Santorini – The Place For Love
Our introduction to Santorini was a rocky one. Actually, rocky is an understatement. Let me just say, I may or may not have filmed an angry ‘selfie’ video whilst hiking for 20 minutes, wearing multiple backpacks in the heat of the day, because of a miscommunication and stuff-up between Guy and I.
I’m normally not the fiery, fighting type, but after being frustrated that we missed our stop and had driven past our hotel, only finding that we had to walk back (in 30° heat, mind you!), and then missing the turn to walk past the hotel in the other direction, well, let’s just say, Guy was wise to keep his distance from me.
The thing with Santorini though, is that it’s quite hard to stay angry for long. I’m not sure if it’s the crisp sea breeze that brushes through the hair, the warm sunshine that kisses the skin or the sight of the deep blue sea beckoning the clean, white buildings on the cliffs, but there is a sense of bliss and tranquility there.
Once we arrived at our gorgeous accommodation and stepped out onto our private terrace to overlook the Caldera, well, all was forgiven and forgotten. The Santorini Effect had taken over.
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There is something about Santorini that makes it so easy to fall in love, not just with the one you are with, but with the place itself. If you are loved up, or looking to fall in love, here’s what you should see and do in Santorini.
Kiss at Sunset
Santorini is well known for its unbelievable sunset and you should take advantage of it by sharing a smooch with that special someone. Now if your sort of foreplay is fighting through hundreds of people and battling for the perfect vantage point to see the sunset through the crowds, then you’re in luck!
Admire the Caldera
The Caldera is one of those stunning visuals that once you see it, it tends to linger for a while. Although dormant, Santorini is a volcanic island, and the caldera is the visible basin of the submerged volcano. Formed over 3,500 years ago, the caldera of Santorini is admired by tourists and geologists alike. The mix of white washed walls, blue domes and dramatic cliff faces create a unique view that simple pictures cannot capture completely.
Popular and iconic towns such as Fira and Oía are found here, with beautiful, clean winding streets, cute cafes, hip bars and panoramic views of the Santorini Caldera. At sunset, this cove takes on an almost spiritual hue and is definitely the most romantic place you can visit in Santorini.
If food is your passion, Santorini will not disappoint. Enjoy a succulent lamb kebab overlooking the blue-domed churches at Seagull Restaurant (OIA, Santorini, Santorini 847 02, Greece) and finish the evening with a sweet treat from Patisserie Melenio (Nik. Nomikou, Ia 847 02, Greece). If you like your food served with some upbeat Greek folk music, head to Kyprida Restaurant, where the delicious dessert still plays through my mind.
Go to Church
You’ve seen the pictures. The blue-domed churches with the pure, white walls, spread across travel brochures, advertisements and posters promoting the Greek Islands. Seeing them in person, well, it’s hard not to be swept up in the romance and thrill of it all. Sharing a kiss or a selfie with your loved one by these iconic structures is sure to be a cherished moment for all time.
Get some Vitamin ‘Sea’
There is something about the Greek coast that screams romance. Maybe it’s the deep blue Aegean, which conjures up stories of adventure and exploration. Or the small, hard to find beaches which dot the many cliffs of Santorini’s coastline. Perhaps it’s the volcanic rock that stirs up some hot emotions.
Whatever it is, taking a dip with your loved one in the beautiful blue ocean will bring you closer together. Santorini has a variety of beaches, ranging from pebbly to sandy. They aren’t what we’d classify as the ‘perfect, tropical’ beach, but they are spectacular in their own right.
Try ‘alternative’ modes of transport
Sure, you could hail a taxi in Oía, or catch one of the many bus services that crisscross the island. But have you considered your very own donkey? We walked down the 300 steps to check out Amoudi Bay (which, FYI, has wonderful swimming and snorkelling spots, so don’t forget your swimmers!) and have lunch by the sea.
Feeling a little adventurous (and dare I say it, lazy), we decided to jump on the back of a donkey to get back up to the top. Whoever conjured up the term, ‘stubborn as a mule’, must have tried to ride one, as there is no sure-fire way to control the donkey, but it certainly was a lot of fun and had us laughing the whole way back up the stairs (which, incidentally, probably took longer on the donkey, as they would often stop and refuse to go further). How is this romantic, you may ask? Well, they say, “couples who laugh together, last together”, and this will surely get you laughing.
Get lost in the streets
Oía, like many towns in Santorini, is a sprawl of white cobblestone streets and hidden passageways set on the top and side of the Caldera. During the warmer months the white streets are complimented with gorgeous splashes of colourful flowers. Wandering at leisure through the maze of shops and restaurants, hand in hand with your loved one is sure to build the romance.
It would be pretty hard not to fall in love in Santorini. There’s a reason why it’s a popular destination for weddings, honeymoons and romantic getaways. It didn’t take long for the ‘Santorini effect’ to hit me and make me go from angry to amorous. And if you don’t have that special someone to share these moments with, fear not, as Santorini itself is the perfect subject to fall in love with.