Santorini & Athens - April 2017
The beautiful Greek Isles and Athens were the backdrop to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. We wanted a relaxing, picturesque getaway to honor our bond. Greece was originally one of our top choices for our honeymoon. We packed our bags and jetsetted to beautiful Santorini, Mykonos and Athens.
Our flight landed at Athens International Airport, and from there we took a connecting flight straight to Santorini. Once we landed in Santorini we made our way to our hotel. Not much adventure on the first day as it mainly consisted of flying and transporting. We rented an ATV prior to arriving in Santorini, and was waiting for us at our hotel. We stayed in Fira, so that evening we drove around town and found a small family owned restaurant for dinner. We called it an early light so that we could get over our jet lag and get started our adventures in the morning.
On our first full day in Santorini, we wanted to explore the island. We hopped on our ATV and drove to the southern tip of the island to see the Akrotiri Lighthouse. Along the way, we drove passed vineyards, beautiful cliffside views and small towns and shops. A drive that should have only taken 30 minutes, took nearly 2 hours because we kept stopping to take in the view. We finally reached the lighthouse to enjoy the view with some wine we picked up along the way.
We hopped back onto our ATV and headed back to our hotel. We grabbed some lunch and then made our way to Oia at the northern tip of Santorini. There, we strolled through the beautiful streets and took in the beautiful view. As the evening went on, we grabbed another bottle of wine along the way to the Byzantine castle to take in the famous Santorini sunset. It is a must do for anyone who visits the Greek Isles.
TIP: Make your way to the Byzantine castle an hour before sunset because it gets crowded very quickly. Grab some food to go and a bottle of wine on your way, and you can enjoy a once in a lifetime sunset picnic.
The next morning, we made our way down to the port where we had a catamaran cruise scheduled. It was a picturesque, relaxing journey through the caldera. On the cruise, we met some amazing couples from around the world and bonded over good food and wine. The boat stopped near a natural hot spring where we got to jump in for a swim. The sea water in the Mediterranean is typically pretty cool, and in April it can take your breath away pretty quick. But it was a great experience to have.
The catamaran ported in Oia and we made our way back up into town. We spent the rest of the evening taking in the sites as this was our last day in Santorini. We found a great rooftop restaurant where we enjoyed dinner and took in the sunset one last time. Then it was off to our hotel for an early morning start.
The net morning, we headed to the port once again but this time to catch a high-speed ferry to Mykonos. Once we arrived, we arranged transport to our hotel, Despotiko. From here it was only a 5 minute walk to downtown Mykonos. We got settled in, cleaned up and made our way into town. We stopped by the famous Mykonos windmills, roamed the beautiful cobble streets and grabbed drinks with some new friends in "Little Venice".
Mykonos is known for its beaches and night life. That night we went back into town to check out the nightlife and grab drinks. We danced the night away. Grabbed some gyros on the way back home and called it a night.
The next morning was a late start. We kept it simple and headed to the famous Paradise Beach. We drove the ATP along a pretty fun road. We spent the entire day at the beach. Luckily, it was the opening weekend and we got to experience a beach party in Mykonos. We meet people from all over the world. You will find many bachelor and bachelorette parties as well. We stayed until sunset and then made our way back to our hotel for the night.
Our final day in Mykonos, again we keep it low key. Strolled around town, took plenty of pictures. We found a beach side restaurant where we relaxed and enjoyed some great drinks. Again this was a great opportunity to meet locals and other travelers.
That evening, we made our way to the port and catch our speed ferry. We sat back with some friends we made enjoyed the ride and made our way to our final destination in Athens. Once we ported, our transport was waiting for us to take us to our hotel. By the time we reached, it was fairly late in the day. We settle in and decided to head to dinner. We took the metro to the famous "Plaka" which is known for dining and shopping. A lot of the rooftop restaurants have beautiful view of the Acropolis.
An early morning start for us, we scheduled a tour of the Acropolis. It was pretty cool learning the history of the Acropolis which was built in honor of the goddess Athena, for gifting olive branches to the ancient people of Greece.
From there, we made our way to the Panathenaic Stadium, the University of Greece and the Parliament building. These are some beautiful classical architectural sites to see around the city. Next the tour took us to the Acropolis Museum. Here we saw some of the ancient treasures and evolutions in designs and art from ancient Greece. Afterwards we took a cab to Mount Lycabettus, the highest point in Athens. From there, you have a beautiful 360 degree view of Athens. There is also a small church at the top where we got blessing for a priest which was a pretty cool experience. After a busy day, we made our way back to our hotel, got some R&R, and got ready to spend our last night in Greece. We made our way back to the Plaka. We celebrate our last night of our anniversary trip with a romantic dinner no a rooftop restaurant with a beautiful view and great wine.
Our trip comes to an end. We make our way to the airport and head back to the states. We take with us fond memories and an incredible experience. We enjoyed a beautiful annivesary and promised to visit again in the future.