With blue waters, stunning sights and unforgettable accommodation, my Greek Island hopping experience became a truly incredible end to my summer.
The first island we travelled to was Mykonos; the island of options! This inspirational island offers a memorable experience for everyone - you can be glam at the trendy beach clubs or relax at the low-key ones, party at Little Venice while the sun sets or wonder the cobbled streets and find a quaint fish tavern in a hidden square. In true island fashion, there is an abundance of watersports on offer and I was even able to catch a boat trip to Delos to discover more about the island's culture and history, as well as stopping for a swim in the warm Aegean Sea. I was surrounded by a complete mix of travellers here, from families to couples to groups of friends of all ages - everyone is welcome!
I was lucky enough to stay at the Mykonos Grand for my 3 nights on this island, which was incredible. Offering the very best personalised service, I was greeted by name throughout my stay, and the staff were keen to help me have the best time here. Designed with a traditional Greek village style and featuring heated pool with lovely restaurant and bar area, Shirley Valentine beach and a short shuttle to town, as well as the absolutely amazing sunset views, Mykonos Grand was the perfect setting for my luxury island experience.
This was my first time to Santorini and it quickly became one of my favourite places!
The first stop was Oia, which was a picture-perfect image of Santorini. The main high street was buzzing with a mix of tourist and high-end shops and hotel entrances, and the white buildings are scattered along the cliff top facing the sea and volcano. The town is filled with small streets and hundreds of steps, even pathways between each accommodation, making it feel like something straight out of a storybook.
Dropped at the edge of the town, I was met by a member of the Andronis Suites staff who lead the way to the hotel; the property was perfect for someone like me who's not been to Santorini before, with its iconic Oia style and caldera views amongst the excitement of the town. With a view of the castle and the famous sunset on the other side of the cliff, the night time scenery was magical.
After a two-night stay at the Andronis Suites in central Oia I had a transfer to the other side of the cliff top for 2 nights at Canaves Epitome. It was spacious and stunning with sunset views, privacy and magical restaurants. A highlight of my stay here was experiencing Canaves' yacht company, Sunset Oia. I was driven down to Amoudi Bay underneath Oia at the water's edge to join the semi-private sunset cruise - with just a small group on board and the an opportunity to swim by the volcano and near the black beaches to the south of the island, enjoying wine and a barbecue before returning to Oia to see the sunset from the water - just wow!
We continued our trip with a few nights near Imervogli and Thira and I'm so thrilled we did - I had no idea how amazing these towns would be. Imerovgli is quiet and serene, and from here you can walk along a coastal path to Thira, the island's capital. Still full of the iconic Santorini landscapes but livelier, Thira featured lots of bars and restaurants to enjoy!
My last island was Crete, splitting my stay between Chania and Elounda.
Chania is a beautiful 14th century Venetian harbour surrounded by vibrant restaurants and bars - you are spoilt for choice of where to dine. The quaint streets offer a mix of tourist, crafty and clothes shops with an almost Venetian feel to it. Here I stayed in the Domes Zeen - a large hotel with all sorts of amenities: spa treatment rooms, Haute Living Lounge, gourmet restaurant, kids club, and serviced beach among others. Despite the size of the hotel, the service was spotless, and my stay felt very personable.
We drove down to Elounda with a pit stop at Knossos Palace. The small fishing village has a selection of restaurants and bars around the lake which made for a few enjoyable evenings. The Elounda Gulf Villas were amazing - spacious, private and beautiful hilltop views. The beach club is only a 10 minute on-call shuttle away and felt really exclusive as it was quiet and tucked away with views to Spinalonga. It was a stunning location, and I was lucky enough to have a go at some watersports here too.