It was my second time in Santorini. l know it as the charming Greek island that fills my Instagram feed with stunning travel and lifestyle photos that, somehow, always ignite my wanderlust even more than usual. There’s a magic about this island, and it’s hard to put into words exactly makes it so special.
This time, I was travelling through the Greek islands with Topdeck. On the first day, I met our group: a cool mix of Americans and Europeans that I’d be spending the next eight days with. Though we all hit it off immediately, I didn’t know that, in the following week, we were about to become a family.
The island of Santorini is beyond beautiful, with picturesque villages built into the side of the island's cliffs that overlook the sparkling blue ocean. But the gem in Santorini’s crown is the famous village of Oia.
Oia is home to a collection of perfect white-washed buildings and traditional Greek churches topped with dazzling blue domes. What's more, Oia is more than just a beauty queen. The village is a car-free zone so you can enjoy complete tranquility here. Though sometimes overcrowded with tourists, Oia is, simply put, a paradise.
Wandering around, the traditional architecture was captivating, but as this was my second time here, I knew the best was yet to come. As evening approached, I made my way to the castle in Oia – aka the most popular lookout point for the famous Oia sunset.
It wasn’t easy fighting the crowds to make space for our entire group, but we stuck together and prevailed! We hunkered down together and watched the most spectacular display in the sky I have ever seen.
As day turned to night, the deep blue sky temporarily turned to white. But then, as the sun began to dip towards the horizon, the sky lit up in a magnificent display of pink, purple and orange hues. I swear I saw colors I didn’t even know existed! It was as if the sky was on fire.
Once darkness had fully settled over the island, it was time for some bonding with my newfound travel family. We headed to Fira, the nightlife capital (and actual capital) of Santorini. A couple of beers and shots of ouzo later, we were all chatting and dancing the night away.
It wasn’t until the early hours of the morning that we went back to rest at our hotel. The rest of the trip continued in the same vein: glorious days spent snorkelling in the ocean and exploring the islands, followed by awesome evenings that I’ll never forget.
While Greece is known for spectacular sunsets, the one in Oia was by far the best for me. It’s the one that will stick in my memory forever.
Jeremy Scott Foster is a travel photographer, blogger, and professional adventurer. He has been traveling the world for seven years, asking the hard questions, and learning about both the world and himself in the process. His adventure travel blog, travelFREAK, has taken him to 35+ countries on six continents. Jeremy has been featured by The New York Times, National Geographic, BuzzFeed and USA Today, among others, he travels the world as a blogger, digital marketer and travel photographer. Follow him @travelfreak_