Our Honeymoon Part 1 - Santorini, Greece!
Hello friends! Happy Friday :). Since I've finished recapping our wedding on the blog, I also wanted to share our honeymoon travels with you. Dan planned our entire honeymoon - I know, I'm so lucky. I find planning travel abroad to be really overwhelming, so I am so grateful he did all the hard work! We both knew that we wanted to take advantage of our honeymoon to travel places we'd never been before in Europe, so we ultimately decided on Greece and Italy. Croatia was a SUPER close third on our list, and I still really want to go eventually. Our first stop was Santorini, Greece and then we made our way through Italy.
Today I'm going to fill you in on all of our Santorini adventures - stay tuned for our travels through Italy in a future post!
We gave ourselves the full day after our wedding to recover, sleep (KEY!), and unpack, and then we flew out to Toronto. It was an easy flight from Pittsburgh which was greatly appreciated before our long flights started. Toronto is a really amazing city that I had never been to before, so we took advantage of the day we arrived and the following morning to explore! We walked around the St. Lawrence indoor market, as well as the Distillery District downtown. There were so many cool shops and I wished we had more time to explore, but we were off on our flight around noon that day.
It was a 10 hour flight to Athens (this was a little tough because we didn't have TV's, but on the bright side I finished an entire book!) and then took another short flight to Santorini. I will say, as you might expect, the Santorini airport is not glamorous. It's hot, crowded, and really small (I was wondering if it was ACTUALLY the airport, haha #alwaysskeptical). But once we took a (somewhat sketchy) cab to our bed and breakfast, we were in paradise! There are different options on the island to stay, but we stayed in Fira.
Day 1: The first morning, we woke up SUPER late, which we never do. Like 10AM late. Jet lag will do that to you! We decided it was a good morning to go on a hike we had heard about when we were researching. The hike is from Fira to Oia, which is farther down the island. Oia is a super popular place to watch the sun set in the evenings, so we decided to hike in the morning to avoid some crowds!
If you ever happen to find yourself on the same hike, BE PREPARED! We took 4 giant bottles of water and made sure we covered every inch of ourselves with sunscreen. It's a really long hike - it probably took 2-3 hours in total, so just be aware of that. It was amazing to see so much of the island, but by the time we got to Oia, we were pretty worn out. We grabbed a (super delicious and fresh) lunch, took a local bus back to Fira, and promptly camped out by the pool at our bed and breakfast. We ventured into town most of the evenings to make sure that we caught the sunset. I loved where we stayed because we were completely secluded from the busy streets, but so close to all the action! We came back to the B&B and crashed - still getting over that jet lag.
Day 2: On the morning of our second day we had the amazing breakfast at our bed and breakfast (the greek yogurt in Greece is truly the best), hung out by the pool (you'll notice a theme here), and then went on a wine tour! This was one of my absolute favorite things we did in Greece - our tour guide was AMAZING - super knowledgeable and also extremely funny. I loved getting to know the other families and couples that were on the tour with us as well (and drinking a lot of wine will do that to you!) We went to three local wineries, learned about the vineyards and varietals, tried the amazing wine and cheese, and then headed to our final spot where we watched the most beautiful view of the sunset. You really can't imagine a more beautiful place - everyone talks about the blue water and white buildings but to actually see it all in person was a dream come true!
Day 3: Our third day was super laid back. We spent time by the pool almost all day (me directly in the sun, Dan under the umbrella), and then went out to a beautiful dinner at a place called Metaximas. If you're ever in Santorini - go here! The atmosphere and the food were just absolutely amazing. I really needed a day to just soak in the relaxation from the wedding craziness, and this was definitely the perfect pace I needed.
Day 4: On our fourth day we went on a yacht cruise around the island. THIS WAS AMAZING! I totally thought that it was going to be cheesy and touristy, and it was NOT. We stopped at the red beach, white beach, and black beach on the island. We got to dive into the beautiful ocean each time the yacht put the anchor down, and they even cooked us lunch (which was SOO good - Greek food is underrated in my opinion) with lots of local wine. Again, I really loved getting to know the people who were on the tour on the same day as us, and just really chill out in the beautiful ocean. Honestly, there's nowhere I feel more at home than in the water (Pisces rising, what can I say?). When we got back after our morning/afternoon excursion I took a LONG nap, and then we ate gyros in bed. Not too shabby :).
Day 5: We slept in and enjoyed our greek yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and fresh fruit for breakfast. Then, we walked around the local shops around the island (I actually didn't end up buying anything in Santorini!), grabbed a quick gyro lunch and hung out by the pool, and eventually got cocktails while watching the sun set. I can't say it enough - sunset was UNREAL!
Day 6: We had to pack up pretty early in the morning and head out on our flight to Italy. We had SUCH a wonderful and relaxing time in Greece, and would definitely go back (although, most likely to a different island!).
Overall, Santorini was everything I hoped it would be. I was really looking at this part of the trip as a way to relax and decompress after the hectic pace of the wedding, and it did NOT disappoint. I thought that the food was delicious as well! I had heard mixed reviews, but I could honestly eat the local gyros every day - they were THAT good.
Have you ever been to Greece? I'd love to hear your experience!