Greece - Part I, TYW

This travel guide is wildly overdue, but nonetheless B and I wanted to share our latest international adventure together; a two part series inclusive of our best Greek vacay recommendations.  Neither of us had ever been to Greece, so when cabin bookings for The Yacht Week opened last fall, we jumped at the opportunity. We sailed with TYW for the first time back in 2016, around the Croatian islands, and knew after only a few days that it wouldn't be the last. If you haven't checked out the company before, you absolutely should (and can here)! It is by far one of the coolest experiences available for you late twenty/early thirty year olds out there, and the price point really can't be beat. If you want to learn more about our trip in Croatia, you can read our post here, but today's post focuses on all things Greek and feta!

This time around was especially exciting for us since we booked a yacht with most of the same people we traveled with in Croatia - so needless to say, we couldn't wait to meet up with our friends in Athens.  Since TYW brings people together from all over the world, we hadn't seen some of our crew living outside of the states since 2016. In addition, we had a few TYW virgins, so the group dynamic couldn't have been more perfect. We spent the first evening near Alimos Marina, catching up with our crew and stuffing our faces with greek salad, lamb, and shots of Ouzo at Ellados Eikones.  Almost instantly we started meeting some of the other 300 yacht weekers, and quite honestly, you won't ever find more beautiful, adventurous, and fun people. If summer camp and The Bachelor were to have a baby, it would be The Yacht Week. Everyone is so friendly and outgoing, you make all of these incredible new friends while yachting and exploring some of the most beautiful venues in the world.  

The next morning we set out for Poros, roughly an 8 hour sail to the largest port on the route.  By the time we arrived in Love Bay, most of us had adjusted to island time and our new sea legs. Sporting our best Tropical Retro threads and vibes, the Bizet crew crashed the YW exclusive party with too many champagne showers and our best dance moves.  I'm confident we ended the day dancing on tables in a bar full of sailors, but some things are best kept on Yacht Week. 

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Day 3 had us poolside at Nikki Beach in Porto Heli and was probably my personal favorite. The resort is unlike any other venue I have been to, with luxurious cabanas, bottle service, and ocean views.  Plus the company and music provided by Zoomlike honestly couldn't be beat (no pun intended); if that wasn't enough to keep us entertained, crewmate Paige spent most of the afternoon body slamming random strangers into the pool. 

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My top recommendation to any YW newbies is this: you can't overdo the regatta theme. So plan ahead and bring your best group costumes for the day long sail around the Adriatic. Turn up the speakers and rock out with your cocktails out, taking note of the other crews ideas! Day 4 brought us to the overnight raft, where all 30 yachts form a line in Natural Bay and crews spend the evening hopping from boat to boat, meeting new friends and making questionable decisions. 

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 This is what first place looks like.....

This is what first place looks like.....

 ...and 2nd. #angles

...and 2nd. #angles

Ermioni is a small town located on a peninsula in the center of the Saronics. To be honest, the days start blending together by this point, so I have no idea what we did upon arrival. However, we spent the afternoon at Cavo Bianco, another one of my favorite venues. Our Riveria party was nothing short of chic, as long as chic includes more champagne showers and bar dancing. Fortunately for this thirty year old, the only thing injured while on said bar was an unfortunate ash tray that came too close to my foot. Thanks to the Cavo Bianco staff for turning a blind eye and/or to the Yacht Week for picking up the cost of damages...you only turn thirty once, right?!

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Day 5 is when those "Saturday Scaries" start to kick in and you realize this incredible trip is coming to a fast end. We spent the day in Hydra, cliff side enjoying sparkling rose and soaking up the gorgeous views from Spilia Beach Bar. But don't let basic fool you, I didn't hesitate joining the boys for the 30+ jump from the top of a nearby cliff into the cool water below. It's all about balance. Britt spent the afternoon exploring the town square and riding donkeys, so needless to say there is no limit to the activities available here. We enjoyed dinner at Sunset Restaurant, which lives up to its name. Home to one of the most beautiful views in the world, the location provides memorable photos and an exquisite selection of feta cheese, fresh seafood, local meats, mediterranean veggies, and sweet desserts. Omilos Club provides the late night cocktails and music to keep the party going well into early morning hours. Have we mentioned that sleep on TYW is unlikely?! 

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Expect strong feelings of sadness and depression to takeover as you spend the last day sailing back to Alimos marina. After arriving, packing, and scrubbing the boat of any sign of Yacht Week life, we unloaded our bags and made our way to our AirBnb in Plaka- a few blocks from the closing dinner and party at Oinos Cafe. We found a last minute flat, with spacious bedrooms, euphoric shower pressure, plus an incredible patio view of the Parthenon. Then again, after living on a boat for a week, everything felt spacious and luxurious.  We danced the night away with all of our friends, new and old, remembering all of the good vibes from the week. 

5am came all too quickly and before we knew it, Britt and I were on a plane headed to Santorini (Part II travel guide, coming soon!!!). I would highly recommend that you take a few additional days of PTO after TYW to unwind. I promise you, you will need it. Words cannot really explain how dehydrated and exhausted you will be. But I promise that you won't regret a minute of the experience. There will be times along the way where all you will want is a hot shower, your own bed, and to not live on a boat with 10 other people who are driving you mad. You may even tell yourself you're too old to do that ever again. But then you'll find yourself two months later still reliving the experience, texting your new friends and planning more trips together. And then all of a sudden cabin bookings open up again and you are right back where it all started...

The Yacht Week - it's nothing like the real world babes. 

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Stephanie Zillmer