Italy vs Greece

Updated: April 23, 2017

Where To Go: 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.

Italy vs Greece – 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.
  • More History and Historical Sightseeing: Italy
    Both countries have lots of history but Italy has far more to see 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).
  • 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: Italy
    Both Greece and Italy have some fantastic hotels and restaurants. Italy has more top end hotels and fine dining but nothing beats Santorini 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.
  • 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?

Most 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 Nightlife: Greece.

Is Italy or Greece better for foodie tourists?

Best for Food and Cooking Courses: Italy.

6 Questions and Comments

  1. 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.

  2. Paris Malaspinas

    I stopped reading when you said Italy has more history than Greece. Seriously!? Open a book honey.

    1. Santorini DaveSantorini Dave The Guide to Greece

      This is what I said: “Both countries have lots of history but Italy has far more to see and much of it is better preserved.” I stand behind that. Also, go fuck yourself.

  3. 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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