Unveiling the Beauty: Exploring Greece and Beyond with Stephanie Loukrezis
Embarking on a journey to explore the world and indulge in the wonders it holds is an unforgettable experience for any traveler. The excitement of discovering new lands, uncovering hidden gems, and immersing oneself in different cultures creates unforgettable moments.
Stephanie Loukrezis, a hospitality professional, is one such traveler, driven by her curiosity to unravel the mysteries of the world. Stephanie’s upbringing, in the town of New Milford, CT, introduced her to the world of hospitality, as she witnessed her parents’ entrepreneurial endeavors in the restaurant industry. This early exposure began a fascination with the art of welcoming and serving others, igniting Stephanie’s own desire to leave her mark on the world of travel. After graduating from New Milford High School in 2004, Stephanie pursued her passion by enrolling at Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island, a revered institution renowned for its dedication to excellence in hospitality education.
Over the years, Stephanie and her family have traveled to multiple destinations, including a stunning trip to Greece. There, she traveled through Athens, Andros, Rodes, and Mykonos.
“The scenery, food, and culture are definitely something that everyone should experience,” Stephanie says. “Everything we experienced there was like something out of a movie.”
The travels Stephanie took through the beautiful countryside of Greece offered a number of sights and experiences that she recalls fondly, making it one of her favorite travel destinations to date.
Today, she takes us through each of the beautiful Greek cities and what she loved so much about her experience.
Athens is the capital city of Greece and is well known for its vibrant and historic metropolis that blends the ancient wonders of old with modern marvels. Recognized as the birthplace of democracy and Western civilization, Athens offers a rich tapestry of archaeological sites, including the iconic Acropolis with its majestic Parthenon. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene including trendy bars and clubs that cater to locals and tourists. From the National Archaeological Museum to the bustling Monstriki Square, Athens offers an absolutely captivating destination with a blend of ancient heritage and modern architecture.
“When visiting Greece, there were so many breathtaking beaches, restaurants, and wineries,” Stephanie says. “The nightlife was also very vibrant too.”
Andros is the northernmost island of the Cyclades archipelago and is known best for its natural beauty and serene landscapes. Andros is also known for its vibrant terrain and is a big deal for nature enthusiasts seeking to walk beautiful landscapes. There are multiple hiking trails that crisscross the island, leading tourists through lush valleys, past serene waterfalls, and to viewpoints perfect for taking pictures. The island’s capital, Chora, showcases neoclassical architecture as well as a lively culture of museums, art galleries, and traditional tavernas. Andros also has a number of beautiful beaches with crystal clear waters.
“Andros is such an elegant place, it’s unlike anything you’ve ever seen before,” Stephanie says. “When we were visiting, we almost always stayed with our relatives in Andros. Primarily my grandparents who have a beautiful place overlooking the ocean in a small village called Paleopoli. It was such a meaningful experience for me.”
Rhodes is the largest island in the Dodecanese group and offers a blend of ancient history, medieval architecture, and coastal beauty. The UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhodes Old Town as a medieval icon, surrounded by cobblestone streets, historic buildings, and a beautiful palace. Just outside of the Old Town, visitors can explore ancient archaeological sites like the Acropolis of Rhodes and the ancient city of Kamiros. The city offers beautiful beaches that are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, or water sports.
Mykonos is a flourishing island in the Cyclades that’s quite famous for its vibrant night, excellent beaches, and charming Cycladic architecture. The primary town, Chora, offers labyrinthine streets and buildings decorated with colorful bougainvillea, and iconic windmills overlooking the sea. Mykonos is quite a popular destination for beach lovers that offers a variety of sandy stretches such as lively party beaches like Paradise and Super Paradise to much quieter coves like Agios Ioannis and Agios Sostis. There are plenty of lively bars and beach clubs for locals and tourists alike.
“I spent some time on the island of Mykonos. Truly, I don’t think it is a memory I’ll ever be able to forget. “The best time to visit is in the summer. Known for great nightlife, entertainment, and beaches. I recommend seeing the infamous row of 16th-century windmills.”
Stephanie has no intention of stopping when it comes to traveling the world with her family and has plans to share more of her travels in the future.
“I love being able to share my experiences with others, it’s like allowing others to see the world through your own eyes,” Stephanie says. “I’m looking forward to being able to share more of my travels with people who need a little wanderlust.”
Greece – Athens, Andros, Rodes, Mykonos. Mykonos is breathtaking. The scenery, food, and culture are something everyone should experience.
-When visiting Greece we almost always stayed with relatives in Andros. We stayed with my Grandparents who have a beautiful home overlooking the ocean in a small village called Paleopoli. When visiting Rhodes (also known as Rodos Island) we stayed at a beautiful resort. There are many majestic ancient sights and medieval architecture to tour! Plenty of breathtaking beaches as well as wineries, restaurants, and bars. I also spent some time on the beautiful island of Mykonos. The best time to visit is in the summer. Known for great nightlife, entertainment, and beaches. I recommend seeing the infamous row of 16th-century windmills.
Playa Del Carmen- We stayed at The Royal which is an all-inclusive Resort. It is absolutely beautiful and extensive with plenty of options for restaurants, pastry shops, bars, and nightlife on site. Wide variety of extracurricular activities such as jet skis, parasailing, and kayaking. The beaches are excellent.
Cozumel Mexico- The best scuba diving location by far! There is immense coral and sea life with incredible visibility. My family and I also enjoyed swimming with the dolphins, swimming with stingrays, and scuba diving. These were all AMAZING experiences that are unforgettable and I recommend doing it all!
Florida – Orlando. Recently (2022) Stayed at the Hilton Orlando Buena Vista Palace and Marriott Grande Vista. Both resorts were beautiful and spacious. So much to do with the children. The Hilton Buena Vista Palace is conveniently located across the street from Disney Springs ( about a 5-minute walk) which was amazing! We visited many theme parks including Magic Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and Universal Studios. When visiting the theme parks I highly recommend purchasing the genie passes (fast passes) for the rides. It’s the best way to save valuable time and make the best of your day. Plan out your meals and make reservations weeks ahead of time to ensure you can sit and eat at one of the restaurants on-site.
Disney Springs has so much for everyone. Great shopping, entertainment, music, activities, restaurants, and beautiful scenery. Highly recommend trying the Paddle Fish for lunch/dinner. Planet Hollywood was great family fun for dinner. STK was an excellent spot for delicious steak and seafood. We experienced the Hot Air Balloon ride called Aerophile at Disney Springs. “The Balloon is filled with 210,000 cubic feet of Helium. The balloon’s basket/gondola is 19 feet in diameter and holds up to 29 people plus one Aérophile-certified Pilot per flight. Flying guests will be treated to spectacular views of up to 20 miles away”.
-Lived in Ruskin, FL from July 2021- Sept 2022. We spent a lot of time at the beautiful Bahia Beach. This is a small but beautiful hidden gem with a couple of restaurants on the water. There are plenty of water sports available too.
– Longboat Key (located in southwest FL). I recommend visiting Coquina Beach. This area is a favored spot for sea turtles to come ashore and lay their eggs. The white sand beach is just perfect and serene.
-Apollo Beach, FL- Great little town. Circles Restaurant is a popular spot. It has good food and an excellent view of the water. I loved the atmosphere there. Manatee Viewing Center is a must-see for everyone. Apollo Beach is famous for the Big Bend Power Station which provides power to the Tampa Bay area. The power plant is visible across Tampa Bay and especially in Apollo Beach, the manatees come into the power plant station during the colder months to enjoy the warm water.
Aruba- Riu Palace All-Inclusive Resort. We had our destination wedding here. The beaches are just perfect and the water is baby blue and crystal clear! The Riu Palace is a large resort with plenty to do for everyone. They have an adult location located right next door. There is lots of entertainment, music and kids programs.
Grew up traveling to Cape Cod, spending many summers there with family