Travel | Santorini, Greece

Wednesday, July 15



A few weeks ago I had the absolute joy of traveling to Greece and experiencing, perhaps, the most pictured landscape around the world: Santorini! Although, understandably, this is a hot spot region for tourists particularly during the peak season (June - August), most tourists tend to stick to the most popular areas, namely Oia and Fira. However, with a little adventure you can easily explore the rest of the island in a couple days and find a plethora of private beaches and romantically secluded spots to catch the idyllic sunset over the water.




Keep reading for some of my top travel tips to Santorini...


1. Rent a car! If you come to Santorini, please don't only see Oia, the northernmost area of clustered homes that is most visited by tourists. Although it is stunningly beautiful, so is the rest of the island! We didn't plan on renting a car, but once we arrived we noticed how easy it is to get around and how much there is to explore. It was quite hot, so having a car versus a motorcycle/4-wheel ATV allowed us to have air conditioning, to talk to each other while driving, and to pack along more stuff in the back seat when we spent the whole day away from our hotel. I thought public transportation (buses) would be readily available based off what I read beforehand, but on the ground it seemed they are often super packed and, hence, don't always run on schedule. This probably varies a lot though since I've read positive reviews about it from others, so it may be worth a try when you go. Super  tips: if traveling during peak season, I'd advise you to rent a car ahead of time online or immediately once you get there. Automatic cars are fewer to come by (I can't drive manually), and they are often fully booked or gone by midday. If you want to rent a motorcycle, you'll need an international driver's license. But for renting cars/aTVs, your regular driver's license from your home country will do just fine!)

2. Go to the monastery (Profitis Ilias) for sunset. By far, this was one of the most thrilling and jaw dropping experiences my husband and I had on this trip! Surprisingly, not that many people ventured to this area (it's quite a steep and winding road) which meant it felt like our own hidden gem. It's the tallest peak in all of Santorini, meaning you'll get A+ views of the whole skyline, the water, and all the towns - amazing! If you go a bit before sunset, you can walk around the beautiful monastery, see the chapel, and shop their handmade products (wine, olive oil,  soaps, teas, etc.) which make for great gifts for family and friends back home. You can try the trek of walking up, but I'd highly recommend using a car or an ATV to get there.

3. Eat in tavernas, not restaurants if you're looking to save a few bucks! The food is just as authentic and cheaper than classic restaurants. For example, the two of us ate a complete meal (shared greek salad, two full fish plate dishes and two drinks) for around 25 - 35 euros. Restaurants charge upwards of that amount because they are often situated on the caldera side of the island and have a more formal arrangement.



Lodging:

1. Olympic Villas (bed and breakfast, located in Oia): a cozy set of traditional houses, apartments, and studios located just five minutes from the Oia center and next door to little markets, car/vehical rental sites, and local cafes. Staying in Oia can quickly get quite expensive, so decking out on a large hotel room with a private pool will easily get you in the high $400-900 price ranges. The villas seems to be owned and run mostly by an older couple, and managed by a younger woman who was helpful with getting information for us and booking tours. Recommended for young couples/travelers who are looking for typical greek decor in the trendy Oia location without emptying your wallet.

2. Air BnB (studio rental, located in Imerovigli): I can't highly recommend more this location! Although using an Air BnB may cause hesitation for some, put those away when it comes to this site. The studio host, Stefanos, goes above and beyond to make sure you get situated nicely. He had his assistant meet us and carry our (heavy) luggage down small, steep steps. When we left for our flight home in the early morning, the assistant came at 5:45am and carried our luggage back up and arranged a taxi for an incredibly smooth departure. The studio itself boasts truly breathtaking views. Situated in Imerovigli, a town situated technically higher on the caldera than Oia yet still less populous, has the same sparkling sunsets and romantic vibes that this island is known for. The studio's balcony/terrance is completely private and perfect for sunbathing or catching up on your summer reading. Sitting on the ledge with a cup of coffee watching the sunrise was one of my favorite mornings. I'd recommend booking as far in advance as possible! This site books up completely for the summer because its stunning location yet with very fair pricing.


Have you traveled to Greece before? Are you planning a trip in the future? Feel free to shre and leave a comment below!

14 comments:

  1. Amy Stanna1:34 PM

    Your photos aare truly stunning! You're such an artist!

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    1. Thank you so much, Amy! Greece is so picturesque, it was so visually overwhelming in all the best ways!

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  2. Anonymous1:34 AM

    Loving this! Reads well and has lovely artistic and unique pictures. Makes me want to go!

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    1. You most definitely should go one day! We had an amazing time! Thanks so much for your comments :)

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  3. Great post!! lovely pictures! its my dream to visit santorini!:)

    Rachel x
    thehappybits.blogspot.com

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    1. It was my dream too and definitely worth the trip! Hope you get to see it sometime, truly beautiful place! Thanks so much, Rachel!!

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  4. Jessica Peltz6:03 PM

    dreaming of going to Santorini one day,great shots

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    1. I hope you get to go - it's breathtaking! Thanks for your kind comment!

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  5. Love reading this piece.. and once again.. your photos are just breathtaking.

    www.nothingbutvelvet.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Menellia! I LOVED my trip to Santorini - would go back in a heartbeat! :)

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  8. jannat9:32 AM

    thanks for your sharing and posts.

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