Santorini, the postcard island, always appeared on my list of travelers dreams, as one of those impossible destinations. I always thought it was too far, it was too expensive, it was very difficult to get there, but setting up my eurotrip I decided that it would be the icing on the cake of this tour and well, at the time I arrived my prejudices were demolished. The low cost flights make it possible to get to Greece at ridiculous prices, the accommodation and food are really affordable compared to other European countries and there are definitely choices for all budgets.
I fulfilled my traveler dream and here I tell you 7 ways to enjoy this island to take advantage of it in the best way.
1) Watching the sunset in Oia: I´m sure you have read many times about the mythical sunsets in Santorini, they say it is one of the best places in the world to see it and I can not agree more. While you can see it from the center of the island in Thira, the ideal location and the infinitely portrayed in magazines is in Oia, due to its location to the west of the island.
Thira and Oia are separated from each other by 10 kilometers which in my opinion, should not be more than half an hour by microbus. Well I tell you that I was wrong, the road goes bordering the island and the cliff in multiple complex curves, which make the road slower. The result: I saw the sunset above the bus, when getting off at Oia the sun had already set. I highly recommend arriving early to find a good location and not miss this moment. Oia is also very beautiful, worth getting there early.
The amount of tourists and locals that approach this place to enjoy the sunset is very high, this I verified days later when taking the ship to Nea Kameni, the crater of the volcano, from where you see the sunset in the sea. It was possible to see from there the thousands of flashes from Oia. Without a doubt the sunset is a must see (and free, what better).
2) Take a swim in the Aegean Sea: Santorini has magnificent beaches all of volcanic origin like the island. Among the options you can visit Red Beach (Akrotiri), Black Beach (Perivolos) and others that are worth visiting (Perissa, Kamari, to name a few). I took an early bus from Thira bus station in the direction of Akrotiri, the bus will leave you near the parking lot, from where you must walk along a path that borders the island and is not equipped for strollers or people with reduced mobility.
From there you reach the red beach and there are taxi boats that also take you to the white beach that you can only access by boat. For the same value, you can stay in the last one and then take it again and you go back to the other. The color of the sea and the sand are incredible. These are just a few options, but you have a lot of choices from several and very different beaches.
3) Enjoy Greek gastronomy: Greek gastronomy is one of my favorites, absolutely Mediterranean, light, fresh and tasty. Be sure to try the Moussaka, a traditional dish that reminds us of the lasagna, but where the pasta is replaced with eggplant. It is worth eating a rich souvlaki and if it is in pita better still. Besides having great food is very cheap, compared to the rest of Europe. For drinking you can try the traditional Ouzo, a fairly strong liqueur typical of the country or cool off with an Alpha or Mythos beer and do not forget to try the authentic Greek yogurt!
4) Do not miss the nightlife: Thira is the center of the island and in addition to concentrating a very varied gastronomic offer, you will find in it many bars that work until dawn and where you really have a good time. I did not have any doubt that the Greeks know how to enjoy life, if you do not believe me you can see it in the following pictures. One of my recommended “Murphy’s Bar”
5) Take a tour to know the volcano crater: There are several options to take a tour to Nea Kameni, a small island off Santorini where you can see the volcano crater in a tour that will allow you to admire a different perspective of Santorini. The boats are large and very stable. To board you must reach the port of Thira on your own and for that you have three options, to go down the cliff by foot, by cable car or by donkey (an option that I advise against because I find it quite cruel), besides to knowing the crater and admiring the views, you will have the option of taking a swim in the sea, in warm waters produced by volcanic activity, a unique experience !!
6) Be a part of a Greek marriage: I have always been very studious before starting a trip and reading about the island I found in several places that spoke of the play of “White door Santorini”. It is a play where you happen to be the guest in a Greek wedding. I went and it is an experience that I recommend, in addition to dining traditional food with a good Greek wine, in the context of being a guest of this marriage, you enjoy being immersed in their traditions and end up dancing Greek dances and breaking dishes as they usually do for these holidays. I laughed a lot, I definitely recommend it. For more information on schedules and values, this is the official website.
7) Enjoy the architecture, it’s unique!: if you have the same addiction to travel as I do and spend hours watching photos and stories of places, surely have seen a million postcards of this island, with their houses and churches with white walls and Blue roofs, hanging from the cliffs. My advice, wherever you decide to stay is, go for a walk, lose yourself in its streets and you will find places that seem to be taken from a book. The island is very safe for solo travelers.
The architecture of this island is unique, the people are very friendly, the food delicious and the accommodation offer is wide and for all budgets … you really can not regret going !! If you were already tell me your impression and if it is in your plans ask me your doubts !! I hope to return soon to this postcard island!