Santorini truly deserves its place among the most beautiful sights in the world. The whitewashed buildings and blue domes, the regional food specialties, and the spectacular sunsets are only part of the island’s charms; as a whole, it is a truly idyllic vacation spot, and this girl is already dreaming of going back!
#10: The People-Watching
Having lived in Greece since September and visited many of its top attractions, I have now witnessed some truly spectacular displays of tourist idiocy. I knew Santorini would be touristy, but I was shocked by how much English I heard all around me. I dare say it was almost more ubiquitous than Greek, which is a sobering thought. Anyway, perhaps my favorite people-watching moment from Santorini was hearing an American couple trying for the life of them to figure out what exactly the various coffees of Greece are. It’s an honest quandary if you haven’t been here before; the terms “Greek coffee,” “freddocino” and “frappe” can seem a bit daunting. But, I must say, watching American Tourist Barbie get a Greek coffee and practically spit it out on the first sip was giggle-worthy.
#9: Morning Coffee and Postcard Writing With a View
On my last morning in Santorini, I ended up getting a coffee and writing my postcards, with a truly spectacular view!
#8: Enjoying the Quiet and Early Morning Light at 7 AM
Before the coffee and postcard-writing, I rose at 6.30 to catch some pictures of the early morning light, enjoy the quiet, and bask in the glow of those whitewashed buildings one more time. It was well worth it. The streets were deserted, none of the tacky tourist shops were open, and I essentially had Oia (the village in which we stayed) to myself.
#7: Playing Grown-Up at a Fancy-Dancy Dinner
I was visiting Santorini with my friend Carrie and her lovely parents, and on our first night in town, we chose a restaurant called Candouni for dinner. I highly recommend it! We loved the complimentary fava and all the dishes we ordered: beet salad with cheese and walnuts, grilled haloumi and much more! I had an exquisite risotto with mushrooms, chicken, parmesan and balsamic glaze.
Fava is a dip made from broad beans, to which the Greeks add chopped onion, olive oil and freshly squeezed lemon on top. I’ve had it on the mainland before, but a whole new world of fava was waiting for me in Santorini, because fava beans are a specialty of Santorini. The fava I had here was creamy, fresh and bright! I couldn’t get enough. If you want to try making some on your own, give it a shot!
#5: Wine Tasting at Sigala Winery
The four of us walked down to Sigala Winery, which is in a gorgeous location right by the sea. We tasted two whites, a rose and a dessert wine. The dessert wine was my favorite (shocker, I know); it was wonderfully unique among the dessert wines I’ve tasted. It’s called Vin Santo from Sigala, and though it’s a white wine, it’s a lovely amber color and tastes incredibly rich and luxurious. Very fitting for Santorini!
#4: The Trash Donkey
When I stumbled out of my hotel room and into the alley that leads toward the main street of the village, I ran into this. Please forgive the horrible picture. It needed to be posted anyway.
Who’s Norman? Well, I’ll tell you. Norman is a friend-of-a-friend of Lisa, Carrie’s mother. She knew this friend from architecture school decades ago, and has managed to keep in touch with him; and when she said she’d be in Santorini, the friend suggested she meet up with his friend Norman.
We debated about whether or not we should call Norman for quite some time. Who was this Norman? He couldn’t be Greek, right? So what nationality was he? Would he be interesting? We had no idea. But, in the end, we decided to call Norman anyway.
Norman turned out to be a Jewish South African architect who had completely restored one of the traditional cave houses overlooking the caldera, which he now lives in. He served us tea and Greek pastries, and showed us pictures of the restoration process.
I’m so glad we called Norman.
#2: Hot Tubbing With a Caldera View
My traveling companions were staying in a very nice place, which happened to have a patio with a hot tub and a caldera view. Needless to say, we indulged!
#1: The World-Famous Sunset in Oia
Oia, Santorini, is one of the most famous sunset-watching locations in the whole world, because it offers an uninterrupted view of the sun sinking into the sea. Carrie and I had to all but run to get there in time, and we just barely made it! That whole side of the village was packed with people, all watching the sun dip slowly towards the sea. When the last sliver of the sun disappeared, everyone even burst into applause!
There’s still a whole week of Easter vacation left, so stay tuned for many more stories and photos from more travels!