If you had been following us on Instagram, you would have seen that several things went wrong on our visit to Greece. In fact, some things went wrong before we had even arrived in Greece leading us to wonder how on earth this holiday would pan out. Usually, we aren’t so unlucky when travelling. But, beyond all the unfortunate events, there were some incredible, out-of-this-world moments that I am so glad we got to experience along with friends! Here’s a recap of our best as well as our least favourite moments of the trip:
#6: A Rooftop Dinner at the New Hotel in Athens
We only had a few hours in Athens (before leaving for Santorini the next morning) so we had planned and reserved a table for dinner at an amazing restaurant with all our friends, as we all gathered for our Epic Greece Holiday. Our flight delays (cue #1 worst moment) and luggage troubles meant that we had to miss that and instead grab a very late dinner at our hotel. Lucky for us, our hotel restaurant happened to have a pretty great view. We stayed at the New Hotel, and ate at the rooftop bar which boasts panoramic views of the city and of the Acropolis too. That plus incredibly accommodating staff, who found me the biggest bowl of gluten-free pasta, plus a strong cocktail, made our first official few hours on holiday, SO much better. For that reason, this hotel gets a stamp of approval from us!
#5: Sunsets in Santorini
It’s pretty much on every to-do list you’ll find on Santorini, the sunsets are a must-see! I can’t imagine anyone not loving these views — they are the most incredible I have ever seen! You’ll know, if you’ve read our Santorini Travel Diary (or if you’ve seen my constant, annoying Instagram posts) that everyday, like clockwork, I was out there snapping away at the sun-setting. While I didn’t get to see it from Oia (like all the tourists), our villa happened to be a perfect spot along the caldera to view it — minus all the crowds. So remember for your next visit, Imerovigli is a pretty good sunset viewing spot too.Santorini Tip: Avoid the crowds at Oia, and watch the sunset from Imerovigli! #traveltips Click To Tweet
#4: A Day Exploring the Islands in Lefkada
I stupidly did not bring my camera for this. Silly Leigh. I wasn’t sure what we were in for and I pictured both my camera and cellphone hitting the bottom of the ocean with no possibility of replacement in the near future — because you know, travel = life = no money for anything else. Steve, our host from our villa, offered to take us out on a boat for the day to visit Meganisi and Skorpios islands — and I am so glad we took him up on his offer! Besides getting to see the nearby islands, we got to snorkel into a bat cave, grab a local lunch plus get up close with an octopus.
#3: Snagging the Perfect Villa in Lefkada
This villa is pretty much the reason four couples found themselves in Greece together in the first place. It inspired the whole holiday and thank goodness for that. It had a huge kitchen with an outside barbeque area so we could cook our meals and those dinners in were some of my favourite times on the vacation. I know it must seem like Craig and I travel to eat — and we do — but it’s also nice to have home-cooked meals especially when you’re away from home for so long (and I was getting a bit tired of Greek salads).
#2: Seeing the most beautiful beach, Port Katsiki:
I don’t think I’ve ever seen water quite like this. Beautifully turquoise and easily the most photogenic beach I’ve ever seen, it also gets extremely busy. Nonetheless, we managed to grab a couple of empty chairs and get in some good tanning time before returning back to our villa. But note to self, in future I will get waterproof flip flops (shoes) to go into the sea with — those pebbles are killer under your feet!
#1: Lunch at Amoudi Bay After Exploring Oia
Oia can get a bit much when the tourists flock in and the sun beats down on the marble pathways only to beat up at you again. After exploring for only an hour or two, we were all ready to either retire to the villa or hit a seafood lunch down at Amoudi Bay, which is even frequented and recommended by locals! As you will have read in the travel diary, the 230 steps down to the Bay is no joke. BUT it is SO worth it. We had the freshest seafood, with some of my favourite Greek starter dishes, it was definitely one of my favourite meals in Greece.
Worst (or Least Favourite) Moments:
#3: Looking at Our Bank Balance After Santorini
Now we loved Santorini, don’t get me wrong. But my word, it is an expensive place to visit! In all fairness, we did visit a fancy spot for dinner, but in general, everything seemed priced slightly higher than what we’re used to. Luckily we did save money on our accommodation by booking an Airbnb Villa with a group of friends, but I’d hate to think what the trip would have cost us had we booked a gorgeous hotel! Needless to say, we had a bit of a hearty when we looked at our bank balance after we got back to Canada. Yikes. Worth it for the photos though! 😉
#2: Driving with the Greeks
You know, you have to be pretty brave to drive in South Africa, so I have a pretty high tolerance for crazy drivers and chaotic roads. That said, the Greeks take it to a whole new level. From our first taxi ride from the airport to our hotel in Athens, to us hiring our own van to drive to Lefkada in, I pretty much thought we were going to die every second that we were on the roads. Particularly nerve-racking is the drive from Nidri over the mountain to Port Katsiki, along the most narrow, windy roads I’ve ever seen. Although it is pretty much necessary to drive on that island, driving can be super stressful on holidays. Hence why Craig and I get walking-injuries — rather that than getting in a major car accident!
#1: Flight Delays and Luggage
Look, flight delays happen. They are unavoidable. That said, we experience a higher likelihood of delays every time we fly with this particular airline (which shall be left unnamed for the meantime), in addition to bad service, lack of communication and no effort to make up for their lack of service. So while we accept the waiting in airports and eating up chunks of our holiday is sadly a risk one has to undertake when flying with them, we would at least expect better service. I, for one, understand how easy it is to drop the ball, especially in a big company, but I do believe that it is the company’s responsibility to make it up to their customers afterwards. And it’s that kind of service afterwards that makes customer’s coming back. But I am going to reserve judgment till I receive a reply.
I’d love to hear what you guys think about particular airlines and bad service. Is it something that you take into consideration when booking flights or does the price win over everything?
I am currently in Durban, South Africa, visiting my mom. The weather has been miserable and I haven’t been able to do much blogging or exploring while I’ve been here so far. BUT I’m hoping to get out this week to show off my hometown to you guys a bit more. Keep a look out on our Instagram Stories!
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