Santorini – Love at First Sight, April 2015

“What was your favorite destination?”

We’ve been asked this question numerous times as we journeyed around the world and increasingly more now that we’ve returned.  It’s almost impossible to answer this question, as we loved so many different countries and cities for several unique reasons.  But, if I were forced to choose one, for the beauty alone…I think I’d have to choose Santorini, a small, friendly island off the coast of Greece.  From the moment I set eyes on this island, it was “Love at First Sight.”

Years ago, Ryan had the opportunity to visit Santorini while studying a semester abroad at Edinburgh.  He fell in love then and always promised to return with me.  Hearing so many wonderful things about the island, and having seen stunning photography captured in books and postcards, I have to admit, I was a little afraid of being disappointed when I encountered the real thing.  It was needless worrying.  Take a look!

Santorini is best known for its dramatic vistas.  Brilliantly white buildings accented with dazzling blue rooftops cling to the sides of its cliffs.  Photos capturing Santorini appear almost surreal and unless you visit, you may even believe them fictitious.  You’d be wrong.

The best views, in my opinion, are from the town of Oia, which is located about six miles from Fira, on the north end of the island.  We opted to stay here for our ten days.  An overwhelming number of photos were captured of this beautiful village, so I dedicated the next post to Oia alone!

The island itself is gorgeous.  There are beautiful water views everywhere you look and flowers bursting forth full of color, at least in April!  I especially loved the contrast between the intense blues and the stark whites that characterize Santorini…

…and the doorways, paths, and stairs meandering throughout the village.  Every entrance, every doorway is unique.  Some appear ancient while others are modern and new, with brightly painted colors.

And then there were the bells!  We could see them everywhere, topping steeples and churches, and almost always with the azure sea serving as a backdrop.

The best way for me to share my love of this island with you is through my photos, though truly they only capture a fraction of the beauty we enjoyed every day.  I hope you enjoy!  More to come soon.  

Quick Tips:

Ferry:  We reached Santorini by catching a comfortable eight hour ferry ride from Athens.  While you can also hop over on a short flight, we wanted our first sighting to be by sea, as we’ve heard the views can be stunning!  We heard correctly and if you have the time, it really is worth the sail.  Below is the ship we sailed, the Blue Star.  We reserved seats as well, so we could sail together.

Transport:  You can either rent a car, take a bus around the island (though there are not many), or arrange to have a taxi transport you.  We opted to have a car transfer us from the ferry port on arrival and to the airport on departure, as that seemed the easiest and most efficient choice.  During our stay, however, we rented a car for a few days to explore the beaches and the rest of the island.  The remainder of the time, we just walked around the village of Oia.

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