Cultural experience, check. Food and wine at the beckoning, check. Romance, check. I’m not talking about the bright lights of Paris or the food scene of Seville. This checklist perfectly describes my recent honeymoon getaway to Greece. Planning a wedding may have taken 10 years off my life, but it was all gained back with the village visits in Naxos and the sunsets of Santorini.
As we touched down in Athens, the excitement was over the top. A quick private transfer from the airport and we were in the hustle and bustle of the main land. The Grande Bretagne Hotel greeted us with open doors into a large, palace-like lobby with intricate details and touches of yellow. We stopped by the pool and had a look through the spa before it was time to walk the path of the Gods.
A half-day walking tour of the city was a perfect start to the trip. We were immersed in the Greek mythology we’ve read about since grade school. The Acropolis Museum was beautifully redone to show the growth and battles endured just hundreds of years ago. A quick hike up to the Acropolis, and the city was ours. The Parthenon is so impressive in person and you feel the Herculean strength it took to build the antient fortress.
Our first night ended with a dinner under the stars at the Grande Bretagne rooftop restaurant.
A hop, skip, and a jump and we were hitting the first island of the trip – Naxos. We had no idea what to expect of Naxos, and that’s what made it so perfect. This is unexpected Greece. Naxos is best known for its love of food and agriculture. Its rolling hills are covered with olive trees, roaming goats, and sleepy villages. Naxos is the perfect blend of beach relaxation, hiking, and exploring. We spent one afternoon shopping and eating our weight in fresh-caught fish with the next afternoon spent talking with the locals in Halki and Filoti.
We rested our heads at night at 18 Grapes in an open-concept Sea View Room. The name comes from the hotel having just 18 rooms and lives up to its boutique style. We were a 5-minute walk from the beach and a 10-minute taxi ride into the main town (Hora) for more shopping and cocktail dinners. The food here was the best surprise as our favorite meal of the entire trip was shared at Antamoma.
The wait was finally over, we were headed to Santorini. After arriving in style in the VIP section of the ferry, we felt the instant charm of this island. The town of Oia (EE-Yuh) can be seen in the distance teasing us for what was to come. No postcard, magazine, or Instagram post can do Santorini justice. Oia is where you need to be to capture the pure white walls and electric blue top domes.
Within three minutes of checking into the gorgeous Canaves Oia Hotel, I did what every new wife does and hit the spa for a Frangipani massage. Then we were sitting at the rooftop bar of the Canaves Oia Sunday Suites hotel, watching the sunset together, when life felt more like a dream. We spent three leisure days walking the main strip of Oia, popping in boutique shops, savoring homemade desserts, and soaking in our private plunge pool. The true highlight of Santorini though has to be a sunset cruise around the island. If you think the sunset could not get better from the Caldera side, you will have to pick up your jaw from the sunset views out on the water.
We were graciously upgraded to a suite at the Canaves Oia Suites property to spend our last night in paradise. Our wonderful Handley honeymoon was complete.
My favorite part of my honeymoon? Watching my husband’s eyes grow wide and the smile across his face grow even wider seeing what comes with traveling like a CTTW client.
Whether you’re needing to plan your honeymoon, family vacation, mother-daughter trip, or solo escape, we can help bring your plans to life. You will have your bags packed before we can say, “Opa!”
~ Emily, Oct. 2019
Caroline Travels the World…And So Can You