Santorini. You were beautiful. The pretty cities along the caldera and the beautiful views and streets everywhere I turned. I loved Santorini, and I want to be back in that beautiful sunshine already! Or another Greek island exploring some more. It was my Nikon's first proper outing and I was so excited to snap away memories on this beautiful island... and I took a LOT of photos! But here are just a few of the snaps I took, and whilst we're looking at those let me tell you all about mine and John's week away to Santorini...
*WARNING* This is a LONG post!
We arrived to Santorini pretty late on Tuesday evening. Even in the darkness we were aweing at the beautiful room and view we had from the Carpe Diem Suites & Spa hotel in Pyrgos. With only 10 rooms, it was ridiculously quiet and being the very start of the season, even more that we felt like the only tourists around for the first couple of days.
The view from our hotel room was of the city of Fira along the caldera and a glimps of Oia right at the back. We couldn't have asked for a better view. On top of that a private balcony, pool and sunbeds. And then inside our room we had a little living area, the biggest bed ever and a pretty sweet bathroom with the most amazing gigantic tub! Thinking about it... I didn't take a photo of the bathroom. Doh!
We'll talk about our first couple of days as one big day because technically we got lost on the first day whilst discovering a little of the south of the island and getting a bit sunburnt. Alas the bright side was the gigantic doughnut from a remote Bakery we found that tasted amazing. We got back to our room eventually and relaxed in that beautiful sunshine. This was the hottest day out there for us.
Our second day we discovered Pyrgos. It's a small town on the highest point of the island and has a pretty town centre with a couple of great Greek restaurants. I'm pretty convinced I spent the whole time eating chicken, pitta and tzaziki but I was okay with that. One night we got bored and fancied a Chinese so googled for the only Chinese we found open on the whole island that wasn't in Fira. It was good. Oh and we also booked that awesome yet ridiculous Suziki Jimny to discover the rest of the island over the next couple of days!
The next couple of days were spent discovering Fira, Oia and Akrotiri. The capital, Fira was mine and John's favourite place to go. Though a small city, it was full of places to shop and eat. We found that a lot of places were still closed so it wasn't exactly easy to find a restaurant or something to do, but Fira made that easier. It was so pretty and I loved it! Problem now is that I can't differentiate my photos of Fira from Oia!
Oia was just as beautiful. Castle ruins on the edge of the caldera is infamous for being the best spot to snap a perfect photo of the sunset (though I found a better spot). And there were a lot more people here being a tourist hot spot. Shops lined the more popular streets and we got lost in the small walkways of Oia. The views from the edge were honestly beautiful - exactly as you see them in the tourist brochures! I loved it, but if I'm being totally honest I was happy enough to go after I'd seen it all and taken my photos. I was also suffering from an ankle sprain too so I wasn't exactly feeling my best to stand around!
Within those two days, we also took the time to visit Akrotiri's Archaeological Site. It's an excavation site of the old city that had been lost in the volcanic lava 3-5 thousand years ago. It was pretty big in size, but we weren't all that impressed with it overall. I thought we'd see more of the lost art and items found and kept here rather than finding out it had been sent to the museum in Athens instead. But it was interesting to see and say we'd been too! We can now say we've visited an archaeological site!
Even after just two days with the car we were pretty satisfied with our adventuring that we dedicated the rest of our time in Santorini to relaxing by our pool and kicking back together playing Uno on the balcony and indoors when it was super windy and cold. We walked through Pyrgos after dinners out and loved being a little lazy for a couple of days. It was really nice.
The little pathways were lovely to get lost in and we found so many pretty places. We spent our very last day at Kamari Beach though. We pretty much knew Pyrgos inside out by now and loved Kamari at night that we went during the day for our last day. It was lovely, we had cocktails and our last bit of Greek food. And of course walked along the volcanic sand beach on a annoyingly beautiful day because it was our last.
I almost forgot to mention the cutest run in we had with these adorable donkeys on a field! On our way to Kamari we found them and they were so cute and kind. We had seen them everyday from our hotel room but didn't know exactly where they were so when we walked along the street towards Kamari, we were happy to finally bump into these cuties. We had the apple and pear we had from our fruit basket with us as a snack but decided to give it to the lovely donkeys instead! It was the cutest thing!
Last but definitely not least we had to catch a sunset. Though not from the spot I thought was best for this, I managed to walk down the road by our hotel to find a beautiful spot where the sunset was seen without obstruction. Unfortunately, this day was cloudy and this was the best I got but still it was damn beautiful. The view from our room was gorgeous too as we watched the light dim from the sky and street lights turn on one by one in the distance.
Santorini was no doubt beautiful and breath taking. It was everything you'd imagine it to be - just like in the pictures. For us, it was a little cold during the in between days of our week. The wind picked up pretty strongly and it was so cold we spent time in doors we didn't want to. We made the most of it with relaxing, games and a little Netflix (we started watching Daredevil). But the times we spent out of our room (70% of the time) we made the most of. Santorini is so worth going to! I absolutely loved it. It is definitely a place for pure relaxation and beauty if that's your thing. But if like me and John, you like having quite a lot of choice for things to see and do, you could get bored quickly. The only problem is, is that we did want to relax - but just outside in the beautiful sunshine which was frustrating. But alas, it was an amazing holiday and we made the absolute most of it!
If you're going to go, book a car - you'll need it to get around and it only takes 30 minutes to get from one side of the island to the other in length. Also, stay closer to Fira or Oia - it's the best place to have a variety of restaurants and shops. And lastly, a week will do! It's such a tiny island that it can be seen pretty quickly - being a city chick and John always being on the go, we did it all pretty quickly but it can all easily be done in a week even at a slow pace. Lastly book for peak times between late May and early September - it's the best time to ensure you can do/see everything and know it'll all be open! I probably wouldn't go again, because I've seen it all and I'd love to visit other places, but I am SO happy we visted Santorini and can tick it off our travel bucket list! Have you ever been to Santorini? Or do you want to go? Let me know in the comments ♥
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