Since it's Valentine's Day and also 'Wedding Wednesday', I thought what better time to write my first blog post?! So here goes! I'm kicking things off with 'A Honeymoon in Santorini' - where I myself spent my honeymoon. Coming up on the blog, I'll be looking at other destinations too, as well as my favourite weddings that I have edited over the years and the latest wedding trends - from venues to table decorations!
Picking your honeymoon destination is no easy task; it takes a whole lot of research to plan your perfect holiday, because after all, you want it to be just that - PERFECT!
If you're looking for a romantic honeymoon in Europe then Santorini could be the place. Not only are you surrounded by the most fabulous views, there is the option to be laid back and lazy; or for those that prefer an action packed holiday, there's plenty to do too - and all with a touch of luxury.
For us, Santorini ticked all of the boxes. We were leaving our young son at home with the grandparents so we wanted to stay within Europe for two reasons: a) we couldn't go for too long so we limited it to 10 days and did not want to waste two of those days with long journeys, plus if necessary and we had to come back for our son, we could get home in a matter of hours. b) I've always wanted to go to Santorini and due to the sheer drops and infinity pools it isn't a place for the kids, so it was now or in 20 years time!
I spent ages looking at hotels and finding the right one for us. Most of the hotels in Santorini look amazing so you are truly spoilt for choice. I always use Mr & Mrs Smith and i-escape to search for boutique hotels around the world, I find I can always trust their honest reviews and recommendations; they have never disappointed us yet! I eventually narrowed it down to two hotels - Grace Santorini and the Kapari Natural Resort, both of which are on Mr & Mrs Smith. Grace Santorini is one of the most well known hotels in Santorini and definitely amongst the best. It is a white washed building, built on different levels and carved into a cliff side. For this reason it feels quite private and does not overlook any other hotels or villas. Prices start from approx £500 per night.
Kapari Natural Resort is a much smaller boutique hotel with cavernous rooms and all organic, natural furnishings and products. This is the hotel we opted for in the end as prices start from £250 a night, so half the price, and we decided rather than a basic room at Grace Santorini, we would opt for one of the suites at Kapari Natural Resort. We were not disappointed! Our room was so lovely and calming and had a fabulous walk in shower as well as a huge hot tub built into the bathroom. We also had the most incredible view!
When we visited in 2014, Santorini was much quieter. There were no direct flights at that time but now you can fly there direct from the UK with British Airways, EasyJet, Ryanair and Thomas Cook. Due to this, it is much busier May - October, and July and August are particularly busy as it is when all the Greeks flock there for their summer holidays. We visited in June and the weather was perfect, not too hot but still sunbathing weather. We chose to to stay in Santorini's Imerovigli village as it is away from the hustle and bustle, has the best views on the island and is the best spot for honeymooners! We took the opportunity to fly from London to Athens, spend the day there to see the sights, and we got a ferry to the island of Santorini the next morning. They also say approaching the island by boat is the best way to arrive.
Reasons To Visit
The island of Santorini took its shape when a volcano erupted and left a crater in the middle and steep walls around the edge. White washed villages are built into these steep walls, lending to the most stunning views of the azure blue sea hundreds of feet below. Santorini is also famed for its sunsets, and trust me, they are incredible! The air-borne dust from the volcano turns the sun a dark, glowing orange which is a sight to behold.
Things to do
Wander around the capital Fira, where you’ll find some great tavernas for lunch or dinner and small boutiques and shops.
Explore Oia - supposedly the best place on the island to view the sunset. You can find many fabulous restaurants on the island where you can dine outside with spectacular views of the sunset, just be wary of the touristy ones in the towns. Both restaurants at Grace Santorini and Kapari Natural Resort have stunning views and food to match.
Take a private or semi-private boat charter and visit the hot volcanic springs, secluded bays and experience the best views. We did this and it was the highlight of our honeymoon. We were also served a 3 course seafood meal on board, whilst anchored in a secluded bay and made some great friends whom we then partied with that evening.
From Imerovigli, trek to Skaros rock where you will find the chapel of Theoskepasti and ruins of a Venetian castle.
Have beauty therapists come to your room for a couples massage in the privacy of your own room.
We spent 5 days in Santorini and then got a catamaran to Mykonos, where we continued our honeymoon. The balance of exploring a city like Athens, then the tranquility of Santorini and finishing off with sunbathing to chilled house music by day and parting at night, was the ideal honeymoon for us! Make sure you do your research - speak to travel agents, call the helpful staff at Mr & Mrs Smith who can advise on hotels, transfers and activities and read blogs and travel sites.
Santorini is also, of course, a very popular destination for weddings themselves! If you're planning a destination wedding then your wedding planner can put together a unique itinerary for you and your guests - just be sure to book our Destination Video Package and take our cameras with you to capture it all on video!
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