In September I spent ten days island hopping in Greece. The Greek islands have been on my travel bucket list for as long as I can remember. With turquoise coloured water, a relaxed lifestyle, a hot climate, beaches, a rich history and gyros, there is so much the islands have to offer! It’s no wonder that the islands have seen record tourist number this year.
227 islands are inhabited with the Cyclades islands is the most popular island complex in Greece. Located so close to Athens, it is easy to reach the Cyclades in Greece either by ferry or by plane. What I loved about the three islands I visited, Mykonos, Santorini and Ios, is that each were very different. All with their own unique landscapes, varying degrees in development that can attract different types of holiday goers. Here is my travel diary from my time hopping 3 of the Greek islands.
Language: Greek but English is widely spoken
Currency: Euro €
Credit Cards and cash: Most restaurants and bars will accept credit and debit cards but it’s still a good idea to bring plenty of cash for smaller purchases and public transport where card may not be available.
Cultural Faux Pas: In Greece, showing five spread fingers with the palm facing out is offensive.
Best time to go: June or September are ideal for nicer weather and lower crowds. High season is mid July to mid September where the islands can get very busy.
What to Eat: Moussaka, Sganaki & Gyros.
Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands, known as the Ibiza of Greece due to vivid fun nightlife and beautiful beaches. In Mykonos you will find little white houses with flowers and blue windows and doors, hand painted streets, windmills, chimneys, wonderful restaurants and cafes, and a whole lot of churches.
To do: Explore the town of Chora, go to the mind mills, feed the pelicans, walk around the harbour and visit the iconic Parapotiani church. There is no shortage of clothing, jeweller shops and boutiques, so shopping is a must do in Mykonos.
Check out the nightlife. Most of the bars and clubs are in Chora however there are famous beach bars like Cavo Paradiso and Tropicana in Paradise beach and Super Paradise bar, in Super Paradise beach.
When you first think of Greek island chances are the picture of the blue dome scene in Oia comes to your head. Santorini is an Instagrammer’s dream with scenic views, infinity pools and amazing food. It’s also the island of Honeymoons, romantic getaways that Pinterest dreams are made of.
Wine tasting looking over the caldera at Santos Wines
To Do: Get lost in the narrow streets if Oia, known for the beautiful blue church dome view. While Oia is the most famous of the island’s towns, there are other gorgeous towns worth exploring like Fira and Perissa.
Do a wine tasting as Santos Wines. Not only is the view absolutely breathtaking but you can also get a Greek wine education by doing an 18-wine tasting flight. Yep, eighteen different wines served with cheese.
Watch the sunset. This should be a requirement when you visit Santorini. Oia and Fira are both amazing locations for watching the sun go down.
Visit Red Beach. One of Santorinis most famous beaches and is well known for it’s red rock volcanic appearance and red sand.
Ios is a small island located between Santorini and Mykonos, famous for the wild nightlife and beautiful beaches. Ios is sometimes overlooked in favour of the larger islands but is still well worth the visit.
Hellenic Social is a great spot for dining. All the ingredients used are local, with many of them grown right in the restaurant’s backyard.
To Do: Hang out of Mylopotas beach, one of the popular beaches in Ios, with white and clear water.
Explore the nightlife at Chora Village. The town is filled with a range of amazing bars many themed, ranging from a silent disco, absinth bar, sports themed bars all with t-shirts up for grabs after taking 7 shots, yikes!