On Monday afternoon, I had my first EasyJet experience (So. Much. Orange.) as we flew from London to Santorini. The island is extremely rocky and mountainous (you’d kill yourself in heels). Our cab parked at the base of the town square and a very sweet man, Visillus lugged our luggage up the hill and then down dozens of tiny, uneven, winding stairs to our villa. And thank god for him — we’d never have made it on our own!
The villa was unlike anything I’d ever seen. Encased in the side of a hill, it was equal distance from the ocean as it was the top of the town. Our private balcony gave us a crystal clear view of Oia, made up of mostly white-washed buildings.
Many of the restaurants have a few flights of stairs and it’s always worth the climb for the view you’ll get. If you order anything with cheese, be prepared for massive blocks of feta placed on top!
We ate at so many great restaurants. One of our favorite spots for dinner was King Neptune, which has been around since the 1950s but we also enjoyed the smaller cafes all around town. I loved Pelekanos in particular which had jars and colanders as light fixtures (and a very strong wifi signal, which is hard to come by on the island). Plus, their food was great; check out this fruit and yogurt combo!
If sweets are more your style, there are tons of dessert places with crepes, ice cream, gelato and coffee drinks. The real star of the show when it came to sweets though was Lolita’s Gelato. Modern, stylish and with a killer identity to boot, we ended up here at least once a day.
This was our view from one of the restaurants — pretty amazing, right? Ironically, the clock on the side of this tower doesn’t work which basically sums up the pace of island life. Prepare to slow down. A lot.
The white buildings are meant to reflect the intense sun. The mornings and evenings are breezy but mid-day, prepare to roast! Drinking tap water is not recommended so remember to carry your own.
While most of the buildings are white, there are some surprises, mostly in pastel tones. And colorful doors are everywhere.
There are a ton of small, private resorts tucked away down side alleys.
The signs and menus in Santorini are a mix of Greek and English. None of us knew any Greek and still, we didn’t have any trouble getting around or ordering food.
There’s a richness of textures, patterns and typography everywhere. Even with all the tourists, shops and roadside stands, nothing felt overly commercial or Americanized. I didn’t notice any chain shops at all and that made me appreciate the island even more.
Santorini is somewhere that was never on my radar to visit but I came along because Gala wanted to experience it for her 30th birthday. And, I am beyond glad that I did. It’s one of those places that transports you to a different time and place and out of all the traveling I’ve done, this rates in my mind as the most unique. If there’s a way you can make it happen, go. Believe me when I say that there’s magic around every corner.
Not content to just experience the magic on land, we set out on the Aegean Sea last night on a sailboat. Five hours later, as we watched the sun set, I felt incredibly thankful to be experiencing this trip with two of my BFF’s.
I have more to share about Santorini but in the meantime, you can follow along with my adventures in real time on Instagram and Twitter.