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The Best Way To See Greece

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This post contains links but they are not sponsored or affiliate links. They are available for your benefit and how we spent our vacation. Every link comes with my personal recommendation.

Now that it’s rainy fall I’m dreaming of sunny summer and thinking of the amazing trip I took this summer. My husband and I were invited to a wedding in Poros, Greece in July and let me tell you, I couldn’t imagine a better way to see Greece! It was the first of 3 weddings for us this summer. (It’s true what they say; you hit an age and then it’s a list of never-ending weddings for 5 years. We’re only on year 2.)

Charlie’s (hubby) old coworker is from Greece. He met his now-wife years ago and he moved to Wisconsin where he worked with Charlie. We were so excited to be invited and Greece was the number 1 destination on my bucket list so I couldn’t wait to go.

Day 1 8/19

Our trip actually started in London but I’ll talk about that part in a different post (since this post is long enough). We arrived at the Athens’ airport around 4:30am and our flight to Kefalonia was at 5am. I have NEVER had to run in an airport (literally never and I travel all the time). Well Athens’ was the first (and hopefully the last). I was so worried we were going to miss our flight but we made it (with seconds to spare).

When we landed we met up with some other wedding attendees and took the crazy 1-hour drive to our hotel in Poros. This was my first real look at Greece because it was dark in Athens when we landed. I never really thought about how hilly it was. But it was incredible to watch the sunrise over the unbelievably blue water.

Melissani Cave

We hit the ground running in Poros. We arrived at our hotel around 7:30am and we had to meet every one at 9am. The wonderful bride and groom had so many things planned for us in the 2 days before the wedding. The first day was seeing the Melissani Cave. It was extraordinary and an amazing experience. You could see straight to the bottom of the cave.

The tour of the cave only took about an hour (including waiting in line). After, we went to Myrtos beach and let me tell you this is easily the most beautiful beach I have ever seen in my life! The water was chilly but not unbearable. However, the water was a little rougher than I was used to. I’m a strong swimmer so I had no problems but many people got tired quickly.

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After a couple marvelous hours at the beach, we headed to Fiskardo for lunch/dinner (they eat dinner at like 10pm, while I eat dinner around 5 – yes I am old at heart) where I had my first true Greek Salad and Charlie had a real Gyro.

  • Side Note: In the US we have Gyros with Lamb. In Greece they are made with Pork or Chicken. And the “sauce” we usually have is really thin and fluid. In Greece the tzatziki sauce is more like yogurt. Really thick and amazing on bread!

We finished the night at the Assos Overlook that looked out over Myrtos Beach. Charlie was able to take some amazing pictures here.

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Travel Tips We Learned This Day

  • If you are flying into or out-of Heathrow, make sure you leave yourself a hour window for connecting flights! (Both our flights were delayed over 2 hours)
  • If you get car sick make sure you bring some kind of medicine to counteract it. Greece is incredibly hilly and the roads are really curvy.
  • Sunscreen!!! Always wear sunscreen!
  • When traveling in Greece ALWAYS have cash! It was extremely rare for places to accept cards.
  • Bring water shoes! And make sure they are snug. The “sand” at some of the beaches were more like rocks. We were warned ahead of time so mine were perfect but Charlie’s were too big and kept falling off which defeated the purpose.
  • Sometimes the smaller/mom-and-pop restaurants are the best.

Day 2 8/20

The next morning, after what felt like 2 minutes of sleep, we set out early to Argostoli to do some shopping. We found some handmade jewelry and custom clothing shops. It reminded me a little of the shops we’ve seen in southern Florida.

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We spent the afternoon at Makris Gialis Beach (Costa Costa) just relaxing and getting to know everyone. (Charlie and I didn’t know anyone else at the wedding – aside from the bride and groom of course)

This evening was the rehearsal dinner, which was held at a relative’s home. We were given rides in the back of pickup trucks to the top of a mountain, ok it was probably closer to a really high hill but it was scary nonetheless in the back of a truck. It was also a lot of fun. The outside patio/garden was decorated in lights and flowers. It was beautiful. The food was all homemade and delicious! We met the groom’s family who showed us how to dance a traditional Greek wedding dance. (You know the one…in the circle?) It was incredible and only set the pace for the next day; wedding day.

Travel Tips We Learned This Day

  • Take your time and enjoy every second. Who knows when/if you’ll be back.
  • Pack for all kinds of weather/activity. Most of the women were wearing dresses so riding in the back of the truck wasn’t comfortable. I wore shorts and didn’t have any problems.
  • Try things out of your comfort zone. I regret not trying the traditional Greek dances. I’m sure I would have looked ridiculous but it would have been something I could have remembered forever.

Day 3 8/21

Today’s the day! The day we’ve all been waiting for and why we made the 5,000+ mile trip. It’s WEDDING DAY!! We actually got to sleep in today because the festivities didn’t start till 6:30pm. So Charlie and I were finally able to catch up on some much needed sleep and we spent the day at the pool relaxing. This is also the day I managed to finish 2 different books. (Not going to lie, this was the definition of my perfect day)

Around 6:30pm we were picked up by the bus and we went up to the church. If you’ve seen the movie Mama Mia and remember her hiking up a hill to get to the church then you can picture the trek we had to do (ok, maybe a slight exaggeration). It was an incredible view and church but let me tell you I was dying when we got to the top. Also, incase you ever attend a Greek wedding make sure you wear light clothing… there was no AC.

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The ceremony was amazing and the couple looked incredible. Something I’ll remember forever. After the ceremony we headed back to the town square where the reception was set up. It was a traditional Greek buffet that started around 9pm. (Apparently it doesn’t get dark there till 10-10:30 btw)

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After dinner, started the dancing!!! We had so much fun at this reception just spending time drinking with new friends, dancing to new and old songs, enjoying where we were and trying to take in every second. In Greece you’re supposed to party all night long. (This is why dinner didn’t start till 9) I’m usually in bed by 9:30pm and sleeping by 9:35pm. So, I’m extremely proud to say we made it till 4:30am!!! We couldn’t make it another second. When sunrise hit at 6:30am about 30 people were able to take a sunrise picture with the bride and groom.

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Photo Credit! Lottie Lillian Photography

Travel Tips We Learned This Day

  • When traveling make sure you find time to catch up on sleep. I know it’s not exciting to sleep on vacation. Especially to a place you’ll probably only ever see once. But you definitely do not want to get sick!
  • No matter where you go or what you do, make sure you are always carrying at least 2 bottles of water with you when you are in Greece!
  • TAKE PICTURES!!! You don’t need to post them all or even keep all of them but you never know when you’ll take the perfect picture.

Day 4 8/22

After sleeping till 2pm, we got in trouble at the front desk (apparently check-out was at 11am) and then we spent the rest of the afternoon back at the pool. This day was so relaxing since the wedding took a toll on all of us (totally worth it!). We left for the airport around 6pm and the lady driving was deadset (pun intended) on making the hour trip in less than 30 min. (Definitely thought I was going to die a couple times) We took the flight with several wedding guests and ended up getting to our hotel in Athens around 1am.

  • Side Note: I’m sorry to say I won’t ever visit Athens again. The history was amazing but it is such a dirty city. Graffiti was everywhere and there were a lot of homeless. I know Greece in financial trouble so I’m sure that’s the reason but I still thought 2 days was more than enough time in Athens.

Travel Tips We Learned This Day

  • Leave plenty of time to get to the airport. Even if you’re 3 hours early at least you’re not late.
  • Go into a place with a completely open mind. Take it all in and leave your opinions till the end. They might change.
  • Do your research!!! The groom told us to only plan 2 days in Athens and we didn’t think it would be enough but we took his advice. I’m so glad we did! Anything longer than that would have been too much.

Day 5 8/23

Charlie’s favorite moment in history to study is Ancient Greece, so we hit the ground running this morning. We had breakfast at our hotel and then went on our Parthenon tour. It was a foot tour that lead us up to the start of the Acropolis it was only about 30 min long but had a lot of useful information.

The Parthenon was incredible! There is so much history to see and study while you’re there. I felt horrible though. I don’t do well in heat (I’m warm in 50 degrees and I always sleep with a fan or 2) and it was 98 degrees all day and there isn’t any shade or places to get water. So, I had to sit for most of our time at the Parthenon, which left Charlie to explore on his own.

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After the Parthenon, we spent time at the Ancient Agora and then had lunch. When we finished we met up with the rest of the wedding guests and went to Poseidon’s Temple. This is where Makies (the groom) proposed to Jenny (bride) so they wanted to take pictures in their wedding attire. We ended the night back in Athens and had drinks with everyone.
Travel Tips We Learned This Day

  • Water!!! So much water! I’m from the Midwest and there’s only 3-4 days every year that get above 90 degrees. The entire time we were in Greece it was over 90, even at 8pm. Plan for the weather.
  • Take as many walking tours as you can. Remember locals know the area better than you ever will in 1 hour.
  • Eat with locals! They know the best restaurants and they know where to find the best “fast food”. Trust them.

Day 6 8/24

Our last day in Greece. Not wanting the vacation to end but excited we are heading home I was more than willing to spend the whole day relaxing and enjoying things around our hotel. Charlie on the other hand wanted to do some more site-seeing. So we compromised. We went to the Panathenaic Stadium and were actually there for the torch hand off ceremony for the youth Olympic games. It was an incredible experience and it was such a cool place to see in person.

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After, we left the stadium we went to visit the Temple of Zeus before making our way to the flee market. This market is unlike any I’ve been to before. It’s about a 15-block square and has so many different vendors. We bought our souvenirs and decided to have dinner back at our hotel since we had an early flight. It was a great last day and we were lucky enough to see so many amazing places.

Travel Tips We Learned This Day

  • Do souvenir shopping over the course of your whole vacation. You never know if you’ll be back to a specific shop or vendor. You don’t want to miss out.
  • Most vendors in Greece will barter. Don’t be afraid to hold your ground or walk away.
  • Don’t eat anything in bulk. Example: Honey is different in every region. You will never find the same honey in 2 locations. It is made from the local plants/bees. I’ve never been allergic to honey but I had a severe reaction to it in Athens.

The BEST way to see greece

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4 Comments

  • Dani

    Sounds like you has a lovely time in Greece. Had friends who went and jealous of her beautiful tan. Love the white & blue houses sitting on the cliffs perched above the sea. Had been given very much the same advice, especially about Athens. There are pro and cons for every country but it does sound gorgeous. ♥️♥️

    • Anna

      Thanks Dani! I have very fair skin and I was so worried about burning I ended up putting on SPF 50 every 20 min. I came home without any kind of tan. It was kind of sad lol. It was beautiful and I would highly recommend everyone try and visit at least once.

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