If you go to Greece, you have to make it to the islands off the coast. Santorini is by far the most popular! You can get there by boat or plane off the mainland, we decided to fly to save time.
We rented an apartment in Fira, called Fira and Folia Apartments, which was in a great location. It was 150 euro per night for 4 bedrooms – not bad. Our hosts arranged transportation for us to and from the airport for 5 euro each direction. They were extremely friendly and made us feel welcome! If you’re traveling with a bit higher budget than I was, I suggest you find a cool apartment to rent right on the coast, overlooking the water. =)
What I did there:
- Black Sand Beach. This beach literally has black sand, therefore it’s extremely hot on your feet so watch out. There are servers who will bring you drinks on the beach, what more could you ask for? It’s in Perissa, and we got there by bus (a coach bus) for 1.60 euro.
Santorini is on a volcano…obviously not active as of now. But the different colors of sand beaches here result from the different volcanoes. There is also a white sand, and red sand beach.
- Oia. Oia, in my opinion, is the best area of Santorini. Again, we took the bus to get there, 2.20 euro each way. The buses are nice coach buses, but still very crowded. Take dramamine if driving through windy roads bothers you. It’s the most popular place to watch the sunset, but locals say that doesn’t mean it’s the best place to watch it. There are TONS of places to eat and shop, from cute “hole-in-the-wall” restaurants and shops to fine dining and high end stores. We walked around a bit, got some gelato, did some shopping, and found a place on the cliffs to watch the sunset. It gets extremely crowded, so be prepared to get there an hour or two before the sun sets to claim your spot.
Bring on the sunset…
After the sunset, we went to a restaurant over-looking the water, got a bottle of wine and some apps, and soaked it all in.
- Took a boat tour to a volcano, hot springs, and a small island. It was 23 euro for an all day adventure, and we booked it at a tour company near our apartment. The boat was huge, and it was so cool to see Santorini from a whole new perspective.
To get down to the marina, you have a few options. There are the infamous stairs, that you can walk down (which we did) or, you can take a donkey ride down. Please don’t ride the donkeys…they looked miserable. But then again, who really knows. You can also take the cable car down. This costs around 10 euro. We ended up doing it later in the day (on the way up) and it made for amazing views.
They do make you jump off the boat and swim a couple hundred feet to get to the hot springs. It’s like bath water…and so worth it.
On the island, they give you time to get something to eat. There are 4 to 5 restaurants to choose from.
- Rented ATV’s. If you want your own method of transportation on the island, or just want to have some fun, you should rent ATV’s or mopeds. It’s 25 euro per day for an ATV or 15 for a moped. If you want insurance, I believe it costs more. We decided to rent ATV’s after the boat tour we took, and had them for a few hours. It was so much fun cruising around the island, with all the amazing views. We also stopped at Red Beach.
After our ATV adventure was over, we went back to Fira for dinner. We ate at Classico Cafe, and sat on the edge of the restaurant, over-looking the water for sunset. Not only was the view spectacular, but so was the food…AND it wasn’t expensive. Try the mosauka and lamb here!
We left our apartment early the next morning, and stored our bags at a place called J&K. It cost 8 euro for most of the day. We spent our final ours exploring Fira, shopping, and indulging in the food.
Something interesting to know – The world Santorini means “Send Peace”. Because it is a volcano, (mostly underwater), it could technically erupt at anytime. It’s been a very long time since this last happened, but when it last did the people needed peace sent their way, as many lives were taken and homes lost.
As you can see, there is nothing but gorgeous view after gorgeous view in Santorini. I could have spent weeks here, or never left at all.
Thank you for reading about my experiences, and I hope I’ve inspired you to travel there yourself!