I’m pretty sure that almost everybody knows and wants to visit at least one time the magical island of Santorini. I think Santorini is one of the most romantic island in the world. Cute white houses with blue doors, the mysterious caldera, crystal clear blue water, local tavernas which serve fresh delicious greek food and of course the famous hypnotic sunsets that you experience only in Santorini. After two years I came back to Santorini with my boyfriend, as he wanted to see the island himself after all the stories I told him about how magical this place is. Being such a famous place get ready for the crowds. It’s the most visited place in Greece, but after lunch many tourists prefer to stay in their hotel room because the sun hits really hard at midday, so if you want to wonder along the streets of Oia without crowds, that is the best time.
During the summer time Santorini is very, but vey hot and this is coming from me, somebody who’s always cold. So get ready your sunscreen, glasses and a hat. Luckily this is an island which means there are many beaches where you can have a nice swim.
You can move around the island by bus, there are routes to many destinations in Santorini. Buses run regularly every day and prices vary based on the routes, a ticket is around 2.50€ one way. Buses are operated by KTEL and you can check the timetable on their website or in any bus station. At my first visit I moved by bus, but this time we rented a car.
Oia is an iconic place in Santorini and the reason why the island is so famous. It’s for sure one of the most photogenic village I’ve ever seen. Even if you’re not so passionate for photography as I am, it’s impossible not to take tons of photos of literally each corner in town. The unique architectural beauty with the perfect combination of white and blue tones, the pink flowers decorating the walls or just hanging on from some window, the sea in the back, cute cats, everything here it’s absolutely amazing. The place is full of people, but as I said before, if you stay after lunch the streets get empty a little bit and you can take stunning photos without so many people in the background, or you can just enjoy the place without the crowds.
It feels nice to walk along the narrow streets where you meet here and there the famous Santorini cats lazing in the sun and then you stop at a cute bar to hide from the harsh sun, with amazing views at the caldera, while having a cold fresh juice. Oia is not that big and you can see it in a few hours and this with many stops for photos or to enjoy the views.
DON’T RIDE DONKEYS!
In Oia they offer donkey rides which I highly discourage you to do! It’s so heartbreaking to see them in the heat, carrying all types of people on their back, going up on a hill which is hard as hell to climb, without food and water. I climbed that hill, by foot of course and believe me is not easy at all, not only it’s hard and you are very hot, you need water and those people don’t even have water for them. Being a huge animal lover it was very hard for me to see the poor donkeys in those conditions and I felt even worse that I couldn’t do to much. I don’t understand how they can be so kind and loving with cats and so mean with donkeys.
have a romantic dinner
We had to have a nice dinner in Oia, we actually had almost every night. The atmosphere is so relaxed and romantic. We ate authentic fresh Greek food at a fancy restaurant with cute cats around and panoramic views of the sunset and the Aegean Sea.
watch the sunset
What would be a visit to Santorini without watching at least a sunset. Sunsets in Santorini are totally out of this world! We haven’t missed a sunset not even one night. It gets super crowded at sunset but Oia has many great viewpoints to watch it. The moment is simply magical, such a silence and peace while watching the sun going down and the sky painted in all shades of orange.
Two of my favourite beaches in Santorini are are Kamari and Perissa. We booked the hotel in Perissa and we had the beach right in front. With so many cute villages to explore we didn’t had to much time to stay at the beach, but there’s not much to lose either. We made time in the afternoon before we leave the island. It’s not to much to do, here are no water sports and not great snorkel.
The beach is beautiful made of dark volcanic sand with the calm blue sea, but it’s great only to relax and nothing more, so I got easily bored. The beach had beach chairs with umbrellas, free of charge if you stay at the hotel and a nice restaurant to eat.
Imerovigli is very small, spending one hour is more than enough to see all the great spots. There are not restaurants, but you can find many hotels instead, so this place is great to have a nice walk and nothing else. There is a dreamy spot with a church and the famous pinky flowers that we see all over in Greece, here you can enjoy magnificent views of the famous volcano, the deep blue sparkling Aegean Sea and other Santorini villages.
Fira is another post card village in Santorini and a must see. It has all the breathtaking viewpoints of the sea and the caldera, narrow streets with chic boutiques, calm and relaxed atmosphere and of course amazing sunsets. An afternoon or morning is more than enough to visit Fira, Santorini doesn’t has big towns or villages. Being the capital of Santorini is very well connected with any spot on the island. Fira is easy to access by buss, car or whether you decide to go on foot. It’s very close to Firostefani and Imerovigli, if you want you can also take a boat from here to go to Oia.
In Fira are plenty of restaurants and cafes facing the stunning views of the caldera, offering delicious Greek food. We had a lunch here and I must say that here we eat some of the tastiest food on the island.
We came two nights in a row to watch the sunset in Fira but also to spend time with our new friend, a cute black cat we found when we were walking around Fira. She was there each time we came back, in the same place. How cute is that! In Fira we could find a place without crowds to enjoy the sunset, actually there was just the two of us and the cat. The stillness, the silence watching the sun dipping over the horizon, the colours played by the sky.. it gave me chills (good ones) and a nice warm feeling inside. It was simply magical!
So these are some of the best things you can do in Santorini. I hope my experience will help you to plan better your visit and make the most of your visit at this postcard perfect place! Or if you have already visited this magical place just share your experience with us. Any questions or tips you have, don’t be shy and leave them in the comment area or send an email! I am more than happy to answer all your questions.