Our Personal Experience Island Hopping in Greece
Greece has around 6,000 islands and only 227 of them are inhabited! When it comes to making a decision on what islands to see, the options are endless! I honestly do not think you could pick a wrong island because the beauty of each wouldn’t disappoint. Each island has their own personality, in a sense. It is very important to research what each island has to offer and compare it to what you enjoy. For our journey, we decided to go to Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Santorini, Milos, and Crete. Since there was four of us we tried to include everyone's interests.
We decided to visit Mykonos and Santorini because they’re the most popular and known Greek Islands. Every time you scroll through Instagram you see the famous islands of Mykonos and Santorini. How couldn’t we resist !?!
Mykonos is known for its party scene. Expect to go out all night until the sun rises and then sleep in pretty late. The Old Town of Mykonos is really nice to stroll through. There is lots of shopping, beautiful cycladic houses/buildings (fun for pictures), and plenty of food. Most of the bars and some clubs are in the old town of Mykonos. Most of our Mykonos experience was partying hard, shopping, and eating. The beach clubs are along Paradise beach. A bus leaves from Old Town of Mykonos to these clubs pretty regularly.
In the Old Town of Mykonos, we went to the famous Scandinavian Bar and Club. We enjoyed this spot a lot! We got to drink for a reasonable price (not $20 a drink like the place we stopped before we reached Scandinavian bar). This spot is nice because they have a patio area outside to chill casually and then a club upstairs to dance. We went upstairs to dance and it was great. By the way… you can’t go to Mykonos without dancing on a bar! At this spot, they are all about dancing everywhere!
We got to experience the Chainsmokers at Cavo Paradiso, one of the most famous clubs in Mykonos. My friend’s mom surprised us with tickets for her birthday (which was so nice of her!). Let me tell you this club is no joke! It is extremely large and the party doesn’t stop ever. It is kind of overwhelming how big this club is, but it is worth the visit.
We didn’t have a table at this club so we were very squished in the crowds (but it was ok cause the Chainsmokers are so fun). We also visited Tropicana Beach Club on Paradise Beach! At Tropicana we had a table which was amazing. If you can, try to get a table somewhere because the experience is better in my opinion. (Someone from my college was there and we ran into him. So he invited us to his table so I am not too sure how expensive the tables are). You have way more space to dance (which I love!). Tropicana is still a pretty big beach club, but nowhere near the size of Cavo Paradiso!
Santorini has a totally different feel than Mykonos. Santorini is more of a romantic laid back island. We stayed in Oia, located in the northern part of Santorini, in a beautiful Airbnb. Santorini is beautiful because all the cycladic buildings are layered and built into the hills. There is plenty of food and shopping! The main walkway of Oia near the water has all the expensive food. If you head away from the water, the food will get cheaper.
In Santorini, we decided to take a day tour on a catamaran to get a nice view of Santorini since we wanted to see the red beach and black beach which are on the opposite side of where we were staying in Santorini. We started in Oia and headed to some volcanoes located near hot springs (the hot springs aren’t as hot as they used to be).
We got to experience the red and black (Perissa/Perivolos) beach. The boat tour was fun because there was really delicious food, lots of wine, and the beautiful landscape of Santorini! For us, the boat tour made the most sense to see as much of Santorini while enjoying the process of getting there. We highly recommend doing a boat tour!
We stayed near Ambelas beach in Paros that was mainly full of locals. It is a tiny beach and was very crowded. It was nice that the beach was a close walk from our hotel. However, it was impossible to get a lounge chair since the beach was very packed. Also, there’s one main restaurant on the beach that is very expensive. We visited Naoussa where there is a lot of food places, rental spots, and shopping.
There are also plenty of beaches in this area. If you want to be around more stuff, this would be a better area to stay in. In Paros, we decided to rent ATVs. We thought it would be the best way to explore the island and lots of fun! It was really easy to learn how to drive the ATV. We took the ATVs over on the ferry to visit Antiparos. We got to ride up the mountains to the Antiparos caves. Antiparos is just as beautiful as paros. There’s plenty of beaches over there. There’s a handful of nice restaurants to eat near the port.
Naxos was a laid back island like Paros. Our accommodations were a few minutes away walking to the beach. Along the beach, there was plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops. I really enjoyed Naxos because at night the restaurants would put out seating to eat on the beach (Agia Anna). There were plenty of beaches in the area we stayed (west shore of Naxos). We walked to Plaka beach because there was plenty of water sports and we wanted to do something adventurous. We all went tubing and it was amazing (and hard for me lol I kept falling off!).
Naxos felt like a busier island than paros, but still not as crazy as Santorini or Mykonos. There was beautiful rocks along the beach that were really fun to climb and serene to sit on and ponder. It was really beautiful to watch the sun start to go down sitting high on these rocks along the beach.
Milos was by far my favorite island because it did not feel touristy. Milos is beautiful and unique! The port area is full of affordable food and shopping. In Milos, we decided to go on a boat tour to see the whole island. We originally wanted to rent ATVs, but it wasn’t possible. We also found out that half the island is just dirt roads so it would be a pretty rough ride or impossible to get to certain spots. So we decided to do a boat tour for the whole day around the whole island. We passed by or stopped at basically every beach along the island.
The following day we visited Sarakiniko beach by bus. We then took a cab from Sarakiniko to Papafragas. At Papafragas, we climbed down stairs to a tiny beach with a cave. It was fun and scary at the same time! Milos did not disappoint! It was the island with the most unique beaches we have ever seen (https://www.2peasinatravelpod.com/home/the-most-beautfiul-beaches-you-must-see-in-milos).
We took an overnight ferry from Milos to Crete. It was a little difficult to find a way to Crete for some reason. Crete is a huge island. We stayed in a little village in the Chania area (the west side of the island). We were so exhausted by this time in the trip. We just stayed and relaxed at our apartment and walked up to the local food spots every night. We wanted to visit the Samaria Gorge, but it was basically a heat wave. So we didn’t really get a true feel of Crete, but we did get a good local experience of the little village we stayed in.