Greece Guide

The Greece sunsets from Santorini’s Oia peninsular are as spectacular as they are stressful! We took the she’ll be right kiwi approach and arrived with ten minutes to spare, and expecting the best seats in the house… we are the only ones who like sunsets, right? Of course all the spots were long gone, eager selfy-stick swinging tourists by the thousands, all snapping away wildly about from all the best vantage points along the hilltop. Damn it! We pushed through the crowd and while uphill was all taken I spotted an empty spot down the famous Donkey road. Perfect! We got settled in and cracked a beer just in time to say good-bye to the sun. Sea haze meant we could look directly at the gold and red sun. As Bianca and I pinched ourselves to know this was real the sun quietly sank away to the southern hemisphere for the day. Everyone of the thousands of tourists watching will remember that moment as fondly as I do because Oia, Santorini sunset is a very special sunset.

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Greece is a country that has something for everyone, the romance of a sunset dinner in Santorini for couples, a few days exploring the ruins and History of Athens, impressive art and fascinating culture, legends of mythical gods and stories of glory, along with some of the world’s nicest beaches and clearest waters. For party, play or simply to hide away Greece is absolutely first rate.

 

Santorini, Greece, Quadbike, ATV

Roaming free on our no guts ATV. So much fun!

Transport

Santorini

When arriving by ferry the first thing you will notice is the big cliff you are now beneath. You can catch a bus from here to all over the island although these are not 24hr so we recommend having transport prearranged. Check with your accommodation if a port transfer is available. You don’t want to walk this!

 

Ios

Arriving at the port we had a transfer up to Chora organised through our accommodation. It was only a short walk through the narrow alleyways from here. It is possible to walk from the port to Chora but it is a steep hill and lots of steps.

If your accommodation is in Mylopotas you can buss or have an accommodation supplied transfer.

Athens

We arrived in Athens by ferry, which docked at Pirates port. We hopped onto the metro (green line) that goes to the city centre.

If coming by plane you can take bus X95 or a train that takes you right in the centre of Athens.

Once central we found everything walkable.

 

Accommodation

S_DSC2600antorini

Cave land – €35.16 pp/pn (private suite)

Located just outside of Thira quite central on the island and a good base if you have an ATV/Scooter as transport. Our room was a large cave with all the amenities we required with an en-suite, kitchen and lounge area to relax out of the sun. The Hostel has a few lazy dogs and a really nice pool. The breakfast is toast and oats with occasional watermelon.

 

 

Francesco's Hostel, Ios, GreeceIos

Francesco’s – €20.00 pp/pn (double room)

Set back high above the main road Francesco’s has unobstructed views looking out over the port and the deck is a great place to have a beer and watch as the sun goes to visit NZ for the day. We had a private suite that was small but comfortable and had the bonus of a private terrace. A welcome shot of Ozuo makes everyone friends.

 

Far Out – €31.00 pp/pn (twin room)

Although we didn’t stay here we came across Far outs reputation multiple times. If you want to let your hair down and get white girl wasted then Far Out will accommodate. Poolside bars, day parties and pub-crawls every night. Located on the Mylopotas beachfront means you only have to roll out of bed in the morning to nurse your hangover in the refreshing ocean.

 

Athens

Cosmopolit hotel – €17.00 pn/pp (6 bed mixed dorm)

This hotel offered a few dorm rooms at a cheaper rate than their other private rooms. Athens accommodation tended to be a bit more expensive than usual dorm rooms we have stayed in and in the summer time it books up fast so be sure to book in advance.

The hotel itself was very clean and all dorm rooms had their own bathroom with shower. Staffs were very friendly and helpful if you had any queries or issues. The breakfast served is basic but hey, it’s included in the price so let’s not be fussy.

  


Food

  • Gyros – Kebab in a pita with chips. Perfect takeaway to snack on while you explore and cheap too!
  • Tiropites – Yummy finger food, filo pastry stuffed with cheese!
  • Tzatziki – Greek yoghurt mixed with grated cucumber and garlic (simple). Works magic with any food or goes along nicely with some pita bread
  • Moussaka – Minced beef with layers of aubergine, potato and cheese. It’s the Greek take on a Sheppard’s Pie.
  • Yemista – Stuffed tomatoes or capsicum filled with rice and herbs, topped off with some delicious cheeses and baked until the vegetables are soft and the cheese melts… delicious!
  • Fresh Seafood – Fish, Calamari, Octopus, Prawns, Mussels! ALL THE SEAFOOD!
  • Ice Cream – it’s 40°C heat outside… nuf said!
  • Ouzo – Alongside your traditional Greek dish sample a shot glass of Ouzo, a strong Greek spirit
  • Cool down with a cold beer on a hot summers day – Greek beer is delicious; Mythos and Alpha to name our
    favourites

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Recommended Restaurants

Santorini – Down on the waters edge at Ammoudi bay the seafood at “Dimitris Ammoudi restaurant” with a cold beer is unbeatable.

Santorini – Thalia restaurant Oia is definition of dinner with a view. Prices are quite decent given the area its in. We recommend the seafood

Ios Bakery – The bacon, egg bread kept us coming back!

Ios – Mozaik restaurant serves two delicious cuisines; Greek and Thai. We had ourselves a delicious Moussaka here

Athens – Our local tour guide recommended Attalos restaurant within Plaka neighbourhood. The serve a types of traditional homemade Greek food

 

 

Must see & do 

Santorini

Red beach, Santorini, Greece, swim

Let’s go for a swim!

  • Rent yourself an ATV or Scooter for €15 and explore the Islands beaches.
  1. Red beach
  2. Perissa Beach
  3. Katharos – Partial nude beach so you might see a willy or boobs you’ve been warned!
  • Watch the sunset from the Oia peninsula or from a sunset catamaran
  • Take a donkey to Ammoudi Bay where you can jump from the rocks into the crystal clear ocean
  • Get lost in the alleyways around the islands hills. You come across some stunning views and get away from the crowds.

 

Ios, Greece, sunset

See the outline of the Mykonos mountains inside the setting sun.

Ios

  • Pop your cameras away cause it will get messy. Slammas, shots, beer pong and booty shaking! Start your night with beer pong at FUN PUB you can’t miss it. Then head up to the nightclubs and neck back a few €1 Shots. Pop across to slamma’s and get wacked over the head by a fire hydrant after your line of shots. After which you can follow the crowd cause you won’t be remembering this blog in that state you find yourself in!
  • Mylopotas Beach – Transform yourself into a raisin, soak in the sun and wash away your hangover on the yellow sandy beach.
  • Gialos Beach – If Mylopotas is too crowded then head to the quieter Gialos beach. It’s the one you see from the port when you arrive. Shallow water makes this a more family friendly beach. If you buy water from some of the vendors you can use their beach chairs and shade.
  • Shop in Chora – Clothes and gifts are a lot cheaper here than they are on the other islands.
  • Watch the sunset at the top of the main town Chora, you will pass three churches before you get to the top main church and can browse through them just before sunset. Sunsets in Greece are truly beautiful

Athens

  • Athens, Greece, Olympic Stadium

    Training for Rio at the home of the modern olympics

    Check out the free walking tour with freetour.com, they usually meet outside Hadrian’s arch at 9.45am. Make sure to get Jimmy as a tour guide; he knows everything about Athens and not only does he tells you about the history and the architecture, Jimmy gives great tips you can use during your stay in Athens. We highly recommend this tour.

  • Acropolis, the ancient city high on top of a large rock overlooking Athens. It is home to the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, patron goddess of the city. The construction of this temple dates back to the 5th centaury BC. Definitely a must see!
  • Temple of Olympian Zeus, this temple is dedicated to the king of the Olympian gods – Zeus. The temple was completed in the 2nd century BC and housed once a 43ft statue of Zeus, which was one of the seven wonders of the Ancient world before it was destroyed.
  • Have a race or run around the track of the famous Olympic stadium. Shaped in a horse shoe, you can even stand on the podium to prove you cane first or second… or third.Night_HDR2
  • Ancient Agora is an ancient market/public place where people would gather for social, economic and political reasons. Ruins of the Agora are accessible to see just below the Acropolis
  • Anafiotika is a small lovely neighbourhood part of Plaka. It is a beautiful place to take a scenic walk through the little streets
  • Watch the sunset up the highest point in Athens – Lycabettus hill. The best spot for a panoramic view
  • Head to Voula beach in summer to cool off. You can get here from Athens city centre by tram. The beach is nice and clean and not too over-crowded
  • Check out the many graffiti art roaming round the streets of Athens

 

 

Tips & Advice

  • Best weather to travel is April – June and September
  • Avoid crowds in July and August
  • Tipping at restaurants is around 5-10%
  • Wine is often drunk at lunch and dinner
  • Greece uses euro currency
  • 2 pin European standard adapter
  • Can drink the tap water in Athens but not on any of the islands
  • Alcohol is legal to drink in public
  • Student discount is offered all around Greece, so if you have one definitely use it – you will save a lot of money

 

Helpful words and phrases

(Pronunciation below)

Hello                                                            Yah-soo

Goodbye                                                     Ahn-dee-oh

Please                                                          Pah-rah-kah-loh

Thank you.                                                 Ef-hah-rees-toh

You’re welcome.                                         Pah-rah-kah-loh

Pardon me                                                  See-ghno-me

English?                                                       Ang-glee-kah?

Yes                                                                Neh

No                                                                Oh-hee

 

 

Caution Greece Gallery may cause severe fomo! take a look.

 

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