Planning your honeymoon to Greece? I’m posting our itinerary to save you time with yours!
First off, congratulations newly engaged couple! I’m a wedding photographer based in New Jersey with a penchant for traveling the globe – and living to tell the tale via this blog.
Greece is arguably one of the most popular European honeymoon destinations – and for good reason. But I have to confess… our actual honeymoon was in France (An itinerary about that will be coming soon)! Greece was our first big, international trip together as a couple. It was a country both of us had wanted to visit for a long time. A few days before we hopped on the plane my now hubby proposed, so we kept referring to it as “honeymoon part 1.” And it sure felt like one!
We visited during the summer of 2021 when the world was still extra Covid cautious. It worked in our favor – there were hardly any tourists! Cruising was still closed, so it was pretty much just us on the islands. The only downfall to traveling during this time was that indoor dining was prohibited and it was SO HOT, so we were quite the sweaty outdoor diners.
Our Greece itinerary…
ATHENS (Days 1-3)
We took a direct flight from New Jersey to Athens. It was 9 hours long and when we landed the time difference was 7+ hours ahead. Our bodies were confused and we spent the rest of that day napping. Uber and Lyft isn’t a thing in Greece (at least they weren’t in 2021) but good olde fashioned taxis are. It is very easy to have your hotel or restaurant call you a taxi – just ask!
We stayed at the Acropolis View Hotel and highly recommend it! The rooms are clean and the staff is extremely helpful. Our room was the Standard Double. From the outside, the hotel doesn’t look like anything special. But then you take the elevator to the rooftop and realize why it’s called what it’s called. The view is breathtaking!! Every day you have the option to have breakfast on the roof. This was one of our favorite parts of the trip – waking up to this view and a DELICIOUS, full breakfast (see photo). You can access the rooftop whenever, and we went up at night sometimes too to enjoy a nightcap of wine we bought from the first floor bar.
We spent some time in the afternoon at Cinque Wine Bar tasting different Greek wines with charcuterie. We also had an olive oil tasting there and it was crazy how you could tell the difference between oils in different parts of the country. For the wine tasting, the owners spent a lot of time with us and showed us jars of the soil each wine came from. They were so friendly and accommodating! It was an experiential meal I highly recommend!
Another place we dined at that I recommend if you’re vegetarian or vegan is Avocado. This was right up my alley! We grabbed a healthy lunch here one day and the veggie burgers and salads were so tasty.
Though I cannot remember the names, there are lots of rooftop restaurants and bars in Athens with stunning views. Add this idea to your list!
THINGS TO DO:
We did the Full Day Tour of Athens with Lunch Tour through Viator. The tour was about $100 per person. You visit the Panathenaic Stadium, Acropolis, Acropolis Museum and Temple of Poseidon with a tour guide and a bus. The lunch stop is a classic Greek food stop in the city and was yummy. I like tours when I am exploring a place with a language barrier and no nothing about. Touring the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum were amazing! Honestly, the Temple of Poseidon was just another ruin at that point – and it was an hour drive each way – but still interested in to see and something to fill our day with. There are SO many Acropolis tours you can’t go wrong. I recommend doing an early one as it gets crowded.
One day we simply strolled the city on our own. We walked around the (under construction) Temple of Zeus for a small fee and were the only ones there! Free spots included the Ancient Agora, and Roman Forum and scenic Zappeion Gardens. There are ruins everywhere. It is amazing how old this place is. Some people might view Athens as just another city, but we really enjoyed it and consider it one of our favorites!
MYKONOS (Days 4-6)
From the Piraeus port in Athens (about 20 minutes from hotel), we took a 2.5 hour ride on a high-speed SeaJet ferry to Mykonos. The ferry system is AMAZING. Very efficient and the boats are clean and comfortable with a food and drink station on-board. Many locals take the ferry every day. You will see lots of cars and mopeds board it. You should arrive about 30-45 minutes before your ferry departs.
We stayed at The George Hotel and it was lovely. We had a seaview room with a balcony. Being our first island on the vacation, we saw this as our time to relax, even though (we didn’t know this then), Mykonos is the party island! We spent a LOT of time at the refreshing infinity pool. The poolside drinks were not cheap. Breakfast was included and it was a delicious buffet. The front of the hotel, like many in the islands, is not grand. It’s almost hidden. There are a lot of stairs at this hotel!
We dined near the windmills at one of the scenic restaurants right next to the sea. The waves almost touched us! Order a Greek Salad (it’s not like your American version!) and sip some Ouzo (if that’s your thing).
THINGS TO DO:
To go to the beach, you have to walk across the street from the hotel and go to its sister hotel’s beach club at Platis Gialos Beach. Like most Euro beaches, it is common to pay for a pass to a beach club and rent a lounge chair (or else you’re laying on rocks – like legit, large, rocks). We had ourselves a relaxing beach day, dipped into the chilly Mediterranean Sea and ordered pizza from our chairs.
On our second day, we went to see the famous Windmills! Not gonna lie, they felt a little touristy. But you HAVE to see them! Walking in and out through the streets nearby is just what you’d imagine for Greece. Beautiful colored flowers, white and blue painted buildings, zigzagged streets – it was so surreal.
We also rented an ATV at a spot near our hotel for the day. ATV’s are super common modes of transportation here. It was a unique way to see the island. We stopped to see down over Nammos, a town/beach where celebrities stay.
SANTORINI (Days 7-9)
Again we took the ferry. It was about 2.5 hours to Santorini.
We stayed at Aplai Dome in Oia. Though it’s not on the caldera, it’s right across the street – and half the price. We splurged on the Honeymoon Suite, which had a hot tub balcony, and I can’t imagine the cost if we were to do this on the caldera side of the island (but it’s your honeymoon – spend what YOU want!). It was a bit under construction when we visited, so I’d imagine all that is cleared up by now. Our room was nice and breakfast was included. One of my favorite things was the pool (of course) but also the fact that a donkey pen was right behind it so we would swim and watch the donkeys! The receptionist wasn’t always there (left at 5pm) so if you had an issue after hours, it’d be tricky. Oia was in walking distance.
We timed dinner with our Petra Kouzina Cooking Class. You do not want to miss this! I follow Jessie James Decker on Instagram and right before our trip the Deckers went to Greece and dined here. I immediately had to book it after seeing how much fun they had. (I actually asked Paula, one of the hosts, how Jessie was and she said she was funny and kept asking them where the nude beaches were!). Take a taxi out to this 1950’s Cave House. You’ll be dining with up to 16 people total, unless you book a private one. The class is about 4 hours and run by a husband and wife duo who are so sweet and informative. You learn how to make traditional Greek meal items like tzatziki, moussaka and shrimp saganaki (vegetarian accommodations are made!). At the end, you all dine together on the beautiful terrace and enjoy the fruits of your labor. You’ll leave with a cookbook of your meals and a full, happy belly.
For a splurge, I highly recommend Mavro. We stumbled across this luxurious, rooftop restaurant after our engagement shoot. We were starving and wanted a view! It was one of the most incredible meals we’ve ever had and still talk about it. Though the menu’s changed a little, the purple cauliflower soup and mushroom risotto still visit me in my dreams.
At the bottom of the Amoudi Bay we dined at the Amoudi Fish Tavern. Though an iconic setting with its hanging octopi, the food was so-so to me (but I’m not a big fish eater). My husband got the octopus and noted they were cooked differently than in America with lots of vinegar! Note: this restaurant is only open April – October.
THINGS TO DO:
Being we just got engaged, I thought, why not take our Engagement Portraits in Santo-freaking-rini!? It is very common to book a flying dress photo shoot here, but that’s not really our thing. I used my wedding photographer powers and researched a fabulous local photographer that had the bright, romantic, editorial style I myself emulate. His name was Vasilis Kouroupis and I highly recommend him! He is based in Athens and travels all over Greece. He took us to some secret spots and was so kind. We used these photos for our save-the-dates, wedding website, and even around our wedding venue. I’m obsessed!
We booked a Half-Day Catamaran Cruise through Viator. It was a half day sail and included lunch (authentic Greek food – plus, vegetarian-friendly options if you let them know!) and even a tasty Greek yogurt and berries treat. Beer, wine and water was on board. There were three spots. One was a small beach, another a sulfer hot spring (warning: do not wear a white or light colored bathing suit this day or it will stain red from the chemicals!), which was really incredible, and a spot to jump off the side of the boat and swim! This was a really fun day that was both relaxing and adventurous.
Of course, you’ll want to catch the sunset every night. The streets get crowded in Oia, the best place to view it, but it’s worth it. You’ll want to visit Amoudi Bay too. We took the million steps down (and ended up taxing back up later, ha). You could take a donkey, but they didn’t look like they were treated the best. Poor babies!
ATHENS (Day 10)
Since Athens has the international airport, you need to make your way back there for your big flight home. While you can certainly end your trip here instead, we decided to fly there from Santorini and stay one more night soaking up the city before our 10 hour flight home the next day! You can take the ferry back from Santorini to Athens in 5 hours. We opted for the 45 minute flight with Volotea Air and though was a smidgen pricier, it was pretty painless and a lot quicker!
To make it easy, we stayed at the Acropolis Hotel again, which we didn’t mind at all because ahem, the breakfast. We didn’t do much our last day besides wander like a local, find some authentic Asian food for dinner and stroll around the ancient ruins one last time before our journey came to a halt.
Questions about our itinerary? Feel free to shoot me an email! I hope you enjoy your romantic honeymoon in Greece – it truly is the trip of a lifetime.