No one understands “going out with a bang” better than five wanderlust college kids who spent the last year of their lives traveling the world. Using our last birthday excursion as an excuse to sunbathe excessively and try out our summer runway looks, I knew from the start that our final trip to Greece would be like no other.
Figuring out that flying from London, through Athens, and then to Santorini saved us each about $100, we boarded our 9am flight to Athens for a full day of mile high hanging & a few ancient ruin tours. Arriving midday we took the metro to the Acropolis, ate a quick greek dinner of tzatziki and baklava, and headed back to the airport for our red eye to Santorini.
Arriving just after one o’clock in the morning to the tiniest airport I’ve ever seen, we barely realized how incredible the island really was until we woke up the next morning to a view Pinterest addicts would die from.
Exploring our new blue rimmed apartment the next morning, we agreed our first adventure should consist of walking 30 minutes to Thira (a decision we later regretted in 90 degree weather). Convincing ourselves we didn’t need matching 30 euro Greek smocks, and eventually picking up the Carroten tanning lotion we set off to find to begin with, we hopped on the local bus to the famous black stone beach of Kamari. Eventually losing feeling in our feet from the scalding hot stones, we spent the afternoon laying by the water, jumping off the shore rocks, and finally heading back to Thira for birthday festivities.
Arriving just in time for our first Santorini sunset at Volcano Blue Restaurant, the rest of the night consisted of taste testing shellfish platters and enjoying free birthday shots with the waiters while we sang happy birthday (in both english & greek). With long dresses and beach wave hair, day one ended with too much baklava, a cross fit session home, & a spontaneous private pool trespass.
Taking the bus the next morning to the token tourist attraction of Oía & accidentally walking along the wrong path, we hiked our way over to the famous 300 step donkey path. Trekking down to Ammoudi Bay and tearing ourselves away from the most beautiful seaside brunches, we finally tightroped across stones to reach cliff diving haven (all while listening to Jackie ramble about donkies the whole way).
Eventually building up the courage to cliff dive once, we retired to the shallow sunbathing stones as we waited for Bri to tire herself out & pose as a mermaid a few hundred times. As we rock climbed our way back to the Sunset Ammoudi Tavern, we feasted on some of Santorini’s freshest seafood & specialty feta stuffed eggplant before hopping on our own individual donkeys and trudging up the never ending 300 stairway again.
(It was only until later that night while we were watching the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants & airdropping photos across our patio that we realized we had cliff dove and donkey ridden in the same exact places as Blake Lively & Alexis Bledel).
Desperate to see what the hype was all about at Santorini’s red beach the next morning, we excitingly dressed for another beach day (which we thought would be better than the black stones from hell). While beautiful from afar, Santorini’s red beach (not pictured due to the possibility of sparking PTSD in one of us), was a bit too windy, a bit too sandy, & the ever looming fear of a landslide drove us back to our blue rimmed porch by the early afternoon for worry-free tanning with homemade cocktails & watermelon salads.
Spending our last day in paradise at Kamari again, we wrapped up ten months of extravagant traveling with a scheduled one piece day, our own private umbrellas, and a last lunch of gyros & tzatziki. Saying a few too many heartbreaking goodbyes as we all parted ways for Wales, Jersey, Thailand, and London, a year of too many laughs, and a few too many pounds, came to an end that only Greece could really grant us with.