You could say we were pretty spoiled in Athens with the amount of vegan [nistisimo] options, but we had a feeling we’d be in for a challenge as soon as we left the Greek mainland. We were right, but you bet we still found options for things to eat that we want to share with anyone planning on visiting the best parts of Greece: the islands!
Of course we chose the two most touristy islands, so with that comes increased prices on everything, especially food. But as budget travellers, we did our best to balance our activities every day to make sure we could plan out the most affordable but fun and delicious days in Santorini and Mykonos.
Our first of two island destinations was Santorini. This is the picturesque, dream-like, white-washed Greek town we all know of from the movies and every travel Instagrammer’s page (now guilty). Make sure to arrive early [7:30 AM] if you want to scope out the perfect picture spot, and don’t be afraid to trespass- once in a lifetime, right??To start, the best way to get around the island is by renting an ATV. If you rent it outside of the main towns (Oia, Fira, Thira), the prices should be relatively cheap (~€25 per day) for one that can hold two people. From the towns in the north to the beaches in the south, everything becomes easily accessible with an ATV and can easily be taken all over at any moment we want to get up and go. This is the perfect way to speed to the viewpoints to watch the sunrise or sunset before the crowd hits because you beat everyone travelling on foot! Not only was travelling by ATV the most efficient way to get around, it is by far the most fun. Everyone is using them to get around so it is the norm and nothing to be worried about.
Another awesome way we got around the island was the hike we took from our hostel near Fira all the way to Oia. It is estimated to take anywhere from two to four hours, and we did it in about three. We didn’t spend much time if any at all stopping for pictures or shopping, but you must look around these towns at some point, so this may be the time to do that!
We met some vegans at our hostel who confirmed that there really weren’t many vegan places, but we made it our mission to find at least one place for vegans! You bet we found it. You may have seen in our Vegan in Athens blog post that we devoured our meals at a popular vegetarian place called Avocado. Well, turns out they have a location in Santorini that we didn’t have the time to head to, but if you are looking for delicious vegan food, this is the place to go!
Other than eating out here and there with some traditional fava, hummus, bread, etc., we stuck to our typical backpacker ways and went to the local supermarket to stock up on oatmeal, beans, rice, canned tomatoes, rice cakes, and jam, and ate those staples for the main duration of our stay. We’d be lying if we told you we tried to go to every restaurant and brainstorm some kind of concoction we could eat, because we loved being able to save money in the food department just to be able to participate in some of the best moments ever such as the Open Air Cinema that is about to blow your mind.
During our hike between the towns, we came across a poster for the Volkan Cinema Festival’s Open Air Cinema featuring Mamma Mia, a dreamy movie set in Greece. We knew we had to go to this no matter what it took or how much it cost, and we ended up there the next day. Up atop the hills of Fira, the sun was gone and we had a view of the illuminated town hanging over the water. There were blankets provided along with a headset for the movie. Feel free to order movie snacks and drinks while you sing along to the film because nobody else can hear you belting it out with their own headphones on. And let’s be honest, everyone was singing along, don’t try and hide it! This memory will go down as part of the best day in my life, and to me that is more than worth the €10.
You may also find yourself in Santorini during Red Bull’s Art of Motion freerunning competition, where freerunners from all around the world come to run, jump, and flip around the pearly white rooftops in Oia. Just check out this video to see what happened the day after we left!
Overall, Santorini lived up to every dream and movie I’ve ever seen. This island is truly magical and I wouldn’t be able to say you could get the full experience if you skip this place. We were sad to leave, but knew Mykonos had another amazing week in store for us.
Our experience in Mykonos was like no other. We would be lying if we said we left our hotel for more than two hours during our stay. Cavo Tagoo is a dream hotel destination for anyone visiting Mykonos or Santorini, where their two locations are. It is a little world of luxury and serenity that provides you with every reason to stay in and enjoy it.
We arrived and were welcomed like royalty, and that is probably an understatement. We were shown to our room with a fresh plate of fruit and an ice bucket of Rosé, and that was the end of it. We didn’t lift a finger for four days and there were robes for the odd moments we weren’t in the pool.
This five star luxury hotel has everything you would ever need from an incredible and attentive staff, gym, spa, restaurant, bar, saltwater infinity pool, a buffet breakfast, a stunning view over the Aegean Sea, gorgeous rooms with bath bombs galore, and either a room with a private jacuzzi or a room with your own private infinity pool. The list goes on, it really does.
The breakfast buffet was a contender for the best part about our stay at Cavo Tagoo, and I think having the ability to eat breakfast there every morning was the easiest it has been to be vegan since we had arrived to the Greek islands. They offered:
- Many different fresh baked breads with an assortment of jams, peanut butter, and vegan butter.
- Fresh fruit galore as well as dried fruits
- Porridge or museli with as many toppings as you could imagine
- Cold-pressed juices
- The bar with delicious blended smoothies
Just to name a few.
I also have to add- we had an extremely early morning ferry, forcing us to check out at 7AM. We were going to miss the breakfast buffet so we called room service to schedule a breakfast delivery. They knew we were vegan and we gave them some ideas of what we would like, and that morning at 5:58, a tray of delicious food, fresh juice and espresso fredo sat waiting in our living room. It was the most wonderful way to wake up on our last day in Greece.
They also were featuring a pop-up restaurant for dinner time, but they cycle through these and we aren’t sure what they will have when you decide to visit. Unfortunately, there is not a single vegan option on their restaurant’s lunch/dinner/room service menu, and modifications aren’t allowed for whatever odd reason. The view from their restaurant provides the most beautiful sunset, though.
We did venture out one day to find some vegan pizza at Pizza L’ Angelo, where they happily made us a vegan pizza and told us they were hoping to expand their vegan options by next summer, so give them a visit to make sure they hold up their end of the deal 😉 We also made our way to a bakery to grab some [almost] always vegan baklava at a place right at the bottom of the hill from the taxi drop-off near the old port.
After this, we definitely didn’t want to leave, but we had incredible memories (and videos to prove it), so instead of goodbye, we said “see you later” to Greece!