When I lived in Norway I felt pretty burnt out for a while. Not the type of working-too-much burnt out, but the I-had-to-go-through-a-lot-of-changes type. And then there was winter and I was just so tired from the darkness and the rain. So when my dear friend Bec from Sydney told me she had tickets to some Greek islands in August, I had to join.
Three things I have liked about the Greek islands…..the landscape, the people and the food! We hit Mykonos and enjoyed windy corner, white streets, great food, cold beers, sandy beaches, margaritas and clear blue water.
Arriving in Mykonos, my first visit, Bec was already waiting for me at our little hotel “Casa Bianca” with cold beers. We caught up on our lives by the pool for hours, enjoying the warm wind. It was our base for a week. Close to the beach in Ornos we were based well to explore our surroundings and the island. I had no idea how hilly Mykonos was and renting a car was an adventure for itself. Driving manual over 70% steep hills was a huge challenge and I sweated a lot during the first hours.
A lot of people rent scooters but we have seen many accidents and thought we would be safer in a car. It seems nicer and easier to get around on a scooter or quad bike (very popular alternative) and you get this island feeling much better, but if you, like Bec and I, like a safer option, a rental car might be the better option for you as well.
We visited most famous beaches, ate the islands best food at Kiki´s which lays above Ayios Sostis beach, danced a night away at Paradise beach and wandered the beautiful little streets of Mykonos town almost every day.
Naxos: We were told Naxos would be waste of time but we disagree. On arrival, we already enjoyed this little island. Away from all the scooters and many people, Naxos was a little gem. The streets were mostly empty, we found cute local shops and the food was absolutely delicious. After a day´s tour inland, exploring by bus and foot we had lunch at Nicolas in Filoti. If you do pass this town don´t miss out and eat here. Good selection, well priced, cute and authentic.
My tips and likes:
- Expect the Greeks doing things at Greek time meaning, allow for extra time all the time
- Island hopping via ferry can be a bit stressful. So make sure to be an hour early at the terminal in order to find your bearings
- If the ferry ride is a long one you might want to book an allocated seat. In peak season the ferries are very full and on a hot day, you will just get roasted on the outer deck.
- Liking tomatoes? Eat as much Greek salad as you can. The tomatoes are so juicy and rich in flavours
- Beer in the supermarkets is very cheap. For a beer lover like me, it´s heaven. Try the local brews
- Always carry a good amount of cash with you. Lots of shops give you discounts if you pay cash
- Look out for the old, coloured doors you find in the little side streets
- Enjoy a cocktail at Little Venice in Mykonos town. A waterfront promenade full of little bars that fill up in the early evening hours