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Santorini: Stunning Views, ATV’s, And Wine Tasting

(Oia, Santorini)

Mr. T and I have birthdays that are about 10 days apart.  As a result, every year we (okay, really just “I”) like to brainstorm where we should spend our birthdays.  We’re still trying to figure that out for this year since our birthdays are a couple months away, but I wanted to take a break from brainstorming and reflect on the awesomeness of our birthday trip to Santorini a couple of years ago.

While Santorini was really just one stop in a much longer trip, we absolutely fell in love with this Greek Island.  In fact, our only regret during that trip was that we should have gone to Mykonos first and saved Santorini for the end so that each stop would have gotten progressively better (admittedly, Mykonos is undoubtedly lovely on its own but it was a bit of a let down after Santorini).  Similar to relationships and dating, traveling is just so much better when the next stop feels like an “upgrade” after a previous one!

We started off our Santorini experience by spending a few days in one of the most gorgeous villas ever where we sipped wine by our pool, had a private tasting at the hotel, and (of course) wine tasted some more at the winery next door.   Any vacation I’m on that includes lots of wine tasting is all right by me!

We also spent a day meandering through the alleys in Fira, which is one of the “bigger” towns in Santorini and a huge draw for tourists and backpackers – proof it’s possible to do Santorini on a budget.

After a couple of days, we moved to our hotel in Oia, a super cute quintessential Santorini village and the “Beverly Hills” of the island.  Oh-my-goodness, the view of the caldera, the sunset, and the white houses and buildings that dotted the mountainside are seriously what paintings are made of!

While we couldn’t get enough of Oia’s beauty, we managed to spend a day touring the island as a whole on an ATV.  I’ve gone on numerous ATV tours before, but in Santorini ATV’s are just another vehicle option at car rentals shops!  That made it so much more adventurous in my mind because sans tour guide, we were the ones in control.  We drove around the island, visited the black sand beach (fyi, it was an average beach as you don’t really go to Santorini for its beaches), and my fave – we went wine tasting at several wineries along the way.   I don’t know of any other place that lets you roll up to a vineyard on an ATV – it was badass.

By the way, the wines in Greece were amazingly good AND cheap (score!), which surprised us because, honestly, who’s heard of Greek wine?  But man, you are missing out if you haven’t!  Their ice wines especially are delicious and all the more so at just a fraction of the cost you’d pay for ice wine in the U.S.  We still have a couple bottles of wine in our fridge from Santorini that we’re anxiously saving for a special occasion.

Generally when we travel we assume it will be our one and only stop there (there are still so many places we want to go), but Santorini was so magical and stunning, it definitely deserves another visit!

Here are some pictures from our trip:

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a&b - February 17, 2012 - 9:27 am

I would love to get to Greece! These photos are beautiful!

Just Wanderlust - February 17, 2012 - 5:46 pm

aww, thanks!

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Christopher - February 21, 2012 - 3:04 pm

Beautiful! I love the picture of the poor donkey taking a rest against the wall. I walked the donkey path up to Santorini, so I know how tired those donkeys are.

Chloe Kiser - February 22, 2012 - 3:03 am

Wow, what timing! I just discovered Wanderlust and Lipstick recently, and I am currently living in Oia! How serendipitous! I’ve never been here during the season, as bright sunshine and hoards of people on the sunset lookout seem to suggest in your photos. Winter is such a strange time of year on the island. It’s absolutely silent, and still. I feel like I’m living in a beautiful ghost town. You should come back and visit in winter some time!
xoxo Chloe

Just Wanderlust - February 22, 2012 - 8:10 pm

Thanks, Chris! Wow, you walked it! You are such a trooper. The donkey “taxi” was fun, but they walked really close to the wall so I had to be careful not to get hit! PS – cool website design layout you have!

Just Wanderlust - February 22, 2012 - 8:12 pm

Hi Chloe! I heard that the winters are pretty empty in Santorini, but I wouldn’t mind experiencing it first hand. What brought you there? I’m sure come summer, you’ll see the throngs of tourists. Santorini is so, so beautiful. I’m so jealous you’re there now!

Natasha - February 23, 2012 - 7:46 am

ol d piczz r jus awesomeee……n i agree wid u, summer z d tym to b thr…..i visited greece in last june……n it wz jus stunning……i m in luv wid greece…….!!!

Just Wanderlust - February 23, 2012 - 8:34 am

Thanks, Natasha! It’s hard NOT to like this place. 🙂

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