Tuesday, January 15, 2013
santorini is by-far one of the most magical places on planet earth. you've seen the movies. you've seen the pictures. the sides of the island lined with white walled dwellings and blue rooftops...yes please! just looking at it gives anyone a bad case of wanderlust, but nothing can compare to stepping foot onto this beautiful island and experiencing it first-hand. the lovely people, charming gift-shops, rooftop restaurants, world famous sunsets, and picturesque ocean water.
in a nutshell, it's perfect.
to start off, there are a few different places you can choose to stay while in santorini (you can learn more about those areas here) but we chose to stay in Oia (which is the place you see in all the movies/pictures) and we definitely recommend it. the hotels are a little more expensive, but it's well worth it. the views are heavenly. and Oia is where all the best restaurants, art galleries, and shopping can be found.
the following next few pics are all of Oia...
dreamy right?! and the city in the background isn't too shabby either.
you may recognize these streets from some different movies, including "sisterhood of the travelling pants". that's right--and you better believe i kept my eye out for alexis bledel and blake lively (those two are personal favorites from two favorite tv shows--aka gilmore girls and gossip girl)
other movies filmed in greece can be see here.
you'll definitely get your glutes workout walking around this place. it's all stairs, all the time. but at least with all the calories you're burning you can enjoy some of the delicious greek breads guilt free, right?
it's almost impossible to capture the magic of Santorini on camera, but it's truly the details, colors, and people that made us fall in love with it.
though you could really just stay in Oia, never leave, and be perfectly content--there are some other amazing destinations around the island. a few of our favorites were: perissa beach, red beach, white beach, and pori beach.
behind us in the above picture is the red beach (named because its sand has a red glitter to it) you can see more reviews of the red beach on tripadvisor here. it's definitely a must, but make sure to take a blanket/towels and maybe rent some lounge chairs if you can, because the sand is not so much sand as it more like crushed gravel (seriously, it kind of hurts to walk on ha ha) however, we'll cut it a break because santorini is essentially the ancient remains of a massive volcanic explosion--called the minoan or thera eruption almost 3600 years ago--also the source of the legend of atlantis!
the volcanic remnants they call 'sand'. you can't really see the 'red' in the picture, but in the sunshine it really does have a red shine.
just a short drive from the red beach is perissa. you can see more about this beach and area here on tripadvisor. this beach was a favorite of ours because there were plenty of yummy restaurants and shops right along the shore.
while exploring the area, we used tripadvisor to direct us to a popular restaurant, and ended up eating at a delicious cafe called tranquilo. i most definitely recommend it. i had a delicious salad, and we were pleasantly surprised by how large the portions are. after travelling all over the world, we have realized that as americans we are definitely spoiled in the amount of food we get for our money ha ha (we're just big eaters i guess) but make sure you keep some euros on you--most places in that area don't take cards.
and the picture above is me creeping on my very attractive hubs as he walks down from one of the stores. :)
after a day at the beach, head out around 5:00 to the point of santorini to watch the sunset. and i really would recommend heading out a bit early, because it gets very crowded down at the point. and yes, it's 100% worth battling the crowds. the sunsets do not disappoint--as long as you get there in time to see them!
i would also recommend getting a room with a killer view. it's definitely worth the extra money. below is a picture of our private deck.
yeah, it was a dream come true. our own hot tub, lounging area and an unreal view of the island, ocean and sunsets.
we stayed in the canaves oia hotel and it was so heavenly. the staff was exceptionally helpful and welcoming, rooms were clean, chic, and comfortable, with a great breakfast, and an ideal location. if you have a minute, scroll through their photo gallery here. their pictures are much better than mine are!
there is a good amount of nightlife in santorini--even though it attracts a much older crowd than mykonos. there are plenty of restaurants, live music, bars, art galleries, and dance clubs. click here for a good list of some different nightlife options.
we'd usually just go out for a late dinner, dessert and then walk the streets looking at art and listening to music. no complaints with that!
how amazing does it look at night?! it was hard to capture it's beauty, but definitely something to experience in this life!
husband and i both agree that santorini is one of our very favorite destinations. we fell in love with just about everything it had to offer with exception of the spotty wifi connection (apparently wifi is hard to keep working when your hotels and homes are practically built into the side of mountains--makes sense ha ha) but when you're in santorini, you don't really want to be spending time online anyways. there is just so much to do and see.
i recommend the greek isles to anyone, and hope we can go back someday to explore some of the others.
somehow this picture turned out like this :) but we really liked it.
thanks for reading. feel free to ask any questions or give recommendations on your favorite stops in the greek isles!