Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Santorini, Greece

All I have to say is Santorini superseded my expectations and I will be back! I did not realize until I was there that there are two main towns for tourists on the island. The first is the one that is the most popular, Oía and the second, Thía. We spend a day in each because we stayed right outside the main town of Thíra (see below for our oasis of a hotel)!
Meteor Cafe
Unfortunately, I never went to this cafe, but I had to get a picture of it when I saw it because I know it is super popular among locals! I will be trying it next time. 
Walking around Oía honestly felt like it was out of a dream. Everywhere you look is another beautiful view or a charming store. I have a love for evil eyes & I actually got a bracelet from one of the little boutiques.
Atlantic Books
We stopped in this world-renowned bookstore and every wall was completely full. I know during the summer months it has a rooftop with a beautiful view, but unfortunately, it was not open in April.
Melenio Cafe
This cafe is a must when in Santorini! Not only does it have this unreal view, but it also had amazing pastries including super traditional baklava. If you are too full from all of the gyros you can always just get a drink (or two) and enjoy the view. 
Three Blue Domes
Of course, you must get a glimpse at the Three Blue Domes that Santorini is known for. Since the streets are narrow it can be very confusing on how to get to the best viewing spot, so I used this website with photos to guide the way: https://www.cheerfulegg.com/2017/05/07/how-to-find-the-famous-three-blue-domes-in-santorini/ It helped a ton!
For dinner, we walked all the way down to Amoundi Bay and saw donkeys along the way. I was very against riding the donkeys for comfort and animal abuse reasons, but if you want to this is the place to go! At sunset, these steps and Amoundi Bay are amongst the best places to enjoy the best part of the day (in my opinion)!
Thíra is a little less recognizable amongst tourists, but it has great shopping and there's not a bad view in Santorini. I loved walking around here and shopping for souvenirs.
There were plenty of boutiques and these fish pedicure places in the little streets along with plenty of restaurants and rooftop bars. 
V Lounge
To watch the famous Santorini sunset we went to V Lounge where they had blankets and delicious drinks for us to take in the world-renown views!
Not only was the sunset beautiful, but it also lit up the white buildings and made them glow. 
Nea Kameni Volcano
I highly recommend this rooftop bar because of their incomparable view of the volcano. When booking a trip to Santorini you will slowly recognize how much the people of Santorini value volcano views.
Amoundi Fish Tavern
This was by far my favorite meal in Santorini! Not only were we right on the water, but it also tasted delicious and fresh. I honestly expected this place to be a tourist trap, but it was reasonably priced and to be honest the other places in the bay looked like they attracted more tourists and were not as good. It might be intimidating to go down all of the steps and down to the bay, but it is 100% worth the trek!
Theonis Kitchen
This place is in Thíra and does not have a view, but I promise it is delicious. We went to another place in Thíra with a breath-taking view and it was one of the worst meals I had in Europe, so make sure to check photos of the food before eating somewhere and try hole in the walls like this one!
Pito Gyros
You cannot go to Greece without trying a gyro! My advice is to only get gyros from to-go places where you receive them like this and not at a sit-down restaurant. I found two places that are musts for gyros through my research and those were this one in Oía and Lucky's in Thíra. 
Lilium Hotel Santorini
 Like I said above we stayed just outside of Thíra at Lilium Hotel! It was the perfect place to get away from the busy little towns but was close enough to be able to go to into town whenever we wanted. 
The small restaurant at the hotel provided us with a huge, traditional breakfast buffet every day, which was very convenient. There was also no part of the property that does not have a view!
This is what a majority of the rooms look like and then some overlook the pool!
One of the best parts about this hotel is that they provided a shuttle to take us to the city center of Thíra. The staff was also super welcoming and open to sharing their love of Santorini with us! They gave us Santorini tourist books as a gift for staying with them, too. I'm so grateful my friend found this hotel for us to stay in because we were really unsure where to stay at first, but this could not have been more perfect!

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