Honeymooning in Greece? Be sure to check these top 10 things to do on your honeymoon in Greece off your list.I know I’ve been talking about this trip to Greece for the past couple weeks, teasing you with Beet tzatziki and Greek salmon recipes but I finally had the chance to go through our photos and am excited to share our favorite moments from the honeymoon with you. If you know anyone who’s traveling to Greece for their honeymoon, be sure to share this blog post with them!
10. Spend at least one day in Athens to see the Parthenon.
Most people I talked to who had been to Greece said you don’t need more than one day in Athens. I would have to agree. Athens is a busy, noisy, crowded city. And for a girl who is looking to retreat from busy city life during her travels, I could only spend so much time there. Don’t get me wrong though, I wouldn’t have missed it. Just seeing the ancient ruins like the Temple of Zeus and the Parthenon made it 100% worth it.
Bonus romance points: Book a hotel
with a view of the Acropolis lit up at night and enjoy a sunset dinner with a view.
9. Visit at least two different islands.
I knew Greece had a handful of islands before visiting there. I did NOT know they had close to 300 inhabited islands! Do not spend all of your time in Greece on one island. Even if you’re staying for one week, I think you should visit two. We spent 10 days in Greece (really 9 days when you account for travel) and were fine spending 1 day in Athens, 4 days in Crete and 4 days in Santorini. Every island in Greece is so different you need at least a couple different experiences while you’re there.
(views from our resort in Crete)
8. Stay near a small fisherman’s town, like Plaka in Crete.
Speaking of differences between the islands, Crete was much more relaxed, less touristy and more authentic than Santorini. Not saying I didn’t enjoy Santorini as much as Crete, they are just different and beautiful in their own unique ways. We stayed in Elounda, Crete, next to a small fisherman’s town called Plaka. I LOVED Plaka. It was a five minute walk from our resort, right on the edge of the Sea of Crete. Which means that every meal we ate in Plaka was right next to the sea. I love exploring small towns because they give you such an real glimpse into the culture. The food we had in Crete was the best we had all trip too. We never ate on the resort we stayed at because it was overpriced and just not as delicious as what we could find in the bordering towns, Plaka and Elounda.
The first night we ate dinner in Plaka at Ostria,
we ordered sea bream and the waiter brought out the whole fish on a small table and filleted the fish right before our eyes and then served us the sea bream filets. Everywhere in Greece, they serve fresh seafood with a dressing made of lemon juice and olive oil. At least that’s what they said the dressing was. I’m pretty sure there was another secret ingredient in there because I use lemon juice and olive oil at home and it tastes nothing like what we had in Greece.
The other thing I loved about Crete was the hospitality. Every night at dinner our server would ask if we wanted dessert or anything else to eat. We would politely decline and ask for the check. They would then bring out shots of raki, a local alcohol, plates of fresh fruit or fritters or cakes. It was incredible. We had these warm fritters the first night that were sitting in a pool of local honey and sesame seeds. OMG. I thought I had died and gone to heaven.
Bonus romance points: Book a reservation at Kanali in Elounda, Crete and ask for a table for two by the water. And order the salt baked sea bass. You will have a new favorite dining experience, I promise.
(yes, that’s our dinner on fire)
7. Eat feta and tomatoes and olives (and seafood and tzatziki and grape leaves and capers and…) everyday, preferably by the water.
Before Greece, I loved Mediterranean food. Feta, tomatoes and olives were all my jam. HOWEVER, once I ate all these things in Greece, my love and passion for these foods quadrupled. I have never eaten creamier feta in my life. I have never seen tomatoes so red and juicy. And I have never tasted olives so briny and delicious. Guys. Greece has the best food I’ve ever had while traveling. Everything is so fresh, it’s insane. The seafood too! I think we ate. No, I’m certain we ate seafood and feta every day we were there. And I definitely did not tire of it. Since being home, I’ve been on a mission to find a feta that compares and I’m failing miserably.
mussels with capers & tomatoes in ouzo broth with tzatziki from Aktaion in Santorini, a 90 year old traditional taverna.
kapari wine bar in Santorini
grilled tomatoes, eggplant and haloumi and traditional meze platter from megaro in elounda
grilled octopus from megaro in elounda
tomato fritters and shrimp saganaki from Argo in Santorini
greek salad and beet tzatziki from the carob tree in plaka
6. You must visit Santorini. Stay in Imerovigli.
Santorini is what honeymoon dreams are made of. The pristine, bright white calderas accented with blue shutters and pink flowers towering 1,300 feet above the sea. You feel like you’re transported to a Greek fairytale. This is quintessential Greece. All the pictures you see in magazines of Greece, most likely taken in Santorini. In fact, be prepared to see a TON of professional photographers and models standing on the rooftops in Santorini. Just your average day on the island.
Be prepared though that Santorini is definitely more touristy than some of the other islands in Greece. And we stayed there in September, which is supposed to be at the tail end of their tourist season. There are three main towns in Santorini that you can stay in – Fira, Imerovigli and Oia. I remember when I started researching Santorini, I was like wait I thought you just stayed in the town of Santorini! Wrong. Santorini is the island and within Santorini are those three main towns along the caldera. Fira is known to be the more lively of the three, known for its nightlife and dining scene. Imerovigli is the smallest and the quietest of the three – not as many restaurants and little to no nightlife. Oia is the most touristy and arguably the most popular of the three. People say you get the best sunsets in Oia but I can tell you we had just as nice of a sunset view staying in Imerovigli. If you’re honeymooning and looking to stay in a more intimate, serene spot, definitely stay in Imerovigli. We were worried we would feel isolated after reading some reviews, but we didn’t at all. We were glad we had a quiet retreat to go back to at the end of the day.
Bonus romance points: Stay at Astra Suites, voted one of the top 25 hotels in the world by Trip Advisor! We had two friends stay there for their honeymoon before us and we all rave about it! The service, the view, the pool, it’s all AMAZING.
5. Ride an ATV around Santorini.
If you want to see the whole island, you’ll need some form of transportation. Your legs are a good start but will only take you so far. If you stay in Imerovigli, it’s about a 35 minute walk to Fira, which we did a couple times, not bad at all. To get to Oia is a little different, it’s about a 2 hour hike from Imerovigli, not for the faint hearted. There were a couple times I had to squeeze Steve’s hand reeeeeally tight. But it’s a breathtaking walk and I highly recommend doing it if you can.
The other option is taking a bus – we took the bus back after our hike there and thought we were going to die. Steve said to me “I don’t think I’ve ever felt true fear until right now.” I had to nervously laugh the entire ride just to keep myself from crying. The public buses are tour bus sized and the bus we were on was packed, standing room only, the entire aisle was filled. And the bus driver drove way too fast as we made sharp turns around the cliffs’ edges. Every time the bus drive made a sharp turn, we would all sway from one side to the other. It felt like this thing was surely going to tip over.
Needless to say, when I told Steve I wanted to go back to Oia the next day, he said there’s no chance in hell I’m getting back on that bus. I’d feel much safer in a ATV. So ATV we did. And it was the best. Arms wrapped around my main squeeze, Santorini air blowing through my hair, feeling a sense of freedom and adventure – nothing could beat it. It cost us 30 euro to rent the ATV for 24 hours. Not too bad. Plus, I got to pose in the driver’s seat so I could pretend I’m bad ass enough to drive it around the island (I’m not).
4. Experience a Greek winery.
If you’ve ever been to Napa, get ready for a totally different backdrop in Greece. Unlike the lush, rolling green hills of Napa, Santorini offers a different view – an arid desert. But Greek wines are fascinating because the terroir there is volcanic ash, giving a unique minerality to their wines. We went to Domaine Sigalas in Oia.
Bonus romance points: Get the full tasting. And might as well order a cheese and olive plate too 😉
3. Swim in the Bay of Ammoundi
The Bay of Ammoundi was definitely one of our honeymoon highlights. Located 250 steps below Oia, the bay is situated at the bottom of the cliffs. The 250 steps are definitely worth it for what lies at the bottom. Also, if you don’t want to do the stairs back up, there are plenty of donkeys waiting at the bottom to carry you back up. We were told by friends and our hotel owner to eat at this place called Dimitris Taverna. When I looked it up on Trip Advisor and started reading reviews, I read that some people claimed taking a dip in the bay before they ate there. Yes! We were definitely going swimming in the bay. When we got down there, there were no sights of people swimming. We asked a local if there was swimming and he instructed us to keep walking along the edge of the sea and we would eventually hit it. We had to walk a little further than we thought we would and climb some sketchy rocks but finally, alas, we did find it. It’s basically a makeshift, unattended swimming area where you can jump off some rocks into the water. We did and it was incredible. You’re in the Aegean sea and looking up at these towns 1,000 feet above you. You feel incredibly small in this huge body of water looking up at these ginormous cliffs. Small in the sense that the world is so massive and we are just a tiny piece of it.
Make sure to pack some towels with you (and a change of clothes if you want it) so you can dry off before lunch at Dimitris. This Taverna is situated right on the edge of the bay and is known for their fresh seafood. Not sure about how much fish to order? They will take you in the back and point to your piece of fish and ask you if it’s okay. We sat at the table closest to the outdoor grill so we had a front row seat to watching them grill all the fresh seafood right before our eyes. We ordered the red snapper and a Greek salad to share and it was mouthwatering. Plus, the view didn’t hurt either.
2. Hike for 2+ hours along the cliff’s edge of Santorini.
I told you that hike along caldera of Santorini is gorgeous and so yes, it takes my #2 recommendation. You’re not going to experience views like that anywhere else in the world. Plus, it just feels good to be active when you’re vacationing. This was a nice way to break up the days we spent just lounging around by the beach.
1.Watch the sunset every night.
You’re in Santorini. It’s known around the world for its breathtakingly beautiful sunsets. So you better make sure you don’t miss a single one.
Bonus romance points: Snuggle up on a lounge chair, champagne in hand and watch the sunset together.
We loved Greece and hope we can get back there someday to explore more islands. And eat more feta.
Tell me, have you ever been to Greece? What island(s) did you visit? Your favorite part of the trip?