Travel Guide to Greece | Santorini, Mykonos & Athens
Today we will be talking about how to plan the trendiest trip right now - a trip around the Greek Islands. This post is jam packed with insights and tips to saving a few dollars while maximizing your experience as you travel to one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Back in August, I visited Santorini, Mykonos and Athens with my boyfriend and could not recommend it enough. The islands are charming and the sea is the brightest blue with beautiful white buildings seemingly hanging off the cliffside.
Mykonos | Manoula's Beach Mykonos
Day 1: Arrive in Mykonos
Day 2: Beach Day, Dinner at Nice 'n Easy, Night out in Mykonos Town
Day 3: Beach Day, Afternoon Ferry to Santorini
Santorini | Splendour Resort
Day 4: Oia Sunset Boat Cruise with Dinner
Day 5: ATV Rental & Santos Winery Tasting, Sunset & Dinner in Imergovoli
Day 6: Explore Fira, Evening Flight to Athens
Athens | Athens Gate Hotel
Day 7: Explore all of the ruins (Acropolis, Temple of Zeus, etc.)
Day 8: Head home
Here are my recommended steps to planning your own itinerary and suggestions for each:
Select a time to go
Book transportation to Greece
Book transportation between locations
Book activities & make reservations
When to Visit Greece
When selecting a time to go, after of course first see what works in your work calendar, there are a few times of year that are better than others.
Based on my research it seems like May, June, July or September will give you the best weather across all locations.
We went in August, and while the weather was beautiful it was EXTREMELY windy. This gave us a few issues with our ferry and made it difficult to go to some of the seaside restaurants.
How to Get to Greece (on a budget)
The best way to fly to Greece (at least from NY) is to stop off in another European city first.
When booking flights to Greece from New York, we found it very expensive to fly from New York directly to Athens and knew we would need to get a connect into Mykonos or Santorini. With that in mind, we found a few different cities where we could fly directly and then take a plane directly to Mykonos or Santorini.
Cities that had affordable direct flights to New York and direct flights to the Greek Islands included: London, Prague, Barcelona, Amsterdam and Paris.
We wound up going to Barcelona from New York and then flying to Mykonos. I would recommend looking on Kayak and seeing what is best from your home airport (or just selecting another city you want to go to!)
How to Get Between Locations in Greece
Our transportation was:
Fly into Mykonos from Barcelona
Ferry from Mykonos to Santorini
Fly from Santorini to Athens
Fly home from Athens
I have heard it said that the best way to get around Greece when you are staying on bigger islands (like Mykonos and Santorini) is to fly. We found this to be true and had huge delays with our ferry between Mykonos and Santorini given we were there during the windy season.
My recommendation would be that anyone who is traveling between islands and there is a ferry under 3 hours, take it. Otherwise, fly!
**Don't worry Mom, I only took the helmet off for the photo while parked**
Where to Stay in Greece
In Mykonos, I would recommend staying on a beach or directly in Mykonos Town.
We opted to stay on Ornos Beach, which was a beautiful quiet beach with great deals for properties with beachfront access. If I were to go back, I might stay in Mykonos Town to be closer to everything as the transportation around the island is not the easiest, but overall I really liked being right on the beach. Mykonos Town doesn't have a beach, but does have all the food & bars so it is really more about what you are interested in.
I would recommend staying in Firostefani, Fira or Imerovigli.
We ended up in Firostefani at the Spelndour Resort because we were able to get a great deal. I loved the location though - walking distance from Fira and Imerovigli and convenient to other parts of the island.
We stayed at the Athens Gate Hotel in the city center - just a few steps from the Acropolis! I would highly highly highly recommend this hotel. The accommodations were clean and neat with a great rooftop restaurant. We booked through Hotels.com and got an amazing deal.
What to Do and Eat in Greece
I am going to do some full guides to each city which will detail out everything, but here are my key takeaways for each city:
Activities: The beach! The beaches in Mykonos are beautiful and you should explore as many as you can.
Restaurants: Nice N Easy (great sunset spot!), Avra Restaurant Garden, Mamalouka, BAO's Cockatil Bar (great sunset spot!)
Activities: Sunset sailboat cruise around the Oia area, Wine Tasting at Santos Winery, ATV Rental around the Island (we rented directly from our hotel and it was the best part of the trip!)
Restaurants: Aegeon, Kastro Oia Restaurant, Buddha Bar Santorini (drinks)
Activities: Multi-site tickets for touring all the ruins
Restaurants: Athens Gate Hotel Restaurant (actually so so good and the best view!)
Tips to Save Money While you Travel
Eat gyros - you can find them everywhere for under $5
Split dishes - splitting helps you try everything while saving money (and calories)
Book activities ahead of time so you avoid being upcharged
Please comment if you have any other questions, and I can try to help!