As we enter sweater weather, most travel plans center on getting to a ski resort or back home for some form of winter-holiday-extravaganza. Point being, there aren’t many of us making travel plans the week before Thanksgiving for May, but there should be. Not only are you likely to get a great price on tickets, you also give yourself a sliver of sunlight to help you make it through frigid weather, dark days, and those obligatory family functions.
We asked Samantha and Ryan Looney of Our Travel Passport to turn us on to a great destination to book right now, and they couldn’t say enough good things about Grecian islands. The Looneys have visited more than 20 countries together, but they’ve been back to Greece multiple times. They’ve flown to islands, sailed to into their ports, ferried between them, and even chartered a boat to take them to a different island every night for a full week. But with 6,000 Greek land masses punctuating the Aegean and Ionian Seas, we needed them to get detailed. The vagabonding duo was happy to name their three favorites. Read on to see what they have to say.
RECOMMENDATION 1: Visit Milos
Samantha: Our favorite Greek Island is Milos. It’s definitely not as popular or touristy which is why we love it so much. But it’s becoming a lot more popular.
Ryan: Yeah with Instagram and everything, it’s getting more exposure.
Samantha: It has this stunning beach that’s made of volcanic ash. It’s called Sarakiniko and it seriously looks like you’re on the moon. If there was a beach on the moon that’s what it would look like.
Ryan: It feels out of this world. The island itself is not very big, so we rent ATVs and we go all around it. July and August are the high season, and we’ve been in both May and September. So on various vacations, we’ve had the entire beach to ourselves. Or there were like one or two other people there.
Samantha: There’s also a lot of beaches. As opposed to Santorini, which doesn’t really have as many beaches, so it’s harder to get that lay out, relax on the beach experience. On Milos, there’s a lot of really beautiful, different, unique beaches. We’re beach people, so we love going to beaches. That’s part of why we love it so much, too.
Ryan: There’s a lot of cliffs to jump off. And the food is really cheap.
Samantha: Yeah, and it’s just really delicious.
Ryan: You don’t get any cruise ships that go there, or at least not major ones. So, the tourist prices are still about $10 per plate.
Samantha: For like a giant plate with a lot of food.
Ryan: You can get a meal for like $3-$5.
Ryan: We’ve been to some exciting places — islands in the Caribbean, Bora Bora, French Polynesia — but when people ask us our favorite place, it’s these islands without a doubt. There are amazing for travelers because there’s so much to do. There’s so much to see. It’s affordable, and it —
Samantha: It has its own unique charm. It has a charm that you can’t get anywhere else. There’s nowhere else in the world with white houses and blue domes next to a cliff dive, so it’s just really unique and magical that way.
Ryan: After the third time in 16 months we said, “We’re going to need to build a house on one of these islands kinda like Mamma Mia! vibes.
Samantha: I feel that’s one of the things about Milos that we love is it really feels very like laid back and traditional and you could just live there forever. It feels like the island that Mamma Mia! was built on. It’s not, but it feels like that same vibe of you just hop on your ATV or your moped and you go to the bakery in the morning and then you go for a swim in the afternoon and you all sing and dance and live happily ever after!
Ryan: With that said, Milos doesn’t have any properties that make you feel pampered round the clock. I think they’re building one right now, but there aren’t any five-star resorts. There’s a lot of four-star boutique hotels that are great, but you’re going to have to do some exploring on your own if you’re going to experience the island. If you’re comfortable with that, it’s a great place. If not, then Santorini, Mykonos and other islands like that —
Samantha: They have more like luxury five-star experiences. If you really want like an authentic, explore on your own, feel what it’s like to live in Greece kinda experience, those smaller islands they really make that.