Cruising to Dreamy Santorini with the Azamara Quest

Santorini is one of those travel destinations that is so beautiful, you can hardly believe it exists. In fact, no matter how many times you visit, it will always take your breath away.

There are many things to do in Santorini, like hike or visit ruins. But the truth is, the best thing to do here is nothing at all. The perfect day is spent wandering the winding streets and browsing boutiques, stopping for a glass of wine at every cafe with a great view, and snapping photos of the picturesque whitewashed houses and vibrant blue roofs. I used the Azamara and AFAR Media app as a guide, and discovered some hidden gems.

It’s very easy to explore the villages of Fira and Oia on your own. We got an early start and was out on the first tender boat. The cable car ride up to Fira costs five Euro, and only takes a few minutes. To get from Fira to Oia, we took a taxi for twenty Euro. It was well worth it, as our driver was friendly and very informative. Returning, I took the inexpensive and easy to use public bus. It was a hot day and I’d already logged almost 20,000 steps on my FitBit, so we decided to take the cable car back down. (Take the stairs at your own risk, and do your best to avoid stepping in donkey droppings!) October is a great time of year to visit Santorini. It was still a very hot day, but with only three small cruise ships here today, it wasn’t as crowded as it would be during peak season.

Since I’d gotten up so very early, I decided to stop for a “second breakfast”. I ordered delicious thick Greek yogurt topped with honey and walnuts, and a Greek frappe cappuccino. Delicious!

After a full day of wandering around and snapping photos to share on the Azamara Instagram page, we found our way to the Hide & Tweet spot: Atlantis Books in Oia. This charming bookshop is located in a cave house, and is home to an incredible view.  The store, open since the Spring of 2004, is owned by a group of American and European expats who fell in love with Santorini. (Who can blame them?) It’s a fun place to relax, browse, and pick up a book to read on the flight home.

Full discloser: the bookstore was closed today! Travel is full of surprises, and one must always be ready to roll with the punches. Even when closed, the store is worth stopping at. While I was “Hiding and Tweeting”, plenty of tourists were stopping to snap photos of the unique shop exterior. I’ll have to catch the inside next time I’m here!

Congratulations to @sweetmatcha, who correctly identified our location! She’ll receive an Olloclip camera lens for iPhone. It’s such an easy way to take your iPhone photography to the next level! I used mine to snap photos in Santorini today.

Before leaving Santorini, we stopped at a Fira restaurant to taste local Santorini wine and beer, and to enjoy a variety of appetizers: salty melted Greek cheese, tomato and onion fritters, and lamb meatballs.

Santorini is famous for many things, including incredible sunsets. After a full day of explorations, we returned to the ship for a 7:00 p.m. departure and made our way to the pool deck to enjoy a glass of wine (complimentary, onboard Azamara ships!) and watch the sunset before we departed Paradise. What a breathtaking way to end the day.

Tonight, we'll catch up with Simon from #CruiseChat, to hear all about his day exploring the villages and wineries of Santorini via Cruise Global, Connect LocalSM shore excursions tour. Tomorrow, we’ll be in our final port of call: Athens, Greece! Follow along for the final Hide & Tweet - you could win a Kindle Paperwhite!

Αντίο,

Jill

See dreamy Santorini for yourself in 2016! This 8 Night Greek Isles & Cote d’Azur Voyage includes many of the same ports as our cruise. 

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