a day and can take you to the places of your choice in the city in a luxurious air-conditioned vehicle interspersed with walking tours to the points of interest of your choice.

Pick up and drop off at your hotel is included in the price, as well as the entrance fees to the Acropolis and its museum; take the opportunity to visit this site with your guide during the tour instead of doing it on your own. Spend the rest of the time at more remote sites that are not so easy to see on your own.

Being able to trace the route of this tour is a privilege; the Olympic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus, Syntagma Square, the Dionysus Theater... there are many options, but if you can't decide , ask your guide. He will guide you according to your interests and will know how to make the most of your time. Don't hesitate to ask him for gastronomic or any other kind of recommendations that may be useful for the rest of your trip.

Book tickets to the Acropolis

5. Private Peloponnese highlights tour from Athens

Lion's Gate, Mycenae| ©Andy Montgomery
Lion's Gate, Mycenae| ©Andy Montgomery

The Peloponnese is a Greek peninsula linked to Athens by the Corinth Canal and located two hours away by road. There you will find places of maximum cultural interest such as Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplio or Epidaurus. On this private tour of the highlights of the Peloponnese from Athens you will get to know them all with an expert guide who will be exclusively at your disposal.

The tour is available in English, Spanish and German and lasts one day. If you and your travel group are interested in Ancient History, I assure you that you will get the most out of this private tour. Wear comfortable clothes and don't hesitate to ask the guide for any recommendations that may be useful during the rest of the trip.

What is included in this tour

  • Roundtrip transfer from your hotel in Athens in a luxury vehicle
  • Lunch by the sea in the city of Nafplio
  • Personalized attention from an expert guide all day long
  • Flexibility in route planning

6. Day trip to the Greek Islands from Athens

Poros Island| ©Tilemahos Efthimiadis
Poros Island| ©Tilemahos Efthimiadis

Who doesn't dream of visiting the Greek Islands one day? This day trip to the Greek Islands from Athens makes it possible to visit them in one day from Athens, something that would be difficult to do on your own. With this full day cruise to the Greek Islands you will visit three of them: Poros, Hydra and Aegina.

The tour is available in English, Spanish, French and Italian. A car will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the ship. On board you will enjoy a traditional Greek buffet lunch and a folklore show to make the most of the time spent traveling between islands.

Once you arrive in Poros, Hydra and Aegina you will have free time to enjoy the scenery, do some shopping or join the additional guided tours organized by the cruise ship. This activity is ideal to avoid being left with the thorn in your side of not visiting the Greek Islands after your visit to Athens.

7. Other popular excursions from Athens

Beautiful views of Santorini| ©Maggie Meng
Beautiful views of Santorini| ©Maggie Meng

If this selection is not enough for you, there are other places near Athens that you can visit during your trip to Greece. However, for some of them you will need more than a day if you want to see them in depth and take advantage of all they have to offer. Here are three more suggestions:


An island in the Aegean Sea that you have surely seen in photos. Indeed; it is the one with the white houses on the slope of a mountain. It is far enough away from Athens to go and return in one day, but you can plan an inter-island flight and make it one of the stops on your trip. I recommend you avoid the summer months as this is one of the busiest islands in Greece.


In Mykonos there is party, party and more party. It is ideal to go with friends and spend unforgettable nights and sunsets. You can arrive by ferry or plane from Athens or Santorini. Whichever option you choose, save your strength for the visit and book your accommodation as soon as possible.

Cape Sunion

If you are interested in visiting the temple of Poseidon this is another excursion you can do from Athens, this time without spending more than a day.

Book a tour of Cape Sunion and the Temple of Poseidon

If you are interested in excursions from Athens, you will also be interested in

Sail the Greek waters and discover their beauty| ©Old Photo Profile
Sail the Greek waters and discover their beauty| ©Old Photo Profile

When preparing a trip to Greece, the first thing that comes to mind is its islands. Athens has an impressive culture and history, but lacks the clear waters and paradisiacal landscapes of the Greek Islands. That's why there are different cruises that take you to places close to the capital of Greece so you don't have to give up anything during your trip.

If you want more information about this kind of excursions, I recommend this article on Cruises in Athens where you will find recommendations and tips that will be useful during your trip.

If, on the other hand, you prefer to enjoy the city to the fullest and visit every corner of it, the tourist bus is one of the most efficient ways to do it. Get rid of the idea that tour buses tarnish an authentic experience and discover its benefits in my guide on Athens Hop on Hop off Bus Tours.