Five days in SANTORINI.
I've wanted to get to this beautiful little Greek island most of my life and was lucky enough to spend five days there in August. This awesome view was taken from the villa my brother booked with the Chromata Hotel, in Imerovigli. Probably one of the most beautiful spots on the island, overlooking the Caldera, and one of the hilliest!
TOP TIP: for heavens sake take proper walking shoes or trainers! I stupidly only took Fit Flops (oh the joy of carry on luggage!) and ended up with very dodgy knees and a sore hip!
I had the granny annexe upstairs and was greeted by this view every morning, before walking up and down the many steps to enjoy yet another fabulous view with the most delicious breakfast at the hotel. Egg white omelette, olives & feta was my favourite............
Breakfast set me up for a day of wandering around photographing the stunning blue & white buildings everywhere on Santorini. Imerovigli was certainly my favourite area but the stunning village of Oia is also worth a visit because it's got loads of lovely little boutiques and restaurants and pretty little cobbled white lanes.
TOP TIP: Don't arrive at Oia around sunset as the tiny streets are grid locked with passengers from the half a dozen cruise ships that visit every day and the roads are jammed with coaches! Have a lovely dinner after the sunset so you can get back to your hotel once the rush hour's over. Or stay there!
Fira is the nearest town to Imerovigli. It's a lovely town with great walks to the harbour, lots of shops for souvenir shopping and restaurants: some fancy and some not so fancy. My brothers' favourite local 'fast' food was the "giros": delicious grilled chicken in warm pita bread. However, although we were only 3 kilometres away, getting a cab back to Imerovigli was a complete 'mare. There are only 36 taxis on the entire island!
TOP TIP: book a hotel with a shuttle or taxi service or hire a scooter. We often waited for 20 minutes to get back. But it was August!
My handsome brother, by another mother, and his beautiful girlfriend. Selfie taken in Oia, which we loved, apart from the crowds!
I got them both to play photographer so I could get a few photos of my favourite beach clothes. Very happy with my new Olympus PEN, great quality and no Photoshop required!
I found this perfect beach dress in Bali a few years ago in Sol & Luna, in Seminyak. My vintage sunglasses were a gift from a friend and are original 50s frames, the shell necklace was found in Byron Bay, the little black bag is from India and my sandals are by Fit Flop.
We spent a fabulous afternoon at the black sand beach Perivolos, where more fashion shots were taken done by my bro Karim, handsome hunk that he is! The light was fantastic as we were there for the golden hour.
TOP TIP: The cabana below cost 90 Euros and we only arrived at 4.00 pm! Fine-ish if there are four of you to split the cost and you do get a free glass of fizz. But how expensive is that! Chose carefully along the beach, there are cheaper beds available to hire.
My skirt was from Zara two summers ago, the tee is ancient, but a favourite, from Intissimi & the headscarf is a vintage piece of material from Elif Kose in Rottingdean. The gorgeous necklace is from a little shop in Budva, Montenegro. Can't wait to go back and buy another next month!
And as for the food.......my favourite meal has to be the one we had at La Maison, in Imerovigli. If you're into haute cuisine with stunning views, this is a must. It's one of the top restaurants on the island and wasn't as expensive as you'd think.
My starter was the local equivalent of humous, called Santorini fava (as in fava beans). It's not as nice as humous in most of the local restaurants but at La Maison it was one of the nicest starters I have ever eaten! It was served with octopus, orange and cured lemon.
My main course was a local fish dish is called shi dum served with red pepper, olive mousse, lime & olive oil.
Pudding was raspberry, vanilla bean crumble, lemon verbena, honey & jasmine ice cream. I am dribbling just writing this. It was one of the best meals I have ever had and certainly the prettiest! The price was about 50 Euros each with an enormous glass of wine. Not bad, especially compared to the price of the beach beds!
TOP TIP: go early if you don't want to book.
After all that fab food, shopping and walking at least 10 thousand steps a day, up and down the hills, my body needed a rest and I was lucky enough to find a great spa right next door to our villa at the Pegasus Suites & Spa. it wasn't cheap at 75 Euros, thanks to our weak pound at the time, but was one of the best Aromatherapy massages I have ever had! Well worth a visit.
Of course, one of the main attractions of Santorini, apart from the blue and white buildings, the food, the little boutiques & the scenery, are the sunsets. They're world famous, hence the many cruise ships, Oia is the favourite view point but the crowds, in August, were ridiculous. If you're staying in Imergolivili you don't even have to move. We were blessed to have awesome skies to stare at from our villa every night.
TOP TIP: take a jacket, it can be cool & windy at night, even in August.
Santorini is well worth a visit and everything you want it to be....... but try to go out of season, with deep pockets and sturdy shoes!