To say it was a bit of a whirlwind before arriving in Mykonos would be a bit of an understatement. The only reason we had decided to go to Greece in the first place was because of the Spice Girls concert we had tickets to…and ended up not attending. We still decided to keep the Greece portion, but switched our flights around. Instead of us flying to London, attending a concert, and then flying out to Mykonos early on the Sunday morning, we did the long route. On the Sunday, we flew from Vancouver to Calgary, Calgary to London, and then London to Mykonos
We both spent the first part of our flight to London editing photos and then trying to sleep. On our flight to Mykonos, we both passed out hard and slept the entire time, almost to the point of frightening our seat neighbours (my bad random british guy!). I was a little frightened with the landing in Mykonos since I heard a flight attendant tell someone that it would be a hard one since the runway was short…turns out it was the best landing we’d had all day.
Our friend Maartje (who we met in Vietnam at Christmas) was meeting us in Mykonos and had already been there for a few days by the time we got there. We were staying at Paraga Beach Hostel and luckily messaged them right before we left Canada about the free airport shuttle. The hostel wasn’t actually that far from the aiport, but NEVER pass up free shuttle service, especially since taxis from airports are usually mad expensive.
The first order of business we had to attend to that night was catching up with Maartje and eating some snacks. We chose to just eat at the hostel since we didn’t know what was around and were starving. Something that we are usually against doing, but let us tell you, this hostel had some of the best food we’ve ever had in our lives!
After dinner, we decided to hit the town. This really just involved us walking on some sketchy rock paths, getting offered some drugs (don’t do drugs kids), and getting to the beach. There was a long line of beach clubs and Maartje had tried out a few so we decided to go to one of the better ones. Let’s just say it’s a little bit of a shock going from partying in Asia to partying in Greece. The beers at one of the clubs were 10 euros…and that was for a small one. We also noticed that the crowds were young, like almost borderline illegal young. Our first night out in Greece was a little bit of a disappointment. Sure, the clubs are open insane hours, but everything just felt a little forced, and EXPENSIVE.
We thought that by staying out until 4am we would beat the jetlag. And you know what? We were somewhat right until around 8pm. But until then we adventured hard around Mykonos! We took the bus into town from our hostel. We were a ways out from the town so the bus was our best option to get there since taxis were at least 20 Euros and the bus was only 1.50. Again, our first order of business when we got into town was to grab some food. After that we wandered the street of Mykonos, which are insanely cool and nothing like what we’d seen before. Until the cruise ships showed up and everything got extremely crowded and gross.
Fun fact! It’s easy to find a bathroom in the town if you start to have a bit of an emergency. It got insanely hot out and we decided that it was time to take advantage of the pool and beach at our “hostel”. We use the term hostel lightly here since it really didn’t feel like a hostel to us as all. You had to buy something to use the beach chairs, which seemed a little counterproductive to us since we were staying at the hostel and had the wristband to prove it too, but oh well.
That night, we decided that we’d have a PJ party (since we had matching ones) and would watch a movie and chill. But, since it was our last night there, we really wanted to catch a sunset. We grabbed some Gyro’s and posted up on the one side of the island. The sunset was pretty rad and beat sitting in a stuffy restaurant. There was a guy who was sitting near us as we were watching the sunset, and as soon as we got up to leave, he did too. I started to feel a bit uncomfortable and was getting a weird vibe. We were about to go around a corner where we had no idea what was around it and he was closing in. I abruptly stopped and Tessa got annoyed with me, but hey, at least I turned us around and avoided anything bad happening, my gut feelings don’t lie!
To be honest, we probably wouldn’t recommend the hostel that we stayed at to anyone. We were originally going to try to book a dorm room, but couldn’t even find them on Hostelworld, so settled with a three person private room. Unfortunately, it was a double bed and a single bed so good thing we were fine sharing for the two nights. There was no air con, but luckily it got cold enough at night that just having a fan was fine. I have a bit of a thing about bathrooms and these hostel bathrooms definitely grossed me out a lot. I tried to avoid them as much as I could. The vibe was also weird. We’ve learned that in Europe, people stay at hostels because they have to, not because they want to. There were no activities planned at the hostel, and nothing going on to get the guests meeting each other and breaking out from their groups. We honestly would’ve hated it if we were solo travellers there.
From Mykonos, we took the ferry to Ios. Luckily, our hostel had a ferry shuttle as well that we were able to hop on. The ferry that we took was the Sea Jet, and it was super cool inside. There was a snack bar, and places that you could purchases alcoholic drinks as well if you wanted. Ios wasn’t a very far ferry ride but the ferry was extremely comfortable. It was also at this point where we decided that we hated everyone who had rollie bags. PSA: don’t bring rollie bags 🙂
We had decided that we wanted our own private room in Ios and booked a hotel that turned out was right in the port. It was a great hotel, and the staff were amazing, but the location was pretty shitty for what we wanted. We had to walk up into the Island to get to the nightlife and restaurants.
We really wanted to go wine tasting when the three of us were all together and asked at reception if there was anything like that around. They recommended going to Liostas Ios Hotel for us to watch sunset at and it was great. We had free transport there and ended up just walking back when we wanted to return. It was perched on top of the island and we got a rad view of the sunset there (sunsets are going to become a common theme with this trip). It was definitely a treat yourself moment and I wouldn’t recommend going there if you didn’t want to spend some money. But hey, it was the last night we’d see Maartje before we got to the Netherlands so we had too!
After dinner, we decided that we wanted to do the pubcrawl. The pubcrawl doesn’t even begin until around 11 PM so that was a bit of a shock to us, especially considering most start at around 7 or 8. We are HUUUGE pubcrawl fans (as you’ve probably seen from past trips) so we were super jazzed about going on this one. It did the classic get a free shirt, no entry fee, and shots at each bar. But there were things it was lacking, like playing games at the first place to get to know each other, and even just a bit of structure. We never knew it was time to leave a bar until we were getting shoved out, and one of the guides was even crying at one point. First rule of pubcrawl girl, don’t kiss a guy and expect him to not go and kiss any other girls…especially if he’s been doing it all night. That man was on a mission.
When we got to the last bar, we took one look inside and instantly walked out to get snacks. And honestly, that was probably one of the best decisions we had made that night.
We were planning on staying at least two days in Ios, but in true Amanda and Tessa fashion, that obviously didn’t happen. Maartje was leaving that day to catch her flight back home, and we were going to rent ATV’s and go explore around the island. On Mykonos, it was super easy to rent them so we figured that it would be the same in Ios. It was not. Everywhere that we went said we needed an international drivers license (a what?!), but that they could rent us a car instead. Pretty sure us driving a car in Greece is more dangerous than us riding ATV’s, but to each their own. After checking out a bunch of places we started chatting about heading to Santorini, and so we did!
We purchased the tickets on the next ferry out of there, hung out on the beach for a few hours, and were off to our next Island destination: Santorini! It was also at this point that we decided that we were going to let the Universe help us decide if we would stay or move on from a place.