Dream a little Dream
Santorini is a unique experience for all travelers and is truly a place like no other. The moment you approach the island by boat, you can sense the beauty of mythological proportions.
Santorini is a very well-known travel destination throughout the world, primarily for weddings and honeymoons. Although a population of only 15,000 reside on the island, Santorini attracts an estimated 1.5 million tourists annually. There are so many reasons to visit this small island and it’s just as beautiful as you can possibly imagine. The breathtaking views from the top of the caldera will leave you breathless.
When we reached the harbor, we had two options to reach the top. We were seeking adventure and chose to ride the famous donkeys up the 600 steep steps to Fira.
Many luxurious resorts are available throughout the island. They obviously offer the best spots with a panoramic view from your private balcony. As budget travelers, we could have elected to stay on the east end of the island which has more affordable options. However, we couldn’t resist to splurge for a higher-end resort and it was very well worth it! What captivates the eye can truly captivate the heart and Santorini is no different.
A brief history is required to essentially understand how this small volcanic island appears on so many travel bucket lists. This small volcanic island rests in the middle of the Aegean and is the most popular among the Cyclades island group along with Mykonos. Thousands of years ago, a giant volcanic eruption transformed Santorini. Geologists believe that Santorini was created when a volcano erupted and caused an island to emerge from the ground.
An advantage as is with most Greek islands, it takes merely 45 minutes to tour one end of the island to the other. Many places can be reached by foot or bus, and taxis are readily available to take you where you want to go.
Restaurants serving a quick gyro or having a nice dinner at waterfront taverns are readily available. You should of course avoid the tourist traps and pricier areas in Fira and Oia. The food is not as tasty and enjoyable as other parts of the island if you’re looking for more authentic Greek cuisine, such as Imerovigli. But how often will you eat at a restaurant with the most spectacular view overlooking the ocean in your lifetime?
You cannot visit Greece without taking a dip in the water and soaking under the sun. The Santorini beaches are perhaps not the best beaches we have experienced in Greece. They do offer however stunning backdrops and the colors standing out from the volcanic rock formations are truly unique.
Located in Akrotiri, the Red Beach is arguably the most famous of the island. It’s a steep walk down to reach the red pebbly beach, but the backdrop is absolutely incredible. It’s also a very popular area for archaeology enthusiasts. Perissa and Kamari are perhaps the 2 best beaches on the island with crystal blue waters. The dark volcanic sand stretches across these long beaches allowing you to bask in the sun along with great beach bars and taverns. There are also tons of water activities available, like snorkeling, jet skiing and wind surfing. In fact, tours are waiting for you at every corner.
We booked a trip to the active volcano but don’t expect any lava explosions. The hike is not exactly very worth it to be honest, but a good tour guide is necessary to make the experience more enjoyable under the hot sun. Thereafter, we took a boat ride to the hot springs. We had the option to jump off the boat and swim into the heated waters. Be warned that life jackets are not available and the smelly sulfur can also stain your swimming attire. Therefore, dive at your own risk! We recommend that advanced swimmers take the plunge since it’s a lengthy swim to the hot therapeutic waters. Other tours like wine tasting and ATV rentals are also available.
This was definitely our favourite part when visiting this beautiful island. The white and blue houses piled on top of each other and the large windmills adjoining them give Oia its character seen on so many postcards. A true way to discover Santorini is by wandering through its beautiful white rustic alleys. You will be charmed instantly and you will get hypnotized by Santorini’s dramatic views everywhere you go. Many tourists flock to Oia Castle in the evening holding hands with loved ones just to watch the romantic sunset. Crowds gather attempting to grab the perfect spot and admire the wonderful sunset.
Enjoy your trip and above all take in the magic that is Santorini.