Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Santorini, Greece Trip Report - May 6 - 13, 2015

This year I decided to do something totally different from my usual thoughts of travel.  Our dollar was sucking in the U.S.A. anyway, and I wanted to go somewhere that I have never been.  However, the Euro equally sucked for me.  It started out at $1.50 CAD for me to buy ONE Euro and then it got a bit better and was about $1.38 when I bought just before I left for my trip.

I've always wanted to go to Greece.  My son said Corfu was his favourite spot on his trip of 32 days in Western Europe so it further added to me desiring to go.  I've always thought that visitors to Greece would be mainly "romantic couples" so I wasn't sure I was up for being "single & solo" at 50 years old there. I decided to stay in busy tourist trap islands full of cruise visitors so I might have a chance of not worrying about lack of romance for my days there by mingling with other tourists who perhaps were not necessarily there for their honeymoon...

The rest of me just wanted to eat Greek food, drink good wine and gaze at the beautiful scenery.  I booked accommodation at the Aria Lito Mansion and it looked stunning though I booked it because of the location.  It apparently was in the centre/hub of Fira but tucked quietly away so you could relax.  The hotel was polite and responsive in email communications. I arranged a semi-private shuttle through them for airport pick up for a cost of $12 €.  They advised the cost would be charged to my hotel bill.

Wednesday, May 6th:

I did not look forward to today.  My total travel time was about a full day, if everything went according to plan.  I headed to YVR airport at 6am for my 8am flight.  First stop DFW (Dallas).  Next stop was LHR (London) and then finally onto Santorini (JTR).

Thursday, May 7th:

Exactly 26 hours after I woke up on May 6th, I arrived in Santorini around 4pm.  My arranged transportation was waiting for me with a sign with my name on it. Below is my first view and it was at the airport.

I knew once we started driving that I would never want to drive there!  One lane each way and I don't think I saw any stop lights.  My driver stopped dead in the middle of the "main road" busy street and the hotel guy came down to take out my luggage.  I was not sure what was going on and she told me I had to get out and go with him.  I gave her 5 € as a tip and followed behind him and crossed the street with the patient traffic.

The hotel was nice and the staff very welcoming.  They offered a welcome wine cocktail but I just took water which "the hotel guy" brought.  I checked in at $600 € for 6 days.  I pre-booked that on Expedia but paid today.  She gave me a tour and escorted me to my room.  It was nice, double bed.  HIGH ceilings, good A/C and the WiFi worked fine.  A true mansion and I think only 23 rooms though some of those are suites.  The hotel guy came with my luggage right after and I gave him 5 € too.  I have no idea what is acceptable tipping here so I just did what I normally would do.

With her (Reception's) directions, I walked down the main road to the nearest "mini mart" and bought some wine and water for my room.  Scary as there was no sidewalks, just the side of the road - one lane on each side and you!  I certainly didn't want to do that walk at night or after drinking!  I asked her about tipping and she advised I should tip $3 - 5 € for meals and $1 - 2 € for each drink if I'm at a bar.  That was my "Tips 101" lesson.  Then I got in my jammies and went to bed.  It was about 5pm  Greece time.  I was exhausted beyond words.  Sleep took me immediately.

I awoke at 10pm.  I called the front desk and asked if there was anywhere really close that was open that I could go eat at.  They recommended Kapari which was on my list (research) of places to go to.  I got ready and went to the Main Street and then it was just right next door to my hotel.

It had a very comfortable alfresco setting and I enjoyed it.  Especially since there was smoking.  It didn't bother me at all but I know it would have if I was inside.  I'm the worst ex-smoker there is.  Staff were welcoming and kind.  It was bustling busy for them at that time of night but I did know that people dine late here.  Late for me is 8pm!  The restaurant was full except for 2 tables.  I ordered water and a 1/4 litre of red house wine to start.  They brought me some bread and dip.

I can't even tell you how good I thought that dip was but I used it on everything in my meal.  I asked her and she said it was only yoghurt, mustard, olive oil, capers and salt & pepper and that it was very simple.  It was simply delicious!

Next course I ordered what is said to be a Santorini speciality, Tomato Croquettes.  I immediately fell in love with them.  And, even better with that dip!

I then ordered Lamb served in vine leaves with cheese, vegetables.  While good, it isn't something I'd order again.  The lamb was tender and all elements tasted fine.  It just wasn't anything special.

I asked for the croquettes to go with some "dip" and she packed it up for me.  She brought me a dessert "shot" (turns out it was Vinsanto - sweet wine) and a fresh lavender sachet packet with the bill.  It was $23 € without tip and I thought that was fantastic.  Great value for my experience.  I expected I would return.

It was about 1am after I returned to my room and puttered around unpacking and I went to bed and slept through till about 5:30am.

Friday, May 8th:

I awoke and ate those tomato fritters.  They have a fridge in the room with mini/bar.  They were so good!  I lied back down till about 7 and started writing up this trip report and then showered.  I made my way out for breakfast about 9am.  It was a gorgeous day!  The "hotel guy (Marios)" from yesterday brought me my breakfast in a very nice outdoor courtyard setting.

The view from my table

My breakfast arrived pretty much as soon as I sat down, though he did ask me if I wanted coffee or tea when I walked out.  I chose coffee.  Immediately he brought a tray over that also included fresh squeezed O.J.

Loved those 2 balls of yoghurt in the upper right corner!

I think this breakfast would be a nice start to anyone's day and I quite enjoyed it.  And then I headed out to see the town...

Directly behind my hotel was this church below to which I heard the clock bells in my hotel room daily.  It was also a good landmark to find my way home.

Navigating the cobblestone streets

No way was I getting a "Fish Pedicure" from a place called "Dr. Fish"

"Main Street"

And back up the hill brought me this incredible view - breathtaking

In Panoramic view

After all my walking, I got back to the hotel about 1:30pm and I was HOT.  Walking up that cobblestone paved hill is not as easy as I thought.  I sat in my room and cooled down with the A/C.  I had pre-booked a private tour and pick up was at 2:30.  Kostas was right on time and we headed out.  He told me he would let me explore Fira & Oia (pronounced Ee-ah) on my own but would take me to see the rest of the island.  First stop was the Blue Dome in Firostefani,

It is a church and affords you fabulous views, of course.  Almost everywhere on the island does that to be honest.  Kostas told all the relevant information and history and is very well spoken and easy to listen to.

I enjoyed the view to the right of the blue dome just as much

And we were off.  We stopped here (below) next, but I honestly don't remember the story or where we were!  We covered a lot of ground and I didn't take any notes or anything.

We drove along and saw a vineyard.  It was so interesting to learn that the grapes are grown like birds nests to protect the grapes.  See below.

Red Beach, Akrotiri

And then it was onto the Akrotiri Excavation Site.  The entrance fee is $5 €.  Now this is pretty interesting.  I highly recommend you get a guide for this.  Kostas had so much information on his iPad and told me the complete story of  the collapse of the Minoan civilization caused by the eruption of the Thira volcano.  The pictures below won't really mean anything without the story, unfortunately.

A bathtub

I was sad to learn the excavation cannot be completed because there is no money to continue.

Parking at our next destination, Anna's Farm stand afforded me the view of miniature ponies below.

We went into this shop where Anna greeted us and then we moved out to the deck area.  I then received a "sample plate".

The spoons were jams.  The small bowl was sweets.  The plate had caper leaves, olives, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes with fava puree (yellow split peas), olive tapenade and tomato paste on barley rusks (crisp bread).  There were also four samples of her home made wine(s).  

I did buy some of her sun-dried tomatoes to take for home at $6 €.  Our next stop was Black beach (below).

This is the fishing port of Vlychada

Vlychada Beach.  The dark grey sand is due to Volcanic Ash

Next we drove up this very scary (to me) winding road to the highest point in Santorini which is a monastery.

Inside the Monastery

The View

Next we did a walk through Pyrgos Village.  Kostas had many stories and I enjoyed learning about all the little tiny chapels I have seen around Santorini.  They are used one day a year for the celebration of a patron saint namesake, primarily. 

Walking the cobblestones, we saw a man loading up a donkey.  Now, I don't see that everyday!

Beautiful old architecture

Donkey stable

A grapevine

View at the top of the village

I love this picture!

And then it was off to Santo Wines for the sunset.  One balcony was closed due to a wedding but I still found where we sat fine, though Kostas said our view was not as good.  I ordered a "wine sampler" for $14 €.  

And then finally the beautiful sunset.  Sigh...

The price for this tour was $350 €.  That is with a $50 discount he gave me for being solo.  He can take up to 8 people and that would be more reasonable.  That being said, however, this was worth every dollar I paid.  I could not ask for a better day and I felt exhilarated after!  I felt like I made a great friend and we had a wonderful time.  It was about 9:30 pm when he dropped me off so we had a 7 hour day.

I walked back up to the caldera view restaurants but many were closed at this time so I stopped in at Da Costa restaurant.  I had a great talk with my waiter who was from Athens.  He comes here to work for high season (Apr - Oct).  It sounds like they work to the bone!  I'm really glad I came before all the visitors started to arrive which is about the end of May.  The weather was also perfect, not too hot and a beautiful breeze so far.  I do not like unbearable heat.

The food I had was Greek Salad & Moussaka.  Neither was very exciting (kind of bland) but certainly edible.  

It was just after 11:30pm when I returned to the room, and I fell asleep in utter exhaustion, again...

Saturday, May 9th:

Well as long as yesterday was, today will be short so it will balance out!  I awoke late, and my legs & feet were SORE!  I knew there wouldn't be much activity going on today.  I finally made it out for breakfast at 10:30am.  Then I wandered up to the shops to do my souvenir shopping.  

I got that done in a couple of hours at a very slow pace.  There are so many shops, you have to do comparisons to settle as a lot sell the same items, though at different prices.  I probably didn't make any wise choices but I did get a few things so I was happy. 

I decided to go have lunch with a caldera view.  I have to be honest, I didn't even know what caldera meant when I first started researching Santorini.  I had to look it up.  "A large crater formed by volcanic explosion or by collapse of a volcanic cone".  Anyway,  I decided on Character restaurant.

Seafood salad - with octopus, avgotaraho (fish roe), ahinosalata (sea urchin roe) and a citrus fruit dressing $19.95 €

The salad was delicious but a little light on seafood for my money.  But, as you can see the view made it worth the price and because the food tasted so good, I won't complain.  And then I went back to the hotel.

I was beat!  I just wanted to nap, but I didn't.  I figured I better write up the trip report while it was still fresh on my mind and I had so many pictures to sort through from yesterday.

I needed a break from that so went out and sat by the pool with a glass of wine enjoying the fresh air and nice breeze.

And then I returned to the room to try and finish up the trip report to current time...the bed looked so inviting though.  I love the room.  It has the highest ceilings I have ever seen!  I can't even get it in a picture but the ceiling is probably another 5 feet higher from the top curtain rod.

At 7pm I went for dinner at Salt & Pepper.  This place is directly in front of my hotel and I made reservations before I came.  It is so small, you need to.  The owner/hostess I emailed with, Irina, was so welcoming.  She really is the "hostess with mostest".  I was so tired though, I just wanted to eat and get to bed.

I ordered water (you can't drink tap water in Santorini), a glass of wine, tomato balls and grilled octopus with fava beans.  The meal was cooked very well, it was home cooking.  They gave me bread and a complimentary dolmathe to start.  Then a honey, custard, whip cream banana crepe for dessert.  They were delicious too.

Irina packed my remaining tomato balls to go.  All this for $23 €!  Can't complain about that.  I thanked them and told them I'd see them Tuesday for my next reservation.  And then I went to the room and went lights out at about 8:30pm.

Sunday, May 10th:

I didn't sleep quite through until morning and got up for a couple of hours and chatted with my son on facebook for a bit.  I awoke about 9:30.  I felt better today as opposed to feeling like a zombie yesterday.  Yesterday, I booked a Winery tour & Cooking class with the front desk for $125 €.  It was picking me up at 10:55am.  I wanted to go Monday but they only had today available.  Beautiful bells were ringing from the church, I guess for mass.  I ate the remaining tomato balls for breakfast and had a shower.

Driver (Ilias) was right on time and we had a full van.  Two from Australia, three from India and two others from the U.S.  Our first stop was Boutari winery.  Kostas had told me that Santorini specializes in white wine and that's what I should drink here.  Ilias also said the same thing,  He said to drink Assyrtiko wines.  I usually only drink red but I did enjoy all the white "tastes" I had.

We started off in the vineyard learning about the special growing of the grapes and the way they are trained to grow (birds nests which I mentioned earlier).  Below are very young grapes and Ilias.

Then it was off to the cellars.

And then it was time for the tasting.  A plate was brought and we were told what to eat with each wine.  My favourite pairing was the Blue Cheese with the sweet red wine.

After the tasting finished we had 10 minutes to shop in the store.  I bought a cab sav and a cava (which was not cava as I know it - sparkling, it was a medium-full bodied red).

And then we were off to Exo Gonia to a small family run winery called Artemis Karamolegos.

The doorway featured a "grape stomping" room where you got in the tub and stomped and a drain carried the wine out.  We sat outside this room, here and had a small tasting.  Apparently they specialize in Vinsanto - the sweet dessert wine.  I didn't try any.

Then it was off to our final destination in Megalochori at Gavalas Winery.  I loved this place the moment we arrived.  The setting was just beautiful and it made me happy.  Here we were just able to order whatever wine we wanted in full glasses now.  :)

The chef (below) came out to greet us, but I don't remember his name, only that he was married yesterday!

I found out that I wasn't "really" cooking when I saw our stations.  Look at the knifes (below).  They said they couldn't give "real" ones any more since someone had cut themselves.  So, I became a bored "Mise en place chef" very quickly, but enjoyed watching everyone slice cherry tomatoes with a dull plastic knife and I ordered more wine - I was drinking Rosé now...  :)

We made the "Santorini Salad" & "Tomato Fritters" first

My head notes from this was that the difference between this and Greek salad was that this one uses cherry tomatoes and Greek salad regular tomatoes.  Also, Chef said the cheese quality is better in the Santorini salad.  We used a mild goat cheese called "Chloro".  The tomato fritters are (as you know if you've been reading this far) a Santorini speciality and I was thrilled when I found out this was on the menu!

Next up was Fava puree, also a Santorini speciality.  These looked like yellow split peas (below in raw on the left and peeled state on the right) to me, or as I call them "French Canadian split peas" but Chef told me these are NOT the same though I can't remember why now...probably because I ordered another glass of wine...we also started the "Pork fillet in Vinsanto sauce" soon after.

And then our creations were all done.  We all got to taste with the Chef and then were seated for dinner after, which included all the same dishes.  We all had no idea that would happen and wished we didn't stuff ourselves with the first cooking demo dishes!

Below is our finished Santorini salad and it was absolutely delicious!  I LOVE those caper leaves on top!  That is something I don't get at home.

Next dish below is the tomato fritters.  OMG, these were the best I've had so far! The greenery in them is spearmint leaves and green onions.  The table knew how much I loved them and let me take the remainders home with me so I could I have them for breakfast.

Lastly, below was the Pork Vinsanto with Fava puree.  That sauce was heavenly!  About this point, our wine server (a young girl maybe early 20's?) told me how much she loved my earrings.  I told her she could have them and she laughed and hurried off.  I didn't think any more of it.

They offered us coffee and brought us a complimentary dessert (cinnamon cake?) below.  I only had a taste.  Our server asked me where I bought my earrings.  I told her "Canada" and again asked her if she wanted them.  These are not expensive and I truly meant it.  She seemed really embarrassed this time and ran off.  So I asked my dining table what they thought.  Personally, I felt weird about giving earrings that I have worn already.  Half agreed and half said I should give them to her.  So, I took them off and went to look for her.  I took Ilias with me and asked him to tell her to use "rubbing alcohol" on them  to clean them up.  :P

She was having a staff meal now and when I gave them to her, she acted like I gave her a million dollars.  She hugged me so tight and thanked me over and over.  I felt really happy that I could "make her day" with such a trivial item.  I went back and had a bite of the dessert.

Then we were soon off home after Chef gave us the recipes for all he made that day.  He had also made some extra vegetarian dishes as there were some in our party. Those dishes weren't on the recipe sheet but he gave verbal instructions for those that wanted the recipes.  They were delicious eggplant dishes.  One was Baba ghanoush and the other was Deep Fried Eggplant in a Tomato Sauce.

And then, even though we were supposed to be back at our hotel by 4:30pm, it was 7:30pm when he Ilias let me off.  I went directly to bed!  I expected to nap, but I didn't awake until early the next morning!!

Monday, May 11th:

It probably isn't surprising I was up, showered and ready for the day just after 7am.  I of course had the tomato fritters for breakfast and just went to the courtyard for coffee only.  Then I got bus directions for Oia from the lovely hotel manager Ioanna.  She has been so wonderful and so helpful to me since I made my reservation.  Her answers are very well thought out and you can see she really cares about making you happy.  She does great maps and explains everything you need to know in great detail.  She suggested I walk down to Ammoudi Bay and said I should not miss it while there and advised to have lunch at a fish taverna while there as well.

I made my way to the bus stop about a block up the main street and as soon as I took the picture below, the bus was there.

The doors opened at the back of the bus and we squeezed on, squished body to body and tried to hang on!  Wow, so not what I was expecting.  I had a bottle of water and camera in one hand an $1.60 € in the other and had to figure that out because I could barely move.  Not to mention we were speedily winding around the narrow road high over the cliff side and I had to close my eyes and just pray that the bus didn't go over the cliff today.  :)

Then a bus employee squeezed his way through collecting everyone's fares.  When he made it at the back to where I was, he could not push his way out and was stuck there until we reached Oia.  About 15 or 20 minutes later, we arrived.

The main square was very similar to Fira and so were the shops except the pavement was smoother.  Everything around was white and it just seemed/felt more upscale but the shops, restaurants, etc. were exactly the same.  But there was double the people - by the time I left it was packed like sardines, just like the bus!

The views were stunning.  I will forever remember how deeply moving the scenery was in Greece.  Nothing like I've ever seen before.

And then I went to the Visitor's Centre so I could get directions on how to walk down to Ammoudi Bay.  She advised me it was about a 20 minute walk down the main road and said that I should have lunch at Ammoudi Fish restaurant. In fact, she called them and made a reservation for me.  Then she sent me on my way and I was nervous, as the directions were like; straight, left, left and follow the road...I headed out...

So far, so good!

Then a couple of times I got confused.  I felt all alone (no other people around) and the road choice could go either way at times.  I was so scared I picked the wrong way.  So I remember my guide Kostas had told me I could just wave any car down and they would stop and help if needed.  So, I did that - three times and they all stopped and helped with directions!  When I finally got on this path below, I felt much better!

And then I was there!  And right at the restaurant too.  Immediately I was so happy I did this!

I checked in and they had one of the best view tables waiting for me.

I ordered fish soup and fried baby squid (which my server said was calamari).  It came with a mayo like, squid ink dip.  Both dishes were very good.  The soup very simple but flavourful.  It only had fish and potatoes.  The squid was perfectly cooked and tender.  I was very content here.

View to my left

View to my right

I couldn't bring myself to leave!  So after I finished lunch, I decided to try one of the local beers.  It was very good and better than the wine I was drinking.  I really enjoyed it.  After that though, it also made me decide not to walk back up the hill.  I decided I'd taxi home from there.

If you look at my "view to the left" picture above, below  is a zoom in of the steps I'd have to climb to get back up the hill.  I really didn't want to walk it with all the donkeys, no offence to the donkeys of course!

Octopus anyone?

And then my beautiful afternoon sadly ended as my taxi pulled up and took me back to Fira.  The cost was $20 € flat rate. I ran into the hotel and hugged the manager Ioanna!  I think she had tears in her eyes at how happy she had made me.  This truly was the best afternoon ever.  I thank her so much for suggesting this to me.  If you ever go to Santorini, go here!!!

I went back to the shops and went to Dionysos in Atlantis.  The servers told me Dionysos is the "God of Wine".  Hey, I was in the right place then!  I had a half carafe of white wine and some Grilled Mushrooms (tasty!).  I really enjoyed this place.  All the servers were friendly, good looking men and all smiled and worked like an excellent team . I was very impressed!

When I got back, Eleni, the afternoon shift reception suggested I go see "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" at the theatre this evening.  I agreed and she made me a reservation.  The cost was $45 €.  It started at 9pm and I was told to be no later than 8:45 or I would not be seated.

I decided I needed to eat first since they just served appetizers at the show so I went back to Dionysos and had Moussaka.  It was delicious. Again I received great service and they were slammed busy.

"Please, can you share with me?"

Then I went to the theatre exactly on time.  I paid for my ticket.  The lady I purchased the ticket from said she loved Vancouver and wanted to move there.  We had great discussion about which city was better and then she said, "Well, like the saying says, grass greener" and I had to agree.  I mentioned that we take our home cities for granted as we're busy working and living life and that we lose what makes our city beautiful at times.  I told her that was the joy in vacations, you could take the time to notice and appreciate what is around you.

And then I waited.  And I waited.  After a half hour she announced there was some problem with the lighting inside.  Then after another 15 minutes I asked for a refund.  I was already there for 45 minutes now and didn't want to wait any longer.  I went to Murphy's bar a couple of doors down.  Had a Kir Royale, called it a night and then went back to Aria Lito and to bed.

Tuesday, May 12th, (A.K.A Last Day):

I awoke early and was starving so I called for breakfast to be delivered to the room at 8am.  I lazed in the room because it didn't look nice outside and left around lunch time.  I wanted to go to this restaurant by the Post office called Ladocolla.  It was cold and spitting rain.  I was so surprised.

The rotisserie meat is their speciality so on the recommendation of the host, I ordered "pork chunk".  I didn't see sparkling wine on too many menus other than in bottles so I ordered a glass.  It was not to my taste.

Just after I got my food I asked the host where the washroom was.  He pointed me inside at the back, I started to head there, and then BANG!  The next thing I knew, I was flat on the cement tile on my knees in an ungodly looking heap.  I literally saw stars, that's how much it hurt and surprised me.  There was a little uneven step up into the restaurant and I totally missed it as I was looking ahead.  My toe crushed into the step and was bleeding. I tried to compose myself and headed down this little winding staircase to the bathroom.  WOW.  That devastated me, so much pain!!!  My knee was also bleeding.  I had one bandaid so I put it on my toe.  Anyway, I had to keep going so I went back up.  I asked for a bag of ice.  I totally lost my appetite for lunch so finished my drink and luckily there was a pharmacy right next door.

I asked for a pharmacist and told her my dilemma.  She sat me down, cleaned my wounds and then applied this freezing gel on my knee.  I purchased the BioFreeze and slowly walked (hobbled?) back to the hotel.  When I got back, they gave me an ice pack and I rested, and took Advil.  About an hour later, I thought I'd head to Dionysos for an afternoon snack and wine.

I ordered Grilled Sardines.  These were very good and I shared with two kitties that had come round.  I was enjoying my wine when the weather suddenly changed and it started POURING rain!  The staff moved us to shelter, cleared all the tables and fastened up the plastic walls.  Well, that was lousy, I was in shorts and sandals not made to walk in the rain.  I was nervous about those slippery cobblestones so decided to wait it out...

The staff were really nice and told me to stay.  I had another glass of wine and the rain kept coming.  I was there for 3 hours.  I decided I might as well stay and have dinner so I ordered.  Just as I did the rain let up a little.  My server told me I should go and he would cancel my dinner and told me to come back when the rain stopped.  I left and about a minute later, the rain started pounding again.  I stood under an awning and waited it out.  When it wasn't too bad I made it to the hotel.

I was telling Eleni at the desk my horrible day and a British gentleman who was staying at the hotel joined us in conversation.  We have talked briefly throughout the week.  He was there for his daughter's wedding.  Anyway, I invited him to join me for dinner and we went to Salt & Pepper.

We started with some Feta cheese and some Santorini sausage but I forgot to take a picture of that.  We also ordered a litre of house wine for $12 €.  I ordered Meatballs & Pasta.  He ordered Chicken with white wine sauce & rice.  Mine was just OK but he said he enjoyed his.  We barely made a dent in these meals so Irina packed them to go for us.  We stayed and had another 1/2 litre of wine.

He kindly bought dinner, we hugged Irina goodbye and went back to the hotel.  I had a drink in his suite while we traded facebook addresses.  His room had a living room and a bedroom, very spacious.  I went to my room and to sleep immediately after about 11:30pm.

Wednesday, May 13th:

I awoke about 8:30, ate the pasta for breakfast and puttered and packed.  I felt a little worse for wear and tear today if truth be told but my knee wasn't any worse at least, though my big toe was purple-ish.  I was ready to leave at 10:30 and my taxi was picking me up in 15 minutes to take me to the port so I could catch the ferry to Mykonos.  I said goodbye to my British neighbour and Ioanna.  Hugs & kiss kiss the European way.  I was then on my way.

Santorini was amazing.  I had a wonderful time.  I would return any time if given the opportunity.  Highly recommended!  I think it's totally worthy of being on a bucket list.


  1. Really enjoyed reading your holiday report Christine, thanks for posting it! It sounds like you had an amazing holiday. I'm going to Santorini in July with my husband, we'll definitely need to check out some of your recommendations! Thanks, Carlyn

    1. I know you and your husband will have a wonderful trip Carlyn! Enjoy and thanks!

  2. Really enjoyed your Santorini report Christine. My wife (also Christine) and I were there 10 years ago for my 50th and loved it. It really is extraordinary.
    We go to Crete and other Greek Islands regularly but need to think about a return to Santorini.
    all the best

    1. Hi Ewan, I'm glad you enjoyed the report. I'm hoping to get to Edinburgh at some time. I've always wanted to visit Scotland. :)

  3. Oh I thoroughly enjoyed this. This is my type of trip report especially with the wines. We are leaving on Thursday for Santorini and Mykonos. Staying in Oia.

    1. Hi Denise. Enjoy your trip! You will love both places. :)

  4. I love, love, love your blog! I have read your trips to Santorini, Mykonos and Las Vegas so far. You are exactly my type of travellers - all about the food and the wine! Just when I think you could not possibly eat anymore you head out for another snack. Love it!

    1. Thanks sunseeker37. I'm glad you are enjoying my reports. Life is too short for bad food & wine. :)

  5. great report..what was the name of your hotel? thanks - Ann

    1. Hi Ann, the hotel I stayed at was called Aria Lito Mansion. I highly recommend it. http://www.arialito.com/

  6. Thank You for sharing your Santorini Adventure with us! My husband and I are going in May and will certainly benefit from your suggestions.........getting So Excited! Susan

    1. Thanks. I know you'll have a a wonderful time, Susan. Go to Ammoudi Bay! Have a great trip!

  7. I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report of Santorini! Hubby and I are going in September and I've jotted down many notes from your report! Bummer about your fall -- I felt your pain as I've done that a few times during vacations which is usually the worse time since we're not home and need to be as mobile as possible. I'm glad everything worked out well regardless. Cheers!

    1. Thanks so much Mimi. Yeah, for some reason, I'm super clumsy on vacations, lol. I'm sure you will have a terrific trip. Enjoy the beauty. :) Cheers!