30 Photos that will Make You Book Your Ticket to Greece,
Ya know how they say a picture is worth a thousand words? Well, I took over 1000 photos in Greece, seriously. That’s a lot of words. And while I think I’m a better writer than I am a photographer, there are just too many pictures that I want to share with you. I would never be able to write enough to use them all, so I figured why not try something new?
We only went to four out of 6000 islands, and all of them in the Cyclades. I wanted to capture more than whitewashed square buildings, blue doors, and fuchsia bougainvillea. That’s what everyone imagines when they think of the Greek Islands, but you’ve seen those.
Each landscape is so dramatically different. Even neighboring islands look worlds apart. It makes it even more exciting to discover. I felt like I could devour each place.
Hopefully, my snaps will surprise you with something different and make you want to book that plane ticket today!
So here goes–my Greek island photo journal. Let my photos lead the way.
Syros: the coolest island no one has heard of
One of the things we love about Syros is its authenticity. It’s not a pretentious island full of jet setters trying to be seen. Don’t get me wrong; there is plenty of money; beautiful homes and big yachts, but it’s not flashy.
It’s also not full of foreign tourists, which is a benefit, in my opinion.
No offense people but let’s be real, we’ve all avoided the ugly tourist on our travels.
It’s the capital of the Cyclades Islands, yet it is lesser known than its neighbors, Mykonos and Santorini. Its laid-back vibe is ideal for chilling at the beach, stuffing your face with gyros, and sipping wine along with the port.
The capital of the capital. Full of pastel homes and wide boulevards. It’s the main port of the island where the ferries go, but it is also where the boat owners from Athens moor their yachts for the weekends. It’s not one of those ugly port cities that you should skip. It’s full of energy and tons of stuff to see. The town itself is like a museum. Wander. Get lost. And eat.
The perfect place to hide from the invading pirates. The neighborhood was built in the 13th century and designed to look like a fortress. Narrow cobblestone pathways wind their way from home to home, confusing even the most die-hard map reader.
Syros Island Landscapes
Want to read more about Syros? Check out this guide to the island.
Mykonos: the island for shopping by day & partying by night
I was in Mykonos 24 years ago, and it was a huge party back then. I loved it. Today the party still reigns. We were there in the low season, and it was pretty packed with tourists and drunk “kids” (that just happened, damn I’m getting old).
Real talk- we all know I am no stranger to vodka, and I love a good party. But Mykonos felt like it could be any island, anywhere in the world. The only things that make it feel like Greece, where the whitewashed buildings and bougainvillea.
I heard less Greek being spoken here than on any other island. Everyone just assumed we were tourists, unlike in Syros, where we were spoken to first in Greek, then in English. There are Louis Vuitton and Hermes stores, so if you’re into shopping then, by all means, this is the island for you. But that’s not what I was looking for.
So, needless to say, Mykonos wasn’t my fave. Yes, it is beautiful, but for me, it’s missing the authenticity I wanted on a Greek island. I was only there for a few days, so maybe there are pockets that are the real deal, or perhaps my image of it from 20 years ago is just that, a distant memory.
Delos: the most sacred island in Greece
It is one of the most significant historical, mythological, and archaeological places in Greece. It is a UNESCO world heritage site and is uninhabited except for the archeologists working on the island. It was the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, so it was considered a sacred island. No mortals were allowed to be born or to die there, they had to be carried to the neighboring island of Rineia.
Delos isn’t just an archeological site; the entire island is history, and a must visit if your into that kind of stuff, like me.
Paros: the little cousin island of Mykonos
Paros is what Mykonos was like 20 years ago. There isn’t as much of a party scene, there are only a few boutiques to shop in, and the streets aren’t packed with tourists.
We didn’t stay in the port town of Parikia. Instead, we headed to Naoussa, and I’m glad we did. It is so stinking cute. Great restaurants, charming shops, and beautiful people.
Santorini: the island that is as beautiful as everyone says
I really didn’t want to go to Santorini. Not because I didn’t think I would like it. But because it is so so touristy and all over Instagram. I’m not usually one to follow the trends (hello, I moved to Malaysia). When everyone else loves it, I shy away from it. The more I see it all over the place, the less I want to go.
I kept reading about how Mama Mia was filmed there. I never saw it, not a musical fan. Why would ordinary people be walking down the street and then burst into song? It makes no sense.
But where was I?
Oh yes, Mama Mia + Santorini = hordes of fangirl tourists trying to recreate those movie moments for Instagram and Facebook. I hate that shit. Be original people!
Anyway, Mark went when he was 21 and slummed it, paying a few drachmas for a hostel with a bunk bed and no roof, let alone air conditioning. But still, he thought it was one of the most beautiful places he’d ever been. He wanted to share that with me. And he also wanted to stay in a hotel that had a roof.
So what’s a girl to do?
We went. And guess what my friends, I loved it!
We stayed in Fira and did the seven-mile hike from there to Oia. (I know you are shocked, especially you Lyle!) It took about four hours, and that is where I took most of these snaps. Plus another 217, but who’s counting?
It was THAT beautiful. And oh those sunsets…
Sadly, we didn’t have enough time in the Greek islands, but Natasha and Cameron from The World Pursuit did. You should def read their post about The Best Greek Islands to Visit in 2020. Their blog is super detailed and they are totally adorable!
Now that you’ve booked your ticket, read my guide on How to Eat like a Boss in the Greek Islands.
So what do you think? More photo journals from me? Or nah, stick to writing?