Before you go on, this post has over 100 photos resulting in about 30mb of data usage. If you’re on wifi, cool… if not, you’ve been warned. The areas we visited on this trip were Athens, Santorini (Oia) and Mykonos. We stayed a total of 3 nights in each area and took a flight from Athens to Santorini followed by a high speed ferry ride from Santorini to Mykonos.
I have to say, I really did fall in love with Athens. You stole my heart with your history and overall atmosphere. It had the hustle and bustle of New York, the history of an ancient city, picturesque cobblestone pathways and it seemed like everyone just wanted to be outdoors. Tourists and locals alike. It’s the epitome of a city that embraces the old with the new.
The architecture in Athens is just gorgeous. The fusion and embracing of old and new lends itself to quaint buildings, elaborate doorways and modern finishes. I noticed they pay a lot of attention to outdoor spaces which I love. For residences, balconies and rooftop terraces were not only common, but also so big, spacious and lively. They attribute that lifestyle to taking advantage of great weather most of the year.
Walk along any cobblestone path and you’re also bound to find locals enjoying meals and drinks outside. Come to think of it, I don’t think we actually ever dined indoors. I found it refreshing to see more locals out and about then tourists because if there’s one thing I hate, it’s feeling like you’re in a tourist trap location. Those areas, for me, take away the authenticity of diving into a culture different then my own.
I would suggest hiring a guide when touring one of the oldest named cities in the world. When you’re walking the Acropolis which was built over 2500 years ago, and see the Parthenon which is one of the most visited archeological sites in the world, it’s a moment to remember.
My favorite area in Athens (aside from the amazing sites) was Plaka. A town with a vibrant community of locals and endless areas to dine and shop.
Just when I thought I was loving the architecture in Athens, Santorini is on a level all it’s own. Seriously, Oia, where we stayed, is one of the most breathtaking towns I’ve ever seen. As nice as it looks in photos, it’s nothing compared to real life, it’s insane.
We used Airbnb to rent out an authentic cave house and I have to say, this is a must. While they have really fancy resort style hotels in the area, it was a nice change of pace and I mean when/where else do you have to opportunity to stay in a cave house? The white washed walls and blue accents were just gorgeous and then the deck with the view of the Aegean Sea… unreal and definitely a reminder to be thankful.
Another perk of staying in Oia is you get to wake up in the morning and stroll around town with virtually zero tourists. Same goes for at night time and it’s a great way to explore as it can get really busy during the day.
One of the highlights for this area was the Oia to to Fira hike, another popular town in Santorini. If you love the outdoors, I highly recommend this as the views are amazing. You can see my review on TripAdvisor here.
We love Mykonos! It’s such a fun little island. There’s a little area called Mykonos Town where you can stop, dine and drink. In the town is also a few gay bars which we attempted going to. Funny thing is, we were there at 9pm thinking ok, maybe some people are out. Turns out the bartender told us it only starts to get busy at midnight and goes through the morning. Damn! We can’t hang like that anymore. He laughed and said that they have are cafe after dinner, then go out lol.
We also loved Super Paradise Beach, a gay friendly beach. Mykonos was a nice end to our trip as we relaxed and partied the day away. We stayed at one of the most amazing hotels, one of the best I’ve stayed at actually. See the photos below!
Here are a list of hotels we stayed at that I can vouch for in case you’re interested!
- Athens: Herodion Hotel I would also recommend Airbnb here but the hotel we stayed at was good and had a nice view of the Parthenon on the rooftop restaurant/terrace. The best part of this hotel was the location. Walking distance to Acropolis and other major sites. Restaurants close by as well as one of my favorite areas, Plaka. We also ran every morning and it was just an awesome way to soak in the area while the city wakes up.
- Santorini: Use Airbnb as there are so many to choose from. Though we loved ours, we booked last minute so our options were limited and wouldn’t have been my first choice. Really though, seems hard to go wrong so long as the reviews on the site are good.
- Mykonos: Myconian Ambassador Hotel & Thalasso Spa Center Omg, one of the best hotels ever. Seriously, you feel like a million bucks here. We definitely splurged on this hotel but it was worth it.
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