- Traveled in May (last month of the off season) to save money on flights and hotels
- Budget friendly – AirBnB rooms + buying food at grocery stores
- Perfect trip for anyone who doesn’t mind walking
- Drove to JFK (from Pittsburgh) for direct flight with Delta to Athens, then flew into Santorini with Aegean Airlines
- Airport transfer from Santorini Airport to Ersi Villas, but we would take the bus instead next time
- Blue Star Ferry from Santorini to Naxos and Naxos to Athens – bought tickets online prior to trip and picked up at Dakoutros Travel (Thira/Santorini) office in Fira. There was a $30 fee to have tickets mailed to US. It was free to pick up tickets in Santorini
- Quad Rental in Santorini + Naxos – the quad was delivered to our hotels
Day 1: Arrival in Santorini, Exploring Fira + Dinner at Remvi
We flew into Athens and took a connecting flight to Santorini. Then, we used a transfer service from the Santorini Airport website to get to our hotel. We found a lovely family owned hotel on AirBnB. The host, as usual, made the experience wonderful by giving us the 4-1-1 on Santorini. After getting settled, we picked up our ferry tickets at the office in downtown Fira. Then, we walked up to view the Caldera and had dinner at Remvi. We recommend the fried cheese appetizer!
Day 2: Hiking the Caldera Trail from Fira to Oia
We walked the Caldera Trail from our hotel in Fira to Oia, taking a detour to hike around Skaros Rock. It took the better part of the day. Be sure to take water, snacks, and sunscreen. Once in Oia, we had gelato at Lolita’s, explored the streets, and walked every step down and back to the port at Ammoudi Bay. We had rooftop drinks and watched the sunset before taking the bus back to Fira.
Day 3: Beach Day, Wine + Traditional Food
We rented a quad from Motor Inn and explored the beaches of Santorini – Perissa Beach and Red Beach. There were cute souvenir shops above the beaches. Afterwards, we went to Venetsanos Winery for wine with a view. For dinner, we walked into downtown Fira and got Souvlaki + Falafel at vendor.
Day 4: Akrotiri, Red Beach + Taverna Romantica
We explored more of the island via quad, went to see the Akrotiri Ruins, and returned to Red Beach to relax for the day. There was a fruit stand at the beach entrance where we got cherries and a little shop on the way in where we got ice cream for the beach. We went to the Taverna Romantica for dinner and visited Santos Wines. We stopped at a little store off the trail on day 1 in Santorini and got food for breakfast and lunches on the go.
Day 5: Old Port in Fira + Off to Naxos
This was our last day in Santorini. We spent the day visiting the Old Port in Fira and having brunch at Pelican Kipos – best waffle ever. Then, we took the Blue Star ferry from Santorini to Naxos. Our host at Ersi Villas drove us and another couple to the ferry. In Naxos, our host from Euro Studios met us at the port and drove us to the room. We got settled and went to St. George Beach – only a 5 minute walk from the room. We had dinner at one of the restaurants downtown, only a short walk from the room, too.
Day 6: Exploring Naxos + Apollo’s Door
We started the day with a run along St. George Beach. Then, we walked around New Town and Old Town and visited Apollo’s Door and having lunch at a restaurant near the port and trying Retsina for the first time. We found homemade wine (literally in plastic water bottles) at a food store in town which was pretty cool and delicious. At the end of the day, we went to Ginger for dinner.
Day 7: Mikri Vigla Beach
In the morning, we went for a run at St. George Beach again and found lots of sea glass. Then, we rented a quad and drove to Mikri Vigla Beach, where we spent the day. Afterwards, we had dinner at a Taverna in town.
Day 8: Ferry to Athens, Acropolis + Smile Restaurant
In the morning, our host drove us to the port where we took a Blue Star Ferry from Naxos to Athens. Once in Athens, we took a cab to the apartment we rented on AirBnB. After getting settled, we walked to the Acropolis – it was amazing! We had dinner at Smile Restaurant. The meal special – Greek salad, spinach pie, real Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts, and retsina – was probably the best meal we had in Greece!
Day 9: National Gardens + Plaka
We started the day walking to the National Gardens. Then, we spent the afternoon in Plaka exploring the streets and shops. We visited Brettos Distillery, had real Greek yogurt at Fresko, and got falafel at a hole in the wall place. (Since traveling to Greece, we only like whole milk Greek yogurt. The difference is unreal!) After that, we walked to Philopappos Hill to enjoy the quiet views of the Acropolis.
Day 10: Return to the US
We hopped a flight back to the US. We took a taxi to the airport using the Taxi Beat app. There is Uber in Greece, but there were no cars available when we needed one. The Taxi Beat app helped to bridge the language barrier. After arriving at JFK, we drove about 2 hours out of the city and stayed at a hotel overnight, finishing the drive home in the morning. We also used off airport parking at JFK.