My husband and I started planning our honeymoon shortly after we were engaged back in Spring 2019. With the COVID pandemic we were forced to cancel our original trip in September 2020 and instead went on a local honeymoon to the Washington coast. While we loved that trip, we couldn't get Greece out of our minds. We decided we were going to do a belated honeymoon, or honeymoon round 2 as my husband likes to call it, for Spring 2022.
I wanted to share some tips that we learned during the planning process and things we experienced that will help you when planning yours. Also, if you are considering Greece for a honeymoon, I've got some recommendations for you as well. Enjoy!
Booking our Honeymoon
We decided to book our honeymoon through Costco Travel. They offered a package to Greece that included visiting Athens, Santorini, and Mykonos. In total, we spent two days in Athens, four days in Santorini, and four days in Mykonos.
What I like the most about booking our honeymoon through Costco Travel was that they did all the work for us. Our flights and transfers between locations were all booked for us - making the trip stress-free.
Tip #1 | Pack half of your clothes in your partner's bag
An airline losing your luggage is a traveler's worst fear. That's exactly what happened to my husband when we arrived in Athens. His bag caught up to us after two days, but the poor guy had to wash his clothes in the shower and rewear them the next day.
My husband's bag contained our sunscreen, his hat, and our COVID tests to return home. My tip to honeymooners is to split your clothes between your bags so no one would be without clothes in the event that the airline loses your luggage.
June 5-7, 2022
June 5 - We landed in Athens around 8:30am and we stayed at the Grand Hyatt in Athens. After checking in we went and bought tickets for the Hop on- Hop off bus where we rode around and got a sense of the city. We enjoyed getting to know where all the historical landmarks were and loved hearing about them on the tour. It took about 90 minutes to do the entire loop of the city. Afterwards, we went back to the hotel and took a power nap in an attempt to recover from jet-lag. We managed to wake up just before dinner at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel.
June 6 - My husband and I woke up bright and early and took at taxi to the Acropolis. I purchased tickets in advance for the 8am entrance time. I recommend going as early as possible because the crowds had yet to arrive, and it was already 90 degrees. We hiked to the top and saw the Parethanon and the Temple of Athena Nike. After spending about 2 hours there, we walked to Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Zeus. Lunch and cooling down was on our mind next, so we made our way over to a cafe to have deconstructed gyros and gelato. The heat was getting to us, so we made our way to the Acropolis Museum where we cooled down and looked at all the ancient artifacts. The top floor is a must see for the views and recovered artwork! Later in the afternoon it cooled down a little, so we walked through some gardens to the original Olympic stadium before heading to dinner at Public Café (we got a free drink coupon for riding the Hop on-Hop off bus!).
June 7 - We had a 4:30am wake up so we could make our transfer to the ferry terminal at 5:30am. Being from Washington State, we're no strangers to ferry rides; but this was quite the experience! You walk on the ferry in the same area that cars get on, you unload your bags in the general areal of the sign that indicates your stop, and you pray that your bags will be there when you arrive. Upstairs you'll be shown to your assigned seat where you can relax or get food and drinks from the galley. Then, you're cruising! When you arrive at your island (we were going to Santorini or Thera according to the signage) you make your way downstairs, find you bag, and wait like cattle with everyone else as the boat continues to move and turn into the port. When you get off, you're greeted by a wave of people waiting to board and also by a herd of people with sings for transfers. Thank you Costco Travel for arranging all this for us because we easily found our transfer and made it to our hotel on Santorini.
Tip #2 | Pick hotels with complimentary breakfast
They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I completely agree. I've traveled abroad before and stayed in a variety of hotels, AirBnb's and hostels; many of which did not provide a complimentary breakfast. So when I was up early to explore, I ate a lot of gas station deli sandwiches for breakfast. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but this time I was going on my honeymoon.
When selecting our hotels through Costco Travel, I ensured that each hotel included breakfast, and I am so happy that I did! Our hotels in Athens and Mykonos were buffet style with a variety of foods and greek yogurt to choose from. Our hotel in Santorini offered a four course breakfast each morning that was slightly different and freshly cooked. My favorite part was the fresh squeezed orange juice we drank at each hotel.
June 7-11, 2022
June 7 - We stayed at the beautiful Remezzo boutique hotel in Imerovigli. The staff were so kind and they even upgraded us to the honeymoon cave. We were also greeted with a glass of local white wine at check in. We immediately switched into swimsuits and lounged by the pool. As dinner time was approaching, we went to change and find a restaurant for dinner. I highly recommend researching restaurants and making reservations. I couldn't recommend this hotel enough to stay at or the town of Imerovigli, which I think has the best view of the sunset.
June 8 - We woke up early, around 6:00am, and walked from Imerovigli to Fira. This is about a 40 minute walk and was a highlight of our day. It was before the heat of the day and before cruise ships unloaded, which meant that we got to explore an empty city and take a lot of fun photos. We even had a line of donkeys pass in front of us!
Later that afternoon we set sail on a sunset catamaran out of Oia! Inerestingly enough, all the other couples on our boat were also on their honeymoon! Some were like us and had postponed this trip for a while and others were very much newlyweds. We swam in the hot springs by the active volcano, snorkeled at Red Beach and ate a fantastic Greek dinner at White Beach. We then sailed back to Oia where we watched a STUNNING sunset.
June 9 - My husband and I finally had a chance to sleep in before making the trek back to Fira. We stopped in the Akrotiri museum and saw some of the most stunning frescos! We then took the public bus out to the Akrotiri excavation site where we learned all about this lost city that my be the origin of Atlantis.
From there, we walked 20 minutes over to Red Beach and cooled off in the water before catching the bus. We had heard from the locals that we should visit the city of Pyrgos because it was just as beautiful but not as saturated with tourists. So we had a chance to explore the city before walking all the way to Venetsanos Winery for our dinner and wine tasting reservations.
June 10 - Photo shoot day!! We chose to do a sunrise session in Oia. We pre-arranged for a taxi to pick us up at 5:15 am and drive us to Oia since sunrise was at 6am. Walking through Oia that early in the morning was magical! There were no crowds or lines to take photos. I'm clearly OBSESSED with how our photo session turned out that I included so many of them below. I think our new tradition will be getting professional photos taken when we travel to new places abroad.
We ended our photo session in Imerovigli, had breakfast and then took the public bus back to Oia so we could experience the city full of life. We had a wonderful day enjoying the views, amazing Greek food and local beer and wine. Traveling back to Imerovigli one last time for the day, and got dinner at Anogi before relaxing at our private veranda and enjoying our last sunset in Santorini.
June 11 - Our transfer picked us up and took us to the ferry dock where we caught our ferry over to Mykonos
Tip #3 | Book a photo session
The photos above are all from a photo session that I booked while we were in Oia on Santorini. As a photographer, I value photos. So it was 100% on brand for me to research a local photographer in Santorini and book a portrait session. I wanted more than just phone selfies of us and I realized that we only get to celebrate our honeymoon once, so why not get epic photos taken!
I can't recommend our photographer, Anna, enough!! She was so knowledgeable and put up with me feeling awkward in front of the camera. My happy place is normally behind the camera, but I didn't want to miss the opportunity for beautiful photos. Above are all photos taken my the amazing Anna. If you're planning a trip to Santorini she's worth booking!!
Tip #4 | Make reservations for dinner
If you are traveling to any of the Greek Islands during tourist season, I highly recommend making reservations for dinner. This can be done by doing research in advance and planning ahead. We didn't do much planning ahead... so instead when we were walking around during the day, we would look at menus and ask to make a reservation later that night for dinner.
June 11-15, 2022
June 11 - We arrived in Mykonos and our transfer took us directly to the Archipelagos Luxury Hotel. On the drive over I learned what a beach club was, and that we were staying next to Lindsey Lohan's beach club. We quickly changed into swimsuits and spend the rest of the afternoon lounging by the pool and drinking cocktails.
June 12 - My husband and I packed a day-bag and walked 20 minutes to Kalafati beach. We were one of the first people to arrive at the beach, so we got nice lounge chairs and an umbrella. After soaking up the sun, we put on our snorkel gear and set out to see what sea-life we could find. Upon diving in, the clasp to my top broke but that didn't stop my from snorkeling; I just held my top with one hand. With my top breaking, we did have to go back to our hotel so I could change. With a new top on, we set out to another beach, Agia Anna, and enjoyed the sea before grabbing dinner at L' aragosta.
June 13 - This was our cooking class day!! We booked a cooking class and were shuttled to Teta's house, a local Greek woman who built her business teaching tourists all about greek cuisine. There were 12 people in our cooking class and together we cooked stuffed tomatoes, spinach pie and had a tzatziki making contest. Not to brag, but my husband and I won the tzatziki contest and have made it several times since we've been home.
June 14 - The morning was spent at Loulos beach ,which was a five minute walk from our hotel, and relaxing in the sun before taking a transfer to Mykonos town. We arrived at the port and explored the city; occasionally stopping for gelato, cocktails in Little Venice, and beers in hole-in-the-wall bars. For those that love cats, this island is full of them! We explored the famous windmills before making our way to 180º Sunset Bar for our dinner reservations. Dinner and drinks were just alright, but the view was well worth the cost!
June 15 - My husband and I packed our bags and made the journey back to Athens.
Tip #5 | Learn some Greek words
We always try to learn a few words or phrases in the language of the country we are visiting and the locals appreciated it! So here's a few Greek words to help you out:
Good Morning: Kaliméra (Cali-mera)
Thank you: Efcharistó (Ef-hare-ee-sto)
June 15, 2022
Athens: Final Day
June 15 - We arrived back in Athens around 4pm. We took a recommendation from our taxi driver and went out to the north side of the Acropolis where we found one last street gyro. We then walked around until we found Ciel Rooftop Bar where we had drinks with the most incredible view of the Acropolis at sunset (see our cell phone photo above). It was the perfect end to our wonderful honeymoon.
Tip #6 | Document your trip
I highly encourage you to document your trip so you can look back and re-live these precious moments. Please don't take all these photos and videos and leave them on your phone. As a photographer, I always encourage my couples to do something with their photos: print them out, make them into an album, create artwork for your home, or any other creative thing you want to do with your photos. Personally, I turned two photos into artwork for our home and created an album through Shutterfly that we were able to share with family and friends.