Just back from traveling for 7 days in Santorini, Greece and I couldn’t wait to share with you all the beautiful photos taken as well as a list of pros & cons about the island.
Having the opportunity to visit the picturesque island of Santorini was a dream come true. Since the reason for our trip was spurred by my dear friend Aisha’s wedding, I opted to bring my brother along as my date.
I’m lucky enough to have a really close relationship with my brother, Ryan. We’re only a year apart and are always up for new adventures with one another. Besides fending off comments or questions about “How long have you been married?”, we ended up having an absolute blast traveling half way around the world together.
After spending a full week on an island that is only 11 miles in length, we got to know plenty about the areas and want to share a list of pros & cons that will help you the next time you travel to Santorini.
• Plenty of hotels & restaurants — The island resides on tourism for the most part, therefore hotels & restaurants are plentiful. Depending on if you want to stay in the busy area of Fira, along the Caldera in Firostefani or Imerovigli or the picturesque northern city of Oia, you can’t go wrong.
• Local Cuisine — Eat all the local Greek cuisine, especially the gyros! I went 2 days without having a gyro & once I got my hands on one, it was game over. The traditional dishes are really delicious as well, from the risotto, mussels, stuffed tomatoes and grape leaves, it’s all yummy!
• Wine Tasting — Greece and Santorini in general have very specific varietals of wine that are really quite good. You have to remember, Santorini is built upon a volcanic rock so growing grapes is impressive in itself, but the results are well worth taking time to explore the local wineries. Our favorite was at Santo Wines where you could choose from 6, 12, 18 glass wine tastings complete with cheese, olives, dips and breadsticks. (see photos below)
• Transportation — Getting around the island is probably one of the most fun parts of the trip. You can certainly get around by foot and see lots of the sites, but I’d suggest renting an ATV or scooter to get to those hidden gems a bit faster! You’re able to negotiate prices when you rent for more than 1 day & if you’re traveling in a group, it’s super fun to create a possé to cruise from the beaches in the south to the sunsets in Oia in the north.
• Go by Boat — The whole wedding group had an opportunity to set sail on a pirate ship for the day and explore the nearby islands. I was skeptical going into it because I often get motion sickness, but it ended up being a fantastic day spent on the Aegean Sea. We stopped at the Volcano where people could go hike to the top, a hot spring and even jumped from the top for a nice, refreshing dip. It’s a great way to get a new perspective of the island!
@ Santo Winery
• The cruise ships — Almost every day 2-3 cruise ships come to port and unload hundreds of people making it a VERY congested island.
• Selfie sticks — Ughhhh so many selfie sticks. I get it, they make it very convenient to get yourself in the shot, but they are hazards to the rest of us dodging out of the way.
• Tour buses — If I could wish for anything it would be that the coach buses vanish completely from the island. It’s not a big island in the first place & then to place these gigantic buses on the streets is just ridiculous. This leads me to a bigger point, please DO NOT ride the bus unless it’s absolutely necessary. There are much better ways to see the island than being trapped on one of those!
• Tourist traps — We fell into one on day 2 & learn from our mistakes. We were past the point of hungry and just sat down at a restaurant in Fira that overlooked the port. What we didn’t realize this was near the area where the cruise ship passengers get off the gondola, therefore this particular restaurant (Don & Donna’s) hiked their prices so much that our lunch was over 75€.
• Limit your stay — Limit your stay to the island for 4-5 days max. We were there for a full week and definitely had island fever. There is only so much you can do on an island.
• Wind — Because you are situated high up on a cliffside (caldera) it can be quite windy. I packed a cute, wide-brim hat and never had the chance to wear it because I guarantee it would have blown off my head and down to the sea below. Skip the hat unless you have one that can fit quite snug!
Don’t skip the crowds congregating in Oia for sunset, it really is worth it!
Every ounce of the island seems like a photographic moment! It was so hard to choose which ones to share with you because they are all so good! Hope you enjoy my little travel log.