Mykonos or Santorini?! Before I finally visited both myself, it was the question I asked my friends who managed to see both the most!
When it comes to the Greek islands I feel like words fail to describe places like Mykonos and Santorini. It is definitely something you need to experience at least once in a lifetime! So this time: less of my stories and more of the real-life photos! Maybe, you’ll be able to pick up your own favorite!
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Traveling to Greece
My love affair with Greece
After all these years of traveling to Greece and Cyprus and having an ongoing love affair with both – next week I´ll finally post a list of places and experiences that made Greece so special to me. It would be fair to say that as a passionate world traveler I try to go for the new and the unknown while choosing different travel destinations every year. Let’s face it – the world is too big and our time in it is simply limited.
But, guess what? – Greece is a constant thing on my travel bucket list. No matter how much I visit it. I’m always willing to go back in order to experience its natural beauty along with a fascinating history, explore more mind-blowing ruins and try more of the local foods (don’t forget to pack your pair of stretchy pants!). No matter whether it´s Athens, Crete, Meteora, or Rhodes – I always get back home craving for more Greek explorings!
Also read: Best beaches in Spain Off The Beaten Path
Before I visited Mykonos and Santorini, both looked quite similar to me in the pictures! Except for the heights – Santorini has some really epic panoramas. But to be honest, everything is unique about these places. The surreal white-blue architecture, crystal waters, cordial greek mentality, traditional foods … I simply can´t get enough of the Greek Islands in general, but Mykonos and Santorini are both like the cherry on the cake.
Mykonos or Santorini?
But there just can´t be two cherries on the cake, right?! It´s like I’ve shared with you on my San Francisco post: traveling is the most subjective thing ever. We choose cities and places that match our personalities at a certain point in our lives. For instance, Paris is one of the prettiest places on this planet, but we just didn´t click. In fact, how many times we´ve all arrived at a destination that would not live it up to our initial expectations?! It´s life. You fall in love with a personality. You feel the energy of a place and it´s either hit or miss. Either you are disappointed or you become a part of its heartbeat.
But is it Mykonos or Santorini? Which one feels more special and magical?
Mykonos is definitely the fanciest island in Greece: everything is overpriced and yet you can’t help falling in love with these white houses. It is all about the famous atmosphere of a Greek summer, no matter whether you’re into parties or a laid-back feel – Mykonos does it all, and what’s even more important, Mykonos does it all in style.
Looking for some epic parties?! The ones on Mykonos don’t envy Ibiza in any way. Need more Vitamin Sea? – Just enjoy the light golden sands and tranquil waters at one of the epic Mykonos beaches. Are you into Greek gastronomy? – Eat your way through the variety of restaurants, cafes and quaint tavernas on Mykonos.
Not to forget the sunsets, the red-peachy one on Mykonos is currently on the top of my list of the most beautiful sunsets around the world.
Therefore, if you are secretly dreaming of shimmering ivory sands, white buildings lining the coastline, beaches that feel like island heaven, and some occasional party fun – set your eyes on the Mediterranean island of Mykonos. You won’t regret it.
If I am to describe Santorini, let me start by saying that it is definitely one of the most romantic places around the world. Bring your partner and you end up falling in love again with him or her and with the island itself.
One of the Top Experiences to Fall in Love with Greece is definitely visiting Oia and enjoying views of a lifetime. Santorini was one of my top bucket list destinations since I was a child. No wonder it was also one of the first places we, me and my husband, visited as a couple.
Not to mention, it was Santorini, where my husband (boyfriend back then) decided to propose to me first. We have been dating for six months by then. Do you get it now: how romantic must be this place to actually push men towards spontaneous lifetime decisions!
But if you want to avoid the crowds in Oia ( no need to stress how touristic this place is, especially in the summer months), rent a 4-wheeler and explore the island, hike together to Skaros Rock, or find a quiet cove framed by rocky cliffs and enjoy the peaceful environment, azure sea, and smooth sands. You could even check Perissa Black Sand Beach: something I´d rather expect to experience in Hawaii or on one of the Canary Islands, but Santorini is surprisingly beautiful in every sense of the word.
The island, probably, feels romantic even if you’re not traveling as a couple. Those vibes just come with the place, I guess.
Also read: Your perfect Ibiza vacation – Must-Do List
So, if you ask me whether it was Mykonos or Santorini for me? – I´d say Santorini was my cherry on the cake of the Greek Islands. And it´s not because of the proposal, or the fact that I’ve stepped on a sea urchin in Mykonos (no hard feelings!) and we were not able to find Petros the Pelican of Mykos (who had apparently avoided us for 3 days). This is not the point here. It´s all about the atmosphere.
Let’s face it: there are so many places that look stunning on the picture but in real life are no fun to hang around. Well, Santorini is not one of them.
Despite being so touristic (privacy is often a luxury) and getting quite pricy, when it comes to unique views, epic sunsets, and obvious charm – Santorini is hard to beat. Especially, if you crave for the romantic getaway and can afford one of the beautiful luxury hotels with views and a private hot tube. But even if that’s not the case – you should go to see Santorini at least once in a lifetime. Single, on a budget, with kids … who cares?! Santorini´s romantic feel is contagious, there’s no way you can escape it.
At the end of the day, ” Mykonos or Santorini” shouldn’t be your ultimate Greek dilemma at all. Some fall in love with Santorini, like me, others clearly prefer Mykonos. But the real topic here should be “where to next?”
Also read: 10 Best Spanish Islands to Visit
As a country with 220 inhabited islands, Greece is still full of hidden gems. I´m already thinking of my future trips and which Greek Island to visit next. Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, and Rhodes are already crossed out of my Greek bucket list, but what about the other 215?!
Most likely, my next islands would be – Naxos, Paros, Hydra, and Milos. What about you?!
- Accommodation: For short stays, I usually book via Agoda, Booking, and Hotellook
- Tours&excursions: My favorites for guided tours are GetYourGuide and Viator
- City breaks&sightseeing: Go City helps to avoid multiple entry fees and paper tickets
- Travel Insurance: find the best trip insurance plans via VisitorsCoverage, EKTA, and Insubuy
- Flights: To find the best deals I like WayAway and Aviasales
- Airport Lounge: Get independent airport lounge access worldwide via Priority Pass
- Train&bus tickets: Currently, I book via RailEurope, Omio, and Busbud
- Car rental: To find the best deals I use Rental Cars, Discover Cars, and GetRentalCar
- Transfers: For individual transfer services I like Kiwitaxi
- For Foodies: Eatwith is great for finding culinary experiences with locals
- Cruise Reviews: To find the best cruise offer I check out Cruise Critic
- Suitcases&Luggage: To eliminate problems of early arrivals/late departures I find helpful Radical Storage
- Compensation for delayed/canceled flights: AirHelp is useful for all flight cancellation or delay claims
- To avoid roaming fees I use Airalo eSIMs around the world
- Budget-friendly stays: Check Hostelworld to find the best deals around the world
- Events: To find the best offers I use Ticketmaster and TicketNetwork
- Renting Bikes: to find motorcycles, scooters, quads, and bicycles I use BikesBooking
- Package Tours: head to CheapOair, Expedia UK, Tourhub, and loveholidays
- For Bloggers: To monetize my blog I use Travelpayouts