This has been our most requested blog post of the year, and for good reason! Santorini is a DREAMLAND and I’m so excited to share our adventure with you! I apologize in advance for the novel I’m about to write, but if you’ve been contemplating a getaway, honeymoon spot, or anniversary trip in Greece, I hope this post helps you decide!
A little back story to our trip before we get into the nitty gritty. We didn’t know much of anything about Santorini (or Greece for that matter) before we were hired to photograph an elopement there. An AMAZING couple, Justine and Dylan, flew us to the other side of the world to document their I Dos and it was one of the most incredible experiences of photographic journeys so far! The elopement was absolutely amazing. Because I’ll be talking mostly about our personal travels there, check out the elopement post here!
I asked a few of you to send me your questions when it came to our travel, so I thought I’d answer a few of those throughout the post!
What airline did you fly with? We flew with Olympic Air. They were great! I’m not super picky or particularly loyal to an airline for international flights because we usually don’t have a TON of options because of our limited time frame (we flew out the day after a wedding here and had one 2 days after we got home!), but we were happy with Olympic! What’s more important to us than airline is upgrading to exit row seats!
What was your route? We always fly out of O’hare in Chicago. Our route was O’hare (Chicago) > Heathrow (London) > Athens (Greece) > Santorini (Greece)! We flew the same route back but stayed a couple days in Athens before heading home!
Did you book through a travel agency? Nope. The only time we’ve ever booked through a travel agency is for our honeymoon and had a horrible experience. It’s so much easier (and cheaper) to book everything yourself if you put a little time and research into it!
What gear did you fly with? We had quite a bit of gear with us because we were traveling for work. We traveled with 3 D750s, Nikon 24 1.4, Nikon 35 1.4, Nikon 45 Tilt, Nikon 58 1.4, Nikon 85 1.4 and a Nikon 135 2.0. And all our batteries, external drives for backups and our MacBook Pro. If you’re traveling and could only take one lens though, I’d take the 35! 80% of our travel photos were taken with that lens.
Did you rent a car? How did you get around? Yes! Renting a little diesel Peugeot and driving it all around the tiny crowded streets of the island was one of my favorite parts about our trip! It as also super nice to have for location scouting and getting around with our couple while we were shooting! We rented through Avis Rental at the Santorini airport!
How long were you there? About 9 days! The first 3 were spent location scouting and getting over jetlag, the 4th and 5th were shooting, and we had a few days on the back end to relax and explore a little more!
Where did you stay?Confessison time. Eric and I are not Airbnb people. I know, I know! Photographers who aren’t into Airbnbs are nuts. But we’ve always been a little weirded out by them and have found it’s must easier to just stay a hotel! Some of you know that Santorini is a little different though. There’s mainly Airbnbs, and just a handful of hotels! We tried to rent out a few Airbnbs but got rejected every time for our stays, and I’m guessing it’s because we don’t have any Airbnb street cred aka reviews. So we actually ended up booking through Hotels.com for both Athens as well as Santorini! The majority of our stay in Santorini we stayed here. It was an incredible location in Oia overlooking the city and the sea! The last night we scored an AMAZING villa for a fraction of the price (because we decided to extend our stay and only needed one night). Click here’s for the link to that location!
How did you find locations to shoot at? So. Much. Research. Eric is our locations guy so he spend so so many hours doing research ahead of time on locations and maps. It’s a ton of hard work but it always pays off, especially when you’re going to a place you aren’t familiar with!
Anything we should know about? You’ll do a TON of walking while you’re there. And step climbing, especially if you stay in Oia! In the US, we view out “Penthouses” on the top floor as the most luxurious or high end places to stay. It’s the complete opposite in Santorini. The lower you are from the city, the nicer the location! When we scored our super nice hotel the last night, we walked over 150 steps to get from there to the main city walkway in Oia. It’s mainly because the unobstructed views of the sea are lower! You’ll also want to either bring an adapter so you can charge your phone and whatnot, or sometimes your Airbnb host will have one you can use. We completely forgot about that until we got there! If you’re doing the Athens + Santorini thing, only plan on a day for Athens. It’s definitely neat to see but Santorini is far better in my opinion. 😉