Our First Night in Santorini, Greece

Over the past 10 years, I’ve been tempted to visit Greece on numerous occasions. There have been invites from friends and discussions with family about long weekend trips to sunny Mediterranean nirvana, however I’ve always made my excuses. Because deep down, I really wanted to save my first Greek adventure for a special someone. I’ve always imagined Greece to be the most romantic country in Europe – of honeymoon quality – with dazzling sunsets, unforgettable panoramas, some of the most luxurious accommodations, and a slew of mesmerizing white cavernous houses. Greece’s proximity to Amsterdam made it an accessible destination, however, I needed the right travel partner for the trip to be truly unforgettableIf you want to get technical about it, my Greek tale began in December of 2016 when I first met Kai. Fast forward two years and yes, yes, yes, he was definitely the right travel partner for the trip! He’d been to Greece once before with his family when he was younger, but was totally open to visiting again this past October in celebration of my 31st birthday. So we booked 4 nights in Santorini at this cute ocean side retreat, found some cheap flights, and off we went!
I have quite a few photos from this trip, so I will break our Greece saga into a few different posts. These are some photos from our first night in town. There are no direct flights from Amsterdam to Santorini, so we flew into Athens, had a short layover, and then took a small hopper plane from mainland Greece to Santorini. We took a cab to our hotel (that we very unsuccessfully tried to negotiate down in price – lol) dropped our bags, and in a flurry of excitement, freshened up very quickly so we could catch the last rays of light over Oia, the town where we were staying. Perched on the north-western edge of Santorini, Oia boasts of classic Cycladic architecture, with hundreds of cavernous white houses carved into the cliff side. The entire island of Santorini was born out of volcanic activity, creating rugged and rocky coastline, which offers spectacular ocean views and miles of terrain to explore.
I had imagined Oia very differently. I was hungry to bite off an authentic piece of Greece, and was surprised to find a town built to attract yacht-owning, polo-wearing millionaires. I expected rough cobblestone roads, stray cats, and local eateries, but to my surprise, the town was pristine. Large marble slabs made up the main walkway, which was perfectly illuminated by spotlights and speckled with high-end retailers and jewelry shops. Our base camp was beautiful, but definitely not in the way that I had envisioned!
As it was already late, on our first evening we went on a sunset stroll down the main strip, followed by an easy dinner at a restaurant some of Kai’s friends had recommended. Despite being somewhat surprised at the lux-like essence of the town, we couldn’t argue its beauty. We stopped to take in (and photograph) the view every hundred feet or so, as the landscape changed with the setting sun.We chose to have dinner at Petros Restaurant, which was a nice welcome to Greek cuisine, although the atmosphere and food highly catered to tourists. We sat on the rooftop and way over-ordered on the Greek starters – bread, taziki, eggplant salad, olives, and tomato fritters – followed by some salad and a schmorgesborg of fresh seafood. Most notable discovery of the meal goes to our Greek salad, where we found an entire slab of feta cheese served atop a bed of greens! Apparently this is the norm in Greece which we full-heartedly endorsed :D Helllllooooooo cheeeeese!
After our meal, we continued our roam. Which ended on a very sweet note when we spotted a cute Greek bakery and decided to help ourselves to a midnight (well, 10pm) treat.Kai took the plunge for us while I waited, drooling, outside the small shop.We weren’t quite sure what this was, but I can say from first hand experience, whenever a greek dessert is lightly sprinkled with toasted pistachios, you know it’s going to be GOOD.
And that’s a wrap on our first night in town! I am really going to try to get my Greek posts up in the next week – I then have two winter adventure posts to share, followed by some really dreamy photos from a trip Kai and I just took to Vietnam (for a sneak peek, check out my instagram!) I can’t wait to take you along on all of these adventures, and I need to get better about posting so I can write while these moments are still fresh in my memory.

Chat again soon!
x Ali

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