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An Insider’s Guide to Mykonos, Greece

*Covid-19 edit: this guide is for bookmarking purposes only, please stay home as we all help to flatten the curve*

Mykonos is a Greek island that is part of Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. In recent years, it has been getting more and more popular among the rich and famous and also in the Instagram community. Thanks to its bright white buildings, turquoise water, vibrant nightlife, and picturesque streets, it attracts millions of visitors every year.

Mykonos is also a unique destination for fashion lovers. Many known and less known greek designers are present here. Just walk around colorful streets of Mykonos town, the biggest town on the island, and you will for sure find an outfit that will make you look like a Greek goddess.

Getting around

There are year-round flights to Mykonos from Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as flights from various European destinations during the high season. Mykonos is also pretty small, so you can easily get around by moped, taxi or bus.

When to Travel

The main season on Mykonos lasts from May to October, with summer months being more popular. However, if you want cheaper hotel prices and a more relaxed atmosphere you could go in April to early June or late September and October.

Night Life

Mykonos has a well-deserved reputation of being the “the Ibiza of Greece”. Its Scorpio beach club is one of the best beach clubs in Europe. It offers stunning sunset rituals, live music, delicious food and excellent views with a romantic atmosphere. If you are on a budget it can get a bit pricey here, so you may want to consider the many other party locations in the downtown area of Mykonos, or Paradise and Super Paradise beach.

Best Photo Spots

Mykonos is a real paradise for photography lovers. Every corner and street, colorful balconies make it feel and look like a fairytale. To avoid crowds it’s better to start your photo session as early as possible, preferably before 8 am.  The top locations are the narrow streets of the town, the windmills of Kato Mili, Paraportiani Church, cafes and the beach in Little Venice. Read more here.

An Insider's Guide to Mykonos, Greece

 

Advice Europe Pack Perfect What to Pack

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Greece is the ultimate chic summer getaway… don’t you think? Think glamorous, warm nights sipping local white wine, soaking in the sun with your girlfriends while noshing on fresh fruit and exploring the iconic white-washed coastlines. Should you find yourself booking a dreamy trip to Greece, it’s important to pack items that will keep you cool while also looking lovely and put together. After all, the refined style of European women is so incredible. Here’s how to not look like a tourist in Greece!

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A Cool Slip Dress

We love a midi dress for travel because it’s the perfect combination of glamorous, yet conservative and cool. This v-neck style is effortless and can be worn alone, as a slip under a layered tee or underneath a cardigan after the sun sets. Plus, the pop of teal will have you looking one with Santorini/Greece’s iconic architecture.

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A Midi Eyelet Skirt

A fit and flare skirt ripped right from an old black and white film. We love this flirty, feminine little number – especially because it pairs well with so many different looks and is super lightweight. It’s the perfect choice for wine tasting or shopping in boutiques.

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Vintage Inspired Sunglasses

Greece’s harsh sunlight is no joke – so be sure to pack a pair of vintage-esque sunglasses with great UVA/UVB protection!

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A Nautical-Inspired One Piece Swimsuits With A Feminine Twist

This one piece has the perfect amount of coverage, while still remaining classic and subtly sexy. It’s the perfect choice to wear underneath a coverup or airy dress knowing that you’ll be near the oceanside later in the day. When choosing a swimsuit for Greece, I like to ere on the side of slightly conservative (for my own comfort) with unique details, like a cool belt or a ruched fabric detail like this one. If you’d rather rock a two piece, I love this athetlic option with denim looking fabric!

A Romantic Ruffled Top

This crisp white, ruffled top has a nod of romanticism while also being functional. Pair it with denim on a cooler day or layer it over a swimsuit after dipping into a pool during the mid day heat. Greece is well known for its romance (it is considered to be one of the ultimate honeymoon destinations for a reason), so be sure to dress in tandem with its vibe!

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Packable Sunscreen Spray

To protect your precious skin during your long walks around Santorini’s beaches or the harsh sun while exploring ancient sites like the Acropolis, be sure to pick up a packable sunscreen spray. We love this one because it can easily slip into your bag and is TSA approved! (P.S. if you’re looking for eco-friendly products we love, check this post out!)

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Platform Wedges

We love wedges for travel because they inconspicuously add some height while being comfortable enough to wear all day. European women are known for wearing sky high heels (even on cobblestoned streets), but you won’t be looking like a tourist in these bad boys. These wedges are so comfy because of their thick ankle straps support your ankles and keep your feet from sliding around.P

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

A High Waisted Bikini

Go for a vintage look with a chic high waisted, belted bikini bottom for the perfect amount of coverage, paired with a classic, supportive top. The paradise blue color will have you blending in with the Santorini skies with ease!

An Easy Mini Bag

This chic little bag is has ultimate cool-girl look. The crochet detail feels artisan and its mini-size won’t have you feeling weighed down.

Pack Perfect: How To Not Look Like A Tourist In Greece

Hoping you have the most glamorous, romantic time in Greece! With these looks, you’ll be looking like a local in no time. Happy packing!

Europe Photography

Greece Photo Diary: Sunset Dreams

Greece Photo Diary

Greece Photo Diary

During my three weeks spent island hopping the Greek Islands, I found out that Greece is a lot more than just blue domed chapels and white washed buildings. Each island is unique and beautiful in a different way and I’ve collected so many favorite moments here.

I loved climbing up to reach the church from the Chora village in Ios to watch the sunset, waking up in time for sunrise with the smell of freshly made croissants to watch the sun slowly showing on the caldera in Santorini, and exploring around Milos to find the hidden crystal clear water swim spots.

Here’s a collection of my favourite spots on the islands and a little something on each location:

Ios

Greece Photo DiaryGreece Photo Diary

Ios is a true gem. The colors, the views, and the beaches around the island are mesmerising and can’t wait to go back to experience it all over again. There were a lot of moments chasing the golden hour here, but there is no such thing as too many sunsets, especially in Greece. Make sure to walk all the way up to the church in the Chora village for the best sunset views on the island.

Greece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo Diary

Santorini

Greece Photo Diary

The most iconic and crowded of the Greek Islands. Santorini is a lot bigger than what I previously thought and has so much to offer. Wake up early to beat the crowds and don’t be afraid to venture down the little paths that lead to the many luxury hotels scattered around the island. The best views are found here. A must-do is the walk from Fira to Oia, passing through the Imerovigli to climb Skaros Rock.

Greece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo Diary

 

Milos

Greece Photo Diary

Milos is the island of the adventure and the best way to experience its incredible landscape is by driving around. White volcanic rock and crystal clear waters are what make this island so magical. Visit the cute little village of Plaka and climb to the Venetian castle when the golden hour hits and soak in the moonscape of Sarakiniko beach.

Greece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo DiaryGreece Photo Diary


Hope you enjoyed this Greece photo diary!

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Journal

One Heart, Two Countries: The Airport Diaries

Tears glisten in my eyes. It’s the same way I came, a few weeks and a lifetime before, and the same way I’ll leave. I adjust my heavy shoulder bag crammed with random camera chargers and Kuria Maria’s homemade cherry pita, given to me with a warm smile before departing the island of Paros just yesterday. The sun is at its peak in the noon light, and it glimmers onto the shining, white floors of terminal B9, as I breathe out a sigh laced with sadness, contentment, and happiness. Eleftherios Venizelos Athens Airport has the scent of home, with both the promise of an adventure and the closing of one. It is the passage between hello and goodbye. Ellada mou…my Greece…After all these years…all these flights, layovers in Zurich, Frankfurt, or Rome marking the change from one world to the next, I can never get enough of you.

I study the head of the woman in line in front of me as we wait to board, and wonder if she is leaving behind her heart, as I am mine. A small smile plays on my lips as I suddenly remember the kind, older gentleman playing the uplifting notes of traditional songs on his clarinet at the harbor one day. I took one look into his eyes and saw his soul, and had no choice but to weep. I mentally inscribe words and thoughts to fill my notebook pages the second I can put my bags down. The airport diaries.

My dad and his siblings left behind the only country they knew and immigrated to the U.S. from Greece in the 1950’s. My mom was born in the U.S., but her grandparents came from Greece generations before. As a Greek-American, I loved my childhood family trips, but fell in a deep, irreversible love with it at sixteen, and have never been the same since. It is a place where magic comes to life. It is love, light, and beauty, exploding with bursts of culture, history, and a twinge of pain because of the depths of its beauty and the turmoil it has seen. For me, Greece is more than a location on a map—it’s my home, my roots, and my deepest love.

Growing up in Boston there were two worlds: “here,” and “there.” One world I lived in during the fall, winter, and spring, and the other, in the summer. As I grew, life became more complicated, realities set in, and the worlds became more difficult to juggle, balance, and separate. The line between what was doable, feasible, and realistic for someone trying to move forward in a career, start grad school, or build relationships became more complex. “Eheis ena podi edo, ena podi ekei…duskolo” my theia (aunt) would always sigh, as I sat cross-legged at seventeen in the kitchen peeling potatoes, in the July heat of Athens. This phrase, “You have one foot here and one foot there,” is the pinnacle of never fully being in one place. It is the deep emotion, experience, and heartache of missing the place where your heritage lies, and people you love, while living in another. An affliction I would never wish on anyone. Years of moments lived across the across the ocean, before Skype, imessage, Viber, or Facebook. Missing Easter in the horio (village), my cousin’s college graduation, or my godchild’s birthday. But a love amongst my dad, his siblings, and my cousins which spanned the distance, despite time zones. After many years, I grew into a solid and stable understanding of who I was, in order to jump back and forth between two opposing countries and cultures for half a lifetime.

As I got older, others were quick to place their two cents when it wasn’t always asked for, for a life that was different from theirs and a passion they didn’t understand. Sentences started with “you really need to…,” followed by a statement of advice which they thought would benefit me and show me their age (often times not much older than mine), wisdom, and experience. I began to dread the question, “Why don’t you just move to Greece?” as if it was that easy to make a lifelong decision in your early twenties, when you don’t even know what you want for dinner that night. As if it was that easy to pick up, and move across the world with a family who relied on you, no real job experience, and the Greek economy which was on the verge of bankruptcy and didn’t hold many opportunities for young people. These comments would often be laced with underlying narratives of “how much I travel,” never bothering to acknowledge the fact that I rarely took weekend trips, went to concerts, or had an apartment. That I sacrificed an abundance of things, deeper than that of monetary value, for something which was far more important.

Now, after half a lifetime, I’m less sad and more eternally grateful. I spend less time defending and more time accepting. It’s ok if people don’t understand, because I do. I did not choose this, it chose me, in the most beautiful way. I am deeply blessed to have something which is equal parts pain and joy. A country of opportunity and education that I was blessed enough to be born into, and another country which has my whole heart, for my whole life. My aunts, cousins, and friends which make Greece what it is. Its people who have given new meaning to my life, color to my writing, a new depth to my soul. Lessons in relationships, forgiveness, independence. A world of cuisine, land, and sea. Beauty in the simplicity of a moment, because it is fleeting. A second which becomes that much more astonishing due to the quiet ticking of a clock in the background.

I buckle my seatbelt and brace myself as the plane slowly ascends, leaving behind the faces I love and the aqua depths which fill my lungs with life. Immediately I feel displaced. Like a plant whose roots have been ripped, whose sole way of retrieving water has been torn and destroyed. But I’ll do it again. The going, the leaving, the sadness, the riveting happiness, the inexplicable love. Because it’s where I belong and it’s worth it, every time.

Europe Food

A Beginner’s Guide To Eating In Greece

Hello! I’m Jessica from The Northern Nomads, writing to share my food guide for the current buzzy travel destination that is Greece. I’ve written my suggestions based on certain dishes that you will find at many restaurants – from casual to upscale. Here is a beginner’s guide to eating in Greece!

What I really loved about visiting Greece for the first time (outside of the pristine blue waters and white washed architecture) was the food. Fresh vegetables, grilled meats, delicious desserts. Every meal was memorable.

Starting my trip in Santorini, my hotel offered breakfast on my terrace every morning. Options were simple Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, soft boiled eggs, croissants and fresh fruits. What did stand out to me was something called Bougatsa – a pastry stuffed with chicken. I’m usually not big on chicken when I wake up, but this was delicious!

For lunch, stick to a grab-and- go souvlaki place. A pita with grilled meats, vegetables and fries was only 7-8 euro! Other options include kabobs and platters. Delicious, fresh, and affordable.

A few of my favorite dinner dishes organized by course were –

Spreads/Dips

  • Fava: yellow, split pea dip
  • Tzatziki: a must have starter to eat with grilled bread, made from strained yogurt with cucumbers, garlic and olive oil
  • Melitzanosalata: roasted eggplant spread with garlic, oil, lemon juice – served chilled
  • Baked feta cheese: need I say more? Great with bread, great on salad, great with meat, great with
    everything.

Salads/Starters

  • Greek salad: I was surprised that this salad didn’t have any lettuce in it! Sliced peppers, cucumber,
    tomatoes and olives topped with a huge block of feta cheese. The best salads are topped with lots of
    cheese in my opinion.
  • Kolokithokeftedes: fried Greek zucchini fritters – these have onion, mint, and cheese and are delicious

Entrée*

  • Souvlaki: classic Greek favorite – kabobs with peppers and onions
  • Lamb Kleftiko: slow cooked lamb with vegetables and herbs, my personal favorite
  • Pan fried pork: simple and great with fresh lemon

*I should caveat that while I don’t eat seafood, fish is a must try. The Greeks have been fishing for 11,000 years. Everything is extremely fresh & from the sea you are looking over!

Dessert

  • Baklava: a classic Greek dessert choice – made with layers of filo and filled with nuts and honey
  • Greek yogurt: another popular dessert choice with honey
  • Gelato: essential for cooling off, I visited Red Parrot in Mykonos Town

Drink

  • Wine: the Island of Santorini is mostly famous for its white grape varieties – specifically Assyrtiko! The influence of the land’s volcanic soil makes it a popular grape and is a dry white wine (my favorite). There are several wineries you can visit on the island and try all sorts of varieties.
  • Raki: an anise flavored drink popular in several Mediterranean countries. Served with chilled water and/or ice cubes and turns a mily white color. Personally, not for me but a must try while visiting Greece.
  • Ouzo: very similar to Raki in flavor, as it is also anise-flavored. Both are highly rectified ethanol. Ouzo is more strongly tied to Greek origins.

Pro tip: avoid the touristy places and explore long standing restaurants with notable good service. A good meal with multiple courses and a bottle of wine never cost me more than 25-30 euro per person.

These suggestions were based on my time in Santorini and Mykonos. I am by no means an expert on Greek cuisine, but hope this guide will help you find some key dishes while visiting Greece! Options vary island to island – I can’t wait to go back!

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