Santorini & Mykonos Greece Travel Guide

Santorini & Mykonos Greece Travel Guide

The next morning we got up bright and early to catch the sunrise off of our balcony suite. It was a beautiful sunrise and the location of the hotel is spectacular. Check out my time lapse video of the Paradise Beach bay.

After the sunrise, we hoped in the Panda and headed back to Little Venice for a quick photo shoot to see the city during the day. We learned quickly in Santorini that it gets so hot during the middle of the day that you don’t want to be outside or you get tired super quickly.

Our first stop was the famous windmills. A symbol of Mykonos’ rich past, the island’s windmills represented one of the earliest manufacturing units in Greece, showing the locals’ great use of innovation in their effort to harness the enormous power of the wind to grind local agricultural such as wheat and barley. It is said that there used to be 28 windmills all over the island, 10 out of which were located in the Kato Mili complex. Most of the windmills were built by the Venetians in the 16th century, but their construction continued into the early 20th century and renovations to the windmills are a constant work in progress.

It was great being there so early in the morning while the rest of the town was still nursing those Jager bombs from the night before. If you were not aware, Mykonos is considered a “party island” and most clubs and bars are open until about the time we got back into town. As we were strolling past with our water and breakfast bars, the club doors were swinging open and folks were just coming out. I was honestly shocked, Greeks like to party, hard!

We continued down the narrow alleys and found a spot to eat called “Crepaland”.  Crepaland is a popular European breakfast destination. We wanted to try a couple things off of their menu so we ordered an egg burrito crepe and a delicious waffle topped with chocolate ice cream, fresh whipped cream and a caramel drizzle. Desert for breakfast, sign me up!

We left Little Venice with our stomach full and headed to a private beach not too far from town. A quick 10min drive along the coast and down a very sketch dirt road, that seemed it was leading to nowhere, we found a parking spot. Today was definitely a beach day, as we ended up at three different beaches. This one is seldom talked about and not very big, but it was beautiful. It’s secluded and not easy to find so there were only a few locals besides us. Did I mention it’s a topless beach? I mean, you always have a choice to keep clothing on, but it was optional here. We are talking about woman and men…some things I would’ve rather not seen.

Well now that that’s out of the way, the beach itself was sandy bottom and pristine. The views were spectacular of the Aegean Sea and you could see plenty of ships,  boats and jet skis flying by in the distance. I went snorkeling for a bit but didn’t find much. I think the lack of coral and seaweed around the beach leaves the fish nowhere to hide so they don’t come close enough to the shore. There were minnows and other really small fish but that was about it. Nonetheless it was still refreshing to get out of the hot sun while Amanda worked on her tan lines. I felt the beach was too small to get the drone up in the air so I didn’t bother. On to the next beach!

The next beach was called Elia. The drive made me appreciate the Mykonos landscape, curvy roads and the hustle and bustle of local towns as we passed by. Parking was super tight near the beach and I was thankful that our Fiat Panda was not much bigger than a smart car. I became a parallel parking champ by the end of the day! Our parking situation was as close as it gets to being a disaster. We had about 8ft on a very steep hill to grab the last spot.

Most people fear driving in another country, but I look at it as a challenge. In America, things are so structured and organized, mostly because of the governmental laws and dense population. It is a bit crazy getting around but its organized chaos and predictable. If somebody is going too slow, they are going to get passed, no doubt about it. If somebody is going too fast, people will move over and get out of the way. There is a uniqueness to driving in Greece and much throughout the country that just makes more sense than what I am used to in the states. I like it, not to mention the curvy roads that make me feel like I’m back on the race track.

Anyhow, back to the beach! This beach was full of people, locals and tourists alike. Most had umbrellas for shade and beach towels to sit on, as there were not a lot of chair options. The bay was a little windy, but beautiful. The water was a deep turquoise and very clear, which made a good experience for snorkeling. The ocean floor was mostly rocks and coral for the first 15-20ft. You have to walk carefully or swim over giant slabs of rock/coral to find the sandy bottom and the gradual decent into the deeper waters led me about 75ft from shore. The boats passing and the tide made swimming difficult and I got tired quickly. I would consider myself a good swimmer but I’m not Michael Phelps. I was able to wade a little bit but then decides to head in to rest and catch some rays.

I was able to get some good GoPro footage here to include in my vlogs and you can see the beach and atmosphere in the video below. Last but not least on the Mykonos beach bucket list, Pinky Beach. I’m not going to lie, the only reason I knew about this beach was because of Instagram and the only reason we stopped here on our tour was because…. they have a famous swing on the beach, overlooking the ocean and it’s the perfect spot for some candid beach portraits. Check it out!

After the days beach tour we stopped back at our resort to rest up, take a break from the sun and get ready to go out for the night. Our destination was set for the popular 180 Sunset Bar. We navigated through windy city streets and almost missed our turn. There was a tiny sign on the side of the road, but the side road didn’t look promising. We made our way a few blocks are were still confused. How does such a popular place not have solid directions, signs or somebody directing traffic?

Finally, we made it to a parking lot and somebody was there directing traffic to park. The attendant didn’t speak any English, but we thought we were in the right spot. We asked a few others in the parking lot if they knew where we were and they confirmed, 180 Sunset Bar! YES!

The bar and restaurant is truly a unique and one of a kind experience. The 180 views (hence the name) are incredible, and the atmosphere has some super chill vibes to it. It was a good mixture of locals and tourists, but mostly Instagrammers trying to get that money sunset shot (guilty! ha). The drinks were very original, and the food was surprisingly good, although expensive.

We tried to hold off on food until after the bar but the drinks made us hungry and the atmosphere made us stay longer than anticipated. Which was a good thing! We ordered some sliders and enjoyed cocktails overlooking Little Venice and Port of Mykonos. Drinks averaged around $16 and food options were around $20-30. This is not a spot for the budget minded traveler but it is well worth it for the experience. I believe in experiences, and this was worth the price of admission and then some. Our night ended with lots of laughter and there was nothing more fitting than being at 180 Sunset Bar. Another great day in the books!

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