Italy vs Greece

Updated: September 14, 2017

Where To Holiday: Italy or Greece?

Italy has more 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 and don’t do both.

Greece vs Italy – Which Is Best For A Vacation?

  • Best Beaches: Greece
    The 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 far more to actually see and visit, and much of it is better preserved.
  • Better 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.
  • 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. 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.

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.

See Also



8 Questions and Comments

  1. 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 2018. 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 beacuse I just want to make the right decision. Thank you!

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      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).

  2. Venice to Greece – Best Route

    Looking to travel to Greece in 2018 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 – i.e., Athens to ? to ? to ?…..

    Jordene Lyttle

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      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.

  3. 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.
    Ashish

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      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.

  4. 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 DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      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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