My Greek Trip

The land of White and Blue

Mykonos, Santorini and Athens

Greece had been on my bucket list for a long time. As we don’t like to rush thru our holidays, we decided to cover only two islands in 9 days – Santorini is simply unmissable and Mykonos looks so charming. I was thrilled to find a flight landing directly in Mykonos as I thought Athens may not be very interesting. But I couldn’t have been more wrong ?

3 days in Mykonos

We held our breath as our flight started to descend in Mykonos. From the sky the terrain looked dry, parched and barren. We wondered if we had made a mistake by choosing this as our first destination.

Little Venice, Mykonos

All our doubts vanished the moment we stepped into Mykonos town, Chora. It’s one of the most charming town with narrow winding alleys, bougainvillea draped courtyards, painted stone paths where fashion stores and boutiques line the streets. You just want to wander around all day long. We had chosen our hotel so that we could walk everywhere. We loved spending our evenings in the sea front cafes in Little Venice admiring the iconic windmills (of bollywood fame). Probably the best place to watch the sunset and relax with a drink.

Sunset Mykonos

Mykonos is known for crazy nightlife. There are endless trendy bars and beach clubs. Many of them come alive late in the evenings and don’t close until dawn. Interestingly, you cannot spot some of these bars and night clubs in the day time and they spring up in the middle of streets, buzzing with life, at night.

Most popular day trip is to island of Delos. Even if you have only a passing interest in Greek history this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must visit. The small rocky island is used exclusively as an archaeological site. Several boats leave in the morning hours and give you enough time to explore the historic site at your own pace or with a guide. Just buy the ferry ticket and hop on to one of the boats.

Delos island, Mykonos

We also took a day trip to Paradise Beach. Usually quiet during the day, it could be more fun for youngsters with all night long beach parties.

Bougainvillea draped courtyard

Wandering around the town we came across an open-air cinema set within a garden. For obvious reasons the shows are held only late in the evening when it gets dark. We stepped inside to get a feel but couldn’t stay to watch the movie.

Tips: Taxis are few and expensive so it’s a good idea to book in advance. A short drive from the airport to the town costs Euro 30 and to the ferry station Euro 25.

It is rather strange that Mykonos sells only the wines produced on its own island.

Most shops remain open till midnight.

5 days in Santorini

We took Golden Star Ferry from Mykonos to Santorini. It has lounge type seating and you are free to choose wherever you want to be. You can be on the upper deck and enjoy the view throughout the journey. There are a couple of restaurants on board.

We decided to split our stay between Fira (2 days) and Oia (3 days). We chose our hotels with caldera views as that is the highlight of Santorini.

2 days in Fira

Fira is more happening town of the two. It is perched on the edge of a cliff offering panoramic views of the volcano and the sunset. The streets are always crowded with tourists and filled with shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and night clubs. Sunset viewing is the main attraction so tourist line up on the central street in the evenings. Restaurants and bars with sunset views are sold out quickly so it’s a good idea to pre-book your table. Best thing about Fira – you can enjoy the sunset sitting comfortably in one of the many bars, restaurants and hotels on the main street.

Sunset, Fira Santorini

Night view from a high position is mesmerising as you watch the lights of buildings on the slopes and shimmering blue colour lights in swimming pools. Cruise ships anchored in the water add to the superb view.

Night view

Much of the island of Santorini is located on the rim of the volcano but there are some beaches as well. On second day in Fira, we took a local bus to a popular black sand beach, Perissa. The beach has more of pebbles than sand though.

Perissa beach, Santorini

There is a port in Fira for local boat cruises. It can be accessed by a cable car or the more adventurous can experience a donkey ride. There are a couple of restaurants and a duty-free shop. If you are going down otherwise, it is a waste of time and money both.

Save the best for last … 3 days in Oia

No trip to Santorini is complete without visiting Oia. Built on the slopes of caldera, Oia is the most famous and picturesque village of Santorini. It’s unlike any other village you may have seen. It’s whitewashed buildings with blue doors and windows, traditional cave houses carved into the rocks and blue-domed churches are awestruck. Even the main street path is made of marble. The narrow passageways going up and down may be tiring but also add to the beauty of this place. Crowded all the way along the picturesque paths, it’s difficult to find a spot without getting others in the frame.


You can see three different and vibrant colors of blue in one single frame. The sea, the sky and blue domes. It’s not hard to imagine why it is one of the most Instagrammed places in the world.


Oia is quieter than Fira. Most hotels with caldera views are not accessible by vehicular traffic. So the hotel staff has to meet and escort their guests.


One of the most popular attractions in Oia is sunset watching when the white houses and the caldera catch all the colours of the setting sun for a few seconds. Unlike Fira, sunset here can be watched from the Sunset Seranade point or from the boats. Narrow pathways are extremely crowded with everyone rushing and trying to capture the spectacle. Very few restaurants offer the sunset view where you can relax as you watch the sun go down. Even though we had a table reservation on all days at sunset time, we decided to give it a miss. Frankly, so much crowd takes the fun away.

Oia as seen from the boat

A sunset cruise/boat cruise is highly recommended by locals. It’s interesting to see the white and blue Santorini from the water. All boats stop at the volcano where you can swim/snorkel in the hot springs. We chose to remain on the boat as there were no life jackets and no one watching over. We enjoyed relaxing on the catamaran net looking at the sea. Though we always prefer to hire a private boat, the catamaran was good fun with a small group of people and Greek food and drinks. It’s incredible that Santorini has white sand beach, red sand beach and black sand beach, all on one single island.


I had read that the most interesting bookstore in the world is perched atop a Santorini cliff-top. Atlantis Books in Oia tops National Geographic’s List of Bookshops. The upper floor section is open to sky and offers incredible views. Worth a stop!

Atlantis Books, Oia

Interestingly, you can hire a photographer for a professional photo shoot in the breathtaking locales of Oia. They know exactly where to take pictures with stunning background and also have access to areas where tourists are otherwise not allowed.

Oia is a small place and you end up walking up and down the same path many times over. You stop and admire the breathtaking vista every time. Some places catch your eye and you want to keep looking at it. I found one such restaurant with exceptionally dreamy settings. The caption read “The most beautiful balcony to dine in the world”. I agreed wholeheartedly!


There are stray cats everywhere. In the hotels, restaurants, roads and even in the shops. It’s normal to find one under your table or even sitting next to you if you have enough space on your seat. Even though I am not a pet lover but couldn’t resist taking their pictures. They are very friendly.

Wine tours are promoted in Santorini. Frankly, the vineyards looked so disappointing that we decided to stay away from them. Moreover, we found Greek wines quite pathetic. Disappointed that no other wine is available anywhere in the bars, restaurants and supermarkets in Greece.

We took Sea Jets ferry from Santorini to Athens. These are closed-type ferries with airplane type seats. That means you cannot sit outside like you do in the bigger Golden Star Ferries. Seat numbers are pre-assigned.

A word of caution: Ferry timings may actually be different from what’s printed on the ticket. And all your seats may not be together.


We arrived in Athens in the evening and had no idea how we were going to spend next 24 hours. The travel agent had warned us to be prudent and stay safe in Athens. So we had chosen a hotel on the high street near Syntagma Square. View of Acropolis from our hotel’s rooftop restaurant was another deciding factor. Unlike the two islands, I had not explored the best eating options here. So I gladly accepted the offer of the hotel staff who was too willing to help. My only condition was a place with excellent views of Acropolis. We were too happy to find our table reservation at such a place. View was so amazing that we didn’t mind the worst wine of the trip served in ‘chai wala glass’.

Athens, night view

Later we walked to Monastiraki Square. Street performances are a way of life here. Countless cafes and bars make this place vibrant any time of the day or night.


Our last day in Athens – Acropolis is a must visit if you are in Athens. (Another tick off from the bucket list). It’s a UNESCO world heritage site. Our hotel was close enough so we walked up. All travel sites offer ‘avoid the queues, buy tickets online’. But we had no problem getting tickets over the counter without any wait. We had to rush through but if you are a history buff then you can spend days in this complex.

Acropolis, Athens

We definitely needed one more day in Athens.

September 2019

#Greece #Mykonos #Santorini #Fira #Oia #Athens #Perissa #Travel #Syntagma #Monastriaski #Atlantisbooks #Tourism #Acropolis

Author: Anju Motwani

Aspiring Travel blogger

13 thoughts on “My Greek Trip”

  1. Very well written blog….your words pretty much took me on a trip through Greece without me actually going there!

  2. Very nicely written! After reading it I have madly fallen in love with Greece and can’t wait to go there. Hope you will continue writing on your travel blog ??

  3. Anju, It is quite an interesting blog and yes, I agree with Ruchika’s comment- “your words pretty much took me on a trip thru Greece” yet again! I think that very soon you will need to cut “Aspiring” and only Travel Blogger will remain. So cheers and all the best for many more trips and blogs ……..

  4. Hi Anju, I read your blog. Very well written, beautiful and apt choice of words to this romantic country. You know from my college days (Mills & Boon).. Greece always fascinated me…its mesmerizing locations and indeed Greek men (as in the romantic novels) ??

    Great writing and keep us posted on your interesting and scenic travels.

    Good luck, my dear friend?

  5. Wow…. absolutely amazing ! You have inspired me to travel to Greece . It will be on my travel list now. The description in so much detail actually feels as if I have visited the place. Keep writing such amazing experiences and inspiring all of us keen travellers. Will be eagerly waiting for the next one….
    Lots of love and All the Best my dear

  6. Nicely written post. Very informative for travellers who want to visit Mykonos, Santorini and Athens in Greece.

  7. Very well described. Didnt know greece was so beautiful. Feel like packing my bags now and fly

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