Travel Diary: Santorini, Greece

Our final destination in our Greek adventure brought us to the romantic island of Santorini. While others travel to this island to seek out the film locations of Mamma Mia or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I was drawn to the island based on its natural beauty. It’s a  photographers heaven to snap shots of the little villages nestled into the cliff side, stumble upon blue dome churches, and watch the sunset paint the sky with an array of pastel colors.

With a tendency to shy away from large crowds we chose to stay in a hotel based in Thera. This allowed us to hop on the bus whenever we wanted to spend time in Oia and provided an oasis when we wanted to relax. We were blessed with yet another beautiful hotel that had the most stunning views. A few nights we opted to forego a sit-down dinner and bought gyros back to the hotel to eat by the pool. The view was just breathtaking!

When most people think of Santorini they picture the beautiful village of Oia. It is home to the famous blue dome churches and striking cliff side views. We chose to take the first available morning bus to Oia in order to avoid the crowds and experience the  full charm of the village. We got caught in a rainstorm that brought in strong winds, but we still had a wonderful time dashing around the village taking in the sights and popping into little shops.

We were thankful to have a home base in Thera since it allowed us to step away from the crowds and enjoy a similarly stunning view. Thera offers a beautiful view of the caldera, delicious restaurants, and shops that offer discounted prices for the same items sold in Oia.

One of the most memorable events of our trip was embarking on a four hour hike from Thera to Oia. While it was a difficult hike with a lot of cliff side paths, the views made every step worth it. As we winded along the path we came across donkeys roaming in the fields, rural churches perched on hilltops, and sweeping views of the sea.

After one last sunset, we packed our bags and climbed up the stairs to the main road for the final time. We took a ferry back to Athens then boarded our flight home. It was a whirlwind of a trip and I have to keep reminding myself that it actually happened. If you ever get the chance to travel to Greece I would highly recommend it. It was unlike anywhere I have ever traveled and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

Travel Diary: Mykonos, Greece

After exploring Athens our Greek adventure took us to the beautiful island of Mykonos. We chose to travel by ferry and loved the experience. It gave us time to regroup, appreciate the journey, and stare out the window as we passed by the other islands dotting the Mediterranean Sea. As we pulled into the Mykonos port tears filled my eyes. I couldn’t believe we were living out a dream I held in my heart for so long. I felt like the luckiest girl in the world.

Once we arrived to our hotel we were greeted with an unexpected suite upgrade. Our room was carved into the landscape which gave the space a luxurious cave-like ambiance and had a balcony that opened up to a sweeping seaside view. If we weren’t drawn to walking into town to check out the quaint alleyways, we could have easily spent the day poolside soaking in the views.

During our first trip into Old Mykonos we checked off a lot of the general sight seeing spots; the windmills, Little Venice, and the Paraportiani Orthodox Church. It felt surreal to watch the sun set over this beautiful backdrop. Ian and I kept looking at each other, stunned that we were experiencing this island together.

The remainder of our time in Mykonos was spent getting lost in the maze of alleyways that make up Old Mykonos. We came across quaint neighborhoods with laundry on the line, cats roaming the streets, and the famous blue doors. As we wandered the streets, we stumbled upon a little bakery that sold the best baklava I’ve ever eaten. I was tempted to buy out their entire supply, but Ian made me refrain. I know I will live out the rest of my days dreaming of that baklava!

Before we knew it, our time in Mykonos came to an end. It was a bittersweet moment since as much as we didn’t want to leave, we knew we were off to our next destination – Santorini!

Travel Diary: Athens, Greece

I took a step back from blogging the past few weeks, but it was for a good reason – Ian and I were off exploring Greece! I had been dreaming about traveling to Greece for years now and it felt surreal to make it a reality. Our adventure began in Athens and we were awestruck by the ancient history that is around every corner. From standing in the middle of the Acropolis to simple walking the city streets, you are bound to stumble across an ancient ruin.

We kicked off our Athens leg of the trip strolling around the alleyways near our hotel. To our surprise, most of the city is covered in graffiti. Locals say they barely recognize the graffiti anymore, but as a tourist it was very prominent. However, all of the vine covered alleyways that were home to restaurants and shops added a bit of charm to the street art.

The following day we woke up bright and early to beat the crowds at the Acroplois. We arrived right as the sight opened and were able to stroll around the grounds without feeling claustrophobic. It was a true “pinch me” moment to stand in front of the Parthenon after seeing it printed across the pages of numerous textbooks. Ian and I set aside the majority of our morning to soak in the sights and revel in the history that took place beneath our feet.

As the crowds started to flood the Acroplois, we headed off to burrow our way through the narrow streets that lead to the Anafiotika neighborhood. This area of Athens is nestled beneath the Acropolis and has been coined a little Greek island within the city. Some of the alleyways were so narrow we had to shuffle through them sideways, but this all added to the charm of this little city oasis.

We spent the remainder of our time in Athens shopping for souvenirs in the Plaka district, resting our feet in the National Gardens, and trying street food. We were tempted to pick an orange off the millions of orange trees that line the streets, but we refrained in case it was frowned upon. We didn’t want to jeopardize the next leg of our journey which would bring up to the island of Mykonos. Stay tuned for additional travel posts!