12 Amazing Reasons to Visit Amorgos, Greece: the Tiny Greek Island You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

12 Amazing Reasons to Visit Amorgos, Greece: the Tiny Greek Island You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Amrorgos is one of those places that you’ve probably never heard of, but will instantly be intrigued to visit once you hear about it. Amorgos is a tiny island in the Cyclades Greek island group with only about 2000 residents. It measures only 48 square miles, but it seems as if every square inch is packed with outstanding beauty.

Amorgos has escaped the mass crowds that other Greek islands in the Cyclades can’t seem to shake. Most of the small crowd you will see on the island is composed of French tourists due to a famous French director’s movie that was shot on the island called Le Grand Bleu.

I visited in mid October and it felt as if I had the whole island to myself at some times. This is what you call a Greek island paradise dream!

The one really unique thing about Amorgos island is that you can hike the entire island from top to bottom basically. There are hiking maps all throughout the island so they make it really easy!

All the hikes are well demarcated with information signs with the distance and time it takes between hikes. If you like hiking, and stunning beaches, you will love Amorgos!

How to get to Amorgos

There is NO airport on Amorgos so the only option is by ferry. It’s only 1 hour and 20 minutes from Naxos and 1 hour and 50 minutes from Santorini.

It’s not the easiest place to get to, but the trade off is less crowds! I would fly into either Santorini or Naxos and then take a ferry from there.

Where to Stay on Amorgos

There are 2 main port towns you will want to stay on Amorgos island, depending on which port your ferry arrives and departs.

The 2 towns are Katapola and Aegiali. Aegiali is more expensive but has more stuff to do. Katapola is more sleepy and has less stuff to see/do but it is the cheaper of the two. Decide on where to stay based on where your ferry arrives and departs. My ferry arrived and departed in Katapola so I stayed in this town. 

Where to Stay in Katapoli

Le Grande Bleu Villa (named after the famous French movie!)

This is a cute little boutique hotel a 5 minute walk to the port. The rooms were spacious, it was super quiet, and the hosts were SO hospital and nice! I absolutely loved my stay here and would highly recommend it. They even got a 9.7 review score on Booking.com! You can check the listing HERE. Oh, and did I mention it was only $35/night?

PS: You can rent an ATV directly from the villa and get it delivered for €15 per day, which is the cheapest price for an ATV that I’ve ever received on a Greek island (it was also off season so keep that in mind).

How to Get Around Amorgos

This is one island you absolutely need your own transportation as the bus service on the island is not that frequent and will not go to all the places you will want to visit.

The island is so small I would definitely rent an ATV to explore! There aren’t many cars on the road and it’s so easy to park everywhere with a small ATV.

Tip: There are only 2 gas stations on the entire island so make sure to fill up whenever you can!


12 Amazing Reasons to Visit Amorgos, Greece


Mouros Bay

Mouros Bay is a secluded beach that you have to walk down many steps to get to. The beach is lined with black sand and rocks, which contrasts so beautifully with the aqua water. There are no facilities on the beach and it is one of the more rugged beaches on the island. 

Mouros Bay, Amorgos

There are also underwater caves that you can swim in on the far end (which you can see when you walk down there). They are visible in the photo below.Mouros Bay

Maltezi Beach

A 30-40 minute walk from the town of Katapola is a beautiful sandy beach called Maltezi. The walk starts off in the little village called Xilokeratidi and then takes you along the shoreline of the water.

Maltezi beaxch, Amorgos

You will pass a little church and then over a rocky hill is this gorgeous turquoise beach that will beg you to come take a dip in. It does require a small hike up some rocks so closed toe shoes would be best.

Maltezi beaxch, Amorgos

The beach is hidden from the winds and remains pretty calm throughout the day. There are sun beds, umbrellas, and a little shack that serves drinks and snacks (but these facilities were not available when I visited in October).

Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa

This was the most spectacular thing to see on Amorgos in my opinion. The Monastery was built in the 11th century into the dramatic cliffside and sits an astonishing 980+ feet above the sea. The monastery is dedicated to Panagia (the Virgin Mary), the patron saint of the Island of Amorgos.

Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa

You will have to walk up about 309 steps to reach the top, but when the monastery first peaks through, it will blow you mind. At every turn it gets closer and closer and you continue to be in awe of this marvelous architectural marvel.

Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa


There are 3 monks that live here and act as guardians of the monastery. When you arrive, they serve you psimemi raki (a local liqueur) and some sweets. 

Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa, Amorgos

The monastery entrance is free but they so sell a few little trinkets inside to help pay for the upkeep. I bought a cute little ring with a cross for €5 for support of the monastery since it’s free entrance.

Amorgos

Tip: You must dress appropriately with shoulders and knees covered to get inside the monastery. They have some shawls at the entrance to cover up if you forget.


If you’re into lesser known Greek islands to visit, check out my guides on Kefalonia, Milos and Rhodes, 2 of the best Greek islands to visit!


Agia Anna Beach 

Agia Anna beach is right under the monastery and it takes just a few minutes to drive down the windy road to get to it. It is a very tiny pebbled beach with crystal waters. It is framed nicely by a cute little church. 

Olympia Shipwreck

The shipwreck was made famous by the movie Big Blue. The ship sank back in 1980 when the captain tried to find shelter from a storm. Everyone survived fortunately! There are rumors that the crew consisted of contemporary pirates that were coming from Cyprus. I guess we will never know!

Olympia, Amorgos

You must hike down about 10-15 minutes to get to the shipwreck. It’s an easy hike and I did it in sandals. This has also become a popular diving spot on the island.

Olympia shipwreck

Kalotaritissa Beach

Kalotaritissa Beach is about 5 minutes from the Olympia shipwreck. It is a gorgeous calm sandy beach with lots of little boats in the bay. In the summer you can cross to Gramvousa island from there, which looks absolutely stunning.Kalotaritissa Beach

There are no facilities at this beach and it’s a bit more rugged if that’s what you like.

Kalotaritissa Beach, Amorgos

Chora

Chora is the main town on the island of Amorgos and sits 400 meters above sea level with small streets and views of the windmills and castle.

Chora, Amorgos

There are remnants of a Venetian castle on the top which looks like a rock coming out of the top and contrasts great with the white buildings. Chora, Amorgos

The city is filled with small, maze-like streets, white washed buildings, and small boutiques and cafes.

Jazzmin cafe, Amorgos

Go to Jazzmin Cafe for great coffee and the best sunset view. From the terrace you can see the windmills sitting on the hill and admire the views while sipping on some coffee (or wine).Jazzmin cafe, Amorgos

Katapola

The quiet little port town that I stayed in was very peaceful and relaxing. There is a pebbled beach and a handful of tavernas lining the water.

Katapola, Amorgos

Go to Moonbar Katerina in Katapola for sunset. It’s a cute little wine bar with outdoor seating with a great view of the sunset. They serve a glass of wine with the local cheese which is SO good. A glass of wine costs €3.50, but the view is free. Moonbar Katerina, Amorgos

Most the restaurants in the port town have a view of the water and it’s so nice to end a day of exploring with a relaxing glass of wine watching the sun dip below the sea.

Amorgos, Greece

Kastri Hike

Start from the town of Vroutsis and take a peaceful stroll to Kastri, situated on the cliff overlooking the water. The hike ends at the acropolis of Ancient Arkesini, an ancient Greek settlement. 

Kastri, Amorgos

The hike takes about 30 minutes and you will pass a beautiful church on the way. The views the whole way are stunning. Definitely wear sneakers and not sandals like I did because it gets a bit rocky.Kastri, Amorgos

Tip: the Kastri hike is hike #3 on the hiking map of Amorgos. 

Tholaria to Langada Hike

One really cool hike is from one hilltop town to the other! You can hike from Tholaria to Langada hilltop towns in about 1 hour and 15 minutes and it is pretty flat the whole way.Amorgos, Greece

It’s an easy hike with views of Aegiali Bay the whole way. The hike is completely uncovered so you’re exposed to the sun the whole time. You definitely will want to wear a hat and sunscreen for this hike. Amorgos, Greece

Tholaria, Amorgos

cute little streets of Tholaria town

Tip: this is hike #4 on the hiking map of Amorgos.

Aegiali Bay

One of the main port towns on the island, along with Katapola, is called Aegiali. This town is more populated than Katapola and where to stay if you want a little more action.Aegiali bay, Amorgos

Aegiali has little cafes and gift shops lining the harbor with calm and aqua waters. Go to Maestro Cafe at the far end of the port. It has a great view of the water and has excellent coffee and breakfast. I went here twice!

Aegiali has an upscale hotel on the hillside overlooking the whole bay called Aegialis Hotel & Spa. It is the only 5 star hotel on the island. I didn’t stay here but took a tour of the facilities with one of the staff members and this place is absolutely breathtaking! They definitely have the best view of the island from the hotel, as you can see below. Aegiali bay, Amorgos

Levrossos Beach

This was my favorite beach on the island of Amorgos. Levrossos is basically a continuation of Aegiali Bay, but more secluded. You can walk from Aegiali in about 20 minutes or you can drive to the little parking lot above it and walk down in less than 5 minutes.Levrossos, Amorgos

There’s a cute little taverna above the beach with amazing views of the sea and surrounding mountains. This is a considered a nudist beach but not many people were nude. It is a calm sandy beach that’s a great place to relax.

Tip: If you walk 10-15 minutes past Levrossos, there is Psili Ammos Beach, an even more secluded beach with black sand. It was almost all nude sunbathers when I went. The views on the way to the beach are some of the best I saw on the whole island. You will see Levrossos and Aegiali beach in the distance framed by the mountains and hilltop towns. It’s so darn pretty!

Tip: As you’re leaving Levrossos, there are some epic white stairs carved into the mountain, which leads to a little church called Agios Konstantinos. It is right above Levrossos beach so keep an eye out.

Travel Insurance for Greek Islands 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to islands, as you may need to be air-lifted to the mainland in the worst case scenario. Do you know how much air-lifting costs? Think at least 5 digits (I.e. Expensive AF!).

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 3 claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 3 without any hassle. I highly recommend them.

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Things to Do in Kefalonia: A 5-Day Itinerary for this Greek Island Jewel

Things to Do in Kefalonia: A 5-Day Itinerary for this Greek Island Jewel

Kefalonia (aka Cephalonia) is the largest island in the Ionian Sea, west of mainland Greece. The Ionian islands are characterized by lush green landscapes, dramatic limestone cliffsides, and rugged beaches. The Ionian islands are the most mountainous of all the Greek islands, so if you love nature, you will be in heaven.

Kefalonia is particularly famous for Melissani Cave and Myrtos Beach. Yet, the island has so much more to offer, including picturesque fishing villages, Ainos National Park (the only national park on a Greek island), 2 impressive castles/fortresses, gorgeous turquoise waters, and stunning beaches that can only be reached either by foot or a narrow windy road filled with several exciting hairpin turns.

How to Get Around Kefalonia

While I almost always recommend renting an ATV to explore the Greek islands, this island is a little different than the other Greek islands and is too big really to explore with an ATV. Furthermore, there are many high cliffs and windy roads with no rails that could be dangerous on an ATV.

With that being said, I would recommend renting an ATV for just one day to explore the beaches of Argostili and then switching to a small rental car to explore the rest of the island. Or you could walk to the beaches from town, but this will take you 20-40 minutes. I did this and wished I had rented an ATV for the day as walking in the heat is not my idea of a good time.

Pro Tip: Most companies in Greece now require an IDP (international driving permit) which you can get easily the same day at AAA offices in the USA. They last for one year and cost $20.


Things to do in Kefalonia: A 5-Day Itinerary 

Day 1: Argostoli town and beaches

Day 2: Myrtos Beach, Assos Village, & Fiskardo

Day 3:  Melissani Cave & Antisamos Beach

Day 4: Fteri beach & Petani Beach

Day 5: Ainos National Park, St. George Castle, & Gentilini Winery

**The best Kefalonia beaches: Myrtos, Fteri, and Antisamos**


Argostoli

Argostoli is the capital city of Kefalonia and also the perfect place to base yourself to explore this island. It is in the most ideal location to visit all the best places in Kefalonia. There are also many beautiful beaches around the city that you could walk to. You have the option of staying right in town or in Lassi, near all the beaches.

Argostoli Town-set on a harbor with many restaurants and shops. There is also a famous sea bridge called the De Bosset Bridge that was built over the bay. It is actually the largest stone bridge built over the sea in the world and is almost at 690 meters long. You can walk to the other side of the bay in about 20 ish minutes.

Lassi-the part of Argostoli near all the beaches. This is a more relaxed area if you’re looking to lounge in the sun all day. However, it’s farther from the center with all the restaurants and shops so it’s a trade off.

The 3 main Argostoli beaches I would recommend are Makris Gialos, Kalamia, and Gradakia.

Makris Gialos beach-this is most popular beach in Argostoli. It has many beach beds you can rent for €12, as well as water sports and facilities. Costa costa beach club has drinks and food. It’s a very busy beach with parking on an incline on an unpaved path (so best to come with an ATV as opposed to a car). This is the beach to visit if you want more action.

things to do in Kefalonia

Kalamia beach-a 30 min walk from the center of Argostoli. It’s a small beach with a little beach bar. It has beautiful rock formations and little arches you can go under. The sunbed set is €7 to rent (2 chairs and an umbrella). It’s a rocky beach but the little part by the arches is sandy and relaxing. This was definitely my favorite beach in Argostoli.

Kalamia Beach Argostoli Kefalonia

Kalamia Beach in Argostoli

Gradakia beach-a 15 Min walk from Kalamia, this sandy beach has a beach bar, sun beds, showers, changing rooms, and I even saw signs for a pharmacie. There are some really pretty coves along the way where you can swim. However, they aren’t as calm and have some waves.

Day 2: Myrtos Beach, Assos Village, and Fiskardo

Myrtos Beach

Hands-down the prettiest beach on Kefalonia and a top contender for the prettiest beach in all of Greece. I honestly have never seen anything like it. The beach is unique as you view it from above, it has mesmerizing bright blue and aqua swirls that change shape and colors throughout the day.

things to do in Kefalonia

The beach is surrounded by towering dramatic cliffs and lined with pristine white pebbles on the bottom, creating a stark contrast between the turquoise waters.

Myrtos beach Kefalonia

This is honestly one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen in my life (only behind the view from Shipwreck beach in Zakynthos). When I drove to the viewpoint and saw it from above, I got goosebumps and I was literally in doubt that a place like this so beautiful exists. What is really unique about this beach is that the swirly patterns change throughout the day so it will look different at different times of the day!

Getting down to the beach will consist of a zigzag narrow road with several switchbacks all the way to the bottom. There are some blind spots, so make sure to go slow and honk around the corners. But the real highlight of this beach is from the panoramic viewpoint from above!

things to do in Kefalonia


If you’re into lesser known Greek islands to visit, check out my guides on Amorgos, Milos and Rhodes, 2 of the best Greek islands to visit!


Assos Village

Assos is an adorable tiny and colorful fishing village connected by an isthmus to a green mountain range that boasts a magnificent Venetian Fortress that looks back at the village. Assos village is said to have only 100 residents.

As with most of the awesome places in Kefalonia, access to the village is by a narrow road with hairpin turns lined by cypress trees. There are a few breathtaking views from the drive down that you will want to stop and snap pictures of, so take your time.

View of Assos village from the walk up to the Assos Fortress.

Assos is such a relaxing little place to spend the afternoon. There are little coves to swim with crystal clear calm waters. You can also sit at one of the tavernas on the water and admire the views of the bay and the Fortress across the way. And if you have the time, make sure to go up to the Assos Fortress.

The Assos Fortress was built by the Venetians in the 16th century to protect the city from pirate raids and the Turks. The fortress measures 44,000 square feet, one of the largest in all of Greece.

The walkway up to the fortress is lined with Cyprus and pine trees and has great views as you climb to the top. It will take about 30-40 minutes to get the top. Unfortunately when I got to the top, the fortress was closed. I forgot to check the opening times (still kicking myself). But regardless, the walk was very peaceful and the surrounding panoramic views from the top were stunning and well worth the stroll.

Assos Village Kefalonia

Fiskardo

Fiskardo is another picturesque fishing located at the northernmost tip of Kefalonia. It’s a pretty port town with colorful storefronts with blooming flowers cascading from them. And as you may have assumed, there are also many fish tavernas lining the port filled with customers people watching.

You’ll also see a bunch of fancy yachts parked in the harbor and it feels a bit more upscale than other parts of the island, although very “chill” at the same time. Overall, I loved this town and wish I had more time to spend here. 

Tip: Go to Theodora’s Cafe top floor for drinks and awesome views (pictured below).  things to do in Kefalonia

Day 3: Melissani Cave & Antisamos Beach

Antisamos Beach

Near the town of Sami you will find one of the best Kefalonia Beaches called Antisamos. There is a beautiful drive down to this beach by (you guessed it) hairpin turns. The shallow waters have a bright aqua color and then it starkly changes to deep blu as it gets deeper.

Antisamos beach offers free sun beds and some water sports. It is a pebbled beach with a few beach bars.

Antisamos Kefalonia

Antisamos is absolutely gorgeous and you could spend a whole afternoon here. Below are a few drone shots I took on my visit.

Melissani Cave

Melissani Cave is one of the main reasons why people come to this island, along with Myrtos beach. This unique cave formation was was said to be formed from an earthquake causing the ceiling to cave in and form an opening to the sky.

There are 2 parts to the Melissani Cave. The first one is this lake with the circular opening to the sky and the other part is a dark cave with a low ceiling consisting of stalagmites. It does get quite cold in there so make sure to bring something long sleeved. 

The water inside the cave is a mix of freshwater and sea water and is about 20-30 meters in depth. Melissani Cave was not discovered until 1951.

Melissani Lake

Tip: Go during midday so the sun is high in the sky and shines over it. This will highlight the vibrant blue/green waters. The entrance fee is €7.

Note: It was actually really hard to get a good photo (being solo) in the cave because there are lots of other boats and they take you in and out so fast. There were too many people in the boat to take a good selfie and the guy rowing the boat was not the best photographer. If you are not alone, it’s probably much easier to get good shots, just be prepared to take them of each other quickly.

Day 4: Fteri Beach & Petania Beach 

Fteri Beach

Wow, I can’t say enough about Fteri Beach on Kefalonia island. I had never heard of it or seen any pictures of it before I came to the island and I was shocked at how this place isn’t more popular. Maybe because it’s a little tricky to get to.

View from the rock pile at Fteri beach

How to Get to Fteri Beach

I put Fteri beach into google maps but it wasn’t that clear. It basically takes you to the gravel road where you begin the hike. But NOTE that when you have about 4 minutes left on your google map directions, you will see the sign for Fteri beach on the left with a tiny place to park about 4-5 cars. If you keep following the google maps you will miss the entrance to the hike. You should see the sign when you’re about 3 minutes into the gravel road.

Getting to Fteri beach takes a one hour hike down through the wooded forest and down some rocks. Proper shoes are required for this hike so don’t try to do it in flip flops. I would also recommend pants because I got all scratched up from the bushes.

I’m not going to lie, the path is not that clear and it will take some time to find the way, but don’t let that scare you away. It was definitely an adventure!

Tip: Make sure to looks for the GREEN spray paint on the rocks because about 10 minutes into the hike it gets confusing.

Fteri beach Kefalonia

Drone shot of the cove you can swim to from the main beach in Fteri

Fteri beach was the second prettiest beach in Kefalonia and from the bottom had the prettiest water. Cascading shades of turquoise, deep blues, and crystal clear waters will blow your mind. Here are some more dramatic drone shots below.

The beach is surrounded by green nature and the limestone cliffs. There are not many people there, although you can get there by boat also so you may see some of the people coming from boats. This beach is a MUST in Kefalonia.

It was quite cloudy most the day when I visited, but when the clouds dispersed and the sun peaked through, it highlighted the waters so vibrantly, it was magical.

Petani Beach

A gorgeous beach located on the Paliki Peninsula surrounded by huge limestone cliffs. There are 2 taverns on the bottom, as well as some sun beds. Petani beach has white sand and gravel adding layers to the shoreline.  The waves can get kinda rough during inclement weather so take caution. The views going down to this beach are spectacular along the windy road.

things to do in Kefalonia

Day 5: Mt Ainos National Park, St. George Castle, and Gentilini Winery 

Mt Ainos

Ainos National Park is the only national park on a Greek island. I was so excited to hear this and it made me want to visit Kefalonia even more since I love hiking.

Hike the Mt Ainos Summit

This is basically my ideal type of hike because you can drive almost all the way up and then it’s only a 20-30 minute hike to the summit. I read a bunch of reviews that said the road conditions were treacherous going up here, but they are outdated so don’t let that scare you. Although the road was windy and there are some blind hairpin turns, the road conditions were pretty good all the way to the top with nicely paved, smooth roads.

Tip: park at the bottom of the towers and there is a little gravel road to the left. Walk down that path for about 10-15 minutes until you see a plaque with info on the left. Right after that you will see a little path on the right going up a hill. Take that and walk in the woods for about 10-15 minutes on makeshift steps.

Mt Ainos

The delightful path up to the summit of Mt. Ainos

The top is more of a rock scramble so make sure you have sneakers or closed toed shoes for this hike. If it’s foggy, wait a bit and you will get a full 360 degree view of the island. If it’s a clear day, you can even see Zakynthos and Ithaca nearby as well!

things to do in Kefalonia

The pathway to the summit has spectacular views as well.

St George Castle

The Venetian Castle of St. Gorge is more like ruins than a castle, but definitely still worth the visit. It is located at the top of the hill with 360 views over the island. It’s free entrance and has some great photo opportunities. However, it is closed on Tuesdays.

Eat lunch at Il Borgo at the base of the castle with amazing views and good food. Get the octopus in vinegar, it’s amazing!

things to do in Kefalonia

Gentilini Winery and Vineyards

If you’re a wine lover, you must come here! It’s just a few minutes from the airport and about 6-7 minutes from Argostoli so its super convenient. You could really go here any day because it’s so close to town. Another option is to go on your way to the airport on your way out of Kefalonia.

The wine tastings offer 3 wines for €5, 5 wines for €7, or 7 wines for €10. How cheap is that? You could never find prices like this in the U.S.!

You  can also add a tour for €5. They give you a board with cheese, bread, olive oil, and tomato doused with herbs. They also have gluten free bread, so I was in heaven because that almost never happens!!

Gentilini Winery Kefalonia

If you have more time on Kefalonia, head to the Paliki Peninsula

If you have more time in Kefalonia, I would recommend spending time on the Paliki Peninsula, where they have several beautiful beaches and some wineries. Xi beach is specifically known for brown sand and clay cliffs. The mud from the cliffs is supposed to make a therapeutic mud mask for your skin. I just drove by here and wasn’t able to get out and stay due to time, but it was a unique place to explore.

How to get to the Paliki pensula: You can drive the long way or you can take a ferry Ferry from Argostoli to Lixouri . The cost is €4 (cash only) for a car and yourself. The journey takes 20 mins and goes every 30 minutes.

Platia Ammos Beach-I tried to go to this beach as it was listed as one of the best Kefalonia beaches, but I couldn’t get to it and later read that the stairs going down to this beach were damaged from an earthquake and it has been closed to the public. I also read that it may be possible to reach this beach by a private boat, but I’m not entirely sure.

How to get to Kefalonia

Fly

Due to its location in the Ionian Sea, you’re most likely going to be flying in an out of Kefalonia, as opposed to taking a ferry. There aren’t many direct international flights into Kefalonia, so you’re most likely going to have to fly into Athens, and then take another flight to Kefalonia. 

I actually got lucky and got a direct flight from Edinburgh to Kefalonia Airport (airport code EFL) that took 4 hours and costed about $150. As I was continuing onto other Greek islands in the Cyclades islands, I had to fly back to Athens, and then fly to Paros from there. Fly from Athens with Olympic Air or Aegean Airlines.

During high season, make sure to get your flight months in advance to snag some cheaper flights. I use Skyscanner for about 95% of all my flights I book. They almost always have the cheapest flights compared to other search engines in my experience. 

Ferry 

I would NOT recommend taking a ferry to Kefalonia because honestly there aren’t many good options. You possibly could fly into Patras, and then take a ferry from Killini. But you would have to figure out how to get from Patras to Killini, which is about a 1.5 hour drive.

You could also fly into Zakynthos and then take a ferry from there, which is not a bad option if the flight into Zakynthos is cheap. I WOULD recommend you to do this option and stay in Zakynthos for 4-5 days as it is spectacular! One of my favorite Greek islands. 

Travel Insurance for Greek Islands 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to islands, as you may need to be air-lifted to the mainland in the worst case scenario. Do you know how much air-lifting costs? Think at least 5 digits (I.e. Expensive AF!).

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 4 claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 4 without any hassle. I highly recommend them. They also have some of the best medical coverage out of ANY travel insurance. Period.

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things to do in Kefalonia

Disclaimer: this article contains affiliate links, which means I may receive a very tiny commission if you purchase something through these links (this is at no extra cost to you). 🙂

 

Top 6 Travel Surprises of 2018 (+2019 Travel Inspiration)

Top 6 Travel Surprises of 2018 (+2019 Travel Inspiration)

Wow, each travel year keeps getting better and better and as I reflect on the places that I’ve gone, I still cant believe it! In 2018 I traveled to 7 new countries including Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, UAE, and Vietnam. I also re-visited some of my favorite countries including Greece, Norway, Italy, Croatia, Spain, Denmark, England, Albania, Canada, Iceland, and Northern Ireland. 

In 2018, I visited a total of 18 countries on 3 continents. It was extremely hard to pick my favorites but I’ve narrowed it down to the following 6 places (plus a few more). Hopefully it provides some new travel inspiration for 2019!

Lofoten Islands

The Lofoten Islands were a dream destination for me and high up on my bucket list. Norway is one of my favorite countries in the world and the natural landscapes in Lofoten Islands were just unreal. Lofoten Islands exceeded my expectations and literally took my breathe away. It’s also a photographer’s dream!

This trip was also special because it was my first ever GROUP TRIP that I led and it was so much fun to meet new girls and share the experience with others for a change. We stayed in the coziest cabin right on the lake and were dazzled by the Northern Lights on our last night there. The icing on the cake! I plan on doing another group trip there in 2019 since I loved it so much. Lofoten Islands was probably my favorite place I visited in 2018!

Bagan, Myanmar

Not many people I know go to Bagan…one of the reasons that it really appealed to me! I loved it and it was such a unique place that was different to any other place I had ever been. Riding E-bikes around dirt roads searching for the sunrise or sunset was magical. I was also there during the water festival (“Thingyan”) which was…interesting haha.

It took some work getting all the way over to Bagan, but I’d say it was truly worth it! If you want somewhere different or off the beaten path, Bagan is the place to go in 2019! PS: try to make it during hot air balloon season (I just missed it by like a week or 2).

Faroe Islands

The Faroe Islands (made up of 18 islands) are a self-governing region of Denmark located in the North Atlantic Ocean halfway between Iceland and Norway. It reminded me a lot of the landscape in Iceland, but with NO crowds. The Faroe Islands are the place to go if you love nature, hiking, photography, and isolation.

I spent a total of 5 days there and couldn’t recommend it more. Just beware of car rental prices because they are absurd! Book in advance. Also, if you’re interested in seeing puffins, the season runs from late May to early September! For all of the details and the 5 day itinerary I put together, check out my post about the Faroe Islands here.

Banff, Canada

I had been to Canada several times before but nothing prepared me for what I would see in Banff. The most beautiful blue and crystal clear lakes you will ever see in your life are in Banff. This was also a group trip destination and it was such a fun time. Banff had some of the most gorgeous hiking trails and the scenery is hard to beat! Banff should definitely be at the top of your 2019 travel wish list!

Banff is the perfect place to go if you love hiking in nature and breathing in the fresh mountain air. Make sure to carry bear spray and try not to hike alone because some trails actually require a minimum number of hikers (but you can always join other hikers as well).

PS: some of the trails and roads are closed throughout the year due to snow so to be safe, travel there from June to early September if you want to make it to Moraine Lake, etc.

Ninh Binh, Vietnam 

Vietnam was one of those destinations that really surprised me in 2018, particularly the countryside. I took a day trip to Ninh Binh and Tam Coc and it blew my mind! You can easily take a 2 hour train ride from the crazy bustling Hanoi center to a whole different world filled with epic mountainside views and tranquility.

Make sure to take a boat ride through the valley with the Vietnamese feet rowers for a very cool experience that will take you through some caves and let you feed some goats on the way. And you cannot leave the area without hiking up to the Hang Mua Caves, pictured below.

Not only did I LOVE Vietnam, but I can now honestly say Vietnam has the best coffee in the world! (along with Italy and Colombia). The egg coffee is life changing (and i’m not even being dramatic haha). Oh, and did I mention endless Pho soup for only a few bucks? I was in complete heaven.

Snaefellsnes Peninsula, Iceland

It took my second trip to Iceland (and my last group trip) to finally make it to the lesser visited Snaefellsnes peninsula, and boy was it worth the wait! I had longed to visit Arrowhead Mountain from Game of Thrones and it was absolutely gorgeous.

One of my favorite memories was actually on the way up there stopping at a cute little hot spring in the middle of nowhere. What made it so magical was that we were the only ones there and it felt like a little gnome house or something.

My other favorite destinations from 2018 included Sicily (Italy), Rhodes (Greece), Northern Ireland Game of Thrones trip, Sri Lanka, The Cotswolds (England,  and an epic Norway road trip. 

What’s On My 2019 Travel List

There are SO many places I can’t decide! But i do know I am going back to Asia for a few weeks and also going to try to visit the few countries left in Europe that I haven’t been. And my ultimate destination will be Patagonia (which I have been trying to go to for the last 3 years). I’m hoping 2019 will finally be that year!

I also have a few destination weddings I am going to in North Carolina and Mexico so it’s going to be a busy year!

More Group Trips

I had a BLAST doing group trips last year and I want to continue them in the new year! I will probably host 3-4 trips in 2019, the first being Lofoten islands, Jordan, and Beirut! Check the details here.

Other group trip options for the second half of the year are Azores islands, Peru, GOT Northern Ireland tour, Scotland road trip, Oman, Lapland, and Patagonia!

Crazy Travelista’s wish list for 2019:

7 re-visited countries: Italy, Croatia, Greece, Jordan, Spain, N. Ireland, Scotland 

9 new countries: Luxembourg, Moldova, Monaco, Lebanon, S. Korea, Malaysia, Chile, Argentina, Brazil

Here’s to another awesome year of travels and new adventures! 2019, I’m ready for ya!♥

Where would you like to visit in 2019?

 

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece (The Perfect 5 Day Rhodes Itinerary)

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece (The Perfect 5 Day Rhodes Itinerary)

Rhodes was a place that I only had mediocre expectations for and it blew them all out of the water! Rhodes was absolutely awesome and I’m kicking myself for not going sooner. 

Rhodes’ appeal lies in their spectacular turquoise beaches, beautifully preserved medieval towns, gorgeous mountains, awesome food, and more cats than I have ever seen anywhere! Basically, Rhodes was complete bliss!

When to Visit Rhodes 

Rhodes stays unbelievably warm even through the fall! I went in mid October and it was sunny and 75-78 degrees every day! The “season” in Rhodes ends October 31st (a little longer than most Greek islands). That means a lot of the day tours and ferries are still running daily.

This was a great time to visit because it was at the tail end of the season and the crowds had gone and the prices had dropped tremendously, yet everything was still open.

I would avoid July and August due to high crowds, prices, and intense heat. 


Rhodes, Greece 5 day Itinerary 

Day 1: Anthony Quinn bay, Lakido beach, Tsambiki beachKalithea springs. 

Day 2: Symi day trip 

Day 3: Lindos, St. Paul’s bay 

Day 4: Kritinia, Monolithos, Prasonisi, Glystra

Day 5: Rhodes town 


What to do in Rhodes, Greece

Day 1: Anthony Quinn bay, Lakido beach,Tsambiki, Kalithea Springs

Tsambiki beach: long sandy beach with many bars and restaurants. It’s framed by the mountains on each end. If you want a beach with a lot going on, this is the beach for you! In terms of beautiful beaches, the others I visited while on Rhodes were much more impressive.

Kalithea Springs: Gorgeous Italian architecture that’s a great place for weddings. There are sun beds and a little cafe on the water to just relax. It’s less than 15 minutes from Rhodes.  While the hot springs are no longer in use, I still really enjoyed my time here.

There is a 3€ entrance fee, but i think it’s definitely worth it. 

Anthony Quinn Bay: tied for prettiest beach on Rhodes island, this is an absolute must! As you can see below, Anthony Quinn Bay is a small coved bay that has the most beautiful clear blue/green waters. I can imagine this place being super popular in the summer, but it was very calm and unpopulated when I went. I LOVED this place.

There is a little cafe overlooking the bay with the best view that you must go and experience, not for the food but for the view!

Lakido Bay: a gorgeous bay right across the parking lot from Anthony Quinn Bay. If you have time, definitely stop here for a bit also.

What to Do in Rhodes, Greece


Day 2: Day Trip To Symi Island

Symi is a short 50 minute catamaran ride away (or 1.5 hours by ferry) and definitely the one day trip you should take when visiting Rhodes.

I read online that you could take a taxi boat to the beaches, which was my plan when I arrived. But I soon realized that the taxi is more like a bus in that it has a schedule so you can’t just randomly arrive and get a taxi boat (which is what I thought). The taxi boats cost about €10-12 each way. 

There was only one taxi boat that leaves in the morning, hits up all the popular beaches, and then returns at around 4 or 5pm, but it wouldn’t give me much time to see the beautiful port of Symi or walk up to Chorio so I decided to pass and hope to get a taxi at Pedi Bay.

What to Do in Symi

Walk up the 400+ steps to Chorio

Chorio is the main town that sits perched up on top of a hill overlooking  the gorgeous marina and surroundings. From Chorio you can walk another 20 minutes to Pedi Bay, and then to 2 other beaches from there.

Stop at Olive Tree Cafe for a healthy brekkie/brunch of Greek yogurt, honey, and fresh fruits. The setting is super cute as well with a view of the town below.

Visit the Beautiful Beaches

The 2 beaches I was able to visit were Agia Marina and Agios Nikolaos.

Agia Marina has gorgeous turquoise waters and a little island with a monastery you can visit.

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

Agia Nikolaos has is a small pebbled beach with a few beach shacks selling food and drinks but it’s pretty secluded. 

How I got to these beaches:

I missed the morning taxi but I got really lucky and met these amazing locals who offered to take me for free! They first took me to Agia Marina just for pictures and then dropped me off at Agia Nikolaos. They even picked me up later to bring me back! The Greek hospitality is unmatched. So you could try your luck in Pedi Bay or make sure to get on the morning taxi boats when you arrive in Symi harbor.

Walk: from Pedi Bay you can walk 30 minutes to Agia Nikolaos or about 50 or so minutes to Agia Marina. To be honest, the path to Agia Marina looked extremely rocky and like there wasn’t a distinct path. Good sturdy hiking shoes would be required. 

Some Symi day tours take you to Panormitis Monastery on the south side of the island. However, I decided to skip this because they leave you there for about 1.5 hours which is so long. I decided to go to the beaches instead of the monastery because you won’t really have time for both.

The other beach I didn’t have time for but was on my shortlist is Nanou beach (I heard random goats come on the beach and try to steal your food here so beware).

If you don’t care to go to the beaches the day tours offer plenty of time to see the monastery and then around 3 hours in Symi to explore (which is plenty). 

Visit Nos Beach Near the Port

There is a beach called Nos beach in Symi and is only a 7-8 minute walk from the harbor (where the ferry drops you off). It’s gorgeous and there are many cute cafes along the water in that area. 

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

There are also many cute little boutique shops with unique things to buy in Symi. 

They are also famous for Symi shrimp, but I didn’t have time to sit down to try them. 

Play with the cute little kitties swarming the island

How to Get to Symi Island

The catamaran from Rhodes to Sými took 50 minutes and costs 30€ round trip with Dodecanese pride. I bought the tickets the day before online and then picked up the tickets at the little booth in front of the boats. Make sure to arrive early to get your paper tickets and find your boat!

Tip: They had some day tours they were selling at Mandraki port that were as cheap as 15€, however, they all had a stop at Panormitis Monastery, which like I mentioned above, I didn’t have that much interest in visiting. 


You may also enjoy: Why Milos Should Be on Your Greece Bucket List | The Perfect 4 Day Milos Itinerary


Day 3: Day Trip to Lindos & St. Paul’s bay 

St Paul’s Bay: this is the other prettiest beach I saw in Rhodes and you cant beat the view of the Lindos Acropolis in the backdrop.

As a bonus, the summer crowds had long gone and it was pretty empty when I went. I could have spent all day relaxing here lounging and sipping drinks.

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

Lindos Acropolis– while the 12 € entrance fee is pretty steep compared to most ancient ruin sites I’ve been to, you can get the best aerial view of St. Paul’s Bay and Lindos Beach on each side. You can also see the beautiful white Lindos town below (although I flew my drone there and had the same view honestly).

It takes about 20 minutes to walk uphill from St. Paul’s Bay to the entrance of the acropolis. There is free parking right next to St. Paul’s bay. 

There is one restaurant at St. Paul’s Bay that’s pricey but you can’t beat the views! There are also hanging day beds and lounge chairs available to relax all day. 

On your way up to the acropolis, stop at Lindian Apollo bar for a nice rooftop view of the acropolis. And make sure to order a cappuccino freddo! Yum.


Day 4: Kritinia, Monolithos, Prasonisi, Glystra

Day 4 will bring you to the west and south of Rhodes Island, the less busy part of the island. 

Stop in Kritinia castle (free entrance) for amazing views over the sea. Also stop by the little cafe at the bottom of the castle. It’s super cozy and cute. They also do free wine, honey, and oil tastings.

Kritinia is 1 hour from Rhodes by car.

Leave Kritinia and drive 35 minute to Monolithos Castle. It’s a beautiful windy drive through the mountains, so take your time and enjoy the scenery. 

Monolithos castle (free entrance) is perched upon a steep hill overlooking the coastline and it is stunning!

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

There are many unique openings in the ruins in which you can take some cool pictures (see below). 

Prasonisi is at the very tip of the south of Rhodes island. It is very unique in that it is where the Mediterranean Sea and Aegean see meet and makes up a double beach in the summer (a peninsula). In the winter when the waters rise, Prasonisi becomes an island

Prasonisi is a also very popular spot for wind surfing due to the winds. 

Definitely stop at Glystra beach on the way back, which has golden sands and turquoise waters. It’s a little coved beach off the coastal road. There is a little beach shack for drinks 

Glystra Beach from above


Day 5: Rhodes Town

There are SO many things to see in Rhodes town so if you only have a day, get an early start!

Inside the old city walls of Rhodes

In case you don’t know, Rhodes is surrounded by a walled city, with many grand entrances to this Medieval town. You will also notice many Turkish mosques throughout the city that are interesting to see and beautiful to photograph.

Palace of the Knights

What not to miss in Rhodes town:

  • Palace of the knights/Grandmaster’s Palace (6€ entrance)
  • Knight street 
  • Walk the ancient city walls (2€ entrance)
  • Discover all the epic entrances to to the walled city 
  • Church of the Virgin of the Burgh (pictured below)

What to do in Rhodes, Greece

  • Mondraki port
  • Windmills of Rhodes (there is a kitty sanctuary near the windmills, an added bonus!)

Windmills of Rhodes

  • Shopping! The street shopping was pretty good inside the city walls.
  • Acropolis of Rhodes has amazing view of the coastline just across the street (free entrance) 
  • Elli beach is only 6-7 minute walk from the old town and a nice way to cool off during the day 
  • Ronda Rhodes is a swanky beachside cafe on Elli beach with amazing decor and view. It’s pricey but well worth the view!
What to do in Rhodes, Greece

Ronda at Elli Beach

  • Mama Sofia Rhodes has awesome food! The dolmades were the best I ever had and also the lamb kleftiko was bomb.com (i.e. good AF). This was the best restaurant I found in all of Rhodes. 

How to Get Around Rhodes Island

Rent a car and ATV from Zeus cars. The owner is super chill and nice and very helpful. The prices are pretty good. A 50cc ATV was 25€ per day and an automatic car (on the spot) was 30€ per day. They won’t rent you a scooter without a motorcycle license but you can rent a 50cc ATV with a regular US license. An international license is not required. 

How to Get to Rhodes 

Rhodes is one of the furthest Greek islands in the east, near the coastline of Turkey. 

Fly 

The direct flight was 50 minutes from Athens and cost $75 2 months in advance or $90 the night before.

Ferry 

The ferry from Athens takes 11-24 hours (depending on the company) so you might as well fly. The water tends to be choppy on Greek ferries so being on that thing for 11+ hours sounds like hell to me. Just fly.

Where to Stay in Rhodes 

7 Palms Hotel

My plan was to take a bunch of day trips from Rhodes town so I stayed in the new town (which was a 20 minute walk from the  old city). This location provided a better starting point for all my day trips. 

The hotel had the best host who was super positive, energetic, and helpful! She gave me good restaurant recommendations and helped me add some secret spots to my itinerary that I would have never known about. 

I stayed in a studio apartment at the hotel, which had a little stove and refrigerator. It also had an outdoor pool (seasonal). The hotel was spacious, comfy, quiet, and I highly recommend it! They also provide free bikes which came in handy. 

I booked this place for $267 for an entire week on booking.com. You can view the listing here. It got a review score of 9.2!  And if you’re new to Booking.com, you can use my $20 OFF coupon here (I will get $20 off too, so it’s a win-win, thank you!)

Rhodes Tours

If you don’t really want to lift a finger and have everything planned out for you, I would recommend the tour company Get Your Guide. I usually like to do thing on my own, but when I do a tour, I usually choose this company and have been pretty satisfied. You can check the Rhodes Tours below.

 

MY TOP RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TRAVEL GEAR

1.Sony Alpha 6000 Mirrorless Camera: I made the switch from my huge DSLR and I wouldn’t go back. It’s light, compact, and takes amazing photos!

2. Sony 10-18mm Wide Angle Zoom Lens: this wide angle lens is the key to landscape shots. I use this lens more than the original and am super happy with it. It’s not cheap, but super worth it if you want to get those special nature shots. Honestly, I would purchase the Sony alpha 6000 camera body only and save up for this lens to go with it.

3. E Bags Packing Cubes: the biggest life changer to keep me packing light! This is my biggest travel gear obsession and I have NO idea how I traveled without them before.

4. LifeProof NUUD Waterproof Case (iPhone 8): this helps protect my phone from water, sand, dirt, and the numerous drops that incur while I travel. I love it!

5. GoPro Hero 6 Black: I am a proud GoPro ambassador and obsessed with GoPro selfie pics if you didn’t notice! It’s super small, compact, and easy to travel with. Plus it’s so much fun to use! 🙂

6. Jackery Power Bank: This is hands-down the best external battery charger I’ve ever used. It has dual charger capability and I can charge my phone 3 times or more. It’s awesome!

Travel Insurance for Greek Islands 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to islands, as you may need to be air-lifted to the mainland in the worst case scenario. Do you know how much air-lifting costs? Think at least 5 digits (I.e. Expensive AF!).

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 3 claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 3 without any hassle. I highly recommend them.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, please PIN it (just hover over the photo)♥

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love 🙂

 

Why Milos Should Be on Your Greece Bucket List | The Perfect 4 Day Milos Itinerary

Why Milos Should Be on Your Greece Bucket List | The Perfect 4 Day Milos Itinerary

Have you ever heard of Milos? I hadn’t until about 1.5 years ago. While there are many heavenly Greek islands to daydream about, Milos is something special.

Milos is not on the radar of most travellers, and for that reason it escapes the hoards of tourists that most Greek islands receive. Milos is small enough to navigate in a few days, yet with over 70+ beaches to explore, you can spend weeks there and never get bored. There are SO many unique places to discover on Milos island, just wait and see!

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Beaches with moon-like landscapes, colorful fishing villages, picturesque blue and white towns, and mouthwatering fresh seafood, what’s not to love about Milos? Oh, and of course cats, lots of them (would you expect anything less from Greece?).


The Perfect 4 Day Milos Itinerary


 

 

 

Day 1: (1-5 on map)

→ Sarakiniko, Mandrakia, Firopotamus, Plathiena, Fourkovouni

Day 2: (6-10 on map)

→Plaka, Klima, Catacombs/Roman Theatre, Adamantas, Thiorichio (Paliorema sulphur mines)

Day 3: (11-13 on map)

→Papafragas, Pollonia, Kimolos Island

Day 4: (14-16 on map)

→ Firiplaka Beach, Tsigrado Beach, Paliochori Beach

*My Airbnb is #17 on the map (the furthest drive was about 30 minutes from my Airbnb so it was a great location).


4 Day Milos Itinerary | Day 1

Sarakiniko-lunar landscape beach that looks like white sand dunes and also the most popular beach on the island. You can spend some time walking around the moon-like landscape to other areas where you can swim and snorkel. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Mandrakia-the cutest little fishing village lined with colorful houses and turquoise waters. Eat at Medousa restaurant on the water. They have the best grilled octopus and vinegar dish (best octopus I’ve ever tasted). There are also many kitties around. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Firopotamus-gorgeous blue waters with a white little church in the distance. This area is etremely relaxing and picturesque. Take a hike behind the church for some ruins and awesome plunging cliffs on the other side. 

Fourkovouni-another picturesque fishing village near Plathenia beach. Plathenia is a nice beach with large rock formations in the water. It’s definitely worth the stop if you have time. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

4 Day Milos Itinerary | Day 2

Plaka-traditional Greek Town up on a hill where you can view a big portion of the island. This is where you go if you want to see the traditional Greek blue and white houses. It also has many lovely restaurants and shops.

4 Day Milos Itinerary

The church in Plaka sits atop the highest point on the island and you can see it from a distance (i.e. you can basically use it as a reference point if you ever get lost). 

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Klima-a traditional fishing village with colorful boat garages on the bottom. This village is very calm and quiet and is a nice place to walk around and take lots of photos. A lot of locals still live here and it’s cool to see them living the simple old way of life. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Catacombs and Roman Theatre-take a little break from the beaches and appreciate some of the history on the island. The Roman theatre has an amazing view over the Aegean sea and is a few minutes from the underground Catacombs. Make sure to stop at the port city of Adamantas on your way out. This is where you will find most of the boat tours leaving from the island. 

Paliorema Sulfur Mines-the only place on the East Coast you can go with an ATV.

The sulphur mines were operational until the 1960’s, but have remained abandoned ever since. It’s set on a beach with orange sand (dyed from the sulphur) and is a really cool site to explore. It’s kind of an eerie, spooky feel walking through all the little rooms with the beds and other signs of life that remain. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

You must drive down a very rocky dirt road about 20 minutes to get to it.  It’s hard to get to but there is no one around and it’s a fun place to photograph.

4 Day Milos Itinerary | Day 3

Papafragas-a hidden little cove on the way to  the port city of Pollonia. It has a small caved arch that leads to the sea.  Be careful with the descent, the steep cliff has a lot of slippery rocks. Pollonia is a cute port city and where you will catch your short ferry to Kimolos island. Eat at Enalion restaurant in Pollonia. They had some awesome grilled shrimp and fried eggplant with feta and tomatoes sauce. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Kimolos-take the ferry to Kimolos island. It is a 25 minute ride from Pollonia. You can bring your car or scooter, which I highly recommend because there really is no other way to get around the island. 

Ferry Cost: €2.10 for passenger, €5 for ATV, and €8. 70 for car. Make sure to bring cash. 

Chorio-start off by visiting the adorable little traditional Greek town of Chorio. It has a castle and ruins, as well as some cute little restaurants. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Prassa beach-take a drive to the prettiest beach in Kimolos called Prassa. It’s a rugged drive, but you pass some beautiful scenery on the way. Unfortunately the beach was closed as they were doing some construction on it, but I was able to snap this picture before I left. How pretty is that water?

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Goupa-yet another pretty fishing village (are you kinda sensing a theme here?). I saw this on the road and turned around to come see it up close. If you love photography, make sure to stop here. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Abandoned Windmills-if you can find this place its definitely worth a visit. I had to ask a local and he drove his car up there in front of me to show me where to go (talk about Greek hospitality). 4 Day Milos Itinerary

Not only is it fun to walk around the abandoned windmills and have a selfie photoshoot, it’s also where you can get the best views of the entire island. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

4 Day Milos Itinerary | Day 4

The last and final day will be spent on the South part of the island. The South was definitely the most rugged area and had the most secluded beaches. Naturally, this was my favorite part of the island.

Firiplaka-the prettiest beach in Milos and one of the prettiest beaches in Greece (in my opinion). There is a little beach bar and lounge chairs on the beach. The best views are from the car park so make sure to get a peak before you go down! 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Tsigrado-the most unique entrance to a beach I’ve ever seen. You have to inch your way down on your butt and climb down a rope, down 2 ladders, and another rope.4 Day Milos Itinerary It opens up to a beautiful secluded beach perfect for relaxing and sunbathing. The descent is at your own risk. I honestly wouldn’t attempt it if you’re not too mobile. Tsigrado is only a few minutes away from Firiplaka Beach so make sure to look for the signs as you’re leaving Firiplaka. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

Your reward for braving the scary descent down to Tsigrado.

Paliochori-a stunning coastline of burgundy cliffs and huge boulders in the water. There are a few hotels situated on the beach but it still is less populated than the beaches on the northern part of the island. You can climb across the boulders to get to a more secluded beach on the other side if that’s what you fancy. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

How To Get Around Milos

Rent an ATV from Moto Christos.

My favorite and most recommended way to explore the Greek islands is by ATV. My host dropped me off at Moto Christos and negotiated from €25 down to €20 a day for a 150cc ATV. Go with the 150cc ATV as the 50cc is like a toy vehicle and has trouble making it up steep hills. 

4 Day Milos Itinerary

I felt pretty safe riding around the island as there were hardly any cars on the road. Parking was also free and readily available everywhere I went. 

Note: some places on Milos require either a motorcycle license or international driver’s license to rent a motorbike/ATV. Moto Christos only required my regular US license.

UPDATE MAY 2020: I was told that Moto Christos now requires this IDP (international driving permit) since I visited. You can easily get one the same day at AAA offices in the USA. They last for one year and cost $20.

Also, most places do NOT allow you to drive the vehicle on the West part of the island as it is not very developed and there aren’t many paved roads. This means you will NOT be covered by insurance if you disobey this and drive there anyway. 

Where to Stay in Milos

I rented a cute little studio Airbnb for only $32 a night. The host was amazing and it included pick up and drop off at the airport. She even dropped me to the ATV place. She wrote out a list of best restaurants and things to see on the island. You really don’t need to plan anything if you stay here. 

The studio had a TV, AC, kitchen, and private bath. The host lives right next door. It’s a very quiet and safe area, (except for the bell tower going off every hour until midnight). It also included maid service daily. The location was excellent as it was 5 minutes from the main city of Plaka and close enough to travel to all the main beaches within 30 minutes or less by ATV. 

You can check out the listing here. If you are new to Airbnb, you can use my $40 OFF coupon here. Yay!

How to get to Milos 

Fly

Fly from Athens with Olympic Air or Aegean Airlines. The flight is only a short 25 minutes from Athens and costs around €70. It all depends on the season. During high season, make sure to get your flight months in advance to snag some cheaper flights. I found my flight using Skyscanner

Ferry 

Take a catamaran from Athens (Piraeus) which costs approximately €38-€58 and takes anywhere from 2.5 hours to 4.5 hours, depending on the company. There is also a slower ferry but it takes 7+ hours, which I would not recommend. 

Travel Insurance for Greek Islands 

I would never travel without travel insurance anymore. I learned my lesson. Too many bad things can happen (and they have unfortunately). Travel insurance is especially important when traveling to islands, as you may need to be air-lifted to the mainland in the worst case scenario. Do you know how much air-lifting costs? Think at least 5 digits (I.e. Expensive AF!).

My favorite travel insurance that I have been using for the past 4 years is World Nomads. I have made 3 claims so far and have been fully reimbursed for all 3 without any hassle. I highly recommend them.

If you’ve enjoyed this article, please PIN it for later (just hover over the photo below).♥

4 Day Milos Itinerary

 

Disclaimer: this post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a super small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. I only recommend products that I have used before on my own and that I truly love

 

Top 13 Travel Surprises of 2016 (that may inspire your 2017 travels) + VIDEO

Top 13 Travel Surprises of 2016 (that may inspire your 2017 travels) + VIDEO

Wow. I really have a problem. I am a full-blown travel addict. Acceptance is the first step to recovery, right?

I didn’t think I could top last year’s adventures but my travel addiction took control and I went to far more places than I ever imagined! 

In 2016, I visited 14 countries, 11 of them new countries, and 3 continents. The 3 repeat countries? My top 3 favourite countries in the world: Italy, Croatia, and Greece! I’ll never get sick of them.

I ended the year with a bang with an unexpected trip to Australia and New Zealand, my dream trip! I jumped on an error fare from LAX to Auckland, New Zealand for $216 round-trip. That is UNHEARD of. I got lucky on that one and I could not pass it up. I had been saving for this dream trip for awhile so it worked out perfectly!

Anyway, here are my top 13 destinations that really blew me away in 2016. Hopefully I can inspire some travel to these places in 2017!

Top 13 Travel Surprises of 2016:

 

Sao Miguel, Azores

Thanks to Anthony Bourdain, I was introduced to the Azores a few years ago and have been so intrigued to go ever since. It wasn’t until 2015 that they opened up budget airlines to fly into the islands so it was the perfect time to go.

Lagoa do Canario Miradouro

If you’re looking for a fairly unspoilt, non-touristy, nature-centered place to visit, the Azores are right for you! Sao Miguel is the biggest island in the Azores and it was honestly the most naturally beautiful place I have ever laid eyes on. I cannot recommend this place enough.

Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeiroes

Do not miss:

  • Sete Cidades twin lakes– one blue and one green lake surrounded by spectacular greenery and hikes.
  • Ponta da Ferraria-a hot pool connected to the ocean.
  • Lagoa do Fogo-hike down to the bottom if you have time for crystal clear waters.
  • Caldeira Velha-natural hot springs in the middle of the jungle.
  • Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeiroes– a free natural park with pretty waterfalls. 
  • Dona Beija Thermal Springs-a series of hot pool jacuzzis in a beautiful and relaxing setting.

⇒For a detailed 4-day itinerary, check out my article: Why Sao Miguel, Azores Will Blow Your Mind: The Ultimate 4-Day Itinerary

Victoria Falls, Africa

Victoria Falls really blew me away. Victoria falls lies between Zambia and Zimbabwe in Africa, and is listed as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the world. Did you know that Victoria Falls is also the biggest waterfall in the world (based on width)? I sure as hell didn’t until I was face to face with this amazing natural wonder.

What to do in Victoria Falls

Also a huge surprise was that Victoria Falls is a mini adventure capital. There were SO many adventure activities on offer, we didn’t have enough time to even scratch the surface. From bungee jumping, to high wire activities, to scenic flights over the falls, the amount of fun you can have in this place is endless.

Do not miss:

  • Microlight flight over the falls (one of the most incredible activities I have ever done in my life).
  • Devil’s pool (where you can sit on top of the edge of the waterfall..no joke).
  • The gorge swing and the flying fox.

*Stay tuned for 2 posts about this destination coming soon!

Cape Town, South Africa 

Cape Town was my favorite city I visited in 2016, hands-down. It literally has everything: awesome hikes, mind-blowing viewpoints, some of the greatest food in the world, nearby wineries, epic road trips, and so much more.

What to do in Cape Town

Cape Town is underrated in my opinion and I think you should add it to the top of your 2017 bucket list! It’s INCREDIBLE!

NAC helicopter tour Cape Town

Do not miss:

  • Haut Bay market-live music, artisan shops, and endless food vendors.
  • Camp’s Bay-the posh beach area reminded me of Malibu, California 
  • Lion’s Head and Table Mountain.
  • Bombay Bicycle-order the Choco-Chilli steak. Don’t, ask, just do it. 
  • Stellenbosch-take a day and go wine tasting about 45 minutes outside of Cape Town.
  • Helicopter tour over Cape Town for the best panoramic views over the city.
  • Road trip on the Cape Peninsula.
  • Penguin Beach.

Where to Stay in Cape Town:

Derwent House Boutique Hotel. Simply awesome…and super cozy!

⇒Check out my review: Where to Stay in Cape Town: Feeling at Home at Derwent House Boutique Hotel (+Video)

Zanzibar, Tanzania, Africa

My friend Carey and I spent a week in Zanzibar participating in a volunteer project with the incredible RAKlife.org helping to rebuild some houses for those in need. Not only did we get to help make a difference, but we got to spend time in one of the most beautiful places in the world: ZANZIBAR!

Zanzibar Crazy Travelista

The high/low tides in Paje, Zanzibar were unlike anything I had ever seen. During low tide, you could literally walk a mile out onto the sea bed. Not to mention, the color of the water was unreal. Zanzibar will have some of the prettiest waters you will ever see in this world, and that’s no lie.

Do not miss:

  • The Rock Restaurant (basically in the middle of the ocean)-You take a boat to get to it and after the low tide, you walk back to shore. One of the coolest things I have ever seen. Oh, and the food was great too!
  • Swimming with wild dolphins (literally)-a 6am start will surely get your adrenaline pumping as you take a small boat out into the sea to search for dolphins. When your guide finds them, you literally jump into the water and swim with them. I can’t even describe the feeling.
  • Paje Beach-one of the prettiest beaches I have ever seen. There are also a bunch of chill out cafes near the water with hammocks to enjoy the scenery. It’s a very relaxing place. 

Meteora, Greece

I have been to Greece several times as it is one of my favorite countries. But nothing prepared me for what I would see and learn at Meteora. In short, it is a city with monasteries built upon rocky pillars. Meteora translates into “suspended in the sky”…and it definitely lives up to its name. It also became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

Meteora monasteries

The history behind this place is incredible so make sure to take a guided tour to put things into perspective. Another plus is that this region of Greece is pretty cheap so it won’t break the bank.

What to do in Meteora

Do not miss:

  • Meteora Sunset Tour-to get the best photo spots in Meteora, this was my fav tour!
  • Meteora Hiking Tour-to see the city from the bottom up, it gives a unique perspective.

⇒For more details on Meterora, check out my post: Why You Should Drop Everything & Visit Meteora

Lake Ohrid, Macedonia

Who knew the oldest lake in Europe would be one of my favorite destinations of 2016? It’s not really a place on most people’s radars, and as a result, it’s not overrun by mass tourism. BINGO. That’s probably why I enjoyed it so much. You can reach it easily with a 3-hour bus ride from Skopje.

Lake Ohrid Crazy Travelista

Go to Lake Ohrid for a more peaceful and relaxing trip with great scenery. Also a plus is how cheap everything is there, especially accommodations. I got an entire apartment to myself on Airbnb for $24/night. Ahhh, I love Eastern Europe.♥

Do not miss:

Saint John at Kaneo-a monastery perched upon the cliff overlooking the lake and picturesque AF.

Sardinia, Italy

If you know anything about me, you know my favorite country in the world is Italy. I always say I could spend my whole life discovering all of Italy. And that I plan on doing :). Sardinia did not disappoint and has the most consistently beautiful beaches I have ever seen in my life. Period. 

Sardinia, Italy Crazy Travelista

I explored solo for 8 days by car and it was one of my favourite trips of the year. Sardinia is very rugged and naturally beautiful, and not to mention HUGE. In 8 days I was only able to see the Northeast of the Island so I definitely plan on going back to see more.

Do not miss:

  • Cala Goloritze-hands-down one of the prettiest beaches in the world. So much so that the beach itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It requires a 1.5 hour hike through the woods (each way), but 100% worth it. I had the whole entire beach to myself (although it was a cloudy day, it was still gorgeous).
  • La Maddalena Peninsula-I took my car on the ferry over to La Maddalena and drove around the small little island. The water there was the prettiest blue/green contrasted waters on the whole island of Sardinia.
  • Costa Smeralda-very posh and expensive but worth a stop.
  • Capriccioli Beach-made up of 4 small half-cresent beaches and turquoise waters.
  • Orosei Coast for the best natural beaches on the island.

Where to Stay in Sardinia:

Ecofriendly Luxury Huts at L’essenza, Sardinia-one of the most unique places I have ever stayed. Who wouldn’t want to stay in a luxury teepee surrounded by cats and greenery?

Su Gologone: the prettiest and most colourful boutique hotel I have ever stayed in. It’s an art lover’s dream and the perfect place for total seclusion from the outside world.

⇒Check out my reviews of these properties here:

Ecofriendly Luxury Huts at L’essenza, Sardinia

Su Gologone: A Secluded Oasis Igniting the Inner Creative in You

Mainland Portugal

Lisbon-the spicy capital of Portugal with so much to offer. The colourful city is a photographer’s absolute dream and I had so much fun exploring, despite all the steep hills!

Señhora do Monte viewpoint

Algarve- a region in the south of Portugal with some of the best beaches in Europe. And finally some sandy beaches in Europe, woohoo!

Do not miss:

  • Hike up to the Miradouro or “viewpoints” for the best panoramic views over the city.
  • Alfama and Bairro Alto neighborhoods for photo ops and great restaurants.
  • TimeOut Market– a gourmet food market with some of the best chefs and many vendors to choose from.
  • Carmo Convent-a church without a roof. Where else can you see that?
  • Day Trips to Sintra, Quinta da Regaleira, and Cascais are absolute musts!

⇒For more details on Lisbon, check out my post: What To Do in Lisbon: A Fun-Filled 3-Day Itinerary (+Day Trips)

Chefchaouen

Although I had quite the rocky time in Morocco, I couldn’t leave the amazing “blue city” off this list. I had been teased by unreal Instagram photos of this place for what seemed like forever. I couldn’t take it anymore and just had to see for myself.

Blue city, Morocco

Chefchaouen exceeded my expectations. It might just be the most picturesque city I’ve ever been to. The location nudged between the Rif Mountains only adds to it’s secluded beauty. It’s a little out of the way to get to, but it was by far my favorite place in Morocco and if you go to only one city, make it this one! 

⇒For more on my time in Morocco, check out: Solo Female Travel in Morocco: Yay or Nay? and Why I Have a Love/Hate Relationship with Morocco: Highlights & Lowlights

Do not miss:

  • Getting lost in the maze like streets.
  • Taking endless photos of kitties.
  • Go to the Spanish Mosque at sunset for the best views.
  • Shop and bargain for leather goods and pashmina scarves.
  • Eat at Molin Arte near waterfalls or Cafe Morisco in the main square.

Safari in Kruger National Park

Going on a safari at Kruger National Park in South Africa was not only one of the top 5 travel moments ever, it was probably one of the top 5 highlights of my life. No joke. There is nothing comparable to the thrill of being in an open vehicle and being encountered by the animals in the wild. I’m not going to lie, at some moments, I was scared AF, but that just added to the thrill!

The bonus…we saw the BIG FIVE twice in 3 days!

Safari Kruger National Park

If you don’t have a safari on your bucket list, put it up by the top! It’s amazing! And not as expensive as you might think. More on my safari adventure with details coming up soon!

Queensland, Australia

Getting to finally see the Great Barrier Reef up close and swim in it was a complete dream come true. It was at the top of my bucket list and it didn’t disappoint. I must say it was a little scary to swim with all the possible deadly animals in the GBR, namely sharks and stingers. But hey, YOLO! 

Great Barrier Reef

Do not miss:

  • Day trip to the Outer Great Barrier Reef + Michaelman’s Cay.
  • Day trip to Fitzroy island-a relaxing a quiet island with lots of water activities and hikes.
  • Day trip to Cape Tribulation/Port Douglas-the costal views on the way up are worth it alone.

Whitsundays (Whitehaven Beach)

Whitehaven Beach may just be the prettiest beach in the world. At least it was the prettiest beach I had ever seen! The magnificent swirls of white sand contrasted with the turquoise waters was like nothing I had ever seen. Also interesting is that the pattern of swirls changes every 3-4 hours so you will never take the same picture twice.

Whitsundays, Australia

Do not miss:

  • Make sure to take a day tour and see the Hill Inlet. This is not included on every tour so make sure your company goes there! This is where you get to hike up and see that spectacular view mentioned above.  
  • Scenic flight over the Whitsundays and the Great Barrier Reef for a different perspective.

New Zealand (all of it!)

I couldn’t pick just one city in New Zealand because everywhere I went was spectacular. The highlights of my trip were bungee jumping for the first time ever in Queenstown, biking through wine country, and visiting the Hobbiton Movie Set on the north island.

New Zealand Crazy Travelista

New Zealand is for nature lovers and I cherished my time there. It’s definitely a place I would go back to. And the exchange rate was very good so it was quite affordable. 

Do not miss:

  • Bungee jumping in Queenstown, the home of bungee!
  • Hobbiton movie set.
  • Wine tasting on Waiheke island.
  • Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland.
  • Waitomo Glow worm caves.

Tip: you can only visit Hobbiton on a tour so make sure to buy tickets in advance as they do sell out!

*Stay tuned for a huge post on my highlights of New Zealand soon. In the meantime, here is my bungee jump video:

Where is Crazy Travelista Going in 2017?

That’s a great question. I don’t even know yet myself. Last year I only completed about 50% of my wish list…yet I added 3 huge trips instead to Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Plans are always changing so it’s hard to say.

As of right now, I only have a trip to Lapland, Finland booked in March. Nothing else is planned yet!

But in case you’re wondering, here is my 2017 wish list:

Iran-the homeland! My dad is from Shiraz, Iran, and it would be a dream for me to finally get to see where he came from and to meet a bunch of family over there. In doing my research, I found out that it’s going to be more complicated for me to go than someone who is an American (ironic, huh?).

The Iranian government sees anyone born to an Iranian father as Iranian, regardless of where the mother is from (my mom is from Austria). So that means I must enter on an Iranian passport. Well, my dad came over almost 40 years ago and lost his passport (as he has never returned). So he must track down his birth certificate in Iran first and then reapply for his passport in the USA before I can even think about applying for mine. It’s going to be a long process, but I am determined to get to Iran in 2017! Stay tuned for updates.

I do know for sure that 2017 WILL be the year I set foot on the continent of South America for the first time. How have I not gone here yet? Plane tickets are pretty cheap from Washington, DC, so now is the time to go. It’s high up on the list and I will definitely be making a trip there some time next year. On my radar: Machu Picchu, Salar de Uyuni (salt flats in Bolivia), Brazil, Patagonia, Colombia, and possibly Galapagos.

Also on my radar for 2017: more of South East Asia (Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore) as well as Japan, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and possibly India.

I would like to also visit more of the Middle East including Oman, Dubai, Jordan, etc. And no, it doesn’t scare me. I have Middle Eastern blood after all.

Banff National Park, Canada-since Canada is celebrating their 150th anniversary in 2017, they are offering free entrance to all their national parks. I ordered my pass already online so now I must go in 2017 🙂

And it’s also my goal to visit one random AF country in 2017. Like possibly one of the “stan” countries. Maybe I’ll get to see where Borat is from. Haha 🙂

Will I make it to all these places in 2017? Probably not, but I’m aiming for at least 50% like last year. I know for sure I will not be spending much time in Europe in 2017 (insert sad face), although it’s my favorite continent. I need to break away for a while and see what else the world has to offer. There is still SO much to see! So, that being said, cheers to mothaf**kin’ 2017!

Here is my 2016 Travel Recap Video from YouTube:

What were your 2016 highlights? And where are you headed in 2017? I want to know! 🙂

Click photo to PIN for later 🙂

Where to travel in 2017