October 29th, 2017
“Wisdom begins in wonder” – Socrates
“It takes a lifetime for someone to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her” – Henry Miller
“If you decompose Greece, in the end you will find yourself with an olive tree, a vineyard and a boat, which means: with those you can compose it again” – Odysseus Elytis
I have just recently returned from another wonderful solo trip to the Greek Islands and this time, I went to Santorini in the South Aegean, and what a trip it was!! It has been my dream destination for the longest time, and I made it my goal for this year to go and I am so glad I have managed to achieve this goal. As I started to discover Santorini, my eyes were blessed with the most outstanding, breath-taking beauty that they have ever seen.
For me, all I did in Santorini was walk, walk & walk! I must’ve walked for miles during my trip. I wanted to explore, I wanted to find things. My first day, I was intentionally looking for the “magical views” that Santorini boasted. I was lucky, I found these without any help. I walked up hills in the centre of Fira, through the old markets and I could see in the distance, a small view of the sea. I walked towards this view as I knew I was about to hit jackpot, and I saw a bar and thought I’ll sit in here because I was thirsty. As I walked in, it was bright as daylight, this is because the balcony doors were wide open and from there were panoramic views of Santorini’s cliffs and the Aegean Sea. My eyes struck gold and I could not believe my eyes. All I saw was a panoramic view of the Santorini cliffs and the Aegean Sea, I had never seen anything like it in my life! I ordered my bottle of Amstel, and I sat outside whilst I had this panoramic view, trying to take the best photo that I could. I was in heaven!
The bustling city of Santorini that is Fira. The main square in Fira is filled with restaurants and gift shops and tourists, it is a very busy place with such a great vibe. My favourite restaurant in the square was called Elinikon, the service was great, the waiters were lovely and attentive, reasonably priced (especially for central Fira) and the food was delicious. I really recommend this restaurant if you are there.
Fira is located 400m up on the edge of Santorini island. Santorini is true as in the pictures, the whitewashed buildings resting on the cliffs of Santorini, filled with luxury hotels and homes, with private swimming pools and very classy restaurants with a beautiful view of the Aegean Sea.
Also known as the ‘Balcony of Santorini’, and it’s true, it’s exactly that! Imerovigli has to be my favourite village/town in Santorini, I didn’t know it existed until I walked beyond Fira and checked my Google Maps which told me I was in Imerovigli. It’s approximately 1.5miles from Fira.
I had walked here from Karterados so it took me longer, but as the views were breath taking, being a little tired didn’t seem to matter so much. Imerovigli is a great view point of Santorini Island and it is where Skaros Rock and the Caldera is clearly in view. When I go back to Santorini, I would love to stay in this village, having checked hotel prices though, you’re looking at £2k for one week. You get what you pay for at the end of the day and these hotels all have private swimming pools, panoramic views of the sea, and Oia in the distance. However, if you book in advance or start to plan, you may just grab a good deal.
There is a sense of tranquillity in Imerovigli, walking through the village early evening as the sun started to set, the sense of the atmosphere was calm, beautiful and whilst it was busy with tourists, for the first time, I felt no one was in my way. Everyone is just there admiring the beauty and the views.
“The City of Oia is the most magnificently romantic place I’ve ever been” – Lisa Ling
Oia, Oia, Oia! My first impression was simply wow!
I stepped off the bus and I started to explore Oia through the back streets, not knowing what to expect. I admired the Cyclades designed buildings that surrounded me, blue domed churches and the beautiful bright pink and purple flowers that rested beautifully against the whitewashed buildings. I was in my element. The photos that I’ve seen before visiting were true, it’s just as beautiful in real life if not more!
Oia is the most famous village in Santorini and mostly for its sunset and apparently the best place in Oia for the sunset is by the castle on the edge of Oia – this is where I viewed the sunset and yes, it was simply magnificent. However, all of Oia and even other locations is beautifully and perfectly located for the sunset. A word of warning, there are hundreds of people waiting for the sunset so make sure you get to your spot around 5:30pm and try not to leave your spot. People are quick to take your spot even if you move away for just a second. Sunset is from about 5:45pm to 6:30pm.
I sat in some lovely restaurants in Oia with panoramic views of the Aegean Sea just so I could gather my thoughts. One specific restaurant that I loved was called Flora Comfort Cuisine. It has a beautiful outside terrace (which is where I sat) or you can choose to sit upstairs on its rooftop terrace. Both have amazing views of the Caldera and surrounding Santorini. I ordered a glass of Assyrtiko wine (wine from Santorini – doesn’t come cheap), and I sat there collecting my thoughts for a few hours, chatting with the waiters and admiring probably the best view I have ever seen in my life. If ever you’re in Oia, please go to this restaurant.
All in all, I am very much in love with Santorini, worth all the hassle I experienced travelling to and from Santorini, but I would do it easier the next time I go. But each experience is a learning curve, and it's the best way to learn.
Have you been to Santorini? What was your best experience about Santorini?
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