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Greece Santorini Travel Adventure Sunset
Greece Santorini Travel Adventure Sunset
Jackie Ryan / Her Campus

Strolling Where The Greek Gods Roamed

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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Augustana chapter.

by: Mimi Gyftakos

Over this past summer, I got the wonderful opportunity to go to Greece with my family. I went to several parts of Athens, Sparta where my dads from and an island called Chios where my mom is from. While I got to travel to my beautiful country, I got to do a lot. I got to go on boat rides, snorkeling for fish and octopus, lots of wonderful restaurants, many different beaches, gorgeous churches, different bars that involved loud music and dancing, night drives through the mountains, museums with ancient history, and dances that were held in different villages of the island my mom was from. 

The worst part about traveling overseas is the traveling part. It takes over twelve hours to get to Greece, as we took two flights. It feels like the longest ordeal until you finally land in Athens, Greece. I am also not one for plane rides as my ears get extremely sensitive on planes and they start to hurt from the pressure. But once you get there,  you realize it’s so worth the over twelve hour traveling time. Although I am usually jet lagged for a week as Greece is eight hours ahead. 

I have only been to Greece three times in my life. Last summer had to be my best experience as I am way older now than I was the last two times I went. It’s wonderful having family over there as we have reasons to go besides “taking a vacation”. Getting to reconnect with family and friends after several years is one of my favorite reasons for going. Those are the moments and memories I keep closest to my heart. 

Nightlife had to be one of my favorite moments. Getting to go to bars with my cousins was one of my favorite things. The drinking age in Greece is eighteen which meant I got to drink as much as I wanted. With precautions of course. I never had any issues communicating with people as I speak, read, and write the language fluently. No one ever thought I was a tourist. The churches over there are extremely small. The services are usually held outside and everyone gathers around in a circle. One of the churches I got to go to is called Saint. Markella. This church holds a special place in my heart. There was also a beach right by the church named after her. That church resonated with me extremely as the saint that the church is named after passed where the church is located for tragic reasons. (TW for the next 4 sentences!) 

The story goes that she was running across the beach to get away from her rapist father. He was chasing her on a horse with a sword and she was praying to God to not let her die like that. The ground opened and she fell into it with just her head poking out. Her father sliced her head off and it flew into the ocean. To this day the Turkish people have it. I got to see where the ground split open and where she passed. The ocean water right by it is blessed and considered to be holy water therefore, my family and I brought some back. Due to her tragic story, she is known for granting miracles as people who couldn’t walk have gone into the church and then came out being able to walk. She is known to grant all kinds of amazing miracles.  

The stories go on, and that was one of my favorite memories from my trip last summer. 

When dances are held in different villages, I am always the one to lead them. Those dances mean everything to me as my mom would lead them too when she was my age. There is lots of food, drinks and dancing all night long until five am. Going to museums and visiting ancient history, I got to see the Parthenon, and the Acropolis up close. Those buildings are beautiful in person. Nothing compares to the photos you see online than being right in front of. Being up close and personal, you get to appreciate the beauty. I can’t even count how many beaches I got to go to throughout the whole trip. It had to be at least nine or ten. My favorite thing about going to beaches was being able to easily catch a tan, the sunsets, snorkeling around and seeing so many different kinds of fish and sealife and how cristal blue the water was. The sun would set into the mountains and the water. The sunrays that would shine from the clouds looked like the gates of heaven had opened. The pictures don’t do justice to how gorgeous the sunsets in Greece are. You have to go to see what I mean. The night drives through the mountains were also a core memory. No cell service and just straight scenery. The mountain goats along the roads had to be my favorite. My older cousin and I one day decided to go for a long drive on his moped and we stopped several times to take pictures. Those pictures are my absolute favorite in my camera roll. There are so many more stories I could talk about but not much space. Greece to me feels like home. It is where my culture and my roots come from. Even though I was not born there and I have only been there three times, it feels like home knowing some of my favorite family members are over there. My grandma’s sister is one of them. I consider her another grandma and I can feel how much she loves and cares for me. I wish my family and I were able to go every year. Leaving and having to say goodbye is my least favorite thing about going. Knowing that my time there is limited. I took in every day of my trip and lived it to the fullest. I cry every time I have to say see you next time as we never know when we get to go back again. I am a very sensitive human being and do not handle saying goodbye’s well.

 I recommend everyone go to Greece at least once in their lifetime. All the islands are just as beautiful as Mykonos and Santorini as I feel those are the only two that are talked about and popularized. Below I included some photos of most of the things I talked about. The  pictures don’t do justice for how beautiful these places actually are in person. 

I hope dearly that my family and I will get to go next year. If not, I will keep sobbing to my camera roll until the next time Greece and I meet again.

Link for photos:


Mimi Gyftakos

Augustana '26

I am a sophomore at Augustana College! I am on the writing and editing team for our chapter. I’m a creative writing major, minoring in theater and psychology. I love music. Writing it and singing it. I have a huge squishmallow collection :)