About 6 months ago I went on the trip of a lifetime to Greece with 12 friends (including my boyfriend, Tomas). It was my second time in Greece, so I already knew how much I would love it! We flew into Athens and spent the night and the next day, so we had the chance to explore the Parthenon (which I had seen before) and wander around town. Many people use Athens as a midpoint to get to the greek islands, but I really enjoy the city and think it is more than worth sticking around for a bit before traveling elsewhere. Then, we met up with everyone in Rafina to take the ferry to Andros, where we would spend the majority of our trip. We were lucky to be traveling with Andros locals (well, if you call being Greek and spending the summer there every year for 30 years local, which is local enough for me), so we didn't have to stress the travel details and got to stay in their family home. Andros was small, beachy, and felt like a much more authentic Greek experience than the more touristy destinations. It seemed like every 3rd person we ran into on the street was our hosts cousin (seriously)! Then, we took another Ferry to Mykonos, which was the total opposite of the relaxed vibe in Andros. It was really a dream trip, and I'm so excited to share some of my favorite memories with you.
One of my favorite days of the whole trip was taking a little ferry to Achla: a small, hidden beach. The sand on Achla is made up of smooth marble pebbles. To add to the mystique, there are cool caves you can swim in, and (slightly domesticated) swans swimming everywhere. Talk about an aesthetic!
We all had a blast the next day cliff jumping near a little island with a castle dating back to 1207. I've never enjoyed swimming as much as I did on this trip (but I mean, how can you not love splashing around in the Mediterranean)!
We were lucky to be staying only a few minutes from a local beach (complete with cabana service and an amazing view). So, you better believe we spent a bunch of free time there!
The downtown with cute shops and cafes was also only a few minutes away, which made it easy to pop up and grab a Greek Frappe (or 100).
On one of our last days in Andros, we hiked an hour over a mountain to get to another hidden beach spot, Pisa Gialia Beach Bar. But this time, we were met with house music, cabana service, and a very exclusive vibe. The hike to and from the beach definitely made me feel better about spending most of the day lounging in the sun and sipping mojitos.
WHERE WE ATE
You know how on vacation, you wind up finding a restaurant that you love and keep on going back (even though the voice inside of you is telling you to try new things)? That was Theros for us. This was an interesting spot, because while Theros served as a relaxed beachside restaurant, upstairs was Moomba, aka the best nightlife in Andros! We may or may not have enjoyed our first night at Moomba a bit too much...
We couldn't get enough of the grilled octopus, shrimp with rose sauce, and greek salad. We had so many greek salads during our trip, but this one was our favorite!
Our group had big dinners together every day, but one night Tomas and I snuck off for a little date night. We found ourselves at the cutest place tucked up into a hill called The Skalakia. This restaurant is known for it's small menu and greek homestyle cooking. The food was awesome, but honestly I was so enchanted by the twinkling string lights I would have given this place an A+ regardless.
One of the best meals of our trip was at Endochora. It seemed like every dish we tried topped whatever we had prior... aka it just kept getting better and better! Some of our hosts family members joined us this night, which made the experience extra special. Also, this was probably the chicest restaurant we visited during our time on Andros, so it was a win for me!
Mykonos is not for the faint of heart. Don't expect sleepy beach days and relaxing dinners. People come here to party, and party hard! If you really want to experience what Mykonos has to offer, Be prepared to stay up until at least 4 am. Dinners start at 11pm and the party scene starts at 2. I recommend drinking as many greek frappes as you can get your hands on, because you're gonna need the caffeine!
We stayed in the most incredible AirBnb in Mykonos, Villa Orion. The hostess was amazing, not to mention this place had a saltwater pool overlooking the ocean, outdoor kitchen and shower, rooftop deck, and cute cat (that I lovingly named Lola and still miss dearly). This house sort of made it feel like we were on a reality TV show where a bunch of young people are shipped to paradise to see what kind of adventures would unfold.
We spent our first day in Mykonos taking full advantage of the villa. We were able to have groceries delivered so we could truly spend the day relaxing by the pool, swimming, and enjoying the view. One of the girls on the trip had very generously and creatively brought supplies for a full blown toga party, complete with assigned gods and goddesses, drinking games, and of course, togas.
The next two days were spent wandering the streets of old Mykonos, eating incredible food, and lusting over beautiful things in little shops. The streets on the way to old town were a bit hectic with locals and tourists zipping around on mopeds (which looked crazy fun). As is to be expected, the areas that were closer to the bigger hotels and ferry ports were much more touristy. However, only a few steps away was Little Venice, one of the most photographed areas of Mykonos, and a great spot for a waterfront drink.
It was easy to get lost (in a good way) walking down all of the little alleyways and streets, but that was my favorite part! After wandering a bit away from the touristy area, we found ourselves in a much more upscale section with boutique hotels, bougie shops, and trendy cafes. Obviously, this was my favorite area ;)
WHAT I WORE
Before our trip, I day dreamed of these Free People pants, and they did not disappoint! Originally I had wanted to find a white crop top to go with them, but winded up loving how eye catching the orange and yellow were together. One of the girls on our trip described this outfit as an "Italian heiress waltzing around her mansion."
My silky yellow crop top from Forever 21 is also sold out, but I found a similar top on sale at Lulus.
My bamboo bag was one of the first things I purchased for Summer, and I always receive compliments whenever I wear it. I wanted a more unique alternative to the rattan basket bags everyone was wearing, and definitely found that it stood out.
I saw a girl wearing this Lulu's dress on a sunset cruise earlier in the season, and knew I had to have it for my trip! I felt ethereal in this dress, and honestly think it looks better in person than in photos (the crazy wind on the island that day didn't help my cause).
This dress is currently sold out, but I found a very similar dress also on Lulus!
I also copied my friend Lisa and got a pair of Toms Poppy Sandals. I don't love flat sandals, so the block heel on these bad boys sealed the deal for me.
WHERE TO SHOP
I fell in love with the dreamy dresses in Iliana Bassiana. I had never come across such breezy, unique, bohemian designs! Unfortunately, the average price was about $400 so I wasn't able to treat myself... Maybe someday.
WHERE WE ATE
Bowl made my breakfast dreams come true. I love traveling, but sometimes find it hard to find the healthy, fresh food I'm craving. When I saw acai bowls, avocado toast, and matcha lattes on the menu, I was sold. If the superfood-rich menu wasn't enough, this cafe was beyond insta worthy!
I had the best mushroom risotto EVER at Busulas Seriously, I still crave it! There are a few cute looking restaurants in Goumenio square, but in my opinion (and after eating at another spot next door), Busulas stands out! I found that some restaurants in Mykonos try to make up for sub-par food with an Instagram-worthy atmosphere. But, this spot's food matches the superb aesthetic!
Ok so... our biggest, best, most insane dinner of the entire trip was at Koursaros. You will honestly feel like a celebrity strolling in to this place. All of the cocktails and food are SO GOOD and presented so beautifully. The waitstaff was so well coordinated I often didn't even realize they had taken a plate or glass from infront of me. It's also a great place to start a night out, because the vibe is so fun and they're open so late. We didn't leave our dinner until after 1am! However, be ready to ball out on this dinner (it was definitely a splurge for us).
I still think back to this trip almost daily. I've been lucky enough to travel the world, but have found Greece to be such a utopia. I sometimes have trouble fully relaxing on a trip, but Greece makes it easy.