If you are looking for a destination for your next vacation, Greece should definitely be at the top of your list. Athens, the Greek capital, is a fascinating city, rich in history and culture. I had the chance to visit Athens, discover the Acropolis and the Parthenon, as well as enjoy the incredible view from the Temple of Poseidon and the island of Santorini.
Athens: rich in culture
We began our stay in the Greek capital by putting our bags at the Hotel Plaka, it is a three-star hotel located in the historic district of Plaka, a few minutes walk from the Acropolis, the Parthenon and other tourist sites in Athens. The rooms are very spacious and the staff very pleasant.
We barely have time to put down our things before we leave for the Acropolis of Athens, the emblematic site of the city, is a group of ancient monuments perched on a hill 156 meters high. The Parthenon is one of the most famous buildings on the Acropolis, and it has stood the test of time since its construction in 447 BC. This temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena is adorned with magnificent sculptures and is an iconic example of Doric architecture.
The Acropolis is a magical place to wander around and admire the ancient architecture, especially during the quieter hours of the day. The view of Athens from the Acropolis is breathtaking, with the surrounding mountains and city stretching out at your feet.
Given the large number of people on this site, we had to spend the day there. I advise you to take skip-the-line tickets so as not to waste time.
Be careful, the weather in Athens is very brutal, more than 40°C in the shade, always take a hat and sunscreen with you. As for the water, you will find street vendors approximately every 100 meters.
After dark, we went to Ta Karamanlidika Tou Fani. This restaurant is located in the Monastiraki district and offers traditional Greek cuisine. The products are fresh and quality, with a large selection of cheeses, cold meats and meat dishes. The decor is rustic and the atmosphere is friendly. Prices are reasonable, with dishes starting at €10.
The next day, we went to visit the Temple of Poseidon, located on the southernmost tip of the Attica peninsula. This temple was built in 444 BC and is dedicated to Poseidon, the god of the sea. The view of the Aegean Sea from this site is magnificent, and it is easy to see why the ancient Greeks believed that it It was one of the most sacred places in the region.
Santorini: the must-see
After two days in Athens, which is more than enough to visit the monuments and visit the Olympic Stadium, we took a ferry to Santorini.
The island of Santorini is a destination famous for its incredible views, stunning sunsets and black sand beaches.
We started the day by visiting the village of Oia, famous for its spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and its cube-shaped white houses. You can stroll the cobblestone streets, admire the breathtaking views from the cliffs, and visit the local boutiques and art galleries. Don't forget to take photos of the famous blue domes of Oia's churches.
If you're hungry, head to Ammoudi, a picturesque little port just a short walk from Oia. Here you will find restaurants offering fresh seafood dishes, such as grilled octopus and fried squid. Try Katina Restaurant for fresh seafood and stunning harbor views.
After having a good lunch, we headed towards the hilltop village of Pyrgos. The village is famous for its cobbled streets and traditional churches. We climbed to the top of the hill to enjoy the panoramic views of the island and the Aegean Sea. This is doable for all types of people and will only take a few minutes.
To end the day in style, we went to Fira, the capital of the island. Here you can admire caldera views from the cliffs, shop in local boutiques, and have a drink in one of the town's many bars. We ended our evening at the Tango Bar for the very Mediterranean atmosphere.
To spend a comfortable night, we recommend a room at the Katikies hotel in Oia. This luxury hotel offers spacious rooms with sea views, an outdoor swimming pool and a spa. Guests can enjoy a continental breakfast on their private balcony while admiring views of the Aegean Sea.
We began our second day in Santorini by visiting the archaeological site of Akrotiri, an ancient Minoan village buried under ash from the 1627 BC volcanic eruption. You will see well-preserved houses, colorful frescoes and everyday objects dating back to the Bronze Age.
For lunch we went to Perissa, a black sand beach located on the east coast of the island. Here you will find many restaurants offering traditional Greek dishes, such as gyros, Greek salads and souvlakis. We opted for Dorians for Greek specialties and a stunning view of the beach.
In the afternoon, we stayed in Perissa, and we just laid our towels on the beach and swam in the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea. It is possible to take a boat to visit Red Beach, famous for its red cliffs and turquoise waters if you wish.
For our last evening in Santorini, we returned to Oia to enjoy another spectacular sunset. We wandered the bustling streets, visited the local art galleries and had a drink in one of the many bars overlooking the sea then we had a drink at Kastro Oia with a stunning view of the sunset .
In the end, we were able to see that Greece was rich in culture but also in landscape, with its different islands like Santorini which is simply one among dozens.
Some tips to know before your trip:
- Leave between April and October to make the most of the good weather
- On Santorini, rent scooters or quads to get around
- Take shoes that support your feet well, visits to Greece are very long and sometimes on slippery surfaces.