Santorini is one of the destinations that become more popular year by year. It is a very romantic travel destination, everyone posing to get that insta perfect picture and a different wedding in every corner. No doubts that Santorini is beautiful but it is the best island to visit in Greece?
I have fly to Athen to meet my friend there and we took a ferry to Santorini. The journey took 8 hours and the view was stunning and we got to see one of the prettiest e sunsets from the Sea.
I was a bit concern in the beginning that 8 hours will be long and just a waste of time. Ohh, I couldn’t be more wrong. On the upper deck where an outdoor terrace and you can get Greece wine at the bar! This was the best way after the 3 hours fly getting into the holiday mood. We had arrived at Santorini Island by midnight. The taxi was pre-arranged to get us to the hotel. After a long day of traveling, it was time to get some rest.
Our hotel was 15 min walk from Oia ( Oia is a coastal town on the northwestern tip of Santorini. a.k.a the city you have seen millions of pictures). Instead of spending the day exploring the city, all I wanted to do. Just get to the beach and enjoy the water and the sunshine and maybe a cocktail or two. On the first day, we used the local bus services.
Black Beach Santorini
On the southeast coastline of Santorini, the Black Sand Beach is the leading representative. The refreshing, crystal-clear waters, along with the impressive landscape, make it one of the best and most popular beaches.
Along, the beach is sunbeds that belong to the restaurants and everyone is free to use regardless if you are ordering something or not. But spending all day in the sun, you will get hungry and the food is so delicious so don’t be afraid to order a cocktail or a nice lunch. What can be better than having a nice lunch by the Sea?
For the rest of the week, we rented an ATV to get much more freedom when and where we can go. Plus its so much fun! For the rest of the week, we rented an ATV to get more freedom when and where we can go on the island. I’m pretty sure we get it much cheaper than is we book it in advance. Rental garages are everywhere on the island. ( If you like Island holidays make sure to check out my Malta travel Blog )
Red Beach Santorini
Red Beach is, without a doubt worth a visit, considering that it is a rare sight. There are no facilities or water sports on this small beach, but you can take pleasure in snorkeling as there are impressive rock formations and rich marine life. Red Beach is naturally sheltered from the wind, so it can get quite hot. I have good geans so usually, I can get away using light sun protection. Well, not in Grece! I have used up three bottles of body lotion to calm my skin down over a week. So be prepared the sun is really really strong!
I love the heat the sound of the waves and easily can spend weeks by the Sea, but when you are traveling to Santorini, you have to check out the two central city’s Oia and Fira.
Wondering Around Oia & Fira
The two cities are very similar. The iconic white villas on the hillside with a stunning view of the Sea and the islands around. Fira is the capital of the island is much busier even before the main season. The small narrow street can quickly lose their charms when you have to fight your way through. We went to see the sunrise as everyone we have spoken recommended to us. Just a heads up, we had to stay in one place hours before so we can see something and take pictures.
I personally much more enjoyed walking around in Oia. The architecture is the same, just without the massive crowds. Lots of cute restaurants with stunning views and you can actually get a good seat without waiting around! And If you in a mood for shopping from the local hand made souvenirs to the high-end designer boutiques, you can find everything.
I was more excited to try some local delicacies and to see how is the nightlife in Oia. As the island 90% of income comes from tourism, you can find bars that have a “special offer” every night. We went out on several nights, and the music was the same no matter where we went.
As the nightlife was a bit disappointing, the food was quite the opposite.
Just across the street from our hotel was a bakery in the most delicious freshly baked goods inside. My go-to breakfast was a Greece Iced coffee a cup of freshly range juice squeezed orange juice with a croissant filled with strawberry jam and Greece Feta. OMG! all these flavors together are just something you have to try there. I have attempted to recreated several times at home but never turned out the same.
Overall I’m happy that I have been to Santorini, but this island is not the one I want to visit again. So many other less famous but just as beautiful if not, even more, more in Greece. Where you don’t have to deal with a massive crowd of people or hope to get a seat at the restaurant.
My advice is not to blindly follow what you keep seeing as popular tourist destinations. Instead, find out what experience you wish to have and plan accordingly. ( Or just be spontaneous as some of my best holiday experiences were when I did not follow the Insta famous recommendations – like in Cambodia )