I embarked on my 6 month study abroad journey in January. After a month of intensive Spanish classes at Nebrija University, my peers and I had a week off before our official classes began, so we opted for a trip to Greece. I was initially skeptical about going to Greece knowing it would be too cold to be in bikinis, but we booked a flight anyways. We spent our first night in Athens, 5 days in Santorini, and our last night in Athens again.
Benefits of going to Greece during the off season:
- Cheaper flights
- Our round trip flight from Madrid to Athens was about 60€ less than if we went in the middle of June (peak season).
- Round trip from Athens to Santorini was an unbelievable 10€!
- Scenic views for photoshoots all to yourself!
- According to our driver, Santorini has a population of about 11,000 to 13,000 but during peak season, tourists jump that population up to almost 300,000 to 500,000.
- The streets are so narrow in Santorini, I can only imagine what it would be like having to elbow my way through, plus you have to make way for the donkeys!
- Less crowded areas of popular interest
- No heads or photo-bombers ruining your photos.
What I wore:
Due to the weather being a steady 50°F throughout the week, dressing warm was quite the task, but layering is the key.
- In Oia, it’s best to wear something white or bright and colorful to get the best pictures because the colors reflect off all the white buildings! I wore a white cropped tank, a white button down, ripped jeans, a fuzzy coat, and white sneakers.
- In Pyrgos, it was a warmer day and we were going to be climbing a lot of stairs so I wore black leggings, a forest green sweater top, a white statement sleeved sweater with fringe at the bottom, and black booties (links to find cheap alternatives to these outfits can be found below).
What I ate:
- And I probably had too many. They were always under 3€ and delicious. In Santorini, I would recommend going to Lucky’s in Fira’s center. Lucky is a nice guy and welcomed us like new friends. He even let us leave our luggage there while we enjoyed our last day on the island. Lucky for us 😉
- Made of shredded meat, lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatziki sauce, and fries wrapped in the best pita bread you’ll ever have.
- Saganaki Cheese
- Fried cheese, but probably one of the yummiest foods I had there.
- Lasagna type meal made with eggplant.
- A spherical doughnut covered in fresh honey and cinnamon.
- A delicious drink for any time of the day and in any type of weather.
- Greek Yogurt
- The most natural yogurt I’ve ever had. Chobani is nothing in comparison.
- Greek Salad
- Unlike American greek salads I’ve had before, these were made only with peppers, onions, a BLOCK of feta, fresh tomatoes grown on the island, olives, and cucumbers.
What I did:
- We stayed in an Airbnb our first night about 3 miles away from the city center, but I would recommend staying at Chameleon Youth Hostal that is located in the city center.
- Drank traditional Greek Ouzo, a very strong licorice tasting liquor
- Climbed to Athena’s temple
- Acropolis Museum
- Found rooftop bars with the perfect few of the Parthenon
- We stayed in an Airbnb, which was actually terrible. I highly recommend NOT staying at Odysseus’ house.
- Known for its black sand.
- An area seemingly deserted with a lot of medieval architecture.
- The highest point of the island.
- The classic, postcard town you’ve probably seen before.
- We didn’t do much here except explore the town and marvel at the breathtaking view every corner had to offer.
- An old castle served as the perfect viewing area for what’s known as one the world’s best sunsets. I must say though the sunrise I watched earlier that morning in Fira, lit up the entire sky like fire.
Overall, Greece is a lovely place to visit during any time of the year. There’s nothing like being surrounded by genuinely kind people, delectable foods, and breathtaking views of the Aegean Sea.
- if you’re a student, you can get a discount at ASOS!
And of course, I’d like to thank my family and the University of Florida for giving me this incredible opportunity! #GlobalBusinessGators