I can’t believe how fast this year is going, it’s already September! That’s only four months until Christmas!!! But in saying this, I do feel like I’ve achieved so much, which is more than I can say for previous years. So far, I’ve changed careers, started writing a novel, traveled to ten new destinations within Europe (that’s one place every two weeks), completed two baking classes in Paris, and so much more.
I’ve been on the go non stop, always looking to tick the next thing off my bucket list, and before I know it, another week, another month, and another year has passed. So one thing I’m learning to do a lot more of, is to just stop. To take a deep breathe and take it all in. Acknowledge my hard work and what I’ve accomplished, and know that I don’t always have to be doing something. Sometimes it’s just nice to have some much needed chill time.
So this is exactly what I wanted to get from trip to Santorini. This place has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember, and I wanted nothing more than to sit back, relax and just take it all in.
Arrival… Oia and my accommodation of dreams
The minute I started searching for my accommodation I knew exactly where I wanted to be. Oia (pronounced as ‘e-ah’). Located on the west of the island, this beautiful village is one of the most picturesque in all of Greece. White washed houses built into volcanic rock and balconies overlooking that magical Santorini sunset. All you need to do is type Santorini into Instagram or Google, to find plenty of snaps from this iconic village.
Due to its popularity, I knew a few nights stay was going to cost me a small fortune. But I had been saving and I wanted to treat myself, so I decided to spare no expense. I booked myself a private cave style room that included a hot tub and breakfast delivered to my balcony each morning. I know, amazing right! It was beyond incredible and worth every cent.
Located just a few minutes walk from the village, I was close enough to the various boutique shops selling everything from paintings to homemade jewellery, but was also far enough away that I could escape the crowds of tourists and enjoy a little quite time.
Because I wanted this trip to be less about exploring and more about some much needed me time, I spend my evening sitting on my balcony, book in hand, occasionally looking up to watch the boats come in and out of the marina.
Day Two… church domes of Oia
Pictured on almost every postcard and ad campaign promoting Greece, the blue church domes of Oia are a must see if you want that iconic Greece experience. My accommodation host informed me that crowds of tourists travel from all parts of the island between the hours of 10am to 8pm, and although early, he suggested I visit the domes at sunrise for a crowd free experience. To this day, I’m extremely grateful for his suggestion, because it was basically a ghost town at sunrise and to have it all to myself for an hour or so, is something I’ll never forget.
Day Three… Atlantis Books and cheap eats
My days quickly formed a routine. Breakfast on my balcony, followed by a trip into town, then back to my accommodation for some relaxation, a second trip into town for something to eat, then back to my accommodation to watch the sunset and enjoy some further relaxation.
During my trip into town, I came across a bookstore that unbeknownst to me at the time, is Greeces most famous bookshop. Walking down the spiral steps, I was immediately drawn to the beautifully designed quotes and images painted across the walls. Stepping inside, I was surrounded by shelves, full to the brim of vintage and newly printed books. It’s definitely one of my favourite bookstores, but Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice still remains at the top.
After restraining myself from buying all the books, I headed over to a place called Pitogyros. Word on the street is that this is the cheapest and yummiest meal you’ll get in Oia. And I completely agree. For a mere €4 you’ll be indulging in one extremely delicious pita.
Day Four… lunch with a view and magical sunsets
Right by my accommodation was a restaurant overlooking the water. I didn’t even bother to catch the name, because the amount of locals and tourists visiting each day, I knew whatever they were serving was going to be good. Taking a seat, I ordered myself a fruity cocktail, a delicious salad, and had to pinch myself, because I was dining with one of the most incredible views I had ever seen.
After lunch, I enjoyed some time in the spa and listened to a few podcasts. I was enjoying laying on my balcony, soaking up the sun and letting those everyday stresses slip away. Before I knew it, the sun was setting and there I was, making myself comfortable for what I knew was going to be a spectacular show.
Day Five… last sunrise expedition and back to London
With a few hours to spare before I needed to be at the airport, I decided one last sunrise mission was in order. As I explored various nooks and crannies of the centre, I thought to myself, this place is a photographers dream. I’m so blessed to have had the opportunity to explore part of this beautiful island and I can’t wait to see what the rest of the Greece has to offer.