Last week, I shared with you some of the things I did in Mykonos and next up on my travel diary is Santorini (the one you’ve probably been waiting for). When you think about Greece, some of the first images that come to mind is probably Santorini. First of all, it’s important to know that there are several villages and towns in Santorini which are all perched along the top of the crescent-shaped cliff of the caldera.
The most popular ones are Oia and Fira. Oia (pronounced EE-ah) is probably the one you’ve seen all over Pinterest and post cards….you know, those three blue domed buildings with the stunning view of the deep aegean sea. Fira is just as beautiful and you’ll probably spend a good amount of time between the two (about a 25 minute drive). Fira has a mix of Venetian and Cycladic architecture (and is filled with tavernas, hotels, cafes and tons of shops).
Santorini surely didn’t disappoint and it was even more beautiful in person. So without further adieu, here’s a quick guide to Santorini in case you’re planning your own trip.
*We then took a flight (Aegean Air) from Santorini to Athens, which as our last stop**
Where to Stay: We stayed 4 nights at Santorini Secret Suites and Spa in Oia. This hotel was absolutely stunning. The room was spacious, super clean and the view was something from out of a dream. We loved waking up each morning and having breakfast on our balcony (which was served to our room each morning free of charge). The best part however was the service and hospitality. Everyone was SOO nice! The hotel is also perfectly situated in Oia, so you can walk to some great restaurants and shops.
Where to Eat:
Red Bicycle- Have dinner at Red Bicycle. It’s situated in Oia on a cliff overlooking the water. The food was delicious. (when it got cold at night they also gave you a blanket, which was pretty thoughtful).
Sphinx- A friend recommended this place and it was soooo good. They have two restaurants in Fira and Oia. We went to the one in Oia (since it was a few steps from our hotel). If you go, tell the owner Julia we say “hi” :)
Skiza Cafe-The first day we arrived most of the restaurants had already closed!! (it was around 9ish). Skiza Cafe was fortunately open so we had dinner there. The food was good and it also had a nice view.
Black Rock Restaurant -This was the restaurant inside our hotel. I’m usually hesitant when the concierge recommends the hotel inside the restaurant (although they did recommend others as well) but let me tell you, the food was UH-MAZING. That’s why I really recommend you check it out. We first had some appetizers from the restaurant while we were at the pool and the food was so good that we decided to have dinner there as well. Get the lamb and try out their tzatziki sauce.
Things to Do:
This one is probably a no-brainer, but be sure to watch the sunset in either Oia or Fira. You can also find a spot in a restaurant with a view and watch the sunset while you sip on some coffee (it's hard not to become a hopeless romantic after watching one of these sunsets!)
My friend recommended that we rent an ATV and it was so much fun. If you have a chance give it a try and explore the island.
Go and visit Red Beach or Black Beach.
Take a 1/2 day boat around the island.
Relax—-seriously. Just take a day to just chill, hang by the pool and enjoy life.
If you have some time, you can also go on a donkey ride
Another alternative name for Santorini is Thira
The buildings in Santorini have domed roofs so it makes them stronger against earthquakes.
Words in Greek: Kalimera (Good Morning) ; Eff-KA-Ris-To (Thank You)
Important to know:
Unlike Mykonos, getting a taxi in Santorini can be hard. I believe someone told me they only have 30 taxis in the entire island!!! So there are not enough taxis during high season. So other options you can consider include renting an ATV, renting a car (around 45 euros a day) or grabbing a bus.
We rented an ATV one day (just be careful if you’ve never done it before because some tourists can drive pretty crazy AND you’re driving through cliffs!!!!. When we couldn’t find a taxi (for the same reason I told you about) we took it local style and got on the bus. It was actually a very fun experience. The island has great public bus service and it stops every 30 minutes and it’s less than 2 euros.
The sunsets are breathtaking
Relaxing at the pool in Santorini Secret
The Uber-Donkeys in Santorini
Next week, I'll be sharing my travel guide to Athens, so stay tuned. If there's anything I missed or anything that you'd like to know, feel free to shoot me a comment below.