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Santorini Travel Guide

Santorini was our first destination on our Europe travels and it definitely had the best architecture & views!  We spent three nights in Oia, Santorini and I felt like it was the perfect amount of time before we hopped to the next city.  It isnt as easy as you think to get these famous blue domes in your pictures.  You need to head down Oia shops towards Alexander Jewlery, take an immediate left right after all the way down and then veer right at the fork in the road.  Right there you will see how I got this shot!

Below is everything you need to know if you are planning a vacation there:


(Streets of Athens before we headed to santorini)

 

How to get there:

We flew first into Athens, Greece from America on a red-eye since it was a more common airport for flights.  We spent a few hours in Athens exploring the city and then hopped on a quick 45 minute flight over to Santorini around 5pm.  We flew American Airlines for this trip and everything went smoothly.  If you are coming from a Greek Island, you can take a Sea jet ferry, we used to get to Mykonos and can read more about that on my Mykonos Travel Guide here.

Where to Stay:

Oia:  This is where we stayed because it is where all the restaurants and views I wanted to see were.  It is also were all the famous blue dome and white architecture pictures are taken.
Fira:  This is about 20 minutes away but is more locals, more restaurants and more of the real santorini feel from what I could gather when we rode through.
There are other cities you can stay & research, I just don’t know much about them!


(streets of OIA right outside our airbnb rental)

Accommodations:  We stayed at Oia Villa Clio rental I booked through Airbnb.  It has two bedrooms, two bath, and two single beds in the living room which we all rotated sleeping on.   It was hard to find a 3 bedroom or bigger place without breaking the bank in Oia, so we all split this place!  I loved the location and outdoor patio of this rental.  It had a hot tub and we enjoyed breakfast outside just gushing over the views of the sea and surrounding buildings.  This property was right by the market and an easy walk to all the restaurants and shops.  The owner, Nick, was so helpful.  We booked all our excursions and ATV rentals I sent him!


(View from our airbnb patio)


(View from highest point Pyrgos)

What to do:

  • Book a Yacht:  We booked ours through Explorer 1 Yachting.     I really wanted a boat with the netting up front to lay on but apparently you have to specify the boat because we didn’t get that one- so make sure to tell them or make sure you are getting the boat pictured online!  I also actually got some what sea sick, so highly recommend taking Dramamine or just staying at the top outside of the boat when its moving.  The water wasn’t even that rough, I just always get kinda queasy.   Other than that, the crew was great, they cooked us sunset dinner and we met this awesome couple on our tour as well.  My sister told me to do semi-private because she loves meeting other people while traveling and I am so glad we did!  The tour took us to red & white beach, and stopped a few places where you could jump in the water!
  • Rent ATVS:  We did this in every city we stopped and it gives you so much control to just see the island at your own pace!  GPS worked just fine on my iphone, and the entire island is only about 2 hours long.  This was my favorite day.  We rented buggies from Vazeos here.  We wanted to two-seaters and they felt a lot safer since we were easing into the ATV experience on islands.  (As our trip went on we got more brave with rentals haha).  I was surprised how cheap rentals were, most the time about $40 Euros per day.
  • Go to Wineries:  We went to SantoWines because of the views and I also booked an appointment in advance with Venesanos Winery which is right beside it.  It was definitely a place to hang out by locals and have coffee looking out at the sea.  For a more local spot we heard to go to Gavalas Winery or smaller ones that didn’t have the views of the sea.
  • Go to Beach clubs:  Apparently the only one that is busy on the island is Wet Stories.  Seems to be a local hang out, there was a beach bar hang out right next door completly empty with exact same set up.  I wasn’t exactly sure the hype with the other one, we never went inside.
  • Hike:  We went to the highest point of the island at Pyrgos and it was beautiful!  It probably took about 15 minutes to get to the top, its through the center of the city and tiny cobbled streets.


(location: Santo wines)

  Where to Eat:

  • Breakfast: Depending where you stay, order the night before so they can have it freshly made and delivered to your accommodations!  Make sure to check portion sizes, we found out we were ordering mini size plates one morning and it did not feed us all!  I had read there was an amazing crepe place in fira too.
  • Lunch: Amoudi Bay area on the water if in Oia, Metaxi in Fira, Luckys Souvlaki or do lunch at the wineries.  We also stopped by a local pizza place that had amazing pasta too: Sirocco.
  • Snack: Gelato- Lolitas
  • Dinner: Ambrosia (request upper table), Panorama Balcony (Book them here months in advance at Canaves Oia) – pictured below.

    Cheers to Santorini!
travel

Mykonos Travel Guide

I am starting my Summer Series of Europe Travel Guides with our Mykonos trip because it was our favorite!  We loved the food, views, and vibe all around in Mykonos after traveling to all over.  Also our best friends got engaged while we were there so it was extra special!! We only spent two nights, but I think another main reason we were so happy in Mykonos town was mainly do to our amazing accommodations we rented through Kid & Coe, ill go into detail on everything below!

How to get to Mykonos:

You can fly directly into Mykonos Airport, but flights are expensive and can be tricky depending on the time of year.  Since Mykonos was our second island in Greece, we flew into Santorini first then took a high speed ferry jet over to Mykonos.  We booked on SeaJets here!
The Ferry takes about 2 hours, and it feels like you are on a big luxury plane!  I was blown away how nice it was inside, your own assigned seating, a cafe, bathrooms and various levels.  Make sure to print your ferry tickets out prior to arriving at the port, it is very busy and that way you don’t need to wait in line to get your tickets to board.  They board the ferry about 30 minutes prior to departure, make sure you are there they do not care about people being left! Once we arrived at Mykonos we had a car service waiting for us to take us to the place, the owner of our villa arranged the pick up, but i strongly suggest coordinating with your accommodations for a ride as soon as you get off the ferry.


(This is a hidden little restaurant called Kastros)

Where to stay:

Location: Mykonos Town: This is where all the shops and pretty cobbled stone street pictures you see all over social media are.  The Island isn’t too big if you stay elsewhere, but all the restaurants are mainly downtown too.  We had ATVS dropped off at our property and drove these around the island while in town.  We easily got to certain spots within 10-15 minutes.

Accommodations:
We stayed at this 6 bedroom house: Villa Astra which we booked through Kid & Coe.  It was less than a mile from the Mykonos Town, and the perfect house for family, friends, or any special occasions when traveling with a big group.  I like to travel to destinations before bringing my kids, and this was one spot I am dying to bring them back to.  You can see a tour of the entire property under my Instagram story highlights here!

(View of mykonos town from the top master bedroom)

(Back of the house view point)

What I loved about Villa Astra:

  • 6 bedroom house:  Need I say more.  Everyone had their own room, own bathroom, the luxury of being in a house to just cook or relax outside if you wanted to.  I noticed this after our first rental on the trip were we all felt very on top of each other.  It was nice to take a breather.  There was even an outdoor two bedroom guest suite that another family could stay in if traveling together.  Kid & Coe properties hone in on rentals that are specifically family friendly.  The owner had car seats readily available, there was one adorable room with bunk beds, and high chairs/pack-n-play accessible if needed.  The pool and outdoor area was an added bonus!
  • Location:  Mykonos town- I mentioned above this is where you want to be if you’re going to be exploring, walking, and eating down town a lot.  This property is less than a mile from town.  I also want to mention even though the house was on a main traffic road, there were multiple doors, garages and locks for security.  We actually got locked out of the house multiple times because of the layers of safety!  This is huge when traveling to a new city you know nothing about.
  • Hospitality:  The property came with its own “house keeper” that immediately greeted us upon arrival, showed us around the property, and was available anytime I needed anything.  Yeirdon sprained his ankle one night and the house keeper even got him crutches!  She reserved our ATVS for us, and put me in contact with the taxis we used to get around the island.  She mentioned you could arrange a chef to come cook you meals in the house as well for around $200-$300 Euros.  If we had more time at this property I would have set this up for breakfast or a meal!

Kid & Coe associated:  The booking was very easy, their team verifies your account once you create a profile here and make sure all your rentals are safe!  Enjoy a $250 travel credit by booking any of their properties here using code MAYDAY19!

 

Where to Eat:

Breakfast:
Crepeland- Mykonos Town

Lunch:
-Nammos Beach Club- Best drink and food I had on the entire trip!  You can purchase beach chairs and hang out here all day too.  People bring their yachts up and jetski to the dock.
-Kikis Tavern
-Mamaloukas

Dinner:
-Interni- Mykonos Town- we all agreed this was our favorite dinner.  It turns into a lively party some nights, and they bring sparklers out for birthdays!
-Scorpios:  We did sunset here outside, the food was great and it turns into a party Sunday/Tuesday/Thursdays!
-Buddha Bar- we didnt make it here our last night but I researched a ton and this came highly recommended.


(This was at Scorpios evening sunset dinner)

What To do:

  • Rent ATVS:  We had 4-wheelers dropped off at our villa from a local rent shop.  You can find any around the island and I would coordinate with your host or hotel.  I loved being able to explore the island without having to arrange a taxi, and go at your own pace.  We rented ATVS in each city we went to in Europe and it was always my favorite day!  We took our ATVS to Nammos Beach Club one day and Mykonos Town.  There are parking areas all around, and the rodes were not too crazy.  I used GPS on my iphone for all the locations and it worked very well.
  • Go to Beach Clubs: You can spend an entire day at one beach club or hop around.  I heard Nammos & Scorpios were the nicest when I researched, so those were the two we hit up in town.  I LOVED Nammos, the food the set up, and the drinks were my favorite!  Everything is pricey there, but that’s where I would splurge and get two chairs and spend the entire day hanging out there.  Scorpios is more of a party scene, they didn’t have any beach chairs when we went, its more of a dessert feel on top of a cliff.  Great for sunset and nightlife.  We hear Paradise Beach Club was huge and more of a rave scene.
  • Hotel/Restaurant Hop:  There are so many gorgeous hotels I wanted to check out but didn’t have time.  Cave Tagoo was on that list, so if you have some free time- Have drinks or a meal at their infinity pool!  Buddha Bar we didn’t make it to that dinner either, but heard that location amazing.
  • Shop/Explore:  Mykonos Town is very spread out, you can spend an entire day their eating, walking around the shops, and taking beautiful photos.

    (location: Nammos Beach Club)

    What to Pack:

  • Blues & Whites!  It was low 70s when we were there, so I made sure to have pants and jackets for night time.  I always pack flowy dress and layering pieces when traveling to places with various temperatures.  You can shop my looks here!