I’m still pinching myself that we got to travel to Greece. Major bucket list destination! It was even better than I dreamed it would be. It truly was a dream come true. After our cancelled trips to Italy and Paris last year (thanks Covid), I was beyond excited to finally make it to Europe. It was both mine and Logans first time. We visited Mykonos and Santorini. Mykonos is more of a beach and party destination and Santorini is more romantic and relaxed. If I had to pick between the two, I would say Santorini is definitely my favorite. Greece is known for its sunsets, especially Santorini. It’s been known to have the best sunset in the world. You’ll notice that a lot of things we did revolved around the sunset and that’s just kind of what people do in Greece! You’ll understand why when you see it.
HOW TO GET THERE:
We flew direct on Delta from Atlanta to Athens, Greece- it was a 10 hour flight and much easier than I thought it would be. We did a red eye, so we slept most of the time. When we arrived in Greece, we went thru customs which was super easy and had to show proof of a negative covid test. Then we boarded our Olympic airlines flight to Mykonos! The flight to Mykonos was the shortest flight I’ve ever been on.. 30 minutes tops and we were in Mykonos! We had a private transfer arranged from the airport to our hotel. Very seamless.
WHERE TO STAY IN MYKONOS:
We stayed at Deliades Hotel in the Private Pool suite (highly recommend this room). This hotel sits right above Ornos beach and features STUNNING views of the sea and the private pool was so dreamy. This hotel was a 3 min walk to the beach and a bunch of restaurants! It’s also only about 6 minutes from Mykonos Town by ATV. We loved this hotel so much.
HOW TO GET AROUND MYKONOS:
We rented an ATV from Quality Rentals and if I can give you one recommendation for Greece, it’s to rent an ATV. It’s the best way to get around, and EVERYONE is on one. You can also rent a scooter, but an ATV felt safer/more practical. You will need an international drivers license in order to rent one, which is super easy. You can get it at AAA ahead of time or you can get it right at the rental place! Takes less than 5 min.
WHAT TO DO IN MYKONOS:
Beach Club: Mykonos is more of a beach destination than Santorini so you’ll want to spend some time at a beach club and rent beach chairs. We opted for Nammos and it was amazing. Nammos has a whole village with high end shopping and restaurants, plus a large beach and full service when you purchase beach chairs. Chairs were $150 for the day and worth it in our opinion. Other Beach clubs are Scorpios (we went here for sunset and dinner a night) and Branco ( I believe this one is more affordable).
Scoprios: This is an absolute MUST if you’re in Mykonos! The vibe, the food, everything. We made a dinner reservation for 7pm and stayed for sunset. The food is absolutely incredible!! Make sure you order the Avocado Tzatziki… to die for. You have to make a reservation VERY far in advance. Note that there are different reservations for the sunset spot and for dinner. I believe you can only do one or the other. I suggest doing dinner because you can still watch the sunset from the other side of the beach.
Mykonos Town: My favorite part of Mykonos. I could have walked those streets FOREVER. When you see photos of Mykonos, it’s more than likely Mykonos town. Cobblestone streets, adorable shops and restaurants, flowers everywhere and home of the famous windmills! The photo spots are endless.
Little Venice: The dreamiest part of Mykonos Town. This is where the sea meets Mykonos town. The sunsets are INCREDIBLE. We ate breakfast and dinner here and I swear I’ll be dreaming about it forever. This is home to Negritas and Kastros! Both are ‘instagram famous’ restaurants that sit on the water. I’ll insert photos below!
Boat Cruise: We had one booked to see all the beautiful Mykonos beaches, but unfortunately, it was too windy on our date so we had to cancel! I was super bummed- it looks so fun! We were booked with Don Blue Yachting.
WHERE TO EAT:
Kastros: I’m sure you’ve all seen this spot all over instagram and tiktok! Right on the water in a tiny little walkway. Truly a greek dream! We had breakfast here one morning and it was so romantic. I’ll never get over it. Photo inserted below.
Negritas: In my opinion, this is more of a sunset drinks kind of place! Stop by here for drinks and an appetizer before dinner and catch the sunset! You won’t regret it. This is the famous spot along the water with all the beautiful red flowers hanging from the ceiling.
Nice n Easy: We ate breakfast here one morning and it was so yummy! I got the avocado toast and fresh orange juice. Greece is also known for their frappe coffees- Logan got one and it was delish ( don’t drink caffeine on trips to try and keep my anxiety astray). We sat right along with water and it was the perfect morning. All the food is organic.
Scorpios: As mentioned above, you can’t miss this spot! The food and the vibe are both fantastic. Make sure you make a reservation far in advance. There are no walk in’s. Try to go around sunset.
Casa di Giorgio: The best meal I’ve ever had in my life!!!! If you’re a sucker for Italian and truffle, you have to eat here. Get the truffle gnocchi and thank me later. I’m still not over it. We also got the truffle pizza. Funny thing about this spot is that we ate here totally by accident. We accidentally booked our dinner reservation that night for an hour later than we thought we did and we were starving so we started walking around the town and stumbled upon this place! We saw them making fresh pasta outside and I was sold.
Zuma at Cavo Tagoo: Located at the famous hotel Cavo Tagoo and we went here for lunch and drinks! This hotel was completely sold out for our dates, but I had to see it so we opted to do lunch and drinks there! We ended up being able to spend the rest of our day at the pool relaxing which was amazing. Views are unreal.
Now, off to Santorini we go!
How to get to Santorini:
Island hopping is SUPER easy in Greece. We took a high speed ferry from Mykonos to Santorini. It took about two hours and was pretty easy. Make sure to book this in advance and book the high speed ferry. Some of the other ferries take much longer. Pro-tip, if you get motion sickness, take Dramamine before you board the boat. We both took it. Not going to lie, had a mini panic attack getting on the ferry. It’s a verrrry quick process. Passengers get off the ferry and you get on in a matter of 5 minutes (I’m not kidding). You board in the cargo area of the boat with all of your luggage (this is where I panicked). As soon as the last person gets on, the boat takes off. No windows or air conditioning in the cargo part and hundreds of people. You drop off your luggage and wait in line to scan your ticket and go upstairs. I was totally fine once we got upstairs, but wow I was freaking until I got to a window and air haha. I quickly forgot about the boarding process when we got to Santorini! We once again, had a private transfer to our hotel from the marina.
WHERE TO STAY IN SANTORINI:
Oh my gosh, I honestly have no words for the hotel we stayed at- Divine Cave Experience. It was hands down the best hotel we have EVER stayed at. It’s a brand new hotel that just opened three weeks before we arrived. It’s literally a cave. The entire hotel. You have an entire cave suite with private pool to yourself that over looks the Caldera and Aaegan Sea. BREATHTAKING. We literally wanted to spend all of our time in the hotel (and no, this is not sponsored). Every suite comes with a private rooftop with a bed and table and chairs. We laid up there a lot too! Aside from the stunning views and amazing room, the service was next level. The breakfast (included) every morning was out fo this world. There is also a wellness cave, where you can have a private swim in the massive cave pool with a fruit board and wine, get a massage, etc. We definitely took advantage of that. The hotel is located in the town of Imerovigli. It’s a quieter Cliffside town, with tons of luxury resorts and less crowded than Oia. Highly recommend staying in this area. It’s about a 15 min ATV ride from Oia.
HOW TO GET AROUND SANTORINI:
Same as Mykonos, we rented an ATV. This is a must to get around! Make sure to book one with a basket on the back to store all of your things while riding. We rode that thing everywhere!
WHAT TO DO:
PRIVATE POOL: If you can, splurge and get a private pool suite at your hotel. We seriously spent SO much time in ours. Morning, day and night! It’s so relaxing and the views are stunning. Our hotel would just bring us food and drinks, and we ate all of it from the pool while enjoying the views.
OIA: Oia is the famous town that you see in all the photos of Santorini! It’s an absolute must. We went there almost everyday, as it was a super quick ATV ride away. Tons of amazing restaurants, shopping and views. Wear walking shoes because all the stairs are NO joke. You have been warned. This is where the famous three blue domes, the Castle, and the world famous sunset spot are located. You MUST watch a sunset from here at least once. After all, it is known to be the best sunset in the world and we found that to be VERY true. Every. single. night.
BOAT CRUISE: We booked a private 5 house cruise around the island with Caldera Yachting and it was my favorite thing we did the entire trip! The crew prepares a traditional greek lunch on board and holy moly, it was fantastic. You cruise around and see all the beaches- white, black and red as well as the volcano and hot springs! You cannot miss this while in Santorini. We stopped along the way to swim, snorkel and jump off the boat. I’ll never, ever forget this day! So magical. They arrange a transfer for you to and from the boat. They will pick you up from your hotel.
WINE TASTING: Santorini is known for it’s wines, specifically their white wine, Assyrtiko. We did a tasting at Santo Wines at sunset. It was stunning and the wine was fantastic. Don’t skip this! We almost did and I’m SO glad that we didn’t. Make a reservation in advance.
AMMOUDI: I feel like this is a lesser known spot, but it was one of my favorites! A little fishing village, down by the water. You can eat dinner here ( we did, I’ll share more below) or if you don’t want to eat down there, at least go see it! It’s SO cute and charming. We drove the ATV down, but you can take stairs from Oia. Remember if you take the stairs down, you’ll have to take them back up and there’s A LOT of stairs…. and I mean a lot. They have donkeys there to carry people up but I don’t recommend that. Those poor little donkeys should not be doing that… and especially in the heat of the summer. Breaks my heart.
SCAROS ROCK: If you’re into hiking, go early in the morning and hike Scaros Rock. It’s in Imererovigli and there is a beautiful church on the other side of the rock! Not going to lie, we turned around on this hike because we were wearing normal clothes after our morning shoot (I had on a dress and Gucci sandals and Logan had on linen pants lol). We thought it would be much easier than it was! If we had more time, I would have gone back and done it in appropriate clothes! The view from the church on the other side looks beautiful.
FIRA: We stumbled on the town of Fira and ended up loving it! Super cute and has a different vibe than Oia. We got authentic greek Gyros here and they did not disappoint! We asked our driver from the boat cruise what the best local gyros were and he said Yogi! So that’s where we went.
WHERE TO EAT:
SPHINX: Make a reservation at sunset! We enjoyed the most beautiful sunset from the rooftop and had the best food during our whole time in Santorini here. The mushroom risotto was so delicious! Don’t miss this one. I could have sat there alllll night long. It’s kind of hard to find, it took us about 10 minutes of wandering haha so pencil in a few extra minutes before your reservation.
AMMOUDI FISH TAVERN: As mentioned above, Ammoudi was one of my favorite spots in Santorini! We ate right on the water (just ask the host to sit you as close to the water as possible) and it was stunning. You have a view of the little town, oia and the water. We didn’t want to leave! I’m still drooling over the tomato balls!!!
PELEKANOS: One of the most popular dinner spots in Santorini and for a good reason. The views of Oia are amazing! We thought the food was a little more casual and affordable compared to the other places we ate! So, its a great bang for your buck! Food in Greece was pretty pricey.
CACIO DE PEPE: Located in Fira, and the best Italian on the island! It’s tucked away on a back road.. we almost missed it! It gets very busy for dinner, so make sure to make a reservation ahead of time. Obviously, I recommend the Cacio de Pepe!
YOGI: If you’re looking for an authentic greek gyro, head to Yogi! SO cheap and even more delish! We loved this spot. Super casual. You just walk up to the window to order and sit outside to eat! A must do while in Greece!!
Greece was truly one of the best trips (if not the best) that we have EVER been on. With that being said, it’s not a budget friendly trip. It ended up being WAY more than we expected it to be. Rooms average $800 a night in both Mykonos and Santorini, and the food is very expensive as well. So, keep that in mind when planning but know that it’s worth every single penny! Can’t wait to return one day! I hope this was helpful and you enjoy your time in Greece. More info can be found on my Instagram @hillary.bowles – I have two highlights and a Q&A saved to my highlights.