After three days in Athens for part 1 of our honeymoon, we headed to the Greek island of Santorini.
Santorini has been on my bucket list for a long time and it is just as beautiful as in the pictures. We booked to stay in Oia in the north of the island with it’s quaint pedestrian streets and famous sunsets. The plane from Athens to Santorini was the smallest Jack had ever been on but it was a quick 50m journey.
Arriving at the tiny little airport we jumped in a joint transfer booked at the airport. This was a nice little bonus as the other people in our cab were staying at different places on the island which meant that we got a little tour of the island on our way to the furthest point. Jack always takes the piss out of me for talking to taxi drivers, but obviously I jumped in the front and started chatting and picking up some recommendations.
We had decided that while we were on such a beautiful island and on our honeymoon, we’d splash out a little on our accommodation. We’d also heard that Oia especially gets very busy during the day so felt it was important to have somewhere really nice to escape to.
We stayed at Liakada Oia Suites with our private heated jacuzzi and cave apartment which the island is famous for. It is literally built into the side of the cliff and was absolutely stunning inside. It was one of coolest places we’ve stayed (in both sense of the word) and topped off with the balcony and jacuzzi and stunning view, I could have watched the boats come and go all day.
We decided to chill at the apartment until dinner, but could see the iconic church with the three blue domes from our apartment. Along with the queue of people lining up to take their photo with it!
It was also funny watching the tourists from a distances on the castle taking photos and waiting for the sunset.
Although we couldn’t see the sunset itself from the balcony (a conscious decision I’ll explain in another blog post), the colours streaming across the sky was incredible, all enjoyed from our warm jacuzzi of course. We were also joined by numerous cats, all of which were being fed by our next door neighbour.
For our first night dinner, we headed to Pelekanos. A restaurant with a high terrace overlooking the sea. The food was lovely! I had the chicken risotto and Jack had some fish I can’t remember the name of and a dinner he didn’t take a picture of, I mean… who does he think he is?
It also had some seriously cool wall tiles!
We then headed out into the streets to cruise through the shops. I seriously had to stop myself and reconsider my finances after spotting these absolute beauties in one of them! I have a weird obsession with doors and absolutely fell in love with them. (Still kind of wish I’d bought them and still definitely crying a little bit inside over the fact I didn’t!)
On the way home, we picked up a bottle and went back to our jacuzzi.
Just up from our apartment is another thing Santorini is famous for, churches and bells. This tiny island, home to only 10,000 people has over 250 churches. The little one is just up the path from our apartment and has the most stunning backdrop overlooking the sea.
We headed towards the main square past the Ekklisia Panagia Platsani Church with its 6 bells and blue dome roof.
We both love street food and in somewhere as amazing for street food as Greece, it would be rude not to eat it. Our favourite spot was our lunch spot on day 2; PitoGyros Traditional Grill House. If you visit Santorini and don’t go here you’re missing out. The pita bread is proper traditional thick bread and the tzatziki is just yum. We also have a chicken gyros wrap and a beef souvlaki wrap. It’s also one of the cheapest places in central Oia for a good meal! You know the meat is going to be good when the queue is halfway up the street. We got here about 11ish and managed to get a table outside, but it’s only tiny.
Seriously, that pile of pita is making me drool a little.
We picked up some ice cream from Solo Gelato (best mint ice cream ever!) then started on our tourist trail, because you’ve got to be somewhat of a tourist on holiday. This basically involved wandering the island, taking in the view and being surrounded by blue and tourists.
We also got to see the queue for the blue domes from the other way. Bizzarely, when we arrive there was no one there, so we did get our own version of the typical Santorini picture!
You can’t help but notice the amount of buildings that have ‘NO ENTRY’ and ‘STOP’ written on their roofs. This is the sad reality of the social media lifestyle we now find ourselves in as you weren’t short of people ignoring the signs, scaling fences and standing on people’s roofs to get their Instagram shot. Clearly they were just ignoring the RESPECT signs surrounding the island for a reason.
I also found every blue door I could take a cool picture of. I am definitely painted my new front door Santorini blue and I don’t care what Jack says!
Having had enough of the tourists, we headed back to the apartment to enjoy our own more private sea view.
On our way out for dinner, we headed up to the castle and were in for a shock! In turns out that an hour and a half before sunset, hoards of people are gathered to just sit and wait for the sunset. I’m talking hundreds of people, lining the streets (which are small enough as it is) just waiting.
The view from the castle across the front is pretty special, especially with the windmills, but you just can’t enjoy it.
We felt we’d made a more sensible option by booking a restaurant with a sunset view called Elinikon. It was really reasonable considering the location and it was a traditional Greek restaurant; they didn’t even serve non Greek spirits. We ordered a range of food and sat there with an entire bottle of wine (not that I normally drink wine) for about 2 1/2 hours and watched the sunset.
I was so glad not to be a weird tourist waiting for 2 hours to watch the sunset. It was so much more enjoyable to sit and have dinner! The whole sunset thing was a little bizarre to me, yes it was pretty and from Oia you can see the sun disappear around the world as the light still reflects up past when you can see the sun itself; however, it is just a sunset. Had I waiting on the path or at the castle for it for hours, I would have been disappointed. Instead, I enjoyed some incredible food and watched it from a terrace.
On our way home, we cruised through the shops at the front, still in the search of our local artist souvenir and enjoyed the lights of the buildings reflecting the blue and white buildings.
The jacuzzi called and we answered.
In an attempt to outsmart the queuing tourists (aka, us the day before), we walked up the stairs from our apartment towards the blue domes rather than join them in the queue from the main street. From this way you can stand right in front of them with an uninterrupted view and not have to queue (not sure why my shorts look like they’re falling down in the second photo). You then get to a VIP rope that reads residents only which you have to walk through to get back to the main street.
We headed out of the main village to Mes Amis, a little cafe with a pretty view and some serious club sandwiches!
We soaked in the view for a few hours before heading back towards the main street; not before catching a glimpse of some poor donkeys on their way to transport silly tourists.
For the rest of the day, we wandered and chilled. Every turn you find another beautiful view or church or spot, it is truly stunning.
Before I talk about our dinner, I’ll share with you some fun facts we learnt about weddings in Santorini. There are about 1,500 weddings a year; that’s just over four a day. You can literally play spot the bride as couples wander around in their wedding outfits to take photos across the island.
The reason I’m talking about this is not because we were on our honeymoon, but actually because our dinner at Feredini overlooked a wedding party from Australia which made GREAT evening entertainment. Especially when the groom smashed a slice of cake into the bride’s face! Don’t worry, she got him back.
Our last evening we booked to have dinner at Feredini which overlooked the sea on the other side from the sunset. After last night and the mass of people, we decided that the view from this side (also where our apartment is) is just as pretty! The pastel colours as the sun set are so pretty, the pictures don’t even do it justice. You have a full pastel range of pink, purples and blues; it’s stunning!
The food matched the view. I had the most beautiful cooked lamb and Jack had the steak. For pudding Jack had a deconstructed baklava and I had a chocolate profiterole mess of chocolatey goodness! It was so good!
I was so full I thought I was going to explode and Jack rolled me home.
Seriously, this view is too much!
We headed back to PitoGyros Traditional Grill House for our final fair well Greek meal followed by some ice cream, obviously.
One of the things we quickly realised is that the luggage porters have a tough job! The island involves a LOT of steps and a lot of American tourists with a million bags. We argued with the guy about carrying our two carry ons. On our last day as we were waiting for our taxi back to the airport we saw a couple seriously taking the piss. The port was carrying one large suitcase on his back, with two hand luggage ones hanging off it, with a second large suitcase in his other hand. I’m talking easily 60-70kg of luggage with the tourist couple trailing along behind without a care in the world.
Then that was it. We headed back to the tiny little airport and our flight home, honeymoon over!
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