I booked flights to Santorini as a Christmas present for my boyfriend and I back in December. We had chosen to go at the end of April to beat the swarm of tourists as well as treat ourselves to one last European adventure before we head back to Asia. I chose Santorini as it has been number 1 on my bucket list since I can remember (I have to admit The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants was a huge influence!) Stupidly enough, neither of us really checked the temperature before hand and were shocked to find out even though it was sunny it was still quite cold. Thankfully after a couple days of nearly freezing to death in our summer array, the weather warmed up to about 20-23 degrees.
We set our alarm for 3am and made our way to Gatwick airport bright eyed and bushy tailed with no expectations, plans or recommendations for the 8 days ahead (Just the way it should be) The flight took 3 hours and boasted great views of Belgium, The French Alps, Spain, Croatia and the ever so beautiful Grecian lands. We were met by the friendly Chris of Evgenia Villas (http://www.evgeniavillas.com) located in Fira. Fira is the capital of the island and is only 10 minutes away from the airport. It caters to both the culture seekers and party goers so we definitely picked the right place!
On our first day we were both completely knackered so we sampled our first Gyros (What dreams are made of) and had a couple drinks & Shisha at Two Brothers Bar. I would highly recommend this bar to anyone visiting Santorini. It’s probably the most popular bar in Fira and the staff are lovely and definitely do not hold back on the spirits when making your drink.
The following day we rented Quad bikes and drove up the coast to Oia. We drove through a number of towns, saw a number of beaches and quite a few of the 300 churches located on the island. (Quad biking is definitely the way to go as it’s allows you to hop on and off whenever you please and not become victim to the hellish bus service company who push as many people onto it as they physically can.)
I had heard that Oia was thee place to see and MY GOD it exceeded my expectations on every level. It really is as picturesque and serene as it is in pictures and has such an amazing energy to it. I found myself getting frustrated at the fact that my pictures could just not measure up to what I was seeing in front of my eyes. Hundreds of people flock to Oia to capture the sunset each and every night, even thousands during high season. I’ll tell you what though, It could’ve been bloody Chinese New Year in Hong Kong with the amount of Mainlanders walking about screeching! The majority of restaurants even had separate Chinese menus – Crazy!
We had been recommended a Restaurant by the hotel at Ammoudi Bay which was just below Oia. It was a little fishing village on the waters edge with the view of the volcano and the most amazing backdrop of Oia. (For those who aren’t aware – Santorini is a volcanic island and was originally shaped like a full moon but due to the The Minoan volcanic eruption of Thera in the mid-second millennium BCE and it now stands in the shape of a half moon.) We sipped on our new favorite dry white wine, Sigalas, before heading back to Fira. I was also conveniently bitten by the restaurant cat and spent the next couple days in absolute fear that I had contracted rabies or some other animal related disease. People who know me well know that I am the biggest worry wart so after questioning a number of people like a mad woman and even a pet shop owner (cringe) I was given the all clear to enjoy the rest of my holiday and not annoy my poor boyfriend with ‘what if’ questions.
It was the third day of our trip and we still had the morning to take the Quad Bike out before having to reluctantly return it, so we headed to Pygros just south of Fira for a little morning coffee at Franco’s Cafe. It was such a quiet and quaint town with some beautiful churches (excuse my constant use of beautiful and stunning. Visit Santorini and you will understand there is no other way to explain it.) Back at the hotel we met a few groups of people but in particular really hit it off with two American guys, Hunter and James, whom were both on an exchange semester in the UK. From then we ended up spending the majority of our holiday with them. We invited them out for dinner and drinks that night and ended up at a new restaurant which James had found on Trip Advisor, Theoni’s. The food was unbelievable and very well priced . We ordered chips in a creamy feta sauce, grilled sea bream, shrimp, tzatziki..ah I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves. We then hit Two Brothers Bar for more drinks and more dancing.