We just returned from 3 weeks in Greece (and 1 week in Spain) and feel relaxed, refreshed and sun-kissed! Greece was absolutely everything I hoped it would be: family-run Greek taverns, dreamy sunsets, wild cats, turquoise water, small white houses with blue doors.
We fell in love with Greece.
We fell in love with the food. The fresh, light and simple meals – which were surprisingly incredibly healthy! We fell in love with the people – many didn’t even speak a word of English but were incredibly kind. We felt comfortable wherever we went, never worrying about our safety or theft of belongings. We fell in love with the cute one-story white houses with blue doors, the little shops and the bakeries. We loved Greece, and we know you will too!
Since returning, I’ve gotten tons of requests for a Greek Guide – I will be sharing my favourite spots, food to eat and beaches to visit!
Let’s start with the food.
Where do I begin? The food was even better I had imagined. It was fresh, simple and light. They used basic ingredients like local extra virgin olive oil in their dishes, seasoned very lightly with pepper, some salt and dried herbs like oregano and thyme. Many of the restaurants we went to explained that they grew their own organic vegetables on the island.
Breakfast – we loved starting our mornings with a melon to share. This is a great way to wake up the digestive system (note: melons are best consumed on their own for optimal digestion). Also, a few favourites were fresh bread from the bakery with tomato slices, olive oil and herbs. On-the-go we loved fresh orange juice, “Greek iced coffee” and “Spinach” or “Meditteranean” Pie (ask for no feta if you are dairy-free).
Lunch – it was impossible to stay away from the adorable Greek taverns! We loved sharing an array of appetisers such as Greek Salad, steamed beets or greens, fava bean dip (a local favourite) and fresh bread with olive oil. If we were doing a beach day, usually fresh fruits, nuts and homemade sandwiches did the trick.
Dinner – Dinner was again at a small Greek tavern. We loved Dolmas (stuffed vine leaves), Dolmades (stuffed peppers and tomatoes with rice and herbs) and the fresh Mediterranean salad options. There were tons of options for fresh, locally caught fish and prawns which we indulged in a few times, despite the higher prices. Ali loved his calamari, tzatziki and locally made goat’s feta at the taverns.
Sweets – Baklava everywhere! This sweet treat is perfect to indulge in after a Greek meal. Drenched in honey, I can only handle a bite or two, but definitely worth it – if you are vegan make sure to check with the bakery that it is indeed vegan.
Now on to the islands
Our favourite island, and one of our favourite places we’ve ever been. It reminded us of a small Swiss town we fell in love with on our van trip called Brunnen (nestled in the Alps near Schwyz and Alt Dorf). We stumbled upon Milos Island just as we had Brunnen, completely randomly – Ali pointed to the island on Google maps and said “let’s go there!”. Isn’t spontaneity the best?
Accommodation – we stayed with a lovely Greek family through Air BnB on Adamas Hill. I highly recommend this place, it was central and adorable.
Transportation – we rented a scooter for the 3 days we were here and thought it was an excellent choice! Easy to get around in and super fun. An ATV would also be great. No real need for a car unless you have got more than 2 people.
Beaches – everywhere. We especially loved Sarakiniko for its unique white rocks, gorgeous swimmable water, cliff jumping and even an abandoned shipwreck. Firiplaka was also breathtaking. You can’t go wrong here – they’re all gorgeous!
Things to do – We loved doing a full-day, half-island boat trip (leaving from Adamas port). We did ours with Aquatta Yachts, but I’m sure they are all great! They provide you with drinks, delicious food and an unforgettable tour around the island. We ended ours in Kleftiko, where the pirates used to hide out (think Pirates of the Caribbean) – how cool!? We also loved doing a scooter trip around the island and stopping at lookouts like Papafragas and ending it with a sunset up the hill on the church rooftop in Plaka.
Prices – Inexpensive to Affordable.
Romantic, chic and sooo Insta-worthy. Mykonos was another favourite – think chic beach bars with lounge chairs and palm tree umbrellas, melt-your-heart kinda sunsets and the cutest little town you will ever see!
Accommodation – we loved our place in Mykonos. It was another Air BnB about a 10 minutes drive from the town on a beautiful beach in a quiet area. Our place was called Seaside Studios. It was quiet, clean and even had a cute little kitchenette, relaxing lounge chairs and a gorgeous sunset view.
Transportation – ATV all the way! We loved our ATV because it got us around easily. We loved exploring all the smaller dirt roads by the beaches, which we may not have been able to do with a car or scooter.
Beaches – Depending on the wind (just ask a local or your Air BnB host) – if the wind is in the South then we recommend Agios Sostis Beach, or any beaches in the North such as Panormos beach. If the wind is coming from the North then we recommend Kalo Livadi beach (where we stayed), or if you want to party then go to Super Paradise or Paradise beach. Our absolute favourite beach was the hidden gem Kapari beach – if you can get a local kind enough to direct you there! Secluded and quiet.
Things to do – We kept it pretty low-key but we’ve heard of some super fun things to do in Mykonos if it’s in your budget including beach clubs and bars, drag queen shows and incredible restaurant dining in Mykonos town. We loved exploring Mykonos town once it got a bit cooler in the evening, and wandering through the adorable streets. We also loved watching the sunset from the infamous Lighthouse tower.
Prices – Expensive to Very Expensive
Definitely a touristy island, but pretty darn surreal. The whole island is situated up on 150-350m of volcanic rock, so the views are incredible. We travelled here with a big group of friends which was the best idea. If you are travelling alone, only a few days will suffice.
Accommodation – Air BnB if you are looking for something more affordable, but the hotels in Oia were just a dream (if you’re willing to splurge). It’s a really small island so anywhere you stay will be pretty central. We stayed in Imerovigli and really enjoyed being in the middle!
Transportation – ATV is the best way to get around the island unless you want to rent a car. Traffic is everywhere, and you don’t want to deal with parking when you’re on vaycay!
Beaches – there are a few beaches in Santorini, but we only visited the black beach in Kamari (which we loved!).
Things to do – we loved wandering through the towns, exploring the little villages and eating countless amounts of falafel (look out for Falafel Land in Fira – tons of vegan and veggie options). Seeing the sunset in Oia is absolutely unforgettable, you can not miss this! The nightlife was super fun – we went partying in Fira and it was quite surreal (spanokopita at 3am? Yes please). We also loved having a late lunch and wine in Ammoudi Bay, right by the water.
Prices – Affordable to Very Expensive
Travel & Booking Tips
We love using Air BnB – it’s reliable and super easy to use through a smartphone app. If you want to book with Air BnB, feel free to use my referral code here for a $50 credit!
For ferries around Greece, we used Direct Ferries and loved Sea Jets to get us around.
Booking ahead of time or going with the flow? Honestly, either would have worked easily!
Any more questions? Feel free to leave a comment below!