I can’t believe how fast this year is going, it’s already September! That’s only four months until Christmas!!! At the same time, I feel like I’ve achieved so much. I’ve changed careers, started writing a novel, traveled to ten new destinations within Europe (that’s one place every two weeks) took up baking classes in Paris, maintained a social life and so much more.
Because I’m always on the go, constantly looking to tick the next thing off my bucket list, 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’ on my travels. Sometimes it’s just nice to go somewhere and have some much needed chill time.
Which is exactly what I wanted from my trip to Santorini. This place has been at the top of 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.
The minute I started searching for my accommodation I knew exactly where I wanted to be. Oia (which is properly pronounced ‘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, all you need to do is type in Santorini in Instagram and you can expect to find plenty of snaps from this iconic village.
Due to its popularity, I knew a few nights were going to cost me a small fortune, but I wanted to truly enjoy myself so I decided to spare no expense. I booked myself a 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.
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. But be warned, crowds of tourists travel from all parts of the island for the very same reason and between the hours of 10am to 8pm, you can expect to bump a few shoulders as you navigate your way down the various laneways. And if you want a shot of the iconic dome with nobody in it like me, do as I did and set your alarm for sunrise!
Whenever I travel I’m always on the lookout for pretty bookshops and libraries. There’s just something so magical about them that draws me in. Maybe it’s because I’m writing my own novel and it makes me excited to think that one day mine could be sitting on one of those shelves.
Atlantis books is the most famous bookshop in Greece and as soon as I walked down the spiral steps, I knew why. The outside is a book lovers dream with beautifully designed quotes and images painted on the walls. Once you step inside, shelf upon shelf of vintage and newly printed books fill every bit of space, while small reading nooks populate the rest of the shop. It’s definitely one of my favourites, but Libreria Acqua Alta in Venice still remains at the top of my list.
Theres no mistaking that Santorini is known for it’s breathtaking sunsets, and as I made myself comfortable on my balconies sun bed, I experienced first hand just how breathtaking it can be. Sunset viewing in Oia can become pretty hectic, with visitors finding the perfect viewing spot up to two hours before the sun is scheduled to set. So if you’re just visiting for the day then I recommend having an early dinner and getting your dessert to go, because prime viewing for the sunset is exactly what you want.
WHERE TO EAT
For a great cheap eat, you can’t beat Pitogyros. For a mere €4 you’ll be indulging in one extremely delicious pita. They even cater for vegetarians. It was so incredibly good, that I went back twice!
WHEN TO VISIT
Off peak season, so during March-May and late October-November will have you battling the crowds a lot less. But price wise Santorini doesn’t fluctuate too much. The island has a lot more to offer than just beaches so it tends to be a popular destination all year round. Summer months see temperatures reaching 29 degrees, whilst winter averages 15. All in all, Santorini is amazing no matter when you go, but if you want to soak up that island sun before dissappears, then you want to visit between June and August.