Our trip to Greece was beyond incredible, it was a bucket list trip that we had been looking forward to for the longest time. Over the next couple of blog posts this week I will be sharing travel guides to the 3 islands that we spent our time on – Mykonos, Paros and Santorini .
The country itself has so much to offer and even 2 weeks isn’t enough to cover all of it! Since we had just 10 days, Anush and I decided to hit 3 islands in the Cyclades for our trip and spend 2-3 days per island. The Cycladic islands are are group of islands in the Aegean Sea, southeast of mainland Greece. the island group consists of about 220 islands of which about 20 are major tourist islands. The typical Cyclades architecture consists of white washed houses with beautiful flowered gardens, windmills, the blue-domed churches and cobbled paved pathways that create a dreamy and picturesque islandscape to explore. Even with these common characters, each of the Cyclades have their own unique cultures, landscapes and other attributes that make island hopping in this space such a fantastic and diverse experience.
How to island hop in the Cyclades ?
While some islands do have airports, all of them have ports. So the best way to get around from one island to the other are ferries. There are different ferry companies that run all around the cyclades. Just wanted to share a few pointers from our experience going around with ferries :
- There are slow ferries and fast ferries for most routes. The slow ones are cheaper , while the faster ones are slightly more expensive. Some of the well known companies are Blue star ferries, Fast Ferries, Golden Star Ferries, Hellenic Seaways and Seajets.
- Its super easy to book the ferries. If you are traveling to the islands in high season, you can book them online and pick up the tickets 30-45 min before you board the ferry. You can book them directly on the ferry website or on Direct Ferries (which is what we did) or Ferry Hopper. Think of Direct Ferries or Ferry Hopper as a Kayak for all ferry options, its super convenient to browse different options and select the ones that work best for you.
- One tip if you ever get seasick – ferries can be bumpy during rough seas and windy weather. Generally, the bigger the ferry the smoother the ride. If you’re susceptible to seasickness then try to travel on the Blue Star ferry and get the airseats (only a few euros more) but a lot more comfortable. The regular tickets have no reserved seating. I do tend to get seasick, so I was a little concerned. Most of our ferry rides were pretty short so I was fine for the most part. For our longest ferry ride (Santorini to Athens) which was 8 hours, we did Blue Star Ferry (the slow one) and looking back I am so glad we did that despite the time inconvenience, as the seas were pretty rough in the middle. So the bigger ship was a good call as the ride was smooth; I would have been so seasick and miserable in the fast ferry!
Best Time to visit :
While the summer months of June – August seems like the most popular times to visit these islands, after browsing several articles and having done the trip myself , I would 100% agree that late spring (May) or early fall (September) are the best times to visit. You would still have amazing weather with way way lesser crowds thus making it a lot more enjoyable! Also prices for accommodation are a lot cheaper in these months than in the peak season.
While choosing islands I had a hard time to narrow it down to just 3 or 4 faves. I was certain that I wanted to do Mykonos though! Even though I am NOT a party animal haha, I fell completely and utterly in love with the island of Mykonos. We loved the hip cosmopolitan vibe of this island. Everything about Mykonos is magical – the people, the town, the culture, the food, the diversity, the beach, everything! And if you like to party – this is definitely the island for you. Stay tuned to see my top things to do in the island.
Where to stay ?
We stayed at the beautiful boutique hotel Myconian Kyma and chose this location as it was just 10 minutes away from Mykonos Town. Read more from our stay in my blog post HERE. This hotel is part of the Myconian Collection of hotels that have 9 gorgeous properties all around the island!
How to get around ?
The easiest way to get around is by renting a quad or a bike, most hotels concierge will be able to help you out with it. Since we stayed super close to town, we walked to the town and didnt really need a quad. The town itself only has pedestrian pathways so a car/bike wont be of any use here either. The only other time we wanted transport was when we went beach bopping in the South, for which we decided to try out the local bus system which was so convenient and cheap . The southern bus station (also known as Fabrika) is right in the entrance of Mykonos town and serves Ornos and Agios Ioannis Beach, Platys Gialos, Paraga and Super Paradise Beaches. Since we were going only to 1-2 beaches the bus worked out great ; but if you plan to hop on over to many beaches or tour the entire island , a car or quad would definitely work better.
What to do in Mykonos ?
1 ) Get lost in Mykonos Town :
Listing this out first as this was by far one of Anush’s and my fave things in the trip! I have never seen a prettier town in my life. The charming little town of Mykonos is so so pretty with its whitewashed houses, cobbled streets, splashes of blue and bourgeoning bougainvillea everywhere. It was so fun exploring the little nooks and alleys and not being tied down to a map. If you ever visit I encourage you to drop the map and explore as your heart pleases, you will never know what you might stumble upon! We spent over 3 hours each day in town, and kept discovering new sights and alleys everytime! See more on my blog post HERE.
The lower part of the pedestrian town has tons of cafes, boutiques and galleries while the upper part of town is more residential. This is the part that we loved exploring more as it was devoid of too many tourists and had the locals going about their balmy Mediterranean lives.
While you are in town, also make sure to visit the Panagia Paraportiani church , it is one of Mykonos’ most famous church and is simply stunning!
2 ) Windmills and Little Venice area :
No visit to Mykonos is complete without a trip to the iconic “Kato Milli” or the windmills of Mykonos. This spot is right by the town and is very pretty at sunset. One word of caution – it can get SUPER windy all year around, so come prepared! I wasn’t warned haha, so was literally blown away (both by the wind and the beauty ;)!). Little Venice has tons of cute tavernas that offer alfresco dining right by the gorgeous waterfront.
3 ) Beach hopping :
Mykonos has tons of amazing beaches. Most beaches have beach clubs and are organized with daybeds , loungers etc that you can rent out for the day. We loved spending the day at beautiful Paraga beach in the south. Other fab beaches in the area are Paradise, Super Paradise, Elia beach , Ornos beach, Agios Ioannis Beach and Platys Gialos beach.
4 ) Shopping :
Mykonos draws a chic crowd, so its no surprise that it is a shopaholic’s wonderland. It is filled with trendy boutiques and shops everywhere in town selling beautiful handicrafts, jewelry, clothing, etc. I literally wanted all the boho chic goodness I was seeing everywhere; Anush had to drag me out of several stores haha! Whether you choose to window shop or actually shop till you drop, you are guaranteed a fab retail experience.
5 ) Try out some fab Greek cuisine :
Mykonos is also a foodie’s paradise. Check out my fave restaurants below.
Where to eat in Mykonos ?
1 ) Gastronomy Project at Bill and Coo Suites : This was definitely one of our best fine dining meals from our trip. Bill & Coo’s Gourmet Restaurant is a total interactive sensory experience of sound, scent, vision, taste and touch with a mouth-watering Mediterranean-cuisine inspired menu. The four course meal was such a unique culinary experience , none like we have ever had before! The location of the restaurant was just jaw dropping, and the sunset from here was one for the books – absolutely enchanting! Highly recommend this place for a special occasion or for an unforgettable fine dining experience.
2 ) Pepper souvlaki : One of my fave cheap eats in town , so so good. The souvlaki’s are the bomb dot com, so legit!
3 ) Scorpios : Obsessed with the boho vibe and decor of this ultra chic beach club ! Great food and ambiance too; and its right by Paraga beach. Its the perfect place to lounge in the day and party at night.
4 ) Nikos Taverna : Super romantic taverna in the heart of town. Yummy Greek food and hospitality!
5 ) M-eating : Wanted to try this but we couldnt this time around. Heard fab things about this place.
6 ) All the gelateria’s in town! Anush and I love gelato, and we pretty much had it every single day! One of my fave one in Mykonos town was I Scream, they had traditional greek flavors that were so delicious and also had frozen greek yogurt.
Thanks for stoping by! xoxo