Santorini, known for their iconic white painted houses, and the blue-roofed churches in the town of Oia, is just as beautiful as it looks in postcards. The name itself is a reference to Saint Irene, and also goes by the official name of Thera. Santorini is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, and is what remains after the volcanic eruption that devastated the island. As beautiful as it is, Santorini gets overwhelmed by the 2 million tourists that visit annually. I spent three days here, and had my first hand experience of the rush of the crowd trying to get to the edge of Oia for the view of the sunset. What’s notable was the way the Greeks drive, and all the seemingly abandoned half built building structures.
Get lost in the labyrinth of white roofs
Fun fact: Oia (pronounced ee-ya) is 150 meters high.
How to get there: By airport, or by ferry. I took a short flight from Athens to Santorini, which took about 35 minutes.
How to get around: By taxi called by the hotel (only 29 available on the island – Kamari to Oia took about an hour before sunset in traffic, and was 35 €. Be sure to agree on a price before hand since they don’t have meters running, and will try to get more out of you if you don’t know any better), or by public bus (1.80 euro each way). Be sure to know exactly which stop to get off on. The guy handling the money on the bus kicked us out early to avoid having to stop at the last stop for us, and we had to walk back the rest of the way.
Where to stay: There are beautiful cave suites right on the town of Oia that will allow for the most beautiful of views and photographs since you’ll get to climb their private roof tops, or watch the sunset from your private outdoor jacuzzi. I stayed in Kamari, which is a little far from Oia.
Food: Gyros (pronounced ee-roes) are everywhere, and calamari salads
Stop by: Hop on a ferry ride to hike one of the volcanos of Santorini (2.50 € entrance fee)
Archeological museum to see the Akrotiri of Thera for ancient remains
Forever chasing dreams and sunsets
Wandering the labyrinths of white roofs
Hiking up an active volcano
Absolute highlight of my day in Santorini was hiking to the highest point of the volcano and just taking it all in. Then admiring the volcanic rocks on the ground, and having to run down slippery slopes to make it back to the ferry in time. Guess I can cross running down a volcano off my bucket list.
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Found sand darker than your soul
The crowd headed towards the western end of Oia to catch the sunset. We are all shoulder to shoulder.
Uncomfortably close to everyone
Catching a glimpse of the sunset amongst the crowd before escaping into the little alleys for some peace and quiet.
These unfinished structures are scattered everywhere in Santorini.
Inside the Akrotiri of Thera to see ancient remains