The next place on my list is this absolute beauty; The Island of Santorini, Greece. There are few places that can match the beauty of the seaside in Greece. I have dreamt of seeing so many different places in Greece since I was quite young. Hearing stories of Greek Gods and Goddesses, tales of Spartan battles, and eating Americanized versions of Greek foods all began my yearning to visit the almost magical Greek landscapes. From the beauty of its land to the beauty of its peoples, Greece is one country that I think everyone should push to the top of their lists. With the size that the island of Santorini is, there is no way I could list everything that I hope to see and do there in one blog post, but if you keep reading, you will see some of the top places and things that I wish to one day experience in the stunning place that is, Santorini.
One major aspect of Santorini, and Greece in general really, that I’ve always wanted to see is simply the architecture. The contrasts of colors and the beautiful simplicity of the shapes of the buildings is stunning to me. The vibrant white and blue shades are instantly recognizable as Greek in any photos I see online and I am always blown away by them each time I see them. In an Art History course I took a year or so ago, we discussed Greek architecture at length. It was clear that the Greeks reached for perfection when building on the islands. With the signature Cycladic architceture, and classicaly modern beauty, the architecture in Greece is hard to beat. I am thrilled with the prospect of photographing these buildings. Standing on the cliffside, staring off into the ocean and breathtaking views of the staircase-like buildings seemingly holding onto the earth with a fierce grip, afraid of falling into the sea below. Its what dreams are made of really.
As I mentioned before, Greek history and Ancient Greece have always been an interest of mine, and If I were to visit Santorini and pass up the chance to see Ancient Thera (or Thira) I wouldn’t be able to stand it. Being located high above the sea on Mesa Vouna, Ancient Thera has stunning panoramic views of the ocean and buildings that lie below. As a bit of a history buff, I’ve learned over the years that the ruins of Ancient Thera date back to the Hellenistic era, and there are also extensive bits of the ruins that are clear to have come from the Roman and Byzantine periods. It is truly something spectacular to a girl from America, where buildings and sites are in their infancy by comparison. The extensive ruins also include Roman baths, Byzantine walls, and the stone church of Agios Stefanos, which is pictured above. I can’t imagine the feeling of being able to stand amidst something so old, filled with so much history. Thinking of how many hundreds of years ago it was built, what life must have been like for the people living there, how different the landscape below them would have looked, I can’t help but feel grateful that the option is there for me. Seeing the remains of the Temple of Dionysos, the Sanctuary of Artemidoros, or the Terrace of the Festivals would be a dream come true for me, and I feel like anyone visiting Santorini would be mad to pass up the chance to experience it.
The next place on my list is the unbelievably stunning village of Oia. From friends that have visited, I have learned that Oia is not only one of the most famous villages in all of Santorini, but it is also one of the most relaxing places that you could go. Overlooking not only the sea but also the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. Friends have told me, and photos have shown me, that viewing the sunset from Oia will someday be one of my fondest memories. I cant wait to be able to sit on a balcony in the village overlooking the vast sea and land surrounding Santorini, with a chilled glass of Ouzo, watching the sun disappear on the horizon. Aside from its breathtaking views, Oia will also give you that “oh my goodness, I am in Greece!” sort of feeling when you stroll down the narrow pathways, see the blue domed churches, sit down for a traditional Greek meal in one of the various cafes, or take the long journey down the set of 300 steps leading to the small port of Oia, called Ammoudi. I am looking forward to the moment when I can share a blog post full of photos of me enjoying the beauty of Oia with you in the future, I just hope it will be sooner rather than later.
If there is one thing that Santorini has to offer, that I dream of experiencing, it is the sheer romance of the island. As a young single female, it’s hard not to imagine all of the amazing romantic excursions and moments that one can have in the various villages of Santorini. The landscape, the views, the volcanic distruction (okay, maybe not everyone’s cup of tea) and the undeniable beauty of this, and all other Greek Isles strike a match inside me, causing me to long for one of those storybook romances, where someone will sweep me off my feet, and whisk me away for a romantic Grecian vacation, filled with incredible sites, delicious foods, and endless love and romance. A girl can dream, right?
There is no shortage of places to see and things to do in this picture-perfect Greek Island. While writing this post, I am feeling so incredibly inspired. There is so much beauty out there, so much history waiting for me. I can’t wait for the day that my wanderlust gets the chance to break free, and guide me on all the adventures I dream of having.
I hope you’re doing well, where ever you are in the world, and I wish you all the best.