Santorini, Greece 2018 Recap Behind the Scenes + Travel

I still can’t believe last week was real life. If you follow me on Instagram or social media, you may have seen that I spent the last week traveling in GREECE! My best friend Morgan and I planned this trip back in January. We both were going through a tough season and decided we wanted to plan girl’s trip…and Santorini happened to be at the top of BOTH of our bucket lists. We did some research, found flights that were within our budget and booked our DREAM vacation! We celebrated with some glasses of wine and then both dove headfirst into some of the busiest seasons of our life. I was in the height of a course launch and Morgan was finishing her undergrad. The trip felt like it crept up on us and all of a sudden we were on our flight around the world!!!

You may have noticed that in 2017, I didn’t blog a recap of any of my trips or travel. But, this trip was extra special to me for so many reasons. I won’t go into too much detail…but I get tears in my eyes just thinking about how thankful I am for Morgan’s friendship and for the memories we made on this trip. This year has looked a lot different for me than past years, as I worked hard and made an intentional effort to create margin to BREATHE this year. In 2017, I got overwhelmed at least one a month and felt like I was DROWNING in work and just couldn’t keep up. I didn’t have time to create any new projects I was excited about, my travel was crammed in between major projects or weddings, time that I spent “off” never really felt like time “off”…because I wasn’t intentional about putting my phone away and being PRESENT. I felt like all I was doing was MAINTAINING my business…and I had never felt more burnt out.

So, this year I was determined to make a change. I took a major step back from the number of bookings I accepted, took a stand for my mental and physical health and learned how to confidently say “NO” to things and people that weren’t meant for me. And, because of it, something crazy happened on this trip. It may seem minimal to some…but it was HUGE for me. Last year, when I traveled, I was so burnt out that I never wanted to pick up my camera. I documented my trips on my iPhone…but left my professional gear at home on purpose. But, for the first time in over TWO YEARS, I was EXCITED to document this trip with my DSLR and have REAL photos to remember these moments. I felt refreshed and creative with my camera in hand. And I’m so excited to share the images with you!!!

Before I share a photo recap of the trip, I want to answer some FAQ we received about the trip and how we planned! I will be the first to admit that I am a HORRIBLE planner. Like…horrible. Morgan is a ROCKSTAR at planning and organizing trips (she’s traveled to over 20 countries and is kind of my idol) so she took the lead with a ton of the logistics! But hopefully this provides some insight into how we prepped for this trip:

How did you plan your flights? 

Morgan and I used Orbitz to find our flights, and we flew from DC to Athens, Greece. This helped a TON with  the cost, because flying straight into Santorini was almost double the price. Then, once in Athens, you can find a cheap flight over to Santorini for less than $100! They leave almost every hour! We also had an 8 hour layover in Zurich, which helped lower the cost and give us somewhere else fun to explore!

Where did you stay? 

I was hesitant to share this link because I will be honest that we splurged on the cost of our Airbnb. We knew that this trip was a gift to ourselves for both completing a stressful season, so it is a bit pricey! But, we knew we would only be in Santorini once in our lives and we wanted a beautiful view to take photos, sit outside and sip drinks on the porch and soak it up while we were there. The link to our Airbnb is HERE – but, we paid a MUCH lower price than what is currently listed because we technically traveled during 0ff-season! (If you want to sign up for Airbnb, you can use my referral link HERE!)

What gear did you travel with?

I recently purchased the Canon 24-700mm 2.8 lens solely for travel, and this was the first time I really had the chance to use it! It was absolutely AMAZING to only have to travel with one lens! I brought that lens and my Canon 5D Mark lll in my Kelly Moore backpack as a carry-on. It was perfect!

How did you know where to go?!

We (and by “we” I mean Morgan) did a TON of research leading up to the trip. She created a Google Doc with all of the local “necessities” to try including local foods, highly recommended restaurants, areas to visit and avoid, touristy spots to see, etc! We mostly used the “foods to try” section to guide our trip (LOL) but it was so helpful to have in hand! However, we both went into this trip knowing we wanted it to be about EXPLORING more than having a “to-do” list of places to visit. So, I would say almost all of our trip was done on a whim and based off of local recommendations from our Airbnb hosts!

Okay, without further adieu, here are all of the photos (with links to the outfits I’m wearing!!!) There are quite a few iPhone photos mixed in with the professional ones!! 🙂

Auntie Annes is basically a traveling necessity. I smelt it from two terminals away.

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Landed in Zurich after an 8 hour flight!! We did a quick change in the bathroom to go explore! (Tip: don’t pack heavy carry-ons and then walk around for 6 hours with said carry-ons. 0/10 would not recommend.)

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We found a quiet little spot to grab breakfast and it was DELICIOUS. Also expensive. But delicious.

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Eggs Benedict and waffles with fresh fruit…just what the doctor ordered after a night of flying.

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Outfit deets: Button up top – J. CREW | Pants – SOUTH MOON UNDER | Black tank top – SOUTH MOON UNDER | Flip Flops – MONKEE’S OF FREDERICKSBURG (Tory Burch) | Sunglasses – SUNGLASS HUT (Tiffany & Co.)

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We got food at the airport…and fell asleep. IN the Burger King booth. Proceeded to get yelled at…proceeded to find another place to nap.

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We made it to Athens!! Our adorable Athens Airbnb host had a bottle of wine waiting and recommended a local place to deliver Gyros (because it was after 9pm and we were ready to SLEEP!!!)

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Athens date night!!! Hahah!

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Showered and ready to explore!!!

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Peonies in the room…it was meant to be.

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This was our little back porch and view…

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Ice cream BEFORE lunch…it felt appropriate.

 

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This is me photographing my FAVORITE FOOD OF THE ENTIRE TRIP. It is called Saganaki and it’s deep fried cheese…aka a giant Greek mozzarella stick (minus the mozzarella).

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Time to go explore the Acropolis and Parthenon!!! The photo on the left is where you START the hike.

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Such an incredible experience!!!

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Outfit deets: ROMPER:  J. Crew | EARRINGS: Monkee’s of Fredericksburg (Kendra Scott) | FLIP FLOPS: Monkee’s of Fredericksburg (Tory Burch) | BACKPACK: Kelly Moore

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Our last stop was an adorable tiki bar in the center of Athens before our 8pm flight to Santorini!!!

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We arrived EXHAUSTED around 10pm…but this jacuzzi was IN. OUR. AIRBNB. IN IT!!!

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The next morning we felt like new people after a shower and good night’s sleep (!!!) and we got ready to adventure through Santorini!! We opened the door to this view (that we couldn’t see when it was dark the night before) and our jaws dropped…

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Outfit deets: ROMPER | Monkee’s of Fredericksburg (Cupcakes and Cashmere)

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The power was actually out on the ENTIRE island from 8am-2pm on our first day…so we had to find a spot that was still open and serving food! A (slightly warm) Greek salad was for lunch…with THIS VIEW.

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When we arrived on our first night in Santorini, our Airbnb host convinced us that we NEEDED to take a boat tour…and the off-season discount was expiring the next day!!! SO, off we went on our boat tour (because, duh.)

Outfit deets: SHIRT: Vici Dolls | EARRINGS: Monkees of Fredericksburg(Bauble Bar) | SHORTS: South Moon Under

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We were pretty positive this selfie would be the last one we EVER took because we were in a taxi DRIVING BACKWARDS DOWN A MOUNTAIN. Literally in reverse. It’s fine. We’re fine.

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I’d say the boat tour was pretty stressful…

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The tour included a homemade dinner and view of the sunset…I guess it was ALRIGHT.

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Oia, Santorini from the water!!! Our tour was booked through our Airbnb host, but the company was Santorini Yacht Club!

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Day two!!! We didn’t have any big plans for our second day, but we wanted to spend a ton of time exploring, buying gifts for family and taking photos!

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Warm chocolate souffle…yes. Just yes.

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Outfit deets (my FAVE one of the trip): JUMPSUIT: Vici Dolls | Earrings: Monkee’s of Fredericksburg (Bauble Bar) | SHOES: Target (gotta love ’em)

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Post pool-day pics!!!

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We hunted down more Saganaki (read: Greek mozzarella stick) and ordered both options. Plus alcohol, please.

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We finished this day with an amazing view of the sunset and, not pictured, our FAVORITE PLACE we ate at on the island! It’s called Fino and it’s a new spot that is NOT Greek food. We were a little tired of the traditional Greek options by this point in our trip, and we ended up going to Fino twice. Think mouth-watering mini sliders with goat cheese and cheesy lobster risotto…The drinks were also incredible!

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Our final day in Santorini!! We met some amazing friends on the boat tour our first day, and they invited us out to a day at the winery! So we grabbed a taxi to a different part of the island and ended up at Santo Winery…which we didn’t realize was the MOST BEAUTIFUL WINERY ON THE PLANET.

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Then we headed off to black sand beach for some cocktails and Italian food…

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Outfit deets: DRESS: Vici Dolls | EARRINGS: Monkee’s of Fredericksburg (Bauble Bar) | SHOES: Monkee’s of Fredericksburg (Tory Burch)

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The power on the entire island may or may not have gone out while we were packing at 10pm before our flights home (nbd totally fine) and we may or may not have gotten up at 6am just to take some final pictures in our fave outfits…

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DRESS: Gal Meets Glam Collection 

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Our travel day home was LONG and ended with a flight that was delayed 4.5 hours…putting us home at 3am. BUT, every moment was so worth it…and this airport feast in Toronto is what helped us survive.

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POSTED

May 8, 2018

  1. Tammy Maillet

    May 8th, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Amazing post!! I am travelling to Athens, Mykonos and Santorini with my Mama in September so really enjoyed your pics and recommendations. If you have any other local restaurant ones I would be forever grateful…
    I am more excited if that’s possible because of your post. Thank you for sharing !!!!

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I'm Hope Taylor, an international Senior Portrait and Wedding Photographer based in Charleston, SC. I'm also an educator, international speaker, and the host of multiple sold-out workshops each year!

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