When I first proposed Santorini to my boyfriend as a holiday destination, he kind of looked at me in disbelief. “Pfff, I don’t want to lie on the beach a whole week, in a resort, with nothing else to do”, he said. I didn’t want that either. But I had done before, as always, my research and I knew for certain that there are lots of things to see and do on the island. So I started to read him the list of attractions, to show him photos, and, in the end, we bought the plane tickets. Yet he was truly convinced only when we got there. We never got bored, not even for a second. It was a holiday that we remember fondly. It’s really worth going, trust me. And, to make your decision easier, I’ll drop below a few ideas about spending and enjoying to the max your time in Santorini.
Make sure you visit Fira
It’s the capital of the island: the iconic white and blue houses strung along the mountain are just picturesque. And the view, oh, the view is just breathtaking: from up there you’ll see all the amazing hotels, restaurants, houses and churches perched on the edge of the mountain. In front of your eyes, the sea opens up with the most beautiful shades of blue, and at the horizon you’ll spot the volcano. And if you’re already here, have a coffee at one of the terraces overlooking the caldera and, later, pick a restaurant for dinner. I liked Volcano Blue: the food is fresh and delicious and it’s placed just right for you to fully enjoy the scenery.
Don’t miss Oia
Oia is a bit higher; to get there it’ll take you a few hours on foot and about twenty minutes by car. You can even take a local bus, but it would be a pity not to have the opportunity to stop whenever you feel like it, especially, with a landscape as heavenly as this that literally leaves you speechless. And, on this route, it will happen often. You’re going to take some amazing pics, lots of pics, particularly if you’ll take advantage of the gentle light of the sunset.
Watch the sunset
And as we are on the sunset subject, it is said that in Oia you’re going to see one of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. I know you’ve probably read this in every guide on Santorini, but, this time, there’s no exaggeration whatsoever. The moment is magic. The light is magnificent. The thousands of people, who come there each summer evening, just for this moment, confirm it. Again, it’s impossible not to take nice pictures. So pick a good spot, at least an hour before sunset, take a drink with you and seize the moment. You’re on vacation, you are in a wonderful place – that’s all that matters.
Make the trip to Nea Kameni
From the port of Fira, boats depart daily towards Nea Kameni, a tiny island on which the still active volcano lies. Yes, you can even climb up to the still smoking volcano. And, I forgot to say, even the way till there is full of pleasant surprises: at some point, the boats stop near those hot springs – the water gets fairy-tale colors and is much warmer. It’s a good reason to jump off the boat and to swim, as I did. And when you arrive at Nea Kameni, you’ll be amazed by the almost unreal green of the sea.
Relax on the beaches of Kamari and Perissa
I don’t know about others, but for me, a sea-vacation is not really a vacation if I don’t spend at least one day on the beach. And in Santorini I wanted to see the beaches of Kamari and Perissa, which have black sand. Yes, black-black, meaning you’ll have black feet and legs J. The beaches here are not sandy, I would rather say they are “rocky”. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to buy and swim with special shoes. Yeap, it might seem like a small inconvenience, but you’ll get used to it quickly, especially due to the marvelous scenery, as if torn from another world. A marvelous world, in which I’d like to wake up every day.