The Best Tours of Athens, Greece

Planning the Greece trip of a lifetime? Pre-purchasing your tours of Athens, Greece can save you big money by avoiding the fluctuating Euro exchange rates. Only thing is, there are so many different tours that it's hard to know which kind is best for your buck. Below, you'll find a wide selection of the different types of tours worth your while. Specific tours are available throughout Greece through many travel agencies, hotels, and tour operators. 

01 of 17

Morning Tour of Athens, Greece

The Parthenon at the Acropolis
Getty Images/Martin Child

Taking a tour at the beginning of your stay in Athens helps orient you to the capital city of Greece. This type of tour gets you to and from many of the major sights easily in a short amount of time; some you may want to revisit on your own later in your stay.

02 of 17

Half Day Tour to Cape Sounion

The Temple of Poseidon
Getty Images/K. Kalomiris

Cape Sounion is a dramatic location at any time of day, but most of the afternoon tours schedule it so you'll be there for the amazing sunset. Beneath you the Aegean Sea stretches out, glimmering in the sun, and beside you stands the stately ruins of the Temple of Poseidon. It's easy to understand why the ancient Greeks built a temple to the god of the sea here.

03 of 17

Athens Sightseeing by Night and Dinner Show

The acropolis lit up at night

TripSavvy / Alisha McDarris

Are you a cliché phobic, or an independent traveler rather than a tourist? Then this one isn't for you. You get to see the lights of Athens, look at the picturesque harbors, and then go into the Plaka area of Athens for a dinner and show. However, it's mindless fun, less trouble for a tired tourist than finding a unique place on your own, and nearly an essential experience for a first-time visitor to Greece.

04 of 17

Three-Day Tour to Meteora and Delphi

Meteora between earth and sky

Organized trips to Meteora make great sense -- it's a long drive into the mountains that most casual travelers won't undertake on their own. Even better, find one that includes a stop at Delphi as well (read on for more info on this historical must-see site).

Continue to 5 of 17 below.
05 of 17

Full Day Tour to Delphi

To many Greece travel experts, a visit to Delphi is as essential as a visit to Athens. This beautiful, historic, and inspiring town on the slopes of Mount Parnassus is a great experience. Have extra time? You can turn it into an overnight trip and, with an early call, you can explore the site without the crowds early the next morning.

06 of 17

Overnight Tour to Delphi

Ancient Delphi
Getty Images/Walter Bibikow

If you have the time, this is the most recommended way to experience Delphi -- it's absolutely lovely and you won't regret spending a night there. Delphi is high on the list for a return visit by repeat travelers to Greece, and it is lovely almost any season of the year.

07 of 17

Half-Day Tour to Ancient Corinth

Elevated view of the Corinth Canal.
Getty Images/Walter Bibikow

The actual Corinth Canal isn't even the most impressive portion of this tour. The ruins of ancient Corinth are very evocative, both as an ancient Greek site and also as a site important to early Christianity; the "Bema" or meeting area where Paul preached can still be visited.

08 of 17

Walking Photographic Tour of Athens: Hills and Demes of Athens

This is a fun way to "do" Athens while enjoying some instruction in photography and capturing some memorable images. Participants should be able to comfortably walk while carrying their camera equipment uphill and through the narrow and sometimes steep lanes of Athens. But if you're just really looking for a walking tour, this is a pricey way to do it and best for more serious photographers.

Continue to 9 of 17 below.
09 of 17

Wine Tasting and Tour of Ancient Corinth

Combining Greek wine tasting and a visit to ancient ruins just "works" somehow -- while there aren't many opportunities for this type of tour, you can do a wine tasting not at Corinth itself, but nearby at a lovely winery.

10 of 17

Four-Day Trip to the Greek Island of Rhodes

Rhodes Island
Getty Images/Kypros

Explore the island of the sun, sacred to Helios, the Greek God of the Sun, since ancient times. This four-day trip typically includes your flight from Athens and a half-day escorted tour, but much of the time is yours to do with as you wish.

11 of 17

Day Cruise from Athens to Hydra, Poros, and Aegina

Hydra Island, Greece
Getty Images/stockstudioX

Want to get out of Athens, but short on time? Try an 11-hour day cruise -- it lets you visit three great Greek islands in a single day. Yes, it's just a taste, but if all you have time for is appetizers, you'll still appreciate -- and remember -- your quick bites of these Greek isles, all of them gems. Though it's a busy day, the boat ride between the islands lets you recover from previous sightseeing and be raring to go once you dock.

12 of 17

Two-Day Trip from Athens to Santorini

Village of Oia in Santorini, Greece
Getty Images/Artie Photography (Artie Ng)

Love Athens but want to experience a Greek island during your stay? A quick trip to and from Santorini may be just the ticket. It can combine easily with your stay in Athens. Remember, most Athens hotels will happily keep your big luggage for you for a few days while you run off to the islands.

Continue to 13 of 17 below.
13 of 17

Four-Day Tour of Greece - Meteora, Olympia, Delphi, Epidaurus, Corinth Canal

Want to get out of Athens in a big way? A four-day/three-night tour of classical Greece that includes the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora, in addition to Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Corinth, and Delphi is the way to go.

14 of 17

Five-Day Trip to Northern Greece, with Delphi

Lake Kerkini
Getty Images/Giannis Papanikos

This is an easy way to visit the often-neglected area of Northern Greece, round-trip from Athens. While Delphi is not exactly "northern", it's a nice addition to this type of tour.

15 of 17

Private Walking Tour with National Archaeological Museum

National Archaeological Museum
Getty Images/Michele Falzone

The National Archaeological Museum is really a must-see in Athens -- yet it seemed to be dropping off of organized tour offerings in recent past years, leaving travelers to scramble to add it to their own free days in Athens. An ideal tour would combine access to the Museum with a personally-guided tour on foot through Athens.

16 of 17

Open-Top Bus Tour of Athens

A bus tour is a simple, easy way to learn the basics of Athens and take some photographs from an interesting angle.

Continue to 17 of 17 below.
17 of 17

Welcome Tours

Athens, Greece is a marvelous city, a world capital -- and a confusing labyrinth for the unwary. If you choose a safe hop-on, hop-off bus tour or another guided coach option, it's still possible to "do" Athens without ever really meeting an actual Greek national or exchanging more than a few words with someone over a shop counter or hotel reception desk.

A service called Welcome has bridged that gap by creating a directory of vetted and trustworthy local Athenians and others who live in Greece who are willing to guide tourists around to their personal favorites in Athens and beyond. They charge a fee for the excursions, usually over 100 Euros for several hours of transportation and guidance. Some of them will even cook you dinner at their home, introduce you to their circle of friends, and show you around the neighborhoods of Athens.