Hello, my darlings!! I’m home at last from my travels.
Usually when I get back from a trip I just dive right into the jewels…and we’ve definitely done that, but I thought it would be fun to give you a look at the cities I visited this time, too. Mr. DitL and I had a grand adventure with a full two weeks of travel: from Athens and Santorini in Greece and then to Italy for Venice and Vicenza.
I left a piece of my heart in Santorini. I’ve wanted to go there for years, but I don’t think I had a very good idea of what to expect, beyond white buildings and romantic views.
There’s no way to accurately explain how beautiful Santorini is, so I will just say that it is not overrated. I was expecting it to be one of the most beautiful places I’d ever been, and I was still impressed.
Mr. DitL and I did our Santorini vacay in two phases: for the first two days, we stayed on the South side of the island, near Perissa beach. The volcanic black sand beaches of Perissa and Perivolos are the best beaches on Santorini for actual beaching. The entire beachfront is lined with restaurants, each of which have beach beds and cabanas paired with umbrellas that you can either rent or use for free if you order something from the restaurant. It sounds like a recipe for party town, but Perissa is staggeringly chill.
We beached, strolled, ate, beached, and strolled. It was quiet and calm – surprisingly so, but maybe that’s because September is just after the busy tourist season.
Having a home base in Perissa was also ideal for visiting the Red Sand beach and the incredible sight of the prehistoric site of Akrotiri, an active archaeological excavation of a Bronze age town. Both were as cool as they sound! The Red Sand beach was much harder to access than we’d expected – the access path was much more of a mildly death-defying hike than a path – but it was worth it for the view and the feeling of accomplishment.
After a few days at the Smaragdi Hotel in Perissa, Mr. DitL and I migrated North to the gorgeous Aria Suites at the caldera’s edge in the city of Fira. The Two Hotels approach served two purposes: it let us experience different sides of the island without needing to spend too much time on buses or taxis, and it let us save money in Perissa, which is the less trendy side of the island, so that we could afford stay somewhere truly luxe in ultra-desirable Fira.
The Aria Suites is a tiny hotel – only 6 suites – in a quiet pocket of Fira, Santroini’s biggest city. The combination was perfect: Mr. DitL and I had a gorgeous airy suite all to ourselves, with breakfast served on our private terrace every morning and a perfect view of the sunset from the two lounge chairs on our other terrace. We alternated between exploring the shops, restaurants, bars, and museums of Fira and sipping wine on our balcony and admiring the view.
Fira and the even fancier Oia are what you picture when you think of Santorini: white stone buildings, endless sky, blue-domed churches. It’s exactly as absurdly beautiful in real life as you’d imagine it would be.
The food in Santorini was not as consistently fantastic as the food in Athens, but it was still good – especially meals that involved fresh seafood. My favorite restaurants were 41 and Argo. But still, Santorini was a dream come true and I would return in a heartbeat if I had the chance.Read More