Monday, July 11, 2016

Santorini Sunsets // A Greece Travel Diary {Part VI}

"Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not."

Memories worth a lifetime.

I'm finally here with my comprehensive {and long-awaited} recap of my travels to Santorini -- the last stop of our trip to Greece. I know I've been posting a bit more sporadically than I usually do, but the number of photos I had to go through and edit was slightly overwhelming to say the least. But without further ado...please read on for a full recap of our Santorini travels!

Besos,
RC

Day 1: Amoudi Bay and the Iconic Cliffs at Sunset

Santorini was our last stop in Greece after Mykonos, and we travelled over via Hellenic Seaway's high-speed boat. By the time we made our way to the villa we were staying in, it was around 2-3pm, so we spent the rest of the afternoon settling in before heading down to explore Amoudi Bay. For a full recap on Amoudi Bay, visit this post here. Afterwards, we made sure to head to a good spot to catch this view at sunset. I've wanted to see this view of Oia ever since I was a little girl, and I can safely say it exceeded my expectations.  Oia was everything we imagined and more. I liked to joke with my friends that you can't take a bad photo of Oia -- it's probably one of the most naturally photogenic places that I've seen. It's charming and romantic and completely surreal. There's no other place like this on Earth, and it is living proof that something beautiful can come from absolutely nothing. Because if you're familiar with the history of Santorini, it was created from a volcanic eruption and started out as a completely desolate island made of nothing but volcanic ash and eventually was rebuilt into this beautiful island overlooking the vast, blue caldera. It's one of those places where you see what's right in front of you and you wonder, "Am I really here right now? Is this place really real or is this all just a dream?"




Day 2: Fira & Sunset Point

Our second day in Santorini was quite the adventure. It was, in actuality, filled with mishaps but mishaps are how you truly experience adventure and they are the beginnings of the greatest stories. We had originally planned to do a sunset cruise this day, but due to last minute motor issues, our plans got moved and we swapped our day 2 and day 3 itineraries. We headed instead to Santos Wineries to explore the vineyards and do some wine tasting. Unfortunately, upon arrival we were told that all wine tours were cancelled for the day because the vineyard had been booked out for a wedding. We later found out that this wedding was actually the wedding of an extremely wealthy, 60-year old Saudi Arabian business man who was marrying a 26-year old model. It was one of the largest Santorini weddings ever, and they spent a total of $1 million euros. Despite being disappointed for missing the winery, we headed over to Fira instead to explore the city. Fira was never on our original itinerary since we simply couldn't fit it into our schedule, but we ended up being able to explore the city after all of our other plans were cancelled. We made sure to make our way back to Oia to catch the sunset again but from a different vantage point: Sunset Point. Make sure to get here an hour to an hour and a half before sunset as it gets extremely crowded.

I also want to say a special thank you to the nicest gentleman that work at the photography store in Oia. My camera's battery actually died after our first night in Santorini and I didn't bring my charger because one of my girl friends also used a Canon DSLR and I thought we had the same charger. To my horror, I went to charge my battery that evening and realized my battery pack did not fit in her charger and it required a completely different model. To say I was devastated was an understatement. I tried my luck with this store the next morning and they were nice enough to open a brand new charger they were selling and charged my battery for me at the store, free of charge for the entire morning. I've never been more grateful in my life for such kind people, so thank you, thank you, thank you! 



Sunset Point





Day 3: Imerovigli and Sunset Cruise

On our last full day in Santorini we woke up early to catch photos before the rest of Oia woke up and then headed over to Imerovigli per our photographer's suggestion. We loved Imerovigli and I would highly recommend it if you have the time to visit. It's a beautiful little town and I'm so glad we got the chance to stop by. I'll be sharing photos from our morning in my final Greece travel diary, so stay tuned! We headed out in the afternoon for our sunset cruise which would take us around the entire south side of the island. We got to see Red Beach, White Beach, and one of the black beaches. We made a couple stops to swim in the open sea and also stopped by the famous hot springs {photo above} where we were able to swim in after our boat anchored. I highly recommend doing a cruise excursion in Santorini as well as Mykonos because it really gives you an experience of the island you wouldn't otherwise get. We had a nice dinner on the boat and then sailed over to watch our final sunset in Santorini. I have to say...that last sunset on that boat was like no other sunset I've experience in my lifetime. While the cliffs were beautiful at dusk and while the view was amazing from Sunset Point, there was something about watching the infamous Santorini Sunset on a boat, in the open sea, with nothing surrounding you and no other sounds or people besides the crashing waves. While the rest of my friends and the passengers watched the sun dip below the horizon from the upper deck, I snuck downstairs to the back of the yacht and watched as the sky changed from being a fiery orange to tinged with red, then pink and purple before the colors of the ocean swept into the sky as it changed to its inevitable blue -- like the midnight and like the sea. It's a moment I will forever remember...a moment worth a lifetime.






Kalinihta, Santorini

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