- Danielle Spotz
SANTORINI GREECE TRAVEL GUIDE
Santorini is the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my entire life. Like truly, I was in awe the entire time. I thought I would share our travel itinerary since I know many people are interested in going. I will say that planning this trip took much more effort than planning other trips. Just because Greece is so far away, it takes many flights to get there and we really didn't know much about Greece in the first place.
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HOW TO GET THERE: There are a few ways to get to Santorini. What worked best for us was to just fly there. Because we're based in Dallas we found a flight to London and then from London to Athens and Athens to Santorini. You can choose to ferry from Athens to Santorini if you like, but flying is much quicker especially after a full day of traveling to get there. Pro tip: Make sure your connecting flights have enough time in between them in case you get a little delayed. Also I found it better on me to have time to walk around and get something to eat before flying again.
WHERE TO STAY: We were super confused on where we needed to stay location wise because we had heard mixed reviews. I recommend staying in either Oia or Thira. We opted to stay in Thira and I thought it was the perfect location for us. DO NOT STAY FAR OUTSIDE OF EITHER TOWN. You will quickly find that to get to the main parts of the island, it's best to walk because taxi's and drivers are so expensive. Thira and Oia are the 2 most popular towns on the island with the most to do. Whichever town you stay in, I definitely recommend checking out the other towns for sunset or spending the day there. We stayed at Santorini Palace. It was just a quick walk to the middle of town and around tons of restaurants and shops. We loved it there!
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WHAT TO DO: Because all of us had jobs waiting back home, we only had 9 days to travel. 3 of those days were travel days so we really only had 6 full vacation days. The first 3 days were spent in Santorini. We got there late Monday night, grabbed something to eat and fell asleep. We had full days Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday which I think was definitely enough time to explore all the island had to offer. Our first full day consisted of eating breakfast at our hotel and walking all around Thira town. We really wanted to just explore everything so we ended up walking 10 miles that day. We found a cute lunch spot on the caldera with the perfect view of the water. After lunch we rode donkeys down the bottom of the island and rode the cable car back up. I recommend riding the donkeys UP and not down! LOL it felt like you were falling the entire time going down. We really wanted to catch a sunset in Oia so we rented a car for Tyler to drive up to Oia. Unfortunately there was no sunset and it started to rain. But it gave us a chance to see what Oia is all about. Oia is the most picturesque town. They have the blue domes and it's just absolutely stunning. Again, they have just as many restaurants and shops there as in Thira.
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The next full day, we chose to take a 6 hour boat tour around the island. We booked with Sunset Oia Sailing Cruises Santorini. You have to find a ride to get to Ammoudi Bay which is where all the boats are docked. I hear they have amazing seafood if you want to check out their food for lunch or dinner. Our tour took us to the black sand beach, red beach and the volcano with hot springs. Be warned: the hot springs are actually cold springs LOL. Tyler jumped in and was shocked by how cold it was. He did say there were a few warmer spots but it still wasn't a HOT spring. I got to tan on the netting of the boat and they served us dinner. We were with a group of about 30 and it was really fun! Everyone got along and it's always so fun to make friends when traveling. We finally saw a sunset on the boat and it was just beautiful.
We decided to take a private tour the next day to take us to all of the spots on the island we hadn't been to yet on land. I absolutely recommend doing this if you just want something to do all day long without the pressure of having to get these places yourself. Our driver knew exactly where we wanted to go and was with us the whole day. He took us to the lighthouse and cliffs, the black sand beach, a winery, the highest point of the island and ended our day in Oia for dinner and another sunset. It was the perfect day and I loved the tour! If you're not into being on the go go go all the time, I'm sure you can choose to lounge at your hotel pool or a beach for the day. I will say that Santorini doesn't have tropical like beaches. The black sand beach is the only one you could really spend the day at. But, I knew this wasn't my "beach trip" so I wanted to be gone and explore all that I could while I was there. FYI Mykonos is more of a beach place if you're looking for that kind of vibe.
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Stay tuned for my Mykonos Travel Guide next: