This was my second time visiting Santorini and it blew me away just as much as the first time.
I can only really describe this place like something you’d see on a postcard, only in real life it’s even better looking. Santorini is a truly stunning place and here are a few things we got up to in the short 24 hours we had there.
First thing’s first, we arrived off shore from a cruise liner with P&O Oceana. We actually had to wait until around 8am before we could start leaving the ship for the little coastline island but I didn’t want to rush. Instead I got up even earlier, and went to the gym as we watched the cruise liner pull up parallel to this absolutely mind-blowing place, we had breakfast and then we left without the crowds.
I have to be honest when I write this and Santorini over the last 5 years has become extremely popular especially in the seasonal months so expect a lot, sorry not a lot, a ridiculous amount of tourists. To say Greece’s economy as a whole is struggling you’ll notice, its not quite the same in Fira the capital of Santorini. It is always bustling with tourists, and tourists traps, however, if you’re anything like me and like to “walk the pass less travelled’ then do so. My Advice, stay away from the crowds, take a wrong turn and get lost in the many corners of this small city, for then you will find its real beauty and without a crowd.
With many tourists comes many restaurants and bars, and without doubt I always get THE BEST cocktails. It was 11am, I’d walked the 600 steps in the heat to get there ( I was never going to take a Donkey) and I like a drink, the bars were open and the view was to die for. Santorini is packed full of gorgeous and quaint bars and restaurants and nearly every single one of them has a view over the Caldera. I just can’t begin to tell you how amazing it is here. My choice of tipple this time, a Passion Fruit Daiquiri , and just look at it!
There is so much to see in Santorini there really isn’t any need to book any excursions if you don’t fancy it. Instead you can just wander for hours and take in all the sights and the culture. Winding paths of white and blue mixed with the many greek styled churches and independent shops and eateries. It’s really very beautiful and every corner is a photo opportunity.
Although I didn’t have the time on this occasion there are two excursions I have previously been on that I highly recommend. You can jump onto a pirate ship for the full day which will take you to the Volcano that sits just north of Santorini and you can take a hike literally across it with a tour guide. After that you’ll jump back on the boat and it will take you to famous hot springs of Santorini that are bubbling away and heated by the heat of that very same volcano. After this you will enjoy a barbecue, fresh baked potato’s and salad and an ice cold beer whilst docking in the most quietest little sea side town. As the sun sets you will then head back to the dock and you can see Fira, and Oia light up as the sun go’s down painting the sky of beautiful crimson red’s, yellow’s and oranges. It’s a sunset you won’t forget.
My Second tip would be to hire a quad bike for the day, usually around 30-40 Euros. All you need is your drivers license and you’ll be on your way. Personally I think this is the best way to see the whole island, we did it in a day stopping as and where we wanted. Incredible scenery including ruins awaits you as you drive around discovering this magical island.
On this trip to Santorini we stumbled across the most incredible place for lunch. Volkan On The Rocks Cafe which by the way is also an outdoor cinema! The food here is out of this world and the staff are so friendly and happy, not to mention you get the best views of Santorini, but you will have to walk for it. Worth every step if you ask me. Serving traditional Greek cuisine and one of a kind local beer that is made only here with the help of the volcano.
If you want to view the menu, or more on this place take a look at their website by clicking here
Somewhere that is a must and I do not stress when I say this enough… make sure you book a table, and make sure you get there for around 4pm. It’s slap bang in the middle of Fira, over looking the Caldera and it’s very busy. HOWEVER… Visit Tango Champaign & Cocktail bar and watch the sun set. Not only are the cocktails some of the best I’ve ever tasted… it will lull you with cool, relaxing music like somewhere that rivals Blue Marlin in Ibiza. Just sit back, with your drink and watch the day end in this boujii establishment. Classed as “Santorini’s finest drinking experience” just thank me later.
Click here to see the website for more information.
It was then time for us to make our way back to the cruise ship to sail away literally into the sunset back to our final destination. Valetta. Somewhere I’ll be writing about in my next blog post.
Just to note, there is so much to do and see in Santorini and on every corner it is gorgeous. Fira is the most popular place and probably the busiest as a large number of cruise ships stop here. However, my advice would be to visit Santorini for longer, much longer, work your way around the island and visit the other cities like Oia, which is just as beautiful and less busy. There are the most stunning 5 star villa’s and hotels which you might pay a little more for, but you know what, they’re unlike anywhere else in the world.
Oh and here is my mum and step dad, enjoying their first time in Santorini.
If you’d like to view my full and first travel video for this experience, you’ll find it right here!