Greece is a Muse…
"Greece is a muse that inspired me in magical ways that I can not even begin to understand or explain."
We are delighted to share a first hand account of one of our client's very recent 14 day holiday in Santorini, Greece. Our travel team created a couture experience for a family of five and we enlisted our wonderful concierge Jackie who is based in Santorini to assist with day to day requests while our clients were on the island.
"We are having a brilliant holiday in Santorini. It is amazing to be able to enjoy the island with around 10% of normal tourists. Oia, well known for sunsets, is usually so busy with tourists from cruise ships (8,000 people per day) and those staying on the island that usually it is difficult to take in the locality for the sheer number of people navigating the narrow lanes and streets.
We are in a fantastic villa with breathtaking views in Firostefani - on the Caldera side of the island - which is an easy walking distance (a few minutes) to restaurants and little local shops. We feel very lucky to enjoy relatively empty - and truly beautiful - beaches, roads, lanes and restaurants, with so few other tourists around it is so easy to explore, with so much to see and enjoy.
The absolute key to how brilliant our holiday has been however is our concierge Jackie. She is excellent in booking restaurants, giving us, if required, the uber local Greek version of 'Deliveroo' for breakfast and arranging taxis for those special dinners. Jackie has assisted us whenever the need has arisen as well as making some really helpful recommendations for things we had not thought of. It makes 'villa living' feel very five star - and reminds us of the huge benefit of a good concierge (and maid?) and Rocksure delivers this every time we have asked for a concierge 'on the ground'.
Regarding our Santorini adventure one of the highlights had to be the truly unique Open air cinema experience, where we watched 'Tenet'. The experience was so extraordinary - and much like the 'sail in' water cinema we had heard about in Venice. It was recommended by Jackie and it was an unexpected and unplanned extra for the holiday. Quite simply this was one of the best cinemas we have visited.
We took a sailing trip with 'Black and Blue Sailing' who do private cruises on a 47 ft yacht . Our first trip was a 6 hour trip around Caldera including a spa like hot springs swim and one of those famous Greek sunsets. Another trip was an all day visit to Anafi, the closest island to Santorini. This trip was incredible - and apparently something that 'most tourists' don't do - perhaps this was the reason we did it! We truly felt like we were living like locals, Rocksure style.
With regard to restaurants, Galini Cafe in Firostefani was excellent for breakfast and brunch overlooking the Caldera (we realised that it had to be good since there were (socially distanced) queues on most days!). Our other two favourite restaurants were Athenian House in Imerovigli (walking distance from our villa) which had the added bonus of another picturesque sunset - as well as Aktaion in Firostefani which is one of the grande old dames of the island, having opened and served meals since 1922. We found that at both our favourite restaurant Atkaion - and also Metaxa Mas (in the middle of island) - we often shared starters since the main courses were very generous - and with less pressure on turning tables we enjoyed long leisurely meals either at lunch or dinner.
In terms of good beaches and beach clubs Seaside and Forty One on Agios Georgios beach being some of the best. Lunches were made easy on 'beach days' with lovely places to eat. In particular Yalos on Exo Gialos beach served delicious fresh fish.
All in all - and perhaps remarkably given the pandemic, as a family we rate this as one of our favourite and most enjoyable holidays. For sure right now travel feels a bit like a trade off. The benefits of 14 days away are innumerable and despite quarantine on our return (introduced in our last week of the holiday) we feel incredibly refreshed and inspired to plan our next trip..... and since we truly loved how few people were around in what is normally a very crowded part of the world, we are seriously considering a trip to Venice next. Another gem of a destination that is often shrouded with tourists.
We will be in touch for our next adventure - and thank you again for making our Santorini holiday truly magical!"
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