Santorini—where cubiform homes and Grecian architecture seem to cling helplessly to the cliffs—is what it is today because of a volcanic eruption circa 1650 BC. The eruption engulfed this Cyclades island with volcanic ash, lava, and pumice stone. Today, however, Santorini ironically boasts ideal soil conditions that helps produce the distinctive wine of the island. Tour Santorini’s wineries and catch some amazing views— which are pretty much anywhere you are when in Santorini—and pair a dry white wine Santorini is known for with the island’s famous fava beans. For great restaurants, nightlife, or a quick gyro, Fira is the town to climb up to. Situated atop a cliff (what isn’t?), Fira offers a true downtown experience, with authentic Greek tavernas like Salt & Pepper, or elegant Greek restaurants like Apiron, which has an infinity view of the Aegean Sea to boot. Be sure to cool down and casually catch up on some Greek philosophy—it’s a great beach read here!—at one of Santorini’s stunning red or black pebble beaches. Known as one of the most romantic spots in the world, this Greek getaway is popular for destination weddings, honeymoons, and couples. Make sure not to miss the unforgettable Santorini sunsets from atop the Caldera, the island’s volcanic crater.
Looking to stay up late? Make it Mykonos. Take it easy by day, perhaps purchasing a chair on Paradise Beach, where you’ll get personal wait service, or get that reading in on quiet Agios Sostis Beach. As Aristotle philosophized—life’s all about achieving a Golden Mean. Listen to the Greek! You’ll be out late, so achieve that Mykonos Golden Mean by taking the day at a more luxuriating speed. Mosey on over to Barkia Pasta Fresca for some homemade pasta, and be sure to set aside time to visit the Church of Paraportiani, a classically whitewashed Greek style church dating back to the 15th century. Wind down before your nap by walking along the coast, where the iconic Mykonos windmills are lined. Let them be a metaphor for you—you’re going to have to wind back up again! Arrive for a late dinner at Uno Con Carne Steakhouse & Oyster Bar. Enjoy the charm and excitement of Little Venice, Mykonos’ historic 18th century district, speckled with bars and a boisterous nightlife. Mykonos is where the yachts and cruise ships sail in alike, and all are welcome to the party!
Enjoy an itinerary packed with exceptional sights on and off the beaten path in Europe. Ride the London Underground to Big Ben and Buckingham Palace. Marvel at the famous Gaudi buildings in Barcelona with the perpetually-under-construction (since 1882!) Sagrada Família, and sample Gouda cheese and Mediterranean delicacies at the Albert Cuyp Market in Amsterdam. See the Old World in a new light this spring by contacting your travel agent to book your epic European escape now.