Santorini will now forever be special to me in more ways than one.

When you arrive by boat to the Port of Santorini, your mouth will stay open for a full five minutes. Try it, it’s a fact*. The cliffs of Santorini seem like sleeping giants, and our measly existence was definitely felt when we were climbing them to our accommodation at Kamari Beach – a small suburb about 20 minutes from the capital, Fira.

We took a wrong turn and ended up atop a deserted mountain, nobody around but a few local Greeks who were obviously amused with our presence. We spent an hour or so here; hot and confused, but joyfully watching the planes (and birds) fly beneath us.

Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

We also discovered Red Beach – an incredible cliff face which smells of sienna-coloured earth and stands above the bluest water I have ever seen. It is here we found the perfect setting, taking small breaks in between to buy iced watermelon juice and pineapple bites. The water is warm and the coffee is cold – and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Rusty Womens @rusty_womens | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz in Rusty Australia @rusty_australia | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Rusty Womens @rusty_womens | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Rusty Australia @rusty_australia | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson featuring Reef Oil @reefoil and Rusty Womens @rusty_womens | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Rusty Womens @rusty_womens | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Rusty Womens @rusty_womens | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Rusty Womens @rusty_womens | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Once back on track, we rode for an hour or so along the coast, around the winding mountains and up the steep hills covered in purple, yellow and white wildflowers until we arrived at Oia – the town many would recognise from postcards. We walked through the cobbled stone streets, fossicking in markets and buying street food. I ate kalaboki (pan-fried corn-on-the-cob) and spanakopita (greek spinach pie), and the others continued their love affair with meat, and munched on gyros.

Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Aila Blue @ailablue | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Aila Blue @ailablue | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson in Aila Blue @ailablue and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

We awoke the next morning, sleepily trying to plan our day. We decided to just drive and head wherever our instincts took us. They would take us to Anemoloos Café where we were served more freddo espresso (this time with added baileys), they would take us to a secluded, empty beach covered in tattered umbrellas, and finally they would lead us up the ancient mountain of Thira – where people lived 9000 years ago. It was here I wept at how lucky we all were, it was here that after drying my tears and turning around, Tom was kneeling down with the biggest plastic glow-in-the-dark ring I have ever seen. It was here I said yes, hugged him, kissed Cait (I was confused), and knew that my life changed forever.

"High-5 if you'll marry me?" - Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz | Photo by Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

This was Greece, and boy was it magic.

Big thanks to the team at Summersite and The Travel Project for making this trip happen. Even bigger thanks to Cait Miers for being such a trooper with a fractured foot, and the biggest thanks to the admin-man himself Tom, for asking me a f@#*ing good question.

The end.

To see more of our Ouzo Odyssey, check out our recent travel features on Mykonos and Paros.

_ _

Photography // Cait Miers @caitmiersphotography

Talent // Christina Macpherson @christinamacpherson and Tom Paterson @tompaterson_nz

Bespoke Greek Islands travel experience courtesy of The Travel Project @thetravelprojectco

@summersite