Europe: Santorini

This is going to be a LONG post, so I hope you are ready! 

We arrived in Santorini around 10:30pm on July 14th and were picked up by a taxi (proud to say, this was the only taxi we took our entire trip) to be driven to our hotel (also the only hotel we stayed in the entire trip). We LOVED our hotel! It was located about a 15 minute walk from Oia and had a delicious restaurant and an amazing swimming pool. The following day we walked into Oia and all my dreams came true! Greece has been the number one place in the world I have wanted to visit for a very long time, specifically Santorini. We were finally there and it was even better than I had imagined it would be.

The entire town was filled with white buildings, blue roofs, chapels, donkeys and much more all hanging off the side of a cliff with the Aegean Sea below. We spent the day walking through Oia, the tiny walkways nestled between chapels and authentic Greek homes were like nothing we have ever seen before. We stopped for lunch with a view and it was of course delicious. We continued to explore for the rest of the day and ended it with dinner perched up on a hill with an unbeatable view of the sunset. We heard that sunsets are a big deal in Santorini and it proved true when people flocked to the cliff side in this one part of Oia to watch it. A sunset we will never forget that's for sure.

The next day we hung out at the hotel for a bit by the pool and then caught a bus to Fira, a town about a 10 minute drive away. Fira was much like Oia BUT we both agreed we liked Oia much more. The one thing that we did love about Fira was that you could ride donkeys there! This is something I wanted to do from the start and was excited when I saw that you could ride a donkey down the cliff side then back up again. I felt a bit bad because it was excruciatingly hot outside but I was assured that this is what these donkeys do, they are used to transporting things and people. I couldn't stop laughing the entire time, just the thought that we were riding donkeys in Greece made me so happy (a little weird, I know). After the donkey ride we continued to wander Fira then decided to do the 3 hour hike along the Caldera from Fira to Oia. We started out around 6pm in hopes to catch the sunset along the way. The hike was incredible, we were alone most of the time and were able to soak in all the beauty to ourselves. Near sunset we realized that we were behind a mountain and needed to get to the other side if we wanted to see the sunset. We hiked HARD up that mountain, basically running uphill and made it just in time to watch the sunset from a tiny chapel perched atop. Again, a sunset we will never forget. We arrived at our hotel in Oia just as darkness fell around 9pm. We ate dinner at our hotel which far exceeded our expectations. 

The following day we rented a car and drove to the various beaches on the island. The only advice we got from the car rental company was "biggest car wins".... we were given the smallest car ever. Santorini isn't really known for it's beaches as the water isn't the warmest and the waves are typically pretty strong but we explored them all anyways. We drove to Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, and Red Beach. We then drove back to Oia and walked down to Amoudi Bay for dinner. On our walk down we started chatting with another couple who was travelling from Australia. They were so kind and invited us to join them at the restaurant they had reservations at the bottom. We gladly accepted and enjoyed a night with our new friends. We ate and drank and talked and laughed all with the sun setting next to us in the Bay, which for those of you who have seen Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants, it was totally where it was filmed. We hung out late into the night with our new friends then finally ventured back to our hotel as it was late and we were heading to Croatia the next day! I am so thankful we visited Santorini and already ache to go back as it was literally a dream come true for me.