Tag Archives: Cyclades

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.

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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.

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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.

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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…

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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