Are you heading to Santorini?!

Here are some tips and tricks I picked up during my stay.

When picking accommodation, if you are dead set on seeing that Pinterest view of the caldera every time you go to bed and wake up, then you need to stay in Fira or Oia. Fira is the city centre, it’s where you can catch all the buses to travel up and down the island. Thira is name of the island but Fira is the capital and Oia is pronounced (Eeeahhh). Imerovigli is between the two and there are some really nice places to stay here. Just depends what you are going to Greece for… single trip, girls trip, couples trip, honeymoon.. there are accommodations to suit everyone.

Make sure when you first get to Fira that you take a picture of the bus schedule, the printed one seems to be different to the one you will find online. I use which is a free app that offers an offline GSP system to pin all the things and places I want to see. If you walk along the caldera from Fira you will see a small port down at the very bottom of the cliff, here you can ride donkeys to get down and then take a gondola back up or you can be like me and just walk down to pet the donkeys and get your work out on doing steps. They have the steps numbered so when you go back up you can use them to either feel motivated or like you’re going to freakin die haha. This port also takes people to and from the volcano and I believe there are restaurants and other amenities at the bottom to enjoy.

Oia is where EVERYONE and I mean EVERYONE goes to watch the “famous” sunset. I personally did not understand why everyone had to crowd down to the same little set of ruins to see this event when you can see it just as good from many other less crowed locations. My hotel host suggested I go to Pygros and have some wine at Santos to watch the sunset. I have to admit I never got down that way but according to him it was better then going to Oia and being stuck in a crowd of people.

Transportation on the island is easy, you can rent a car for 10 Euro a day (but good luck finding parking), you can get an ATV for 15 Euro a day or take the bus; one way for 1.60 Euro. If you choose to drive on your own just remember this is NOT North America. Buses drive cm’s apart from one another and local bikes and ATV’s do not slow down.

There are several hikes on the island. Skaros Rock was one I highly suggest. I was in Santorini in May and all the flowers were in bloom. The last part of this hike to get right up top is a bit tricky, defiantly wear stretchy pants so you can get your leg nice and high. Ancient Thira is another, plus if you do this one you get to go to Kamari which is a town located on the black beach and in May there are poppies blooming all along the trail!

Boat tours frequently run around the island which makes it easy to visit a bunch of places within a short 6-8 hour day. Spiridakos was suggested to me, they hit up the black beach, red beach, the light house at Akrotiri, and then take you across to the Island of Nea Kameni also known as Santorini volcano where you swim in natural hot springs.

If you are wanting to see the iconic three blue and white dome churches this spot is right before the Skaros Rock. Make sure to check out some of the cycladic homes, these are the cave style houses. If I was rich I for sure would have stayed here!!! Would be affordable if you have a group!

Make sure you eat Greek yogurt, gyros and greek salad!

Here’s a 4 Day Itinerary:

Day 1: Go to Fira walk to old port either by riding a donkey or doing a serious amount of steps. You can take the gondola back up if you’re exhausted, remember that. I am a bit crazy and love walking so you can do the walk from Thira to Oia which takes 2.5 hours and is 10 kms but you walk all the way along the caldera and it’s just beautiful. Along the way you go through Imerovigli and you can do Skaros Rock if you’re really feeling high energy. Make sure to stop in at Zotos Cafe (Erithrou Stavrou, Thira 847 00, Greece) they have UNREAL deserts! You will end in Oia so you can watch the sunset from there or you can go for another walk hahah and visit Amoudi Bay which is another old fishing village down at the bottom of the cliff. Then take a bus back if you are staying in Fira, I think the last one runs around 9:30pm.

Side note there is also a open air movie theatre called Volkan which I walked by and thought would have been a kinda cool experience.

Day 2: Take the bus from Fira to Kamari, do the Ancient Thira hike and Monastery walk to Perissa or if you’re feeling a lazy day just go lounge on the black beach and go for a swim. Or all of the above!

Day 3: Rent an ATV and go to Pyrgos, drink at Franco and get the best view, stop by Santo Wine (best sunset spot), take the ATW to Akrotiri there is a museum here that is apparently pretty amazing. See the red beach and spend the evening out at the lighthouse. Local tip ** Eat at Aeolus **

Day 4: Do a boat trip!

Another thing to remember, you can get your tax back and Greece has high tax! I believe it was 23%. So if you are shopping make sure to bring along your passport and get the employees to print you out a receipt to get your tax back at the airport when you head home.

Last thing, the airport in Santorini is mental small! Be prepared to not sit and be constantly crammed, I went upstairs and sat outside on the patio. Here you can at least have a view of the planes coming in and taking off.

Hopefully that was helpful! Enjoy your trip!

{All the photos are for sale if you’re interested in prints, all of them are shot on film}