Last month I spent one of my best moments in Greece. I island hopped for 2 weeks without being on a cruise and tried out delicious and fresh food that can not be experienced back at home. Because I greatly enjoyed this trip, I wanted to share everything about it including the cost, the travel process, the activities and the places I have gone to and eaten at so that you can plan your next trip there without anything going wrong!
As for my planned itinerary, I suggest you to do the following if you are planning to visit the different islands like me:
- 5 days in Chania (city in Crete and pronounced like “Hania” there)
- 2 days in Santorini
- 4 days in Paros
- 1-2 days in Mykonos
- 1-2 days in Athens
Personally my favourite islands were Crete and Paros. They were way more relaxing and less crowded than the other places. Santorini and Mykonos are too touristic for me and there are less things to do in my opinion. But all the islands were equally very beautiful. I did not go on a cruise but instead I booked Airbnbs ahead for each location I would stay at and bought ferry tickets in Greece to move from an island to the other. The ferries are very big boats that can carry cars and trucks while transporting a large amount of people. When you come in, it will look like the inside of a giant plane but with snack bars, restaurants and more comfortable seats. The ticket prices vary from 30€ to 80€ depending on the distance between the islands and the traveling time is about 2 to 3 hours each time. My family and I also rented a car and went around the places we wanted to go to and what is great about that is that you can follow your own schedule and change it up as you go.
Chania has quite a lot of beaches to see and to go to such as the pink sand beach, Seitan Limani, and Balos Lagoon that I recommend going. There are also shopping streets where I actually got most of my clothing shopping done in Greece and Old Chania where all the cute little alleys are. My Airbnb was close to Old Chania and I had the best seafood dinner by the water at the restaurant Akrogiali Taverna. Every seafood was so fresh and amazingly good. There was nothing that I could complain about and in Greece, dessert is included with your meal so I had panna cotta there and I absolutely loved it. If not, they will serve you this digestive alcohol called Moustaka at the end as a “dessert” and it is very common there. Another restaurant you should definitely go is Tamam in Old Chania!
If you are in shape and love nature, you must go to Samaria Gorge. I went with the Elafonissos tours to go on that hike. They will send a coach bus that will either pick you up at your hotel in the morning or at a near pick up location to bring you at the top of the mountain. You will start by a breakfast before hiking down 16km to which I did it for 7 hours. Be sure to bring suncream, a lot of water, small snacks and a lunch. It is not an easy hike but the view is gorgeous and I felt so good and proud of myself at the end. If you finish the hike before the meeting time with the tour guide, you can swim at the beach and visit the town. To go back to your hotel, you will take a small ferry for an hour and take the same bus that will drive you back to your hotel at the end of the day. And all that will cost you 37€ .
There are two areas in Santorini that all tourists go see, one being Oia and the other Thira, so I dedicated a day to each. What I noticed is that there aren’t that many blue roof houses like we see in the pictures anymore. What happened is that the sun there is very strong and there isn’t a single cloud overlapping during the day so the color fades away fast and they previously had to repaint the roofs every 6 months or so. But now they don’t do it anymore so you will mostly see white houses and less blue house tops unfortunately. And that disappointed me a lot when I got there although I understand the reasoning behind it. The places I have eaten at in Santorini are Lotza which had a magnificent view of Oia and the water and in Thira I would go to different gyro bars to eat (gyros are about 2€) and Chillbox for some Greek frozen yogurt as dessert.
I visited Naousa village which is a very lovely town with lots of little shops, restaurants and cafes. For brunch and coffee I recommend Sousouro and Toca Bar (bar at night). You can get most of your pictures done there because it’s beautiful and there are less tourists compared to other islands. There is Linardo that you can go to during the night time for cocktails and during the day time, it is a very cute place to take photos in front!
I had one-day boat ride with Rofos Boat Tours that brings you to different places to swim and what I like about them is that they are very well-equipped. They have towels, goggles, floaties, drinks and snacks all included in the price. You are very well taken care of and it feels like you are in a private boat with a few other people and it only costs 30€. You can also go to the beach to swim and, since it’s calmer, Paros is the only island that you can fly a drone if you have one and are planning to bring it.
Besides those two, I also visited Lefkes which is another small town in Paros. I found the place very quiet and deserted. There was weirdly almost no one in the streets when I went there and it’s just another location to take a few photos and to have a stroll but personally I wouldn’t spend more than half a day there.
If you are a party person then this is the place for you. Every night they put music and lights at the beach and it is just like a club but by the water! If not during the day it is a bit similar to Santorini in terms of looks and a lot of shops and restaurants with narrow alleys. There is the famous windmill to see as well. What I did is that I took a boat from Paros to Mykonos to spend one day there and came back after 5pm with the same boat. The two-way ride was about 69€ and the boat location is at the dock inside Naousa village. I had my lunch at Sakis that was recommended to me as it is known for its gyros and souvlaki.
This city was sadly my least favourite location even if you are into historic buildings. I find that the touristic locations weren’t as spectacular as I would imagine it to be. It is a very very crowded city and the weather is even hotter than the islands. I mostly did shopping there and you need to be aware that there are pick pockets there.
In brief, this trip was amazing and I did not want to come back to Montreal after being there. Greek islands had the most beautiful beaches I’ve seen so far. The water is so clear and turquoise. It looked like those filtered beach pictures but in real and it was just too pretty. I took many great pictures there and honestly it is very hard not to because every location is “instagrammable” and I will be sharing them in one of my next posts! If you have any questions concerning the locations or about this trip in particular, feel free to contact me and to ask them in the comments below 🙂