I am VERY late in posting this wonderful trip report from Andrea and Eric’s June “escape” to London and Greece. But in some ways the timing is just right, as the snow falls outside and we all start dreaming about summer vacation. So enjoy this little daydream of Europe. And then give me a call to start planning your trip for 2020 🙂
Hi Ann — We got back yesterday evening and both agreed that was a trip of a lifetime. It was fantastic! We’ve adjusted back to east coast time pretty quickly, but getting on Europe’s time required some effort.
Greece had so much to offer. Our stop in London was brief but we squeezed in quite a bit. St. James Court hotel was just a few blocks from Buckingham Palace, so any time we wandered out we got to pass by and appreciate the view. We booked an afternoon tea time at One Aldwych Hotel. The tea party theme was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and was so well done. We then did an afternoon ride on a hop-on-and-off bus tour. Unfortunately, Big Ben was covered in scaffolding and the tour guide said it’ll be under construction for the next few years.
In Athens we had our skip the line walking tour you booked us for the Acropolis and the museum. It was really interesting and helped us appreciate the history much more than I was expecting. Our hotel was centrally located in Athens and fairly basic but nice. Everything was walkable and we had a great view of the Acropolis from our hotel.
Mykonos was our next stop and was our favorite! The Myconian Utopia Resort was so well kept and so impressive. Words can’t describe this place. The views, the infinity pool, the service, and private beach were all fantastic. We’d love to visit there again someday. Our days here were spent either on the resort or the private beach (we even jet skied), not much else was easy to travel to with our limited number of days there. But that was perfectly okay by us.
We then got to Santorini by ferry and we were unsure on that process, but it was pretty easy. Our transfers to and from the ferry didn’t work out. The pickup car in Santorini didn’t show, so we ended up having to take a shuttle to the hotel. The hotel views of the caldera were so amazing it’s hard to describe. Our hotel, Chromata, was literally on the cliff! The town of Imerovigli, where our hotel was, was great since there’s so much there. There are little markets, rental car shops, and plenty of places to eat so we felt less bound by the hotel than we did in Mykonos. Our room itself was pretty basic, but the view was fantastic. They were completely booked so they didn’t have any available upgrades.
The hotel service was amazing. We took a semi-private sunset luxury boat tour through Volcano Yachting. We booked it very last minute – the night before. It’s the best thing we could have done in Santorini. It traveled through the caldera and stopped at the red beach for swimming, stopped at the volcanic island for us to swim in the hot springs, and included free drinks and dinner. The sunset was unbelievable. They even picked us up and dropped us off at the hotel. The next day we rented a tiny smart car and drove to the black beach. It’s actually black and pretty cool. But since the sand is black is extremely hot to walk on. I wish I brought my water shoes. Flip flops weren’t enough!
Our trip came to an end and we had a very long day traveling back (Santorini to Athens, Athens to London, then London to Dulles). We were extremely lucky that we made it to London a few minutes early, we knew there was a United flight from London to DC at 12:15pm and thought just maybe we could get lucky and get on that flight instead of our 4:40pm flight. We stopped at the United desk, they called the gate, and they let us onto the 12:15pm even though they already finished boarding everyone. This was the moment having no checked bags really paid off! Ha. So glad because we got home 5 hours earlier than expected.
By the way, we ate a lot of gyros – all were great! Oh, and I attached a few pictures from our trip! We have hundreds on our phones need to sort through still 🙂
Thank you again for being so available and helpful with this entire process. Booking this trip on our own just seems so daunting and I’m glad we avoided the black hole of reading hotel, tour, and other reviews online. Made our lives much easier. Thanks again!
Andrea & Eric