Greece was actually the first country I ever flew to. It was back when I was a teenager and my parents decided on vacationing in a differente place than usual. Since my dad is from Italy, we’d usually go there. I mean, the food is great, you could drive there and we spoke the language. But my mom felt like seeing something different for a change and so we ended up booking a vacation on Kos.
I remember a lot from that vacation and always think back fondly to our bike-rides, the friendly people in the hotel and the many stray cats and the amazing food we ate. So when I got older I always felt like it’d be great to return to Greece, I even looked up flights an vacations from time to time but never booked. Until we were looking for somewhere remotely close to home for our vacation in September. We wanted a place close to the sea (well, I did. I LOVE the sea), something that wasn’t too expensive because we have planned a big trip next year and somewhere where we could be a little active. After the Guy found out that Crete would additionally be fairly warm, we went to the Travel Agent’s to book (how oldschool!). Instead of Crete, we ended up doing island hopping on Mykonos, Paros and Santorini. And boy, was it worth it.
We started our trip on Mykonos where we got stuck because of a medicane and had to prolong our stay for two more days. Mykonos, compared to the other islands, is quite expensive and known to be a great place to party. We were’nt looking for that so we spent quite a bit of time just strolling through Mikonos town, which is so incredibly cute and instagrammable I was in photographer’s heaven. Little did I know many Greek old towns look this way, others even being more authentic. But I’ll get to that later. We went on hikes, passed by a gay wedding (hello, stereotypes!) and even took a dip in the sea at night. Still, we were glad when the ferries finally started running again and brought us to our next destination, Paros.
Paros is a small island in between Mykonos and Santorini and it’s not as touristy as its big brothers. We had initially booked a rental car for our stay but because of the medicane only got to spend one night on the island. It was a pity, because it’s a beautiful part of our planet. Naoussa, the biggest town, is even prettier than Mikonos and we immideately felt at home there. There’s tiny passageways, narrow streets and amazing cafés and restaurants on the cutest little squares. Also, there’s some amazing beaches on Paros so we might just have to go back to check them out.
We did get to visit a few beaches on our next stop, Santorini. Santorini is famous for it’s white towns that are built on a cliff and with photographers it’s famous for all the wedding shoots taken on the roofs of churches there (sidenote: don’t do that! Please, it’s a sacred place and even if you’re not religious don’t be that dumb tourist walking over everything. There’s other rooftops you can and are even allowed to climb onto. Thanks.)
But Santorini has much more to offer than the towns of Oía and Imerovigli. On the other side of the caldera - which is the “cauldron” which was formed by a volcano eruption, but commonly people mean the steep cliffs that those towns are built on by it - there are wonderful places. There’s the quietest old towns where you might find an occasional café or beaches with no restaurant, secluded beaches where it’s just you and amazing mother nature and even quite big mountains. We rented a Quad to zip across the island and it was SO. MUCH. FUN. People, if you get the chance to do this, do it! Obviously be careful while driving, but having the wind flow through your hair and exploring the island that way is just so much realer than doing it by car. Also, you’ll always find a parking space. We went to the famous lighthouse to watch the sunset (not really worth it and crazy windy), just quickly stopped at the very touristy towns Perissa and Kamari and got lost in the labyrinth that is the old town of Emporio. I really, really liked Santorini, maybe also because I was expecting something far different. And maybe also because we got to have a destination couples’s shoot, how cool is that? :D I wrote a blogpost about it, so hop on over here to read how this came to be. I’ll make three separate galleries for the three islands, right now you can have a look at Mykonos :)
Greece, we’ll be back. Do you have any suggestions on what we should do and see next time? Let me know in the comments.