Travel Guide Spotlight: Santorini / Mykonos

Here at Team OP, we can’t think of a summer vacation much better than exploring Greek Islands. From the white-wash buildings, to crystal clear waters and a burgeoning food and drink scene; here we provide the ultimate guide to a getaway combining the delights of Mykonos and Santorini.

The islands are just 150km apart and getting from one  to the other is easy with high-speed passenger or car ferries making the trip regularly. For those in search of a little adventure, you can sail from Santorini to Mykonos with G Adventure, spending eight days in the Cyclades, snorkelling, relaxing, hiking, exploring ancient archaeological sites and taverna-lined harbours.

We travelled to Mykonos first – the livelier of the two islands. Staying just outside Mykonos Town at Adronikos (a boutique hotel with a passion for good cocktails, served straight to your day bed around a pretty pool), the centre, full of white-wash cobbled streets, boutiques and restaurants was just a short walk away.

You could spend days meandering the beautiful alleyways of Mykonos Town, discovering new sights each time, from ancient windmills to mysterious doorways and sublime eateries tucked away. We loved the terrace at Bonbonniere, located opposite Louis Vuitton in the exclusive Tria Pigadia district – perfect for soaking up the atmosphere over an aperitif. Come sunset, the view doesn’t get much better than at Remezzo – a popular bar and restaurant with terraces overlooking the bay.

For beach days, you’re spoilt for choice, and handily, the best come with beach bars that are critically acclaimed. We loved seafood lunches at Kalua, with its chic nautical decor at Paraga beach and the bohemian vibe at Psarou beach with Nammos – perfect for enjoying sundowners and parting the night away with the jet-set after a lazy day. Better still, you’ll find artisan stalls all around selling exquisitely made kaftans, accessories and jewellery by talented islanders.

After you’ve lived the high-life in Mykonos, going a slightly slower pace may be of interest. Hot-footing it over to Santorini you’ll achieve just that. This island is home to villages that appear to tumble over cliffs, volcanic black sand beaches and many a lounger-laden terrace to enjoy the views while sipping on a local iced frappe.

We stayed in Fira, the capital, famous for its hill-side alleyways and views across the Aegean Sea. Home for the next few days was the Aria Lito Mansion – perfectly situated in the heart of the down, surrounded by ancient churches and just metres from the famous view across the town to the sea. Hit this point, turn right and you can walk along the cliff tops to the village of Imergovigli – its quiet yet full of cute cafes and bistros specialising in local fare from baklava to Greek salads with huge caper berries (we can’t eat one without them since visiting).

Fira is also known for fine jewellery and you’ll find store after store featuring the impressive work of local silver and goldsmiths. The best time to explore the shopping is early evening, follow this by an an Aperol Spritz perhaps or local Ouzo, then dinner as the sun sets. We highly recommend Mezzo – a contemporary restaurant in stunning surroundings, with chefs that are passionate about using local ingredients.

Just a short drive away is the famous town of Oia – you’ll recognised the blue roofed churches and their ancient bells that overlook the sea. Here, you’ll find arty boutiques and plenty of pretty cafes with unparalleled views – the perfect slow-paced conclusion to your trip.

 

About the Author

Based just outside London, Sarah-Leigh Bunting is a seasoned editor and marketer, having worked with some of the world's biggest fashion and interior brands and retailers. In 2012 Sarah-Leigh co-founded What Peggy Did Next (http://www.whatpeggydidnext.co.uk/), an event and communications agency based in the UK. You can follow Sarah on... Instagram - @sarah_leigh_b Twitter - sarah_leigh_b Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/SarahLeighsStyleFiles/