How to Spend a Day in Santorini

Monday, October 20, 2014

When I go on vacation it is almost never to relax. Sure, relaxing by a beach or pool is nice, but you can do that almost anywhere. I prefer to see/do/experience as much as possible. There is always just so much to see!

This is why one of my favorite days in Santorini was spent riding the ATV around the island and stopping for a short time a different points of interest. Santorini is a small island (about 34 square miles) and we were able to see Black Beach, White Beach, Red Beach, Perissa, Kamari and Amoudi Bay all in one day. We stopped and had a drink or a lie down at each one before moving on to the next one.

 Our goal wasn't to come back to England with a nice tan, it was to see as much as possible of this beyond beautiful place.

We started the morning at our gorgeous hotel. Bellies full of a delicious breakfast, swimsuits, flip flops and towels in tow!

Each beach that we stopped at had its own unique flair. It was amazing how different two beaches that were right next to each other could be.

Red Beach was my favorite. You had to park quite a ways away, hike up some cliffs, come around a corner and this was your view. A secluded beach with no way to get there but by climbing over sharp rocks. There was a semblance of a path but the terrain wasn't easy. We chose a spot and soaked up some rays on the hot red sand.

My other favorite stop was Amoudi Bay. The water was every beautiful shade of blue and the seafood is touted as the freshest and tastiest on the island. I am ashamed to say though that I am not a seafood fan. Something about it just doesn't sit well with me. But when you are somewhere renowned for their food you just have to try it. Let me tell you, I am so happy that I did. I ordered a mixed seafood plate in a lemon garlic sauce and I didn't hesitate licking my plate clean.

You can take a donkey ride up to the town of Oia perched on the cliffs above the bay. We decided to give them some love and heavy petting instead. The poor donkeys looked so tired and hot and were probably praying we wouldn't jump on their backs for a ride.

//Spy the bride taking her bridal portraits?
After our gorgeous meals, we watched as a boat full of tourists pulled up to have their taste of the seafood with a view. We decided it was time to make our way back to our hot tub to unwind from our whirlwind island tour. We hopped back on our ATV, patted ourselves on the backs and proclaimed it the perfect day in Santorini.

Absolute Bliss, Santorini

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

 I mentioned in the previous post how fabulous our hotel (aptly named Absolute Bliss) was. I've had this hotel in mind for a couple years for my future dream trip to Santorini; so when the Brit surprised me with this trip for my birthday (which by the way, best gift ever...I cried like a baby), I already knew where we would stay. All I had to do was convince Patrick that we needed to stay here and as you can see, it worked. :) 

From check-in to check-out we were more than taken care of. You don't lift a finger or climb a stair unless you decide to leave the comfort of the hotel. Reception sends a buff Greek man up to carry your bags down the many, many stairs (at least in our case, we were furthest from the entrance and at the very lowest point on the cliff) to your room. 

The rooms are all nicely decorated in the traditional whites and blues and each have a balcony or terrace overlooking the caldera.

Our  room was very close to the pool and we usually had it all to ourselves. The hotel provided 24 hour room service, but we loved having lunch delivered to the pool instead. The Santorini salad and  red donkey beer for me and a baguette and yellow donkey for the boy.

They also point you to the breakfast menu where you check off everything you wish to eat the next morning and what time you would like it delivered. The menu was extensive and included different types of omelets, french toast, chocolate croissants, traditional Greek breakfast items, bacon, sausage, fresh fruit, etc. Each morning we had a completely different breakfast delivered. 

We always planned on having breakfast on our balcony, but eating it in bed was just too tempting.

We ended up spending every spare minute during the day and every evening in this hot tub. As our trip was in late September it did get chilly at night and there is nothing better than spending a chilly evening in a hot tub. Well there is something better...spending it in a hot tub on your balcony in Santorini overlooking the Aegean Sea. But let's not get greedy now. 

I must warn you though, as perfect as Santorini is, the wind is insufferable. I did my hair each night in vain knowing that as soon as I walked outside, the wind would immediately blow my hair all over my face and into knots. Taking a picture without hair covering your mug is nearly impossible, much less snapping one where your hair doesn't look a mess like mine below. But without the high wind you would struggle to find anything not to like about Absolute Bliss and this heavenly island. 

Thank you for taking such good care of us Absolute Bliss, I hope to see you again someday!

Plan A Trip: Santorini, Greece (Imerovigli to Fira hike)

Friday, October 3, 2014

Santorini was a dream. It's exactly like it appears in pictures, like heaven. And for most people visiting, it is heaven.

We stayed in Imerovigli at Absolute Bliss and it was just absolute utter bliss. Funny that. One of the most recommended things to do in Santorini is the walk from Fira to Oia along the cliffs through Imerovigli. The whole walk is many many hours so we decided to just do the shorter part of it from Imerovigli to Fira. And we are so glad we did. The walk ended up taking about an hour each way and was very hot and hilly. It was the perfect amount of exercise and sight seeing without being overkill that I'm sure walking all the way to Oia would have been.

As you walk, you pass luxury hotel after luxury hotel with infinity pools and private hot tubs galore. There is definitely no shortage of amazing paces to stay in this town. I was glad to take someone's recommendation on where to stay so I didn't have to do any research.

Patrick and I ended up splitting up shortly into the walk because I was stopping every 5 feet to take pictures. But with views like these, how could you not? I actually enjoyed walking at my own pace without the Mr. giving me the side eye every time I snapped a picture. I got it all out of my system on the walk there so we walked back together without stopping for pictures. You are welcome, P.

When we met back up we decided to stop and refuel at a picturesque cliff-side patio. Rule number 1 when on vacation: refueling must be done by drinking beer, not water. I tried the Volkan Santorini Blonde, because it was so fitting. I love a good blonde beer and this was no exception.

Once we arrived in the main town of Fira we didn't waste any time getting gelato. And oh my, gelato is so much better when you are hot and tired and hungry. I swear it was the best I've ever had. This boy seemed pretty chuffed himself.

All in all, it was a fabulous walk and a great way to spend a few hours. I highly recommend only doing this section of the walk and renting an ATV for the trip to Oia. It is further than it looks and those windy mountain roads leading to Oia are a dream for a lover of adventure and speed.

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