A trip to Greece is incomplete without a visit to the Greek Islands of the Cyclades.
I'm typically a city-sort of person. I love walking in bustling areas, taking in the energy of the people, the buildings, and (of course!) the food. I enjoyed Athens a lot. It was rich with history, full of culture, and had great food.
Having said that, I can see why most people flock to the islands when they visit Greece. The scenery alone is absolutely phenomenal. Furthermore, after a few days in Athens (which can start to feel crowded, polluted, and overwhelming), the Greek isles are a much needed oasis from the craziness of it all.
For this trip, due to limited time, I only visited one island - Santorini.
Despite the short duration of my trip, I absolute will never forget this magical place.
The island is small, with the two major towns (Thira and Oia) perched high on top of the steep cliff. You get gorgeous ocean views from almost every building on the island.
The town we stayed in, Oia (pronounced ee-ya), is well known for its blue-domed white buildings. It's also known as the location for one of the most beautiful and romantic sunsets in the world.
One of my favorite experiences in Santorini was hiking the six-mile trail between Thira and Santorini. The scenery is breathtaking throughout (rolling hills, expansive ocean, a gorgeous sunset) plus the exercise is refreshing (can you see us walking in the picture?).
Of course, by the end of that hike we were famished. Though we had already traversed six miles, we made another tiring and steep descent down to the bottom of the island. You can see the steps leading all the way down to the oceanside.
We ate at a well-known seafood shanty with prime outdoor seats facing the famous sunset. Essentially, you pick out your fish and they grill it for you.
In Greece, fish is served with the head and tail (though they do filet it for you!). The preparation is simple (grilled with a splash of lemon), but very good. We also tried some traditional Greek appetizers, such as Greek salad and roasted eggplant. We also had deep fried tomatoes, which is a specialty of Santorini (known for its tomatoes).
Overall, we enjoyed our meal very much. Because we were visiting off-season, the fish was not as fresh as we would have liked (we saw some cloudy eyes while picking out fish - never a good sign!). Nevertheless, we enjoyed our meal immensely, and our waiter was super nice. In fact, he was so nice that he drove us all back up the "mountain" to our hotel at the top so we wouldn't have to climb the steep stairs ourselves.
We slept very very well that night.
This post is a part of a larger series on Greece
Greetings from Greece!
Sweets in Greece
Gyros, Souvlakis, and Pitas, Oh My!
Tavernas - Everyday Dining in Greece
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[…] Oh Santorini, I have such fond memories of you. I remember the stunning scenery, the slower pace of life, and the friendly people. And the food! I’m a huge fan of hummus, halloumi cheese, anything made with fava beans, and good olive oil. […]