I had been wanting to visit Santorini for years .It was my ultimate wanderlust destination and I would say the main purpose of going to Greece was visiting this island.
Santorini is composed of 5 small islands that used to form just one, before a massive volcanic eruption created the current “caldera”. The caldera is the name given to a giant bowl shaped volcanic depression surrounded by very steep cliffs. Which means that in Santorini, houses can only be built at the top of these cliffs and to get to the ocean you need to walk down hundreds of stairs , or take a donkey ride.
I stayed in Fira which is the capital of Santorini, and the more affordable area. From here you can take buses that cost around 1,60 euros one way, to get to the different beaches like Perissa or Kamari beach. I went to Perissa beach, known for its black sand. It was beautiful but very windy so I didn’t enjoy it much, the water was beautiful though.
There many options when it comes to touring the 5 islands. The tour I took starts from the port of Fira. To get to the port as I mentioned before, you can walk down the stairs, take the cable card or take a donkey ride. I’m usually against taking horse-drawn carriages or anything of that sort so even though it’s a very typical thing to do , the donkey ride was not an option for me. So I walked down. From there, a boat that had a very “Pirates of the Caribbean ” vibe takes you to Nea Kameni, the volcano island. Here you will hear all about the volcano eruptions that created the islands, get to see the craters and walk all around. For this 1 hour expedition you will need comfortable shoes with a thick sole, after all you are walking on a volcano so your feet get hot pretty fast.
The second part of the tour takes you to hot springs in the Palia Kameni island. It’s too shallow for the boat to get too close to the hot springs so you have to jump off the boat into the ocean and swim. This was perfect after the hot walk around the volcano as the springs are not too hot and the ocean will cool you off.
The third part of the tour is visiting Thirasia island, for a quick bite to eat or swim. In all honesty this part of the tour drops the ball a bit. Yes its a pretty little port with a few restaurants, but you can’t really swim because the pebbles kill your feet and there is no space to put your towel down and tan. On the top of the cliffs there is a village but there’s just not enough time to go all the way up.
And finally, the boat takes you to the port in Oia. From here , I made it all the way up the stairs to get to the village. And it is so beautiful. This is a place I had been seeing in pictures and it looked perfect, I remember walking around and just stopping every two seconds to take pictures,every corner was gorgeous.
The sunset in Oia is like no other, there are many look out points around town and restaurants have killer views. I watched it from the ruins of an old Byzantine castle. The place was packed but me and my friends were able to find a spot to wait for the sun to set. The wait to me felt like new year’s eve, that feeling of excitment and good vibes all around, with everyone outside snaping pictures. There was a guitarist playing music which only added to the magic of the moment. It sounds super corny, but it was just amazing and perfect, one of those moments in life that you will always cherish and remember every detail about. When the sun was finally down everyone started clapping.
I love Santorini.