Holiday @ Homeric Poems, Santorini
So we've reached that time of year the so called "summer" is over, it's starting to get dark by 4pm and shops start selling Christmas things. The grizzly pre winter grey months of nothingness, where we feel an overwhelming lack of motivation for just about everything (wow sounds dramatic right?!). The only solution... book a holiday of course! So thats exactly what I did. A late birthday present to myself. Thanks Tor. And what better place to let yourself relax than in the tranquil and serene island of Santorini!! (Even if I did have to take my mum). After doing a bit of research, I booked a last minute deal through LastMinute.com to stay in the 5* Homeric Poems from Thursday to Tuesday at the start of October. Although this is pretty much the end of high season for the island, the weather averages mid to high twenties with a 1% chance of rain; I was sold.
On arrival we were collected from the airport and taken through the crazy streets of Fira to Firostefani, which is situated about a 10 minute walk out of the capital towards Imerovigli (I mean, I believe they had road signs but whether or not they choose to use them is another matter!). Here we were greeted by the hotel receptionist and were taken down the cobbled steps of the cliff towards Homeric Poems. It's safe to say the first sighting of not only the beautiful hotel, but also the amazing view from it, took my breath away! I have never seen anything like it before. Being situated in the middle of the island (described to me by a local as "croissant shaped") we had a brilliant view of the volcano in the centre and were also able to see the far ends of the island.
After a 6am flight we were both feeling drowsy, so after heading out for an amazing lunch of Tzatsiki and local wine just 2 minutes down the road, we spent the rest of the evening relaxing and getting our bearings around the hotel.
The second day, after a gorgeous hotel breakfast, we grabbed the bus down to the ruined city Akrotiri along the south coast. We luckily spent the hottest part (can I mention, very hot) of the day inside the museum, before walking around the beach front to see the Red Beach and stop for some lunch in the most gorgeous water front cafe. The local bus service really was a lifesaver, it was super easy to understand, very regular and very cheap! (About €2 a trip) and although there are many moto/car hire options, quite frankly I don't think I had the balls to try and drive on the crazy, windy, narrow roads and I sure as hell wouldn't risk my life with my mum driving!!
Our third day was spent in Oia which is located at the very tip on the north end of the island and is famous for the blue domed buildings and the unparalleled view of the sunset. We had originally planned to walk the 2 and a half hour trek from Firostefani to Oia, however on setting off at midday during the blistering heat, we soon realised this was not a good idea and hopped onto a bus. As we drove along the cliff edge we could see the trail we had planned ahead and it's safe to say our Birkenstocks and sun dresses were highly inappropriate for the completely open mountain hike! Oia was a beautiful town comprised of cobbled hilly streets, market shops and quaint nooks and crannies. There are also some amazing hotels to stay at here too!
Our final days were spent relaxing around the hotel along with pottering down to Fira to wander through the boutique shops and restaurants. Really, I don't think words can do justice for the magnificent beauty of the island and the amazing hotel - and to be honest I'm not sure even photos can either!
I couldn't recommend both Santorini and Homeric Poems Hotel more, especially if you're looking for a romantic getaway. The setting is truly beautiful and full of love in the air with newly engaged, honeymooners and weddings surrounding you. October is definitely a quieter month, mainly catering to the cruise ships, which I don't think is such a bad thing as you're not fighting through swarms of tourists. Also the cooler weather (which is by no means actually cool) allows you to comfortably enjoy the sights without getting sun stroke (or turning into a lobster if you have skin like me!)
^ Breakfast with a view of the volcano.
^ View from Oia - FT big ass hats.
^ The walk down to Fira.
^ The Red Beach
^ Gorgeous sunset from the hotel poolside.