Italy vs Greece

Greece › Italy or Greece
Updated: April 21, 2022
By Santorini Dave

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Narrow stone walkway lined with colorfully-painted buildings with flower-draped balconies

The colorful streets of Nafplio, Greece.

Where To Holiday: Italy or Greece?

Italy has more (easily accessible) history, a richer range of cuisine, better cooking and food tours, and more sightseeing opportunities. Greece has better beaches, a more relaxing atmosphere (especially on the islands), and cheaper food and hotels.

Top Tip: To see both Greece and Italy you need 2 weeks minimum. If you only have 1 week to travel then pick one country, don’t do both.

Greece vs Italy – Which Is Best For A Vacation?

  • Best Beaches: Greece
    The best Greek Islands are loaded with wonderful beaches (too many to count). Italy has a beautiful coastline and plenty of places to swim but not a lot of great sandy beaches.
  • History and Historical Sightseeing: Italy
    Both countries are historical gems but Italy has more to actually see and visit, and much of it is better preserved.
  • Climate & Weather: Greece
    Italy and Greece have very similar weather and seasons. Warm and sunny from May to October, cool and wet from November to April. Greece does have a slightly longer summer and beach season (especially in the southern islands). And during the super hot months of July and August, the Greek islands are refreshed by cooling breezes.
  • Better for Budget Travelers: Greece
    Greece tends to be a little cheaper than Italy but there’s not a huge difference in prices, especially outside of the large cities.
  • Better for Luxury Travelers: Tie
    Both Greece and Italy have some fantastic hotels and restaurants. Italy has more top end hotels and fine dining but nowhere beats Santorini and Mykonos for indulgent, pampered luxury.
  • Better Food: Italy
    Greece and Italy are both known for their phenomenal food and restaurants so there’s no clear winner though you will see more variety and range of styles in Italian cuisine. There are also far more cooking courses in Italy than in Greece.
  • Better for Honeymoon: Greece
    Italy is slightly better for an active honeymoon with tours, sightseeing, and multiple destinations. Greece is better for a romantic honeymoon on one or two idyllic islands.
  • Better Nightlife: Greece
    Both countries have active club and bar scenes. The nightlife in Greece is more geared towards tourists and is thus easier to find and enjoy for a visitor.
  • Better for Families: Greece
    Italians and Greeks love kids and welcome them everywhere so both countries are wonderful family destinations. Italy has more historical sightseeing so if your children are history buffs then Italy will be better; if they are fans of Percy Jackson and interested in Mythology, Greece will not disappoint. Greece has more beaches, better swimming, a slower pace, and the fantastic Greek islands for island hopping.

Should I Go to Greece or Italy?

Does Italy or Greece have the best beaches?

Best Beaches: Greece. The best Greek beaches are in Mykonos and Naxos.

Does Italy or Greece have the most history?

Sightseeing, History, and Culture: Italy.

Is Italy or Greece best for a honeymoon?

Best for a Honeymoon: Greece.

Does Greece or Italy have a better nightlife for tourists?

Best for Bars, Clubs, Nightlife: Greece.

Is Italy or Greece better for foodie tourists?

Best for Food and Cooking Courses: Italy.

About Santorini Dave

Santorini Dave Santorini Dave was started in 2011 by a guy who loves Greece and Europe, travel and great hotels. We're now a small team of writers and researchers dedicated to providing the best travel content on the internet. We focus on Santorini, Mykonos, Athens, and Greece, offering recommendations for top hotels, neighborhoods, and family-friendly hotels worldwide. Dave can be contacted at

  1. Santorini and Sicily

    HI Dave! How doable would it be to combine a trip to Athens/Santorini with Sicily? Thinking 10 days total. If not Sicily, what are your thoughts on Crete? We are two semi-adventurous adults in our late 50s.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Santorini and Sicily are not easily visited together on a short trip. Much better to devote those ten days to Sicily (plenty there to fill 10 days) or Athens and Santorini (and one more island if you wanted). Crete is wonderful but once again, if you spend 2 full days in Athens and 4 full days in Santorini (which is pretty much the minimum) then you’re only left with a few days for Crete – which is large. Naxos, Paros, Milos, and Mykonos are better choices to pair with Santorini (when dealing with limited time).

  2. Itinerary for Italy and Greece from USA

    Hi Dave,
    Looking more like hoping to plan a trip for the Summer. I am wanting to visit Florence, Venice, Rome, Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini. Looking for the best options on best routes to take and where to fly in and where to fly out. I would be flying out from Dallas, TX. The trip would be about 14 days but can add one or two more days to make it more doable.

    Thanks in Advance!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      There are many different routes you could take and they all require some research to see if they work with your dates. The most important thing is to buy an open-jaw ticket even if it’s slightly more expensive than the cheapest available flights. For example, look at flying into Venice, train to Florence, train to Rome, fly to Santorini, ferry to Mykonos, ferry to Athens, fly home from Athens. Or could do the reverse or change routing entirely but that should give you a start.

  3. Itinerary for Italy, Greece, and Paris

    This may be our only trip to Europe for our honeymoon. We are wanting Paris, Italy, & Greece. We have 2 weeks. What kind of itinerary would you suggest & who would you book through?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Paris -> (flight) Venice -> (train) Florence -> (train) Rome -> (flight) Mykonos -> (ferry) Naxos -> (ferry) Santorini -> (flight) Paris. Find flights on (but book through individual airlines). For hotels is the easiest to use and has the best prices.

  4. Trip to Italy and Greece

    Hi there!

    My family of 5 (ages ranging 21-50) are heading to Greece for our first time from Miami, Florida and we have plans of enjoying the culture, especially the food. We have 9 days, 8 nights for our vacation during summer and would love to do Athens-Santorini-Mykonos-Italian Coast (Positano). Do you think this is doable? Should we remove a Greek Island?

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      That is too much for 8 nights. You’re much better off dropping the Italian part of the trip which requires another flight and then train (probably from Rome). Leave Italy for another trip. 8 nights just for Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos will keep you plenty busy.

  5. Trip to Greece and Italy

    Hi Dave,
    My wife and I are planning a 2-week vacation to Europe. And we are having a hard time deciding whether to visit both Greece and Italy or just Greece. This is our first trip to Europe and I was hoping to explore at least 2 cultures but at the same time, I don’t want to spend 2 weeks just running from one place to another. Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      If you think you might be back to Europe in the next 3 to 5 years then I would focus your two weeks on one country (sounds like Greece is your first choice). But if this could be your one and only time to Europe then do both countries (top spots would be Florence, Rome, Athens, and Santorini).

  6. Itinerary for Greece and Italy

    Hello! My husband and I are planning to go Italy & Greece for our honeymoon in October/November, and are planning to visit the following places. It’s our 1st time going to both countries hence would need your advice on where we should fly to 1st from Singapore and the traveling routes, if possible. Thank you so much!


    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      The route that is most likely to work (given the time of year) is to fly into Athens, ferry to Paros, ferry to Santorini, fly to Rome, train to Florence, train to Venice, depart from Venice.

  7. Which Two Greek Islands for Family Holiday

    Hi! My husband and I with our two girls (ages 13,15) are planning to go to Greece next August. Unfortunately, we have to go in August during the busiest month. We will have about 8 days. trying to figure out the best two islands to visit. We are basically skipping Athens. I am thinking Naxos and Santorini (originally had thought of not doing Santorini but worried if we don’t get back then I’ll never see it). my girls love adventure, anything water, and we are active but also love a great beach. I have been imagining the Greek Islands forever so I would love to see the charming and beautiful towns I see in pictures. Any suggestions would be very appreciated! I am getting tired of researching because I just want to make the right decision. Thank you!

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      I think Santorini and Naxos are two great choices and a nice mix (very different from each other). Naxos does not have direct flights from Italy (or the rest of Europe) but Santorini and Mykonos do. I’d suggest adding a quick stop in Mykonos so you don’t have to retrace your steps: fly Italy-Santorini, ferry to Naxos, ferry to Mykonos, fly Mykonos-Italy (or the reverse route).

  8. Venice to Greece – Best Route

    Looking to travel to Greece for 2 weeks. Thinking of flying to Venice for a day or so – then on to Athens. From Athens – I’m considering: Mykonos, Santorini, and Naxos. Santorini is where I want to spend the most time. What “route” would you suggest?

    Jordene Lyttle

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      Fly Venice to Athens, ferry to Mykonos, ferry to Naxos, ferry to Santorini, fly Santorini to Rome. Also Santorini flights to Paris, London, Amsterdam, and a few other cities in Europe.

  9. Greece and One More Country

    Hi Dave,
    We are planning to Greece in early June. Want to visit one more country, Italy or turkey. We want to go for 9 nights. Can you suggest the places we must cover. We are 2 families having 2 kids up to 15 yrs in each family.

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      For a 9 day trip you’re much better sticking to one country. 9 days in Greece will go quickly enough but you should be able to visit 3 places comfortably (Athens and 2 islands). Good islands for families are Naxos, Paros, and Antiparos. Santorini is a little less kid-friendly than the others but so special and memorable that I still recommend it for families. You could fly Santorini to Rome and get a day in there if you really wanted.

  10. Itinerary for Italy and Greece

    Hi there! I can’t decide if this is a doable itinerary! Can you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help!!!

    28 fly
    29 venice
    30 venice
    31 train to tuscany
    1 la spezia – train to cinque terre
    2 tuscany
    3 train to rome
    4 rome to athens to santorini
    5 santorini
    6 santorini
    7 fly to athens
    8 fly out

    1. Santorini Dave The Hotel Expert

      It is a busy travel plan but doable. Better if you flew directly from Rome to Santorini to save time. I would cut out the day trip to Cinque Terre and add a day to Rome.

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