Milos, Greece

After a weekend stuck in Athens unable to go anywhere by boat because of the wind I finally managed to get a ferry to Milos. To avoid more cancellations I booked a bigger ferry (heavier boats apparently are less subject to the wind apparently than catamarans) however they are also much much slower.  The ferry was scheduled as taking a startling nine and half hours to get to Milos, and in fact it ended up taking nearly 11 hours. A good chance to read my book and also watch some TV shows and movies that I’d downloaded on Netflix, but not exactly ideal. I arrived late at night starving, thankfully there was still some restaurants open and I was collecting the keys for my accommodation from a hotel with a 24hr reception. I stayed at a delightful little private room/ house called Katerina Rooms, really close to Milos Town and the port and great value.

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Milos is famous for its dramatic volcanic coastline and rock formations. As a former geography grad that sort of nerdy rock thing actually excites me. Its most famous export is the iconic Venus de Milo statue which is now in the Louvre in Paris.
I had a limited amount of time in Milos, so on the excellent advice of my hosts I decided to hire a quad bike to tour the island. I didn’t book in advance so I was lucky to find one available to hire as it seemed a very popular way to explore the island. You can hire scooters as well, but only if you have ridden one before, which I hadn’t. It was really fun bombing around the island on a quad, the wind rushing through was really cooling, though deceptive as I did slightly burn my arms In the sun without realising. Had a lovely time though. There’s next to no public transport on the island so you do really need your own transport to get around. There’s not a great deal of roads so it’s hard to get lost and the hire company gave me a map that was more than enough to easily find my way around. I only had to refer to Google maps once. There’s some really beautiful really stunning beaches and scenery around Milos and I wish I had a bit more time to spend there but unfortunately the wind curtailed my travel plans significantly and I had to get back to Athens to fly back to London. Still a perfect excuse to go back again in the future I suppose.

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Hydra, Greece

From Athens I got a boat to Hydra. I didn’t know much about the island but it was recommended very highly in Lonely Planet guide and the pictures looked stunning. It’s relatively close by boat to Athens, just a short one hour boat. The boat arrives right In the main town of Hydra and so I booked a hotel close by to the front to avoid a long walk. Hydra is completely car free and the only form of transport is either by foot or by donkey, and I didn’t fancy lugging my heavy bags across the island. There’s donkeys lined up at the port ready and waiting to help, but to be honest they stunk and I would feel bad for a donkey having to hike my bags in the heat. I stayed at the Glaros Guesthouse, which although not luxurious, was perfectly located right in Hydra Town.

Skorpois, Mykonos

On our first full day in Mykonos we met up with our friends Richard and Stephanie who had booked a cabana at Skorpois. Stephanie is super organised so had booked these literally two months in advance and I’m so glad she did. We had the best spot at the beach club, perfect vantage point to people watch and importantly out of the wind. Skorpios is absolutely stunning and I could easily see why it had recently been bought by Soho House Group. It has a very similar laid back, chic aesthetic. Sunday is far and away their busiest day, they reckon in the evening there is several thousand people at the open air night club. Thankfully at midday it’s much more sedate. Beautiful cabana boys and girls bring you drinks and food and it really is idilic. The sunset in the evening there was stunning, very instagrammable.

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Koursaros, Mykonos

Our first night in Mykonos we went for dinner at Koursaros. I’d seen the restaurant recommended by my friend Zach on Facebook, who described it as literally one of the best meals he’d ever had in his life, quite the recommendation. The restaurant itself was really funky and laid back, with a very cool chic vibe.  I started with braised octopus and JP had the sea urchin. Both looked great when they arrived, so we shared each others. The octopus was perfectly cooked, still soft and yielding with a really meaty texture. The sea urchin was beautifully fresh and tasted wonderfully of the sea. For mains we both had lamb which was delicious, just perfectly blushing pink in the middle. Lovely wine list, but like most of the rest of Mykonos, somewhat expensive. I’d definitely go back, lovely meal, but it’s not cheap by any stretch of the imagination.

 

Mykonos, Greece

I’d been wanting to go to Mykonos for years so when my friend JP said he had some spare holiday time I suggested a Greece trip. We booked quite late so direct flights to Mykonos were non existent, so we decided to fly to Athens and get a boat to Mykonos from there. JP is a regular flyer for work so using a companion voucher and air miles we flew BA business from Heathrow. As a BA Gold Card holder JP was able to use the First Wing Lounge, a step up from the usual BA Galleries Lounge which regular business class flyers are entitled to use. We were travelling early in the morning so it was a good chance to have a proper non-airplane meal before the flight.

Everything ran on time and on arriving into Athens the transfer to the port was pretty easy. The ferry was fine, but it was a bit slow and to be honest if I was doing the trip again, I’d probably make sure I got a flight direct to Mykonos, the whole fly to Athens and get the ferry thing was a bit of a faff. We didn’t arrive in Mykonos til nearly 6pm and so that was annoying. Thankfully the hotel we had booked sent a car for us. We stayed at the Rochari, which JP had stayed at before, and it was really nice. The room was simple but very chic and included a lovely terrace with sea views and also Jo Malone toiletries in the bathroom. It was also right in Mykonos Town which is where we really wanted to be for the bars and nightlife. One side note accommodation in Mykonos is notoriously expensive, even a very basic hotel in town will set you back €200 a night. The Rochari was significantly more than this, but JP and I were sharing a room and considering the price of some of the other hotels it was pretty decent value for Mykonos.