Our Europe specialist Emily recently took a trip to the sun-soaked Cyclades in Greece. From Athens to Milos, and Paros to Santorini, she indulged in classic Greek cuisine, visited hidden beaches and enjoyed sunsets over the caldera. And when she returned, she brought back a notebook teeming with top tips. Read on to discover the highlights from this great Greek adventure.
- Where did you visit?
- What did you get up to?
- What made your trip special?
- Did you learn about any hidden gems?
- What’s your favourite thing you ate?
- Did anything surprise you about the destination?
- What’s a top tip you’d give to clients?
We were lucky enough to visit some of the most beautiful islands in the Cyclades – Milos, Folegandros, Santorini, Antiparos and Paros, as well as Athens on mainland.
While the main aim of my trip was to test drive some of the experiences we offer here, I also took the time to really get to know each destination. And I made sure to indulge in all the Greek goodies: I visited old towns like Plaka in Athens; saw gorgeous beaches (particularly in Paros); and tried out some delicious local souvlaki and moussaka. I also went on a few catamaran boat trips – a popular (and picturesque!) way to get around, particularly in Milos where half the island is only accessible by boat.
Getting to visit so many places in one trip. Each island has something different to offer – Santorini is great for sunset sea-views, Milos has picturesque villages, and Cape Sounion has the magnificent temple of Poseidon. It was a reminder that you don’t need to travel long-haul for diverse experiences and gorgeous scenery.
The clifftop village of Imerovigli, on Santorini, was a real hidden gem. The hotels here have amazing views of the caldera, the world's biggest volcanic eruption ever recorded. And price wise, they’re a fraction of the cost compared to Oia, which has become an Instagram hotspot in recent years, but the views are just as incredible.
Feta saganaki – I had it on perhaps five different occasions, and it was divine every time. It’s feta cheese fried in a light filo pastry and topped with honey and sesame seeds. I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!
Just how pretty every old town we visited was. They’re known as ‘chora’ (meaning ‘town’) and all of them are incredible picturesque with narrow cobbled streets filled with bougainvillea. I thought you’d have to search high and low for these Instagrammable spots, but they’re everywhere.
Hire a car! It’s great value and without a doubt the best way to explore the islands. The roads are quiet and there’s free parking pretty much everywhere. It lets you freely explore the best beaches, smaller towns and hidden spots that you’d miss out on otherwise.
Header Image by Olivier Romano | Body Images by Emily Rister