We just got back from a magical little place called Greece. We had no clue what to expect, how to plan nor what to see or how to get to where we wanted. We tend to travel like this sometimes. We usually figure out the bones of the trip like flights and hotels then we leave room to fill with the meat of the trip. The hubs and I are pretty pleased with what we did, what we didn’t and how sometimes you gotta call an audible and change plans. I don’t want you to make any mistakes on planning your big trip (we dodged some major bullets too!!!) so here’s our tips and tricks on how we did Greek in a Week!
We had exactly seven days to work with an needed to make the most of our travels since we were on limited time, a baby on the way and one babe back home with the grandparents. So things had to be precise but also flexible. I must also make a great big point that about 90% of our trip was paid with credit card points—heck yes!! So we made the most of these points and stayed at top tiered resorts. Day 1 & 2: Arrival in Athens, Greece: We were pretty spent after travelling for about 15 hours and landed at The Four Seasons in Athens. Holy smokes you guys…talk about a dreamy hotel. (Found and booked through our Chase Rewards Credit Card.) What we didn’t know upon arrival was that literally it was 2nd day open ever! The manager greeted us along with about five other front desk people super eager with huge smiles on their faces. They were incredibly welcoming and come to find out they were super pumped because we were literally one of their first guests to stay at the hotel!! We decided to stay just around the resort. Believe me, if you see this place in person you might choose to do the same. We ate and drank our way through the resort as they had a couple different options. It was exactly what we needed to get a little jet lag out of the way by easing into everything. Also, the location of the hotel was a little farther south and away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Athens so it made our decision easy to just stay and enjoy the resort. We had exactly 2 nights here and it felt like the dreamiest start to our babymoon!!
Day 3 & 4: We were convinced we HAD to see Santorini while in Greece. Actually to be more accurate, we hadn’t originally planned to go to Santorini because it is the fartherst island from Athens and our trip was so short, maybe we could skip it. Ohhh my gosh was I wrong. I had three people tell me there is no way we could miss out on seeing this island and THEY WERE RIGHT!! It’s a no miss situation BUT you gotta do it right and only stay in one area of town! It’s called Oia (Ee-ya). This is the picturesque version of Greece you see on all the Instagram pages. It’s incredible and so romantic! We stayed at Kirini Santorini and yet again was greeted with the same welcoming greeting and warmth as we were in Athens. After our trip my husband and I agreed, that the people of Greece were the most surprising part about this trip…they are just are incredible and make you feel like taking care of you is there number one priority. They are so helpful, over the top customer service while having such pride in their country. It is amazing. One of our highlights (again given as a recommendation before we left) was to take the 6 mile hike from Oia to Fira. We heard that the walk from Oia to Fira was a little bit harder as it was uphill mostly versus if you walked from Fira to Oia. But we thought we are tough we can hang. On average the scenic trip by foot takes about 2.5 hours. We took our time, stopped to take video and pictures and finished in about 2 hours. I was also 14 weeks pregnant at the time, so it’s really not THAT strenuous, but it was more of a great way to get exercise that day for sure. The view and experiencing being on top of the world was amazing. My husband and I agree, this hike was one of the highlights for us. It is a must!
Restaurants we loved were a little hole in the wall family owned gem called Melitini. Order the meatballs and you can thank me later. Another picturesque more fancy place we had dinner was at Canaves Resort. These were all walking distance from our resort in Oia (pronounced Ee-yah)
Day 5: Sadly, we said goodbye to Santorni but ready for our next adventure in Mykonos. We boarded the Sea Jet Ferry in the afternoon and it would take about 2.5 hours to arrive. The ferry is nice and spacious. We upgraded and bought the Club Level Seats for not too much more and I thought it was worth it. It was a rough day at sea you guys and I definitely found out I don’t have my sea legs…let me scratch that. I will never have anything that resembles sea legs so my suggestion is that if you have a queasy stomach like I do, just take flights to each island. Even on the large ferry, the sea was so rough and windy, it took a toll on me. Anyhoo, we arrive safely in Mykonos and it’s windier that all get out. Literally I think I still have sand in my eyes. Mykonos is known as the Party Island. It’s a well known fact by all the Greeks and if you say you are going there, they all say in an ominous tone “Ohhh, that’s the party island.” Hahaha! We didn’t really have enough time here to let you know any true insight. We ate at a super cute restaurant on the far end of the waterfront. Great food, but I was so wiped from our trip and boat ride to be honest that I wasn’t on my best game this night. So we ended up going back to our AirBnB a little early. I was told that their season picks up right about May. So that’s why we didn’t end up booking a hotel. There literally were not any open. That’s the tricky thing about Greece. We sorta timed it just right by accident. The season had just started.
**If you read nothing else in this article, read this: Greece the country is literally closed from November to March. April is just the start of the season. A great majority of the hotels (excluding Athens) on the islands are closed during those months. This was a great thing for us as we dodged major crowds and the resorts were excited to see us versus being over whelmed with crowds. We felt like we got specialized amazing service because of the time we were there. We arrived the first week of April. If you want warmer weather and possibly more nightlife, go in the summer months of June and July!
Day 6 & 7: After learning our lesson on the boat, my husband the kind soul that he is, called another audible and booked us a flight to Athens (we originally had plans to ride the ferry back to Athens). It was the easiest trip ever. A cheap 40 minute flight and we arrived in downtown Athens. I LOVE Athens. But I also love the feel and energy of a big city. Especially after being in the smaller island towns it felt like a great change to see more in the big city of Athens. We stayed at the King George Marriott Resort that was perfectly placed in the middle of everything walking distance!! Literally everything! The Acropolis, shops, great traditional Greek restaurants, a National Garden that was huge and so nice to walk through post lunch. I would highly recommend this hotel too for all of those things—the surprise upgrade they gave us was also a nice bonus! Restaurants: We LOVED Ergon Deli. We stumbled upon this adorable place. I could have stayed all day there. We also loved Neoklassiko Both were amazing and walking distance from hotel and downtown shopping district.
Things to bring that were helpful: -Outlet converters—Type C and we bought them on Amazon for cell, ipad and computer charging also if you want to bring a curling iron or straightener. Each resort had a blow dryer so don’t waste space bringing your own -Compression socks (dorky I know, but the feet swelling is the real deal!) and neck support for sleeping in plane. Here's an option to buy together. -Portable charger and Bluetooth speaker -Sleep mask -Fanny pack (there tends to be pic-pocketers around the tourists spots on Athens.) It was easier to just carry everything on me versus a purse or backpack (if you take a backpack, wear it on the front of you versus the back) -Layers of clothing: the days were warm and great but as soon as that sun goes down, especially on the islands it got chilly fast! -Dress: Each island has it’s own personality. I found that on Santorini I wanted to wear flowy dresses and more vacation style attire where as on Athens it was more upscale and fancier. Like a leather jacket during the day and bring heels for the night. -We didn’t use carry on luggage. We packed lightly but in our main suitcases and found that it was super easy to transport them as much as we did. Some of the smaller airplanes have lower weight restrictions, so just pack lightly. -Febreeze spray to make you feel a little more fresh if re-wearing clothing
Airlines We Used: Emirates to and from Athens from New York Sky Express / Aegean Airlines to and from the islands Alaska Airlines: New York (Newark) to California (home) I hope you found some gems of your own in this post! We can't recommend Greece enough! Plan and also be flexible would be more words of advice. Soak up the food, the culture and the wonderful people! You are going to love it! Cheers to your own Greek in a Week!! Follow more of Living Lately on Instagram
**Disclaimer: No part of any of our trip was in collaboration with any brands. This is solely based off my opinion.**