As I sit here reflecting on the past weekend, I am still pinching myself over the how great this this trip ended up being. Before coming abroad, I really had no desire to travel to Greece. But now, after spending only 39 hours on a tiny island 120miles from the mainland I am determined and inspired to make it back and to explore the setting of Mama Mia and all its glory! Santorini is known as one of the worlds most romantic getaways so it is only fitting that I joined up with my two gal pals Cate and Colleen – our Airbnb house was called also called ‘The Three Daughters – so this trip was destiny from the start!
Upon arrival, we headed on a quick walk around Fira, the capital, where we scouted out a place to eat and stumbled upon our first view of the coast. Pictures don’t do it justice; it honestly looks like we photo-shopped ourselves onto a postcard. Santorini’s famous white domes and blue windows contrast so beautifully against the volcanic caters they sit upon. Our middle school Pinterest boards just became our realities, so after hours of catching up and laughter we came up with our game plan on how to conquer Santorini.
The island itself is small with a coastline that’s about 70km, and what better way to see it than by the famous 6.5-mile hike from Oia to Fira. This hike was by far the highlight of our adventure weekend. We spent a little over 3 ½ hours making our way from the famous city to the capital along the coast making sure to stop for as many photo-ops as possible! We were alone on the trail which left us to connect with the fresh air, the peacefulness of Santorini, and the beauty of the caldera. The hike itself is described as moderate, but to be honest it was way more challenging than expected. Its terrain alternated from cobblestone to dirt paths and had views that are indescribable. Now I said that we were alone on the trail, but I might have fibbed a little. We were accompanied by our noble steed– Athena. Athena, the stray pup who we named after we realized she was in for the long haul, started following us back in Oia and stayed by our sides throughout the whole hike. Don’t worry after the 6.5-miles we all teamed up and bought her a gyro for her loyalty and for making sure we made the trek safely. At about mile three her boyfriend (who we named Zeus) tagged along for a couple miles before he got bored and left. Colleen summed it up best when she said that the hike showcased the best of everything. We got to see not only magnificent man-made views but also got to live the natural ones as well. My favorite days are the ones spent outside exploring and Saturday was everything I wanted and more. I also got to see the sweet sunshine. With the sun rising at 8am and completely setting by 4pm I have been sun-deprived.
After a long morning of hiking we decided to listen to our grumbling stomachs and tired feet. We refueled with Greek salads — which we found out don’t have any lettuce – and fish pedicures. This was unbelievably fun, and I highly recommend the experience. If you are ticklish beware… but think, fizzy bubbles that kind of pinch a little.
Saturday night we made our way back to Oia. Where we watch the most picturesque sunset where the sun literally melted into the water. We joined the rest of the tourist on the island and although we did not sit on the Oia castle we were right beside it. While we waited for the bus back to Fira we stumbled upon the cutest, and Santorini’s first bookshop. But, I think that encounter sums up the trip. Coming into this we really did not have much planned, which I know does not sound like the Lauren you all know and love. But, we embraced the unorthodox and created one of the most beautiful weekends out of it.