I can’t say it enough times. If you want to see constant beauty and amazing nature please go to Santorini! It seriously is the most impressional place I have ever been. And I think that the fact that we saw 10 (?!) couples getting married down there proves it. It is so idyllic. And there is so much to do, including of course: sunbathing, enjoying a beautiful sunset, drinking amazing wine, and eating a lot of feta and honey – if you are more into that. But, if you are also into hiking in unbelievable nature, bathing in hot springs and standing on the top of a volcano, Santorini offers that too.
The amazing weather that has suddenly (and finally) come to London, has inspired me to make a Santorini guide – of the 10 best experiences we had, and which I think everybody who go there should try. My sis and I talked about how important the internet actually has become when it comes to traveling and experiencing new places. Yeah I know there is probably some types out there who will think; what the hell is she saying, the internet is ruining the authenticity and exitment about traveling. And yes I partly agree, but then again: if it wasn’t for the internet, there would have been so so many experiences we wouldn’t have gotten in Santorini – experiences which I am so grateful for.
In fact we had an online guide, who gave us so much inspiration. An american dude with a serious Santorini addiction and a website called SantoriniDave.com. So thank you Dave – it was super helpful.
However some of the recommendations from Dave were better then others, and here is my list of what you HAVE to do.
1. Fira – Oia hike
Or the other way around of course. The hike is so amazingly beautiful. It was first when we went on it that we experienced what Santorini truly has to offer. I mean, the nature with the steep cliffs, white and blue houses, red flowers, and completely turquoise ocean is breathtaking, and you get a “better than postcard”-view on that trip. The hike is a bit long. Like 4-5 hours. At least if you constantly are taking photos. Which you will be doing – I’ll promise you that.
2. Eat at The Good Heart local farm
The Good Heart is a local farm close to Akrotiri, and was another amazing recommendation from Santorini Dave. As we lived in Fira we had to take the bus there. It took around half an hour. Though we got lost, came seriously close to giving up and was crazy starving when we arrived, it was all worth it. It is some of the best food I’ve had – ever. The quality and taste in the ingredients they used was extraordinary. And they produce everything themself. Food is such an important part of traveling for me, and if you feel the same way – go here!
3. Volcano hike with hot springs
Turist agencies in Santorini offer a numerous amount of tours and some of theme are a bit pricy and also a bit fancy. Like a helicopter ride over the volcano. Although that sounds great, I got the clear impression that you can experience most of Santorini’s amazingness on your own. However we got this rather “cheap” boat tour with a hike on the Volcano and bathing in the hot spring – and I am so glad we did it! The Volcano was pretty cool, but for me the hot springs was the coolest experience. You are swimming in the ocean into a small hot spring area, where the water suddenly gets warm and red. It was really fun! Though less fun when you had to swim back to the boat and the water felt a lot damn colder than on the way there.
4. Hike Skaros Rock
Skaros Rock is placed in Imerovigli, a small city just half an hour from Fira, on the way to Oia. Skaros Rock is basically a gigantic (surprisingly) piece of rock that looks like it feel from the sky, and landed right on the Santorini coast.
The hike there is on an off-road path which is pretty cool, but the most exiting was when we actually came to the rock and decided to hike all the way to the top. Their is no fixed way to get there, so it is pretty much just rock climbing. Even though the rock isn’t mount everest, is was still a bit off an adrenaline kick.
5. Wine tasting with a view
Santorini Dave had told us that Santorini makes some amazing wines, and we therefore had to go to a wine tasting! We saved it for the last night, and booked a tasting at Santo Wines, just off Fira. Both the wine, the complementing cheese, the sunset and amazing atmosphere made it one of the best experiences on the trip. Everything is so idyllic and beautiful there, that it is almost too much. And of course we also wideness two weddings ceremonies under the tasting.
6. Kamari open air cinema
The open air cinema in Kamari was so cute and adorable. All the flowers, wild plants, animals running around and people drinking cocktails and smoking cigarettes, gave such chill and fun ambiance. I felt like being at Hawaii (though I never been there, but I imagine). We saw Pirates of the Caribbean, which has been a tradition for us to see together, since the first one came out. It was just a really good evening. Remember cash though. We had to settle on a sharing-beer and the small popcorn, because we didn’t think about it.
7. Cable cars at Fira
Fira is placed about 270 m. from the see, and to get to the port you can either walk (over 600 steps), go on a dunkey ride, or take the cable cars. I am not really into paying for animal activities when I don’t know about the circumstances they are under, so we decided to take the cable cars down – and that was a good decision! It was an experience in it self, and it actually got a bit scary. My sister, who is afraid of roller costers, said it was the scariest ride she had been on.
8. Kamari beach visit
We got a bit unlucky the day we wanted to go to the beach, as the weather decided to get really grey and boring. However the beach we wanted to go to was the one in Kamari. None of the beaches in Santorini is anything special, but we really loved the chill-beach and Bob Marley wibes going on in Kamari. It is a quiet different atmosphere than in Fira and Oia, but worth experiencing too.
9. The best restaurant in Fira
We did not have a single bad meal on the whole trip, but some places were still better than others. As we are both really(!) into food, we researched a lot, before deciding where to eat, and the best place was definitely Parea Tavern in Fira. Amazing food, wine, sweet waiters, beautiful view and super cheap prices. It is one of the more popular places, so it would be a good idea to book a table if you are thinking about going.
10. Two Brothers Bar
This bar is one of the weirdest I have ever been too. Two Brothers Bar is by far the most popular in Fira, and is from 10 PM full of drunk turists and locals going crazy. Anyway here is weird part(s)! You can pay for a shot, where you’ll get hit in your head with a bat.. Yes. Like really hard. You’ll get a helmet on, but still. Other things you can pay for are shots where you’ll get a kiss by the crazy bartendes, or compete in beerbong drinking. If you are looking for a chilled bar to talk, it is probably not the best, but if you want first class entertainment please try it!
Sooo, this was my list of top 10 things to things to try in Santorini. I really really don’t hope it will be too long before I get the opportunity to go back to this amazing island. However for now, I am enjoying some amazing summer days in London.