The Healthiest Place for Vacation

This summer, I was fortunate to have my boyfriend (Jason) unintentionally choose one of the healthiest places for vacationing — Greece! We had a magical time there and left wishing we could’ve stayed longer to explore more of the country. Waking up to the views of the ocean and the shining sun are memories I'll cherish forever.

Here’s why I think Greece is one of the healthiest places to vacation:

  1. You can walk everywhere. Sure, we rented an ATV, but stayed in AirBnBs that were close enough to the towns so we could walk if we wanted.
  2. Hiking trails are also everywhere. In Santorini, we hiked 12 miles along the coast (round trip) from Fira to Oia and back. It was breathtaking to see the vast open sea... also out of breath from the hiking (LOL).
  3. The Mediterranean Diet is all day, everyday. No matter where you go, you'll find fresh seafood, veggies, whole grains, legumes and quality olive oil. We definitely had our fair share of all of those foods. With all the walking and hiking, there was no way we could've gained weight on this vacation.
  4. The physical environment is optimal in breeding feel-good vibes. We all know what sunlight does for us, but I think the sea salt in the air and ocean made the biggest difference. Sea salt has four times more trace minerals than even Himalayan salt. I believe all that jumping in the ocean had such a positive benefit to my body, for sure. Skin absorbs your surroundings, so I know I was taking in all those nutrients in the air. Soul vitamins were so real everyday.
  5. The people are so happy! Okay, there were maybe two hecklers but for the most part, they were all trustworthy and kind. From servers at restaurants to captains of our boat rides, they were so pleasant. Maybe it's the weather, the food, the culture. Whatever it is, they had some insanely good juju!

Our trip was split into 8 days / 9 nights. Below are some of the activities we recommend. If I could re-do this trip, I would've spent another few more days in Milos!

ATHENS (1 night)

  • Acropolis - Go early to beat the crowd & the heat! Photo ops are prevalent.
  • Novagea Juice Corner - Swing by for a snack after your hike up to the Acropolis. They have juices with ingredients you don't typically see in juice shops in the US like rosemary, olive oil and hippophae.

MYKONOS (3 nights)

  • Beaches:
    • Platos Gialis (unpretentious beach club)
    • Panormous Beach (underrated upscale beach club)
    • Ftelia Beach (wind surfing/watching wind surfers)
    • Agios Sistos (quaint beach with proximity to best restaurant ever; see below)
  • Restaurants
    • Kiki's Tavern (on Agios Sistos beach) - The view is spectacular and the food is unforgettable. This is also where salad dreams are made, from lentil to black rice salad with herring and octopus (must-have). They have a legit grill so expect to smell the delicious food while you wait. Wait times can get long (~1 hour), so go early or go with friends. As long as one person is present near the restaurant, the rest of you can go down and enjoy the beach.
    • Spilia - This is a beautiful seaside restaurant also with a stunning view. They also serve up fresh uni, but note that they'll run out later in the evenings. Personally, I think the view is better than the food, but it's worth going if you want to have a more upscale dining experience.
    • Pepper Souvlaki - If you want a good dine-in Greek street food place, this is the spot. 

MILOS (2 nights)

  • Volcano Boat Tour - We visited 5 different beaches and caves in just 5 hours (some were boat access-only). The ride is on a fast boat, so it was more efficient than other sailing options. The views were stunning and the boat crew and guests were a ton of fun, too. They brought out snacks like fruit, homemade bread with jams and also served complimentary beer & wine! 
  • Sarakiniko Beach -  The most impressive sight I've seen in my life! You'll find crystal blue waters, humbling, majestic waves and white volcanic rock formations.
  • Medousa Restaurant - A fantastic restaurant, recommended by a friend, with a beautiful view of the waters and delicious food to wind down after a day of exploring. The restaurant is straightforward with insanely good vibes.

SANTORINI (3 nights)

  • Ammoudi Fish Tavern - Located in Oia on Ammoudi Bay, the restaurant serves fresh fish and has friendly staff. They even take you to the fresh caught fish so you can make your selection. You can also enjoy a seat at a table right by the open waters.
  • Santorini Wine Tour - We learned that Santorinian wines are such hidden gems. Our tour guide, Evan, was so knowledgeable and passionate (he was a professor of wine in Athens!). We visited 3 locations, tried 5-6 different wines and learned food about food pairing:
    • Boutari - Pioneers in commercializing wine in Santorini
    • Gavalas - Traditional winery with a long-standing history,
    • Venetsanos Winery (rooftop with beautiful sunset view).
  • Barbarossa Sunset Tour - Our friends kindly found this gem of an experience and invited us to join them. We were accompanied by just 4 other couples (total 10 people) and enjoyed a swim in the ocean, a simple dinner and a gorgeous sunset on the water. A bit on the pricier side (~€150/person), but totally recommend if you're interested in a more private, peaceful experience!