The Sun Won't Set On Santorini

After turning up the romance on the 'party island' Mykonos, we continued our love affair with all things Mediterranean on it's quieter, slightly 'more picturesque', little sister, Santorini.

Despite financial turmoil unfolding on the mainland, the sun still turned the sky pink before taking it's curtain call each evening in Oia. The squid still cooked in the daily sun at the Ammoudi Fish Tavern and the selfie-stick man never failed to show. Life goes on in spectacular style and tradition in the Greek Islands.

Ironically though, we found the best things in Santorini life are free...which is perhaps the secret to their resilience.

The Simple Life. This lovely Fisherman joined us for lunch almost every day. 

The Simple Life. This lovely Fisherman joined us for lunch almost every day. 

We stayed at Canaves Suites where each suite is unique (i.e. 'completely different'). Request Number 25. The Infinity Pool Suite. 

We stayed at Canaves Suites where each suite is unique (i.e. 'completely different'). Request Number 25. The Infinity Pool Suite. 

To Infinityyyy and....beyond 

To Infinityyyy and....beyond 

Santorini Trivia: because the island is flat on one side, the cliffs of Oia were built up to avoid Pirates stealing the islander's gold (which was on the island, we were told, to avoid tax). shhhhhh....  We can attest to the genius of this building site because we climbed the steps and without a donkey you're definitely not sprinting to the top, so when Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean came to take their jewels, the locals had time to either  a)hide the gold or b)run.

Santorini Trivia: because the island is flat on one side, the cliffs of Oia were built up to avoid Pirates stealing the islander's gold (which was on the island, we were told, to avoid tax). shhhhhh....  We can attest to the genius of this building site because we climbed the steps and without a donkey you're definitely not sprinting to the top, so when Johnny Depp and the Pirates of the Caribbean came to take their jewels, the locals had time to either  a)hide the gold or b)run.

The marble boardwalk is lined with gorgeous shops (our unanimous pick for girls AND boys was Soho Soho (keep scrolling...)..). This area comes alive at night with sweaty tourists trying to get a picture with themselves, their partner AND the pink skyline (or full moon) all in one. Watching this nightly ritual was a highlight.JUST. BUY. A. SELFIE. STICK. We caved.

The marble boardwalk is lined with gorgeous shops (our unanimous pick for girls AND boys was Soho Soho (keep scrolling...)..). This area comes alive at night with sweaty tourists trying to get a picture with themselves, their partner AND the pink skyline (or full moon) all in one. Watching this nightly ritual was a highlight.JUST. BUY. A. SELFIE. STICK. We caved.

On the way to our favourite and totally FREE spot: Ammoudi Bay. Note: Pack snacks and your sexy holiday snorkels (you can buy from the Convenience stores.)

On the way to our favourite and totally FREE spot: Ammoudi Bay. Note: Pack snacks and your sexy holiday snorkels (you can buy from the Convenience stores.)

The River Suite 

The River Suite 

These flowers (I think mum said Bougainvillias...all I heard was Bogan in that...) are the only splash of natural colour on the cliffside. 

These flowers (I think mum said Bougainvillias...all I heard was Bogan in that...) are the only splash of natural colour on the cliffside. 

A pack of Santorini Special cards in the sunshine (Note: we re-dealt this hand, old mate can see my hand...)

A pack of Santorini Special cards in the sunshine (Note: we re-dealt this hand, old mate can see my hand...)

Daily Routine: With our will to explore or venture too far from our base on low, we went for routine over renegade  this time. We would wake up at 8am, grab our Cappuccino Freddo from Passaggio (see below) and hit the 220 stairs down which lead down to the track which then leads to Ammoudi Bay (and a little piece of heaven) to our secret spot between these rocks (the area just before where the rest of the tourists jump in the the clear green waters.)

Daily Routine: With our will to explore or venture too far from our base on low, we went for routine over renegade  this time. We would wake up at 8am, grab our Cappuccino Freddo from Passaggio (see below) and hit the 220 stairs down which lead down to the track which then leads to Ammoudi Bay (and a little piece of heaven) to our secret spot between these rocks (the area just before where the rest of the tourists jump in the the clear green waters.)

Take your pic from the restaurants lining the water. Dimitri's Tavern was great for Starters (the tomato fritters with tzatiki were insane, not amazing to eat in a bikini but worth the calorific intake). But once we popped our Ammoudi Fish Tavern cherry, we couldn't stay away (order the sun-dried squid, calamari, Greek Salad, Zucchini Fritters and Lobster for dinner.) The waiter was so enthusiastic and passionate about explaining to us the super quality of his foods and the exact engery intake per olive that we couldn't not go again, and again and then again at sunset (which is 830pm on the dot BTW, and it happens fast. I was in heels and had to piggy back to catch it.)

Take your pic from the restaurants lining the water.

Dimitri's Tavern was great for Starters (the tomato fritters with tzatiki were insane, not amazing to eat in a bikini but worth the calorific intake). But once we popped our Ammoudi Fish Tavern cherry, we couldn't stay away (order the sun-dried squid, calamari, Greek Salad, Zucchini Fritters and Lobster for dinner.)

The waiter was so enthusiastic and passionate about explaining to us the super quality of his foods and the exact engery intake per olive that we couldn't not go again, and again and then again at sunset (which is 830pm on the dot BTW, and it happens fast. I was in heels and had to piggy back to catch it.)

The ever so slightly dangerous 'stonewalk' to and from our spot on the bay...

The ever so slightly dangerous 'stonewalk' to and from our spot on the bay...

Scuba Steve taking the rope climb option to our rock

Scuba Steve taking the rope climb option to our rock

Me, on the rock (fits two comfortably).

Me, on the rock (fits two comfortably).

Dinner just before sunset. The Romance of Rose...and a random pirate ship.

Dinner just before sunset. The Romance of Rose...and a random pirate ship.

Standard pose when the waiter takes a photo. (We were physically 'styled' into this exact position for the sake of the 'colour of the wine'.)

Standard pose when the waiter takes a photo. (We were physically 'styled' into this exact position for the sake of the 'colour of the wine'.)

I made him do it. Sunglasses: Tom Ford, Jac and Jack tee, Golden Goose Deluxe Superstars (or VStars for men). What a sort.

I made him do it. Sunglasses: Tom Ford, Jac and Jack tee, Golden Goose Deluxe Superstars (or VStars for men). What a sort.

Cray Colour

Cray Colour

mixing with Classic Monochrome in Soho Soho. (Brands wise think sharp clean; Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone and Velvet cotton pieces.)

mixing with Classic Monochrome in Soho Soho. (Brands wise think sharp clean; Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone and Velvet cotton pieces.)

With most restaurants relying on the sunset to float their business (over differentiating their menus), we found this absolute gem hidden behind the church. Fino has an Aussie-esque quality in its fresh, modern, innovative, tasty take on their standard variety of food. And the cocktails are not the standard either. Order the Fino (Pineapple) or what we called 'the Ginger one please'. They'll know, it comes highly recommended.

With most restaurants relying on the sunset to float their business (over differentiating their menus), we found this absolute gem hidden behind the church.

Fino has an Aussie-esque quality in its fresh, modern, innovative, tasty take on their standard variety of food. And the cocktails are not the standard either. Order the Fino (Pineapple) or what we called 'the Ginger one please'. They'll know, it comes highly recommended.

Must orders: Tuna Tataki with Wasabi crunch, the Aubergine Souffle, Lobster rolls and then share (if you must or go solo if you're a champion) the Lobster Risotto. Wow.

Must orders: Tuna Tataki with Wasabi crunch, the Aubergine Souffle, Lobster rolls and then share (if you must or go solo if you're a champion) the Lobster Risotto. Wow.

Not good coffee, Great. Started every day here. The Line Up: The Cappuccino Freddo is the cold whipped looking one, then an espresso with milk/cream is the iced latte looking one and two slushies for the trip to the airport. And my Chanel Boy saving the seat next to Hulk Hogan...

Not good coffee, Great. Started every day here.

The Line Up: The Cappuccino Freddo is the cold whipped looking one, then an espresso with milk/cream is the iced latte looking one and two slushies for the trip to the airport.

And my Chanel Boy saving the seat next to Hulk Hogan...

Despite the odd Bride, dressing on Santorini is much more chilled than it's sexy cousin Mykonos. I lived in shorts, singlets and bikinis (all predominantly black and white). With of course my Boy and Submariner to sex it up a little for dinner dates. The hat never came off because the humidity had me looking like Carrie Bradshaw pre-curling iron episodes.  Note: Definitely NO HEELS. I tried one fateful night and had to order a piggy back. In a dress.

Despite the odd Bride, dressing on Santorini is much more chilled than it's sexy cousin Mykonos. I lived in shorts, singlets and bikinis (all predominantly black and white). With of course my Boy and Submariner to sex it up a little for dinner dates. The hat never came off because the humidity had me looking like Carrie Bradshaw pre-curling iron episodes. 

Note: Definitely NO HEELS. I tried one fateful night and had to order a piggy back. In a dress.

See?

See?

Our first selfie stick. A must to get your big heads and the backdrop in all at once. Being couply and romantic is not an act of seclusion over here. With the daily flow of women getting their photos taken in wedding dresses you won't be judged for soppy selfies. If anything, I judge for not jumping in at least 10 while you're there. (We hadn't perfected how to get the 'shaft' out of shot here.)

Our first selfie stick. A must to get your big heads and the backdrop in all at once.

Being couply and romantic is not an act of seclusion over here. With the daily flow of women getting their photos taken in wedding dresses you won't be judged for soppy selfies. If anything, I judge for not jumping in at least 10 while you're there. (We hadn't perfected how to get the 'shaft' out of shot here.)

Steps from the bottom to the top. 220. Plus around 20 they don't mark on the steps. Sweat on.

Steps from the bottom to the top. 220. Plus around 20 they don't mark on the steps. Sweat on.

 Or take a donkey (Actually Mules as they are half horse, hence their size) for 5 euros. This method is a list ticker but they are stubborn as hell and will run your legs along the wall if they please. 

 Or take a donkey (Actually Mules as they are half horse, hence their size) for 5 euros. This method is a list ticker but they are stubborn as hell and will run your legs along the wall if they please. 

Selie No. 1008933

Selie No. 1008933

No. 1008934

No. 1008934

 

There's a 'Tale of Two Greeces' unfolding across the world's media, with story lines of struggle and despair on the mainland juxtaposed with foreigners partying on the islands. In turn, this has created an unjustified sense of guilt or fear guiding tourists to cancel their holidays. Rumours of having to carry wallet loads of Euros and warnings about being left stranded by rioting airport workers are starting to having an impact on this bustling and usually thriving holiday destination.

Without creating the impression it was a ghost-town (couldn't have been further from), it's clear the industry isn't running at full throttle. With tourism one of Greece's primary earners, particularly on the islands where they have only the hot months to maximise profit margins, the only sad sight to behold is a spare hotel room or unfilled seat at a restaurant owned by magic-makers ready to work. 

Despite the proximity and allure of; Spain, France or perhaps Italy for equally stunning views and delicious fare, we decided to return to the magical islands that made us obsess over Olive Oil, consider a quad bike or donkey a reasonable form of transport and put our phones down. Like supporting a friend going through a tough time, we won't 'bail' Greece.