Honeymoon Details – Greece

Travel

Hello!

I’m back at my parents’ house for a few days because I have a wedding to attend! But on Sunday, we’ll be making the trek to Dallas to resume real life.

So about that honeymoon…I guess you guys want details! I apologize for dumping so many photos on you, but I just didn’t want to waste precious time typing posts on the tablet. I actually had a terrible time trying to get the mini SD card to work with the tablet, and once I got the photos from the card, the WordPress application would stop responding and eventually shut down. I guess I’ll have to find a better system in the future because what I thought would be a quick way to blog was a long and annoying process.

When we first starting planning our honeymoon, I knew I wanted to go to Greece. And it exceeded expectations!!! After doing some research, I chose to work with Petros from Hellenic Holidays because of a recommendation from a reader. I could have just booked hotels on my own, but Greece was so far away and a bit overwhelming, so I wanted the guidance of someone who was really familiar with the area. Matt and I had several calls with Petros, who helped us choose Mykonos and Santorini, and eventually booked all the hotels, domestic airfare, ferries, transfers to and from hotels, and any excursions we wanted. It was super easy and I would definitely recommend Hellenic Holidays when traveling to Greece (or Turkey).

Mykonos

We decided on the Petasos Beach Hotel in Mykonos because it had cute rooms, a beautiful pool and restaurant, was next door to a popular beach, and right across the street from the bus into town. When we arrived, we didn’t have the greatest view from our balcony, and the staff took us to two other rooms and let us choose another! We ended up with a bigger and better room with a killer view out to the pool and sea.

IMG_2406.JPG


IMG_2408.JPG
My favorite part of the hotel was the pool. There were huge beach beds and wonderful chairs with umbrellas and the view was amazing. We wanted to start off the honeymoon with pure relaxation, and this was the perfect spot to do just that.


IMG_2409.JPG
The room rate included a wonderful buffet breakfast, and we got to dine with this view every morning.


IMG_2535.JPG
I loved making bowls of greek yogurt with dried fruit each morning, in addition to traditional greek dishes such as egg casserole with mushrooms.


IMG_2536.JPG
Our hotel was across the street from a public bus stop, so it was easy to make the ten minute trip into Mykonos town each night for dinner.


IMG_2427.JPG
The town was amazing and enchanting! All the buildings were white and the little streets winded into a huge maze. Mykonos is known for being a party place, but the town was still romantic and beautiful and I really loved it. We thought about going to a club one night, but the 25 Euro entrance fee and our full stomaches sent us to bed instead.


IMG_2458.JPG
We spent one day at the Platys Gialos beach right beside our hotel. It was a bit crowded, but lined with beach tavernas offering drinks and casual lunch. I loved that you could use the chairs and umbrellas in front of one of the tavernas as long as you ordered a beer or had lunch inside.


IMG_2470.JPG
Another day, we rented an ATV and explored the more secluded parts of the island. This was definitely one of my favorite activities! We discovered this beautiful cove and swam, and then had lunch had another adorable taverna. We also made the trek out to the famous paradise beach and had a drink at the club and observed the beach party.


IMG_2514.JPG
The food in Greece was amazing! I might even argue the meals we had in Greece were better than the ones we had in Italy. I loved the grilled meats, tzatziki  sauce, fresh seafood, and the feta! I was also obsessed with all the items that came wrapped in puff pastry! The white wines were great in Mykonos, and I had sparking or sweet wine everyday with lunch:)


IMG_2525.JPG
The above tomato mussels and the below baklava were beyond delicious!

IMG_2531.JPG

Santorini

As I said in a previous post, Santorini is the most amazing place I’ve ever been, with Mykonos as a close second. Everywhere I turned, the scenery was breathtaking. The food was also fantastic, the people nice, and there were wineries!!

We stayed in Astra Suites – our biggest splurge of the trip – in Imerovigli . A lot of people opt to stay in Oia when in Santorini, but we liked having the option to walk into the main town of Fira, and in my opinion the views were the best we experienced from anywhere on the island – I believe Imerovigli is the highest point along the cliff.

IMG_2549.JPG
Our room was on the second floor of the little building below and we had two balconies!


IMG_2729.JPG
Most hotels in Santorini seem pretty basic compared to hotels in the US because they are essentially caves on the side of a cliff! But we loved our little room and were mesmerized by the view whenever we looked out the window.


IMG_2552.JPG
We enjoyed a complimentary bottle of local red wine when we arrived, and the next day, we were surprised with prosecco! Sipping wine on the balcony and watching the ridiculous sunsets was a highlight of the trip!


IMG_2570.JPG


IMG_2571.JPG
The Astra breakfasts were also a highlight! We got to chose which items we wanted the night before and were awakened with a phone call each morning telling us breakfast was on its way. The mornings were chilly and it was wonderful to warm up with coffee and hot croissants.


IMG_2607.JPG
The pool area was great as well, although a bit small so you had to grab a chair early. We ate lunch by the pool two days in a row and the baguette sandwiches and herb fries were terrific.


IMG_2726.JPG
Another thing I loved about Santorini was the cliffside walking path that we could take into town each night. It was a gorgeous 40 minute stroll into Fira town.


IMG_2779.JPG

IMG_2781.JPG

IMG_2788.JPG

We rented a car one day and checked out some of the wineries. Because of the volcanic ash in the soil, Santorini produces some unique wine and I really loved the ones we tasted. We visited Argyros and Sigilas and I think one called Art Space?

IMG_2737.JPG


Sigalas was my favorite, as there is a beautiful outdoor terrace and we had a wonderful bread, olive, and cheese plate.

IMG_2748.JPG
Another activity that I loved was a sailing excursion set up by Hellenic Holidays! We went down to the dock in the late afternoon and went sailing with a small group on a catamaran.

IMG_2636.JPG


IMG_2655.JPG
Just hanging out on the boat and the net above was fun, and we actually sailed to the middle of the caldera (underwater volcano) and went swimming in the mineral springs. I couldn’t tell much difference in the temperature of the water, but it was fun to just jump into the Aegean off the boat.

IMG_2679.JPG

We also had a really fresh dinner with grilled chicken and pork, calamari and shrimp, greek pasta salad, and local beer and wine!

IMG_2686.JPG
The food in Santorini was just as tasty as the food in Mykonos – I think I finally developed a taste for olives, especially the purple ones paired with feta and a piece of crusty bread.

IMG_2800.JPG

IMG_2804.JPG

Below is an example of one of my puff pastry obsessions – lamb cooked with cheese and spices in puff pastry with tzatziki  sauce. Heavenly!

IMG_2815.JPG

And that’s Greece for you! I was so sad to leave and actually wished we had done more islands. It was so easy to just jump on a ferry and head to another island. Greece definitely holds a special place in my heart now and I’m drying to go back!!!


  • Christen
    July 19, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    What an amazing honeymoon! Love all your post about food and wine. Can’t wait to see you post on your favorite Dallas spots!

  • Candice
    July 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

    Thank you for the detailed post! Is there anything you wished you could have done differerntly? Did you fly into Athens? How many days did you spend there? Did you feel like it was crowded/busy season? If it’s not too personal, around how much did this trip cost? I am so happy to hear you had such a wonderful trip.

    • elaine
      July 23, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      This is fantastic – exactly what my fiance and I are hoping to do for our honeymoon. I also echo all of Candice’s questions (flight into Athens/cost). I’m also wondering if you felt safe going into town and taking public transportation. Approximately how much did you spend on meals per day? I’ve only been to all inclusive places in Mexico so I don’t know how much people usually budget, Again, thanks so much for this awesome post!

      • Laura
        July 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm

        We def. felt safe and used the public bus system often! Flights to Athens can vary a lot, but we paid about $1100, which I guess is pretty typical for europe. We didn’t spend any time there though:( We budgeted about 120 Euros for food each day, and it was very comfortable. We didn’t eat at many high-end restaurants though, because the food was great everywhere!

    • Laura
      July 30, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Sorry for the slow response – missed this comment! I wished we had more time in Greece and had done at least one more island. We did fly into Athens, but we did not spend any time there. Mykonos did not feel crowded at all at the end of June, but when we got to Santorini, it started to feel crowded, mostly because of the cruise ships. It wasn’t so crowded that it was annoying though, and I’d recommend going at the end of June. The trip was a lot, since we combined Greece and a nice cruise:) In general, you can expect to spend at least $1000-$1400 on flights, 100-150 Euros a day on food, and anywhere between 70 and 300 Euros/night for a hotel. Hope that helps!

  • Sarah
    July 24, 2013 at 12:23 am

    Looks like an amazing trip! Love the light in Greece. Kind of a random question, but I find myself shopping over and over again in the same stores. Do you have any favorites?

    • Laura
      July 25, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      I like Francescas and random finds at departments stores like Macys, Nordstrom, Belks, ect.

  • Cara
    July 24, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    My husband and I stayed at the Astra for our honeymoon in 2009. Agree with all of your comments- the island and hotel are AMAZING. Thanks for all of the pics – such a trip down memory lane! Trying to figure out a way to go back for our 5th anniversary!!!

  • Caroline @ After Dinner Dance
    July 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm

    Hi! I love all your pictures and information on your honeymoon! My fiancé and I are getting married in April and want to go to the Greek Islands. We are debating whether to do a cruise or just do a package with someone like Hellenic Holidays. I’d love to know if you enjoyed the cruise more, or your previously planned Greek Island trip more! Thanks!!

    • Laura
      July 29, 2013 at 9:37 am

      I liked the Greek Islands portion of the trip because we had more time in each place and I found it more relaxing! It’s easy to get from island-to-island with the ferries too.

  • Ruby Hoose
    July 29, 2013 at 11:35 am

    Greece is such a wondrful place to visit because of its very rich culture and tradition. Not only that, they have one of the nicest views of the water atop unique picturesque buildings. I am amazed at how they planned their structures to be build beside high cliffs. Anyway, thanks a lot for sharing. Seems like both of you really had a wonderful time as seen in your lovely photos.

    • Laura
      July 30, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      The buildings were so neat and I just couldn’t believe how everything was literally built into the cliffs! I’m dying to go back!

  • Kelli H (Made in Sonoma)
    August 2, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    I wanna be in Greece after looking at these pics!

  • Ramya
    August 6, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    Amazing pics Laura ! Food sure looks yummy ..how was the night life ??
    We (me and my husband) are going to Mykonos – Santorini in a few days and are pretty excited about it !!

    • Laura
      August 7, 2013 at 8:34 pm

      honestly, we were too full and tired to attempt going out – the clubs didn’t get going until around 1am! But the club scene in Mykonos seemed pretty ridiculous! Have fun!

  • Nicole
    February 19, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Hi Laura,

    I know this is an older post, but I am researching a trip to Greece. How long did you spend on each island? Did you feel it was enough? BTW- love your blog!

    • Laura
      February 19, 2014 at 10:59 am

      We spent 3 nights on Mykonos and 4 on Santorini. It was definately enough to see the islands and enjoy the town. If you want a bit more relaxation, you might consider staying an additional night.

  • Alisa
    March 1, 2014 at 11:55 pm

    We are booking our honeymoon for this upcoming July in Santorini, Mykonos., and Athens. Thank you so much for posting this information about your stay as it has been very helpful for our planning process! Can you please provide with the must eat at restaurants in each location as well as the sailing excursion, winery tour, and other things you wished you would have done or seen!

    Thank you in advance!

    Alisa

    • Laura
      March 2, 2014 at 10:16 am

      I’m jealous – I’d LOVE to go back! In Santorini, we liked Assyrtico and [I think] Archipelagos Restaurant in Fira Town. In Mykonos, I’d recommend Lotus restaurant and M-Eating in Mykonos Town. Honestly though, every single restaurant, including little hole-in-the-wall places, were great because all the food was so fresh. We generally just walked around and found places or got recommendations from hotel staff rather than researching places and making reservations in advance. The sailing excursion was booked through our travel agent at Hellenic Holidays, so I’m not sure of the name of the company:( For wineries on Santorini, I’d recommend doing a tasting with a cheese platter at Sigalas in Oia. We rented a car to get there and also used it to drive to Perissa and Kamari beaches. In Mykonos, I’d recommend renting a four wheeler to explore the island and go to some of the secluded beaches.

      Have so much fun!

      • Alisa
        April 20, 2014 at 8:05 pm

        How costly was the sailing excursion? I have looked at a few that look similar to the one in your pictures but wanted to ask about costs, length of tour, and other recommended excursions!?

        Thanks!

        • Laura
          April 21, 2014 at 8:49 am

          I’m not sure because our travel agent booked it… But I’m guessing maybe $100 per person? it was about 4 or 5 hours in length including a full dinner and drinks
          The other things we did in Santorini included visiting wineries and beaches and I would definitely recommend both!!

  • Nicole
    May 6, 2014 at 10:02 am

    Hi Laura- just another question- Did you find it easy to use credit cards on the islands? I am just trying to figure out how many Euros we should plan to take or if we can plan to use our credit card for the majority of the trip (which has no international fees). Thank you!

    • Laura
      May 8, 2014 at 1:54 pm

      Yes! We used credit for most of our dinners, and then used cash at small shops, tavernas, or for little purchases/tipping. Have fun!

  • Lee
    August 21, 2014 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Laura, my husband and I were planning to do an impromptu belated honeymoon at the end of next month – last week of September to first week of October – and a Santorini, Athens, and Meteora (the area with the monastaries). The concerning thing which might prevent us from going is we’ve been reading so much about the mosquitoes in Greece during the warm months of May to October as being a huge problem – read stories about couples going to the doctor’s office because the bites got infected, impossible to sleep at night because of the pests, etc. etc. and also the increase in Malaria the last few years in Greece. And we don’t want to use toxic chemicals like DEET, so we’d be pretty limited in the prevention department. Did you encounter any issues with mosquitoes? What month did you go? Did you hear of any stories regarding this issue? Also, is it true you can only drink bottled water in Santorini? Any issues with water and cleanliness of the restrooms in Greece? Sorry for so many questions. Thanks!

    • Laura
      August 21, 2014 at 9:03 pm

      We didn’t have any issues at all! But then again, I probably wouldn’t remember if I just had a couple of bites. We went the last week of June. I believe we drank bottled water the entire trip but that’s pretty much the case everywhere in Europe. All the bathrooms were fine too!! We only went to Santorini and Mykonos though and were in relatively touristy areas.

      • Lee
        August 22, 2014 at 11:14 am

        Thanks Laura. You are lucky. I’ve heard of too many not so good stories. Maybe I’ll give it a go and just cover up.

  • Kai Jie
    April 8, 2015 at 8:19 am

    Hi!

    May I ask which type of suite did you stay in Santorini at Astra Suites?

    Thank you!

    • Laura
      April 8, 2015 at 6:50 pm

      We stayed in a senior suite (the one with the teal floors and purple bedding).