Outfit Details: Maxi Dress
Hello lovelies! I would say it’s good to be back home…but I really miss Greece! Our honeymoon was amazing and it was honestly the trip of a lifetime. For a while we thought we were going to go somewhere in the Caribbean and post up on a beach somewhere for a week, but the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to cross off a country on our travel bucket list. And why not Greece?! It was high on our list of countries to visit and that way we could have a mix of exploring AND relaxing time to enjoy their beautiful beaches/ocean scenery. And to be honest, ever since I saw Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants I had always wanted to go and experience the Grecian life just like Lena did!
I have SO much to write about our trip that I didn’t know where to start after this overview post, but I thought I would break it down into the three main locations we visited: Athens, Santorini & Mykonos. And each post will be broken down into 3 sections: Things to Do, Restaurants to Visit & Where to Stay. Hopefully I’m able to answer all questions and give everyone the information they need to plan a trip!
Length of Trip
For our trip we were in Greece for 7 full days (not including travel days) and it was the perfect length to spend time in the three locations we visited. Of course I could always spend more time in Santorini though ;). From the U.S. there are only two cities that have direct flight to Athens – Philadelphia & NYC. Since we flew out of Atlanta, we had a connection in London (just enough time to order some Fish & Chips!) and then flew into Athens. Even if you’re final destination is a Greek Island instead of Athens, you have to connect in Athens anyways so I would recommend to spend some time there if you haven’t already.
Greece is made up of A LOT of islands – 168 inhabited islands to be exact! So you could spend months just trying to visit them all. Some islands are more touristy than others, some are more known for their nightlife, and some are more known for their beaches – it just depends on what you want.
As far as island hopping goes, you can either take a short flight on Aegean/Olympic airlines (which we did from Athens to Santorini & Mykonos back to Athens) or you can take a Ferry or Speed Ferry (which we did from Santorini to Mykonos). The difference in ferries is that the Speed Ferry does go faster than the regular one but it also does cost more since it gets you do your destination faster. Flights can sometimes be cheaper than the Ferry, just depends on when and where you are traveling to. We booked our flights in advance of our trip but neither flight we took was completely booked so you could wait to buy tickets closer to the dates you want to travel. The flight from Santorini to Mykonos was actually really expensive so the Speed Ferry was much cheaper for us and we didn’t even book our speed ferry tickets until a couple of days before the trip. The ferry was great honestly, I would definitely recommend it especially if you’re needing to cut costs. Just make sure to look up the trip details because some ferry rides can be several hours long and you don’t want to waist a day on that. For reference, the speed ferry ride from Santorini to Mykonos was 2 hours.
Our Trip Overview
We landed in Athens around 7pm and had the rest of the night and the whole next day (Day 1) to explore Athens. We also came back to Athens for another half day at the end of our trip to fly back home, so I guess technically we almost spent two full days in the city. We would’ve been fine with a day and half though – as long as you have enough time to explore the Acropolis, it’s museum and can explore and walk around the downtown area, I think you’re golden. Athens wasn’t our favorite stop on our trip but we really wanted to explore the city and get to see the Acropolis so I would still recommend it, just don’t spend a significant amount of your trip there. I would also recommend to make it your first stop in Greece if you can, since I like to end all things on a high note (in this case other cities).
On Day 2 we got up early and took a flight (30 minutes) to Santorini. We spent almost three full days on the island and I could definitely have spent more. You can do Santorini in 3 days like we did, but if you’re able to I would give yourself more time – maybe 4 or 5 days. We spent some time in Fira & even more time in the island’s capital, Oia.
On Day 5 we got up early and took the Speed Ferry (2 hours) to Mykonos. We spent almost two full days here and I feel like we got to really explore Mykonos Town (the main city of Mykonos) really well. For half of a day we took a bus ride to a nearby beach and spent some time there, but if you want to spend more time in beaches maybe stay 3 or 4 days.
Below is a summary of our trip and how long we were in each destination:
- Arrive in Athens at 7pm
- Day 1: Athens
- Day 2: Leave for Santorini
- Day 3: Santorini
- Day 4: Santorini
- Day 5: Leave for Mykonos
- Day 6: Mykonos
- Day 7: Leave for Athens
- Day 8: Fly back home
Some Things to Know Before Visiting:
- At the time I’m writing this, the economy isn’t super great in Greece. It can be common for taxi drivers to go on strike, so if you’re stying in a hotel I would contact them to see if they can arrange your transfer. If that’s not an option, I would look up the local train or bus route. Don’t worry too much about this though, there’s always some form of transportation available!
- Don’t throw your toilet paper…into the toilet. Yep, you read that correctly! In most of Greece it’s common to not put your toilet paper in the toilet. They don’t have an updated sewer system and their pipes get clogged very easily so instead of throwing your paper into the toilet, there’s usually a small trashcan (with a lid) next to the toilet for you to put it in.
- When you’re ready to pay the bill at a restaurant, let your server know. I’m not sure if this is a cultural thing or not but it happened in every restaurant we ate at. Maybe they don’t want to rush you and assume you are ready to leave, but in the States servers will sometimes put the bill down on the table before you ask for it (near the end of the meal or after you’re done eating of course). Me and Taylor had been done eating for a good 20 minutes or so and we realized we had to ask for the bill before they actually gave it to us. In some instances we had to ask to use the credit card machine and pay even after they had given us the bill. So just keep this in mind.
- Tipping isn’t a normal thing like it is in the States but it’s nice to do it anyways, especially if you had great service! Taylor and I tipped like we normally do in the States so it wasn’t any different for us, but everyone was really appreciative of it!
- Try as many traditional Greek dishes as you can! Being a food lover, my number one piece of advice is to always try the local or traditional dishes wherever you go. You’ll never have feta cheese or gyros that taste as good ever again 😉
- There isn’t much of a language barrier since most everyone speaks Greek & English.
- Learn a few words/phrases of the Greek Language!
- Yassas: Hello/Goodbye
- Kalimera: Good morning!
- Efharisto: Thank you
- Parakalo: You’re welcome/Please
If Greece is on your bucket list of places to travel and you’re able to, go! I already want to go back – but isn’t that the conundrum of traveling? You like someplace so much you want to visit it again, but you know you need to visit other places that you’ve never been to first before going back to someplace you’ve already been. Maybe one day we can make it back out for an anniversary trip but until then, I will be dreaming about Greece 🙂