So I’m going to keep in real… Santorini wasn’t my favourite. I’ve been to quite a few places in the world and am bound to find a few that aren’t my cup of tea – and after not loving Morocco in 2015, I had an amazing travel streak until finally visiting Santorini in 2018.
That said, you may love it and we did some great things there. So without further ado, my guide to Santorini!
Things to do:
The best thing we did in Santorini was the hike from Thira to Oia. It takes around three hours and is really gorgeous. There are about three steep uphill segments, and other than that it’s not physically challenging. It starts right by Hotel Atlantis and takes you through Thira, Imerovigli, and along the caldera to Oia. Go as early as possible – we finished around noon and the last 30 minutes the sun was so high it was a bit difficult.
Watch the sunset at Oia Castle. It’s an incredible view, but plan to get there about 2 hours early – we brought books and beer and the time went by fairly quickly.
It seemed like absolutely everyone was focused on getting that perfect IG shot, and many had even hired professional photographers to bring them to all the best places.
One of the magical bookstores of the world exists in Oia called Atlantis Books. If you’re an avid reader don’t miss out.
Santorini isn’t known for its beaches, but the most famous ones are the black sand beach, the white sand beach, and the red sand beach. The red sand beach is currently closed and unsafe due to a rock slide, and the white sand beach is only accessible by boat. We spent a few days at the black sand beach and really loved it – you can rent two lounge chairs with an umbrella for 10 euros for the day, and it was walking distance from our hotels in Perissa. Our other favourite place to swim was Amoudi Bay in Oia. It’s so gorgeous and the perfect place to cool off after a long hike!
Where to stay:
The main options are Oia, Fira, or Perissa. We spent one night in Oia and it was beautiful and very convenient if you’re only there for a short time and sticking to that location. It’s also more expensive and doesn’t allow any escape from the crowds. Thira is lively, where the nightlife is, and a great location if you’re exploring the entire island. Perissa is for those who are mainly interested in the beach or who want a cheaper/less crowded holiday. It takes about an hour to get from one end to the other, so it’s not terribly big and you can easily stay on one end and visit the other.
Santorini didn’t compare to Paros or Crete, but it was somewhere I’d been dreaming of going since I was a child and I’m really happy to have been able to visit. And next time I go to Greece I can focus on some of the less touristy islands!