Mykonos surprised me. I didn't know much about it, but I can honestly say it was one of my absolute favorites. The island is a complete maze of whitewashed homes, gorgeous windmills, and breathtaking, windy seaside views. Aaron got me my traditional third anniversary leather gift here: handmade flip-flops! Known for its wide array of shopping, nightlife, and restaurants, Mykonos is touristy but can't be missed.
If you're going to visit Greece, Athens is a no-brainer. You can't visit the country without a stop at the Parthenon, the Acropolis, or the Plaka District. With historical ruins that are thousands of years old, Athens is a great starting point for a Greek adventure, as you can fly right in, explore the ruins, and then head out for a Greek Island cruise from the Piraeus port.
I didn't know much about Rhodes, but it is absolutely breathtaking. Be sure to visit Lindos, an ancient city that houses the Acropolis of Lindos, whose ruins cascade down its breathtaking cliffs. There are lots of shopping and dining options to enjoy on your way up and down the hundreds of stairs to the top. Seriously, check out those views!
Patmos is also beautiful (see a pattern?) and is a must-visit for historical reasons. Home to the 900-year-old Monastery of St. John and the Grotto of the Apocalypse, Patmos houses a lot of Christian historical points of interest, including the place where John wrote the book of Revelation.
Delphi is another can't-miss site on the Greek mainland. With well-known ruins and incredible historical significance, Delphi is known as the home of the oracle, and it provides stunning views of the Greek hillside and the Temple of Apollo.
Our trip included an extension to visit the Peloponnese, a peninsula of Southern Greece. Here you can find the Temple of Hera, the Lion Gate of Mycenae, and Kalamata olives galore! We even visited an olive farm where we got to sample olives and buy homemade olive oil to take home and enjoy. Be sure to visit the echoing theater of Epidarus and maybe even take a pottery class while you're at it (mine was embarrassingly terrible!).
Within the Peloponnese area, Olympia is a must-see. Home to the original Ancient Olympics, Olympia is a rather surreal experience as you view the ancient stadium and maybe even go for a quick foot race. Many restaurants await your hunger in the heart of the city and are within walking distance of the ruins.
10. Cape Sounion
All in all, Greece was an incredible experience. It was pretty warm, but the islands were breezy and cool. Even though I was battling morning sickness, this stunning country surprised me with its incredible history, amazing views, and unique culture. We never felt unsafe, and we were welcomed by the Greeks with open arms. If you're ready to start planning your trip, be sure to look for amazing vacation deals and take advantage of hotel coupons. Add Greece to your bucket list, y'all. You won't regret it!