We began our 2-month Greece trip in Rhodes Greece. We arrived on August 29 from Cyprus and headed straight to our Airbnb which was in their Old Town. We immediately fell in love with the location and could not wait to explore it.
What we were most excited for was to meet up with Natalie and Kathy! They were flying in from Houston and were going to be arriving the next day. Natalie will be staying with us for the entire 2 months we will be in Greece, but Kathy is actually going to be staying with us until June! Excited about this new adventure we will be experiencing with them, we set up our Airbnb by going to the grocery store and then to dinner.
We did many fun and exciting things in Rhodes like watching a 9D movie about the history of Rhodes, walking the streets of Old Town, and a road trip.
We arrived at Heraklion, Crete after 15 hours on a ferry and drove to our Airbnb which was located in Chania, about 1 hour away from Heraklion. Our Airbnb was a hit, it had AC, fast WIFI, and great beds!
The next morning, we headed to the grocery store to get some food since we were staying in Chania for 1 week. Thankfully, the store was only a 5-minute walk so we did not need to take the van. When we arrived, we were all shocked to see that it was an actual grocery store and not a mini market like usual! We got enough food for breakfasts and dinners, but also not too much so we could enjoy local cuisine.
Later that day, Natalie, Kathy, Don, and I headed to Chania’s old port. It was a short drive to the parking, and then a short walk from there to the port. We were so amazed at how the waves kept crashing down on the rocks, it was beautiful! We walked to the old port and saw the lighthouse, the restaurants on the edge of the water, and all the stores.
We were in love! We decided to sit down at one of those restaurants to enjoy the views and for some appetizers and drinks. After that, we did some shopping and more walking around the port, when suddenly it started sprinkling! We decided to sit down at small restaurant hidden on a small street and have a salad and drinks to wait out the rain. Once the rain stopped and we were done eating, we headed home.
The following day, we headed out to Falasarna Beach and the views heading there were spectacular! The water was the bluest we have ever seen; a beautiful turquoise color and it made us so excited to get in.
Unfortunately, once we got there, we realized that the weather was not in our favor since it was a bit chilly, and the wind was a bit rough. Still, we decided to rent some sun beds and enjoy the views.
Bethany, Don, and I went in despite the cold water and went snorkeling. When we got out, it was so cold and windy! Sand was flying everywhere, it was in our hairs, clothes, and hitting us hard. We decided it was time to head back and stopped at a restaurant to eat lunch. We headed back home and got some rest since the beach always drains us.
The next couple of days were not as exciting. Since the internet was great, we decided to catch up on work and homework that needed to be done. We were all very productive and a much-needed time to set ourselves up for the adventures that were coming up.
One honorable mention from our trip was this awesome restaurant that we ate at! We were looking for something different than the local cuisine and we found an Asian sushi restaurant. This was one of the best meals we had from a restaurant. The sushi was delicious, and the best part was the Bao buns that Natalie got. The restaurant’s name was BaoTao Sushi Asian modern restaurant located in Chania. We highly recommend this place if you are looking for a break from Greek food.
Sadly, our time in Crete was up, but we were all so excited for our next destination!
This island was one of the islands I was most excited for, I mean it is SANTORINI! The magical white and blue houses, the beautiful sunsets, and the ambiance of Santorini! I was ecstatic, especially for our Airbnb.
We arrived from Crete on a ferry, and we had a driver waiting for us to take us to Oia. The drive was about 20 minutes from the port to Oia.
When we arrived to where our Airbnb was, we noticed that these guys just started to take our luggage. We were confused and worried, but then George, our Airbnb host, met us and told us not to worry about anything.
We headed to the house, but since we were a little early and they were still cleaning it, so we headed out for lunch. George recommended a restaurant called Skala, so we headed that way. They were not kidding when they said that Santorini had a lot of stairs! It was only an 8-minute walk, but it felt like 20 minutes with all the stairs. Still, the views we saw when walking where spectacular.
Once we reached the restaurant, we noticed it was not open yet, so we decided to just wait till they opened in a few minutes. Then, the owner saw us and asked if we were with George, we said yes, and she sat us right away. We were so impressed with the service and the food! The Tzatziki we had was one of the best ones we had in Greece.
After lunch, we headed back to the Airbnb and settled in. We were actually staying in a windmill, with the iconic view of the sunset. We were so excited to see the sunset that we set an alarm to make sure we did not miss it. The alarms went off, and we went out onto our balcony. We were so surprised to see the amount of people standing in the street to catch a glimpse of the sunset.
We sat down and took pictures and videos as the sun went down. The sunset was memorizing, and it went by in second!
The next day, we woke up early to go on the famous hike from Thira to Oia, which was supposed to be only an hour and a half hike. The beginning of the hike was beautiful, as it felt as if we were walking above the clouds. The views were fantastic!
We decided to climb Skaros Rock, on which the ruins of an ancient castle as well as a Greek Orthodox Church can be found. We then walked through an area of very nice homes and small hotels. The walk then became less of a walk on concrete and more of a hike. We underestimated the walk, and the heat was taking its toll. Fortunately, we found a man selling fresh fruit and water and we were replenished.
The rest of the walk back to Oia was tiring as it required sharp focus on the walkway as there were lots of small, slippery rocks. We got home so drained and just wanted to shower and rest. We all took a nap and rested from our unusually long hike. Like clockwork, we went out onto the balcony to the sunset. Again, we were amazed at the beauty of the Santorini sunsets!
The next day, we headed out to port to catch our catamaran boat trip. We were all so excited to be able to explore Santorini on a boat and to places we probably would’ve never gone to!
The first stop we made was at the Caldera, which had real volcanic rock and some hot springs. We got off to swim around for a bit while the crew prepared lunch for us. The water was a little bit cold, but still very pretty.
We tried to find the hot spots from volcanic activity that the captain pointed out, but we didn’t really find any. Regardless, we all enjoyed swimming around, but we were hungry.
When we got back on the boat, lunch was served. It all looked so delicious! We had bread with tzatziki, rice with corn, chicken and sausages, shrimp in garlic sauce, mussels, and a salad. We devoured that food; it was the best meal we had in Santorini.
After lunch we set sail to the next place, the Black Sand Beach. Once we arrived at the Black Sand Beach, we got in the water and took our snorkeling gear. The captain mentioned that this was the best place to snorkel, and he was right. We saw so many little fishes swimming around in the crystal blue water.
Unfortunately, the catamaran tour came to an end, and we went back to the harbor. We went back to our Airbnb exhausted, and ready to shower and see the sunset.
The following day was our last day in Santorini, so we decided to do some shopping and explore Oia some more. It was such a beautiful island and town, we loved it.
For dinner time, our Airbnb host, George got us a reservation at Pacman by our request. This was recommended to us by a friend, so why not go for sunset. It was a short walk from our Airbnb, and it was beautiful. We had an amazing table right by the pool and had the best sunset view!
The prices were very expensive, and the food was not the best. We would not recommend this restaurant as there are many other less expensive and better tasting restaurants.
The next morning, George had breakfast ready for us before checking out. It was such a delicious breakfast, we had yogurt, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and orange juice. We headed to the port to catch our ferry to Ios.
We arrived to Ios in about 30 minutes from Santorini. When we got to the port, we had a driver waiting for us to take us to our Airbnb. The drive there was only about 5 minutes, but it was on a very steep hill.
We settled in, and the driver was nice enough to take us to the market, wait for us, and take us back! We have noticed that the people here in Greece are all so friendly and accommodating!
Unfortunately, the WIFI here was not the best again. We tried our best to get as much work done as possible because we did not get much work done in Santorini. The views were amazing from the top of the hill, and as the sun started setting, we saw the most beautiful sunset for half the price as Santorini!
We would only be in Ios for 3 days, so the next morning Don and Nathan went out for a hike around the mountains, the Chora and the archeological site of Skarkos.
As for the rest of us, we all just stayed home and rested the next 3 days since the WIFI wasn’t the best. Although Ios is famous as the backpacker’s party scene, there was no partying for us! Our next ferry was to the island of Folegandros.
We arrived to Folegandros late at night, and we had a driver waiting to take us to our Airbnb. He was not able to take us directly to the house since we were staying in the Chora where no cars were allowed. It was a quick walk, but a beautiful one.
The courtyards were lit up, and full of greenery! We were so excited to see it in daylight.
We settled into our Airbnb, it was so cute and antique, but the only downside was it did not have air conditioner.
We went out for a late dinner at one of the courtyards closest to the house and it was good. We loved that everything was within walking distance and pretty inexpensive. We were only going to be here for a few days, so our groceries were very minimal.
The following day, we did some work and then Don and I went on a small hike to the church that was nearby.
The views were amazing from up there! We went back to the house, and the kids went to go buy some gyros. They were delicious and cheap!
For dinner, we went to their most popular Italian restaurant, and it was quite good. Not the best, since we have had authentic Italian food in Italy, but still a great break from Greek food. We did some small shopping in the stores that were open, and then headed home.
The next day for breakfast, we went to a restaurant near the house, and it was great! After breakfast, I took Bethany with me, and we went to rent a little vespa for her!
She loved driving it around the town, beeping as people came around and played her music! The rest of the day we did some more work and schoolwork for the kids. Our stay came to an end, but we were excited for our next destination!
Another ferry, another island! This one we would be staying in for a week, and we were extremely happy to settle down for a little bit.
We walked from the port to the rental car place, and then headed to dinner. At dinner we got to see the sunset a little bit, and Bethany really enjoyed the playground. After dinner, we headed to a small grocery store to get some essentials for a few days. We were all so tired, but we headed to the Airbnb. When we arrived, we were starstruck at how pretty it was and the view! We had a waterfront house; the ocean was literally our front yard.
We were so excited to just be able to walk a few steps and jump in. We settled in for the night to get some rest. The next morning, we finally had good WIFI to catch up on some work. After a late breakfast, Nathan and Don went out on the standup paddleboard to explore our surrounding area.
The next days, we worked a lot to catch up on the work we missed and the work we might not be able to get done the next couple of weeks.
I will say that the homemade dinners we made were some of the bests we have had. We made stir-fry, homemade fettuccini alfredo, and steak. One thing about our house that we loved, was that it was a bit secluded, and we could see the stars and the milky way above us! One day we went to the fisherman village next to us with beautiful colored houses called Klima.
We had brunch there and we met a fellow Texan! We strolled around the houses, walked on the beach, and Nathan, Bethany, and Don went for a swim. After relaxing for a little bit, we walked to the amphitheater and the catacombs they had there. The catacombs were pretty small and did not have that many skulls compared to the ones in Paris, but it was unique.
After we explored the amphitheater, we headed over to the “moon beach”. The actual name of the beach is Sarakiniko beach, and it was breathtaking!
It was like nothing we had ever seen before, the waves crashing against the rocks, the white hills of hard sand rock, and the blue water.
Unfortunately, it was windy and therefore the waves were crashing hard, so we did not get in. We explored the caves and one of them looked like a hotel. The cave went on for miles, with a new corridor every single step to take in further. It was amazing!
Nathan saw some guys jumping in, and one of them was kind enough to show Nathan where to safely jump and get out. So, Nathan jumped, and he said it was extremely cool. After our little adventure, we headed back home to work and get dinner started. The next day it was time for us to leave, so we headed to the port and waited until our ferry arrived to take us to our next island.
At this point, I think that SeaJets should sponsor us! We arrived quickly from Milos, and we were waiting for our taxi, but he wasn’t there. The walk to our Airbnb was only about 3-4 minutes but it was uphill! We decided to just do it and take breaks going up. We did get a little lost since the address wasn’t very accurate, but we found it!
We were so exhausted from going up, so we all took a break before heading out to the groceries and dinner. The WIFI was just okay as it would work good at times and then not.
We did get some work done while we rested, but then we got hungry. Kathy and Don found an Italian restaurant called Passione Italiana, so we decided to give it a try. It was a quick walk from the house, and right on the water. Kathy and I got so excited to see our favorite wine, Moscato, on the menu! We have seen it at other restaurants, but it was not the sweet one we like. This one was the one we loved, so of course we got some.
The food was delicious, honestly the best one yet. Everyone’s food was phenomenal! We took some wine to go since we loved it and because it was hard to find. Little did we know that this restaurant would become our favorite restaurant on this island! We went to get some groceries for the week, and then headed up the hill. Once we got to the house, everyone was out of breath and probably hungry again from that work out!
The next day, we woke up and got to work on anything we had to do. Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor. It was extremely windy with wind gusts up to 30 mph! We decided to just stay home a few days and get as much work done as we could. A couple of those days, we got takeout from the Italian restaurant for lunch and dinner.
Finally, one day we had better weather, so we rented a car to explore the island for the day. Our first stop was the Agios Symeon Greek Orthodox Church at the very top of a mountain. The views were amazing, and you could see the entire port city of Kamares where we were staying!
We met a wonderful couple from France that welcomed us to meet them in France. Our next stop was at the City of Kastro, and we hiked down to the Church of the Seven Martyrs. This church is very popular for weddings, and we could see why. The water surrounds the Church which makes it look so beautiful!
Unfortunately, the hike back up was very tiring since it was all steps, so we sat down at the only restaurant open to eat and rest. After we rested up and ate, we headed to the beach.
The first beach we drove to was very beautiful, but it did not have a lot of shade and lounge chairs. We decided to head to the more popular beach and see how that one was. That one did have lounge chairs and plenty of restaurant choices if we wanted to grab a bite to eat. The water felt great since it was a bit hot outside. We very much enjoyed this beach called Paralia Platis Gialos, but it did start to get dark soon, so we headed back home.
For dinner, no surprise, we had Italian! We were really going to miss that place. The following day was time to leave to our next destination! We were so excited for this next island!
We arrived at Mykonos Port! We headed to get our rental van that was going to meet us at the port. After getting everything signed and ready to go, we headed to our Airbnb.
The drive from the port to our Airbnb was only about 15 minutes. When we got there, our host met us and showed us around the property. We were so excited because the villa was huge! There were 4 “separate” properties that all shared the pool and the outside. We actually rented the whole place out because we had family coming to see us! We were going to be here for a week, so my cousin Marisa and her family were coming.
After settling into our rooms, we went to the grocery store to get the essentials for the week. We got so much food, drinks, and snacks as wanted to have plenty for everyone. Around 4pm, Kathy, Bethany, Don, and I went to get new sim cards for our phones and then to the airport to pick up the cousins. The Mykonos airport was not as chaotic since the season was over, and we surprised the Martinez family by picking them up ourselves.
We headed back home and let them rest and freshen up from their travels. As they rested, we started dinner, and were excited to eat dinner outside with a view. Bethany and Nathan were excited to have their cousins there to play with. It was so great to have family come and take time out of their lives to come see us. We stayed up late catching up, and they surprised us with snacks that we missed from the USA! Literally a suitcase full of snacks for us! We felt so loved.
The following day after breakfast, we decided to go to a small town and the beach even though it was forecasted to be windy. We arrived at the town called Ano Mera, went into the monastery, and then explored the town.
After that, we went to Paralia Kalo Livadi Beach and chose to go to Solymar beach club. I will say that the prices were definitely higher than other islands, so be prepared for that. The service was great, and the beach was amazing. The kids had so much fun and said they never wanted to leave. They did get a little hungry, so we went to the restaurant they had there. We decided to share some fish and lamb. They took us to choose the fish we wanted, and then they cooked the fish. We didn’t wait long before they brought out the fish and lamb and deboned it in front of us. They also served our plates which we thought was great service.
After lunch, the kids were back in the water having fun. The sun set and it started to get chilly, so we headed back home. While we enjoyed the “world famous” Solymar, I would not return due to the extremely high prices.
The next day we got ready to go sightseeing and go to the little Venice area. Our first sightseeing stop was the lighthouse at Faros Armenistis. The views from up there were amazing, we got to see islands on the horizon and the ocean. We took photos and explored, until we drove to little Venice and the windmills. The street leading into the windmills was narrow and very small for 1 car, much less a van, but we made it to the parking area.
We got to see the famous windmills and took pictures, and then headed to our next destination in little Venice. We headed to an art gallery named Rarity Gallery that showcased modern art from contemporary artist. It was actually free since it wasn’t completely open, but the gallery was just okay.
After that, the girls and the boys split up. We went to go shopping, while the boys went to eat gelato. There were a lot of stores closed, but we still managed to do some damage. Around sunset time, we headed to little Venice to the restaurant that we had a reservation for.
The sunset was spectacular, and dinner was great with wonderful people. The following day, we headed to the port since we had a catamaran tour of the island. We had a wonderful captain that showed us the best part of the island to visit when it was extremely windy. We also got to experience something new on the boat, we got a SeaBob! The kids and the adults all had so much fun riding the SeaBob and seeing all the fishes. The lunch was very delicious, and the captain made us rice with vegetables, salads, and clams. We had so much fun experiencing this with our family, especially since they really wanted to do it.
The next day, we drove Marisa and her husband Armando to the port since they were going to Santorini for some couple time! With all the kids at home, we decided to have a game night with them. We had so much fun and laughs playing Jackbox with them.
After that, we learned that the ferries were being cancelled due to bad winds. So, Marissa and Armando stayed in Santorini a little longer and we took the kids to a go-kart racetrack the next day.
We had so much fun racing, and Bethany got to drive her own go-kart! We were very hungry after that, so we went to eat some burgers and then went home. Once they came back from Santorini, we went to another beach called Platis Gialos Beach.
Again, the kids had a great time, and this is the beach we would recommend. We were thankful to our host who directed us to beaches that do not have as much wind.
Another week passed, and it was time to leave Mykonos. We were very sad to see our family leave us, but we were so glad that they came and spent time with us. We left to the port to get on the ferry to Paros, and they headed to little Venice since they had some hours to spare before they had to be at the airport.
We only stayed in Paros for one night before the sailing trip. The hotel was about at 10-minute walk from the port, and right on the main road. We went out to eat dinner at restaurant that was only a 2-minute walk away from the hotel, and the food was just okay. It was one of the only the restaurants opened. Since the season was coming to an end, many of the restaurants and shops were closed. After dinner, we watched the sunset while eating some amazing gelato.
The kids went back to the hotel while Don and I went to do some shopping. The following day we went out to breakfast next door, and we had what they call an “American” breakfast. The food was delicious, but not American. We had a long and very interesting conversation with the server. He told us his life story and we told him what we were doing, he was very interesting and nice.
After breakfast, we had a few hours until we had to go to the boat, so we decided to just walk around Paros. The time came, and we went to the port where our boat and captain were.
Before we sailed off, we went to the grocery store and got the essentials for the week. We got as much as we could, but we knew we would be able to go to the store at other ports. Our captain Niko explained how the boat worked and what we couldn’t do. The list was very reasonable like no toilet paper in toilet and conserving water.
After getting settled into to the boat, we headed off to our first stop, Anti-Paros. When we got there, we got on the dingy to get to the port. We walked through the streets, and we noticed that almost all the restaurants and stores were closed. We finally found a restaurant that was open and ate there. The food was okay, and then we headed back to the boat for the night.
The following day, we started the long stretch to reach the lesser Cyclades islands under Naxos. It was a bit choppy due to the winds, so we all took motion sickness pills. We stopped at a bay 3 hours in, to make breakfast. Nathan and Don jumped in the water while we prepared breakfast.
After breakfast we all took more motion sickness pills and set sail for another 4 hours to the island of Iraklia. We were going to anchor at the port of Iraklia for the night. There was only one restaurant open on this island, so we ate there for dinner.
At dinner we met a couple that was from Sweden! We conversated with them about our travel plans, and they mentioned that they had an Airbnb in Sweden. We headed back to the boat to get some sleep.
The next day we left early in the morning, and around 10 am we stopped at a bay to cook breakfast. Niko is so knowledgeable, and he knew where the best places were to shield us from bad weather. After that, we set sail to a beach that Niko likes to go to. This beach was the absolute highlight of the trip. Everyone had such a fun time! We used the paddleboards and swam to the beach to find sea glass!
It was on an island off Amorgos called Gramvoussa and it can only be reached by boat. We stayed there for about 3-4 hours before we set off to port at Amorgos. We went to a restaurant that Niko recommended for dinner, and the food was great! Most of the places were open which surprised us.
The following day we set sail again to another bay for breakfast, and then to another rocky beach. The winds were a bit rougher, but we still enjoyed the beach. We called it the Goat Beach because only goats lived there. This island was unexplored, and we really enjoyed seeing that. We ported at the island of Koufonisi and had dinner there. That night we decided that the next night we should spend the night in a bay to see the stars.
So, the next morning we went to the store to get the essentials for the next nights’ dinner and lunches. We went to a bay on the island of Kato Koufonision and made dinner for ourselves and Niko.
After dinner, we went out to the front of the boat to lay down and see the stars. We all saw about 3-4 shooting stars! It was amazing, and we were all glad we did it. The next day, Niko took us to these cool rock formations that are a tourist attraction.
It was called Faraglioni, and we explored it in our paddleboards. After exploring, we went to the port of Schinousa where we would be staying the night.
We had to do a 15-minute hike up to the Chora where the restaurants were. At the restaurant, they only had about 5 meal options that we could choose from since their season was over. Nonetheless, the food was amazing for it being our last day island hopping!
The next day, we set sail back to Paros where we would be staying the night before getting on the ferry. Our last night was memorable to say the least. A really big windstorm came in and the boat was swinging left to right and bumping onto the boat next to us. We had a restless night due to the motion and the wind howling. The next morning, we got ready, said our goodbyes and thank you to Niko, and headed to the ferry to Athens.
We arrived at Athens by a 4-hour ferry from Paros and headed to our hotel for 2 nights. The hotel we were staying was about a 20-minute walk to the Acropolis, and it had a view of it from the rooftop.
That first night we decided to rest up and not do anything too extreme. We went out to dinner at this Asian restaurant Kathy found, and it was so delicious! We ordered so much food, and all of it was so amazing. We were one of the only people at this restaurant, and we were surprised since it was one of the only ones open.
The following day, we had the hotel breakfast and headed to the Temple of Hephaestus. All the archeological sites were close by, so we got to see all of them. Then we started our ascent to the Acropolis, which was not as bad as we thought it would be. The views from the top were amazing!
We got to see all of Athens! After exploring all the archeological sites, we were very tired, so we got a taxi back to the hotel. Once we arrived, we made a reservation for the rooftop restaurant and headed there. The view of the Acropolis at night was gorgeous! We had a delicious dinner and enjoyed our last night together with Natalie.
These past 2 months exploring Greece have been beyond our expectations, and we never thought we would get to see as much as we did!
This was a trip of a lifetime within our trip of a lifetime! Just incredible. From Rhodes to Athens and in every Greek island we visited in between, this experience was incredible.
If someone was thinking about doing a similar trip, I would just say to keep the visit to Santorini and Mykonos shorter due to these islands being so expensive. I do think Santorini is a “must-see” because it has such a unique, volcanic, landscape, but I would probably stay outside of Oia.
I would also mention that our favorite islands were Rhodes, Milos and Sifnos and that we would happily return to all of them for a longer stay!