Greece is undoubtably one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Just imagine what a country made up of mountainous islands sitting in the Mediterranean and sprinkled with white homes and colourful bougainvillea looks like. Heaven, that’s what! Greece is probably one of the most romantic and perfect places to visit as a couple. Whether it’s for your honeymoon or just as a couple’s getaway, make sure you check out these Greek islands.
We visited these 4 places on a 2-week trip and had enough time to enjoy each of the islands and everything they had to offer. Ultimately, your trip to Greece will probably start or end in Athens so we’ve included our recommendations for that beautiful ancient city too.
Best times to go
Greece becomes a tourist hotbed in the summer months. May to August are the busiest. This is usually because most Greeks from around the world head back to their motherland for vacation.
We found the best months to go are during the shoulder seasons, in April, September and October. That’s when you’ll likely find cheaper accommodations, and less tourists around.
We were in Greece in early September, and found that it was still fairly busy. If you want to be sure to have a more secluded getaway, the end of the month is probably better.
We flew into Santorini and out of Athens. To get between the islands, we simply hopped on a ferry that took between 2-5 hours to get from one island to the next. We booked our ferry tickets the day before and had no problem with availabilities. Obviously, if you’re going around during a busier period of the year, you may want to book ahead of time.
You can book your tickets at a travel agent’s office or online. We found tickets were usually quite cheaper through a travel agent than online. These little booths and offices are all over the centre of any island. We took the Blue Star ferries and had a great ride each time. Though we warn you, be patient with the boarding and disembarking processes. They are somewhat chaotic!
This is what Greek postcard dreams are made of. Santorini is one of the most photographed islands in Greece. Everyone gushes over the sunsets in Oia, the views of the caldera and the cool beaches (we’re looking at you Red beach).
Santorini will probably be the most expensive and the most touristic of the Greek islands you’ll visit. It’s still worth it! It’s super romantic and there are tons to see and do… you can also do nothing and just chill at your hotel or on a beach. For more details about it, you can check out our full blog on Santorini.
We had 2 nights on Santorini, but 1.5 full days as our flight came in past midnight. We could have used an extra night here to explore more beaches and do both of the day-hikes. We only had the chance to do the one from Fira to Oia.
Paros is the cutest little island in Greece, and one of the most popular of the Cyclades. It’s at the heart of the Aegean Sea, and perfect for romantic getaways. You’ll probably get here through Parikia, which is where the port is. A pretty good bus system will help you get around from one place to the next. We recommend staying in Naoussa, where you have tons of hotels, restaurants and beaches.
Things to do in Paros
Staying in Naoussa, you are well-located enough to easily see and do what you want. We didn’t rent a car or scooter here, though most people do. We found using the bus was convenient (and eco-friendly) enough for us.
We stayed on Paros for 4 nights, but you can easily do 3 nights at a leisurely pace. It’s a small island, and can easily be explored without rushing.
There are tons of delicious restaurants and boutiques all around Naoussa. We would recommend taking an afternoon to walk around and check out all the little alleys. While you’re going around, make sure you stop by the Venetian castle and explore it.
When the sun sets, head out to find some delicious food. Our favourite restaurants on this island were:
- Konstantza Cafe: A great little spot for breakfast. You can have one of the delicious and affordable set breakfast menus. We loved the Greek omelette here. We warn you, we love feta, so you’ll see a reoccurring theme here!
- Soso: A wonderful tapas restaurant. There salad tester is out of this world, as well as their vegetarian quiche with feta and grilled veggies.
- Allas: This was Derek’s favourite spot. He would have eaten here all day, every day. He loved the chicken souvlaki. Make sure you try the Naxos cheese rolls, the fries and the layered salad with tomatoes, cheese and bread. Yum!
- Minoa: A classical Greek restaurant, set in a beautiful patio. You can’t go wrong here. Derek had the moussaka and I had the imam bayildi. We shared the tsatsiki and fried zucchini. Everything was super delish!
There is a cute little beach right in Naoussa called Piperi beach. It’s not anything crazy, there are a few parasols, a restaurant and hotels there, but what we loved about it was that it was quiet, and had shade… free shade! You’ll notice that most beaches will charge you 10-15 euros for a parasol and some lounge chairs. Most of the time, the parasol will not even provide enough shade, so we would recommend skipping them! Piperi is easy to get to, with clear and calm water, so it was our #1 choice on the island.
From Naoussa, you can hop on a ferry that will take you across the bay to Kolymbithres beach. The water is crystal clear here, but the sand space is limited and covered with parasols. There also not much shade available and it does tend to get crowded. If you head here, we would recommend you go in the morning. One really cool thing about this beach were the funky rock formations that are all around the coast.
Other beaches to check out are Monastiri beach, Santa Maria, Chrissi Akti (or Golden Beach). They are accessible by local ferry or by bus.
Lefkes is in the middle of the island, high up on the mountains of Paros, and was the first capital of Paros. Today, it’s a pretty popular spot because it’s so so cute! You can walk around the narrow streets, admire the old washhouses, the adorable homes with bougainvillea and take in the gorgeous view of the sea and Naxos. You just need 1-2 hours to take it all in, unless you really want to take your time.
There are churches and museums to visit in Lefkes, cute little boutiques and restaurants all around. You can just walk around like we did. We recommend putting down your GPS and getting lost in the beauty of this village. Try going early in the morning, or toward the evening, because it get pretty hot up there.
Antiparos is just a short ferry ride from Paros. A cute little island you can visit on a day trip. We didn’t have a chance to do it, but next time we come to Paros, we’ll be there!
A short ferry ride from Paros will take you to Naxos. Another cute Greek island worth exploring. It’s actually the biggest and the greenest island in the Cyclades, and you know how much we love green space! It is a naturally stunning island with high mountains, lush green gorges and valleys, and beautiful traditional villages on mountain tops. Your entrance into Chora port Naxos will be something spectacular for sure!
Things to do
We stayed on Naxos for 4 days, 4 nights, in Chora, and it was the perfect amount of time to explore, lounge around and take in the sights.
As you enter the port of Chora on Naxos, your eyes will naturally be drawn to this gorgeous and mysterious structure on the little islet. This is the impressive marble gate of the temple of Apollo. It stands in the spot, on Palatia islet, as it did since the 6th century BC.
The Apollo Temple is beautiful to visit at any time of the day, but we recommend going at sunset. It will be pretty busy (most tour buses will be gone though) and you can try to watch the sun set through the structure. Just be warned that most people will be standing there trying to get the same shot. Our advice is take in the beauty of the sun through there, and then watch the sun set on the cliff side where there will be less people.
If you want to explore some less-known islands and beaches in and around Naxos, a sailing day is what you need. But beware, as not all sailing companies are made equally. That’s why we highly recommend touring with Xanemo Sailing. With only 10 people on board, delicious food, stunning views, and the best hosts, you can’t go wrong.
Most sail boats around Naxos will take you to Koufonisia, an over-touristy island. Xanemo will likely take you to Iraklia, Schoinousa and Aliko beach, on Naxos, right by the protected cedar forest. You may spot a turtle, or some dolphins, so make sure to bring a camera. It is a perfect way to spend a day on the ocean!
After experiencing the beautiful beaches of Australia, we know we can’t find better. We’ve stopped being beach snobs, and just enjoy being by the water. Since we were staying in Chora, we were happy to be a 5-min walk away from St. George beach. With calm, crystal clear waters, and smooth sand, it did the trick for us.
If you want to check out other beaches, Plaka beach, Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna beaches came highly recommended by locals.
Walking around and getting lost in the Old town of Chora is probably the best way to explore. You will stumble upon tons of restaurants and bars. You’ll “accidentally” walk into the cutest boutiques and shops. You may even discover a medieval castle along the way. The narrow streets in the mountain are the perfect setting for your afternoon adventure in the Old town of Chora.
Eat to your heart’s content
Did you think we were going to a new island and we weren’t going to eat everything in sight? It’s like you don’t even know us! Luckily, there are tons of vegetarian options available on Naxos, and they’re all delicious.
- To Elliniko: This cute little restaurant has a beautiful garden where you can eat. Set up under the garden lights, you will have a delicious, affordably-priced meal, in a magical setting. We loved their zucchini croquettes with tsatziki, their stuffed red peppers, fried Naxos cheese and… everything we had! There may be a line-up so reserve ahead of time.
- Scirocco: Situated in the roundabout in Chora, this restaurant is just awesome. The waiter was actually pleasant (which is sometimes hard to find in Greece), the food was delicious and the beers were cheap! We loved their fried Naxos cheese with honey and sesame seeds.
- To Souvlaki tou Maki: Another spot Derek would have loved to eat at every day. This cheap eats spot is actually just delicious! As the name says, it’s all about souvlaki. Their vegetarian one is out of this world!
- Loukoumades: You need to come here if you want to have the best loukoumades on Naxos. The owner is super sweet, almost as sweet as his fried balls of dough! We tried the ones with chocolate and with cinnamon.. Both delish!
- Anna’s Organic Shop and Garden cafe: The service may be slow, but this cafe is cute and it’s always nice to find organic options. Anna makes her jams at home, and they are delicious. A great little spot for breakfast!
Your trip to Greece will either start or end in Athens because of major flights coming in and it of here. We know it’s not an island, but it is beautiful and romantic, especially if you’re a history buff like Derek.
Things to do
We spend 2 days & 2 nights here, and it was more than enough time to see and do everything. We stayed in Koukaki, and it was a great spot, near all the bars and restaurants, and walking distance to the main Acropolis sites.
Step back in time at the historical monuments
There are a ton of historical monuments all around Athens for you to explore. You can get your multi-tickets to the 6 major monuments at any one of them. This ticket will set you back €30, but the sites are well-worth it. Make sure you buy them at one of the lesser-visited sites like Hadrian’s Library or Temple of Olympian Zeus.
The tickets will allow you to visit all the sites once, over the next 5 consecutive days. You can also get the €20 ticket for the main Acropolis site, if you want to only visit those temples.
The sites included in your multi-ticket are the Acropolis (the Parthenon and the Erechtheion) with its North and South Slopes. You also get access to Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Agora, the Archaeological Site of Lykeion, and the Ancient Agora. The Acropolis museum isn’t included, but the museums in the Ancient Agora and the Kerameikos cemetery are.
Travel tip: The Acropolis is the most crowded of the Ancient sites. To visit it, either go at opening, at 8am, or before closing, at 7pm. Just make sure you get your tickets the day before at one of the less popular sites. Also note that the hours of operation here are the summer hours. They change in the winter.
Watch a sunset
The best spot we found to watch the sunset is on Mouseion Hill (or Muse Hill, or Lofos Muson), right by the Philopappos Monument. From there, you can see the sun set over the city, and you get a beautiful view of the Acropolis. The sun sets opposite the Acropolis, but the lightning is just magical.
Explore the old town
Plaka is the oldest section of Athens and a beautiful part to visit. The main streets are pedestrian, closed to traffic. Still be sure to watch around because you have the odd speeding motorcycle or delivery truck coming through.
The streets of Plaka are lines with boutiques, souvenir shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s really a great place to sit around, people-watch and take in the beauty of this ancient city.
We loved all the restaurants we tried in Athens. All the delicious food we had, at fairly affordable prices blew our minds. Here are our 2 favourites:
- Kalamaki bar: This little restaurant is close to the action, and the food is delish! We loved every single thing we had, from the greek salad to the souvlaki, the fries to the drinks. Everything was amazing!
- Riza Riza: Right next to Kalamki, Riza Riza was a hit. Their drinks were so good, the portions were large and filling, and the atmosphere was so much fun. Affordable and delicious, just like we like it!
There you have it, the perfect 2-week itinerary for your romantic Greece getaway. These islands can be fun, relaxing, romantic and the most beautiful experience yet. Don’t forget to take some time to enjoy the moment, enjoy your surroundings and each other’s company!
Have you been to any of these or any other Greek islands? Which ones are your favourites for a couple’s getaway?
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