greece travel guide!

Monday, May 29, 2017

amoudi bay
kastros restaurant 

i'm still in la la land y'all. this trip was the most fairytale- like dreamy vacation ever.  i keep telling everyone, if you're even considering visiting, do not think twice. just go!!! it is so worth it. you will not regret it!
i was originally going to split this post into three posts - Athens, Santorini, Mykonos. but i decided to just lay it all out there. 
i'll start with Santorini and work my way down to Athens.

paraga beach in mykonos

ok. picture this:
white & pastel clay homes, countless floral vines,  an infinite amount of deep blue sea that almost looks unreal because of how calm and blue it walking around barefoot on the warm pavement admiring the clay homes and the bright airy light all around with the perfect blue backdrop that makes this place oh so picture perfect.
that is how it feels to be in Santorini. it's so hard to put into words. it's every girl's or traceur's dream, lol. 💗
we took a short 40 min flight from Athens to Santorini and then a cab (25 euros) to our hotel- Sophia Luxury Suites. from our hotel we rented an ATV (70 euros for two days) and it was probably the best and the easiest way to get around.
our room at Sophia Suites was a dream (the aurora cave) book here.
not only did the infiniti pool start at the foot of your bedroom but at night the cave had little twilights on the roof that would twinkle and change colors. did i mention, such a fairytale?!!!
this hotel was in the town called Imerovigli. it was a 15 min ATV ride to the main town Oia (pronounced Ia). this worked out perfect for us because Imerovigli was much more quiet and peaceful but not too far from the main attractions. for this reason, it was also a little cheaper than the comparable ones in Oia which worked in our favor ;)

terrace at Alice Inn in Athens

amoudi Bay was an adorable little area with crystal clear water and yummy fresh seafood. we got to sit literally at the foot of the water. i mean literally. we were so close. your table could tip over into the bay, close. lolol. i loved it.
we also swam and m did some cliff jumping here for a bit (so fun!) then we headed to other parts of the island. 
because we rented an ATV, we were able to give ourselves a tour of the island. it was so nice to drive around with the salty air blowing in our face...(although i would get so angry at M for thinking he's a nascar driver, especially near the cliffs!!) be able to park literally anywhere that ATV would fit and to know that everything was just a short 10 min drive away.
we visited black sand beach, perivolous beach and kamari beach. i can't say i was too impressed by the beaches here, but Santorini isn't known for its beaches. there wasn't a whole lot of sand really to relax on. 
i love to take in different cultural practices when i'm in a new country and one if the neat customs here were people hanging floral wreaths outside of their homes to welcome Summer and the power of nature into their homes. it signified the defeat of Winter. how cool is that? (picture of floral wreath above) i may or may not have to introduce this practice to Columbus, GA next year! hahaha.

after a long anticipated wait and three hour bumpy boat ride, we finally made it to Mykonos! turns out there was a labor strike going on and nobody wanted to take us across the sea! this became an even bigger problem when we tried to get to Athens. we had to buy a last minute plane ticket which was also delayed and packed with angry, sweaty, hungry people. once we were actually in Athens there were large protests going on...they got so out of hand that a mob broke out and started throwing molotov cocktails!! the cops showed up with gas masks on and shot tear gas and the protestors dispersed! it was quite the experience to say the least. my nose was on fire!! i wasn't angry about it though. not only was it an experience but these poor people have all right to be angry! the taxes there are ridiculous, and pay grade not at all compensates for the work these people do. it's all a very sad situation. one of the things that make me grateful for living in the states.
anyways, back to Mykonos. Mykonos' temperature was much cooler than Santorini which was a bummer because the beaches were absolutely beautiful and it was so tempting to jump in...just until i would dip my feet in. the two beaches we visited were Paraga Beach and Paradise Beach. Paraga was absolutely beautiful. there were also rocks in the middle of the water so you could swim out there and sit. it was a nice small/ quaint beach while Paradise was much a much larger beach and seemed to be the nude/party part of town lol.
 because the weather wasn't cooperating with our swimming plans, we got to walk around the most adorable alleys and shop around longer. i loved that Mykonos was always up and poppin until late, late night. lol and i mean everything- not just the bars, but the shops, restaurants, and all. 
Mykonos seemed to be the "Vegas" of Greece. the prices were much higher than everywhere else and it seemed to be party central. 
the little alleys were my absolute favorite. i remember finding a picture on pinterest a couple years ago of this cute little restaurant in an alley right next to the sea! (kastros) and i told myself i just had to find this place one day. it was like a postcard brought to life. it was such a gratifying feeling seeing that picture in real life. and it looked just like that pin, maybe prettier. the food there was even better. probably our favorite food throughout this whole trip!

once we landed in Athens we got an Uber to our hotel. (yay for english speaking uber drivers!) we stayed at an airbnb also known as Alice Inn (here). it was at the foot of Acropolis which was the perfect location! we were able to walk to everything. 
btw, bring comfy shoes on this trip. no heels or flip flops. it's so rocky and requires a lot of walking! we literally walked everywhere thank goodness for my comfy white keds. ;)
athens like mykonos, was up all night. i remember this being a great memory because we could just walk out of our hotel and go to a restaurant or shopping or even for a little bite of gelato. 
y'all. the gelato here. o m g. americans have been lying to us our whole life. this isn't real gelato 
and the bakeries. i can't even describe the flavor of the cream. ahhhhhmazing. 
at the acropolis we thought about doing a tour but we ended up just going on our own time and reading up all the info as we approached each ancient remain. it was absolutely fascinating how they have preserved these buildings for over two thousand years!!!! talk about vintage. lol. some of the ruins were made out of white marble! white marble has been around since 430 BC. haha! i wanted to bring some over for my future kitchen 😂
one of the really fun things we did was a photo shoot with a local photographer (website here). i began to get skeptical and really wondered if we needed to take professional pictures but i'm so glad m encouraged me to go ahead and go through with it because it was an adventure in itself. it's always so hard when we're on trips for us to get nice pictures of ourselves. they're usually terrible selfies or very dark, sun-in-my-face-eye squinting photos. even m, who hates taking pictures loved it. we had 30 min to get 30 good shots in so we ran around town barefoot sneaking into peoples patios, climbing rooftops, searching for the perfect backdrop. i highly recommend kimonos photography. he was so thorough and detailed and paid attention to all the little details that matter to us girls. he also knew the exact spots to sneak into in order to get the perfect backdrop. it just became such a fun memory that i'm so glad we captured on a photo!

i was so surprised that i personally didn't take very many pictures! it was just so hard to not just sit back and take in all the beauty. just laying on our terrace really felt like a moment when time stood still.💗
i'm usually all about visiting new places and not repeating the same place twice, but santorini is one place i could go over and over and over again! i can't wait for us to go back!