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Greece perfection (or why just a few days off do wonders)

8th August 2016

So, by now you’ll be up to here of pictures of holidays and all – it seems everyone goes away and I’m sure you’re full of FOMO (guilty as charged, I do get it all the time). But – to keep talking in acronyms, allo me – I firmly believe YOLO (in moderation). That’s why after years of random choices and ending up visiting family in Tuscany as a (still enjoyable) last resort – this year I planned may holiday in May and found the perfect way to make it work for me. Now, I’m about 2 weeks after and back to the grind and I finally found the time to share my Santorini Diary with you – #infiniteblue alert!

How did I do it?

1. choose the budget – this is clearly the main point to bear in mind. I normally decide how many days I can go (never less than 3 nights) and immediately after I’d be able to gauge the rough budget for my holiday. I seem to have found nice packages on Expedia but sometimes, especially when your schedule may vary or can get fluid, it’s useful to book directly on the hotel site so you can cancel for free – if they offer that option.

2. choose the where and the when – I have it clear: I like the beach. Not Dantesque heat, let’s not get confused (perhaps Dubai in August is not the safest choice) but a mild, breezy 27 °C is just about right for me. Having lived in the UK for now 10 years, I can no longer withstand serious heat waves. This year, I was inspired by other bloggers and friends who raved about Greece and the islands – Santorini had to be, after last year’s failed attempt at booking – all sold out for Bank Holiday in August taught me to plan ahead.

3. choose the who – I never travel alone. I mean, kudos if you do but while I am not one to mingle with strangers, I normally get fairly bored for too many hours alone on end. Couple travelling is the safest for me: we share a passion for luxury holidays, with good food and great scenery, without actually a reason to travel to the beach or trek around. This time though, Fabio had to withdraw – work was not letting him use the days off on the chosen dates – so I had a eureka moment and chose my partner in crime in a friend. Isabel was the perfect one.

4. choose the why – of course we all like holidays. But for me another important element is why do I feel like going somewhere? I travel like crazy for work – so, yes, the non glamorous part is what I get most times. No first class or uber cool destinations but grey airports and hotels, no glimpse of the cities I visit for 99% of my time there. Holiday is carefully chosen: I need different. I know that Santorini is Mediterranean-like but it’s not the classic sandy beach and it’s far away to make it exotic.

So here’s my why:

  • a far-away(ish) place
  • relaxing by default
  • sunset to take pictures of
  • infinity pool
  • hype (!)

5. BOOK. I spoke to Isabel and we booked – the flight was included and the place looked amazing – I recommend it to everyone now: Perivolas Hotel in Oia was just F L A W L E S S.

The perks? 

– very few rooms

– natural cave environment for all suites

– sunset included

– amazing food

– free breakfast (also available in your room at no cost)

– cute cosy pool with stunning view over the caldera and jacuzzi

– sauna, gym and spa

– super nice, well versed staff

– ideal to relax, super quiet and adults only

– 8-minute walk to Oia

Any downsides? Just a few.

– no TV (I could check the news on twitter and my laptop but still)

– no full figure mirror (I believe it’s just as important as a good light in the bathroom!)

– long direct flight – 4 hrs in Economy can be very tiring esp considering we left at 6am.

– very small, a bit backwards, super crowded airport

– taxis are v expensive – to go around from Oia to Thira we spent €60 return…

My conclusions?

It’s not that Santorini IS the place to be – except it may be, actually! – but it is more of a way to relax. I’m not known for long, detoxing holidays simply because they would not be very Val. I’ve been home one day and I am bored already so that’s why the short and sweet formula does have it all for me. Far from saying this is the key to freelancer happiness, I think you may need to consider your priorities and decide accordingly. As someone told me recently,

we cannot care for others if we do not take care of ourselves first.

So, replace others with your business / your family / your body / your mind / your sanity / the world / society… and there you go: get some mindful relax. While I am looking forward to my next escape, enjoy the photos and happy holidays. For more pics, visit my IG (sidebar on this site too).

-Val.

On the pool: bikinis For Love and Lemons / Agent Provocateur / Paolita / Marisa Swim + straw bag by Rae Feather (custom) – Black dress: Self-Portrait – Sandals: Chanel – Hat: Sandro Ferrone – Flip-flop: Havaianas – Skirt: Forever London UK – Glasses: Rayban Wayfarer – Off-the-shoulder tops+ shorts: Zara

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3 Comments

  • Reply Virginia 9th August 2016 at 12:59 pm

    Great article, Val! Hope you’ll come again! As a Greek I would choose to stay at Thira and not Oia, as I prefer more lively places, even though Oia is known for its incredible sunset. We never take taxis on an island – they are far too expensive- we prefer public transportation or car rental- but if we have to take a taxi we always ask the price in advance. Some advice for the next time you’ll be here 😉

  • Reply Val @ TSF 10th August 2016 at 11:28 am

    Thank you, my darling! I still hope to make it to Crete and then next year I am into another Greek escape – maybe Mykonos and then Santorini again…? 😀

    • Reply Virginia 10th August 2016 at 11:50 am

      Crete is amazing, but you need time to explore it! You’ll lose your mind with Mykonos’ beaches!! Let us know a bit earlier the next time 🙂

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