Greece has always been a dream vacation for me and this year we were lucky enough to be able to go. Everything is so beautiful and there are so many things to do but we had to fit it into a week. I wanted to share our experiences and recommendations in case you are curious or are planning a trip yourself! We decided to visit Santorini as a more relaxing destination and then Athens to see more of historic Greece. I’ll split the post into a section for each destination because although it’s the same country, both locations are so different. 

Santorini, Greece

In Santorini we stayed in the capital city, Fira. On this island I would definitely recommend staying in a more developed city because there’s more things to do and everything is close which is much more convenient. The other main city is Oia, which we visited one of the days. The hotel we stayed at is called Kastro Suites. It’s quite small with less than 10 rooms but I really loved how quiet and private it felt and every room has an amazing caldera view. This was the most important to me when looking for a room. I would suggest looking for a hotel that provides breakfast. It was very convenient not to have to look for breakfast every day but just be able to eat quickly and start exploring. Be prepared for a lot of walking and stairs all over the island! Even within the city we stayed at, there was stairs between the shops and the ground is all uneven stone. To get up to the hotels you have to drag your suitcase up a large hill. Most hotels can help carry the luggage so I would call ahead to check.  I packed a few pairs of heels and ended up wearing sandals the whole time! For exploring the island you can either get a rental car or lots of people get ATV’s. We decided to get a rental car because they picked us up from the airport, there was A/C and they drove us to the ferry port after our stay. We used Spiridakos for car rental and we didn’t have to pay for parking anywhere. The fun in Santorini is going around and seeing everything from one end of the island to the other. It’s quite small and you can drive the whole thing in about an hour. If we had more time I would have done a sailing cruise but I feel like I got to see everything I wanted to.

Trip Schedule

Monday- Arrive in Santorini

Tuesday- Kamari Beach, Ancient Thera, Red Beach, Akrotiri Lighthouse

Wednesday-Ammoudi, Oia

Thursday-Ferry to Athens

Friday-Historic Sites in Athens

Saturday-Plaka, Lake Vouliagmeni

santorini fira view sunset

Where We Ate

    • Argo Restaraunt-Good but pricy! Our favorite was the Santorini Salad
    • Volcano Blue-Very good with no wait time
    • Ouzeri-My favorite and best priced in Fira
    • Pelekanos-Ate here while visiting Oia, very nice view.
    • Asterias- Went to lunch here while near the Red beach.

The food is one of the best parts of visiting Greece! So many good options and definitely one of my favorite cuisines. I would recommend making a reservation for dinner because often times there will be a wait time if you come after 7. Most of the nice restaurants average about $50 for dinner for two people. Santorini does not have safe to drink tap water so be prepared to buy water bottles at dinner or you can bring your own.

santorini pool view caldera

Athens, Greece

Athens is a busy city full of history. It has an entirely different vibe from Santorini. It almost feels more like being back home than being on a relaxing island like Santorini. The tourist area is much more defined in this city and is mostly just the city center and historic sites. We stayed in an Airbnb and it was our first time but I was very impressed! It was nicer than many hotels I’ve seen and it had a kitchen and laundry which was very convenient. Not to mention the rooftop view was unbeatable. For our two full days in Athens we spent the first day visiting all the interesting historic sites. Although you can spend a week doing this, we picked a few favorites and visited those. It does get quite exhausting walking around the city in the hot sun all day. Everything in the city is within walking distance so there was not any need for a car or rental. On the second day we were so tired from walking around all day the day before and we wanted to enjoy the sun before we head back to the cold in Boston so we decided to try Lake Vouliagmeni. It was so fun, I;m really happy we went. It’s a natural hot spring and it’s full of the fish that nibble on your dead skin. You have to pay to get in but they provide changing areas, lockers, and sunbeds. The water was  very warm, about 80 degrees. We had to take a taxi to get there because it’s about half an a hour away from the city. I would highly recomend downloading the about Beat. It’s like uber but for taxi’s and the prices are better and you can call them from anywhere.


    • The Acropolis-This contains several sites within one area
    • The Acropolis Museum
    • Panathenaic Stadium
    • Temple of Olympian Zeus

    • Zappeio Hall
    • National Garden
    • Plaka-Outdoor market and restaraunts

Food in Athens

    • If Espresso Bar-Breakfast
    • The Brunch Factory-Breakfast, nice to walk through the Plaka when coming here.
    • God’s Restaurant-My Favorite one we went to!
    • Greek Stories
    • Liondi

Thankfully tap water is safe to drink in Athens so you can save there. The food is similar to Santorini but I would still recomend making reservations for dinner.

Interesting things About Greece

    • Most places you can not flush toilet paper. I was surprised when I saw the sign in the bathroom.
    • There is so much Graffitti in Athens! Almost every wall is covered.
    • You can use the google translate app with camera to translate words you can ‘t read.
    • There are lots of stray cats all over the island of Santorini.
athens view chanel in greece

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