13 days, 3 islands, 2 friends and 1 unforgettable experience
Backpacking the Greek Islands is something out of a dream. Everything is amazing. The beaches, the people, and don’t even get me started on the food. Greece is one of the best places I’ve backpacked, and if you went I’m sure it would be yours as well.
We landed in Athens, and spent the night at a hotel by the ferry port. I don’t remember the name of the hotel, but we each paid about $60. The hotel was right on the water and outside of Athens so we were able to relax after our flight and leave right away for our adventure on the Greek Islands the next morning.
The first island we visited was Mykonos.
Where we stayed:Paradise Beach Resort
Number of nights: 2
Mykonos is mostly known in the backpacking world for their insane parties. And this island did not disappoint. Let it be known though that because of the parties – the hostels are less than clean. If you can deal with that for a few days, then you’ll love Mykonos. We didn’t spend much time exploring the island, because the beach which our hostel was on (Paradise Beach) occupied all of our time, and for good reason – it was absolutely stunning with crystal clear waters.
We met some people as we were getting ready for bed who told us that Lil Jon was going to be playing at 2 am at the hostel next door, so naturally we shared some fanta and ouzo (a local greek liquor that you will likely drink copious amounts of) and were off to see Lil Jon 2 hours later… and that’s the kind of experience you’ll have in Mykonos.
We didn’t go to bed until 7 am. And by bed I mean we fell asleep on some lounge chairs after watching the sunrise with our new friends (and stray cat). Ah, Mykonos.
The second island visited: Santorini
Where we stayed: Fira Backpackers Place
Number of nights: 3
Most people have heard of this gorgeous island, and have seen the picturesque town of Oia. It’s more expensive (and touristy) to stay in Oia, so we stayed in Fira, a nearby town, which was perfect and I’d highly recommend it. This island has tons to offer, and despite it being busier and more touristy than other Greek islands, it’s still amazing. One of my favourite days on this island was when we rented ATVs and spent the day beach hopping.
We probably went to 4 or 5 different beaches that day. We found caves to swim into, cliffs to jump off of and we found the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
Despite the crowds, don’t miss exploring Oia and seeing a sunset or two from there. You could make the hike and walk there from Fira, take the bus or you could rent ATVs and stop there after beach hopping all day!
And although Santorini doesn’t have a reputation for its parties, the night life here was not bad at alllllll……
The third island visited: Ios
Where we stayed: Francesco’s Hostel
Number of nights: 5
This island was by far my favourite. So much so that we extended our stay here from 3 nights to 5 nights. This is partially because of how awesome our hostel was, how tasty the fries and tzatziki was, but mostly because of all the amazing people we met here. I mean how could you not want to hang around here forever with a squad like this…
There are two really popular hostels here: Francesco’s (where we stayed) and Far Out (which was right across from the beach). Of course, I’m biased so I’m going to say you should definitely go to the one we were at, but I guess you can’t really go wrong at either. Our hostel was closer to the night life and shopping and to this DELICIOUS little restaurant that had by far the best fries and tzatziki you could find in Greece. So it was great because at the end of the night you could just walk back to your room (grabbing some of those fries on the way) without having to take a bus.
Our hostel’s view was also just amazing. This was the view from our pool…
And this was from the balcony of our room…
Far Out hostel has its perks though, it’s right across from the beach and it has killer pool parties every day. We of course didn’t have any problem just taking the bus to get there during the day though..
We decided to rent ATVs here too and explore the island. Our day of beach hopping and ridding ATVs in Santorini was amazing, but there was something special about explore Ios.
It was quiet and peaceful and we even had some gorgeous beaches all to ourselves.
Not to mention we found some hole in the wall restaurants with the best food and freshest fruit in the entire world.
The nightlife in Ios was also probably my favourite. There were tons of pubs and bars you could go to, and the best part was that you would run into the same people and have a blast together.
Okay now I just really want to back to this island…
Our last stop was back in Athens.
Where we stayed:Athens Backpackers
Number of nights: 1
Since we extended our stay in Ios, we only had one night to spend in Athens. I’m very glad we did it this way. Athens is cool, but it’s not as amazing as the islands and I would recommend spending more time on the islands any day then in Athens. I found the city dirty and busy and was able to fit everything we wanted to do into the 12 hours we spent there.
Have fun eating all the tzatziki and living the Greek dream!
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