MY GUIDE TO THE GREEK ISLANDS
The Greek Islands are the 'Poster Boy' for a European Summer vacation. Glowing, white washed buildings draped in fluorescent bougainvillea, water so clear its like looking through glass, some of the worlds finest food and its seriously GOOD LOOKING!
I was lucky enough to spend the Month of June traveling through the islands - to some of the the well known spots and to places that are off the beaten track and not over run with tourists… Yet!
First stop was the most cosmopolitan of them all - Mykonos. Now I have to get one thing straight - Mykonos gets a bad rap and I want to clear it, it has been labeled 'The Party Island' which yes is fair, but don't be disillusioned by this if that's not your scene! There is something here for everyone. Santorini was next on the list with its picture perfect, postcard views and incredible sunsets. A very different experience to Mykonos, Santorini is geographically the opposite and built on the highest points, making it difficult to navigate your way around without a pair of wheels. We resided in Oia (pronounced Ea) which was the perfect place to wind down and relax. Then not far, almost a skip across the sprawl of Islands in Greece was Ios. A beautifully vast island with incredible beaches and a tribe of goats. Our last stop was the Island of Folegandros, and wow was it worth it. The complete opposite to the other three, this island has a humbling traditional feel about it, pure and preserved from mass tourism and crowds - BLISS! Farmers still practicing traditional methods of harvesting, using donkey's as their primary mode of transport.
If you are planning or trip or thinking about visiting the Greek Islands, you will not be disappointed. It was everything I hoped it would be and more.
My insider tip is… Ask for the local house wines - they are just as good as the bottles and half the price!
You will need… A mode of transport other than your feet - these islands are large and you will only see them at their best if you explore!
On my feet… Soludos Espadrilles - the perfect shoe for the beach, the city and everywhere in between.
I indulged in... Too much Tzatziki... Yes I know, but its just too good.
I brought back… A lifetime of memories.
Photography © Studio Arrc By Sophie Carr.
SAN GIORGIO Mykonos; I knew I would love this hotel and the pictures are NOT false advertising - this is paradise at its best. Everything about this hotel is class from the moment you arrive and see the iconic hammocks slung over the pool - for an Interior Designer this is almost as good as it gets. With only 33 rooms you feel at home as there is no formality and their FANTASTIC staff become your friends. The rooms are spacious and pared back, made so very romantic with built in canopied beds. Breakfast is included in the price of your room and its not just the typical buffet, it is a perfect selection that will meet everyone's breakfast standards and preferences. Plus the pool side bar serves ridiculously good cocktails try the Rosemary Mojito! Total Understated luxury 10/10!
KIKI'S Agios Sostis Beach, Mykonos; There is no sign, no fancy interior just a tree shaded terrace overlooking Agios Sostis Beach. This institute is a food heaven speciaing in BBQ meat and seafood accompanied by the most incredible rustic, chic salads I have ever laid eyes on! Warning - there is a non booking policy and there are only minimal tables, so if you aren't there early you will be waiting - but its worth the wait!
THE HIPPY FISH Agios Ioannis Beach, Mykonos; Located on the beach of Agios Ioannis, one of Mykonos's finest beaches. The Hippie Fish Restaurant offers a diverse menu that includes authentic Mediterranean and Greek cuisines and the dishes are made from fresh local ingredients.
AVRA 27 Kalogera Street, Mykonos; For those looking for a quiet, romantic garden restaurant right in the centre of busy Mykonos - this is it. Its bougainvillea covered terrace is the perfect place to take your loved one!
CAPRICE Little Venice, Mykonos; Either before or after dinner this 'watering hole' is the perfect place to soak up the Mykonos bar scene. Situated on the waters edge, it is one of the finest to sit and watch the sun go down followed by downing one to many cocktails.
ALEMAGOU BEACH BAR Fetelia Beach, Mykonos; Located on one of Mydonos's many sandy beaches at the end of a dirt road is this relaxed and comfortable sanctuary. Alemagou bar & restaurant (an ancient Mykonian word meaning ''at last!'') is a blend of a traditional Greek tavern with a twist of design. Its natural reed thatch ceiling canopy and handmade pumpkin shell pendants sway with the breeze and speckled sunlight filters down - The ultimate designer beach bar! Great for a lazy day at the beach with afternoon cocktails, or cocktails and dinner.
ELIA BEACH Mykonos; This beach has something for everyone - an abundance of umbrellas, sun beds and it's very social! Enjoy the beach or try Elia Restaurant for lunch.
PLATIS GIALOS Mykonos; Is a seaside village located in the east side of the island. Its beach is lined with an endless restaurants and facilities, attracting lovers of sports and food and making it one of the islands most popular beaches. From there you can reach the most famous beaches of the island - Paradise and Super Paradise by boat.
AVLI TOU THODORI Platis Gialos Beach, Mykonos; Located on Platis Gialos beach this restaurant combines beautiful and elegant surroundings with style, situated right by the sea and golden sands.
KAPARI BEACH Mykonos; One of the few beaches in Mykonos that has no hotels to crowd its shores. Sit back and relax.
Photography © Studio Arrc By Sophie Carr.
GINGER SUSHI LOUNGE St.Gerasimos Square Firostefani, Santorini; Why eat sushi when in Greece? Why not! A nice reprieve from the unlimited amounts of Tzatziki consumed, Ginger is a nice surprise and beautifully fresh.
KANDOUNI RESTAURANT Oia Village, Santorini; They call him the 'Cannibal' - this owner/chef knows his meat and all is hand selected by him from local farmers. Great food that is selected and prepared to your liking - you will not leave hungry!
WET STORIES BEACH BAR Perivolos Beach, Santorini; The island isn't known for its beaches but this beach and bar tick all the boxes - great food, guest dj's, beach volley & sun beds all in front of the sea.
TANGO Firá Santorini; perched on the hill side of Firá, this is a bar that offers the perfect mix of fun and sophistication. Great cocktails too!
KATHAROS LOUNGE Katharos Beach Oia, Santorini; Located on the cliff right above Katharos Beach, this restaurant is ideal to watch the sun go down. They don't lie when they say Santorini has some of the worlds best sunsets and this hidden spot is the place to enjoy it, far away from the maddening crowd that perch on the walls of Oia to watch. Great food and cocktails - we stayed for hours after the sunset!
KATOGI Ios; If you go to Ios do not miss this eclectic restaurant with oddities adorning the walls and its bougainvillea canopied outdoor terrace. The food is that good we returned 3 times during our stay. Traditional Greek food with a twist, it is utterly delicious!
KOUMBARA BEACH Ios; Tucked around the corner in a secluded part of the island is Koumbara beach. A peaceful place to sit and enjoy the sun or enjoy the incredible food at the Koumbara Beach Restaurant.
PROVALMA STUDIOS Ano Meria, Folegandros; This island is known for its scenery and beautiful beaches, it also should be known for this family run boutique hotel. With the most exceptional views of the island and the Aegean sea you will feel nothing but peace and tranquility when you arrive. With only 5 rooms, you feel like you are staying in a private villa or guest house complete with a delicious pool overlooking the the center of Folegandros. Every morning you are delivered a fresh breakfast in a wicker basket which is selected by you the night before - fresh juices, homemade cakes and jams and most importantly coffee! A delightful introduction to the island - we will be back!
KATERGO BEACH Folegandros; Katergo is one of the most famous beaches of Folegandros due to its crystal emerald waters and its remote location. This beautiful long pebbled beach is ideal for anyone wanting to escape in an oasis of peace and seclusion. Katergo can only be reached by boat or an hour long hike - my advise, take the boat that leaves from the port. Be warned pack a picnic and an umbrella there is no shade or water available - just you and the sea.