Crete – Santorini – Ios – Mykonos
Last month Madison and I spent two weeks exploring the beautiful islands of Greece. When we decided to travel to Greece I quickly learned how many options there were. Greece has thousands of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. This made it difficult to narrow down and decide where we would go. I would suggest sticking to a region of islands so you don’t spent all your time and money on ferry rides. We flew into the island of Crete from Toronto with Lufthansa Airlines. Crete is the largest of the Greek islands and its beauty is often overlooked. We stayed in the Chania region on the western side of the island. This decision was to be in close proximity to what turned out to be some of our favorite beaches. Look below to see some highlights of Crete.
Loutro Bay – great day trip
Balos Beach is an absolute must! Not only is the beach amazing but the journey to it is an incredible experience in itself. Consisting of a 15 minute drive on a bumpy dirt road filled with potholes and cluttered with goats roaming everywhere. Once we arrived at the parking lot and began the hike down to the beach I was thinking to myself is this beach worth all this effort. Then the horizon broke and we were staring down at a white sandy beach and crystal clear water filled with endless shades of blues.
We were pretty sad to be leaving but excited to check out the famous island of Santorini. We stayed in Imerovigli at Spiliotica On the Cliff – it felt like a dream, this was one of the places I would always see on the internet but never thought I would ever make it here. The views from our place and the surrounding area were breathtaking everywhere we looked!
We spent our last day on Santorini exploring the town Oia. Located on the northern tip of the island, Oia is an enchanting experience filled with endless cliff side views, quaint little shops and delicious food. We would recommend visiting in the early morning to beat the crowds. When the heat started to become unbearable we hiked down to Amoudi Bay for some cliff jumping and sun bathing on the rocks. Be prepared for a hike as Amoudi Bay is located 300 steep steps below Oia but is worth every second of it.
The next two days we spent on Ios, a smaller island that embodies the classic island ambiance of golden beaches spilling into the sapphire sea. Ios attracts a younger crowd because of its famous nightlife. If you are ever here we recommend checking out Pathos Lounge to grab dinner, a drink and watch the beautiful sunsets this place offers. During the day we escaped to Valmas Beach for some relaxation from the crowds. This beach turned out to be our absolute favorite and offered amazing views.
Mykonos island was the last place we visited before flying out of Athens. This island is a popular tourist destination visited by many for its famous whitewashed streets. Madison and I quickly fell in love with wandering the breathtaking streets as we stopped to indulge in delicious cuisines. For those interested in visiting Mykonos, my recommendation would be to make this a day trip. We spent two and a half days here and this was completely unnecessary. There is only so much to do after you have reveled over the famous town streets.
During our entire trip we used Hellenic Seaways as our go to ferry company. The company is very professional and all their vessels are well-kept. Be mindful that all ferries no matter the company do not run on a precise schedule so make sure you plan accordingly.