My husband and I got married just under a year & a half ago and we were fortunate to follow-up our wedding with an incredible honeymoon to Greece. We chose to visit Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini.
Travel Overview: Portland --> Amsterdam --> Athens --> Mykonos (Ferry) --> Santorini (Ferry) --> Athens (Ferry) --> Paris --> Seattle --> Portland
Tip: when we traveled pre-baby, we often chose to book our flights using Priceline's Express Deals. They provide really great deals, especially when you're not too worried about which airline you book with, where your layovers are or how long they are. They have features where you can narrow in on how long you want your flight to be and how many stops you'd like to stay within. If you do enough research, you can generally find out which flight path they're proposing. Same goes for booking hotels through Express Deals too. Using this feature, we got round-trip tickets for two for $1,500!
Departure Day: departed from PDX at 1:30pm
This was the perfect timing for us - it allowed us to sleep in a little and we still arrived early enough to find our Airbnb and grab a bite to eat for dinner.
When we arrived in Athens, we found our way to the Metro to catch a train that would bring us as close as possible to our Airbnb. It dropped us off at Syntagma Square and we chose to walk through the National Gardens towards our Airbnb. This probably wasn't the best idea as it made it near impossible to follow our map & handwritten directions. We walked for over an hour trying to get to our Airbnb that was no more than 20 minutes away. We finally found it and our host, Minos, came out to greet us. The Airbnb was a lovely garden unit studio right behind the Panathenaic Stadium in the Archmidous neighborhood.
That evening, we walked around the neighborhood and shared a carafe of wine and tapas for dinner. We then headed back to our Airbnb and enjoyed a Greek beer on the patio with some cakes that Mino had left for us.
We only had one fully day in Athens, so we made sure that we made the most of it. By the end of the day, we had walked over 13 miles! We started the morning walking
around the Panathenaic Stadium. Our Airbnb was right behind it, so somehow, we managed to get down to the track without a ticket... not sure I should be recommending that, but there weren't gates or anything in our way! Following the stadium, we wandered through the beautiful streets stopping by The Temple of Olympian Zeus on our way to the Acropolis. We quickly stopped at a cafe near the Acropolis Museum for a quick snack before heading up to the Acropolis.
The Acropolis was PACKED - I recommend heading there first stop in the day if you don't want to be walking around in a sea of tourists. Following the Acropolis, we spent a few hours in the Acropolis Museum before grabbing a few beers at a market near the base of Filopappou Hill trekking up to the top. It's not too difficult, but I recommend some good walking shoes. There is a lot to see on the hill, so we wandered around for a while before settling on a spot to watch the sunset while playing cards. As it started to get dark, we started to make our way down the hill towards Cafe Avissinia for some traditional Macedonian food.
Minos had helped us to book a taxi the evening prior and we headed to the Piraeus Port for our 7am ferry departure to Mykonos. We took SeaJets and the experience was great - we had a table to play cards and enjoy coffee during the 2.5 hour ferry.
Our lodging in Mykonos was at Dimele and they provided transportation to and from the ferry terminal. The New Port is pretty far away from town, so make sure you have your transportation arranged ahead of time! We absolutely loved our accommodation at Dimele. It was basic & affordable, but the room was very clean, had a nice balcony for us and was right in town.
Once we were settled, we explored the windmills in town and grabbed a bite to eat at D'Angelo. We spent the rest of the afternoon getting lost in the streets of Mykonos and finished up the night with a drink at the 360 Sunset Bar. Get there early so that you can snag one of the free seats!
We then headed back into town and had dinner at Kastros. It was Matt's birthday so we splurged on a few bottles of wine, a full meal, and dessert. We made a reservation and I was glad that we did, it was a busy place!
Tip: book your ferries ahead of time!
This was one of my FAVORITE days in Mykonos. We rented a car and drove around the entire island, stopping at beaches along the way. Keep in mind that unless you have an international drivers license, you have to rent a car, not a moped or ATV. We were kind of bummed, but it was nice having the exra space in a car.
There are an endless number of beaches, but the ones we chose were Ornos Beach, Psauro Beach, Elia Beach, Panormos Bay. Our final stop was Cape Armenistis to catch the sunset - I highly recommend this. There weren't a ton of people up there and it felt like we were on top of the world!
We hadn't wandering through Mykonos Town much, so we spent the morning getting lost in the streets and walking through the shops. For the afternoon, we packed up a backpack and a few beets and headed down to the beach in Mykonos Town - I am not entirely positive, but I am pretty sure we picked a spot right by Alefkantra. It was fairly private and had a nice concrete pad for us to lay out on and to hang our feet into the water.
Day 6: we grabbed breakfast and packed up our things before departing back to the Ferry Terminal for our ferry to Santorini. We used Sea Jets again and the ride was pleasant. When we arrived, it was CHAOS. The Santorini Port is very small and over-crowded with buses and travelers. It took a while, but we finally found a sign with our name on it and head over to our shuttle. Our Airbnb host helped us to arrange the transport.
We chose to stay just outside of Oia in Finikia in this super cute Airbnb and I am SO glad we did. It was very quiet and only a 10 minute walk into Oia and it had its own spa/pool! We also chose to avoid the crowds of busier cities like Fira. We stopped at the grocery store and stocked up on breakfast supplies, snacks, and enough food to cook one dinner for ourselves. That afternoon, we walked down the hill about 15 minutes to a winery, Domaine Sigalas, and spent way too much on wine to bring home.
Tip: don't get suckered into the hotels that highlight amazing views. They're going to cost a ridiculous amount of money and there are so many free places to catch amazing views in Greece. In Santorini specifically, I think we saved a lot of money by not having a caldera view, but we still had an endless ocean view.
We woke up early and hiked from Oia to Fira. It was a really pleasant 6 mile trip that took about 3.5 hours with the stops we chose to make. We added on a hike up to Skaros Rock - this was challenging, steep, and required some maneuvering, but the views were fantastic. There aren't a ton of places to stop along the way for food and water, so pack your own. Once in Fira, we stopped at a ship to get Gyros and wandered through Fira for a few hours. It's a busy place, not really our style, so we jumped on a bus and headed back to Oia to enjoy our pool instead.
Tip: get started early to avoid the intense sun! Also, make sure you have cash for the bus back to Oia - it's only a few bucks.
Our Airbnb host helped us to pre-arrange a semi-private sunset boat cruise which picked us up just up the road. It started in the early afternoon and they drove us around the crater and up towards Tholos. We got to do some cliff jumping and swimming, the drinks were free and they cooked us an amazing seafood dinner!
A storm was rolling in, so the ride back in was choppy and actually pretty scary. It also got extremely cold. We're from the PNW so we came prepared, but some of the guests were wet and freezing. Always a good idea to bring a coat for a sunset cruise, no matter where you are! If I was to do this tour again, I would likely choose the day time tour to ensure good weather.
Welp. This was day that we were supposed to catch our ferry back to Athens for our flight departing the following day. The storm was so strong that Ferry's were canceled. Unfortunately, we spent the majority of this day trying to figure out how we would get back to Athens in time for our flight. Luckily, our flight was not for 2 days, so we paid for an extra day at our Airbnb and hoped that the Ferry would be running the next day. I was also very sick, and spent a lot of the afternoon in bed (turns out I was pregnant!). Despite feeling like crap, we still spent some time wandering around Oia.
Tip: plan your farthest south destination first on your itinerary and to make sure you're back in Athens with a day or more until your flight in case of any flight delays.
The Ferry's were canceled again, which meant we would not be making our flight. We made lemonade out of lemons and hopped on a bus to a new hotel, Santorini Mesotopos, closer to the port so that we could easily get there when we needed to. We dropped our bags and were in desperate need of some lunch and a drink, so we walked to Senor Zorba. It was kind of refreshing to have some Mexican food and a margarita after all of the Greek food we'd been eating. We then walked to
Santo Wines for a tasting with incredible view! It felt really good to just relax, we'd been so busy all trip and this was completely unplanned, so we didn't expect too much from ourselves - we even returned to Senor Zorba for dinner before heading in for the night.
Side note: we had to cancel our reservation at AthensHotel due to the storms and they were very un-accommodating about it.
Finally, the ferries were running. We managed to get on a Ferry back to Athens, but as it turned out, we'd still miss our flight. Luckily, the severe weather warning had been updated and our airline was able to re-book us at no extra charge. We also had insurance, so between all of that, we came out OK.
The ferry that we got back to Athens took us to Rafina, where we had to board a bus to take us to the airport. We spent the evening eating PB&J's in a bus terminal.
It was really late when we arrived to the airport and rather than pay for another hotel for just a few hours, we chose to bunk at the aiport until our 7am flight. What a way to end your honeymoon, right?! All in all, we were in great spirits.
We grabbed a much-needed coffee when the shops opened up and boarded our flight to home.
I hope you enjoyed this itinerary! Interested in having me plan an itinerary for you? Drop me a line to learn more!