Santorini Photo Journal
I finally visited the famous island, Santorini, Greece. I’m going to preface this post by stating that this isn’t a travel guide for Santorini, but it’s just what I did for the three days I was there in July.
My friend Monica, and her brother, Dan, flew to Santorini with me and we explored the island. We arrived at 6 A.M. and our Airbnb wasn’t ready so we headed to Perissa, Black Beach, with our carry on bags. It was kind of nice to be at the beach so early because we had front row beds to the sea. It was the perfect place for a “morning nap.” FYI, the beaches in Santorini say they are sand beaches, but they’re actually rocks. Just be aware that the beaches aren’t as great as one would hope for an island, but I’m spoiled and biased because where I’m from in Messinia, Greece, it has the best beaches of ALL Greece! Anyway, after the beach we headed to our Airbnb. There are no addresses on the island, so we had a private van come pick us up. Our place was in Messaria, where locals live and there aren’t a lot of tourists there. Also note, we went from July 9th through the 11th when it was supposed to be mid season, but it felt like extreme high season. If you’re planning on visiting and don’t really like crowds, then try visiting in the spring or fall.
In the afternoon and evening, we took the bus to Fira from our place and had to transfer to another bus to take us to Oia. We decided to not rent a car on the island because it was more affordable to take the bus to places. The downfall though was that because we weren’t in a main area, to get to the main bus station we had to take another bus and another bus to our final destination and each time you had to pay 1.80 Euros. It was also so crowded at the bus stations that a few times we couldn’t fit onto a bus so we had to wait around. I just wished I knew ahead of time that each time we had to pay and that we weren’t really in the center of the transportation system, BUT it was quiet where we stayed and I really appreciated that after long days of crowds. If you take the bus route for your main mode of transportation, I highly recommend staying in Fira because that is the main bus station and then you can go to any part of the island without transferring busses.
In Oia, we explored the cute city and soaked in all the views. Santorini is unique in that it sits on top of a volcano and all the buildings look like they are on a cliff. This was so cool to see in person because I’ve seen so many photos when I was researching and from photos of when both my sisters had gone. I will definitely say that the views were the best part of the trip. We grabbed some dinner, browsed through books at Atlantis Book Store and found some space to see the sunset.
On the second day, I took the cable cars from Fira all the way down to where the tours leave to go to the active volcano and thermal springs. Another way you can get there is by walking down OR by taking donkeys! I’ve taken a donkey ride before when I lived in Rhodes for a summer, so that’s why I took the cable cars down. The cable car costs 5 Euros each way.
I bought a tour for 20 Euros and it was so worth it. We went on a boat and in less than twenty minutes we arrived at the volcano. Then we had to pay 2 Euros in order to hike the volcano. This fee is to support the research and the monitoring of the volcano because it is still active. It was a bit of a trek up to the crater and it was really hot, so by the time I reached the top, I was sweating a little bit, BUT the views were AMAZING!!! This was on my Greece bucket list for a long time and I’m sooo happy I did it! Then we got back on the boat and headed to the thermal hot springs. This was also sooo cool because we got to dive/jump off our boat and swim behind the little church to the thermal hot springs. People were putting mud all over themselves and this was where I regretted not having a waterproof camera. It was so fun!
After this once in a lifetime day, I visited both of my cousins. They both have been working on the island for a few years, so it was so nice to visit them while I was there. I wish we could’ve hung out more, but they had to work.
On our last day, we explored a bit around our place and I became more obsessed with all the bougainvillea everywhere. I just think they are so pretty and they make me so happy! We headed to Kamari Beach in the afternoon and the views there were just as beautiful as the rest of the island. We grabbed some dinner and then headed to the airport.
The airport is very small and very congested, BUT way better than taking a ferry because I’ve heard the port gets very crowded and intense. Therefore; although the airport isn’t the best, make sure you fly!
Final thoughts on Santorini. I loved exploring a new island. I had wanted to come here for so long and I couldn’t believe that I was actually there. I really appreciate the fact that I am able to travel and to have time off to do so. I also loved seeing my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in years. Just like the rest of Greece, Santorini has some positives and negatives. Although Santorini is in Greece, I kind of didn’t feel like I was in Greece because nobody spoke Greek and there were so many people there. I would love to say that everything was magical, but Santorini really made me appreciate where I’m from, AGRILI. You just have to go with the flow and appreciate the opportunity to visit someone else’s home.