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Old 15th March 2020, 08:16 AM   #1
KeithMEL
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Join Date: 31-Oct-2006
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Default Greek Island Hopping - Milos, Santorini, Paros, Mykonos (+ Athens)

The thread on Greece in the Destination Planning section, plus working through a contingency for planned travel this year, had me reminiscing about our visit to Greece last September.

We did an island hop of Milos, Santorini, Paros and Mykonos (plus Athens) and absolutely loved our first visit to Greece. I keep meaning to write up TR 'at some point' with pics but there are limitations with putting up pics from Instagram on an IBB (unfortunately previous attempts to 'direct link' IG photos to this forum fell over - links broke after a couple of weeks) and I haven't had time to upload my pics to a separate online account.

So hopefully this abridged report of sorts helps someone. Happy to answer any questions though.

Breakdown of itinerary:
3 nights in Athens
6 nights in Milos (our designated veg out spot)
2 nights in Santorini
3 nights in Paros
2 nights in Mykonos
Final night in Athens prior to flying home the following day

Greece is a wonderful country filled with the most charming people.

I am so glad that I did not skip Mykonos (hesitated because I read very mixed/polarised reviews). It is easily a million times better than Santorini, and remains one of the 2 equal-favourite parts of the trip.

Got upgraded to an amazing suite at the Mykonos Blu thanks to Virtuoso, and its private section on Psarou Beach is fab. Great for a luxury beach holiday with very swimmable beaches and solid fine dining.

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The beach clubs were winding down (was in early Oct by the time we got to Mykonos, nearly the end of the season) but we had a great time and got to turn 18 again anyway. Mykonos is really just insanely effing fun!

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3JtmCUA..._web_copy_link

Oia in Santorini was stunning (and we loved our stay at Maregio suites which was in a nice & private part of Oia near that Byzantine castle thing with amazing sunset views) but once we've gotten our fill of 'that view' and selfies with the famous blue domes, there wasn't much of interest. Food was also largely expensive and sub-standard in Santorini (I can however recommend Roka in Oia) whereas there are loads more options in Mykonos and Paros. The only beach in Santorini was a bit of a mission to get to (we didn't bother and spent almost our entire time in our suite - had a private plunge pool), and I was out of breath the whole time thanks to all the stairs!

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Milos blew us away with scenery that I can best describe as otherworldly. Loads of beautiful beaches (Firopotamos was my favourite) and quiet swimming coves to discover. Definitely go on a boat cruise to see Klefiko, Sieka and something else I can't spell. But we were based in Pollonia and even though it's a cute little town we quickly tired of the very limited food options over the course of our week long stay there. Less than 10 restaurants and they almost exclusively serve seafood. 4 nights here would have been sufficient, not a week long veg out haha. Renting a car is a must here as public transport is nearly non-existent.

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If I were to re-plan the trip - Paros would have been an even better veg out spot with heaps of nice restaurants and bars. Naoussa in particular was pretty cool with a reasonably happening nightlife even in late season, though all the beach clubs have already shut for the season. Nightlife is said to be pretty great when in-season.

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Also did the day trip to Antiparos which was quite a bit bigger than I expected. Worth at least an overnight stay next time.

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Would definitely head back to both Paros and Mykonos. Loved Athens too - underrated party town, and food was inviting and delicious plus very cheap. Don't just 'transit through' Athens as a lot of people would advise. We stayed at Hotel Lozenges in Kolonaki which was amazing value and easily walkable to shops, restaurants and bars.

And of course it wouldn't be a trip without some quality cocktails and I got to tick the Clumsies (ranked #7 on best 50 bars) off the list.

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2leaiag..._web_copy_link

We planned our ferry itinerary around the islands using ferryhopper.com. It allows multi-sector bookings which helped immensely, and didn't charge any mark ups or service fees. SantoriniDave's website was also a great resource for hotel reviews and comparisons of the different islands.
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Last edited by KeithMEL; 15th March 2020 at 01:30 PM..
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Old 17th March 2020, 08:54 AM   #2
yflyer
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What a great vacation, KeithMEL! Sounds like the less touristy islands have a lot offer...

Amazing hotels on Mykonos and especially Santorini! Very nice pics of Santorini! Milos looks beautiful too.

As for Psarou beach on Mykonos, I really don't understand what the hype is about: it is a very nice beach with clear water etc but there are just too many beach chairs and umbrellas on it...battery hen conditions to me...is that really what a summer holiday is about?
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Old 17th March 2020, 06:54 PM   #3
KeithMEL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yflyer View Post
As for Psarou beach on Mykonos, I really don't understand what the hype is about: it is a very nice beach with clear water etc but there are just too many beach chairs and umbrellas on it...battery hen conditions to me...is that really what a summer holiday is about?
I didn't realise there's hype around Psarou (we wanted to stay at Mykonos Blu which ticked a lot of boxes) but we loved it. The water was calm and beautiful to swim in. It didn't feel crowded at all in the private area dedicated to the resort we were at, and everything was well spaced out with very attentive service. Plus because Nammos is nearby, there's a great dancey vibe on the beach. There's also the very convenient water taxis at Platis Gialos beach nearby to get to other beach clubs. Then again I was there rather late in the season so it wouldn't have been as manic as peak summer. I definitely recommend the islands in September - you get all the benefits of the season with the weather and a reasonable nightlife but without the overcrowding or the price gouging.

There's also LOADS of islands to choose from in Greece and you can go down quite the rabbit hole trying to pick the 'perfect' one. Each seems to have its own unique character and is likely just as stunning as any other. We passed Sifnos on the ferry from Athens to Milos and almost abandoned our ferry cause of how inviting it looked! Then subsequently read that it's quite the foodie spot so we are totally going to try to incorporate it into the next Greek islands adventure. Or if not, the next one after that, or the one after....

https://www.instagram.com/p/B2qlvBMA..._web_copy_link
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Last edited by KeithMEL; 17th March 2020 at 07:19 PM..
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