Here’s my second and final Greece post from our trip a few weeks back! Usually we go to Greece later in the summer, so it’s been a bit sad to not have the trip to look forward to at the end of August. Luckily, we have a jam packed month with lots of fun activities & are working on finishing up things around the house (not as fun but will be nice to cross off the list!).
The second island stop of our Greece trip was Naxos. None of us had been to the island before, and it was relatively close to Astypalaia (which is the island we were heading to next for a wedding), so we decided to try something new! Part of the Cyclades, Naxos has the beautiful architecture that Greece is known for, and it’s actually quite large for island standards. We saw TONS of Americans there – in fact, a couple I went to high school with was there celebrating their honeymoon days before I arrived! Such a small world.
Naxos definitely has a big island feel – very different from Koufonissi. It was better organized, had more tourism, and catered to visitors making it very easy to navigate the island. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been to so many Greek islands at this point (I’m a bit of a snob now), but I prefer smaller islands that are off the beaten path. I find them to be more intimate and unique. Regardless, Naxos definitely had it’s own charm and there are plenty of things to do and see while you’re there! Here are five things to do in Naxos, Greece –
Ahhh reflecting back on our Greece trip…it already feels like ages ago! Two weeks ago I was dancing the night away on an island in the Aegean, and now here I am nestled on my couch writing this post, looking at all my photos from a place that feels so far from reality.
The first island we stopped at on our trip was Ano Koufonissi, a small island part of the Cyclades. There are actually two islands known as “Koufonisia” but one of them is basically uninhabited. Ano Koufonissi is the smallest island of the Cycladic group (Mykonos, Santorini & Milos are also a part of this group), so we didn’t plan much time there thinking 24 hours was enough. Surprisingly, this little island turned out to be our favorite of this trip. Both Leo and I wished we had spent more time there! It truly is a hidden gem.
I’m officially off to Greece! I’m probably on a flight as you’re reading this right now…
So so excited for this trip. I was in desperate need of a vaca – this time I’m going without my laptop, so I can TRULY check out for once. That said, you won’t be hearing from me here for a week or so, so make sure to follow me on my Insta as I’ll be posting TONS of pictures and stories over the next 10 days!
You probably know this by now, but Leo is Greek, so we go back to Greece once a year to visit his friends & family. These pics are from one of our trips to Milos a few years back – I swear the backgrounds are real and not Photoshopped. The last few summers, we’ve had weddings on various islands (I know, it sounds terrible right?). This year, we’ll be spending a couple days in Athens, followed by a few days in Naxos, and then heading to another wedding in the small island of Astipalaia! Lots of moving around over the next 10 days or so…but I’m pumped!
Before leaving, I wanted to share a few things, many of them Greece focused…for obvious reasons!
It’s hard to believe it’s only been about 6 weeks since we came back from our Greece/Dubai trip. I’ve found as things have become more stressful at home, I’ve been dreaming more and more about traveling again…just bouncing from place to place, solely with the intention of indulging on new experiences & soaking in every moment of life. I try not to live for the weekend, but it seems like that has been the trend as of late, and I need to break out of it! There is so much more to life than wishing for the time to pass more quickly. I’m sure in years to come I will regret doing so.
I’ve already posted some tidbits from my beautiful trip on the blog (here and here), but I found there are a handful of photos that I never shared. They’re just too beautiful to keep to stored away in my hard drive, so I’m sharing these with you today. These photos are a mix of shots that were taken in Rhodes & Chania, Crete back in September.
After nearly one week of being on vacation, I’ve finally let go of everything going on at home. I’m a big believer of long vacations – I’m not able to decompress over a long weekend, and to me a successful holiday is one where you release every stress of daily life and enjoy the little things. Let’s just say I’ve been indulging on the “little things” lately and am loving every moment of it!
The last few days, we’ve been in Rhodes. This is both Leo and I’s first time on the island, and despite it’s large size, it’s actually quite charming. As with most Greek islands, you have the option to dress up or down depending on your mood and planned activities. The other night, we planned a low-key dinner, so I decided this was the perfect moment to wear these funky linen pants I picked up in Athens last weekend.
I’ve been to Athens a few times over the last 3 years, and I will admit that it has grown on me. People have different opinions on the city – I’m one of those who believes it’s completely underrated. Not only is there so much history there, but you’ll find that it is so rich in culture. People there have an appreciation for all the beautiful things in life – music, art, food, friends & family. No matter what the economic situation is, the cafes and restaurants are packed with people enjoying themselves. As the city is massive, it can be very overwhelming and visitors don’t know where to go outside of the touristy spots. Here’s a list of things to do to get you started. You won’t be disappointed!
This summer was my first time in Crete, and I think it’s safe to say it’s my favorite Greek island so far. My boyfriend and I have had a running joke the last month or so about how we’re just going to pack up and move to Crete (with Chicago winter on the way I’m willing to move sooner than later). The first thing that immediately stood out to me upon arrival was that the island is GREEN. Coming from the Cyclades, which are considered dry islands, seeing greenery was a pleasant surprise. The landscape in Crete is unlike any other Greek island that I’ve been to. Mountains, canyons, palm trees, farms, just beauty all around. The island is also not as windy as the Cyclades islands, so the likelihood of getting what I call “sand blasted” (this occurs when the wind is so strong that it causes the sand to lift up off the ground and into your eyes, mouth, hair, etc.) is slim to none. Outside of all that, the food and people in Crete were by far the most memorable. Cretan food is known to be the best of the Greek cuisine, and after experiencing it, I see what the hype is all about. The locals on the island were so welcoming and hospitable, always offering a shot of Raki (the Cretan Spirit made from the residue of a wine-press) and fresh fruits for you to enjoy. Warning: Raki is insanely strong, and it’s rude to not finish it (yep – you gotta suck it up). I was lucky enough to spend time in two of the larger cities on the island, Rethymno and Chania.
Ahh Mykonos, where to begin. I’ve been to Mykonos quite a few times now, and it truly does not get old. Although it has the party island rep, I’ve found that Mykonos is what you make of it. If you don’t want to party, that’s okay. There are plenty of great restaurants and shopping to check out if clubs aren’t your thing. If you’re looking to party until 6AM and grab a delicious crepe for breakfast, you can do that too. With gorgeous beaches, a variety of tasty food, luxury shopping and a booming nightlife, let’s just say you won’t be bored. To set expectations, things to do tend to be on the expensive side here as it is a major tourist destination. However, it definitely deserves a visit. Did I mention how beautiful the town is? And that I spotted Jeremy Piven out and about?
My first island stop on my Greece trip was Milos. One of the Cyclades islands known for their white & blue buildings, Milos is a hidden gem. The beaches are the most beautiful I have seen in Greece thus far, and the food is excellent. This was my third year in a row visiting this island; my boyfriend vacationed here as a kid, so he really enjoys going back for nostalgic reasons (& also because it truly is a beautiful place). The unique thing about Milos is that the flow of lava has created strange rock formations around the island, and these formations have become places for people to lay out and swim. You can go from swimming in caves, to laying out on a beach with fine sand, to swimming in a small pool of sea water between moon-like rocks. Also, there is a ton of history in Milos – the famous Venus de Milo (name make sense now?) was found here back in 1820!
As the island is rich in minerals, the economy doesn’t solely rely on tourism. As a result, prices at restaurants and bars are reasonable and you can get a feel of the local culture and traditions. You’ll find beaches on this island that haven’t yet been taken over by beach bars and lounge beds – in some cases, it’s just you and the sea. Milos is the perfect spot for those who want more of a cultural experience, a quiet getaway, great beaches and tasty Greek food. If you ever plan on visiting this special place, here’s a quick travel guide to Milos.
For the last three summers, I’ve been lucky enough to make it out to Greece for a long trip (perks of dating a Greeker). And EVERY summer, a trip to the Athens flea is on the agenda. I know I know…I am a bit obsessed with flea markets – it’s basically the first thing I do in every city I visit (I was at the Brooklyn flea a few weeks back). However, no flea market I’ve been to is the same, and that’s what I love about them. It’s always a new adventure. Each market is influenced by the art and culture of the city or region it’s in, and a lot of times as an outsider you don’t know what is unique to that market.
The Athens flea market has been around for thousands of years, and it’s massive. At the center of the city, right beneath the Acropolis and connected to the picturesque neighborhood of Plaka, it’s a must visit. From spices to soaps to shoes to antique furniture, there is so much to discover. Again, it’s important to know what is unique in every market and keep an eye out for those specific items. As a frequent visitor, I’ve narrowed my Athens flea shopping list down to three things.