If you made it through part one of this blog series, congrats! We’re now on to the fun stuff! And, well, if you didn’t read part one, you may want to check it out if you have some more general honeymoon questions. Oh, and if you’re looking for Paris, check out part three. But here we’re talking about one thing only: Greece. And man, was it amazing. Kevin and I spent eight days in Greece, in a few different places. We spent a single night in Athens upon arrival, but then the bulk of our time was spent on the islands of Naxos and Santorini. Below, I’ll give you a bit of information about where we stayed, what we did, and our favorite spots that we ate while we were on both islands!
A quick note about travel from island to island: we were scheduled to take the high-speed ferry both from Athens to Naxos and then later from Naxos to Santorini. When we arrived in Athens, we were informed that there was a 24-hour ferry strike the next day (the day we were scheduled to take the ferry to Naxos). We ended up booking a 40-minute flight from Athens to Naxos rather than spending another night in Athens and taking the 4-hour ferry the next day. It was definitely a bit pricier (we were covered by the travel agency), but a quick option if you are short on time! As for Naxos to Santorini, we took the ferry without a problem and it was just a bit over an hour. We also made friends in line that we, to our surprise, found again later in our trip!
First Stop: Naxos
Naxos is a smaller island in Greece and, to us, felt very much like a small beach town. We stayed in a gorgeous hotel right on the beach, but within walking distance to the downtown area. Truthfully, we had nothing planned for our time in Naxos. We spent most of the days alternating between the beach in the morning and the pool in the afternoon, walking into town for lunch and dinner each day. The water in Naxos was very calm, so we even purchased pool floats to just relax and float in the sun for hours on end! I loved Naxos and thought it was a perfect way to start our honeymoon off!
Where we stayed: Nissaki Beach Hotel – an adorable hotel right on the beach with a gorgeous pool (see below), great rooms, and awesome service
What we did: A whole lot of relaxing. We chilled, read on the beach, swam in the pool, floated in the Aegean, ate a lot, and ran to the Apollo Temple for gorgeous ocean views.
Our favorite spots to eat:
-Yasouvlaki – cheap, delicious gyros and souvlaki. We ordered the Greek bruschetta, two gyros, and bottles of water for 11 euro. We may or may not have had lunch there twice
-Waffle House – some of the best gelato I have ever had. You can smell their waffle cones from a mile away. Waffle House is on a cute back street and gives you all of the Grecian town vibes. Again, we may have gone more than once
-Dal Professore – gorgeous sunset views and amazing food. There are quite a few great spots nearby for drinks and dinner as the sun sets, but this is one that we particularly loved the food at. We ordered lamb meatballs to start and shared fresh sea bass for dinner. Pro tip: if you don’t like to look into the eyes of your fish before you eat it, ask for it deboned!
-Like Home Bar – another great sunset spot (you can watch from their deck!) with yummy cocktails! We only grabbed drinks here, so nothing to report on food
-Bossa Café- again, we only grabbed drinks here in their big comfy chairs, but this spot is right on the water and has a fantastic sunset view. Not to mention you get an entire mini cheese board with your drink order.
-We also ate at the hotel’s restaurant, right on the beach! Locals told us our hotel has some of the best food in town, so venture to it for a great meal!
Second Stop: Santorini
If you are looking to visit only one island in Greece, Santorini would be my recommendation. I mean, I’ve only visited two, but after talking to others on our trip about other stops they made (ex: Mykonos), Santorini seemed to be a favorite all around! We stayed in Oia, at the very tip of the island. The sunsets were gorgeous, the food was delicious, and we walked just about everywhere (aside from the excursions we went on). It was one of the most romantic, beautiful places I have ever been. A much different vibe than Naxos, but absolutely amazing. In Santorini, we had a few more things planned than we did in Naxos because we felt like we were ready to explore and venture out a bit. Don’t get me wrong, we definitely spent plenty of time by the pools as well (even getting lunch delivered to us there the first day, ha!), but I loved both of our excursions and would highly recommend them to anyone visiting Santorini!
Where we stayed: Katikies Resort
Before you Google this one, I feel like I should tell you that this was our splurge hotel for the trip, but it was worth every penny. There are three infinity pools, the service is unbelievable, and breakfast was delivered to our balcony every day. We didn’t eat at the resort for our other meals, aside from lunch one day, but it is supposed to be delicious. I just couldn’t fathom spending $36 on a spicy tuna roll…lol
What we did:
Kevin and I spent plenty of time by the hotel pools, walked through the town of Oia, and had two planned excursions while in Santorini.
- Sunset Catamaran Cruise – this was quite possibly my favorite part of our entire honeymoon. We were picked up at our hotel, driven to the opposite end of the island, and boarded onto a Catamaran with about 20 other people (this is where we encountered our friends from the ferry again!). We spent the day on the boat, which sailed around the entire island and also stopped at two different beaches where we could swim and snorkel. They anchored for a bit of time at one of the beaches to cook a delicious Greek meal (oh, did I mention beer and wine are included?) and then we ate together as we sailed toward the sunset. We anchored again in the waters off of Oia where we watched the most beautiful sunset from the front of the boat outside of Amoudi Bay. Highly recommend!
- Cooking Class and Wine Tasting Experience – this was also SO much fun! If you love to cook (like me) and enjoy wineries (also like me), this is a tour for you! We did a shared tour, which we actually happened to share with another couple from the Boston area – a teacher and a lawyer to make it even smaller of a world! Again, for this tour we were picked up at our hotel and brought to the locations. We stopped at two wineries, tasting at Boutari Winery and then cooking and tasting at Artemis Karamolegos Winery. We learned all about how grapes in Santorini grow in a basket formation, rather than up, and tried some of the delicious Santorini white wines (no reds there!). We cooked up Greek salad, fava beans, tomato fritters, and pork with a wine sauce and then feasted on our meal in the beautiful winery restaurant, Aroma Avlis!
Where we ate:
-Oia Gefsis: a very cute spot with an even cuter roof deck! If you make a reservation, they have sunset view seating, but we chose to watch it elsewhere (okay, we watched it in a parking lot with a bottle of wine and some Pringles) and then venture to dinner after. Food was amazing!
-Melitini: Kev will tell you this was his favorite meal in Santorini, and I would have to agree. Food here is tapas style, so we shared a few different mouth-watering plates. Our favorites were the saganaki and grilled octopus. I was nervous to try it at first, but now I am hooked!
-Santo Winery: this is an absolute MUST in Santorini for the sunset views. It is in Pyrgos, so we spent a bit of money to take a car there from Oia (they don’t do metered taxis so they can basically charge what they want – it was 50 euro one way but only 35 back…annoying), but truthfully, it was worth it. The food was amazing and the views were even better. Definitely make a reservation here!
-Pitogyros: we thought we had the best gyro in Naxos, but these were even better! A bit more expensive, but delicious for lunch!
-One place we did not eat that I wish we had was down in Amoudi Bay. We never got around to venturing down the many stairs to get there (particularly because two days we had lunch/dinner on our excursions and then we opted for Santo Winery instead), but all who we spoke to that did had wonderful things to report about the fresh seafood right on the water!
Wow, I’m already wishing I was back in Greece! If you visit any of the places mentioned above, please let me know so I can live vicariously through you!