Hike to Oia – Santorini, Greece

There are many ways to get around Santorini – taxis, buses, vespas, boats – but to access some of the most scenic views, walking is the only way.

After days overindulging in Greek food, we thought it would be a good idea to walk from Grace Hotel to Oia. A good idea it certainly was, just a lot sweatier than we thought.

Santorini Oia hike

So pack your hiking boots, or a good pair of trainers, and follow us!

We started walking from Grace Hotel and headed uphill and north to Imerovigli main square. From there we just followed the flow of tourists and walked along a scenic pebbled alley toward Oia.

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You really can’t get lost as 1) there are plenty of other people doing the same walk, 2) you can see Oia so clearly, you just have to head toward it.

Santorini Oia hike

After a little while we reached Ekklisia Profitis Ilias. You will recognised the little church from the Santorini postcards and guides you see in shops.

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Half way through the hike, we met some new friends, who like us were suffering a bit from the hot temperatures.

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We also made sure to turn around a few time to enjoy the Caldera views and take it all in.

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After a rather intense hike, we reached Church of Panagia. From there we could finally see our final destination, Oia, almost a stone through away.

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Overall it took us about three hours to go from Imerovigli to Oia. Right on time for lunch!

Santorini Oia hike

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A weekend on the Jurassic Coast – highlights

After a first video of my trip to Puglia, here is my second video creation – the highlights of our weekend on the Jurassic Coast. I like to play with new type of content and thought you would like it!

The Jurassic Coast stretches from Devon to Dorset and offers some of the most impressive and scenic views of England. Why this name? Millions of years ago this was the house to many palaeontology creatures and today it is the house of many fossils. It is a fantastic escape to the English seaside and I will soon share our full itinerary!

Also you may wonder why our car feature so much in the video. Well… This is the creative input of Andrew who is having a love affair with his new Alfa Romeo Giulia…

Hope you enjoy it!

Sunset Cruise – Santorini, Greece

Santorini has some of the most beautiful sunset views in the world, so a sunset cruise is a must if you are visiting the island! It was one of the highlights of our honeymoon.

We booked ours with Caldera Yachting, and even though it is a little pricey it worth every penny.

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A van picked us up from Grace Hotel around 2pm and we headed to the port right by Oia where our catamaran was waiting for us. The drive in itself is an adventure with roads so narrow you wonder how a minivan fits in.

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We boarded the boat with 8 other people. The group was small enough that everybody had enough space on the boat yet big enough that you can have interesting conversations with people from all around the world.

After introductions and the safety brief we were off! Sailing through the Caldera is pretty special!

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First stop Palea Kameni, for dip in the hot spring.

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A guide was with us at all time and answered any questions we may have about the island. An entertaining and educating afternoon!

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Our second stop was next to Nea Kameni. This is where the crew served us dinner. The food, a selection of freshly barbecued fish and meat and salads, was delicious.

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With full bellies we headed to our last stop, the sunset… And because images speak louder than words I am leaving you here to enjoy a selection of my favourite pictures below.

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Skaros Rock – Santorini, Greece

On our first morning in Santorini, we woke up to the view of the Caldera and Skaros Rock.

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After a delicious breakfast at Grace Hotel, a digestive walk was in order, and looking at the view from our table we thought, why not climb Skaros Rock?

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After switching our flip-flops for more hike-appropriate footwear, we headed to the rock. It is good to note that it is a hiking path, and at time a little physical, so please make sure to have the appropriate footwear otherwise you could slip easily.

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After a little climbing we were able to enjoy the breathtaking views of the Caldera where the cruise boats park in the early hours of the morning.

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We also saw some of the remains of the medieval city that was once built on the rock.

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We walked a little further and turned around toward the main island to enjoy the jaw-dropping view of Firá.

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From Skaros Rock you truly see how high Santorini is with the cliffs dropping a good few hundred meters into the sea.

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A little further up, the path started to turn and we could get the first glimpse of Ekklisia Theoskepasti.

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This little chapel clings to the edge of the rock and offers some postcard views of Santorini.

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Pretty sweaty and satisfied with the effort made, we headed back to Grace Hotel for a refreshing dip in the plunge pool!

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The hike on Skaros Rock really worth it! You will have some of the best views of Santorini without any tourists, plus you will burn some calories on the way!

Soso – Paros, Greece

Paros is a less known Cyclades island and a true gem. Much more relaxed than Mykonos and a lot less busy than Santorini, it offers everything you would hope for when island hopping in Greece AND everything is really good value for money.

Being in Greece for our honeymoon, we thought we would treat ourselves to a dinner in one of the best restaurants on the island. We headed to Soso which is rated #2 in Naoussa on Tripadvisor. It was delicious, very charming, extremely tasty and CHEAP! The whole dinner with wine came to about 50 euros.

Want to join us for dinner? Follow the narrow streets of Naoussa.

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Take a sit at the most charming terrace. Everywhere you look offers  a picture opportunity.

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If the food is as good as the place is charming we were in for a treat, and I was very excited!

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So excited that I actually forgot to take pictures so you will have to take my word for it – I am French, I like to eat and I am telling you, this place is good!

We started with a selection of Greek spreads and appetizers. Tsatsiki, fish rillettes, beetroot and courgettes salads.

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We then ordered the most delicious fava topped with octopus.

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We also had the most delicate filo pastries.

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All this was followed by a few more dishes, all delicious and complimentary dessert (how nice!).

After such a satisfying dinner, we enjoyed a digestive walk. Wandering around Naoussa and heading to the beach to enjoy the sunset. Pure bliss.

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If you are in Paros, Soso absolutely worth the detour, you won’t be disappointed!

3 things to eat in Santorini, Greece

Santorini has plenty of delicious food and wine on offer, but there are 3 products, specific to the volcanic island, that you have to try when visiting.

Santorini tomatoes

These are a variety of cherry tomatoes. They are known to be bright red and very sweet. The best way to eat them? Either on their own or in ntomatokeftedes (tomato fritters). You will find ntomatokeftedes in almost every restaurant on the island. They are commonly eaten as a starter. They are fried in olive oil, with peppers, onions, mint, and herbs in a thick batter.

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Aubergine dip at the top, fava in the middle and ntomatokeftedes on the right

White aubergine (eggplant)

The volcanic soil of the island help grow a rare vegetable: the white aubergine (or eggplant). This variety, unique to Santorini, has fewer seeds and a sweet taste. Many dishes on the island use it, you can also have it on it’s own as a dip.

Fava

Fava is one of the most famous dish in Santorini,  it is a yellow split pea purée. This dish is served warm with olive oil. It is sometimes topped with chopped onions or capers and served with fresh bread.

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Fava topped with octopus

 

Grace Hotel – Santorini, Greece

Summer is coming to Europe, if you are planning your vacations chances are you are considering Greece, and more particularly Santorini. I mean, who wouldn’t? Just look at that view!

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Now if you want to make your stay extra special, and truly feel like a VIP, I may just know the place. Facing Skaros Rock, the Grace hotel is one of his kind! Nested on the cliff with views to die for.

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Looks familiar? Probably because Grace Hotel feature on Pinterest and Instagram, A LOT!

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Perfectly located in Imerovigli, you will be able to easily walk to Fira and even hike to Oia if you want! It is also one of the best spots to enjoy the sunset.

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We stayed in the Honeymoon suite as we were there for, you guessed it, our honeymoon, and I never felt as special as then and there.

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From the moment you enter the hotel the staff know who you are and why you are here. Everybody is so considerate and lovely!

We spend most of the following 4 days in our very own plunge pool with the best view on the entire island.

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Every evening you will find the most adorable treats in your room.

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And sometime you may even be treated to champagne!

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Whats not to like with breakfast views like this?

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Our beautiful planet

Not one to make a political statement, but we do live on a beautiful planet which deserves to be protected. Let’s cherish it and make sure future generations can see its beauty too. It starts with us! 🙂

A weekend in Rome – part 3

On day 1, we explored the Antique Rome, on day 2, we visited the Vatican, and day 3 was all about the ‘everyday’ Rome.

After a morning lazing around the pool of our hotel. We headed to the city centre for a last stroll before our flight.

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We first looked for a nice spot for lunch and found a great place just off the Piazza Navona. I talked more about Cul de Sac, there.

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After a very satisfying lunch, we went to explore Piazza Navona and its surroundings.

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The atmosphere of Rome is just intoxicating, you cannot help but feel happy walking in the yellow cobbled streets.
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We walked through the city centre on the look for gelatos.
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And we ended our trip at the Pantheon, one of Rome oldest building still standing!

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It was my third time here and I can say that Rome really never disappoints!

What’s – Kyoto, Japan

If you happen to be visiting Kyoto and fancy some beef, I may just know the place you want to go to!

What’s in Kyoto is one of those restaurants you would probably miss while walking around Kyoto city centre. It is in a quiet back street about 10-minutes’ walk from Shijo Dori, Kyoto main high street, and it really worth the detour!

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Once inside the waiters will warmly welcome you. Everybody is very friendly, at What’s, and genuinely interested in where you are coming from, how you are finding Japan, and if you enjoy your time there.

If you are sitting upstairs, you will be asked to take your shoes off, very common in Japanese restaurants.

You will then be taken to your table which is more of a private booth than a table. Everything there is made so you can quietly and privately enjoy your dinner. No curious table neighbours staring at your plate here!

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To order, just use the little bell on the table! As I said, the staff wants to make sure that you are not being bothered unless it is necessary. Japanese people are very considerate which extremely pleasant!

We were first treated to an appetiser, beef tongue, the name may not be appetising for all but it was delicious!

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Once the grill was ready, we ordered the shoulder sirloin for me and the Selection of the Chef for Andrew.

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All meats are served with a selection of soy sauces, salt and wasabi.

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I find that cooking your own food make you appreciate it even more.

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For sides, we went for some kimchi (fermented cabbage and radishes, so good!) and the steamed vegetables. Who knew steamed cabbage could be so delicious?

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It was truly one of our favourite meal in Kyoto! From the beautiful indoors, to the delicious food and the lovely staff, What’s really worth a visit!