Greece || Santorini - Where to Go, What to Do
GIANT CHECKMARK ON MY BUCKET LIST!!!
Sorry about the caps. I am just so excited! Santorini!!!!!!
Ever since I started working in the wedding industry, I've seen a lot of couples having their engagement or honeymoon (or sometimes wedding) photos taken in Santorini. And that’s how it all started. Santorini was easily placed on my bucket list.
Funny story, though, we did actually see 4 or 5 couples having their wedding pictures photo session. All on the same day.
Santorini is HOT!!!! Yes in all caps. It felt like as if the sunray had claws. They came to the Earth’s surface with a scorching speed, confidently charging towards humans, and penetrated our skins like giant fire arrows. I would like to think that my tan lines are my battle wounds from the sun.
Anyways, after a speedy 30-minute flight from Athens, we landed in Santorini on a Thursday afternoon. Checked into our beautiful hotel/apartment, Enigma Suites, with a porch looking out into the beautiful landscapes of Santorini, completed with a Jacuzzi. A.JACUZZI!!!! As soon as we stepped into our apartment area, everyone pretty much shrieked like a 5-year-old girl. Even the boys.
We started our search for dinner before enjoying the beautiful sunset.
The people in Enigma Suites recommended a few places for dinner for us. To Ouzeri. That was probably the first time, out of our entire trip, that I took pictures of our food. They came out gorgeous! Both, presentation and taste wise.
Kyle ordered the slow cooked lamb shank with vegetables. It was tender and so flavorful!
I ordered the chickpeas stew. Oh! My! God! Deeeelish!!!!! The stew was creamy with a burst of flavors. Topped with the most perfectly cooked egg. Kyle actually had a buyer’s remorse after he tried some of mine.
Andrew ordered the slow roasted pancetta with some sort of green puree that we couldn’t quite figure out what it was. We were thinking it was spinach and potato. Oh! It melts in your mouth. And green puree was the perfect ratio between sweet and savory.
You have to try Baklava in Greece. At least once! I think I made the right decision to order the Baklava in To Ouzeri. My mouth was filled with a beautiful crispy crunch, blanketing a soft layer of soft of ground nuts that had been soaked in honey syrup, oozing out beautifully like a clear thick juice. Strangely enough, it wasn’t too sweet.
After dinner we went back to our suite to watch the sunset. And some jacuzzi time, of course. But look at the beautiful golden ray.
We began our day by visiting the most iconic spot in Santorini. You know, the blue domes on white buildings? Yes! That! Ouia, Santorini.
Maybe by this time, you’re sick of reading the word “beautiful” or “gorgeous.” But I kid you not, everywhere you look in Santorini, the view looked like it came straight out of postcards.
Ouia is always crowded! Always! From morning to night. However, we visited at around 10am and the crowd wasn’t too bad.
Moving on from Ouia was our wine tour. We stopped to look at wine plantations (a.k.a grape vines) surrounded by pumice rocks. Apparently, because Santorini is so hot, people have to weave the vines into a basket, so that the grapes will grow under the grape leaves to stay shaded. Otherwise, the grapes would immediately turn to raisins. Which we actually did see.
Then we visited a traditional winery, Gavalas Winery, which has been around since the end of the 19th century. Even today, they are still making wine in the traditional way. Stomping the grapes! Our tour guide actually told us that in August, visitors can stomp the grapes and you’ll be fed with food and wine. How lovely is that???
Next. Some history.
The Akrotiri Excavations site. Some people call Akrotiri as pre-historic Pompeii. We went around the site with a guided tour. She told us stories and histories about the site; how everyone fled the area before a huge volcanic eruption occurred. They think that everyone survived.
I don't know if any of you watch Doctor Who. But I think they all fled after Donna yelled and warned everyone about the eruption. :p
I do have to say, though, if you’re going to the excavation site and are not on a guided tour, you won’t really understand what you’re looking at. There are rarely any signs explaining what everything is.
The guided tour was included in our Asimini Tour package. Lucky us! :)
To end our tour of the day, we had lunch at To Psaraki. A HUUUUUUUGE lunch! Also, we had no idea that it was included in our tour package. Woot!!!
Food kept on coming and coming and coming. Most of them were seafood. So if you’re a big seafood fan, this is the place to eat!!!!!
We really had no idea what they brought to us though. It was probably a 2-hour of non-stop plate rotations. But we were so excited about the different types of food give to us. The only thing I managed to photograph were the dolmades. Haha!
Overlooking the dock of catamaran with the sea breeze on our faces and flocks of seagulls flying about, we did enjoy our meal. The seagulls weren’t aggressive at all. They kind of just minded their own business. Unlike in New York City… They would’ve been all over your table!
Oh! We went for dinner around our hotel in a restaurant called Naoussa. It was the most GHASTLY meal experience we've had there. We went there without reservation, and once we told them that we didn't have reservation, they put us alllllllll the way in the back of the restaurant. Apparently, we weren't the only one.
There were no smiles from the owner. No warm, friendly welcome. They gave us the menu, and left us, and we had to wait forever for them to come and ask us if we were ready to order.
We were HANGRY by then! We would've eaten ANYTHING!
It was probably about 8:30pm before all our food came out. I ordered the Briam (it was like a ratatouille) and holy moly!!!!! It was sooooooo salty, like eating a spoonful of ratatouille with a quarter cup of salt! I couldn't eat any more than two spoonfuls.
Dinner ended. We asked for the check. 10 minutes later. Check was still not on our table. So we asked one more time, and the manager/owner/owner's son replied, "It's coming! It's coming!" with AN ATTITUDE! Ummmm... Really!?
And we still waited and waited, and asked again, and waited and waited, and saw people leaving because they also waited. After what felt like a lifetime, we finally got our check! I get that people in Greece are pretty chill and are never in a rush, but 30 minutes for our check!? That's absurd!
That was probably the most expensive meal we've had in our entire trip! And the most atrocious!
Our last day. :( We were really sad when we woke up that morning. It was our last full day in Greece. BUT! What’s a better way to end the trip with a catamaran ride? :D A 5-hour catamaran ride with food! And a whole bunch of other people. There were a total of 12 people in our boat.
Sun bathing. Swimming at the Aegean Sea. And yes, that sea is salllllllllty! That explains why all the food in Greece is salty. Still not as salty as my Briam from Naoussa though.
We stayed on the boat until the sun sank down the sea. Romantic. Peaceful. Serene. I can’t think of a better way to end our trip. :)
I hope this gives you a little bit of inspirations for your Summer vacay. :) Or if you’re planning to visit Greece! Which, I think, is a must! :D