Greek Islands: Mykonos and Santorini

Mykonos was a vibe… it just wasn’t our vibe.

We choose to stay on the southern part of Mykonos, near Paradise Beach where we spent three nights at the Soho Roc House. It was an incredibly designed property, and definitely the highlight of our stay on the island.

After spending a relaxing day at our resort, we headed toward Mykonos Town after hearing from multiple people that it’s a “must see”. Within the first few minutes of arriving in town and entering the winding alleys, we both knew we had walked into our nightmare. Hoards of cruise folks walked through single file, sporting colorful stickers to ensure they were following the right tour guide. Instagram models pouted in photos on every corner. Drunk 18 year old brits on holiday packed into bars.

Within an hour, we felt like we had seen the town and were fully over it. The town itself had a few photogenic corners and cute spots, but it’s incredibly commercialized and over priced. I imagine that anyone who doesn’t have a point of reference to compare Mykonos to might have enjoyed it more, but we knew better than to think 20 Euro for a greek salad is normal in Greece.

After that experience, we spent the bulk of our time in the southern part of the island and in the sanctuary of the Soho House, lounging on day beds with a view of the Aegean Sea. We found a local restaurant nearby, Nikolas Taverna, with incredible food and spent an evening at Scorpios, an infamous beach club where we danced the night away with new found friends!

Overall, Mykonos had its highlights and we enjoyed ourselves greatly, it wasn’t our favorite island on the trip. Unless you’re heading there with big party plans and bottomless pockets, I think a day or two on the island is plenty.

Santorini was a very different story.

I was anxious about going to Santorini because I had high hopes for the island and after seeing Mykonos, I thought it might also be a tourist trap.

I can report back that Santorini is every bit worth the hype! The cliffside views of Oia are nothing short of magical, and it is truly one of the most beautiful places I have been.

Is it very touristy? Yes. Is it packed? Also yes. But is it worth is? Absolutely.

Josh and I treated ourselves to a romantic stay at the Perivolas Hotel, a luxury cliffside resort that was located walking distance to town, but far enough to be an oasis from the crowded center. We spent our mornings and evenings sightseeing and our days lounging at the pool, taking in the cliffside views.

One thing to know is Oia, the main town in Santorini (the one you see on every postcard) is incredible crowded and because the little streets offer no shade, it gets incredibly hot. After learning the hard way that afternoon in town was miserable, we switched to sightseeing and taking all of our photos between 7 and 9 am. So, if you’re wondering how my photos look so beautiful and empty- that’s because we were up at the crack of dawn to take them!

Our last day in Santorini, we did a popular highlight from Oia to Fira, a 6 mile walk that takes you up and down the cliffs that offers incredible views of the sea and caldera. If you have the time, I definitely recommend the hike- just make sure to do it in the morning before it gets too hot!

Overall, we thought Santorini was romantic and lived up to how beautiful it looks in photos. Don’t let the crowds deter you!

As a reminder, you can access all of my favorite places in Mykonos and Santorini via Pauline’s Google Map Pins: Greek Islands.