//Santorini Travel Guide//
As I write this post I am sifting through the millions of photo’s that Joel and I took whilst on our recent trip to Santorini attempting to pick out my favourites. I’ll tell you this much, it’s a first world struggle.
I’d like to start by saying, Santorini is even more breathtaking than I imagined it to be. Everywhere you turn there are white washed walls covered in pink bougainvillea, bright blue doors, rooftops and EPIC views.
If you are looking for a white sandy beach laced with palm trees kinda holiday, Santorini is not for you my friend. If you are looking for some of the most insane view-porn of your life and fancy seeing your Instagram explode, book yourself a ticket.
The reason we nipped over to the island is because it’s where we are getting married. I am forever fearful of a wet English wedding and I’m after a fairly low-key ‘do. We checked Greece out with this criteria and were given the nudge that Santorini was the place to go.
So off we went to give the beaches a test run, eating all sorts and sampling the local vino on our way (for research purposes obviously.)
It took me all of about 12 hours to fall irrevocably in love with the island and I now have my heart set on my Greek knees up.
I am sure, it totally is, with no doubt whatsoever, the place I want to get married.
Reasons to visit:
Not too tough on the purse strings- First off, don’t be put off by an expectation that Santorini is super expensive. Yes, it has its fair share of 6* hotels and my money seemed to evaporate from my little pouch of euros, but it’s no more expensive than the other Greek islands.
We knew we needed to do this jaunt (‘research project’) on a budget. Mainly due to the fact we have just touched down from a year in Oz and are both very much jobless. It may be plastered all over Instagram and teeming with the rich and famous but you can do Santorini properly even without tons of cash. (We did!)
Views- Again with the view porn. I would like to stop and take this moment to impress how ridiculous the views are.
A rather large volcanic explosion blew a huge hole in the island in the 16th century, making Santorini crescent shaped. The explosion caused a ‘caldera’ to form in the middle which filled with the Aegean Sea. Beautiful little towns and villages have since been built into the caldera’s cliffside, resulting in the world famous rooftops and spectacular views. (Oh and refer to pics for the sunsets from said views, wowza.)
Weather- Every now and again we all need a good ol’ top up of Vitamin D. Between May and September you are guaranteed glorious sunshine in Santorini. It is HOT with temperatures from mid 20’s to early 30’s. Iffy British weather alone is enough to get me to the Greek.
Treats to eat – I had a ball eating my way around the island. I lost count of how many gyros Joel and I ploughed through last week. Gyros, Greek yoghurt, Greek salad, yep big fan. That’s without even mentioning the fresh seafood and scrummy eat-till-you-almost-bust-out-of-your-holiday-dress pizzas.
Greek wine- I tend to regard myself as a grade A-wino and this considered my knowledge of Greek wine is vastly below par. Santorini is home to a ton of wineries, which means barrels of local wine to try, Hoo rah.
I sincerely recommend a visit to Venetsanos Winery. It’s just off the main road between Perissa and Fira. We spent an afternoon supping away (very rosey cheeked) on generous sloshes of wine from the lovely staff, whilst taking in another stunning view of the caldera.
(Alternatively, if you are anyone other than me, you can stay healthy by ordering the fresh orange juice that’s on offer in almost every cafe or bar in Santorini.)
So here’s a quick break down of our Santorini trip:
Where we stayed:
We stayed at the South of the island in the small town of Perissa. This buzzy little place gave us everything we wanted from a holiday. It’s close to the beach – for mermaids, full of bars- for the odd tipple and there’s a massive choice of pretty little restaurants all lined up along the shoreline.
A lot of travellers tend to stay at the North of the island for the views. Thats totally fine for being sassy and twirling around on the marble floors of Oia but the reality of the situation is, I needs me a beach. Quick heads up, the sand is volcanic, black and really hot.
Where we visited:
Pronounced EEYA or OIYA, this is the famous, most Instagram-able place on the island. That blue and white though.(Insert one million heart eye emojis.)
Tourists pour into the ‘prettiest town in the Med’ every day and it’s so beautiful when the sun sets, people CLAP.
This is the part of the island where the half-naked instagoddesses barefoot skip across rooftops, or if you are me, pose awkwardly and accidentally photobomb every poor soul in the area (sorry all.)
To give it even further context, Brad and Angelina have a house in Oia. Not too shabby for Lizzie.
A 20 minute drive from Oia, Fira just pipped it to the post as my favourite town in Santorini.
I totally lost it here. We visited this town the most throughout our stay. It just has such a nice vibe to it. Fira has all the charm of Oia, it’s got the white rooftops and cobbled streets but it has a little bit more character and a panache about it.
You also feel a bit more like you are on holiday here. There are people living life, shopping and doing their touristy thing. It’s fun. Also less people are about to hit you in the face with a selfie stick.
How we got around:
Santorini is only about 18km from top to bottom, so hiring yourself a car is a massive YES if you fancy exploring and want a simple way to navigate the island.
We hired a moped, much to my mothers dismay. I wouldn’t normally condone the use of them (don’t fall off and PLEASE wear a helmet) but Joel’s got a full motorbike license so we were a okay.
You could always cruise around on a quad bike as a marginally safer mode of transport. Or even better, there’s always the option of jumping on one of the local buses.
It was super tough to leave this wonderful place and I found myself grizzling pathetically spoilt-child-style in departures on the way home.
I really hope this little Santorini Travel Guide helps any potential visitors, so that hopefully you won’t holiday as clueless as me.
Until next time, we will be back soon!