The Selfish Guide to Greece
Mr. Selfish and I spent ten days in Greece. We stayed in Athens for four days to time adjust and then island hopped for the remaining six days through Santorini, Naxos, and Mykonos.
I spent a great deal of time researching which islands to visit. In the end, I opted for two of the most popular islands (Santorini and Mykonos), because they just looked so beautiful. The third island, Naxos, was chosen because it was an easy trip in between the other two islands and it is supposed to be less touristy.
Athens: Ruins, Museums, and Food
Coming directly from Taiwan, Mr. Selfish and I desperately needed the entire four days to time adjust in Athens. Four days is plenty in Athens so we took it pretty easy.
The main highlight is, of course, the Acropolis. You can’t go to Athens without visiting the Acropolis.
Although we enjoyed the other smaller ruins in Athens, the most noteworthy sight, other than the Acropolis, is the Agora.
The museums in Athens were magnificent. We visited three museums -the National Archaeological Museum, the Byzantine Museum, and the Acropolis Museum. We liked them in that order from most to least, but they were all worthwhile.
Finally, there is a lot of great and cheap food in Athens. Our favorite meal was from Manh Manh, at which we dined twice.
Finally, I recommend staying at the Hilton Athens. Although not the lap of luxury, it is near a metro stop (Evangelismos) and has a great view of the Acropolis.
Here’s our Google map of Athens:
Santorini: As Beautiful As You Imagine But Way More Crowded
From Athens, we took a short 45-minute flight to Santorini. You can also take an 8-hour ferry. Due to time limitations, we decided to fly.
One of the main activities in Santorini is to take photographs of the sunset with the white buildings and windmill in the foreground. Pro tip: get there early and scope out a spot away from the massive crowds down the steps toward Amoudi Bay.
While Santorini was absolutely beautiful, I must admit that it was crazy touristy and crowded with all of the cruise ships docking nearby. If I could redo my trip there, I would manage my expectations better as to how expensive and crammed Santorini is.
Here’s our Google map of Santorini:
Naxos: A Secluded and Delicious Island
Next, we took a ferry from Santorini to Naxos, which has the reputation of being the island on which the Greeks like to vacation. Plus, I had read online that Naxos’ economy was based primarily on agriculture, not tourism.
During our two days on Naxos, we hardly ran into any tourists, other than the ones in old town, which is known as the Castro. Even so, it was less crowded than the old towns in Santorini and Mykonos by far.
Moreover, you can get a great view of the Portara, which is a 6th century BC marble gate and the only remnant of a temple dedicated to Apollo, from the Castro.
In any case, when we visited the Temple of Demeter, Zeus’ cave, and Hawaii Beach, Mr. Selfish and I saw maybe a handful of other tourists. So if you want a more relaxed and secluded feel, then Naxos is your island.
As I mentioned above, Naxos’ economy is primarily derived from agriculture, so as you would expect, the food on the island is outstanding. Mr. Selfish and I enjoyed Platsa restaurant in Filoti so much that we ate there twice in one day!
I highly recommend visiting Naxos if you decided to island hop in the Cyclades. Mr. Selfish and I enjoyed this island the most since it was so much less touristy than the other two.
Here’s our Google map of Naxos:
Mykonos: Beautiful and Trashy!
I did enjoy the day trip to Delos, which is an island nearby Mykonos that is full of ruins and is supposed to be the birthplace of the gods of Apollo and Artemi.
If I were to go island hopping again, I would definitely skip Mykonos. Its “party hard” reputation was well-deserved, too well-deserved. Also, I think that you can take a day trip to Delos from one of the other islands anyhow.
Here’s our Google map of Mykonos:
Greece was a fun destination – although it was one of the most touristy places that me and Mr. Selfish have ever been. If I were to go back, I would definitely visit the further out islands, possibly Rhodes and Crete.
[Disclaimer: These were our personal Google maps for Greece. It is possible that not all of the pins are accurate since we did not visit all of them.]