Day 1-2: Santorini
Our first flight, post COVID-19, went smoothly; airports were home to tumbleweeds and fellow passengers were avid mask wearers. It was a strange new norm but we were happy to escape the monotony (and weather) of UK life. Our next three insouciant weeks, were to be spent Greek island-hopping, seeking uncrowded beaches and freedom, after such a torrid year.
Our first stop, uber-famous Santorini, was frosted with sugar-cubed houses, blue-domed churches and vertiginous cliffs in psychedelic hues. We arrived in time for a quick dip in the pool before heading to the Akrotiri Archaeological Site, an ancient Cretan settlement unearthed under tons of lava. After a quick history lesson, we headed to Aroma Avli winery for dinner. After four long months of cooking seemingly thousands of dinners for three ravenous children, being served fresh sea bass was heaven on a plate.
We only had a short time to explore Santorini so we wanted to make the most of it. We were up bright and early the next morning to grab fresh spanakopita at the local bakery, before the start of our Fira to Oia coastal hike. 10 km in length, along the rim of the caldera, it should have taken 3-4 hours to complete but embarrassingly took us a whole day, due to the sheer abundance of pretty churches, rocky outcrops, quaint villages and the most breath-taking caldera views imaginable. The last section of the walk was the wildest with cobbled walkways turning into narrow, cliff paths reminiscent of Frodo’s journey to Mordor.
In Oia (pronounced EE-ah), we popped into Atlantis Books, a whimsical bookshop with hobbit-like rooms, before a sunset dinner overlooking the caldera.