Santorini, Greece. I dreamt about this place since I was 10 years old when I watched a movie about a pair of pants… and as lame as that sounds, it was worth the build up. The place with white houses that resemble clouds, with roofs as blue as the Aegean Sea. The place with an assortment of black, red and white sand beaches. The place where the seafood melts in your mouth and the jewelry shops twinkle and sparkle in the Mediterranean sunlight. This place was heaven.
When I first arrived to my hotel in Kamari, Santorini, which is home to the most famous black sand beach on the island, I was blown away by the stunning view that would await me from my room. My hotel was up on a hill and had the most incredible view of the town of Kamari and the Sea looking straight out, the famous cities Fira and Oia to my left, and the Volcano to my right. I was in heaven. Right away I went out on my balcony to Facetime my parents and share my excitement. After assuring them I had arrived safely, and bragging about my awesome setup, I was off to explore the capital of Santorini, Fira.
Fira is located on the top of a hill in the center of the island, and has all of the best restaurants and jewelry, souvenir, and clothing shops. I got lost exploring the town, weaving in and out of the small cobblestone paths. But I didn’t care. I didn’t care if I would stay lostin this place forever. It honestly felt like I was wondering through the clouds and I couldn’t get over how blue the sky and the sea were. Eventually, after a few purchases and the most delicious Greek salad, I found my way back to the bus stop to take off for my next destination, Oia for the sunset.
If you’ve ever had the pleasure of watching “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” (best movie, ever), then Oia is the place you picture when you think of Santorini. This is the classic depiction of the island, with the breathtaking view of the whitewashed homes and blue roofs overlooking the sea. This also happens to be the best place on the island for the sunset. Once again, when I arrived to Oia I got lost exploring through the paths to try and find the best spot to sit back and enjoy the view. I found a place at one of the highest points in the city in the ruins of the old Oia Castle. The view, yet again, was amazing.
The next day I spent the morning laying out and swimming at the black sand beach. I decided to spend the afternoon in Oia again to do some more exploring. I ate a delicious gyro, bought some beautiful gifts for my family, and wandered down the hill to find another slice of heaven. I stumbled upon the port that is known as the fisherman’s port, filled with colorful little boats and small seafood restaurants sitting literally right on the edge of the sea. This place just kept amazing me. I took a walk around the port and found the perfect spot to go for a swim. The water was cool, and the view was… you get it. I ate the best calamari that I’ve ever had in my life at one of the small restaurants right on the edge of the water. Then I had the opportunity to check something off my bucket list that I’ve always wanted to do – I rode a donkey back up to Oia. Life was so good.
My trip to Santorini was without a doubt the best weekend I’ve ever had, and I can’t wait to return to this island. This piece of heaven.
By: Sylvia Moulthrop, 2015 Forum-Nexus alumna