You know those places that you can never-not remember dreaming about? Those ‘one day’ destinations, that for a long time, you build in your mind an idea about, and wonder whether the real-life version will measure up to those years of imagination?
The Greek Islands have always been that bucket-list destination for me. And, after spending a week of island hopping there, I can testify that the islands are beautiful. IMPOSSIBLY. BEAUTIFUL. Even more vividly so than I could have ever imagined.
After our days in Italy, living La Dolce Vita, Charles and I flew into Greece for a week of late summer island hopping, from Mykonos to Santorini.
As it happened, I was struck down on our second day in Greece with a horrid head cold and nasty dose of laryngitis, which meant I spent more days than I wish to remember feeling too unwell to be anywhere but in bed, and we couldn’t explore nearly as much as we had hoped to. We also lost our luggage in transit, and I lost my voice for more than 10 days (although Charles didn’t mind that part!) Gratefully, got our luggage back after 24 hours of calls, airport visits and Greek translating, and my voice came back eventually.
First stop, Mykonos
Despite its party-hard reputation, Mykonos is an island of undisputed raw beauty. Having missed most of the cruise-ship crowds, we found it to feel quite local, beautifully whitewashed (my photography dream), and mostly devoid of party. We stayed here for three nights, and unfortunately, I was feeling so unwell that we barely left our AirBnB. We did enjoy drinks at the a-listers hangout Cavo Tagoo one night, and a beautiful lunch at Scorpios Mykonos (links) before flying onwards, but need to return to explore much further!
As one of the main islands in the Cyclades group of the Aegean Sea. Mykonos is one of the larger greek islands (there are over 1,400 islands, with 230 of them inhabited). We stayed in an Airbnb a five minute walk from Little Venice – an 18th century district with tiny white houses lining the waterfront, with balconies overhanging the sea with a maze of tangled laneways so narrow that you need to walk single file. The white painted houses once belonged to shipping merchants, and the high tide, waves can crash over land into the tiny streets (hence, Little Venice!)
Santorini is also one of the Cyclades islands in the Aegean Sea, nestled roughly halfway between Athens and Crete, and undoubtedly one of the most impossibly beautiful places in the entire world. The first time I spied the whitewashed, cubiform houses of Oia, perched high up on cliffs above the expanse of vivid blue sea, I felt like my breath was knocked out of me, with the sheer beauty of it all. It’s so beautiful that it’s hard to take it in, or even believe. The colours in the sky at sunrise and sunset – the blues of the water – I could have stared at these colours forever.
We spent our first two nights at a beautiful AirBnB at the edge of Oia, with the most perfect vantage point for sunset, followed by two nights in a hotel, in the quieter town of Imerovigli, laden with luxury hotels and more infinity pools than I have ever seen (frequented by honeymooners and romance seekers).
Despite Greece not being the idyllic experience we had hoped, because of me being so unwell, we absolutely adored what we did get to experience in Greece, and left with the strongest desire to return – healthy, and as soon as possible!