Europe Recap Part 5 – Mykonos & Santorini

This is the last of my Europe recaps. Sadly, we had to come home at some point! If you missed my previous recaps check them out here:

Lisbon, Madrid & Venice

Florence, Pisa & Cinque Terre

Rome & Athens

Mainland Greece

After mainland Greece, Tom and I headed off to the island of Mykonos. After a busy trip, ending with some relaxation on the Greek Islands was definitely the way to go. When our ferry pulled up to Mykonos, I was a little surprised. Compared to the lush mainland, the island of Mykonos is quite barren and desert like. However, the town is absolutely gorgeous. The white houses with blue trim is striking! We pulled up to our apartment we were staying at and I thought I might never leave.

mykonos

Our apartment actually seemed to be a very popular picture spot. I think Tom & I ended up in a lot of tourists photos as we were coming and going.

Mykonos is well-known for 2 things…beaches and partying. Check and check!

mykonos

I even found a Sephora in the small town of Mykonos, that’s when I officially decided I could move there.

sephora mykonos

Mykonos also had some gorgeous sites like the windmills & “little venice”

mykonos

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After two days in Mykonos we moved onto the island of Santorini. Santorini has been my dream place to visit for as long as I can remember. I was not disappointed!

The first night we got there we had a sunset dinner right along the Caldera overlooking the volcano. The view was outstanding the food however was meh. In Santorini you either have good food or food with a view.

santorini

The next morning we got up bright and early so we could hike from the town of Fira, where we stayed, to Oia. The hike took a little over 2 hours and was beautiful. You get incredible views the entire time and get to see some great little churches along the way. The island of Santorini has over 250 churches with many of them built in the most difficult to reach places – up steep hills, in the middle of cliffs, etc. No matter where you go, you are never far from a church.

santorini

santorini

Once we reached Oia, my dreams of Santorini came true. This is the most beautiful town imaginable.

santorini

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After Tom dragged me away from Oia and my paparazzi picture taking, we headed back to Fira where we took a tour to the volcano. We learnt about the volcanic history of Santorini and the formation of the Caldera. Afterwards we went to a natural hot springs formed from the volcano. It’s in the middle of the sea and the hot spring water mixes with the sea water so there are pockets of hot and cold. It is full of sulfur from the volcano, it didn’t smell but the water was brown.

santorini hot springs

After our tour, we decided to opt out of the roughly 600 steps to get back up to the town and went for an old-fashioned donkey ride. The donkeys just do their own thing. They stop when they feel like it and then they will take off and try to pass the other donkeys. You just hold on for the ride.

 

santorini donkey ride

That night we checked out a local bar called Two Brothers. We stumbled upon it and ended up having the best time. It was a tiny bar but by the end of the night the place got packed. They had some interesting specialty drinks including one where you took a shot of ouzo while wearing a helmet and the bartender would whack your head with a bat. Sound like a good idea? I didn’t think so either, but Tom did! Boys…

santorini two brothers

 

The next day we rented an ATV to cruise around the island and check out the sites.

santorini ATV

We drove around looking at smaller towns, the light house and then headed for the beach. Santorini has a red sand beach and a black sand beach. They are both really unique. We didn’t stay long at Red Beach, it’s really beautiful but it’s pretty small and didn’t have much to offer. We spent our day relaxing at the black beach of Perissa.

red beach santorini

After a day of beaching we went to Santo Winery for some wine tasting. We got the most incredible wine tasting that included a flight of 12 wines with some delicious local snacks. The winery was gorgeous with incredible views. Sipping on 12 wines while overlooking the sea wasn’t too shabby. Even better, Tom had to drive the ATV so more wine for me!

santo wine winery

That night we drove to Oia for the famous sunset. Tom wasn’t too interested in going because we heard the crowds were pretty big and he figured the sunset would be the same as we saw in Fira. But I insisted we go and see, otherwise I would always wonder if I missed out on something. So was it worth it?

oia sunset

It was gorgeous. Although, truthfully the crowds do take away from the experience. I really tried to embrace the experience though, I took a few pictures then I just put down my camera, blocked out the crowds and truly enjoyed the experience. I found it the perfect end to our holiday. I sat there thinking about our trip and was so grateful for my life and the opportunity to travel and see these gorgeous places.

The next morning we were hopping a flight from Santorini to Athens, Athens to London, and then finally London to Calgary. We got home around 8 p.m. which was 5 a.m. Athens time. We got a little bit of sleep before we both headed off for work the next morning. Ugh, worst decision ever. I was a complete zombie the first day back at work.

Overall, the greek islands live up to the fame and hype. They are simply incredible. If you have ever thought about going there, make it a priority. If you have never thought about going, start thinking about it now!

If you have any questions about my trip or are planning a trip of your own and want some advice – feel free to ask!

 

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