08 August 2013

{Insta-Greece!}: Our Itinerary

For those of you who follow me on twitter or instagram, you probably already know that Jurgen and I were in Greece last month.  But for those who don't, this is probably a surprise!  And it's true!  We were able to escape reality for a couple of weeks in July and hop on a plane to Greece, where we spent a few days in Athens and then jumped on a ferry to the islands of Sifnos and Milos.  It was blissful.  

But before I delve into a re-cap of our trip, I thought I would share some of my favorite instagrams with you as well as how we went about deciding on our itinerary {as it's not a common one}.


The view from our hotel balcony in Athens // The Academy {think Plato & Socrates} // Piraeus Metro Station - the end of the line and port of call for the ferries // Dinner on the roof of the Radisson Blu


Taken at the request of Jurgen // Athens' coast is full of pristine beaches; we were amazed by how clear the water was // Sunset enjoyed from one of Athens' many beach bars // White feet, golden sand


On our way to the islands! // Ferries are kinda fun, especially when travelling with this guy :) // No better place for a cat nap // The good life {notice the legs are getting slightly tanner!}


First up, the charming island of Sifnos! // Sunset from our hotel in the port town of Kamares // Lots of lights and restaurants along the main street in Kamares // Dinner on the beach in Vathy #idyllic


We decided to rent a moto... best. decision. ever. // The picturesque town of Kastro // Bingo.  We couldn't believe our luck when we stumbled upon this little oasis // Typical Greek island scene


The view from our balcony in Milos... not too shabby! // We be moto ridin' fools // Just another pristine Greek Island sunset // Tsigrado: the most beautiful beach in the history of ever


Exploring the little town of Tripidi // Admiring the view // The ancient theatre - it was being renovated when we were there so this was as close as we were able to get // The ancient Christian catacombs


The endearing fishing village of Fyropotamos // Sarakiniko, a favorite of the Greeks // Firoplaka, yet another pristine beach on Milos // Soaking up the sun on our last day on the island

Oddly enough, before this trip Greece had never been high on my list of places to see - the timing and airfare just happened to work out perfectly.  And while I pictured our trip being filled with crowds and commercialism, we were met with just the opposite.  Greece ended up completely exceeding my expectations in every sort of way, and Jurgen and I agree that it was the best holiday we've ever taken together.

So, moral of the story: go to Greece!  It's pretty incredible.

In terms of our itinerary, Sifnos and Milos are not well known when it comes to Greek Island hopping.  To be honest, before our trip we had never heard of either of them. Initially, we planned to visit the more popular islands of Santorini and Mykonos.  But, after considering that we would be in Greece during peak tourist season, we ultimately decided against it.  During my research, I also realized how many islands there were to choose from... hundreds, upon hundreds, upon hundreds.

You could literally spend years Greek Island hopping and fail to see it all.

Once we had ruled out Mykonos and Santorini, I narrowed my search by looking at islands that could be reached directly from Piraeus {the port in Athens} and from there I started researching each island further.  Jurgen immediately liked Sifnos because it's known for being a smaller island largely untouched by tourism.  All of the reviews we read described it as Greece's best kept secret and so we were quick to decide on that as our first destination.  Milos then just sort of fell in place since it was on the same ferry route as Sifnos and is often described as what Santorini was twenty years ago.  While it's a bit larger and more popular than Sifnos, we still didn't anticipate it to be overcrowded.

I booked our ferry tickets and we crossed our fingers that we had made a good choice.

And we lucked out... big time.

We ended up loving both Sifnos and Milos and wouldn't have changed a single thing about our itinerary.  While Sifnos offered an untouched and intimate destination, Milos offered beautiful beaches and historical sites.  And we avoided the crowds completely, which is exactly what we were hoping to do.  It was the closest to paradise that either of us have ever been.  We can't wait to go back someday!

In the coming weeks, I'm looking forward to sharing the details of our trip as well as how we went about navigating the metro in Athens, booking the ferries {it's trickier than it sounds}, getting around on the islands and travelling for over a week with just a carry-on {it's possible!}.

Have you ever been to Greece?  What was on your itinerary?

19 comments:

  1. Greece looks so beautiful! I am dying to go there

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  2. gorgeous, gorgeous photos! I'm absolutely dying to go to Greece.

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  3. Wow, this trip looks incredible! I have always wanted to go to Greece, but I think it would be cool to go to places that are not so touristy, like you guys did. Thanks for the tip! Xoxo

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  4. I lived in Greece for a summer during college - it is beautiful!

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  5. oh my goodness this looks so amazing! I've been itching to get to Greece some day. I'll have to remember these smaller islands if we ever go!

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  6. Hi Jenna!

    I just started following your blog and have really enjoyed it!

    I went to Greece on a backpacking trip several years ago with my best girl friend. We only got to see Athens (where we flew back to the US from) and I have wanted to go back ever since to explore more of the country, the less touristy parts. The island hopping sounds like so much fun!! Thanks for posting such great pics! :-)

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  7. I agree, Greece is pretty incredible!!! Can't wait to hear more! :)

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  8. Looks like an AMAZING trip. Greece has been on my must-get-to list for while now so I'll definitely be taking notes as you recap :)

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  9. What an amazing looking trip. I've also been kind of so-so on Greece because I've heard of all the tourist crowds too, but I didn't realize there were so many islands. I'll have to investigate a littler further now...

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  10. I pretty much stalked your instagram when you were in Greece! The photos were stunning! It was making me jealous every day :)

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  11. Stunning photos! Greece is one of my bucket list places to go - this post is not helping my itchy feet!!

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  12. Looks fab - I would love to go island hopping there one day.

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  13. Oh my goodness, I would absolutely love to go to Greece! Hopefully we'll make it to Europe in the next couple of years, and I may need to bookmark this post so I remember these islands. I'm always a fan of finding the hidden gems, rather than sticking to the touristy places. Can't wait to see more of your gorgeous photos! xoxo

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  14. we talk about going to Greece alll the time and every time you posted a photo I showed it to Cam and told him, see, see!! We need to go!

    can't wait to see the rest of your posts and photos. you two go on the best adventures.

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  15. I remember following along your journey on Instagram - it was fun following along, even though it made me want to hop on a plane big time! ;)

    I've went to mainland Greece (mainly the Peleponnes) a couple of years ago on a school trip and we visited some of the famous sites like Olympia and Delphi. It was a great time because we were there off-season, but still able to enjoy the sun and the sea! I really want to go visit the Greek islands one day, though, and can't wait to read more about you're trip here! :)

    xx
    Melanie

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  16. Hi there Jenna! I found your blog via an Athens Insiders tweet! Glad you liked our country both Athens and the islands! Milos is the island with the most unique beaches in Greece in my opinion! If you ever visit our country again and Santorini or Mykonos isn't on your plan, I suggest you try out Lefkada. It has beautiful beaches. Porto Katsiki especially has been featured many times on the world's top 10 beaches!
    Anna

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  17. Those pictures are gorgeous! I would love to visit Greece. I am also not a fan of overcrowded, touristy areas, so finding the perfect, quiet island would be key to any trips I take to the Greek islands. The beaches look incredible, too.

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  18. Thank you I'm so glad to have found your blog. We are going to Greece in September and don't want to do the usual, and your island holiday sounds perfect. Are there any other islands that you would recommend?! Sandy

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    1. Sifnos and Milos are both wonderful and convenient, since they're located within relatively close proximity and are situated on the same ferry line. If you could only choose one, Sifnos was our very favorite, although Milos has prettier beaches. Other islands that we would LOVE to visit on a future trip are Paxos (near Corfu, which also looks nice), Alonissos, Anafi, Patmos, and Kastelorizo.

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Thanks for commenting! I love reading each and every one of them :)