5 Outfits I wore in Italy

Items gifted have been marked with a *

As you’ll have seen from my previous post, I recently went on a wonderful Italian adventure courtesy of Bookings For You and fellow HEY Blogger Violet which meant, yup you guessed it, packing too many items of clothing into a small space and worrying about how you’ll close it (and later, how you’ll close it again before you go home)

I thought a lot more about my holiday wardrobe for Italy for a couple of reasons – firstly because I knew the weather wouldn’t be height of summer hot, secondly because of the variety of activities I’d be doing (including driving, something I’ve never done out of the UK) and finally because it’s Italy and I wanted to feel nice.

For a four night stay I managed to pack in a fair few outfits, but I’ve picked out five of my faves to share

Photo by Olivia Lennon

This is what I’m calling my “I’ve partied hard, but only ’til 10pm” look. As soon as I saw the bold print of this shirt dress I knew it had to be mine, and in a bizarre twist my nan also picked up a pair of wide leg trousers in the very same print on a recent shopping trip…great style runs in our family it seems! I’d definitely suggest sizing up one or two in this frock if you have bigger boobs as the fabric doesn’t have any give, it easily clinches back in with the attached belt so the shape isn’t lost. The biker jacket was necessary for the chill or early mornings and evening, and made me feel a bit more cool and Italian.

Dress, Matalan* (sold out online) / Jacket, ASOS / Shades, ASOS

Photo by Olivia Lennon

for me a skater dress is an absolute essential wardrobe item as it’s simple to style, throw in a cute print and it really does make dressing just that little bit easier! The fabric of this is very soft and stretchy so moves really well when out exploring, and I picked it up for the bargain price of £22! It’s a great transition piece into the colder months too; sack on some tights and boots and hey presto. I picked up the hat last year before heading to Santorini last year and it just felt like it would add some cuteness and glam whilst in the Italian countryside.

Dress, Next / Hat, Accessorize (Similar item here) / Shades, ASOS / Sandal, borrowed from Emma Picks (similar style here)

I have lived in this frock since buying it at ten start of summer! Soft jersey, fit to flatter my hourglass shape and the length makes it appropriate for a variety of occasions. I added in my trusty Converse as I was walking around the beautiful streets of Siena, but switch them out for a pair of heels and you instantly have a more dressed up look.

Dress, Dorothy Perkins (sold out online, the A/W print in the same style is linked here) / Trainers, Converse / Shades, ASOS

Photo by Olivia Lennon

This dress was such a hit with our group that two of us brought it away with us, and a further three went on to wear or buy it! It’s easy to see why – great colour, lovely ditsy print, fantastic shape that shows off shoulders and cleavage and hugging curves. I adore it so much. As my hair is kinda short I enlisted my tried and trusted clip in bun and fashioned this low up do thingy, it’s actually more fiddly than a high bun but makes for such an elegant look.

Dress, ASOS (Sold out) / Sandals, Dorothy Perkins (similar style here) / Bun, Hair Rehab London

Dress, Next / Shades, ASOS / Trainers, Converse

I’ve always been a “if the shoe fits, buy it in every colour” kind of a gal, so it will come as no surprise that this dress is the same style as the leopard print one from before. I also have it in black and white floral (which I’m actually wearing as I type) and red polka dot. They’re just so easy to wear and fantastic value! This version was more of an impulse buy on the way to the till with the leopard number, I love the retro feeling of the floral print. As the weather gets cooler I’m definitely going to have a go at styling it with a roll neck underneath as it is on the website.

Hopefully this has given you some inspiration for holiday style a little later in the year, as well as items that can be just as wearable when you’re back home. Maybe I a, getting a bit better at this shopping smarter malarkey after all…

Thanks for reading,

J xx


A few things that surprised me about Mykonos

I know that Mykonos is on a lot of people’s bucket lists, and after going to Santorini last year I was excited to go and experience some more Greek chilled out beauty. Although I liked it, there were a few things that I wasn’t expecting to come across during our trip that I thought would be worth sharing in case these are things that would be useful to know if you’re thinking of going, or that might even a deal breaker to you deciding go at all.

I’ll be honest and say that I probably compared Santorini quite a bit whilst we are there, but only because they’re often mentioned in same breath and I thoroughly enjoyed our time there last year. Even so, here are ( in no particular order) the key things that stuck out that I’ve not noticed anybody really mention before:

  • The Scenery 🏞

Don’t get me wrong, Mykonos is a gorgeous island, but there’s a very clear ‘Instagram v Reality’ vibe about it. On one side is what you see all over Instagram (including my Instagram feed a little bit) whitewashed buildings, blue accents, flowers and clean cobbled streets. The reality is definitely there, the photos you’ve seen ain’t fakes, but they only show you the heart of Mykonos Town which is just a small part.

And then there’s the reality (some of which I’ve also shown on my insta feed) – lovely clean beaches, crystal clear water and gorgeous sunsets.

again, all gorgeous features to have on holiday, but there are plenty of places in the world you can get them. Away from Mykonos Town, you could basically be anywhere in Greece.

  • The Busy-ness 🛵 (this is a stock image doesn’t really do the situation justice, it was much busier than this, however I was too focussed on getting through it safely than snapping a pic of it so this will have to do!)

This is an understatement! I visited in August, peak summer holiday time, so I knew there’d be lots of other tourists and cruise ships docking and was prepared for the streets to be a bit crowded. And they were, but usually not overwhelmingly so, you could still walk comfortably but getting a photo in some parts was tricky. What I wasn’t prepared for was the traffic – cars, mini vans, buses, ATV’s and Vespas, they are EVERYWHERE. It’s difficult to cross the road, there are limited pedestrian footpaths next to the roads so walking next to traffic can feel a bit dicey at times, and the constant noise of vehicles beeping and speeding round corners kind of takes the shine off the serene and beautiful environment in certain areas.

The torch app on your phone will be a literal lifesaver if you’re staying out of the resort centre, some of the roads aren’t lit so it’s a good way to keep yourself visible.

  • The prices 💸

Before went to Mykonos we were told it was expensive, but we were told last year that Santorini was expensive and found that perfectly reasonable when we got there (without having to do a lot of work researching places off the beaten track to eat and drink). Turns out, Mykonos really is expensive! Expensive to me worked out at mid/higher end London prices – 15-18€ for a cocktail, 30€ for a steak and 30€ for 15 minute taxi ride. We spent about 50% more in Mykonos than we did in Santorini last year, definitely no issues with the Greek economy in Mykonos!

It did mean we had to compromise a little bit on a few things such as the amount of drinks we had each day, how we travelled and where we ate. We didn’t compromise on anything we wanted to do though; if there was a restaurant we really wanted to go to we just planned ahead and had cheaper eats at other times to make up for it.

Couple of tips I’d impart to anyone hitting Mykonos that I found useful:

– Apart from our hotel bar we only found one place that sells cheaper drinks which is a bar called Mex, cocktails here were about 8€ so half the price but it’s only open late evening and is a little too ‘Magaluf Weekender’ for me. Other than that, drinks are virtually the same price whether you have a premium view or are in a side street, so you may as well head for the more boujee places with views of Little Venice and the Windmills.

– Taxis are well known for not being clear about the price until the end of the journey which makes budgeting hard, I discovered a taxi app called i-Move that was useful. It’s a bit like Uber so you can track your driver, but unlike Uber it guarantees an exact price when you book.

  • The sea 🌊

Gorgeous colour and beautifully clear….but choppy as hell! We enjoy a boat trip on a summer holiday so made sure to book one before we travelled, but we learnt the hard way that the sea in these parts is hella not suitable for a relaxing day. Shortly after this picture was taken, we spent about 20 minutes almost vertical and being lashed with salt water (I’m not talking just a gentle spray that you sometimes get, it felt like someone was stood throwing full buckets of water over us. We, and virtually everything we had in board with us, got absolutely soaked). We were told by the crew (who were very lovely and attentive) that the sea is always like this, so definitely NOT THE PLACE TO BOOK A BOAT TRIP.

It’s not just being out at sea, in some places you’re not safe from the sea either! Walking along the front at Little Venice, the waves are still a little wild and frequently splash up and in to the walk ways and bar seating areas. On the way to dinner one evening we took a risk and walked across the front, but it didn’t pay off and I got an absolute soaking (though I dried off quickly in the heat). It can also get a little bit slippy, health and safety nightmare.

I hope this post doesn’t come across as too negative, realistically only the sea straight up ruined any part of the trip. The other stuff was absolutely no problem and could be worked around to ensure we enjoyed ourselves, this is just meant to be a bit of an FYI so hope its of some help if you’re planning any Mykonian adventures in the future!

Thanks for reading,

J 💋


Where to eat/drink to get the best views of Mykonos

Last year after my Greek getaway I posted my guide to Greek food which is something I can’t really add to, however as people usually go to Mykonos to get the iconic views they see on Instagram (or at least in my experience they do) I thought it would be useful to share some of the places we visited. Myself and the Mr enjoy a good spot by the sea and a lovely sunset, so finding places to experience these are always a priority to us, and the are some good options below that are fairly easy to get to and aren’t eye wateringly expensive…

Sunset cocktailsThe Garden

We were so lucky that this place turned out to be about 700 meters away from our hotel, and the fact that it’s accessed via a fairly long walkway lined with flowers and lights makes you feel like you’re about to discover a secret hideaway. When you actually get to the bar area it has a very laid back and cool aesthetic (think wood, beanbag chairs and fire pits) and a wide veranda looking out over the Mykonian coastline.

We headed here about an hour before the sun set to have the opportunity to settle in, take photos and choose our drinks. We requested a seat right at the front of the veranda to get the best possible view of the sunset which has a 20€ per person minimum spend stipulation (other tables not style front do not have a minimum spend that I’m aware of) which the equivalent to a couple of drinks each.

The cocktails we had were served in these cool tiki style glasses (mine even had a bloody biscuit on top!) which added to the upmarket/Mahiki feel.

When we visited we were not given any time limit for our table or made to feel like we were being rushed, the staff simply checked back in every now and then to see if we needed anything.

Little Venice and the windmills

We visited quite a few places around this area that give good views of one or both, but these two were my favourite:

Veranda is a bar in the heart of Little Venice that has a completely open seating area right on the water (what I mean by this is that the tables were placed right towards the edge and there wasn’t any kind of wall/barrier between this and the water) in addition to a regular patio seating area.

From here you can get a great view of the iconic windmills of Mykonos town (I do have some better, more zoomed in photos, but wanted to give a realistic idea of distance for this) on one side, on the other you can enjoy the rest of the waterfront buildings that make up the Little Venice area. Coupled with the sound of the water, it’s a thoroughly nice place to stop for a leisurely drink or some nibbles.

(again, this phot isn’t zoomed in, it’s exactly how I could see it from my seat whilst leaning over a little bit). Drinks prices are fairly standard for Mykonos, between 10-20€ for an alcoholic beverage.

Nice and Easy

Is a large restaurant at the foot of the steps towards the windmills, meaning you can see them much closer up and all of Little Venice from across the bay.

Drinks prices again are fairly similar to Veranda, though here I chose to have fresh pomegranate juice (fresh juices seemed to be a thing in Mykonos Town and I’m here for it) which was about 8€. We also enjoyed quite a large lunch here, with the average Mail meal costing 15-20€.

There are two key differences to this location to be mindful of over Veranda – if you sit close to the sea front (it’s across a small beach shielded by a low white wall) there’s no cover so can get extremely hot, secondly it attracts co start foot traffic from people visiting the windmills, walking to Little Venice and taking endless photos.

Relaxed romance above Mykonos TownKaravaki

For our last night we booked a table at this restaurant, which is part of the Vencia hotel. Stepping out on to the lower level terrace and seated at our table, we greeted with a birds eye view of the whitewashed houses below us. The sun was setting as we arrived, although we didn’t have a perfect vantage point as we did at The Garden it was still really beautiful.

Food here was a little more pricey than other places we’d been – we paid 120€ for two starters, mains, one dessert and three alcoholic drinks (drinks wee average Mykonos prices) which is similar to if you were dining somewhere in Central London.

The views were great, the quality of the food was great, the service was great, so we felt it was money well spent.

Top tips for getting the best views

  • Book in advance, either on resort or before you travel if you’re that organised. If you’re not comfortable e-mailing or calling yourself because of language barriers, staff at your accommodation will probably be happy to assist as they did with us.
  • Be tactical about the times you visit – check what time sunset is going to be so you can allow time to fully watch it set, perhaps consider visiting places for food at less busy times of day such as breakfast time. A lot of cruise ships dock in Mykonos too which can make these extras extremely busy, so it may be worth checking the official cruise schedule to see how ships are in port on any given day.
  • If you’re chancing walking into a venue without booking, have a quick look at the seating before you choose your spot to make sure it’s not in the ‘splash zone’ (I unfortunately found this out the hard way) if there’s a seat available right at the front but the place is already busy, think about why others haven’t sat there first!
  • If you do get lucky enough to sit right at the front, particularly to one side, be prepared for other tourists to be constantly standing very close to you or shimmying down the side of your table to take photos. This has the potential to be quite annoying since you e planned in advance to be there and paid for food/drink in order for your prime spot where they haven’t, but as long as you’re aware and manage your expectations accordingly it’s usually fine.

if you’re heading to Mykonos I hope this is able to help give you a head start on your holiday research!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


My non-alcoholic “Pimms” recipe (with one super bizarre ingredient)

It’s official: the weather is pretty nice, the sunnies are firmly fixed on our faces and the beer gardens are once again full…hello Spring/Summer you cheeky devil!

As I’ve mentioned previously, this year is about drinking a little less often but still being sociable, so I’m reaching for drinks that still allow me to enjoy some of the summer trends but allow me to keep to my goals.

My faux Pimms recipe is perfect for this as it tastes the same (in my opinion) as the real deal but you can still be the designated driver after a massive jug full of the stuff. Plus, you can make it with key ingredients that you may already have at home:

– Tall, cool looking glass (mine is from the homeware section at

– Lemonade (I used Schweppes slimline, but any standard lemonade will be fine)

– Balsamic vinegar

– Lemon and lime wedges cute in to segments

– Ice

Step 1: put 2 or 3 large ice cubes in the bottom of your glass

Step 2: fill you glass 2/3 to 3/4 way up with lemonade

Step 3: add 1/3 to 1/4 balsamic vinegar to top up (I would recommend adding in a lower amount and then tasting so that you’re adding an amount that tastes nice to you and not too vinegar-ey)

Step 4: add in segments of lemon and lime

Enjoy!

Thanks for reading,

J xx


BLOGMAS 2018/ Day 24: My Instagram best 9 (2018)

*Sings tunefully* It was Christmas Eve…..so perhaps we can gloss over the fact that I didn’t post yesterday. And on day 21, but nobody’s counting right? Awesome!

Have you ever logged in to the ‘best 9’ website/app over the past few years to see which have been your most popular Instagram posts?

It’s been a bit of a thing over the past few years, so I thought that this year it’d be a nice way to bookend the year by reviewing my most liked posts – when/ where they were and a bit of context behind each. Hope you enjoy!

Hull Marina, May 2018

This snap was taken at the end of a slightly stressful but very happy day – it was the day we finally completed on the sale of our house and picked up the keys (from some of the rudest estate agent staff I have EVER encountered). We weren’t able to fully move in until the day after, so we took ourselves out for a little cocktail to celebrate. We were living right on the marina and right across the street from this bar, so it was the perfect last hurrah. It took 8 long and stressful months to find, which has made me appreciate what we have so much more.

Duck and Waffle, London, August 2018

London baby – you haven’t really had breakfast until you’ve had it at the highest restaurant in the city! This activity formed part of the ‘do things in London we’ve never done before’ tour, it was a bit out of the way but a lovely way to start what ended up being a very enjoyable day indeed.

My front room, East Yorkshire, December 2018

This one was a late entry but one of my faves too I think – one of the photos I took as part of my Blogmas ‘unveiling the Christmas tree’ post. These Next PJ’s are the snuggest I’ve had in life so far, I need to get on with finding some none festive replacements for the next 11 months…

Zoo Cafe, Hull, March 2018

This is a totally ‘for the gram’ moment – my faves Rock on Ruby brought out a bridal collect right before my 8th wedding anniversary and I saw an opportunity. I’m really pleased with how it turned out, so did ROR.

Oia, Santorini, August 2018

When you post pictures of one of the most infamous places in Greece, people are gonna gonna double tap for ’em! As part of our summer holiday to Santorini we spent a whole afternoon strolling the whitewashed streets of Oia taking in the scenery, with the explicit aim of taking good pictures. Well, that was my aim anyway. I think I was probably frustrated that the people in the top left were in my shot, but that’s kind of the vibe everywhere you go in this town.

Hull City Hall, January 2018

Another Rock on Ruby creation has made it in! Sadly the tee is no longer with me due to an unfortunate washing incident…this was part of an outfit I wore when I went to watch Jason Manford’s comedy tour and I had a great night.

Santo Wines, Santorini, August 2018

I remember this being such a lovely evening – we were tasting wine, watching an amazing sunset and having Greek food, what’s not to like? Well, the only thing not to like were people getting up in our grill trying to get their lovely photos too – we booked in advance so got a lovely table right at the front, those that didn’t were keen to make it look as if they had. I took photos at incremental points of the sun going down for a comparison and so we could remember how beautiful it was – we arrived when the sun was still bright hot and didn’t leave until after dark.

Oia, Santorini, August 2018

This (and the only below) photo formed part of the quickest set of photos I’ve ever had to take – people are constantly walking around, wanting to stop at the same place as you to get their perfect shot and are waiting around behind ’til you’ve finished and they can jump in on your setup. The scenery was definitely beautiful and I definitely made time to stop and appreciate it, but not at this exact spot (half way down a stair case to the sea front next to a tonne of bars and restaurants).

Oia, Santorini, August 2018

this is one of my personal favourite photographs from the last year, so I’m glad Instagram liked it too! As I said above we had to hustle to get this pic, I think we probably had less than 2 minutes before people were wanting to walk in front of the shot, so that makes it all the more surprising that a couple of cracking shots came from this. Definitely helped that the scenery is so beautiful, but also props to the Mr for his camera skills.

If you’ve also done a post like this, please link it in my comments section so that I can have a nosey, if you haven’t got one planned then why not do it?

Thanks for joining me for another year of #blogmas I hope you e enjoyed it as much as me. More posts on the way soon!

J xx


TRAVEL & FOOD/ Discovering Santorini- a guide to Greek food

I couldn’t do a series of travel posts without including a food one now could I? It just wouldn’t be right! This is meant to be a bit of a guide to Greek food in general, however there are a couple of things that are Santorini-specific, which are really obvious. If you’re heading to Greece on holiday later this year of next summer, here’s some if the digits you have to look forward to…

Starters

Fava (fav-ah)

This is a thick, blended dish oh yellow peas – kind of like hummus texture, but I think it’s meant to be eaten as more of a soup than a dip as its served with a spoon. Personally for me there was a little bit too much to eat it that way, so I had mi e with a little bread, but it’s a yummy and refreshing way to kick off an authentic Greek feast.

Baked feta

Baked cheese is my idea of heaven! It melts into a lovely consistency that isn’t gloopy but makes the salty taste a littleess harsh. Served with local herbs, onion and peppers, this is utterly amazing.

Cheese pies and stuffed vine leaves

Well, more like a mini pasty than a pie, but they make a great snack as part of a meze (a selection of small dishes, a bit like a sharing platter or tapas). If you’ve never had vjne leaves and aren’t heading to Greece soon, the good news is you can pick up a great ready made version in Lidl. The leaves are stuffed with rice and seasoned with oil, and are ridicously moreish.

Souvlaki

Souvlaki (soov-lar-kee) and Gyros (jir-oss) are pretty similar and pretty simple to recreate. It’s basically strips of cooked meat (usually chicken, pork or lamb) served with salad, tszatsiki (sat-seek-ee) and pitta. As you can see here, a side of fries is often added when it’s a sit down meal, if not everything is usually wrapped up inside the pitta to enjoy on the go.

Main courses

Orzo and lamb

This dish does have a formal name, which begins with a P, but I’ll be darned if I can remember or pronounce it! It’s basically slow cooked lamb in parchment paper (which, when adding vegetables, is call kleftico) served on top of Orzo pasta, which is traditionally Greek and looks like risotto rice. The Orzo has been cooked in a sauce made of local herbs and fresh tomato and topped with a little crumbled feta. Not gonna lie, this is pretty much my perfect meal! The weekend we came, I cooked this for my mum and she also loves it.

Stifado (stiff-ar-doh)

This is a meat stew with a tomato base served with thin-ish sliced potatoes. It’s quite heart so feels like an odd choice for eating in summer heat, but it’s a really balanced dish that’s yummy and fills you up.

Mousakka

Opa! I made it my mission to get a great Mousakka (moo-sar-kah) as I’ve always liked it, and I managed to find 2 which was a bonus. This is meant to be served warm rather than piping hot, so don’t think there’s something wrong when it arrives at the table.

Santorini salad

I heard about this before we went and I was excited to try it! An alternative take on a Greek salad, which I also adore. However, I’d heard it was made with sun-dried tomatoes when it’s actuary cherry, which I’m not quite as keen on. Much like the Greek this is oy made up of a few ingredients: local cream cheese (a variation of goats cheese), tomato, herbs, cucumber and olives, this one also had a little spinach thrown in. I tried this out alongside our wine tasting and just couldn’t finish it, the photo doesn’t show just how massive it was!

Greek pasta

I was surprised this was a thing in addition to Orzo, but it’s widely available and great if you’re a pasta fiend like me. In the fresh tomato and herb sauce there’s olives, onion, sun dried tomato and feta swirled into spaghetti. Essentially, Greek salad in a pasta dish. Nom.

The Greek Mac

I had to as this one in for the sheer comedy value! Until we popped into Maccy D’s to grab a bottle of water and use the loo I had no idea this even existed, however once I spotted it I couldn’t NOT order one to try, could I? It ended up being pretty similar to a gyros with beef – the patties are smothered in tszatsiki on salad and wrapped in a pitta, so it still totally counts as traditional Greek fayre.

Dessert

Baklava

Whether is a full blown dessert or as a light nibble with a coffee, you have to try Baklava (back-lav-ah). It’s layers of flaky pastry laces with nuts, cinnamon and honey. Dee-lish. Usually they’re bite-sized portions but this massive specimen was served to me one evening, warm and with a nice dollop of vanilla ice cream on the side, which I wasnt mad at.

Fro yo

There seems to be somewhere to pick up frozen Yoghurt everywhere (don’t worry; there’s gelato and soft scoop ice cream too) and it presents the perfect opportunity to create a lovely little Insta-food masterpiece. As yummy as this was (we shared large pot of Yoghurt flavour and mango flavour topped with strawberry and coconut) it was charged by weight and ended up costing 10 frickin euros!

So that’s my whistle stop tour of Santorinian /Greek food, I hope this helps you when you visit or are next looking for new recipe ideas, and apologies for making you hungry! This is officially my last Santorini post (sob) coming up soon will be some more UK adventures as well as bringing things around to autumn a little. See you there.

Thanks for reading,

J xx


TRAVEL / Discovering Santorini – Island hotspots

Santorini Kamari

After months of waiting and trying (and failing) to plan activities/ outfits, my Santorini adventure has now been and gone. Sob.

As I’d hoped it’s a great island to visit but there’s definitely more to it than what’s on Instagram, so I’m sharing my thoughts and experiences over the next few blog posts including different areas visited, activities you should put on your “to do” list and a guide to Santorini/Greek food.

Santorini map

The map above gives shows key areas of the island we visited.

We stayed in Kamari (cam-are-ee) which is a large village about 10 minutes away from the airport. I found it to be a fairly usual beach resort that was perfectly suited to couples and families, but with a little more polish and charm.

Santorini Kamari Boat House restaurant

From bars, restaurants to the beachfront hotels, you can barely walk a few steps without coming across something that was pretty enough to snap a pic of

Santorini Kamari

Boat house restaurant Santorini Kamari

Santorini Kamari

Santorini Kamari

Jumpsuit, Topshop / Hat, Accessorize (similar here) / Slides, Miss Pap

The volcanic-black sand is also pretty striking from a distance; however up close much of it was made up of pebbles which made it a teeny bit painful to walk on barefoot.

Santorini Kamari beach

Santorini Kamari beach

Santorini Kamari beach

If you’re going to spend a decent amount of time on the beach and go in the sea, a pair of special beach shoes are recommended (they’re widely sold in supermarkets and gift shops for between 5-7e)

Santorini Kamari

There were over 60 bars and restaurants spread along the sea front and side streets close by, and what the Mr and I both loved was that mot of them offered traditional Greek food (more on that in a future post). That may sound weird, but there are so many places that cater for the nationalities that visit rather than showcase their own local cuisine which is always a shame.

We stayed at Aegean Plaza Hotel which was on a side street about 350m walk from the beach front. The hotel was white, simple and lovely, and the restaurant catered very well for both traditional Greek and international palettes at breakfast time. All of the staff were also lovely.

We had a great pool and mountain view from our second floor room

Aegean Plaza Hotel Kamari Santorini

Room tour

The only negative thing about our hotel location was the noise from low flying planes. Due to the resort being extremely close to the airport, the planes are just a few hundred metres above buildings as they’re making their approach to land. Flights take off and land at all hours of all days and, even though the noise only last for a couple of minutes, it’s loud enough to block out the sound of people/ music.

Oia

Oia Santorini

The place that absolutely EVERYBODY has in mind when they go to Santorini is Oia (ee-yah) as it’s pretty much the poster child for the whole of Greece – whitewashed buildings, blue domes and views for days, this is where you’ll find ’em all.

Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini

Oia Santorini

I’ve read that some people were unimpressed with Oia feeling it to be very small and dirty compared to the photos you see of it on Instagram, however I don’t feel that to be true at all. The part that is most photographed is part of a much bigger town which is spread across the top of the Caldera that people don’t seem to capture quite as much, and as you can see from my pictures above everything was pristine.

This part of the town had one main “street” running along the top, with many flights of steps and smaller streets that lead down towards the Caldera edge. All of them are crammed with lovely little shops (designer and souvenir) bars and restaurants which are wonderful to browse. At certain times of day they can get quite crowded as this is also the place that the world and his wife flock to see the sun set each evening (more on this in my next post).

In short you cannot visit Santorini without coming here! The hotels here are far more upmarket (private plunge pools, private sunset terraces and staff posted at every entrance to stop non-guests from barrelling in to get the best angle for their photos. Trust me, I have first hand experience with this) and stunning but I imagine would be a nightmare to get to with full suitcases, no roads particularly close and all the stairs in Greece.

Fira

Fira (fear-uh) is the Island capital and I’d say very similar to Oia but without the iconic reputation. Lots of little streets lined with places to shop/eat/drink and great views over the Caldera. I also believe it’s the place on the Island where the young and beautiful go “out out” so obviously we don’t fall into this category to confirm or deny this!

Fira Santorini

Fira Santorini

Fira is also home to the Santorini branch of Sephora.

make sure you manage your expectations with this one, it’s pretty compact in-keeping with the other shops, however it carries most of the Sephora own range and mini products, plus a pretty decent amount of fragrance and skincare. I picked up ‘a few’ items for the road and ended up 50e worse off, so it’s still pretty easy to part with cash despite its size!

Perissa

Acropolis bar Perissa Santorini

Just around the bay from Kamari, this is pretty much the only photo I took in Perissa because we just found it a bit “meh”. Everything was very spaced out, there wasn’t the variety of places like in Kamari and things just seemed more expensive for no apparent reason. The beach is slightly better than Kamari but for me that was the only thing it really had going for it.

Way to get around Santorini

Bus: Probably the cheapest mode of transport (each one way journey is 1,80e per person) services run approximately every 20 minutes towards Fira and connect to other places from there. They’re privately run and have a handy sign in the window that says ‘local bus’ as well as a conductor on board that has a decent amount of change. They tend to really pack people on during busy times of day, so be wary that you may have to stand.

Taxi: Probably the most expensive mode of transport (it cost us 20e for a fairly straight, 15 minute journey) but the most efficient and reliable. Perhaps only use them for shorter journeys or those very early or late in the day, or if you’re dressed up nice and don’t want to be sweating next to loads of other people on the bus.

Quad bike/ motorcycle: this isn’t something we used but is extremely popular and widely used by tourists. Definitely approach with caution as locals aren’t sympathetic to inexperienced foreigners and the roads can be quite winding and hilly.

So that’s my whilst-stop tour of Santorini; my next post is going to be about the things I think you definitely need to do during your holiday, so make sure you come back for a look.

Thanks for reading,

J xx

All photos taken using Huawei P Smart and Fuji bridge camera. Nothing has been done to alter the contrast, colour or view in any of these images.