I have always loved the sight of water. Clear, blue water stretching endlessly till the horizon and touching the sky beyond. I could look at it forever. It seems to calm me down every single time, I wonder why. I like just about everything about the sea- the waves, the sandy beach, the sound of the water, as if inviting you into its hollow wave-like arms.. and the blue sky above, touching the water neatly at every point on a horizontal line. Since childhood, I have dreamed of having a house with a water view. Greece is the perfect place for a water person like me. It combines breathtakingly beautiful views of miles and miles of crystal clear blue water with quaint blue-white walled towns and a happening yet comfortable vibe. It has some of the best sea views in the world and is truly as gorgeous as the Greek gods famed for their aesthetically perfect human form!
The first feeling I got about Athens was that it is unlike a typical capital with skyscrapers, glitzy malls or crowded city centers. What I witnessed instead was a cosy port-city surrounded by hills and a lot of greenery dotted with ancient architectural structures. The oldest of which is the Acropolis, located in the Athens historic center.
We stayed at the Herodion hotel which was located near the Athens historic center-Plaka and 5 minutes from the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. This allowed us to take leisurely walks to the Acropolis and shop and have dinner at the shopping district nearby. They get a thumbs up from me for the location which is the most peaceful yet charming part of Athens.
What to see:
Athens has a number of different options of hop on hop off city tours available . We did the full day city tour which included the Olympic Stadium, Acropolis , temple of Zeus and Piraeus – the biggest port of Greece. Climbing up to the Acropolis is recommended for the panoramic views of the Greek capital it provides. The centuries old structure gives you the feeling of being a tiny ant in Gods grand scheme of things.
If historical structures and architecture is not your idea of vacation, head over to the Greek islands which offer beaches, nightlife, romance and leisure in abundance.
Called the ‘Ibiza of the Mediterranean’ Mykonos is the party capital of Greece. It is the most popular of the Grecian islands and attracts the maximum tourists who come to witness its happening nightlife. Since we went in May which was just the start of the June-August tourist season we did not witness a lot of crowds or parties.
How To get there
We took a ferry from the Rafina port in Athens which takes 2.5- 3 hours to reach Mykonos. It’s is the most convenient and scenic way to travel to the Cyclades – the group of islands at the southeast of the mainland in the Aegean Sea.
At the Petinos Beach Hotel which is bang on the Platis Gialos beach…they serve killer Baklava in their restaurant( Now that’s foodie gold!)
What to see:
Mykonos Town and the 5 windmills are a must visit. The pristine windmills are located adjacent to the ‘Little Venice’ area of the town and you will literally be ‘blown’ away by the water and the wind! The cobbled pathways and blue and white shops make me wish I had a summer house there :)
Paradise Beach has few clubs and this is where all the action happens as the sun goes down.
Hire a two-wheeler for 15 euro a day or a 4-wheel ATV if you are feeling adventurous! (International driving licence is not needed)
My favorite part of Greece , Santorini is by far the most romantic island of the Mediterranean. The dramatic views from this volcanic island give a lasting feeling of heaven on earth.
At Athermi Suites in the Megalochori village.
This hotel is a bit far from Thira- the main Santorini town which is at the center of island; and much further from Oia, famous for stunning sunsets and the classical blue and white Caldera view photographs we see whenever we google Greece.
But this is compensated by the almost 360 degree view of the caldera they provide, with blue water that goes on and on forever. There is no greater joy than witnessing the world’s best sunset sitting in your hotel balcony.
What to see:
There are naturally fantastic beaches such as the beach of Perissa, the black pebble beach of Kamari, white beach and red beach. The ride from Thira town to Oia along the cliff road with gorgeous blue water on one side and whitewashed houses with a church at every corner on the other side was the highlight of our trip!
Go to Oia for the World’s most beautiful and unforgettable sunset.
A visit to the lighthouse at the southern tip of the island is highly recommended if you have the time.
This travelogue was first published by Discovering Words .