The Greek Islands
Looking for some tips + tricks for your next adventure that don't break the bank (or your finally-developed self-care habits)?! I've compiled everything I've found during my favorite trips around the globe so you don't have to!
greece is one of those magical places that doesn't feel real. the refreshing slowness of life paired with the beautiful mediterranean style makes it a place that you could dwell in forever. interestingly enough, even though my family is from greece and I traveled there a bunch as a kid, I didn't explore the greek islands on my own until I graduated college. here's my favorite places + things to do while you're soaking in the mediterranean sun!
i spent time on two beautiful, popular islands: mykonos and santorini. think of mykonos as the young, party island and santorini as the breathtaking, romantic one (take your pick).
mykonos: artemoulas studios is still one of my favorite boutique hotels I've ever stayed in. it's a quaint spot about 5 minutes walk from the beach (platis yialos), it has a perfect pool + lounge area, and of course, a frappe station. most people get around the island using 4WD, and artemoulas can organize those rentals. it doesn't hurt that it's owned by an adorable yiayia!
santorini: santorini is a large island, and it's main town is oia. we decided to stay close to the black sand beach - on the opposite side of the island. it was nice to be away from the tourists, though oia is about 30 minutes away. we stayed in an airbnb that came with breakfast, a pool and a car. it was definitely worth it for the price!
Getting there: you can get to the greek islands from athens (where you'll likely fly in) by two methods: (1) ferry or (2) flight. I did both. it really depends on your needs (crunched on time, do flight; crunched on $, do ferry). I would definitely recommend at least one ferry ride - they are super nice and you can likely get a tan while you're on them :)
*a note: be sure to check which ferry dock you'll be departing from in athens. there are two--and one of them is much further from the center than the other.
while you're there: most islands are big enough that you'll need some transportation to see everything. on mykonos, everyone drives 4-wheelers (even while drunk, so watch out!). it's super cheap, and really easy to do - I would definitely recommend it. in santorini, if you're staying far away from oia a car is likely a good idea. it's a much bigger island, and a lot more dramatic if you get my drift!
greece is known for its insanely fresh seafood, fragrant olive oil, and fresh veggies - so you can't go wrong. most taverans are great for dinner. but, here are my favorites:
- yialos yialos: this restaurant is splurge-worthy and close to artemoulas. beach restaurant by day, fancy restaurant by night. really beautiful setting directly on the beach, and awesome seafood.
- nammos: this is the bougiest place on the island - but totally worth it. Split a beachside seat with a friend and order some food to your chair. you won't regret it.
- nikolas taverna: we stopped here for lunch one day and it's perfectly authentic. go for their locally-caught fish dishes no matter what time of the day.
- ammoudi fish taverna: this beautiful restaurant is in the classic ammoudi bay. have a glass of wine and their freshly caught octopus.
- fratzeskos: my favorite seafood restaurant of all time. It looks a bit random
the main thing to do in greece is hang by the beach, have drinks and relax. some of my favorite things to do were:
- rent ATVs and explore! (mykonos)
- see the windmills and old town (mykonos)
- take a boat trip (both)
- explore oia at sunset (santorini)
- jump off the cliff in amoudi bay (santorini)
- take donkeys to the top of ancient thera + hike down (santorini)