As a gift to myself for successfully completing my first year of University last spring, I decided it was time for to embark on my dream trip. For as long as I can remember my most dreamt about travel experience was island hopping in Greece, and this past May I was fortunate enough to fulfill that lifelong dream. After spending a few days in London with family along the way there, my best friend Miranda and I made our way from London over to Athens where we began what was the best two weeks of our lives.

Before arriving to Greece I was quite nervous about what the weather was going to be like as May is the very beginning of the peak season in Greece, meaning that we were fortunate enough to miss most of the large crowds and unbearably high temperatures. To be completely honest, despite my initial concern about whether or not we would be lucky enough to experience consistently sunny skies and avoid those spring to summer transition period winds, we were hit with a wall of humidity and heat immediately after stepping off the plane which is exactly what I went to Greece hoping for.

The view of Athens from the Dorian Inn

Athens was a city that I had previously heard many mixed reviews on as all though it is beautiful beyond belief, it’s no secret that this Greek metropolis is not known for its cleanliness and is rather better known for its crime and poverty. While I wouldn’t by any means suggest going for an after dark walk on your own throughout the streets of Athens, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I felt perfectly safe the entire time we were there and wasn’t bothered by the dirtiness anymore than I was in New York City or even in some parts of my beautiful home city, Vancouver. By the time we reached our hotel for the duration of our stay in Athens, The Dorian Inn, it was dark and almost time to call it a night so before hopping in to bed we decided to head up to the breathtaking rooftop pool and restaurant for a bite to eat and a celebratory drink for officially making it to Greece.

While traveling through Greece we were actually on a guided tour ran through the company Busabout, which I would highly recommend to any young travelers looking to travel on a budget, meet new people and enjoy a bunch of unique, once in a lifetime experiences. Busabout offers a variety of different travel styles and destinations, the one that we chose to do being the fixed Greek Island hopper. This trip was perfect for the two of us as for the both of us this was our first major trip on our own as adults and virtually everything was organized for us beforehand except for flights and a few meals here and there. The next morning was the first official day of our tour, but before meeting up with the group we have majority of the day to explore Athens on our own so after lying by the rooftop pool ad enjoying the sun for a few hours we made our way over to the Acropolis and began the trek up to the top where we discovered some of the most amazing architecture, history and views. After visiting the Acropolis we made our way back down to the Place where we shopped, ate our first authentic Greek meal for lunch and enjoyed some of the local Athenian culture before heading out early the next morning to our first Island destination, Mykonos.

At the Acropolis in Athens

After catching an early morning ferry out of the Port of Athens we reached the island of Mykonos in the early afternoon and made our way to our accommodation, Paradise Beach and were immediately welcomed with cocktails, activities and a beautiful beach. Although Paradise Beach is located a little outside of the main part of Mykonos, the hotel has a bus stop right out front of the property that will quickly take you into the heart of Mykonos for a mere two euros. Once we had enjoyed everything that Paradise Beach had to offer for a few hours, we made our way into Mykonos where we were greeted with the a delicious Greek meal and a beautiful sunset that we got to watch from the iconic windmills that sit on top of a hill right over the town.

The next morning we made our way down to the beach for breakfast in the sunshine and then gathered our things to make our way back into the town of Mykonos for the afternoon. We spent hours navigating the white, cobblestone maze like streets of Mykonos enjoying the local culture and indulging in some Ice Cream before heading back to Paradise Beach for a couple hours of beach time before the sun began to set on our last day in Mykonos.

The town of Mykonos

The next morning was another early one as we made our way from the island of Mykonos over to Paros. Before this trip I had no idea that the island of Paros even existed, but after our visit to this serene and authentic Greek Island there is no way I will ever forget it. Once we made our way to the adorable little boutique hotel that we were staying in for our time in Paros, we boarded our private (and air-conditioned) coach bus over to the other side of the island where we had the most incredible 4 course greek meal and ended the evening with some traditional Greek dancing and plate smashing which is an experience that I will always hold with me.

Upon waking up the next morning we were served a beautiful Greek breakfast beside the pool at the villas we were staying in and then immediately whisked away on our coach bus and down to the port where we boarded our private sailboat for the day. This day was without a doubt the most fun and exciting day of our trip as we got to spend the day sailing around the island of Paros, swimming through caves, eating the freshest of seafood all while enjoying the sunshine, view and some drinks. After debarking the boat later that afternoon we had a relaxing night in Paros after grabbing dinner on the beach and prepared ourselves to say goodbye to Paros the next day and hello to Santorini, which you can hear all about in my next post which will be filled with the details of our adventure from the last two islands that we visited on this incredible vacation!

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