Who ISN’T planning a summer trip to Greece right now?
My best friend and I went last summer for around a month so while you guys are out there planning I wanted to share our trip with you so you don’t miss out on the amazing authentic places and experiences we had while there! Plus a ton of tips to enjoy Greece. We visited Santorini, Milos, and Athens. I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, DO NOT SLEEP ON ATHENS! Last year when we planned our trip, we just kinda went. Figured it out along the way. While this isn’t for everyone we had a ton of fun. SO much fun we are planning a trip to return in August.
WHAT WE DID IN SANTORINI
We flew into Santorini directly from Palma de Mallorca by way of Naples. We did not plan a ATV, scooter or car rental but I would recommend doing so if you are going to want to see as much of the island as possible. We did not realize how large the island was when we began the trip, and when we go back this summer we will likely rent an ATV or a car.
For the first few days of the trip we stayed in Finikia. Finikia is about 15 mins walking from the beautiful picturesque town of Oia, with a large public parking area in case you’ve rented a vehicle. There is also vehicle rental nearby if you chose not to do so at the airport. We stayed in a place called Georgie’s Apartment we found on booking. Cave style rooms with beautiful terraces and views of Aegean sea right out our front door! It came with breakfast daily served right there on our patio and even better there was air conditioning and a small pool to cool off in, which is a MUST. Santorini is so HOT. We arrived pretty late that night and grabbed dinner and called it a day.
The first full day we spend wandering all over Oia, taking photos exploring shops, getting to know our surroundings. We found a great cheap place called Pita Gyros for lunch – honestly the cheapest place we found in Oia – and so so so good. We grabbed Greek Salads, Fries and Mythos, a greek lager that is so crisp and light and perfect for how hot it was. We found a place called Meteor Cafe that had an amazing view, but be warned the drinks aren’t cheap.
Dinner was one of the most amazing meals we had, but we found it along the walk to Oia from Finikia at a place called Anemomilos. 100% would return and eat there again.
The following day we made it on to a boat to visit one of the still active volcanos, some natural hot springs as well as one of the port cities for lunch. That afternoon we checked out of our hotel and made our way down to Perissa Beach – which is known for its black sand beaches. We ended up staying here two nights at a place called Studio Paul. It was affordable and centrally located and again with AC! and spent the following day lounging in beach clubs and wandering the main strip of shops.
WHAT I WISH WE HAD SEEN
When we head back this trip we’re aiming to visit Fira, Akrotiri, and Amoudi Bay. There was also a famous taverna we stayed literally next to called Santorini Mou and I would love to go back to check it out.
THINGS TO REMEMBER
- Rent a Vehicle for maximum sightseeing.
- Pita Gyros for cheap delish bites in Oia.
- Georgies Apartment in Finikia and Studio Paul in Perissa Beach.
- Meteor Cafe for big beers with a gorgeous view.
- Mythos and Alfa are great local Greek Beers and perfect for summer.
While I have only been to two Greek Islands so far, Milos has become by far my favorite one.
WHAT WE DID IN MILOS
We arrived to Milos by ferry and upon arrival we had a rental car set up through the lovely woman who ran the apartments we stayed in. Fresh of the doc we walked over to the rental car office, picked up our car and headed to our apartment which was well off the beaten path, but we loved it. It was as authentic an experience as you could get. Saranitis Apartments which are family run but Marianna Ninou were a small group of 4 apartments which a lovely view of the sea and literally surrounded by nothing but land. We were greeted every morning with fresh Greek coffee and pastries made by Marianna’s mother. We even originally only had one night booked and ended up staying three. One morning we even had Marianna’s mother teach us how to make a traditional Milos watermelon pie! It was amazing – and exactly as you expect, a handful of this, a pinch of that, in Greek mother and grandmother fashion.
Before I even met Marianna she contacted me via whatsapp to ensure we checked in okay and then went above and beyond and suggested beaches, restaurants all kinds of places to us, even letting us know which expensive tourist traps to avoid.
We spent our days beach hopping, fisherman village hopping and exploring as much as we could. The ancient theater of Milos is a great stop for history buffs, and this is actually the original home of the Venus di Milos! Here are some beaches and restaurants I absolutely recommend for anyone visiting Milos.
Gregory’s Coffee Shop
O! Hamos Tavern (first woman chef on the island! All farm to table, SUPER AFFORDABLE, AUTHENTIC LOCAL CUISINE. ITS A MUST)
Medusa – try the octopus, its what they are known for and it comes literally from the sea directly below the terrace.
Ouzeri Zikos ( i didn’t actually make it here but I would love to try it.)
WHAT WE DID IN ATHENS
Again, we took the ferry to Athens but this was not as easy going as the one from Santorini to Greece. It was hours late, the ride was so so so bumpy because the sea was so choppy. You could visibly see the boat rocking. Slightly scared and tired of waiting for the ferry we chose to have some beers on board and giggle our way thought. Others were not so lucky. Bring something for seasickness even if you dont think you’ll get sick. It saved us. We had small patches behind our ears that helped the entire ride.
We stayed a few places on this part of the trip as we spent around 10 days in Athens. Two of them are not worth mentioning because they were terrible. A man literally screamed at us in one and the shower was a literal hose with no showerhead in another.
However, Hellenic Hospitality House was a gem. Affordable, comfortable, beautiful, centrally located and with an absolute great host and owner, Christos. He helped us with everything, he moved arrangements around to let us stay extra days, he held our luggage, he let us check in early, he often got us coffee or juice, and the man even picked up our enormous delivery food order at the door and brought it to our room the day we were too hungover to take the elevator down. I cant say enough great things about him, I seriously cant wait to go stay there again.
Must See Things in Athens
Monastiraki Square, flea market and neighborhood
Cine Paris – when it reopens
SO SO SO Ramen
Po Boys BBQ
Taverna Klimataria (est. 1927)
Kalimeres (also great takeaway drinks)
Tuk Tuk Thai Street Food
The Clumsies (one of the top 5 bars in the WORLD) Try the Aegean Negroni
Baba Au Rhum
Buena Vista Social Bar (great view of the acropolis)
A for Athens ( for serious views from a rooftop)
Norman Athens Bar (for some of the best cocktails we had, AND you can take them to go!)
Little Kook (you just have to see it yourself.)
The Bank Job
Juan Rodriguez Bar
The 7 Jokers Coffee and Cocktails
The Bar in front of the bar
These lists are honestly just a sample of all the amazing things there are in Athens. So many people choose to stay a night or two and move on to more of Greece and look how much you are missing out on.
There’s also so many day trips to be taken from Athens. We didn’t do any on this trip but there are so many! Saronic Islands, Delphi, Temple of Poseidon just to name a few. Athens has so much to offer so make sure to give yourself a few nights there so you can experience as much as possible!
This summer we are heading to Athens, Paros, Ios, and a few quick nights in Santorini again to see all the things we missed! Who has been to Paros and Ios? Please send some recs our way! Anyone else heading to Greece this summer?