Greece was our last destination on our honeymoon. We spent the first half partying it up in Barcelona & roaming the streets of Rome (Check out previous blog posts). So since the first half of our 18 day honeymoon was dedicated to exploring, touring and basically walking 25 km a day lol we wanted the remaining half to be more relaxing and romantic. We just wanted to put our feet up and take in the beauty and that’s exactly what we did!
With that said, this post is going to be a bit different from the rest. Instead of breaking down the neighborhoods, food, itinerary, we will just share our experience and love for the islands. Why? Well because we didn’t have really have an itinerary and secondly its fun to change things up sometimes:)
I’ll start of by saying this was our first time visiting any of the Greek islands, we’ve all seen endless pictures of the beautiful islands, especially Mykonos & Santorini but let me just say that it is not only every bit as beautiful as you see but even more! When we landed, we both couldn’t help repeating ‘wow’.
So..Mykonos or Santorini? That’s a popular question. While planning our trip we were so confused, we had 9 days to ourselves and did not know where to spend 5 days and where to spend 4. but if you are planning a trip you know how stressful and how big of a decision that can be. I researched on google for hours to see what the popular opinion is. Some said Mykonos and others said Santorini, I mostly found that people referred to Mykonos as the party city and that if you want to go some place romantic and quiet then Santorini is your choice. My opinion is that if its your first time, it doesn’t really matter because you will love and enjoy both! Here’s what we did, we opted for more time in Mykonos because it was more cost effective however we actually really really enjoyed ourselves in Mykonos and had an amazing time. I would say if you are going to both islands, go to Mykonos first and then Santorini.
Funny thing is on our way to Santorini we were wondering if it would be pretty too because we fell in love with Mykonos and its beauty. In fact I remember landing and texting my sister and saying wow oh my god its so beautiful, and she said wait till you see Santorini. and I just couldn’t imagine anything to be even more beautiful. When we landed in Santorini (in Fira) driving up the hills we were a bit skeptical and feeling kind of disappointed but when we arrived at Oia our jaws dropped. We were staying on the strip of Oia and our resort was on a cliff overlooking the ocean. It was absolutely gorgeous, views like no where iv seen before. It is honestly a dream. Its no secret that Santorini is more picturesque than Mykonos but that doesn’t take away from Mykono’s beauty and feel. Because especially if its your first time and you go to Mykonos first you will be impressed then in Santorini you will be even more impressed!
Honestly I think its worth splurging in Greece for accommodation, as you know we didn’t really spend much in Spain and Rome because we were out and about all the time but in Mykonos & Santorini, we knew we wanted to stay somewhere luxurious and it was totally worth it.
Mykonos: We stayed at Myconian K Kyma which is a 5 star resort and I would highly recommend it. Its very close to the Mykonos Town and the resort it self is beautiful! I am talking private pools, delicious breakfast buffet and great service. Another plus point was that you get access to more than just one resort. See the Myconian K hotels has three properties right next to one another so whenever you are bored or want a chance, you can just walk over next door. We especially loved the swings and day beds at the Myconian Naia!
We found the price too be fairly reasonable for what we got, we payed around $300 a night but similar resorts were going for $500+. Our stay also included unlimited water therapies at the Thalasso Spa. I would highly recommend this, they had give therapeutic pools, i cant remember all of them but there was a salt water pool, Aloe Vera pool and a lavender pool. It was the most relaxing and refreshing experience ever.
Santorini: We debated whether to stay in the town of Fira or Oia as these are the top two recommended areas but we opted for Oia because it was a bit more secluded, romantic and quieter. There is a lot more to do in Fira and we did take the bus down there twice however If i had to go back I would probably opt for Oia once again.
We stayed at the Caldera Villas, its a 4 star resort right on the famous strip of OIA. We read mixed reviews about this place prior to going but we actually enjoyed our stay a lot. We got the honeymoon suite which had a private hot tub with an amazing view over looking the volcano and sea. It was also the most private room in the hotel so that was definitely a contributing factor. The rooms itself are pretty small but the views from the hotel are absolutely stunning. The location is great as its right on the strip, tons of restaurants around and a short walk to watch the beautiful sunsets and even shorter walk to the famous blue domes. HOWEVER the hotel is located on a cliff as is everything else on that strip but the Caldera Villas is actually one of the hotels that’s at the lowest point, meaning there are a lot and i mean a lot of steps to walk up to the strip and a lot of steps to walk down. If you are an elderly person I definitely wont recommend this hotel. Another downside was the pool, it was pretty small.
We payed around $270 a night which was the most affordable hotel on the strip at the time, mind you we didn’t book too much in advance so a lot of the hotels were sold out but for what we payed and the reviews we had read this was a pleasant surprise!
What did we do?
A bit of nothing and a bit of everything 😀
- Hung out at the local beaches- Ornos & Platis Gialos
- Rented a scootie and explored the island
- Ate our hearts out in Mykonos Town
- Watched sunsets
- Checked out a nightclub- Super Paradise
- Took a day trip to the Volcano and Hot Springs
- Went to Fira to grab a quick bite
- Watched the sunset
- There are so many restaurants in the town, download trip advisor prior to your trip and you can use it in offline mode to check out reviews before you dine! Our favorite restaurant was La Familia…their lamb shank and Mousaka was to die for!
- Definitely rent a scootie or a ATV, the islands are fairly small and its a lot of fun to explore. Keep a jacket with you because riding around at night can be a bit chilly.
- In my humble opinion, the volcano tour was a waste of time and I wish we had taken a different tour. in my The “hot springs” were a cool experience but at the same time muddy and uneventful. I suggest one of the semi private catamaran afternoon/sunset cruises that will take you to the springs as well but without being on one of these overloaded tour boats.
- A must see is ancient Thera… make sure to plan going in the morning as the site closes early afternoon.. afterwards, you could just go to the beach since you will be in Kamari anyhow.
- Check out the beautiful village of Pyrgos … great food in the restaurant at the square
- If you want to go swimming, check out Amoudi Bay, there is a big cliff there where you can jump off of. We wanted to go here but the water was very cold when we went so we decided we would do it next time around. (also i was a bit scared lol)
- Exchange your currency prior to arriving in Greece, we found the rate to be very high and ended up using credit cards the entire trip.
- Mykonos has some great shopping BUT compared to Athens it can get a little expensive. If you are not planning a stop in Athens to shop then I suggest bringing alot of cash! They have some good cheap souvenir places around Little Venice and the Windmills, cheaper shopping boutiques are in the middle of town next to accessorize. If you are in Mykonos late Aug/Sept the specials are great!
- If you are planning a trip to the islands in the summer months and are flexible on the dates, do your research! August is their busiest month and September is not as packed but the water is a bit colder so its harder to take a dip in the pool or go to the beach. So perhaps opt for the earlier months.
- Lastly! Greece is a lot more expensive than the majority of Europe so make sure you keep enough of a budget