It's been a while since I last ventured across to the Greek islands, but my next trip will be August 2019 for my cousin's wedding in Rhodes.
Greece is steeped in history with plenty to see and do, so this destination is definitely more for the budding tourist. If you don't fancy trekking round ancient ruins in the baking heat, then head to the beach! Regardless of what island you choose you will find sand to lay on!
Santorini is the go-to island for couples and a haven for honeymooners, with is clear waters white, washed buildings and sunsets out on the Aegean Sea, it's a popular wedding destination to tie the knot.
Where to stay
Vedema is in the village of Megalochori with the town square and village church only a minute walk away. The 45 rooms at this hotel have views of the village homes or the surrounding rolling vineyards. Vedma's sister property Mystique, is set in Oia. It has a secret wine cellar, and it's 22 cave-style rooms are terraced into the cliff face, providing that classic Santorini experience.
Vedema, Megalochori, 84700, Santorini; +30 22860 81796; prices start from €223 per night for a suite
Mystique, Oia, 84702, Santorini; +30 22860 71114; prices start from €648 per night for a suite
For July and August this place comes alive with revellers ascending in their droves for the night life! If all that hubbub isn't for you then sneak off to Hotel Kivotos, on Ornos Bay. Set on a hill with steps down to a peaceful rocky beach, it's an ideal refuge to refuel and recharge.
Hotel Kivotos, Ornos Bay, 84600, Mykonos; +30 22890 24094; prices start from €506 per night for a suite
What to do
Mount Olympus - I'm a big fan of Greek Mythology and Mount Olympus is probably one of the most famous mountains in the world and is not be missed off your itinerary. If you're up for the challenge then you can climb the mountain. You will need to travel to Litochoro where you can trek part way or all the way to the top. Don't forget it will be hot, so be prepared!
Dive with dolphins - Rumors say that they hang out in Halkidiki, in North Sporades, around Kythera and in some areas in Crete.
Scuba dive - You can more or less scuba dive anywhere in the world. This is a must and if I wasn't such a chicken, I would attempt it again!
Volcanoes - Go to Sousaki, Methana, Milos, Nisyros, Santorini.
Festivals - There are different traditional Greek festivals (Panigiri) happening all around Greece, especially during summer time, but also in Spring. Attend an Easter celebration in Greece in Corfu or mainland. Attend the Sardine celebration or the Tomatoe (or tomato) celebration and more.
My last post touched briefly on my trip to Paris and I promised to elaborate further on this one.
On our arrival, we experienced the hustle and bustle of the Latin quarter. It has music, people, food and a great atmosphere. Every narrow street leads off to somewhere new, which is probably why I almost got lost!
What to do
Eiffel Tower - Looks fantastic at night with all its lights flashing. We didn't bother going up it though as the queues are long and you can pretty much see the city from any high building or point.
Musee Du Louvre - I can't tell you how stunning this museum is. Its absolutely huge, but for all the beautiful pieces of art and sculptures it houses it has to be. If you like that sort of thing then you could easily spend all day, so wear comfortable footwear. Entry fee was about €15 and you get to keep your fancy ticket as a souvenir.
Yves Saint Laurent Museum - For a mere entrance fee of €10, you can do the tour in 2hrs, but as we were cramming a lot in one day, we did it all in an hour.
Sacré-Cœur - The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris, commonly known simply as Sacré-Cœur, is a Roman Catholic church and a popular landmark. It’s located at the summit of the butte Montmartre, the highest point in the city and you get a cracking view of the city! To appreciate this view however you do have to climb stairs. I don’t do stairs! I gave up after 6 steps, but persevered to the top........it was well worth the moaning and sweating!
We took a midnight walk on the Champs Elysées and got as close as possible to the Arc du Triomphe without getting run over by the ridiculous amount of traffic! Paris has such a different vibe about it on a night time, less tourists, but still has a buzz that makes you want to stay out until sunrise.
One of the main streets for shopping is Rue du Rivoli where we were able to appreciate the architectural beauty of Parisian apartment buildings. The city has a ton of history which you just can't absorb all in a weekend.
I would say Paris can be a ideal for both a short weekend and also a quick honeymoon break, all depending on what you intend to do whilst you're there. Either way you will have so much fun and won't want to come home. It rained whilst we were there (typical!) but that didn't stop us from enjoying the sights. A rainy day in Paris beats a rainy day in England hands down!
Where to stay - Paris is a massive city and it's not until you arrive that you realise all the famous and well known tourist attractions are not close by! So you have to decide what you want to be closest to or better yet stay in a district that has regular metro links to other areas. We stayed in the 10th district and were only 100m from the metro/tube station (La Chapelle). Top Tip - purchase your tickets for the metro in advance for the length of time you are there, it makes it easier and less hassle when you need to get on the train. Plus you get a free map too!
I've listed other places we looked at through Airbnb and Booking.com, but note that you get what you pay for in terms of location, size of room and amenities.