What can I say.. it’s rare that I would write a dedicated post for a destination that was just a portion of the overall holiday. The entire experience at Santorini Islands, even though was just 4 days, was an exception! We knew it was one of those places that honeymooners or people getting married go, for the gorgeous scenery. We’ve definitely seen brochures with those famous ‘blue domes’ and wondered what the fuss were all about. We knew the place would be wonderful, just how wonderful and whether it matched our expectations. Fortunately.. it did..
Most hotels we tried to book (at least the ones in Oia right against the hillside) didn’t even allow kids at all! Thankfully, the kind folks at Oia Castle (Part of the Aspaki group) hotel allowed us to bring Ethan (who’s now 10 months old), with the condition that we book one of their cave pool villas further away from the centre of town. Well, all we can say is that, it was a good choice with sunset view and volcano view from the villa. We were even lucky enough to have been the very first guest of the particular villa we were given, so everything was brand new!
We didn’t really understand why kids were not allowed, until we went through the entrance to our villa, and realised just how steep and how low the barriers were… all for the sake of ‘the view’!
We only have a ton of praises for the villa though, for its size, the quality of the furnishings, the sunset and caldera view, and the service. Yes, there were teething issues like the complete toiletries weren’t supplied, and our cave pool jacuzzi didn’t work properly. We did get to meet the owner (I believe Mr. Dimitrov) who personally got involved to fix all the issues for us. Got to be impressed by that!
A lot of the 4 days were spent just hanging around the villa.. particularly.. watching the awesome sunset that Oia is famous for, massages for me and wifey, trying out all the restaurants (highly recommend Roka and Fino) around town, and just plain chilling out..
The troublesome cave pool that didn’t work? We did eventually get to enjoy it properly on the last 2 days… (baby not allowed in it though)
Ethan had a ball too..
We did take 2 days out of Oia, one on a catamaran, and one with a rented Smart car..
The island really wasn’t all that big, and we were able to cover a single winery (but a good one called Argyros), ancient Thiera (photo above), Akrotiri (think volcano buried town, much like Pompeii) and even the red beach. Yes, it was a bit rushed, but if we had a week, we probably could soak in a lot more at each site.
Fortunately, the real thing was every bit as we imagined the place to be and better! I don’t think I’ve been to a holiday destination so far, where it actually matched and exceeded our expectations. Yes it was wallet shattering, and I guess if there’s one place that you should splurge one, I think this place could be it!