I guess this photo alone may say enough! My God... Santorini completely blew me away!
Aside from my trip to walk the Camino de Santiago, my holiday destinations have mostly been large cities. After seeing a bunch of photos of Santorini, I convinced my boyfriend that this island had to be our next destination.
And I can honestly say that this is the first time I have travelled to a place where the photos online matched the actual beauty. Yes... there are lots of tourists and there are lots of tourist shops. But the beauty...! It is SO different from Denmark and I caught myself closing my eyes sometimes just to take a moment to take it all in.
I loved it so much I almost don't feel like sharing it with anyone, BUT sharing is caring, so here are a few things to consider if you are now considering a trip.
1. Do not go over summer. Wait until late September. There will be fewer tourists and the weather will still be good enough for swimming.
2. Stay near the town of Oia. Fira is too touristy and Kamari is for tourists who want package deals, pools and beach chairs. Do NOT pay for expensive hotels or Airbnb rooms in Oia. Moving just a bit away from the town, you can get great Airbnb apartments for a tenth of the price - and you'll get a more local experience! Nothing like waking up to donkey bells in the morning.
3. Rent a quadbike. It'll take you all over the island. The island is bigger than you might expect and biking can be pretty exhausting with all the hills. Waiting for the bus is a waste of time - time you could spend enjoying the beauty of the island.
4. Enjoy a Santorini sunset from the sea. The streets of the famous town Oia will be packed, so book a catamaran cruise instead. It'll take you to the most famous beaches, you'll be able to swim - both in hot springs and in the ocean - they'll BBQ for you and you finish with watching the sunset. It's a bit pricey but totally worth it!!!!
5. Go out to see Oia at night. Oia after dark is stunning. This is the view from the old castle ruins. All the other tourists have gone to Fira to party, so you'll be alone to enjoy the view. That in itself is luxury!
6. Visit the village of Emporio. A medieval town, it has small maze-like streets and corny little houses. I loved walking around in it. Totally unique, charming and not too touristy.
7. Visit the bookstore in Oia. The cutest little bookstore with books in several languages.
8. Dine in Ammoudi Bay. You'll have several restaurants to choose from - all serving fresh fish. It's dinner with a view for sure. You'll sit right by the water - and I mean RIGHT by the water - and enjoy an amazing meal while the sun sets. I had a delicious shrimp pasta there!
9. Visit Sigalas Wine Santorini. You literally sit in the middle of a vineyard and they serve great local wine and amazing dishes with local cheese. We were there 3 times in one week - nuff said! http://www.sigalas-wine.com/english/
10. Eat at Karma Restaurant in Oia. BEST. GREEK. FOOD. EVER!!! All I can say is wow!!! You can see more here: http://www.karma.bz
Now you have a few tips from me to you. I am in love with this island - so much so, I am now considering trading my 2 weeks Camino trip next year with two weeks in Oia. The dilemma is real folks...