TRAVEL, FASHION

Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide

September 21, 2016
HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide

First stop on our Greek Honeymoon Adventure, the beautiful Santorini! Greece has been at the top of our travel bucketlist for many years. The combination of scenic views and beaches of all types, delicious fresh food, and endless options for both adventure and relaxation make Greece a perfect honeymoon location. We began our trip around the Cyclades on the island of Santorini, followed by Folegandros and Mykonos.

HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideOur lovely hotel in the village of Oia, Aris Caves^^ We felt like we found the perfect hidden gem, centrally located just off the main street, but far enough down to be completely quiet and private. The room had everything you could need: comfortable bed, nice bathroom, kitchenette, and a wonderful private deck overlooking the caldera with a breakfast table, lounge bed and hot tub.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter a long day of travel, we did our best to soak in the views before heading to dinner. Every direction you look is like a postcard and the beauty of it all is overwhelming, especially for those of us who have a love affair with the color white *raising hand*HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideGlowing sunlight on the way to dinner^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideWe had dinner at 1800 Restaurant, located right off the main street in Oia in an old captain’s style house built in 1854. The authentic, vintage decor was a beautiful nod to the past, and the food was excellent, classic greek dishes with a modern twist. Ask for a seat on the garden terrace and watch the sun set over the village with a glass of local Assyrtiko wine.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter a much needed full night of sleep, we grabbed some greek breakfast at Skiza Cafe close by, and spent our first full day exploring Oia. This beautiful village is known for its white washed cave style buildings, infamous blue domed churches and historic sea captain mansions. The caldera views are really unbelievable, even after several days of gazing at the buildings cascading down the cliffs, its still hard to comprehend just how breathtaking it all is.
HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideBeautiful plants everywhere^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideWinding our way through the streets, we found a perfect view of two of the main blue domed churches^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideIn Oia you will find a mix of boutiques selling higher end designer brands, as well as smaller, more local brands, and a whole range of souvenir type shops. We popped in several stores selling everything from shoes and clothing, to jewelry and sunglasses, art work, and artisan local products.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideOne of our favorite finds was Atlantis Bookshop which was opened by a group of expats back in 2004. The small store hold more books that you would think, including many rare first edition classics, as well as books in many different languages and genres. If you do purchase a book there, the owners will mark the inside cover with an Atlantis Bookshop stamp so you will always remember where the book came from. And Craig, one of the founders who was in the store during our visit, was extremely friendly and knowledgable about the island, so make sure and pick his brain for recommendations on local spots to check out.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter a day of exploring, we rested at our hotel for a bit and ventured back out to view the sunset from Oia’s Kastro at the far tip of the island. It get’s very crowded, but the view really is a must see. The glow of the sun setting on the white-washed buildings feels like absolute magic.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter sunset, we took the advice from Craig at Atlantis and made our way to what would become one of our favorite areas in Oia. Tucked back behind the main strip is a street lined with some of the villages best restaurants including Karma, Sphinx, Candouni, and a great wine bar Oia Vineyart. We had dinner at the very charming Candouni, which has a very romantic front terrace surrounded by vines and lit with candles. After, we grabbed some sweet treats to go from Melenio Cafe, well known for their beautiful selection of handmade cakes and desserts.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideWe woke up early most mornings to watch the sun rise over the caldera^^ The village is so quiet in the early morning, and there is a real sense of peace and tranquility. Sunset is hard to beat in Oia, but I would say sunrise gives it a real run for its money.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideLooking for a to-go spot for some breakfast, we found iFeel, serving fresh pressed juices, home made sandwiches and granola bars—perfect to enjoy back at our hotel porch. After a morning of relaxing around our room, we made made our way down to Ammoudi Port by foot, winding down the same path used by the famous donkeys. The walk provides a beautiful view, and is a nice way to burn some extra calories for the prize at the bottom: lunch at one of the many tavernas.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideLunch at Dimitris on the water^^ We enjoyed some of their famous tomato fritters and a delicious fresh caught grilled Sea Bass.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide joe-catamaranAfter lunch, we hopped on a catamaran for a day sailing around the caldera. We made our way to the volcanic hot springs for a swim, then to Santorini’s White Beach, to the Red Beach for some snorkeling and a delicious dinner, and finally back through the caldera to watch the sun set over Oia. Santorini White BeachSantorini’s White Beach – which can only be reached by boat^^
HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide Delicious dinner prepared right on board^^ Plus complimentary wine, mixed drinks and ouzo all day.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideOur day sailing the caldera was one of our favorites from the entire trip. Watching the sun set over Oia from the water was a whole new perspective and an experience we will never forget. The boat crew did a wonderful job and made every part of the excursion a lot of fun.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideDoubling up on birthday smoothies! ^^reformation-dress-duo HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide Soaking in the views before heading to lunch in Pyrgos Kallistis^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide Phenomenal restaurant in Pyrgos, the lovely Selene!^^

Selene is separated into two spaces: Selene Restaurant with a more modernist approach on Greek cuisine only open for dinner, and Selene Meze & Wine which operates as a taverna, a more casual space open all-day serving “meze” or small plates to share and wines exclusively produced on the island. They have also recently created the Selene Experience, a variety of cooking/tasting courses in association with the Santorini of the Past museum located next door—which look not only delicious but very fun and educational. Perfect for returning home and impressing all your friends and family with your new cooking skills.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide Obviously have to order fries topped with cheese on your birthday, yummmm^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideDelicious lunch complete with a surprise birthday dessert. Molten chocolate cake topped with vanilla gelato and dark cherries, YUM ^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide Santorini of the Past Museum located next door to Selene^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter lunch we spent some time exploring Pyrgos, one of the most beautiful villages of Santorini. The village was built around a medieval castle and is located in one of the highest points of the island offering magnificent views. Pyrgos is also surrounded by the islands vineyards and farmland, making it a perfect location for some of the islands best restaurants, including Selene, Mataxy Mas, and Franco’s CafeHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideUnbelievable views from the old castle ruins^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideHANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideEnjoying a glass of champagne on the rooftop terrace at Franco’s Cafe before heading off on our sunset wine tour^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideWe’ve been on many wine tours and tastings before, but this tour stood out as far as quality of education and amount of wine/food served. Our tour guide Michael was exceptional, giving us loads of information on the history of Santorini wines as well as explaining in a very straightforward way how to best pair wine and food. Wine drinking for us will never be the same! Our group consisted of 4 couples including a couple from South Africa, a couple from Melbourne, and a couple from New York—making the tour a great way to meet people and make some new friends.

The wine tour started off at Boutari Winery, one of the oldest in Santorini, and then on to Gavalas Winery, a smaller family owned winery on the island well known for their “Night Wine” and outstanding Vinsanto.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideOur final stop was at Venetsanos Winery perched on the cliffside where we enjoyed the sunset before trying several wines and a surprise light dinner. Michael even brought us all a round of chocolate cake as a special surprise for my birthday. Having a group of newly made friends from across the globe sing happy birthday is definitely something I will never forget. vinsanto-winery-santorini-2 HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide^^Birthday cheers! HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter the tour finished, our group all headed to Vineyart Wine Bar in Oia for more drinks, and finally ended with a late-night gyro from Pitogyros. Perfect end to a perfect birthday!HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideOur last day on the island, we rented a car and began our day exploring the village of Imerovigli. Located at the highest elevation along the caldera, the views are completely different from Oia, looking directly into the center of the volcano. Imerovigli is much quieter than Oia or Fira, mainly home to some of the island most luxurious resorts and a few restaurants. The village connects into Firostefani and the Fira to the south, with Fira being the port for all cruise ships. We decided to skip Fira altogether for this reason, as we found it to be the most crowded and least charming village.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide Looking north toward Oia^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideSkaros Rock and the pool at Grace Hotel^^HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideNext we made our way to the east side of the island and stopped at Perissa Beach. The beaches in Santorini are made from black sand, which gets very hot, but is really unique and actually quite pretty. And they’re lined with fun beach clubs and restaurants, perfect for spending a day relaxing off the caldera.HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel Guide HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideAfter some beach time, we drove to the farthest tip of the island and climbed our way up to the Akrotiri Lighthouse. It’s amazing to see the crescent shaped island from all different perspectives and if you plan a visit to Santorini, I highly suggest making your way off the main caldera to see as much of the island as you can.

Before the sun began to set, we made our way back to Oia for a final sunset viewing and ended our time in Santorini with dinner at Sphinx, which turned out to be one of our favorite meals in Santorini.
HANNAH SHELBY: Santorini | Photo Diary + Travel GuideWe had such an amazing time in Santorini. After 5 days, I was wishing we still had more time to explore everything this unbelievably beautiful island has to offer. From the views, to the food, the people, and all the activities available, Santorini easily lands itself as one of the top places I’ve visited. We can’t wait to return one day and experience the magic all over again.

TRAVEL TIPS

No heels needed. I brought them with the same idea of “I wont wear them during the day, maybe just change in to them for dinner.” I didn’t wear heels once on the entire trip. Between the stairs and the cobblestone streets, heels just don’t work well in this environment. You could possibly get away with a wedge, but even that is risky.

Bring a jacket, even in the peak of summer. We went end of August, which is one of the hottest months of the year. While the sun and lack of shade make it very hot during the day, at night it cools down significantly and the breeze can add a bit of chill to the air.

Pack some good sunscreen. With consistent sunny days and almost no clouds, the sun is very intense, even if you aren’t spending a day on the beach. Make sure any areas exposed to the sun get covered in sunscreen so you don’t spend the rest of your trip as red as a Greek tomato.

Have some cash on hand, but most places accept credit cards. Make sure and let your credit card company know you will be making purchases in Greece, and if you can, bring a card with no exchange rate fees.

Make reservations when you can. Especially for peak dinner times like right after sunset.

If you arrive to Santorini from the port, expect a travel time of 30 mins to an hour to arrive at your hotel, depending on where you are saying. It can take awhile just to get from the port up to the main roads.

When to visit: we visited Santorini at the very end of Greece’s “high season” (July and August) and found the crowds to be completely manageable, but likely crowds had already began to taper down while we were there. If you’re looking for more quiet months with excellent weather, June and September are your best bets.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

OIA:

Restaurants: 1800 Restaurant, Ambrosia, Sphinx, Candouni, Karma, Oia Vineyart, Pitogyros, Lolita’s, iFeel

Hotels: Aris Caves, 1864 The Sea Captian’s House, Katikies, Canaves Oia, Perlovas

IMEROVIGLI:

Restaurants: Santoro, Ovac, Mezzo

Hotels: Grace, Cavotagoo

PYRGOS KALLISTIS:

Restaurants: Selene, Metaxy Mas, Rosemary, Franco’s Cafe

ACTIVITIES:

Sunset-Oia Sailing Tours

Santorini Wine Adventure

Cooking Courses at Selene

Blue Dress | Elizabeth and James (similar here)

Tan Wrap Sandals | Madewell (similar here)

Purse | Chloe

Tortoise Sunglasses | Ray-ban

Denim Cutoff Shorts | RE/DONE (similar here)

Blue Off-the-shoulder Top | Club Monaco (similar here)

Braided Wrap Sandals | Soludos

White Off-the-shoulder Dress | Stone Cold Fox

Straw Hat | Lack of Color

Beach Bag | Monsurat de Lucca (similar here)

White Two Piece Dress | Reformation

Round Sunglasses | Ray-ban

White Off-the-shoulder Top | ZARA

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