Nothing inspires me more than traveling—escaping the day-to-day grind to experience new places, see different worlds, meet new people and eat different food! I've always wanted to go to Greece and this September, I finally made it. I stayed in Santorini, visited Ios, then spent my last weekend in Athens. In short, I was f@#king blown away! (Being in good company didn't hurt either.) I'll let the pictures do the talking…
It was nighttime when we arrived to our cliffside cave house in Santorini, so you can imagine our awe when we opened the bedroom door in the morning to this (!!!).
Our first days were spent exploring the village of Oia. It was exactly as I'd imagined: aged white-washed walls, narrow, stone walkways, bright pink bougainvillea and ridiculous views of the Aegean Sea!
The man. The myth. "Crazy Legasus."
In good company: Peter Connell, Crazy Legs and David Calle.
Oia's main strip and square is long and filled with super-quaint shops and restaurants. Touristy and often over-crowded in the high-season, yes—but charming as hell!
Me, taking it all in...
Steps—or rather, stairs—away from our villa was this hidden gem, Atlantis Books.
The cavernous interior: All of the shelves were built by the staff and they had books of all sorts in multiple languages, including English.
The ceilings (so cool)!
Down—and I mean waaay down—the cliffside village of Oia is Amoudi Bay, a small port and fishing area with tavernas that sit right on sea. This was, by far, one of my absolute favorite spots in Santorini. It's a bit of a mission to get to by foot. You have to walk down super-steep, zig-zagging stairs (300+ in total). And then there's the walk back up… But it is SO worth it, and part of the experience. Plus, the views on the way are breathtaking.
There were plenty of donkeys available for rides if one couldn't do it by foot. But why not work on that ass instead of making asses do the work?
A quick stop on the way down. Just look at that view!
When we finally made it down, we ate at Taverna Katina. If you ever visit Santorini, go there! The staff is fun and friendly, and while the restaurant definitely caters to tourists, this is the place that the locals eat, too.
This was our view.
And this was lunch... Mmmm!
Fava, Santorini salad, boiled greens with lemon and olive oil and eggplant salad. I ate at least one of these dishes with each meal every day.
Freshly-made baklava. SO good—and no guilt (the stairs)!
Just around the volcanic rocks of Amoudi Bay is another hidden gem: a rocky cove where you can swim in Santorini's emerald green and brilliant blue water. UH-mazing!!
Crazy Legs, taking the plunge.
Our travel buddies, Peter and David.
Located at the southern side of Santorini, about a 10 minute from the ancient site of Akrotíri, is Red Beach—famous for it's red and black volcanic rock landscape. The beach is accessible by boat or by foot via a long, rocky path over the cliff.
We chose the latter.
The beach itself is pretty small. During the busy months, it's probably very difficult to find a spot to lay out. For 8 euro, you can rent a chair and umbrella for the entire day.
Red and black pebbles: If you visit Red Beach, bring water socks.
Spotted: Legs stops to take a picture with a fan.
The hike to and from the beach can really build an appetite. Fortunately, there are no shortage of waterfront restaurants in the area. We stopped at The Dolphins, where tables sit right on the jetty.
This lil' guy chilled out with us while we were eating. What a cutie.
By some lucky chance, my good friend Christine Marconi was also vacationing in Greece—staying in a nearby town called Imerovigli at the insanely beautiful hotel Chromata.
We spent an afternoon luxuriating by the pool with her and some new-found friends.
The hotel is on the cliff, so every room has this view...
Christine's terrace. I mean…(!!!)
One of the (many) highlights of the trip was renting a speed boat for an afternoon that took us up and down Santorini's west coast—a truly awesome experience!
Legs with Bari Medgaus, Christine Marconi and newlyweds Christina and James Bell.
Never been happier...
We made several stops along the way. Swimming in this water was truly magical! Bari described it best: "The ocean is a life force." It's true! I've never felt more energized.
The lovely Christine Marconi.
This is the life...
Next up: September In Greece, Part II: Ios...