Vibrant Santorini is a place of romance, relaxation and our Fantasy Island!
Santorini is no ordinary island. Its warm Mediterranean seas, beaches, blue rooftops and white buildings are not just hypnotizing, but intoxicating. Step into a world where the people of Santorini believe in karma, good energy and destiny. Superstitions are strong here. Karma, destiny and “it’s meant to be” govern the local mindset making any sort of mishap seem alright.
Every corner of the island is picture perfect with white walls dotted with pops of color from bright magenta bougainvilleas, blue trimmed accents on homes and the ubiquitous presence of green succulents.
The energy is heightened as the island’s night life is about to begin. Even the homes at night are something to imbibe as the island transforms into a canvas of a million white lanterns.
Known for it’s spectacular sunsets that burst with colors so bright, people travel to Oia, from all over the world, to say goodnight to the day’s sun. With one heck of a performance, the beautiful people of Santorini and tourists alike clap their hands as the sun disappears.
How did we get here:
We flew to Santorini in Business Class on Vueling airlines. The flight was a little over two hours from Vienna, but you can get here easily from any European city.
Where we stayed:
Vedema, a Luxury Collection Resort, Santorini
We stayed at the Vedema Resort in Megalochori, Santorini. Upon arrival, the hotel had a shuttle that picked us up from the airport. We were escorted to the lobby and greeted with a nice cold sweet glass of fresh lemonade and met our concierge, Eleni. Eleni gave us a tour of the hotel and our suite. The suite had a nice handwritten message with a bottle of wine and a bowl of fresh fruit on the table. The room was decorated with cool palettes and shades of white. We had our own private deck with a jacuzzi, lounge chairs and a separate table and chairs, perfect for a hot cup of coffee in the morning.
The hotel staff made everything convenient for us. They had a shuttle to their private beach called Black Beach. There were other shuttles that went to White Beach and the island’s city center, Fira, all free of charge. Eleni made our dinner reservations, drew out places on a map to visit, and scheduled our ATV rental. By the way, you can get around the island on an ATV for thirty-euros a day. The motto “ask and you shall receive” is the type of mentality this staff exudes. If you are up for a catamaran ride or a helicopter tour around the island, they will schedule that for you as well.
The hotel bar is located in front of the pool, so if you are poolside take advantage of their cold mixed drinks. Breakfast served on the upper deck, (next to the pool) is also quite the spread. Beautifully decorated tables are set with food to pick from and are curated with a variety of fresh fruits, yoghurt, pastries, shakes, croissants, bread, coffee, juices, and wine, that would impress any Greek god!
If you are in the mood for fine jewelry, natural sponges, all things olive, this is the place to be. The streets in Fira are lined with one jewelry store after the next. Besides the sweeping views, there are a plethora of restaurants to rest after a day full of credit card swiping!
Blooms, Objects of Desire
While we were looking for something to bring home, a tilted plant in front of a store caught my eye. We walked over to set the plant upright and were immediately greeted by one of the owners, Stergios. We shopped for almost an hour and returned that evening to make our final purchases like we had promised. Here is when we met Stergios’ lovely wife Anthi (her name means flower/bloom, just like the store name). By the way, all of their products are handmade by local artisans or by Stergios’ wife, Anthi.
The following rode back on our ATV to say hello. Stergios and Anthi served us iced tea, and told us about their destined whirlwind romance, married only after three months. Destiny had them marry at the exact same church on the same day as her parents did 37 years before. They showed us photos of their wedding and reminisced about their happy day. Before we left, they recommended we go to Seaside, (an interior design project of Anthi’s) to meet their best friend Peter and to have a bite to eat.
Seaside by Notos:
Seaside by Notos is a restaurant and lounge with V.I.P cabanas that line the beach. We found Peter and introduced ourselves. He welcomed us with a big smile and guided us to our private cabana. While relaxing in our cabana, waiters were on hand to serve the restaurants menu.
We eventually moved from the cabana, to the restaurant and ordered the best appetizers on the island. As we ate and visited with Peter, had a lot of laughs, we spoke of our travels. He mentioned that he was planning a trip to Argentina at the same time period we would be there. In that moment, a champagne flute fell over onto a plate, making a loud sound that startled all of us. Peter was instantly elated and believed it to be a sign that we are destined to meet again in Argentina.
What we love most about Santorini, are the people we met. Santorini is a place we did not want to leave and a place we will return.
Fun Fact: All the blue top buildings on the island are churches.