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Wednesday
Jun152011

Wanderer Of The World: Santorini, Greece

Hello, beautiful people! Are you ready for Greece: Part Two? 

I already dished about the Athens part of our trip. Today? Santorini. The true sweet spot of Greece. 

We set our sails at sunrise out of the Port of Piraeus in Athens, skimmed past the islands of Milos and Folegandros and docked in Santorini. The water was so calming and freeing. Mountains rose like emerald cities from the enchanting Matisse-blue hued waters, the calling card for many of the islands speckled throughout the sea.

I need a special vocabulary just to attempt to describe the jaw-droppingly stunning features I saw in Santorini. Photography may speak louder, but even though a picture is worth a thousand words, I think it would take millions to convey this sliver of striking beauty.

I still dream of it.

We stayed at the Katikies Hotel in the Santorini town of Oia. It was the most we've ever splurged on a hotel room {confession: when I booked it I looked at the Euro price, which is like spending Monopoly money due to the conversion rate. Oops!} but I would do it all over again. It was a whitewashed oasis painted onto the side of a mountain.

When we checked in the hotel had homemade limeade served in sugar-rimmed glasses waiting for us. They also left complimentary sparkling water and fresh fruit for us every night and had breakfast waiting on our balcony every morning {Greek yogurt with honey? Yum-o!}. The rooms weren't in some big block of a hotel. They were spread throughout the side of the hill. It felt like you were in your own little cottage. Ours faced the caldera and volcano, the edges of Oia to the right, the happening town of Fira to the left. I felt like every morning somebody woke up, painted a masterpiece and left it dry in front of our room. It was so magical and moving. The world formed together in the most wonderful of ways in this place.

This was our room...

 The private balcony and darling little door that led to our villa was so sugary sweet. I melted. It was so private and secluded that every night we slept with the windows open. One night we even camped out under a pocketful of stars in the sky, moving our feather comforters onto the balcony. It was so dreamy. 

The hotel had us so starstruck that we contemplated becoming permanent fixtures. They had infinity pools, a hot tub in a grotto and super delish drinks, like the stawberry pina coladas I lived on.

But we did venture out.

We rented an ATV and rummaged up roads that were nothing but a dust trail to the sun. We made a couple of pitstops. First at Kampari Beach, known as Santorini's black beach, because it doesn't have sand, but black stones. My heart skipped a beat. I adored it.

Then we zipped into the town of Fira to hustle down the famous 600 step staircase. It also happens to be where I met the Greek love of my life, Stavros.

As the sun melted away for the day, leaving an ooze of darkness in its place, we took a final ride to the peak of one of the mountains. It was so high it seemed like you could feel a breeze from heaven.

We spent the next day doing we do best: being lumps at the pool.

But our laziness was made up for. We took a boat ride under the robin's egg blue sky, hiked a volcano, swam in the volcano's hot springs, hit the Greek wine trails and bellied up to another of Santorini's mysteries, a red beach.

Some of our other favorite things were...

...looking for bottles floating out in the sea carrying mysterious messages.

Drinking wine in paradise's pocket.

Marveling at perfection.

Counting down the seconds to the sunset in Oia.

Having dinner at a restaurant on the side of a cliff - reserved just for us.

Ending each day with a sugary treat.

Dressing like a Greek goddess.

I took over 1,500 photos on this trip. They are the fragments that fill my memory with the shades of blue and white that left me falling head over heels in love with that little island. The cavernous gullies that rise to the sky-scraping steeples of mountains. 

From the moment I stepped on the plane to return home, all I've been doing is counting the minutes until I return...

Thanks for coming along on my Greek adventure, darlings. 

What is your favorite vacation spot? Do you have any nifty spots that you are headed to this summer? I'd love to hear!

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    Andrea Stanley - Home - Wanderer Of The World: Santorini, Greece

Reader Comments (8)

I have been in love with Santorini since seeing a movie called "Summer Lovers" and vow one day that I will get there. My husband has been when he was 17 backpacking thru Europe on his way to Israel and still talks about what a wonderful dream island it was.
The photos are amazing and breathtaking in beauty. Thank you for sharing them with us.
BTW love the colorblock maxi dress and your denim skirt with stripe top. Very chic.

June 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramy

Thanks, Amy! I am quite in love with color blocking this season! :) I know you will love Santorini when you make it over. The photos just don't even do it justice!

June 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea Stanley

Hello! I love your blog! Can't remember how I got here. I wanted to send your article above to my friend who is planing a trip to Greece but the first link didn't work? do you mind to send to me so I can pass on? She is going for her honeymoon and needs help with planning her trip so thought this would be useful. Love your pictures. thx!
Kathryn

June 16, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKathryn C

HI Kathryn - Thanks for the sweet words! I've fixed the Athens link! Hope your friend has a lovely time in Greece! :) xx

June 17, 2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea Stanley

Ohhh my goodness, these photos are jawdropping; absolutely beautiful! I want to go to Greece, right away!

June 17, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKatie

Your photos are amazing!! I am in love with your colorblock maxi dress, too. Do you mind sharing who makes it?

We are taking the kids to the Florida Gulf coast in August (Sandestin Resort in Destin, to be exact.) Awesome beach and super fun area for kids. The hubby and I just got back from a trip to Napa Valley, CA....our adult playground! :)

June 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSusan

Hi Susan! Thanks for reading! Your trips sound fabulous! The dress is Aqua via Bloomingdale's! :)

June 19, 2011 | Registered CommenterAndrea Stanley

Love love your pictures. Thanks for sharing! Beautiful...

June 20, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGlenda

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