The first week of September was spent leisurely perusing the islands of Greece; enjoying the natural beauty of cliff top villages and long shallow beaches by day and savoring every last moment of the divine Mediterranean dinners and magnificent sunsets by night.
A direct flight from London landed us in Santorini, an island formed by an enormous volcanic explosion centuries ago, which truly is breath-taking…the pictures and stories of honeymooners gone-by don’t lie! Perfectly white washed cubist buildings with their colorful doors lined by bright magenta flowers standing up against a backdrop of crystal clear blue skies above, and vast dark seas below. Romantic rooftop dinners while watching the sun turn from blinding yellow to a saturated orange and deep pink followed by an afterglow of the most perfectly proportioned rainbow effects. It was admittedly straight out of the tour books, tripadvisor pages, and honeymoon photographs, but it thankfully still proved oh so magical to savor the experience for ourselves.
We floated between Fira Town, a central village along the cliff, and Oia, a location most well known for having one of the best sunset views in the world. While a jaw dropping four-hour hike linking the two diverse villages is a top recommendation, we opted to try the bus route as the accompanying steep drops and hours of direct sunlight did not sound appropriate for the toddler in tow. Once in town, we meandered through the maze of walled lanes lined with shops and restaurants – generally with water bottle and an ice cream cone in hand, ventured down the cliffside via gondola and taxi to experience the gorgeous waterfronts while devouring hydrating melon salads, and joined the crowds of tourists hunting for the perfect spot from which to capture the overload of incredible sights in just one frame.
With a pool at the hotel and ice cream at every turn, we easily maintained a relaxing and kid-friendly start to our holiday. For the first time in her little life, E was granted a completely buggy-free vacation and allowed to head back to the room for crib naps every afternoon! And if that wasn’t exciting enough for a two year old, she happily obliged as we forced her to stay up late enjoying the cool air and as much yummy food and sugar as her toddler body could absorb.
We walked, we toddled, we stood in awe. We tasted, we smelled, we felt. And with every movement, our senses were in overdrive.
It was an overwhelmingly hot and sticky three days on the island, but as you’ll see in the coming days, we more than made up for the exhaustion that accompanied all this glory and exploration with our very first true family beach vacation on the fabulous, Greek mythology-filled isle of Naxos and a speedy tour through one of the great cities of the ancient world, Athens.