I spent a month in the Greek Islands with my cousin when I finished undergrad and she finished high school. We each brought a backpack, we had first night accommodations and return flights booked but not other plans. We felt young and free and excited!
We spent a few days in Athens before heading to Santorini and Mykonos. My god these places are breathtakingly beautiful. They are also incredibly crowded. The streets and homes and plants are gorgeous, such a stark white bold canvas. But they are infested with party tourists – the kind of tourists who get up around noon, hungover and sunburnt, and spend the afternoon kicking the effects before rallying around dinnertime and getting ready for another party night.
Techno dance music pours out of every bar on the island, drunk Americans and Australians poured into them.
The boys loved it and continued planning their trip aiming to hit all of the most popular islands. My cousin and I politely let them know we would be breaking off from the group to find something more our speed. In a travel agency, we opened a map of the islands, pointed to the smallest most remote one, and the agent arranged the full day of travel it would take us to reach the island.
We exceeded the two nights we planned to spend on Schoinoussa and stayed for four nights before returning to Athens to meet the boys. We woke up early each morning, visited the island’s small market and god that day’s snacks before heading off on a hike. Because it was such a small island, all hikes ended at the water where we’d sit, chat, eat, and take turns swimming before hiking back to our hotel to take dinner. We were the only people staying at the hotel and the only tourists we saw on the island.