The last time we spoke I was talking about my adventures on the island of Ios. Since then, my hometown has been experiencing a bit of a cold front (it feels like -40 degrees celsius with the wind chill kind of cold). In the wake of this cold front, I thought now is a better time than any to reminisce about the warm Greek sun and everything the country has to offer. The next stop on the tour: Santorini.
After two party fueled days in Ios, it was time to move on to the next island on our tour, Santorini. Out of all the Greek islands we had visited up to this point, Santorini hands down was my favourite of the Greek islands. The reason I say this, is while each of the other islands are beautiful in their own right, Santorini offers the most in terms of things to do and see. Whereas the story so far has been told day by day up to this point, it is here I deviate from my previous mode of storytelling. Instead, I will offer personal suggestions on what to see and do in Santorini along with commentary on the sights.
1. Rent Out a Quad Bike
Santorini is big, and the best way to experience it’s beauty is by renting a quad bike (ATV). Renting a quad is very affordable and costs roughly a little over 20 euros for an entire day. It should be noted that you will have to fill up your tank on your own which will roughly cost another 15-20 euros depending on how far you are travelling. As a quad bike can accommodate two people, it becomes easily affordable mode of travel. Now equipped with a mode of transportation you can begin checking out the surrounding towns and several beaches that Santorini has to offer. Driving around Santorini alone without visiting any sites is a scenic adventure all on its own.
2. Check out the beaches
Whereas the beaches thus far have been mainly golden sandy beaches, Santorini offers so much more in its array of beaches. It is home to black,white pebble, and red beaches. One beach in particular that is worth visiting, Red Beach. Red Beach despite its small size is something that should not be missed. It is a beauty created by destruction, carved out of volcanic eruptions. Upon arrival, the craggy terracotta and charcoal coloured cliffs along with the iron rich rocks that make up the beach’s shore entrances you. The beautiful red of the cliffs emphasizing the azure coloured waters of the beach. While it is not the typical golden sandy beach one thinks of when thinking of their ideal beach, it is a beauty which stands in its owm category and is worth the trek.
3. Watersports are a must!
Seeing that we are speaking about beaches, a trip to Santorini is not complete without checking out the watersports. The beach of Perivolas offers this, and is continuation of the beaches of Perissa and Agios Georgios (where the black sand beaches are located). Offered here are a range of watersports including jet skiing, tubing, flyboarding, amongst many other activities. Although I only did the tubing it was no joke, and the two of the tourmates can attest to the fact that we had to hold on for dear life. It was a blast.
3. Check out Santo Wines Winery
A trip to Santorini is not complete without visiting the beautiful Santo Wines Winery. Even if you are not into wine, the views from this place are picturesque with a plethora of outdoor seating overlooking the water. It is immaculate and pristine, the white exterior of the establishment practically glistening under the Greek sun. After you have undoubtedly consumed more wine than you should, finish your visit by taking some pictures against the stunning landscape in front of you.
4. Visit the Hot Springs
Now I’m going to be honest in that I myself did not visit the hot springs, however I had every intention of doing so but missed the boat to visit the springs. Now the hot springs aren’t for everyone, as those tourmates who did visit the spring had mixed reviews. For one, the “hot” springs are actually lukewarm and have a high sulphur content. What this means is that the springs smell less than desirable and have the potential to stain your bathing suit and jewelry. Despite these drawbacks, the contrast between the black rugged cliffs against cyan coloured waters makes it worth dealing with its sulfuric odour. Afterall, I am no dermatologistt but I’ve heard sulfur is good for the skin? If I am to return to Santorini, I will definitely attempt to make the trek to the springs.
5. Watch a sunset in Oia or on a boat
Apparently everyone except me knew that Santorini was known for its beautiful sunsets. I will excuse my last minute planning for this lack of knowledge. The most famous spot for sunset watching: the village of Oia. Now I’m going to be honest in that while the sunset was indeed beautiful from Oia, the hordes of tourists all pushing and shoving to get the perfect selfie ruined it for me. If you are looking to see the sunset in Oia, be warned that you must find the perfect sitting spot at least 1-2 hours prior to sunset to secure that elusive view. If you can deal with the hordes of people, I say go for it as it is stunning but for those like myself who prefer something more calm it is here I suggest the option of watching it aboard a boat. Seeing as we were already docked in the middle of the sea (as the port couldn’t accommodate the size of our ship), it was on our boat in which I appreciated the sunset the most. Now, I know what your thinking…girl not everyone came here on some sail boating excursion. Lucky for you guys, there are sunset cruises designed for this purpose. If you require more information on the best sunset spots in Santorini, check out the Girl Vs Globe Blog who has provided some of her favourite sunset spots and the boat company she used on her own quest.
6. Kick Back and Relax
As someone who is determined to become a world traveller, one thing I have learned along the journey is you really need to allow time to relax, regardless of how much you want to see. In failing to do so, your immune system becomes compromised and instead of enjoying your trip you will fall ill resulting in being forced to relax in a much less desirable way. After missing the boat to check out the hot springs in Santorini, me and two other of my tourmates were now faced with the dilemma of what to do instead. While we had to option to drive back and return to the water sports beach, the decision was made to instead kick back, enjoy some food, and relax. I am not one who lives off social media, but after having minimal wifi throughout this trip it was nice to have a moment to be able to connect with those back home. With free wifi and delicious food, we were at peace and could take in the people and surroundings around us.
Stay tuned for the final leg of my adventures in Athens, coming soon.