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  • Writer's pictureblondieonboard


Updated: Feb 28

When it comes planning bucket list trips, luck does not seem to be on my side. I plan, I set the date, I make all of my hotel, dining, adventure reservations, then something epic comes up last minute and all my plans go poof!

That's why travel insurance is my best friend and it should be yours too. Greece was no exception to my botched bucket list of adventures. I first planned this trip for 2018, then a family member developed a life threatening illness. The trip was rescheduled for 2020, and we all know how that went down. 2021 wasn't better and I was feeling very defeated to plan this trip for a fourth time.

So when my favorite social media travel group, Girls Love Travel, announced they were doing a girls trip to Greece, you didn't have to tell me twice! I literally pulled over and booked on the spot. September 2022, I was finally going to Greece, five years later than planned. But I didn't care if I was 80 and needed a cane, I was determined to get my flying dress shoot if they had to prop me up next to one of those blue domes! And since I was feeling trip planning fatigue, the best part was, it was all planned out! Athens, Mykonos, Ios, and Santorini. Almost all of the places I wanted to go anyway. On my own trip I had Milos picked out but was excited to see what Ios had to offer since it was one of the lesser populated islands!

Thanks to years of no travel, I was able to do some Skymile stacking and booked a direct flight from Atlanta to Athens, as in Greece, not Bulldog country! After nearly 12 hours in the air, I had a good sleep on the plane and woke up as we were descending in Athens the next morning around 11am. A Girls Love Travel rep was waiting at the airport with a sign and it was a good hour to make our way from the airport to Athens.

The Dorian Hotel on the older side but it was near the Platka and had a rooftop bar and pool. The buffet breakfast was delicious and that's where I had my taste of a Cappaccino Freddie which took coffee to a whole new level. Shortly after arriving, I met our tour guide for the trip, Jimmy, a young Brit with a passion for good food and drinks. Yes, we would get along famously! The other ladies on the trip filtered in from all over the USA and we were all excited to get our Greece on.

After some rooftop pool time, a light lunch, and a short rest, it was time to explore Athens! We grabbed Ubers and met our guide Anna, for our Athens Food on Foot Tour through the Platka. The first stop, Greek yogurt and local honey. Holy Guacamole! I don't know what kinda crap I was eating before, but this tasted nothing like the Greek yogurt you buy in the store. Along with the Greek honey, I had everything I could do not to lick the bowl. We were off to a good start! Next time it was time sample olive oil, meats, cheeses, olives, and wine! We hit a local bakery for freshly baked koulouri and bougatsa and ended the evening with an ancient Greek delight, Lououmades topped with cinnamon.

The evening wasn't over, we stopped at a rooftop bar starring straight at the Acropolis all lit up on the one of the highest points in Athens. It was then back to The Dorian for a good night's sleep, tomorrow we were hiking that beast!

After an amazing breakfast at the Dorian and another Cappaccino Freddie, I was caffeinated and motivated for the hike up the hill to the Acropolis. Along the way as we climbed in elevation, I was thankful it was early September with a slight cool breeze in the air, but still pushing 80. We stopped for more coffee, and I saw my first Olive Tree in the wild. Athens is such a juxtaposition of culture, you have modern businesses with ancient wonders all symbiotic with each other.

Built in the mid 5th century, the Parthenon dominates the hill in Athens, and is dedicated to the Greek Goddess, Athena. It's held up by scaffolding and it's a wonder it doesn't collapse if the wind blows wrong because it's about as ancient as they come. Walking through the ruins and admiring the view to Athens below, it's truly one of the wonders of the world and something everyone should see at least once in their life!

After our long hike down the hill, Jimmy found a cool lunch spot,, and I got to sample my first Greek salad. With creamy fresh feta cheese, washed down by a glass of Chardonnay, Athens was a food lovers dream! Veggies and protein, lots of wine, 20,000 steps a day, what's not to love!

Walking through the streets of Athens, it was time for some shopping! Everywhere we went, luggage was sold on every street corner, after you leave Greece, you'll know why! I wish I had bought an extra bag to take home all of the things I had found! Handmade Greek leather sandals, vacuum packed Greek olives for my olive loving kiddies back home.

Tons of linen shirts. It was hard to figure out what to buy since we still had 3 more islands to visit!

I will say this, Athens has some unique bottle openers, you can say. They are everywhere and come in all colors and sizes so something for truly everyone - lol! If you have a hankering for one of these, Athens is your place to buy one. The other islands have a more classy feel and these bottle openers are no where in sight!

When it comes to souvenirs, my general rule is that we don't need STUFF. So if you want something, you need to eat it or wear it. Make it useful. I don't want to be the old lady with 5,000 magnets stuffed in my drawers from every corner of the world that my kids are going to chunk in the junk! So after a few packs of olives and a pair of sandals, it was back to the hotel to change for dinner.

Athens is paved with cobblestone streets, uneven pavement, and lots of steps so I'm glad I packed my tennis shoes and flats and passed on wearing my new Greek sandals to dinner that night.

After winding through the streets of Athens for about 30 minutes, we popped into a back alley that was lined with flowers and lights and Jimmy and his foodie sense did not disappoint when we landed at Lyric.

In Athens, they make use out of every little corner and cranny and what could have been a scary back alley is a beautiful restaurant with flowers galore, live music and lights when the sun sets.

We all had a little sample of each other's selections, Greek Octopus, Tuna Carpaccio, and my dish, Sheep on a Stick cause I can never turn down Chimichurri sauce.

After traveling through Asia where I couldn't find a glass of Chardonnay to save my life, Greece gets my vote as a good drinking country! There is every liquor imaginable, wine is plentiful and I never paid more than $5 a glass for Chardonnay and never had a bad glass either!

Oompa to Greece!

After an amazing meal and brief photo shoot with the street art that was everywhere, it was time for my last sleep in Athens. In the morning we were boarding a Greek ferry to the island of Mykonos!

With a maze of cobblestone streets, windmills, beach clubs, and constant wind, get ready to take a ferry ride across the Med as we explore the island life in the Cyclades of Greece!

Blowing into Mykonos is next!

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