My husband and I had our 10th anniversary in December and wanted to take a trip to relax, bask in the sun (with SPF 50+ on under a big umbrella of course), and have some much-needed time with just the two of us. We toyed with Croatia, Greece, and Australia, but decided on Greece. Neither of us had ever been and really knew very little about it, but we booked the tickets and figured we would figure it out. We got notes from friends we had recently traveled there and we were off!
We started in Santorini. We chose the Grace Hotel
and it was the perfect spot for us. It sits in the village of Imerovigli in the center of the island with the most perfect view of the caldera (the crater created at the center of a volcano that had a major eruption in 1950).
The Grace is a boutique hotel with only 20 rooms, and staff of 65, so the service was incredible. The hotel sits at the farthest point out and has a view of Skaros Rockand and insane sunsets every night. The breakfast each day was a 5-course meal of fresh made breads, a Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or local honey and nuts, a traditional Greek “pie”, an egg course, and a dessert. It was kind of crazy how much food it was, but we enjoyed tasting it all. You could also customize anything and choose whatever you wanted if the menu didn’t suit.
We woke early on day 2 for private yoga and proceeded to take a hike to Oia, which I had read a lot about. Oia is the old part of Santorini, and has little walkable streets and restaurants. We swam in Ammoudi Bay after a 4 mile walk and many stairs up and down and had a late lunch at Dimitris Ammoudi Taverna
. It’s right on the tiny little port there, and the food was yummy. A Greek salad (at pretty much every meal) and fish and bottle of wine was the perfect way to spend the afternoon.We ended up hiking 13 miles and 140 floors according to hubby’s watch.
Each night we had yummy custom cocktails by the smiliest bartender and watched the incredible sunsets over the Caldera.
The next day we slept in and relaxed by the pool before walking to Thira/Fira for a sunset dinner at Metaxi Mas. This place was super casual, open air spot with the most delicious Greek food. This is a must hit when in Santorini.
The staff at the Grace was beyond lovely and helpful and helped us line up a day on a catamaran to go around the island. It was such a unique way to see the rugged terrain.
Our next stop was Antiparos. This little island was very different than Santorini, in that it was very calm and quiet and had a cool laidback feel. We stayed at the Sunset Deseo
hotel, upon the recommendation of a friend who goes there annually. It was super bohemian and cool. The rooms were minimal and simple, and the scene was gorgeous. As its name suggests, it was the
spot to see the sunset each evening. The drinks and food at the Sunset Deseo were delicious! Owners Marcello and Emma have the hotel staffed with a vibrant, young, fun crew. The restaurant serves up yummy daily menu on a chalk board with fresh local ingredients.
Favorite spots included:
• Blender - smoothies, bowls, bites
• Yam – best brunch, drinks, dinner
• Sunset Deseo – sunset drinks and dinner
• Pipinos Taverna – lunch by the beach
• The Beach House - stay or eat
Antiparos has a tiny little town that is just too cute. There were so many doorways and bougainvillea draped porches and amazing stone inlay that I couldn’t stop taking pics. It is covered in these lean, lazy Aegean cats, which appears to be a mascot of Antiparos. The shops were my favorite of the trip. We bought an olive wood chess board for my son, linen dresses for me, and an olivewood painted cat for my daughter and nieces.
We rented electric bikes which I was hesitant to do, but the island is hilly, and we wanted to go all over without wearing ourselves out. It was the perfect way to get around to different beaches and the caves and to see the whole island.
We absolutely loved Antiparos and would love to go back there and rent a house with the kiddos for a longer stay. It was certainly the type of laid-back spot where you could spend a longer period of time.
Mykonos was our last stop for a couple of days before flying back. I thought that it would be too busy and crazy, but it was so lovely. The old part of town has so many amazing alleys and stone covered streets and beautiful old doors around every corner. There are lots of cool cafes with a modern feel right in the middle of the old part of town as well as tiny little alleys filled with shops and modern restaurants.
We spent one day in Mykonos at a beach club, because we just couldn’t pass it up. We went to Kalua for the day and ended up at Skorpios at the end of the day for an early supper and to escape before the masses piled in for the serious club action. It was good people watching and the food and drinks were delicious.
Our trip was so relaxing and full of beautiful and inspiring sites and food. We definitely want to go back and will look forward to returning with kiddos for a longer stay and to truly experience the laid-back small island life.
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