August 12, 2023

Our Anniversary Getaway to Breathtaking Santorini

A black couple explores the stunning beauty of Santorini for their anniversary, but also encounters subtle racism and discrimination during their Greek island vacation.

Our Anniversary Getaway to Breathtaking Santorini

Santorini comes with its own hype - people rave about the blue-domed houses on the hillsides. Personally, I'm always skeptical when an area is hyped up too much. My wife and I prefer trips that offer some adventure. So our recent anniversary trip to Santorini was meant to be relaxing, but we couldn't resist booking some activities. We stayed in Kamari, away from the crowds in Oia, at an Airbnb by the black sand beach. It was a quiet contrast to the popular parts of Santorini.

Exploring the Island's Natural Beauty  

Santorini was gorgeous. As always when we travel, we were in awe of Allah's creation. We did a sunset sail around the caldera and volcanic islands. The next day we hiked the volcano - reaching 46°C at the peak! After our hike, we caught the sunset in picturesque Oia.

Side note -  Climate change is a real thing!! Greece's heatwave was intense, at time it felt like it was eating my skin. Whilst flying into Santorini we were able to see wildfires in Athens, a bit of a shocker. Plus, Luckily for us we avoided being trapped like some in Rhodes, were the wildfires are on a rampage.

Warm People, Incredible Food

Despite limited halal options, the seafood and Greek dishes were incredible - clear care and flavour was put into our dishes. The locals were incredibly friendly, very approachable and easy to speak to. It made our anniversary trip even better.

As a black Muslim couple, we did get uncomfortable stares, likely our presence on those trips destabilised people natural assumptions about we were sit in their own social hierarchy. My wife felt and noticed this most as the only hijabi. I hit me when my wife mentioned ‘I find it uncomfortable to ask for things since there is no else which looks like me.’

Does it bother us? Yes, at the beginning because it takes time to adjust and it’s incredibly hard to conceptualise something which is not tangible. But we’ve experienced it so we’ve come to adjust to it thereafter. We don't let it deter us too much from enjoying travel and God's beauty. It just comes with being Black, Brown, Muslim, anyone outside the norm. Sadly it’s the uncomfortable truth.

So would I recommend Santorini. 100% !! For its beauty, food, and people. The humidity was intense even for me after living in Tanzania for six months. So take ample water and sunscreen you are going to need it! But overall, it is an incredible island to experience.

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