At the end of August I went to Greece to sail the islands with a company called Sail in Greece. we flew into Athens and had a night there before sailing from Mykonos – Paros – Naxos – Ios – Santorini and then back to Athens. I was also going with one of my best friends from home, Lydia. We were a group of 25, Kiwis and Aussies, split between two boats.
Before I get into it, I’ll briefly talk about the company, I had an amazing time, but there are a lot of bad reviews about the company. I thought everything went well, except we only got to stay in Ios for one night, which was really annoying, because staying in Santorini for three nights is so expensive, you have to pay for a water taxi from your boat, since we couldn’t dock, and you have to pay to go up the cable car, which adds up when you’re doing it for three days. In the end they gave us a free night of accommodation at a hostel/camping which was good, but the guide definitely let us know ‘how accommodating they were being for us bla bla bla’. Overall, I would use this company again, and they were very cheap, but just be aware that they are pretty unorganised.
I flew into Athens and arrived at 7am, and it was really easy to get to the city from the airport, there’s a bus and metro, and the bus runs every half hour, 24 hours. Our plan was to go to the Acropolis and just explore the city for the day. We were staying at the Student and Traveler’s Inn, which was nice enough and in the center, maybe 10 minutes from the Acropolis. I suggest going to the Acropolis early in the morning, to beat the crowds, as there are literally thousands of people. The walk up is pretty easy, and there are some nice views of the city on the way up. You definitely have to visit, it is pretty amazing to see. We spent the rest of our day exploring the markets meeting some of the other people on our tour.
We caught an early ferry from Athens to Mykonos which was 5 or 6 hours and extremely bumpy. Our boat wasn’t actually there, so we were going to go to a beach party then catch a ferry to Paros, where the boat was. Paradise Beach is a must do, it’s so beautiful and there’s a party every day. We had gyros and drinks then relaxed on the beach before starting the toga party, which was ridiculously fun, and everyone managed to bond over copious amounts of alcohol and throwback songs.
Fast forward three days, and we have left Mykonos, stayed in Paros and gone back to Mykonos. We were docked by a really beautiful beach which was perfect for a morning swim. We spent our day walking around the beautiful city, which is full of white and blue buildings, just how you would imagine. We walked up to the windmills and then up to a view point, and the island looked amazing from above.
There are so many bars and clubs in Mykonos, but unfortunately I can’t remember any of the names, but we did a pub crawl and had a really good night. Definitely don’t skip Mykonos, there are so many beaches and the town is beautiful, it’s one of the most well known islands for a reason.
This may have been my favourite island. We spent our day exploring the town in the morning and then quad biking around the island, exploring different beaches, which I highly recommend, it was so much fun, and the easiest way to see everything. Paros was such a beautiful place because it was a bit more relaxed and not as crowded with tourists. Ideally I would come back here and spend a few days just relaxing.
Next we had a night in Naxos, which was beautiful and had such clear water and beautiful beaches. We ended up doing a hike which was a bit regretful, it ended up being a lot longer than stated and it was soooo hot. Highly recommend this gorgeous island as well, I wish we had longer here.
Unfortunately we only had one night here, because the guide was too worried the winds would be too strong to sail to Santorini. On the way, we all stopped for a swim off the boat with all the inflatables which was good. Everyone was quite upset about this, as Ios was known for being a party island. We spent the day eating gyros (LITERALLY THE BEST THINGS EVER) then heading over to the beach and did some water sports before going to the far out beach bar for a pool party to start the night.
We went on a ridiculous pub crawl that lasted all night and I think we went to 6 places. It’s a huge thing in Ios at the bars to do 6 shots and then get a free tshirt, so of course I was going to do it. Apparently there was an amazing sunset spot on the top of the island, but we didn’t get a chance to see it.
We couldn’t actually dock here, so we were just floating in the water which was slightly annoying, but we were just excited to get onto the island. We spent the day on an island tour, we went to a few beaches, which were really beautiful and it was so nice to swim. We also went to a vineyard, Santorini Wines, which had the most amazing views (and good wine). We ended the day in Oia at the famous sunset spot, which did live up to it’s expectations. We spent an extremely rocky night on the boat, and then after some complaining, we were all put up in a hostel for the last night, which was actually so nice. We had these little tent cabin things and there was a pool and bar and we were so close to the town.
We spent the day shopping, drinking and swimming. I even ended up getting my nose pierced, which was random. For our last night we decided to go out with a bang, and ended up having a big night. Overall I did love Santorini, and wish I had more time to properly explore.
We caught the ferry back to Athens and had one more night at the same hostel, so we could relax before heading home. It was an amazing trip and I fell in love with Greece, and I honestly can’t wait to go back.