I admit my teaser tastes of Greece before this trip had erred on the trashy side. A package holiday to Corfu at 18, and 2 booze-fueled weeks on Ios a couple of years later. I lost my voice, but found a paradise. The fact that Greece has over 1,000 islands blows my mind and wildly tickles my travel-bug. This Greek island hopping trip did not disappoint.
3 THINGS YOU REALLY CANNOT MISS:
AGIOS SOSTIS, MYKONOS | hire a car to see beyond lively Mykonos Old Town: a full loop makes a stunning day trip. Ag Sostis is crystal clear and so much quieter than Super Paradise heaving with oiled buff bods. Also check out: top spot Alemagou at Ftelia, and Spilia at Agia Anna if only for a drink.
CLIFF TOP WALK, SANTORINI | we stayed in Fira and did the incredible cliff walk to Oia: can’t recommend it enough. Every step is breath taking and fuels appreciation that you are on the edge of a volcanic crater.
KINIDAROS, NAXOS | this island is less touristy than it’s more famous neighbours but the inland towns and scenery are beautiful and very hilly. We hired Quads, which didn’t seem to enjoy the climbs. Also check out: a string of great beaches are easy to get to by bus, including Plaka and Ag Prokopios.
3 THINGS WORTH A SNOOP:
PAROS & ANTI PAROS | two more stunners: we did Athens to Mykonos to Paros to Naxos to Santorini in 11 days. Paros offers real Greek charm (and calm) after the busier islands.
ATHENS | the capital exudes a crumbling charm, with graffiti scrawled side streets interwoven with centuries old history. The Parthenon on the Acropolis was a HOT climb but not to be missed. Gazi seemed like a diverse area to check out for bars but we had no time.
SUPER PARADISE, MYKONOS | there’s a lot of fun to be had on Mykonos and this beach offers some brilliant people watching. Also check out: Magerio and Nautilus in Mykonos town for food.
3 THINGS TO STEER CLEAR:
SUNSET, OIA | this experience was frustratingly disappointing, as the crowds ruin any enjoyment. Absorb Oia and all it’s gorgeousness and don’t waste time queuing for a spot.
BLACK SAND BEACHES | Santorini beaches have hot volcanic pebbles and warm water. They’re OK but not my thing: we spent an afternoon on Perissa.
PUBLIC TRANSPORT | it’s pretty slow to get around relying on buses and even taxis: Mykonos in particular was a challenge as we stayed out of town in Ornos. Consider hiring a car/ bike to maximise larger islands.
1 THING I WISH I’D DONE:
TAKE TWO MONTHS | I went to Corfu years ago, and partied hard on Ios for 2 weeks in 2005, but this latest trip was something else. A mega island-hop would be extraordinary.
AND KNOW THIS: Houses were coloured white to reflect the harsh summer sun, but at first were not painted with white paint instead asbestos was used to produce an almost white colour.