Backpacking series: Big Fat Greek Getaway

Next stop was Greece. Everyone needs a Greek Getaway in their life. 

My, was Mykonos stunning! Whilst we weren’t doing the traditional Mykonos holiday of a luxury villa or super yacht we certainly had a fabulous time and got to explore the island and all it’s hidden treasures. However I’ll definitely be returning when I can afford one of those yachts.img_8616

We stayed in the Paraga Beach Hostel. It was minimal… The rooms resembled army barracks, the air con was an open window and cleanliness wasn’t a priority. However the pool and restaurant were right on the beach, so I could enjoy a Greek salad whilst tanning on a lounge chair only metres from the shimmering sea. Also the hostel was only a 5 minute walk from Paradise Beach, our nightly destination.

Days in Mykonos were spent tanning by the pool, eating greek salads and flying around on an ATV to sandy, serene beaches and to the blue and white town where bougainvillea falls across shopfronts, market stalls and the odd Louis Vuitton.

Our last day we pretended we weren’t backpackers and we went down to Nammos beach club, sipped on Mojitos and ate our way through a decadent fruit salad as champagne bottles were popped around us. We ended the night watching the sun go down at Scorpios lounge bar.

Highlight: Eating a Greek salad at a restaurant on the waters edge of Little Venice as the sun went down.

 

Accommodation: Paraga Beach Hostel ★★★

Nightlife: Paradise Beach ★★★

Ios 

Here is where I discovered the infamous, Gyros. A Greek delicacy of pita bread, salad, falafel and hummus.
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Apart from eating my bodyweight in Gyros, I soaked up the sun by the pool of our hostel. Francesco’s was the best place we stayed. Not only did they serve free shots at 11, it also felt more like a hotel than a hostel. It was located in town, sitting high on the rocky cliffs, only accessible by walking up the paved, cobbled paths through the archways of shopfronts. Once reached, the view was indescribable. It towered over the whole island and looked into the deep blue mediterranean horizon.

Ios town is very small compared to the other islands we visited, however the atmosphere, scenery and aesthetic made it just as extraordinary. When we weren’t basking in the sun by the pool or cooling off by the beach we were drinking cocktails at Far Out Beach club. Then when night fell, we danced the night away in different bars every night.

Our last dinner we had at Mylopotas Beach, only 10 minutes from town where we enjoyed lots of sangria, pizza and Greek Salads whilst lounging in hammocks as the sun went down.

Highlight: The bars – each bar on the main strip was different and unique. There was a Silent disco, a live music bar and a tequila slammer bar just to name a few.

Accommodation: Francesco’s ★★★★★

Nightlife: ★★★★★

Santorini

After Barcelona, Ibiza, Mykonos and Ios – Santorini was next. Arriving by ferry, the view was overwhelming. I knew looking up at the sublime, imposing cliffs that Santorini was going to be like no other place we’d visited.  Dina’s Apartment where we stayedwas a basic 3-star hotel, but it was only a 2 minute walk across the road and down a cobblestone path to the distinguished, whitewashed town of Fira.

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Whilst Santorini was relaxing, each day was spent exploring the island. Being the biggest Island in Greece we rented an ATV. We travelled to Perissa beach and spent the day tanning on the black beach. Another day we visited the Red Beach. I recommend a brief visit to the red beach, it isn’t somewhere you would want to spend your whole day… unless you want to be stung by a bee…

We drove along the coast to the quaint town of Oia, renowned for its famous sunsets and exclusive hotels. To watch this sunset I sat on a rooftop with my feet dangling over the edge of the cliff.  To this day it was one of most magical moments I’ve experienced. As the sun sank into the horizon the white houses turned golden in the light.

Sitting at the base of Oia is Amoudi Bay. Whilst donkeys are available to conquer the steep pathway down and up, we chose to drive down. Once there, rather than joining tourists in one of the seaside tavernas we followed the rock-face edge to a small bay with a cliff to jump into the ocean. Once in the water a feeling of insignificance set in from looking up at the steep, volcanic cliffs of the island towering above you.

Highlight: Oia sunset, an unforgettable and magical moment

Accommodation: Dina’s Apartments ★★★★

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