I have been fascinated by Greek philosophy and mythology since I did a course during my undergrad at Unimelb: Philosophy of Biology which involved studies of Plato and Aristotle.
I visited Greece last year in July and now I can say my love for Greece is so deep and strong that it makes me just see the good in it, and feel the need to share it. Firstly, I love the general concept of living life in Greece: good company, some home cooked food, a bottle of wine and a view to appreciate. I admire it so much I wrote an article about how much Greece inspired me.
I traveled around the birthplace of Philosophy with a perfectly planned itinerary. 7 days-3 islands. Here are some tips and suggestions.
Athens: Cradle of European Civilization
For me, Athens was more of a stopover en route to the islands. But it is a lot more than that. Athens is full of sophisticated sites, which include many pillars of Western History, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus. You cannot come to Athens and not visit the Acropolis, although the assent to the top is not that easy, the views are great.
The Acropolis is one of the landmarks of human history, the archeological site has the 2 temples of Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, one of them the famous Parthenon, the main doors, and temple of Nike, over 2100 years old this is the heart of the city and one of the beginnings for modern civilization. The site is under constant reconstruction and posses a breathtaking view of Athens. Ticket costs around 20 Euros.
Mykonos: The Easy Going Side
Mykonos is a beautiful little island. I highly recommend Little Venice, an enchanting area with two-storey buildings, hanging balconies and lovely terraces. You will find many bars there. Also do not miss the sunset from the windmills, it is gorgeous. There are lot of things to do in Mykonos and the locals are very friendly and easy to talk to. Don’t forget to try gyros! Mykonos is definitely a party island but for those looking beyond this, it can easily be considered one of the most magnificent islands in Greece. I did not go partying at all, instead I spent most of my days at the beach curled up with a good book and a cocktail.
Santorini: The Postcard Island
Santorini with its magical, unusual landscape and beautiful buildings is a magical island. An island that is a volcano, what could be dreamier? People are as usual friendly and the local desserts are amazing!
Oia was the highlight for me. Full of narrow cobbled streets, white houses and blue domed churches, Oia is a very beautiful and romantic place. It is unique, the atmosphere in the town is relaxing and the view out to the sea is excellent. Sunsets at Oia are breathtaking and don’t forget to search for this wonderful bookstore called Atlantis: one of the most magnificent bookstores I have ever seen!
I stayed at Youth Hostel Anna which was a 15 minute-walk from Perissa beach (black sand beach).
Some general tips about Greece:
- Most of central Athens is walkable , just take care while crossing roads.
- You can’t flush toilet paper in Greece, The Greek pipes just get clogged
- In Athens, if you want to cover ground fast, the modern metro is the way to go. In Santorini and Mykonos there are shuttle buses which you can book prior to arrival via your hostel. Local buses depart every hour or so and information can be gathered at hostel/hotel reception. There is not much information online about public transport in these two Islands.
- Tasty takeaway snacks like souvlaki and cheese or spinach pies are cheap and widely available.