7 unique things you must do in Santorini



Listing 7 unique things to do in Santorini!

You have definitely heard of Santorini – I’m sure of it. Santorini is top of most peoples travel bucket list and for good reason – from stunning sunsets to white-washed cave houses and fancy restaurants. This greek island has something for everyone from the family-friendly beach town of Perissa to the very romantic Oia.

Despite what you may think Santorini caters to every type of traveler. In fact, there are many budget-friendly & splurge-worthy things to do in Santorini!

So, read on to find out our top 7 unique things you must do in Santorini (both budget & splurge-worthy).

Watch the sunset (but not from where you think)

Instead of joining the huge crowds in Oia, why not travel a little further to the venetian ruins on Skaros Rock in Imerovigli. Imerovigli is the next town over from Oia and you can walk between the two if you’re feeling adventurous. Skaros Rock was originally known as Epano Kastro. The fortress was destroyed in the 19th-century by an earthquake and today just the ruins remain. At sunset, the castle ruins are illuminated by the red-pinkish light of the sunset. Whilst you’re in the area why not visit the lovely little Chapel of Theoskepasti, which faces the Caldera.

Another way to enjoy the sunset and avoid the crowds is to book a sunset boat tour. Most tours leave from either the port of Ammoudi in Oia or the port of Athinios every day at 15:00. The tours are typically 5 hours in duration and include a tour of the island of Santorini from the ocean and maybe even a spot of swimming or snorkeling. The tour ends with you dropping anchor in a prime spot to watch the sunset near Oia.

BOOK HERE | full list of sunset boat tours

Hike the Fira to Oia trail

The Fira to Oia trail is 6.5 miles in total and includes some of the best photo opportunities on the island. If you walk at a leisurely pace it should take you approximately 3 hours. Hike the trail just before sunset to avoid the intense hear, ideally starting in Fira and ending in Oia for the famous sunset session. Wear suitable footwear –  you don’t need hiking boots but good walking shoes are a must. Don’t do it in flip-flops like me. Also, bring some water as there are long stretches without any stores.

Visit a black sand beach

Yep, you read that right  –  you don’t need to visit Hawaii for a black sand beach. This is definitely one of the most unique things to do in Santorini. Head to Kamari or Perissa for the black sand experience on Santorini, but be sure to wear shoes at all times as the sand will BURN your feet! You can rent a sunbed and umbrella on these beaches for a fee. And to keep you nice and refreshed in the hot greek sun there are lots of restaurants lining the edge of these beaches.

To get to Kamari | from Fira (the main town) get a KTEL bus which takes 15 minutes and costs approximately €2. The bus times vary from every 20 minutes in busy times to every hour in the mornings/ evenings.

To get to Perissa | from Fira (the main town) get a KTEL bus which takes 20 minutes and costs approximately €2. The bus departs hourly.

Go on a wine tour

You wouldn’t think that a small volcanic island would produce great wine but Santorini certainly hits the nail on the head with some great wines coming from the area. The mild Greek climate, combined with Santorini’s volcanic soil, enables a few unique grape varieties to grow. Did you know | wine has been produced in Santorini for approximately 3,500 years!

The best known wine varieties in Santorini are Assyrtiko, Athiri and Aidani – all whites and Mandilaria, Mavrotragano and Voudomato – all reds. Santorini wines are high in alcohol content and have an intense flavor.

Why not try a slightly more unique wine tour and do a sunset tour – most tours include a stop at 3 wineries, ending in a winery with an epic view of the famous sunset. Worth noting is that some tours offer a full dinner, while most offer a cheese platter and nibbles.

Here’s some of the best wine tours in Santorini.

The Art of Wine - A Real taste of Santorini | Greece - Lonely Planet
Photo via Lonely Planet

Visit the Greek Pompeii

Akrotiri is one of the most important archaelogical sites in Greece. This is certainly one of the most unique things to do in Santorini! The town of Akrotiri was abandoned after a series of earthquakes, then covered by volcanic ash somewhere between 1620 and 1530 BC following a volcanic eruption. The ash has exceptionally preserved the settlement. Archaelogists have discovered Akrotiri had an elaborate drainage system, and was made up of many multi-storey buildings, each decorated with stunning wall-paintings. The luxurious quality of the furniture and ceramics found points to the town being very prosperous.

Today, Akrotiri is covered by a bioclimatic roof and its walkways are suspended above the site, this allows visitors to walk easily among the two and three-storey buildings.

GETTING HERE | there are regular buses from Fira to the car park at Akrotiri Red Beach – the journey will take approximately 20 minutes. Once you get off the bus, it’s a 250 metre walk to Akrotiri. The bus ticket costs around €2 for an adult.

Akrotiri Archaeological Site Akrotiri, tripadvisor
Akrotiri

Have dinner or lunch with a view

Surely, one of the best views in the world has to be watching the sunset from Oia or Fira. And what better way to enjoy the view than with a meze platter, plenty of tzatziki and a nice glass of Santorini wine in one of the best restaurants on Santorini. 

Some great dishes to try on Santorini  include fava (aka puréed yellow split peas), domatania (aka a type of cherry tomato), white aubergines, & vinsanto dessert wine. And of course you must not miss the fresh seafood especially in the restaurants in Ammoudi Bay.

Here are 5 of the best restaurants with a view on Santorini – 

  • Naoussa in Fira – traditional greek food on the northern end of Fira with a stunning view over the sea
  • Elinikon in Oia – specializing in share dishes and meze platters and one of the best views from any restaurant in Oia. Definitely book this in advance.
  • Panorama Balcony in Oia – only one table in the restaurant and one seating per night between 8 – 11pm. Book this years in advance!

Get a great deal on a cave hotel

Would you believe – you can stay in a hostel within a cave in Santorini! Thus, saving the $$$ whilst still getting the cool factor that comes with staying in a cave hotel. Caveland is a 30-minute walk from Fira but has an outdoor pool and is contained within an 18th century winery. You can stay in a shared dorm or book a private room. There are shared kitchen facilities so you can cook at the hostel and save some extra money. PRIVATE ROOMS FROM | 76 per night

Some other amazing cave hotels varying in budget on Santorini can be found listed below.

P.S. If you do book any of the below hotels through these links, I will get a teeny commission, whilst you still keep the best available rate.

SPLURGE

  • Perivolas in Oia – possibly the most famous hotel in Santorini, featured in numerous travel magazines and instagram accounts. Perfect for honeymooners, the view from your infinity pool is to-die-for. Save this one for a special occasion! ROOMS FROM | 1000 per night
  • Iconic Santorini in Imerovigli – a small hotel in the quieter town of Imerovigli with a shared pool and a stunning view over the Caldera. ROOMS FROM | 650 per night
  • Katikies Hotel in Oia – a larger hotel with 3 infinity pools all with excellent views of the caldera and the deep blue sea. ROOMS FROM | 1000 per night
perivolas hotel oia santorini
Perivolas in Oia

MIDDLE-OF-THE-ROAD

  • Afroessa in Imerovigli – brilliant value for money for what you get, each room has a private balcony with stunning views. ROOMS FROM | 350 per night
  • Carpe Diem Santorini in Pyrgos – no kids allowed in this adults-only resort. For the views alone and the stunning rooms it’s great value for money. ROOMS FROM | 200 per night
alfroessa imerovigli
Alfroessa in Imerovigli

BUDGET

  • Chez Sophie Rooms & Suites in Kamari – family-run, excellent value for money and in a great location close to the beach. Sure, you don’t have the caldera views like you would in Oia or Fira but you have the beach. ROOMS FROM | 80 per night

Some more unique things to do in Santorini

  • Atlantis Books in Oia – is one of the coolest bookshops in the world, think quirky, charming & colorful. ADDRESS | Nomikos Street, Oia
  • Go Diving – with clear blue waters, average visibility of up to 30m, plus, you can say you went diving in a volcano! You can even dive a shipwreck if you’re feeling brave. BOOK YOUR DIVE | HERE

Is Santorini worth the hype?

The short answer is yes. It’s a bucket-list destination and listed in countless travel articles as one of the most beautiful places on earth. So there’s a lot of expectation for tourists when visiting Santorini. Keep in mind that during the Summer months it is very busy – I mean there are literally thousands of people grappling for the best seat to watch the sunset.

Do your research beforehand about when to visit and what to do before to avoid disappointment!

Santorini is expensive especially if you want to stay in Fira or Oia – we actually ended up getting a great last-minute deal on booking.com but for the most part I’d advise booking well in advance to get the best price and to ensure you’re not disappointed when the hotel you had in mind inevitably sells out. Some ways to save money in Santorini would be to get an apartment with a kitchenette so you can eat/drink in and to spend your days doing one of the many fantastic free things to do in Santorini.

What can you do for free in Santorini?

  • Hike the Fira to Oia trail – this will take approximately 3 hours each way
  • Visit one of the many beaches on the island, some of the best include Kamari & Perissa
  • Cool down at the free swimming pool – Lioyerma public pool is located in Oia. *You will need to purchase a drink or food to use the sunloungers here
  • Go cliff jumping at Ammoudi Bay – not for the faint-hearted. A very popular sunset activity with locals.

READ NEXT | Our Big Fat Greek Adventure

Tell me, what did you think of our list of unique things to do in Santorini? Did we miss anywhere? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Santorini has something for everyone from the family-friendly beach of Perissa to the uber romantic Oia. Here's 7 unique things you must do in Santorini.

Syros: Best things to do on this Greek Island



Syros – have you heard of it? Probably not! But, I bet you’ve heard of its’ ‘more famous’ sisters – Mykonos and Santorini. All these islands are in the Cyclades region – famous for its sunsets and white-washed houses. Syros is in fact the capital of this cluster of islands. And I’m here to tell you why Syros should be added to your Greece itinerary. It was in fact one of our favourite stops on our six week trip through Greece

Syros is one of the first stops on the ferry from Athens to Santorini. It’s one of the least-visited islands in this region and so is a pleasant change from the more crowded Greek islands. Syros is the epitome of Greek island life. So here are a few things to do in Syros that will make you add this hidden gem to your bucket list.

Explore the island’s biggest town Ermoupoli

Ermoupoli is the administrative capital of the Cyclades. Filled with narrow cobbled streets, white-washed houses and everywhere you look gorgeous sparkling blue water (enticing you to jump in). I did jump in! Whilst Paul climbed up to Ano Syros I went swimming off the pier. Afterwards, we had lunch down a narrow colourful lane – a frappe and a gyros for me always.

I'm here to tell you why Syros should be added to your Greece itinerary. It is one of our favourite islands in Greece & has something for everyone!

Have a beach day at gorgeous Galissas beach

We stayed a couple of steps from the gorgeous Galissas beach – easily the nicest beach on the island. Galissas is a sleepy beach town, with several outdoor restaurants lining the promenade and the sea crashing behind. Fresh seafood is the order of the day here.

Every morning I got up early and walked the beach – that’s the sign of a special place when I’m up early on vacation. I didn’t want to miss out on any time here. For a quieter beach experience, try Armeos beach. Follow the pathway from Galissas beach to get here.

galissas beach

Climb up to Agia Pakou church for sunset

Every single night we bought some beers from one of the little corner shop in Galissas and climbed up to this gorgeous white church on the hill. Then, we sat on the wall and watched the sun sink into the ocean for what seemed like hours.

sunset from agia pakou church
sunset galissas beach

Eat all of the fresh Greek food

Greek food is one of my favourite cuisines and the island of Syros specialises in fresh seafood. You will find a lot of octopus and calamari on the menu’s here. Some standout dishes native to Syros include marathopita (fennel pie) and lachanodolma (cabbage leaves stuffed with rice)

Some restaurants we recommend in Syros –

  • In Ermoupoli – Taverna To Petrino for impeccably prepared dishes, excellent service and a lovely outdoor seating area
  • In Galissas – Savvas for fresh seafood and friendly service and Iliovasilema for great greek cuisine and a lovely view.
restaurant ermoupoli town

Where we stayed in Syros

As mentioned, we stayed at the sleepy beach town of Galissas. More specifically at the bright and modern Hotel Remvi. Gorgeously decorated and airy rooms featuring a fantastically large balcony. A lovely pool to dive into after a hot day of exploring. Also worth noting is the excellent breakfast and the very reasonably priced beers at the bar.

If you book any of the below hotels, I will get a teeny commission from booking.com whilst you get the best available rate.

Some other great hotels on Syros –

  • Apollonion Palace in Ermoupoli for luxurious rooms and direct sea access. Price from | €90 per night
  • Emilia Luxury Apartments in Megas Gialos for great views, clean and luxurious rooms and friendly service. Price from | €50 per night
  • Aktaion in Ermoupoli for neoclassical beautiful rooms right in the heart of the town. Price from | €80 per night
  • Aegean Paradiso in Azolimnos is just steps from the beach with a lovely outdoor swimming pool. Price from | €60 per night
ermoupoli home, syros

How we got to Syros

Syros is well-connected with Athens and other Aegean islands. The ferry to Syros from the main port of Athens – Piraeus port, is daily and the trip takes about 3 hours.

There is also a small airport on Syros, just 3km from Ermopouli. Direct flights operate from Athens with Aegean Air and Olympic Air. The flight takes approximately 40 minutes.

So, tell me what did you think of our recommendations for things to do in Syros. We’d love to hear from you in the comment sections below. We also have lots more information on our travels through Greece on our website. We especially loved our time in Meteora, a majestic place smack-bang in the middle of the country.

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I'm here to tell you why Syros should be added to your Greece itinerary. It is one of our favorite islands in Greece & has something for everyone!
I'm here to tell you why Syros should be added to your Greece itinerary. It is one of our favorite islands in Greece & has something for everyone!

Amazing things to do in Meteora Greece



Guys, you MUST visit Meteora, Greece! In fact I cant believe it’s taken me this long to write this post. Since we’ve visited, I’ve waxed lyrical about its amazingness to anyone and everyone. Truth be told, we loved Meteora so much we actually considered having our wedding here. We did in fact get married in Cinque Terre, Italy Anyways, Meteora, Greece is one of the most unique and memorable places we’ve visited. Out of the 50 countries we’ve been to, Meteora is in our top 5.

We hope this short piece will inspire you to go off-the-beaten-track a little and visit Meteora, Greece before it becomes the next big thing in travel. It sure is pretty enough to be at the top of everyone’s bucket list!

sunset meteora tour meteora thrones

Why is Meteora so unique?

Meteora and its surrounding areas was originally settled by monks who lived in little caves in the rocks way back in the 11th century. As an invasion from the Turkish army looked imminent, these monks climbed higher up the rock face. Until they reached the inaccessible peak at the top. Here, through no easy feat they managed to build the first monasteries. They actually brought all the building material up using ladders, and ropes with baskets at the end.

When the turkish did finally invade, the Meteora monasteries remained unscathed. During this time the monasteries became the academic and artistic centres for locals.

greek monasteries

Best time of year to visit Meteora

Our visit to Meteora was in mid-June, which worked well for us. Temperature-wise it was hot but not unbearably so. It can get very hot in July and August. Mid-June is also a little quieter than other Summer months as it is not quite school holidays in Europe yet. A lot of the tourism to Meteora is from Europe, so I would avoid the school holiday period (mid-July to the end of August) if at all possible.

A friend of ours visited in late October. We saw his photos and the beautiful fall colours made a stunning backdrop to the monasteries. It is a lot quieter in October and you can find some great hotel deals at this time.

How to get to Meteora, Greece

The most common way for tourists to get to Meteora is to get the direct train from Athens to Kalambaka. This takes 5 hours and can cost up to € 30. This was how we departed Meteora and we found the train itself to be clean and uncrowded. But bear in mind the trains are typically late coming into the station.

Because we were on a 6-week backpacking trip through Greece and its islands, we found our way to Meteora the less-popular way. We got the ferry from Corfu to Igoumenitsa, which takes approximately an hour and a half. From Igoumenitsa, we hopped on a KTEL bus to Ioannina. This took about an hour and 15 minutes. We actually decided to spend a few hours in Ioannina as we heard it was a cool university town. Ioannina had a really cool vibe and it was cheaper than most of our other stops. In fact, we regretted not spending the night here.

From Ioannina we got the bus to Kalampaka, which is the closest large town to Meteora. We did have to change buses in Trikala. All in all the journey took 3 hours 15 minutes. For all those buses the total cost was approximately € 20. A very cheap way of getting to Meteora!

For planning your routes to and from Meteora, we highly recommend Rome to Rio

the walk from hotel meteora to kastraki

Where did we stay in Meteora?

We stayed at the gorgeous Hotel Meteora in Kastraki and it was honestly the nicest accommodation we stayed at in Greece. It has 63 rooms, a pool and the most epic view of the Meteora rocks. We didn’t want to leave.

It was a short walk from the hotel into the town of Kastraki, but be sure to bring a torch as the path is unlit. However, most evenings there are fireflies to light your path home – magical! Our room at Hotel Meteora included breakfast and we sat by the pool every morning watching the first light hit the Meteora rocks.

meteora hotel kastraki

Best places to eat near the Meteora monasteries

Thankfully, there are lots of authentic Greek restaurants within a short walk of the Hotel Meteora. A short drive away in the larger town of Kalambaka some of our favourite restaurants included Elias Garden & Restaurant Meteora. Whilst in Kastraki (where our hotel was located), we loved Stefanos Meteora Tavern and Restaurant Batalogianni.

the view from hotel meteora kastraki

Should you pay for a tour of the Meteora monasteries?

We booked the sunset tour with Meteora Thrones and we highly highly recommend it. Not only do they bring you to all six famous monasteries, two of which you can go inside and explore. The monasteries they bring you to depend on the day, as some monasteries are closed on certain days. You can see the opening hours of the monasteries here

You will also get to see the Byzantine Church of Virgin Mary. The tour is topped off by watching the sunset at the best spot in Meteora (we did so with a beer in hand). The guides at Meteora Thrones are so knowledgeable with many having grown up in the area.

The next day we decided to climb up to the monasteries ourselves. There is a hiking trail but it is very steep in parts. Thus, we recommend being of reasonable fitness.

sunset tour
sunset in meteora, greece, meteora thrones

Which Meteora monasteries should you visit

There are six active monasteries in Meteora today, all are connected by road or pathways. So, provided you start your day early enough you can see them all in one day. But, be mindful of their opening hours as they are all different (I have listed all the opening hours below).

Meteora Monastery Guide

Holy Trinity (Agia Triada)

Holy Trinity is perhaps the most-famous and most-visited monastery in Meteora. This is because it was featured in the James Bond movie ‘For your eyes only’. To get to the Holy Trinity you must walk up 140 steps, this can be slow-moving on a busy day.

OPENING HOURS | Holy Trinity is only open between 9am – 1pm every day except Thursday.

Varlaam monastery

Varlaam is the second-largest monastery in Meteora and was founded in 1517. It has lots of hidden nooks and crannies to explore, which means you can easily escape the crowds here. Varlaam also features a small but interesting museum , here you can learn all about the history of Meteora.

OPENING HOURS | Varlaam is open between 9am-1pm and again between 3:30-6pm. It is closed every Friday.

Roussanou monastery

Founded way back in 1545, in 1988 it was converted to a convent. This convent is now home to 13 nuns. Roussanou is in fact, the least-visited of all the monasteries in Meteora.

OPENING HOURS | it is open between 9am-1pm and again from 3:30-6pm. It is closed on Wednesdays.

Megalo Meteoro (Great Meteoron)

Also known as Metamorphosis, it is the highest and most-visited monastery in Meteora. Interestingly a Serbian Emperor named Uros became a monk and gave this monastery all his wealth. This resulted in Megalo Meteoro becoming the wealthiest monastery at the time. It holds the most beautiful and precious art of all the monasteries.

OPENING HOURS | Megalo Meteoro is open from 9am-1pm and again from 3-6pm. It is closed on both Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas

One of the smaller monasteries in Meteora, Agios Nikalaos was built in the 16th century. We found that a lot of the tour buses seem to skip here, so, we had a pretty much to ourselves.

OPENING HOURS | open daily from 9am-6pm.

Agios Stefanos (St Stephens Nunnery)

Agios Stefanos s a convent with one of the best views of the Meteora valley below. There is uncertainty on when Agios Stefanos was built, but it is estimated around 1798. It is easily accessible (not many steps leading up to it like other monasteries) and as a result the tour buses seem to love it.

OPENING HOURS | open every day from 9am-1pm and again from 3-5pm.

view of meteora monasteries

And there you have it, a short snippet into our time in Meteora, Greece. We spent 3 nights here and honestly if we had more time in Greece we could have easily spent a week or two in Meteora. It trully is somewhere you should add to your bucket list.

Tell me – have I convinced you to that there are loads of great things to do here. I’d love to hear your answer and why in the comment section below!

READ NEXT | our travels throughout Greece and our time on the magical island of Syros

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why you must visit meteora

Our Big Fat Greek Adventure



Our unique Greece itinerary including four of the best Greek islands & some other Greek gems (such as Athens & Meteora)

We were lucky enough to spend five weeks exploring beautiful Greece and the Greek islands. We left behind our temporary home in Whistler. And embarked on our big fat Greek adventure.  We’d been itching to do a short backpacking trip and Greece featured highly on both of our bucket lists. So, the decision was an easy one. My husband is excellent at finding cheap flights and so we found a great deal to Corfu. The flight was via Eindhoven, but as we always say a quick sight-seeing detour is a positive. And so our big fat Greek adventure began.

Here’s our unique Greek itinerary in short, more information if you scroll down –

  • Corfu – 4 nights
  • Athens – 4 nights
  • Naxos – 4 nights
  • Santorini – 6 nights

So, here it is our ultimate 5 week unique Greece itinerary featuring the best Greek islands. With the best tips on which hotels to stay at & where to find the yummiest restaurants. Greece is certainly a country not-to-be-missed! Why not visit Greece this Summer?

CORFU

Corfu is one of the cheaper Greek islands and public transport on the island is incredibly efficient. It’s easy to see the whole island in a short period. A top recommendation from us would be to visit Corfu town. Corfu town is a lot bigger than you’d expect with lots of quirky cobble-stoned back streets that you can spend hours getting lost in. 

corfu, greece, balcony
Paul “working” on booking us the best hotel deal in Corfu

I’m sure most of you are familiar with Corfu, as a very popular holiday destination in Greece. Corfu is what it says on the tin – a holiday-makers paradise with lush green scenery and turquoise-water beaches. We spent five days here in total.

Where to stay on Corfu island

We stayed at Benitses a beachside town 14km from Corfu town. Benitses is very easily accessible from both Corfu Airport & Corfu town. In fact, we caught the local greenbus into Corfu town regularly & it was hassle-free. There are lots of yummy Greek restaurants in Benitses, most of them with lovely outdoor seating areas. In fact, our favourite restaurant in Benitses is Paxinos Restaurant. We visited on our first evening & I believe we ordered almost everything on the Menu – it was that delicious.

Another beautiful beach (and one of our favourites on the island) is Paleokastritsa. Located 25km northwest od Corfu town. You can also catch the local greenbus here but the roads are quite steep & winding.

Two hotel recommendations for Corfu Island are Thomas Beach Studios in Paleokastritsa and Yiannis Apartments & Studios in Agios Georgios.

corfu town, greece
The backstreets of Corfu town

METEORA

Meteora is to put it simply a series of Greek Orthodox Monasteries on top of extremely high rocks. It sounds crazy, but my photos below show more than I can explain with words. Now I’m sure most of you have never heard of Meteora, but believe me once you visit you will want to return time and time again. It is one of the true treasures of Greece.

It was a unique experience and one of our favourite stops on the trip. We spent our days here hiking to the Monasteries (there are six active Monasteries in total). The photo opportunities when you get to these Monasteries are incredible.

To get to Meteora you catch a train straight from Athens. Two top recommendations from us would be to book a hotel with a view of the Monasteries (there aren’t many so book in advance). Also, book a sunset tour to see the valley bathed in a magnificent pink.

meteora, greece, monasteries, greek orthadox, the best greek islands

Where to stay in Meteora

We stayed at the very grand Grand Meteora Hotel, the views from here have to be the best from any hotel in the world. With the magnificent Meteora rocks in prime viewing position from the outdoor pool and your suites balcony. Grand Meteor Hotel is a little pricier than the smaller hotels in the nearby town of Kalambaka, but it’s worth every penny in my opinion.

Thankfully, there are lots of authentic Greek restaurants within a short walk of the Grand Meteora Hotel. In the nearby town of Kalambaka some of our favourite restuarants included Elias Garden & Restaurant Meteora.

ATHENS

Walking through ancient Athens is like being in a history book. There is so much to do in Athens that you will never see it all unless you’re here for a long time. You can purchase a ‘Multi Ticket‘ which gives you access to most of the ancient sights (including the Acropolis) for about  €30.

athens, greece, acropolis
Overlooking the Acropolis in Athens

We stayed very close to the Acropolis and we highly recommend staying near the Acropolis or Monastaraki Metro stations, Athens is a big city and you don’t want to be too far out from all the major sights.

We also recommend NOT to go in July and August as the crowds are at their biggest and the weather is at its hottest. It was 40°C when we were there. Overall, Athens is a great insight into true everyday life in Greece.

Where we stayed in Athens

We were lucky enough to grab last-minute deal at Adams Hotel, just a two minute walk from Hadrian’s Arch. We were even luckier to be upgraded to a larger room with a huge terrace featuring an excellent view of the Acropolis. Adams Hotel is close to many excellent restaurants including Electra Roof Garden (for sunset cocktails with a view of the Acropolis) and our personal favourite 7 Food Sins.

sunset, athens, greece
A beautiful sunset near Athens

SYROS

Syros island is in the Cyclades region famous for its sunsets and white-washed houses. Syros is one of the first stops on the ferry from Athens to Santorini. It’s one of the least-visited islands in this region and so it was a pleasant change for us after the crowds in Athens.

galissas, Syros, cyclades, the best greek islands

We stayed literally next to the beach in a region called Galissas. A sort of sleepy beachside resort, populated mostly with Greek holidaymakers. The village of Galissas has no more than five restaurants, all very good mind you. And every night we climbed the steps of the little white church on the hill, sat on its wall and watched the sun set into the ocean with a beer in hand. Heaven.

Where to stay on Syros Island

We stayed at the bright and modern Hotel Remvi. Gorgeously decorated and airy rooms featuring a fantastically large balcony. A lovely pool to dive into after a hot day of exploring. Also worth noting is the excellent breakfast and the very reasonably priced beers at the bar.

Every evening on Syros island we undertook the short walk to the beach front to enjoy dinner at either Savvas or Iliovasilema .

Syros town, chora, greece
Swimming off the Pier in Ermpouli

NAXOS

Naxos is ‘in the middle’ both in terms of its geographic location between Athens and Santorini and its popularity with holiday-makers.It is more touristy than Syros, but less so than its neighbour Santorini. It is very popular with Dutch and Scandinavian tourists and it is indeed very beautiful.

chora, naxos town, greece
The white-washed streets of Chora, Naxos

We stayed next to probably the prettiest beach on the whole island – Prykopios, it has some of the clearest water in Greece, in fact the clearest water  we’ve ever seen. It honestly gives the Carribean waters of Cuba a run for its money. A lot of the restaurants here are on the beach, so it makes for a unique dining experience. More so for the fact you can watch the sunset from your table.

Our top recommendation would be to spend an evening in the islands capital town – Chora. The white-washed streets here are very similar to the famed streets of Mykonos.

Where we stayed on Naxos island

We stayed at Annas Studios, a short walk from the hustle & bustle of the beach. It features a very welcoming pool area out front and spotlessly clean rooms. As our rate at Annas Studios didn’t include breakfast, we walked into town to enjoy breakfast at the very colourful Cafe Hideaway.

agia anna, naxos, greece
Rose gold sunset in Agia Anna, Naxos

SANTORINI

Santorini tops the list for most people’s trips’ to Greece. Sure, the crowds can be manic, it’s expensive and it’s a little pretentious. BUT its sunsets are beyond outstanding, its local people surprisingly friendly and what other place in the world can you find hotels built into the side of a cliff? What can I say about Santorini that hasn’t already been said, it’s top of a lot of people’s ‘Bucket List’ for good reason.

imerovigli, santorini, greece
The view from our hotel in Imerovigli

It’s an instagrammers dream in Oia, the way the light falls onto the quirky ‘cave houses’ is magnificent any time of the day. Most of the hotels here have a pool, but there is also a black sand beach in Perissa if that tickles your fancy.

Our top tip for here is NOT to stay in Oia or Fira (the crowds here are crazy) instead opt for Imerovigli or Pyrgos which offer the same views with less crowds. If you haven’t booked your Summer holiday, we hugely recommend Greece.

Where to stay in Santorini, Greece

We stayed at the phenomenal Above Blue Suites on the cliffs of Imerovigli. Even though it was pricier than the rest of our accomodation on our Greek itinerary – it was to be expected for Santorini. We are so glad we splurged a little, as Above Blue Suites is perfect. The breakfast every morning is so fresh and yummy. Plus, you can easily walk along the cliffs to both Oia and Fira.

All the walking we undertook on Santorini certainly took its toll on our apetite and we enjoyed some delicious meals in both Oia and Fira. In Oia we love Fino, consistently rated as one of the best restaurants on the island of Santorini. Whilst in Fira we loved the more casual dining affair that MeRaki offered. Again, Me Raki is a very popular restaurant and is currently No.1 on TripAdvisor. So, get there early to avoid disappointment.

A unique Greece itinerary – a summary

Greece is more beautiful than the photos show and the warmth of the local people together with the insanely good food make this country one of our favourites to date. I trully hope you will add Greece & the Greek islands to your Summer holiday bucketlist. As for me, I would go back every year if I could.

Tell me, what do you think of our picks for our unique Greece itinerary?

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Our unique Greece itinerary that will satisfy all types of travelers. Here are our travel tips for exploring the best of Greece.
Our unique Greece itinerary that will satisfy all types of travelers. Here are our travel tips for exploring the best of Greece.