Up until this year I hadn't traveled many places at all. It has been a blessing to see different cities across Europe, especially Copenhagen, which holds a special place in my heart now. The sad part about traveling to places so far from home is that when you leave, you're not sure if you'll ever be back for one reason or another. However, I've never been so sure that I'll return somewhere than I am about Santorini.
My mom and I planned a trip for Mother's Day, which included a few days in Copenhagen, touring Athens, and taking a cruise to see Mykonos and Santorini. The night before our cruise was supposed to depart, we got an urgent call that the trip was cancelled because Greek boats were going on strike. Well. Mom had done a lot of research for the trip and we refused to cut our time short, so we had one stressful day of last minute hotel and flight booking and had to narrow the trip to one island, but Santorini was beyond worth it.
Day 1-3, Copenhagen: I was so happy to be a tour guide for Copenhagen because I haven't had anyone visit me during my stay. Mom and I saw the Little Mermaid statue, a fountain that was home to a happy duck couple, some of the old architecture, and ate at some of my favorite cafés.
Day 4, Athens: We checked into the Electra Palace hotel in Athens which had a beautiful view of the Acropolis. We took a walking tour of the ruins that was very interesting. Before the tour, we ate authentic greek yoghurt and Mom tried greek coffee (essentially 3 inches of coffee tar with brown liquid on top, in other words, too strong for me). Other highlights of the day were walking through the National Gardens, visiting the Central Market (lots of produce, meat, dried fruit and nuts), and going to the Fish Spa! - Full Album HERE
Day 5, Kamari, Santorini: Our first day on the Island we stayed at a family owned hotel in a colorful tourist town with a balcony that overlooked the black sand beach. After a stressful night of planning, we read and tanned on the balcony and ate our first real greek dinner at the hotel, which included greek salad and stuffed eggplant. - Full Album HERE
Day 6, Megalochori, Santorini: The next day we ventured to the other side of the island and checked into the Caldera Dolphin hotel with balcony views of the Caldera (volcano). We spontaneously rented ATVs and explored the other southern beaches. On the ride we saw donkeys and acres upon acres of farmland (ALL tomatoes and grapes). I took a dip in the Aegean Sea right next to the old ketchup factory. That night we ate overlooking the harbor at sunset. - Full Album HERE
Day 7, Imerovigli, Santorini: Before checking into the most luxurious hotel of all on the northern side of the island, Mom and I rode the ATVs to the Monastery at the highest point in Santorini with panoramic views of the island. Something special about Santorini is that it's actually hard to ever lose sight of the water. Our next hotel had an infinity pool, a private jacuzzi on a balcony overlooking stunning cliffside views, and room service that brought gourmet breakfast AND dessert.. but for dinner we hiked 3 miles on the cliffside to a northern town called IA. We snacked on kalamata olives and tried traditional tomato fritters and fava bean hummus. - Full Album HERE
Day 8, Fira and Farewell: Before catching our flight back to Athens, we hiked a little ways in the other direction to Santorini's capital of Fira, which is famous for the blue-topped churches and cliff sides covered in white buildings. Santorini is very small but has so many unique features. Truly an incredible place. - Full Album HERE