Travel Talk 2-Island Explorer Tour

After Ali and I booked our tour to London, Paris, and Rome, I couldn’t help but want to see even more places while I was in Europe. A flight from the U.S. to Europe is already so expensive, but flights within Europe are sometimes as cheap as $40, so it made sense to try to see as much as possible.

After doing some research, we found a tour that went to Mykonos and Santorini that began 2 days after our first tour ended. We spent a day in Athens on our own, and then began our 5 day tour with Travel Talk.

 

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DAY 1 – Athens to Mykonos

We spent the first part of the day in Athens, because our ferry to Mykonos didn’t leave until the late afternoon. It was a few hours ferry ride, so we didn’t arrive in Mykonos until around 7 P.M. The group had an optional welcome dinner at 6 P.M., but we were late so we did not get to participate. However, we met everyone else the next morning at breakfast anyway.

We had to arrange our own transportation to Mykonos, and then arrange our own transportation to our hotel. We opted to take the ferry from Athens because it was cheaper than flying. Once we arrived in the port, there were several cab drivers waiting there so we had no problem figuring out how to get to our hotel. Our tour director did stop by our room to let us know what time to meet at breakfast the next morning so that we would not miss the group departure.

After a long day of traveling, we were relieved to find out there was a beach less than a minute walk from our hotel. It was nice to relax and regroup before our tour “officially” began.

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DAY 2 – Mykonos

We officially met the rest of the group that morning at breakfast. There were only 8 people total in our group, plus our tour guide. The tour that we had booked was actually part of a larger tour that goes to other places in Greece and Turkey. The rest of the group had already met in previous tour stops, but they were all very welcoming.

After breakfast, our guide showed us where the bus stop was and explained where on the island the bus went to. We all rode the bus together into town, before we had a brief walking tour of the town. The rest of the group already had this walking tour the night before when they went into town for dinner, so they decided to stay on the bus and head to a specific beach they wanted to check out.

The walking tour only lasted about 20 or 25 minutes before our guide left to run some errands. At this point we were on our own, but because the island is so small, this wasn’t a problem. We saw the famous windmills of Mykonos, which are no longer in operation.

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We also saw “Little Venice” which is located along the waterfront.

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Our guide told us what time to meet at the hotel in the evening so that we could all have dinner together. As the cost for dinner was not included in the price of the tour, this was optional, but we had not spent much time with the group yet, so we decided to go.

We got into town right at sunset, so our leader told us where to stop so that we could get some amazing sunset pictures. Santorini is known for having the most beautiful sunsets in the world, but I think the best sunset I’ve ever seen was the one I saw that night in Mykonos.

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Dinner that night was fantastic, and afterwards, most of our group decided they wanted to check out a local nightclub that was within walking distance of where we had dinner. I joined them for about 30 minutes or so, but I was pretty exhausted from a full day of exploring, so I didn’t stay too long. We also had to wake up fairly early the next day to catch our ferry to Santorini.

 

 

 

DAY 3 – Mykonos to Santorini

This morning, we all met again at breakfast at our hotel before we left. We then headed to the port to catch our ferry, which left shortly before lunch. The ferry ride was only a couple hours long. Several people headed up to lookout deck shortly after we left port, and I decided to follow suit. I’m so glad I did, because I got to see so many different Greek islands I would have never seen otherwise.

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I’m not sure exactly which island this is, but it was stunning. The lookout deck was quite windy and a bit crowded, so I didn’t stay up there for the duration of the ride.

We arrived in Santorini in the early afternoon, and had sometime to unwind at the hotel. Our group decided to discuss the evening’s plans around the pool, and our guide offered to walk up the street and grab us all dinner.

We decided we wanted to check out a winery on the island, called Santo Wines.

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The price of this was also not included, but it ended up being less than 10 Euros per person because we split costs.

We also got to see another stunning Greek sunset as we drank wine and laughed with our new friends.

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DAY 4 – Santorini

Today, the rest of the group decided to rent quad bikes to ride around the island and explore. Ali and I decided we wanted a more relaxed day, so we took a bus and head to the black sand beach on the southern part of the island.

We spent most of the morning and afternoon there, swimming and relaxing.

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We had purchased lunch from a little restaurant right across the road from the beach. The lunch was reasonably priced, and we found out later that this meant we had all day access to their beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as free wi-fi.

It was the perfect way to spend our last full day in Greece.

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Our director tried to explain where the group was meeting to watch the sunset in Oia, which is the most iconic part of the island. However, neither Ali or I is very good at directions without a map, so we couldn’t find the group.

We still enjoyed walking around Oia and soaking up every last minute of our final day in Europe.

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DAY 5 – Santorini to Rome to America

This was our final day in Santorini, and we had to check out of our hotel by 11 A.M. This was also the day that our group went our separate ways. Three of us (including Ali and me) were headed home. Three members were headed to Istanbul to continue on as part of a larger Travel Talk tour. Two of the members were headed to another destination outside of a tour.

Our flight didn’t leave until evening, same as the other woman heading home. So we all walked into town to have lunch. We ate at a restaurant with a view of the water and volcano.

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The hotel arranged a cab to pick us up and transport us to the airport so we could catch our flight to Rome.

 

 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Overall, I am so happy we booked this tour. It was an amazing value for the price (only $220). We got to see things I had only seen in pictures and we met new friends. Before booking with them, we did some research and found that they frequently have sales so we didn’t book until they were running a 50% off deal for their Greece tours.

Most meals were not included in the price, but we found everything in Greece to be quite cheap (especially after just coming from the UK, France, and Italy).

If I had to do it again, I would definitely book this tour. We didn’t cram a ton of stuff into everyday because we had just done that during our first 15 days in Europe. Because most of the things were optional, we could travel at our own pace and see the things we really wanted to see.

We had an amazing time exploring the Greek islands, and I can’t wait to go back!

 

Safe travels!

-Emily 🙂

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