Stunning Santorini leaves you breathless…

Santorini is one of those places that is just like the postcards you see – picture perfect! Also known as Thira, the island is the southernmost of the Cyclades group of islands. Formed from a volcanic explosion its impact is still seen most notably forming the caldera which is the centerpiece creating the magnificent sunsets we so easily recognise from postcards.

Particularly perfect is the picturesque town on Oia at the northern end of Santorini Island. This is where Mr Iced Vovo, Mum and I spent a week relaxing in the sunshine and taking in the views. We stayed in a private cave home organised through Vacation Rental by Owners (VRBO). We ended up having the best of both worlds: we had our own privacy and were left to our own devises yet it was managed by the neighbouring resort which gave us access to their pools ( a spa plunge pool and other small pool) both with stunning views out to the caldera and assistance and advice on tourist activities from management.

Our Cave home had a small kitchen area, bathroom, bedroom and open plan lounge/ dining area. Just outside was an alfresco courtyard area with outdoor furniture for dining and relaxing and off to the side was a one bedroom unit, where Mum stayed complete with her own bathroom.

We went there with the specific intention of doing precious little but enjoy ourselves and that’s just what we did! Our daily schedule consisted of a leisurely morning with breakfast at the house before strolling to one of the near-by coffee shops for a cuppa. We would then do a little browsing at local shops and galleries before gathering a few supplies for lunch back at our home. Lunch usually consisted of local cheese, olives, tomatoes, bread or crackers. After lunch we would go for another stroll, browse or walk to the water followed by an afternoon swim. Of course afternoon drinks and snacks were part of the regime and with so many quality local wines, nuts and nibbles on offer we were spoilt for choice!

We also found a fantastic restaurant, Oaaami, (Thalami Traditional treats) nearby that we ended up ordering from most nights. I think we ended up trying nearly everything on the menu! There was nothing better than taking their delicious morsels back to our perfect hideaway to eat alfresco with the best view in the world!

One day we ventured further afield going by bus to see the ruined city of Akrotiri excavated after being totally covered by volcanic ash back in Minoan Bronze Age. Restorations started in 1967 but there was an unfortunate halt in proceedings when a modern roof structure, that was erected to protect the site, collapsed in 2005. This has since been rectified and the site is open for visitors.

Another day we took a boat cruise that took us via Fira to an island for a walk to the top of an active volcano, next was diving off the side of the boat and swimming to the warm thermal waters before the boat headed to Thirasia Island where we embarked for lunch before returning to Ammoudi Bay.

We ended our Santorini experience with dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants down at Ammoudi harbor. Make sure you get there well before sunset to take in the changing light and colours.

We were there late April 2012 and this was the perfect time to avoid the peak tourist rush whilst still encountering great weather. Would I go back? In a heart-beat! This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been…dreaming Santorini…

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