So I’ve recapped my time in both Paris in Santorini. What else is there to say? A lot! I had an incredible time in both locations and I am already figuring out how I can get back to both locations.
In case you are planning a trip to Paris, Santorini, or both I figured I would post my top 5 things to do in each location.
Top 5 in Paris:
- Taste test Laduree vs. Pierre Herme. The big debate in Paris is which macarons are better: Laduree or Pierre Herme? My friends and I decided to taste test both places and make our decision. While the macarons from each shop were baked to perfection and had excellent texture and taste, we all agreed Pierre Herme was our favorite. Tip: definitely try the olive oil and vanilla macaron from Pierre Herme, heaven!
- Spend an afternoon in Montmarte. Montmartre is the cutest little area. There are a ton of small cafes and restaurants. There is a great assortment of shops and stores up there as well. I purchased a gold necklace from a jewelry store called Telle Mere, Telle Fille up there. Sacre Coeur is gorgeous to look at and the views are incredible. I would recommend heading there in the evening with a bottle of wine to soak in the sunset. Afterward stop by La Famille for unique and creative mojitos.
- Brunch at Holybelly. My second morning in Paris, my friend Laura and I ate brunch at Holybelly. My oh my, it was one of the most delicious brunches I’ve ever had! We each ordered pancakes topped with fried eggs, bourbon butter, maple syrup, and bacon. Cannot go wrong! It opens at 10am on weekends. We arrived around 9:45am and there was already a line outside so make sure you get there early!
- Head to the top of Printemps. Another place with an amazing view! Take your time browsing all the levels of this department store as you slowly make your way to the top. There is a restaurant at the top of the store but it’s very overpriced so I suggest skipping it and heading straight outside. The view is not one to be missed. I stood for more than a few minutes just soaking it all in and being eternally grateful for the opportunity to be there.
- Eiffel Tower light show. No matter how many times you’ve seen this it’s a can’t miss item on any Parisian itinerary. Grab some wine and a picnic dinner and pick a spot to enjoy this magical show. The last show of the night is particularly special because afterward the entire tower goes out and makes for a dramatic finale.
Top 5 in Santorini
- Hot springs and volcano boat tour. This was really fun! We took a 3 hour long boat tour to the natural hot springs and the active volcano by the island. We jumped from the boat and swam about 50 to 60 yards to where the hot springs were. They definitely felt warm like bath water and I could have floated there all day. Afterward we took a hike up the volcano with a tour guide that gave us all sorts of great information about the islands (did you know that the towns of Oia and Fira were completely destroyed by an earthquake in the 1950s? Me either!).
- Hike from Fira to Oia. Oia and Fira are the two biggest towns on Santorini and there is a hiking trail that connects them. It will take you about 3 hours to complete the hike and it can be strenuous at points (think tall hills). It’s best to do earlier in the day or else it gets HOT. But literally the entire time is just one gorgeous view after another. I think this was the highlight of my trip.
- Dinner in Amoudi Bay. There are about four or five restaurants in Amoudi Bay. They sell super fresh seafood where you can pick out the exact fish you will eat that night for dinner. You dine right out by the water. It’s picture perfect. The only drawback is you must climb down (and then up again) 300 steps. If you go early enough in the day you might be able to hitch a ride back up with a donkey. Since we dined there a little later at night the only way back to Oia was by foot. At least we worked off our dinner!
- Sunset in Oia. You seriously cannot miss this. If you think you’ve seen some beautiful sunsets, you’ve seen nothing until you see a great big red ball of fire slowly descend below the deep blue ocean. Try to get a reservation at a restaurant with a sunset view. Or you can always stake out a spot around Oia’s castle ruins.
- Visit the Red Beach. There are plenty of beaches to choose from in Santorini but the Red Beach is pretty special. It’s completely surrounded by cliffs so you have to hike a little ways in order to get there. Because of the volcano, the cliffs are a deep red. It’s a sight to behold! The water there is so clear and pleasantly warm. Lounge chairs are available to rent for a few euros.
Have you been to Paris or Santorini? Do you have any recommendations?