I adore Greece. The tantalising food, the generous people, the glorious weather and the astounding history. Yet, despite my many (many, many) prior visits, I still managed to explore three new locations whilst on holiday in June. I started in picturesque Santorini for a wedding, then hopped over to idyllic Ios before being thrust into the hectic and historical capital city of Athens. These are some of my favourite photos… filled with plenty of blues, whites and sunsets:
As we meandered into Santorini town, perusing the maze of endless shops, I felt a presence over my shoulder. I wasn’t wrong! This guy was perched atop the MATI gallery – home to the exquisite works of Yorgos Kypris. The sculpture has a fantastic view, overlooking the town’s steep hillside and surrounding vast blue ocean.
A little further down, we stopped for breakfast and ended up staying for hours watching the world go by, whilst enjoying a couple of delicious Greek coffees. This iconic mass of whitewashed buildings leads down to the Old Port of Santorini.
From the new port of Santorini, we caught the ferry across to Ios. In the town centre of Chora we found this cat seeking relief from the hot midday sun. It’s impossible to walk around any Greek town, city or island without encountering the street cats. We befriended quite a few!
Mykonos isn’t the only island famed for its windmills. At the summit of the old part of Chora town in Ios sit these windmills (two more to the left), where we sat and ate a wonderful and traditional Greek dinner as the sun went down.
No matter where I am in the world, I am always in awe of a good sunset. I wasn’t disappointed in Ios, as we were treated to a nightly display of dreamy candyfloss-coloured skies against the serene backdrop of boats bobbing up and down on the shoreline.
The church of Panagia Gremiotissa, said to be the protector of the island, sits at the top of the hill in Chora town. It looked striking lit up against the inky night sky.
In Athens, we were greeted with a cool, cosmopolitan city vibe, with impressive street art adorning many buildings.
La pièce de résistance! After a sweaty walk up the hill in 40°C heat, we were rewarded with the incredible Parthenon. Dating back to 447BC, this fantastic temple, dedicated to Greek goddess Athena, is a feat of engineering.
Away from the hill, in the centre of the city, is the breathtaking Temple of Zeus, built as a dedication to the Greek god. It amazes me how the Ancient Greeks managed to construct these incredible monuments that, despite numerous attempts to ruin them, are still standing.
The National Garden, next to the Temple of Zeus, was home to a diverse array of some of the most remarkable trees and plants I’ve ever seen. A labyrinth of greenery, it was a welcome escape from the blazing heat!
Opposite the park stands the exquisitely marbled Panathenaic Stadium, built on the remains of a 6th century racecourse. It was the location of the first ever modern Olympic games, held in 1896.
As our parting sighting on our last night, we boarded the funicular to the top of Mount Lycabettus to witness this stunning fiery sunset descend over the city’s sprawling sea of white buildings. Everyone applauded as the final rays faded and an air of tranquility was cast as the cloak of the night began to sweep over the crowd.