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Have you ever heard the expression “these views look like a screen saver? ” – Well, for the first time in my life I knew what that meant. Santorini was beyond a dream – a place that makes you want to pinch yourself to see if the beauty you’re looking at is actually real. I mean we’ve all seen the images of the whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and cobblestone streets leading to uninterrupted views of possibly the most beautiful sunsets you’ve ever seen in your life but nothing REALLY prepare you for it. When the driver pulled up to the entrance of our hotel and we started walking down the stairs….my heart sank….and I thought to myself, “Holy cow, this is what perfection looks like!”. The magic and beauty are overwhelming and you quickly wonder why the hell you had not been there any sooner! Ahhh!
So what were our days like in Santorini? Now that it’s been two weeks, what moments will stay with me forever?
The days were slow and calm. I woke up early every day to see the sunrise…but also because I was scared to miss/or waste any moment sleeping! I would think to myself, ” I can sleep in NYC but not here…not here where I can wake up in this beautiful place for only a few days”.
We didn’t really do much, to be honest – we relaxed at the hotel, ate amazing food and watched the most perfect sunsets. It’s difficult to say what were the moments that will stay with me forever…since each and every one of them seem so great but I would have to say that there were two particular moments I will remember. On our first night we had a lovely wine tasting at the hotel and our sommelier Alex spent almost two hours teaching us about Greek wines. The tasting was above and beyond what we expected it to be – but it wasn’t because of the wine ( although that was great too! ) but because of Alex. Somewhere between the 5th glass of wine, we learned more about Alex and her life in Greece. From that night on, anytime we saw her in the property, she greeted us like we were the best of friends!! Her genuine warmness made me feel at home and I was honestly sad to say goodbye to her. The second most perfect moment was during a sunset dinner at Buddha Bar. Okay, the sunset was so perfect that I almost cried with happiness. The restaurant sat us in a corner away from everyone else and we sipped rose wine, held hands and watched the sunset. I wish I could describe it better but I just can’t. It was simply a moment I will remember forever….
So, if Santorini wasn’t on your list of travels, I hope this guide changed your mind. I create these guides with a profound sense of emotion and eagerness to make sure you all experience my suggestions and connect with them in the same way I did. These guides are not only meant to give you a rundown of the best places to eat and stay but instead provide well thought out meaningful places that we come across in our journeys that can create a beautiful memory for you all.
Mystique Hotel Santorini: Okay, this is the only place I will stay when I return. Period. Santorini is heaven on earth and you may think that where you stay won’t make a difference but it does. The attention to detail and quality of service makes all the difference in the world. At Mystique I didn’t have to worry about a single thing – with only less than 40 rooms, you will feel like you have it all to yourself! The staff predicts your needs even before you realize you need anything! As far as I’m concerned, this property located in Oia is one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed in and I’m pretty sure it will stay high up on my list for a very long time.
Pito Gyros: BEST gyros in Santorini – if you don’t believe me then read all the amazing reviews on Trip Advisor here. No other gyros lived up to this one and this was also the cheapest meal in Santorini! Yummy and cheap…cacan’t get better than that!
Buddha Bar: YOU MUST GO HERE. This is where we had that amazing sunset dinner I described above. I will remember this dinner forever because Buddha Bar is perched up at the highest point of the Caldera making it the perfect place to see the Sunset. Our hotel made sure they gave us the best table at the restaurant…in a corner…alone with nothing but the sea in front of us. Buddha Bar is fairly new and in the area of Imerovigli which is known for better sunset views than Oia.
Lauda Restaurant: We had lunch here because it was recommended by our friends and it didn’t disappoint! This traditional yet elegant Greek restaurant is inside the Andronis Boutique Hotel in Oia – and sits right on the edge of the caldera with incredible views. Def. a great one to check out!
Santorini Yachting Club: What is a trip to Greece without a sunset sail?! This is actually a tradition of ours…we do this every year during our anniversary trip! I recommend you book the Santorini Yachting Club – they make your life easy by picking you up from the hotel, serving you dinner on the boat and providing all the comforts for a 5 hour day at sea! Do the sunset sail package because why wouldn’t you want to end your day on a boat?
Wine Tasting at Domaine Sigales: We loved our experience here! We were a bit hesitant because we heard other wineries were bigger and nicer but we really loved Sigales. I think the best part of this experience was that it wasn’t super fancy and we were able to get a personalized service and of course, we LOVED the wine! Stay tuned for an entire post talking about our experience here.
Beach: Santorini is not known for its beaches because they are rocky but if that doesn’t matter to you then check out Red Beach or Kamari.