Santorini was our first destination on our Europe travels and it definitely had the best architecture & views! We spent three nights in Oia, Santorini and I felt like it was the perfect amount of time before we hopped to the next city. It isnt as easy as you think to get these famous blue domes in your pictures. You need to head down Oia shops towards Alexander Jewlery, take an immediate left right after all the way down and then veer right at the fork in the road. Right there you will see how I got this shot!
Below is everything you need to know if you are planning a vacation there:
(Streets of Athens before we headed to santorini)
How to get there:
We flew first into Athens, Greece from America on a red-eye since it was a more common airport for flights. We spent a few hours in Athens exploring the city and then hopped on a quick 45 minute flight over to Santorini around 5pm. We flew American Airlines for this trip and everything went smoothly. If you are coming from a Greek Island, you can take a Sea jet ferry, we used to get to Mykonos and can read more about that on my Mykonos Travel Guide here.
Where to Stay:
Oia: This is where we stayed because it is where all the restaurants and views I wanted to see were. It is also were all the famous blue dome and white architecture pictures are taken.
Fira: This is about 20 minutes away but is more locals, more restaurants and more of the real santorini feel from what I could gather when we rode through.
There are other cities you can stay & research, I just don’t know much about them!
(streets of OIA right outside our airbnb rental)
Accommodations: We stayed at Oia Villa Clio rental I booked through Airbnb. It has two bedrooms, two bath, and two single beds in the living room which we all rotated sleeping on. It was hard to find a 3 bedroom or bigger place without breaking the bank in Oia, so we all split this place! I loved the location and outdoor patio of this rental. It had a hot tub and we enjoyed breakfast outside just gushing over the views of the sea and surrounding buildings. This property was right by the market and an easy walk to all the restaurants and shops. The owner, Nick, was so helpful. We booked all our excursions and ATV rentals I sent him!
(View from our airbnb patio)
(View from highest point Pyrgos)
What to do:
- Book a Yacht: We booked ours through Explorer 1 Yachting. I really wanted a boat with the netting up front to lay on but apparently you have to specify the boat because we didn’t get that one- so make sure to tell them or make sure you are getting the boat pictured online! I also actually got some what sea sick, so highly recommend taking Dramamine or just staying at the top outside of the boat when its moving. The water wasn’t even that rough, I just always get kinda queasy. Other than that, the crew was great, they cooked us sunset dinner and we met this awesome couple on our tour as well. My sister told me to do semi-private because she loves meeting other people while traveling and I am so glad we did! The tour took us to red & white beach, and stopped a few places where you could jump in the water!
- Rent ATVS: We did this in every city we stopped and it gives you so much control to just see the island at your own pace! GPS worked just fine on my iphone, and the entire island is only about 2 hours long. This was my favorite day. We rented buggies from Vazeos here. We wanted to two-seaters and they felt a lot safer since we were easing into the ATV experience on islands. (As our trip went on we got more brave with rentals haha). I was surprised how cheap rentals were, most the time about $40 Euros per day.
- Go to Wineries: We went to SantoWines because of the views and I also booked an appointment in advance with Venesanos Winery which is right beside it. It was definitely a place to hang out by locals and have coffee looking out at the sea. For a more local spot we heard to go to Gavalas Winery or smaller ones that didn’t have the views of the sea.
- Go to Beach clubs: Apparently the only one that is busy on the island is Wet Stories. Seems to be a local hang out, there was a beach bar hang out right next door completly empty with exact same set up. I wasn’t exactly sure the hype with the other one, we never went inside.
- Hike: We went to the highest point of the island at Pyrgos and it was beautiful! It probably took about 15 minutes to get to the top, its through the center of the city and tiny cobbled streets.
(location: Santo wines)
Where to Eat:
- Breakfast: Depending where you stay, order the night before so they can have it freshly made and delivered to your accommodations! Make sure to check portion sizes, we found out we were ordering mini size plates one morning and it did not feed us all! I had read there was an amazing crepe place in fira too.
- Lunch: Amoudi Bay area on the water if in Oia, Metaxi in Fira, Luckys Souvlaki or do lunch at the wineries. We also stopped by a local pizza place that had amazing pasta too: Sirocco.
- Snack: Gelato- Lolitas
- Dinner: Ambrosia (request upper table), Panorama Balcony (Book them here months in advance at Canaves Oia) – pictured below.
Cheers to Santorini!