In Lifestyle/ Travel

Travel Guide to the Greek Islands

I am so excited to share my Greek adventure with you on the blog today! On our cruise we stopped at Corfu, Santorini, and Mykonos. Which one is my favourite you ask? ALL OF THEM 😁 Scroll down and check out all the fun and exciting adventures we had followed by all of my travel tips at each stop!

Corfu

Have you ever dreamed of a magical place that you have been dieing to visit? A place that is so beautiful it was at the top of your bucket list for as long as you could remember? For me this place was Greece. Gavin has been hearing me talk about going to Greece for quite some time now and now that I am back all I can talk about is when I want to go back! Yes that’s how amazing it was! These pictures don’t even do this beautiful place justice. It was everything I could dream of and more! Our first stop off the ship was Corfu, Greece, which is one of the largest Greek Islands. For October, we lucked out with some amazing weather. It was not too hot but it also wasn’t too cold, and there wasn’t ANY rain which was perfect! Walking the streets of Corfu was absolutly stunning. Everyone pictures Greece consisting of white houses and blue doors with the magenta flowers hanging off the roof tops and windowsills. This is definitely true for some parts of Greece, but not Corfu. This place was filled with beautiful pastel coloured homes. As you walk down the streets of Corfu, you can sense the history behind it all.

Corfu was stocked with the cutest outdoor patios with the cheapest food. I wish I was joking but when we saw a sign that said “Chicken Souvlaki for 1.5 Euro” we were jaw dropped. Granted this wasn’t the case all over Greece, but in Corfu, if you want cheap, delicious, and authentic Greek food, then this is the place for you to visit!

Corfu is also famous for their beaches. This island has over 57 beautiful beaches and beach clubs. Searching for one was a challenge because there were so many beautiful places to visit! We left it up to the locals to help us decide because who knows better than getting reviews and recommendations from the locals. We hopped in a cab and went to  Dassia beach. Dasssia is a popular resort located between the villages of Gouvia and Ipsos, 13 km from Corfu Town. With a friendly and cosmopolitan atmosphere, Dassia has become one of the most inviting places to spend relaxing vacation in Corfu.  It consist of sand and pebbles with two rows of sunbeds and umbrellas for those who want to enjoy a comfortable sunbathing. Did you know you could get a cabana for 15 Euro’s at this beach? THAT’S AMAZING! You can’t get anything like that in Toronto, that’s for sure! Dassia beach is also quite flat with no sand dunes which offers a perfect view to the Albanian coasts and the island’s surroundings. This beach is so beautiful I highly recommend a visit here.

Travel Tips:

1. Try some local Souvlaki (because its so cheap)
2. Take your time exploring the towns historic monuments
3. Wear comfortable shoes (you will be walking a lot on cobble stone)
4. Visit a beach (Any beach… their all so beautiful)
5. Find a designated cab driver (Getting around the island can be challenging, so if you find a cab driver that will leave you and pick you up at a designated time that’s awesome. A lot of them are really accommodating and friendly)

Santorini 

I don’t even know where to begin with this place. I fell in love with this place from the moment we docked to the time we left. It is as beautiful as you would hope it would be. Before the trip I bought Nicole and myself a wine tour package because who doesn’t want to visit a winery in beautiful Santorini?! I bought it as a gift for Nicole’s birthday and managed to keep it a surprise until our flight. I never keep secrets from her so it was super hard for me to keep it a secret for that long so I considered it a success. Any who, back to Santorini wine tour. The tour not only took us to a beautiful winery but they also took us on an entire tour of the island! We had an amazing tour guide who educated us on the history of Santorini.

Here are a few fun facts:

1. Santorini is located on an active volcano ( Currently they have state of the art technology to detect days before the volcano will erupt to allow people to flee the island if need be)
2. There is no fresh water source on the Island. All their water is bottled water and their plants are hydrated by the immense amount of humidity that is brought in
3. The beautiful magenta flowers were imported from Japan to help compliment the white houses and blue doors.
4. The white houses and blue doors were painted that way to represent the Greek flag colours
5. The blue on the top of the domes is to represent the sky which is God.

 

Santorini is located on what essentially looks like a mountain top. The only way to get on  the island is either by a cable car or a donkey. As fun as it sounds to ride a donkey up the mountain, we wore dresses that day, so the ride up wouldn’t be as graceful as we may have planned it to be. Once we got up to Santos Winery  it had the most amazing view. As you can see in the photo above they had glass windows surrounding the entire venue overlooking the sea. It was breath taking. With our wine tour we were given 3 wines to try, a red, a white, and a dessert wine. There was also a table of cheese, olives, tomatoes, and bread to help compliment the wine. Oh my goodness, I did not hold back. I ate so much wine and cheese, and the olives were so yummy. Typing this all out is making my mouth water and crave for more! We had the choice to purchase their wine but we weren’t sure the rules and regulations with customs and weren’t sure how we would be able to travel back with the wine so we opted out from purchasing some.

After the wine tour, they dropped us of at the beautiful town is Oia. This is the picturesque village of the blue domes and beautiful white homes. I will say, as beautiful as this place may be, it was absolutely packed with tourists, AND it was October which means it wasn’t even high tourism season. Don’t let these beautiful pictures fool you and make it seem like we were the only ones on the island. It was like walking through Nordstrom on their anniversary sale with extra coupon codes! Madness! Remember that episode of friends when Rachel, Phoebe and Monica go to the warehouse sale to get Monica’s dress? That’s what it felt like walking through the village of Oia. This is to not take away or discourage you from visiting but this is more of a preparation and a warning.

After spending a few hours in Oia, the tour dropped us off in the village of Fira where we would take the cable car back down to the ship, but before we ended our stay in Santorini, we had a few hours to kill. It was on our bucket list to enjoy dinner while watching a beautiful sunset in Santorini. So we did. We were on the hunt walking the streets of Fira trying to find a patio with the perfect view that served chicken souvlaki. We had a craving for some good souvlaki and feta cheese so what better place to get feta cheese than the mother land! In the photo below on the right was our view at dinner. I mean common, can you get any prettier?

I hate to say our visit in Santorini ended here… but it did. 😔 

Travel Tips:

1. Visit Santos winery
2. If you are there for a day plan a tour (They take you to the entire island, if you plan the tour on your own, cabs and transportation can cost a TON)
3. Try not to wear a dress. It is very windy on the island and its safe to say we flashed half of Santorini that day
4. Enjoy a Sunset dinner anywhere on the Island
5. Comfortable shoes
6. Hike from Fira to Oia ( It was on our list but we didn’t have the time to do it but it’s a beautiful hike)

Mykonos 

Everyone asks “what was your favourite stop in Greece?” my answer is always ALL OF THEM. Each one of them has its own unique thing that we loved about it the most and each place was filled with memories and fun times. We docked in Mykonos pretty early that day so the streets were fairly empty. What I really enjoyed about this island the most is that it is filled with many locals. Greece has been taken over by tourism a ton which is really good for the economy, but a lot of the locals have given up their homes and turned them into hotels or stores in order to make money. Walking by peoples homes, you can smell them cooking their morning breakfasts, you can literally hear them taking showers, and watch them hang their washed cloths on the cloths line outside. Many people had their front doors open allowing you to look into their homes. Their windows were open so you can smell the freshly cooked food made by the Greek ladies. It was amazing and so picturesque.

 

After spending our time in the village we decided to head over to paradise beach! Now during high tourism season, this beach is known as the party beach. In October, not so much, but it was still hot enough for us to visit and get a nice tan! We got advice from a friend to not take cabs in Mykonos because it was so expensive, so another option would be to either take a bus or rent an ATV for the day for 20 Euros. Now as convenient as the bus sounds, how fun would it be to ride around on an ATV all day? Sounds fun, until we arrived to the rental place and I went into panic mode! I told Nicole we had to take a bus and I started to chicken out. We had no idea where we were going and there were no street signs anywhere. What if we got lost? Would be able to communicate to the locals? What if we missed the boat? After this whole rant Nicole snapped me out of it and forced me on the ATV, and I am so glad she did! Once we got on it was amazing! We drove through the streets of Mykonos with the wind in our hair and admiring the beautiful scenery around us. We did get lost along the way, I won’t lie, but at least a) we had fun doing it and b) we eventually found our way.

Once we got to the beach it was beautiful! We grabbed some chairs put our swim suits on and just relaxed! What more could you ask for on a vacation? Also did you know a glass of wine at the bar was 2 Euros?!? Yes you read that right, and don’t think they skimped out on the wine. No, no, those glasses were filled to the rims! A few glasses later we realised we had to drive back to the ship and return the ATV. At least this time I wasn’t as hesitant to hop on the ATV. I don’t think we laughed so hard before, and if you followed me on social media, you would probably agree.

Travel Tips:

1. Wake up early to see the streets of Mykonos
2. Enjoy a morning latte at the local cafe
3. Rent an ATV to get around town
4. Visit paradise beach
5. Visit the bars in Mykonos ( we didn’t stay the night so we couldn’t but we heard they are so much fun)
6. Visit the windmills

 

Now this sums up our amazing Greek adventure. It’s safe to say I will definitely be back here in the future. It’s too beautiful to not return!

If you would like to see the travel guide from my first stop on the cruise in Kotor, Montenegro then click here! Look forward to my next post on our adventures in Dubrovnik, Croatia on Friday!

See you on the blog soon 🙂

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