What were the Highlights of your Trip?
We were so excited to begin our Greek adventure with Acanela! We have traveled together before but nothing as adventurous as this trip to Europe. As soon as we arrived in Athens we enjoyed our first meal at Smile Cafe (literally the name) which was a perfect way to begin the journey because that’s what we did every time we had a great meal or great experience. Every tour was educational, every meal was amazing, and every new experience was memorable!
We really started exploring the next day when Acanela planned a tour of Athens, the Acropolis of Athens and the Acropolis Museum. Our tour guide was great and gave us a fun and informative look at the history of Greece. The enormity of the Acropolis was amazing!
After a couple days of eating and exploring our way through Athens, we continued our journey to the beautiful island of Mykonos via ferry. Acanela put us in a beautiful hotel right near the water. During our tour of the island, we learned that our hotel (The Leto Hotel) was famous among hollywood movie directors and celebrities. Our tour guide took us to every corner of the island. We visited the Monastery of Panagia Tourliani, a farm, and a variety breathtaking beaches.
Each person we met, made us feel like family! We especially felt the love when we took a Mykonian cooking class with Tita in her home! Not only was the food extremely fresh, the conversation was wonderful and we learned some great new recipes we can’t wait to share with our family!
Following an amazing cooking experience and tour in Mykonos, we were on the water and headed to Santorini via Ferry! Just as all the travel blogs, magazines, and people say, it was one of the most beautiful places we’ve ever been.
There was so much to do on this island. We took to the stairs and did some shopping, Acanela set up another amazing cooking class at a restaurant called Bone, and we were able to do a winery tour and island tour as well. This It was definitely a magical island that I would recommend anyone visit if they ever get the chance!
From there we took a flight to our final Island visit: Crete. Crete was unlike any of the other islands we in Greece! It reminded us of home (Colorado) with the the mountains and different trees and open space. We were excited to explore the the vast green land Crete had to offer.
Acanela planned for us to spend a day hiking Mt. Kedros with a wonderful tour guide. We also got to experience local life at restaurants and monasteries throughout the mountain towns in Crete. Following a day on Kedros, we got to relax in the city, explore and reminisce about the trip and how amazing it was to get to experience it together. It was truly the best Mother / Daughter trip we ever had!
What was your favorite food experience?
We truly loved each time we were able to take a hands on cooking class together! We both couldn’t stop talking about how much we fun we had at our cooking class with Tita and her assistant Christina. She welcomed us into her personal home (pictured below) and we were able to learn and prepare traditional, humble Greek foods. We especially enjoyed getting to experience the traditional flavors of Mykonos.
We also enjoyed the time we had with Chef Kleanthis Kokkas at the Bone, where we prepared some of his signature dishes and then enjoyed the fruits of our labor while we sat and enjoyed our dinner! Each experience was made all the better by being able to do it together!
Our favorite adventure and cultural experience was our trip to Mykonos. Our tour of the island’s landscape, learning the history of the island, and the unique experience of seeing all the monasteries and churches along the way made it one of our favorite islands. Since it was just the two of us, we were able to take pictures whenever we saw a great landscape and ask our tour guide a bunch of questions. Made for a special experience!
Any recommendations for travelers traveling to this area?
Language - we learned from our tour guide in Athens that for most individuals to get a job in Greece, they need to know at least 4 languages (in addition to Greek). That means you are almost always going to run into someone who speaks your language! Don’t worry about learning how to speak Greek before you arrive!
Be prepared to eat! - Greeks love serving a lot food at each meal, and trust us, it’s really good! We left every meal full. Come with an empty stomach!
Bathrooms - Pipes in Greece are old and smaller than those in the United States. We were surprised to learn about their toilet paper flushing policy in the airport. We recommend checking with each hotel you stay at during check-in about their toilet policy to make sure you’re following the local rules.
Timing - Depending on the type of crowd you’re looking for, you’ll want to consider when you visit. We went at a time locals told us was right before their busy season as they were preparing for Easter (March). There were less people there (some islands can have 2 million during busy season) and homes, roads, and restaurants were being repainted and renovated. It’s still beautiful no matter how you slice it, but be sure to keep this in mind when choosing your dates!
We also highly recommend using a group like Acanela. While we enjoyed time on our own, we really appreciated having activities and excursions planned for us throughout the trip. We really felt like we saw the best parts of Greece making it a trip of a lifetime!
Article written by Meghan Haag