I visited Santorini and Mykonos, as well as Cairo and Istanbul!
A sweet cat near the windmills in Mykonos; walking through Mykonos Town.
- Greece is very tourist friendly, especially in comparison to Egypt. Not in terms of people, as I found locals who were very interested to talk to us in both countries, but in ease of navigation and how many people spoke English.
- Both islands are navigable without a tour guide, and the locals are used to giving recommendations.
- People are taking pictures everywhere! It's definitely a bloggers' heaven, as everyone is used to it, and you'll be comfortable if it's your first time shooting in public. Still important to relax a bit though!
- Santorini is quite the leg workout! Especially on the caldera side, it was all steps and our luggage would've been impossible to transport if we hadn't had our Airbnb hosts helping.
Watching the sunset in Oia, apparently world famous!
- Stay on the caldera side of Santorini, if possible. It's more expensive, but worth it. We saved some money by looking on AirBnb!
- In Oia, there aren't street numbers or names for any of the stores. We met our AirBnb host by the bus stop (there's only one), and they led us there.
- Even shoulder season is crowded! We went in April, and Santorini was still packed. I can't imagine trying to do anything in the summer. On the other hand, Mykonos was a bit too quiet; it doesn't start to fill up until after Orthodox Easter.
- Mykonos is known for partying and bars, and is also apparently very gay friendly - as a cab driver in Athens told us!
Views of Oia.
What to do + where to go
- Sunset in Oia is a must! Try and grab a spot on the castle ruins if you can, but seats fill up fast. We had dinner during, and it was a great view.
- Fira and Oia Village are both great for shopping, though they have more of a touristy vibe. I didn't see any shops that felt very authentic.
- The Oia to Fira cliff walk is said to be worth it, especially at dusk or before sunset. I didn't get a chance to do this, but supportive shoes would be a must, especially as there are many steps and cobblestones.
- Our host also recommended Kamari Beach and Perivolos Beach, which are known for their black sand, but being from California, we weren't as interested.
- Dinner at Amoudi Bay was also suggested, though I couldn't make it down the steps because of a fever and headache. I believe you can go cliff jumping as well.
- Nearly all the restaurants we ate at were amazing! To be able to keep running in such a competitive environment, they would have to be, so it's hard to go wrong there.
Windmills of Mykonos - it was actually quite windy, and much colder than Santorini.
Of all the places I visited, Greece was the most picturesque and relaxing, Egypt the most shocking, and Istanbul the most stimulating. I can't wait to hop on the next plane somewhere!