Tag Archives: American girl in Greece

Sunset in Oia

It’s rumored that Oia has the best sunsets on the island. Curious to see what all the fuss was about, we decided to head over before dinner.

Along the way, we paid our friends at Grace Santorini a visit atop the vertigo-inducing village Imerovigli. Keeping cool with a saffron mango margarita by the pool, I was able to take in the jaw-dropping views of the Caldera.

Grace pool





We arrived in Oia just in time to witness the mad rush of tourists (some of them literally stampeding) down to the tip of the island where throngs assemble every evening to await the sunset. We shied away from the crowds, opting instead to take advantage of the suddenly deserted streets. We wandered around watching the fading glow of twilight bounce off the town.



Oia4 Oia3

2Oia Oia2 oia oia church

With dusk upon us, we wound down the coastal road to Amoudi Bay for dinner at Sunset. We heard about it in our trusty copy of Where Chefs Eat, but this place is no secret. Reviewed in the New York Times and featured on Travel Channel,  it’s one of Santorini’s most famed dining spots. Nestled at the base of the cliffs with the gleaming white villas of Oia above, Sunset sits on the edge of a twinkling bay. As we walked to our table, little fishing boats were returning to the cove and coming ashore with their catch. We sat right on the water and shared the Sunset trademark dish – lobster pasta.

Rest Sun Rest Amoudi Rest Amoudi1 Rest Amoudi2 Rest Amoudi 4 Rest Amoudi 7 Rest Amoudi 5 Rest Amoudi 6

I wouldn’t be surprised if this dish was a favorite of the Greek gods themselves. The restaurant insists the recipe is “top secret.” But word is already out amongst the feline foodies – this discerning lad definitely wanted in on the action.

Rest Amoudi 8 Rest Amoudi3 Rest Amoudi 9A shame we were too full to taste this complimentary sweet yogurt brought to our table – it looked lovely. I have a feeling I’ll be dreaming about this meal for some time to come…

Zannos Melathron, Pyrgos

The best part of our hotel was its fantastic location in Pyrgos – a quaint, sleepy Santorinian village that has managed to lay low despite the overwhelming crush of tourism besieging most of the island. When we arrived in the town square, this dashing young lad was waiting to carry our luggage up the steep ascent our room.


Zannos Melathron is a Relais & Chateaux property at the tippy top of the village. Settled into the slope of the hillside next to the brilliant blue-domed Agia Theodosia, the hotel has a bird’s-eye view of the island’s northern tip. From the restaurant terrace, you can see the cliffs of Fira, and then Oia further in the distance.

The mansion is the former mid-19th century home of a powerful Greek shipping family. The main public rooms of the interior still evoke a nostalgia for the charmed life this glamorous home once contained.


Agia Theodosia

Agia Theodosia

ent2 ent

3 4



The suites are cavernous – in the truest sense of the word! While some might find this cosy, I actually felt a little bit claustrophobic. Everything was clean and thoughtfully arranged – and I loved this little nook.

nook room

Outside on the terrace was shaded seating for two, a couple of stripey sun loungers, and a jacuzzi.


jacuzzi jacuuzzi


1 2

And how about these views from the pool?

pool pool4 pool5

After settling in and unpacking at the hotel, we made our way down into the village to the best lunch joint on the map – Selene. It serves mouth-watering local dishes with the warm welcoming service characteristic of the region. I have to admit, it was so good we went back again (though I won’t say how many times).

outside int

House baked bread with tomato tapioca

House baked bread with tomato tapioca

Squids with tomato crust

Squids with tomato crust


Octopus carpaccio with white eggplant salad

Octopus carpaccio with white eggplant salad


Chicken leg (gyros style) in pitta bread with grilled Santorini zucchini and yogurt-spearmint sauce

Chicken leg (gyros style) in pitta bread with grilled Santorini zucchini and yogurt-spearmint sauce


And of course, what Greek meal would be complete without an oozy warm slice of baklava? baklava

On that sweet note, I’ll save the rest for tomorrow – when the real adventures begin!

Santorini “The Old Way”: The Hilltop Village of Pyrgos

After catching a high speed ferry to Santorini and disembarking at the old port, I wanted to start exploring right away. Pyrgos is a hilltop village in the center of Santorini with stunning panoramic views of the island. It’s also one of the least developed villages on the island, preserving its traditional charm. From the main square at the base of the hill, steep footpaths lead upwards through the densely clustered stone houses and neo-classical ruins. These labyrinthine streets are only navigable on foot or by donkey. With no traffic, you can really experience the medieval authenticity of the place – despite its gradually emerging status as a tourism village. Pyrgos path3 flora and sarah path us walking pyrg 2 domes dome flag view Grab your sunnies and hike to the top of the hill, strewn with the ruins of an ancient Venetian castle (Kasteli). The sunsets from up here are sensational. path2 funny face leaning wall church inside church inside church two Just beyond the front steps from this lovely church is the terrace of Franco’s Bar –  softly playing a mix of sultry wartime jazz and classical music. It is the perfect place to sip a gin fizz in the warm breeze and watch the sky change colors. francos patio francos church francos drink Sunset3 domeflag dusk sunset2 sunsetview sunset Pyrgos is a little spot of unspoiled ground where you can experience Santorini “the old way.” And with gobs of historic charm, and heavenly views like these, I hope it never changes.


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Foreign Engagement

My first day of being engaged, I rediscovered my joie de vivre. Everything suddenly seemed incredibly novel. In that first hazy stage of wakefulness, which any other day I’d simply snooze through, I insisted we scramble up to the roof with our duvet and pillows to watch the sunrise.

Waiting for sunrise is agonizing; it always seems to be on the very verge of happening but keeps holding out. I whiled away the countdown snuggled up in blankets staring at the new sparkle on my ring finger.

Finally, the sun came up. We basked in it for all of ten minutes before ordering up room service. No better way to start our first day as a betrothed couple than champagne breakfast overlooking the Aegean!

Engagement Day 1sunrise



breaky3 breaky2

breakfast2 RING


After our breakfast of creamy strained yogurt, grilled vegetable omelettes and the most sinfully delicious gooey Greek doughnuts, we were ready to head to the beach for our morning swim. I donned my new macramé suit, swiped a couple of towels, and trotted down the sandy trail to Agios Stefanos.


swimback beach

After we were all cool and salty from our dip, we lunched on a festive Greek feast.

Traditionally inspired freshly fragrant selection of Greek dips with pita bread

Traditionally inspired freshly fragrant selection of Greek dips with pita bread

Airy fish roe puree, squashed eggplant salad, tzatziki, and velvety fava

Airy fish roe puree, squashed eggplant salad, tzatziki, and velvety fava

Greek salad with tomato, cucumber, sweet green peppers, red onion, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, caper berries and barley bread

Greek salad with tomato, cucumber, sweet green peppers, red onion, Feta cheese, Kalamata olives, caper berries and barley bread

Green salad with octopus carpaccio, capers, marinated artichoke hearts,  and red wine lemon thyme vinaigrette

Green salad with octopus carpaccio, capers, marinated artichoke hearts, and red wine lemon thyme vinaigrette

Grilled calamari served with freshly diced tomato, capers, and basil salad

Grilled calamari served with freshly diced tomato, capers, and basil salad

We passed the afternoon hours playing Bananagrams and sipping Bloody Marys.

bloodys roofAnd we relished our last Mykonos sunset, before heading off for dinner. It was a whirlwind of a trip, but an unforgettable adventure – one we will recall often over years to come.

us yellow


Grace Mykonos

Last week my boyfriend whisked me off to Mykonos, a sparkly little gem in the Greek Aegean. Perched on the roadside overlooking the glimmering Agios Stefanos, Grace Mykonos is a statuesque example of Cycladic architecture – flat roofs, cubic whitewashed walls and flowering balconies.

graceG1 G2 G

We climbed the narrow stone path – up, up, up – to the landing outside our suite. The double doors were flung open to the cool, bright interior of our room. Minimalistic and airy seaside chic design – we were surprised by lots of elegant touches, including fresh flowers, a sleek shower stocked with Greek brand Apivita luxury beauty products, and a bottle of local wine chilling on ice.


G6 G5 G9 G10 Desk G11 BR bR1



But wait… there was still more. Sneak around the outside wall of the suite and up another marble staircase, which leads you through a little landscaped garden to the roof terrace. With complete 180° views – from Mykonos harbor to the farthest tip of the island, plus a plunge pool, a fully stocked bar, and total privacy, I felt like the queen of my own little isle. With my iPod speakers humming away, I blissfully soaked up the afternoon sun and gazed out over the Mediterranean in sheer awe.

G12 G19






It’s going to be hard to budge from this spot ever again!