It seems like the pre-requisite for most young Aussies travelling around Europe is to head over to the Greek Islands and stop in at Mykonos “the party island”.
Mykonos is a small island where during the day it’s HOT! Especially walking around town: maybe that’s why it’s relatively quiet during the day? (either that or the hangovers are keeping people out of town).
This part of the holiday for us was a chance to slow down and just relax after the constant walking and exploring in the previous countries. Getting towards the tail end of the trip we thought there was no better place to start winding down, and Hermes Hotel was certainly the place for this.
To get around town we hired a quad bike to get to and from our hotel, these are relatively cheap to hire and certainly better than walking around in the heat. (Tip: Night driving can get fairly hectic so avoid it where you can and pay extra for the helmets, better safe than dead!)
Mykonos is only a small town and once you start walking through all the little streets before you know it you’ve walked a full circle and are back at square one. Dinnertime its relatively quiet, right up until sunset, but once the sun goes down every restaurant fills up in a matter of minutes and the town becomes alive. Night time in Mykonos has a great atmosphere in comparison to the daytime and is definitely targeted towards singles and young couples.
Santorini is famous for their blue dome churches and sunset views from Oia. On approach to Santorini Island you could almost mistake the white buildings and hotels built into the cliffs for snow capped mountains.
Once again we decided to hire a quad bike to get around the island, which was a really convenient and great way to see the island at your own pace (but same again don’t ride at night time out to Oia to see the sunset, the roads at night back to Fira could get a bit sketchy).
We stayed at the Volcano View Hotel in Fira where the service and facility’s were the best we experienced through our entire Europe trip. The hotel conveniently has a 5 star restaurant on site, which saves you the trip into town every night for dinner (and affordable too!).
Fira is the main town on Santorini and (I’ll be honest here) the streets are tight and nowhere near as nice as Mykonos. Oia is where you find the famous blue domed churches; it’s also where the cruise ship tour groups take over the streets. This is also the launching spot for sunset cruises.
We pre booked a sunset catamaran cruise, which was fantastic! It included: sailing around the island, swimming in volcanic hot springs, snorkelling in the crystal clear water off Black Beach and Red beach as well as a delicious bbq dinner. They then head back to Oia where they launch the sail and watch the world famous sunset.
Although the Hotel we had in Santorini was nothing short of incredible, my pick of the two islands would be Mykonos. The streets in Mykonos are stunning and exactly what I pictured Greece to be. (Tip: you cannot really say you have been to Greece without trying the local Gyros – it’s similar to a kebab but they cost around 2euro and fill you up for the day).