Now this is going to be triky! How do you choose only 5 out of hundreds stunning Greek romantic locations? I guess I will have to take in consideration popularity, my personal expirience but also shed some light on locations that Greeks now well where only few tourists have been and trust my instinct that you will agree with me on all of these. This is Part one of 2 serries as it has almost become a book.
I will start with the worlds most famous, known as the "Capital for destination weddings"
You may ask, what is it about Santorini that thousands of couples from all around the world come to this island to say "I DO" for? Well, there are many reasons. If you haven't been to Santorini yet, you should definitly put it on your "to visit list!". I my self was forever saying "whats so special about a rock? The island in a black rock a volcano" Little did I know! When I was old enough to travel with friends we went to Santorini. To start with I wasn't that imperessed at all arriving at the port taking our things to the hotel I was still thinking to my self "Meh alot of fuss for nothing". So we head out to Fira which was the centre of the island the capital. I loved the souvenir shops and the steps all going up towards the main street overlooking the caldera and BOOM! It hit me! We had reached the top and there is was.... The Santorinian Caldera.... OMG! I honestly remeber that feeling that wow factor that I totally was not expecting it to have that amount of effect on me! It honestly with my hand on my heart took my breath away. The dramatic scenery of the volcano embracing the warm colours of the sunset was spectacular. That's when I fell in love with Santorini and that is when my question was answered! Santorini is definitly not a place to visit it alone. It's the island that shouts out for romantic evenings, romantic walks, romantic dinners overlooking the caldera and sipping a cocktail while the sun is setting. It's the island of love. But that was not the only thing that fascinated me, I am known for my love to our ancient history. I am a proud Greek and I absolutly love reading and learning as much as possible about our ancient stories. I remember ever since I was 7 years old when we started learning History at school, the lesson about Thira the volcanic island that erupted in 1646 BC that led to the catastrophe of the ancient Minoan Palace Knossos in Crete. Can't remeber all the details but it sure left me amazed and it was I believe the stepping stone of which gave birth to my love of our history. So being on the actual island that had caused the largest catastrophe in the Mediterranean was not a small thing at all! So it was a MUST for me to go and visit the ancient city of Akrotiri, the remaining evidence of a majestic history, of which resent studies have directly linked Santorini to the lost city of Atlantis. Akrotiri was and still is the pure evidence of a highly advanced civilisation. You see three storied buildings with plumbing systems. In one of the homes you find a toilet on the second floor! Yes they had indoor toilets! But what is more weird is that there were no bodies found, as if the people of Akrotiri had the chance to fleed the island before the eruption.
Fast forward to this day (as I could go on and on and end up writing a book instead of a blog post). Santorini has many stunning spa hotels and resorts that can offer you the relaxation you seek on a nice peaceful holiday. It has numerous restaurants and taverns that serve made from scratch local produce delicious dishes.The island is blessed with its beautiful sweet wine range of Vinsanto and its white aubergines that are so sweet and tasty when dipped in batter and fried. In the resent years do to it's growing and demanding wedding industry you will find many beautiful wedding venues that can host your wedding wether overlooking the caldera or simply on the black sanded beaches.
So if you are seeking for a navy blue colour of the see in contrast with the black volcanic cliffs and white houses as your picture background to your wedding or event pictures Santorini is your location. There is no wonder why Santorini weddings are the most popular for all destination weddings. As a greek wedding planner and out of my personal experience and statistics 5 out of 10 weddings in greece take place in Santorini each year.
Now this is my personal preference, Kefalonia is my number 1 romantic location. It is the island that I have lived and worked for almost 10 years. Kefalonia is one of the Ionian islands. Now what makes this island ideal for romance you may ask? If you have visited Kefalonia you surely have seen it's beauty. It is a very green island where the trees literally reach the sea. Beautiful turquoise clear waters that make you think you are in the Bahamas. The magiacal sunsets where the sun dips into the sea creating a painting of colour is simply magnificent.
So what made Kefalonia my nuber 1? I'll tell you. Back in 2002 I visitied the island for the first time with friends. We stayed in the village of Vasilikades (a small central village in the north side of the island in Erisos region) The village has a beautiful panoramic view over looking the west Ionian sea, with its 1 restaurant, 1 cafe, a petrol station and a super market was an icon of a beautiful Greek traditional village where all the residence would meet up in the cafe in the evening for a drink. Vasilikades was also 20 minutes away from an old fishing village called Fiscardo. I remember this tiny lovely small fishing village casting a spell on me and stealing my heart I remember coming down some steps and landing in the middle of the village on the port front where today is all the restaurants, tavernas and cafe/ bars. I was standing there taking in as much beauty as I could when one of my friends said to me "look Anna you see that Island oposite the bay?" I said "Yeah.." and she said "That is Ithica" BOOM! The place I always wanted to be because of Homer's Odyssey! I was ecstatic, I could not believe it, I was under a spell, I had fallen deeply in love with Fiscardo. It might sound silly I know, but I was only 21 years old that had lived half my life in the United States and Syria to return to Greece and go on a holiday with my friends and find myself being driven by karma to the very spot I always dreamed of being without knowing it! I am a big fan of the Odyssey in such way I always remind my self of the words of wisdome that the Goddes Athena would tell Odysseus to guide him safely back home. I felt at that moment that I had found my home. It was a big sign for me and it totally proved itself to be my first stepping stone to where I am today. Ever since that day I went back to Kefalonia every summer meeting new people and socialising with the locals that brought me the job oppurtinity in 2005 that got me started working in the tourist industry.
Let aside my personal preference, Fiscardo is also known for it's traditional reserved buildings that didn't get affected by the big earthquake that demolished half the island in 1953. That gives Fiscardo the romantic character alongside with it's idyllic location and beauty blending in with it's natural background. It's known as the VIP retreet. It's a calm not to loud perfect romantic destination. Kefalonia ofcourse doesn't only have Fiscardo, there are other villages on the island that are extreemly beautiful such as Assos, Agia Efimia, Lassi, Katavothres in Argostoli, Lourthata, Skala, Poros and many more. It is also known for its famous blue flag Myrtos Beach (image above). The beaches on the north side of the island are pebbly meanwhile the beaches on the South side of the island are sandy. It has beautiful spa hotels for a perfect relaxation holiday mood. Argostoli is the islands capital city. Kefalonia has an airport that makes access to it easier. It has numerous retsaurants, tavernas, clubs, wedding venues, souvenir shops, banks, hospital, it has everything you may possibly need.
Many couples from all over the world have their destiantion wedding on Kefalonia every year. It is also a perfect location for proposals.
End of part 1. To be Continued......