I can’t help but drip feed you my trip to Greece with Contiki, partly because I have 792394 pictures, but also because by doing it like this I can pretend that I’m still there. Ha! One can but dream.
Now, on to one place you’ve probably been waiting for – Santorini. Santorini has dominated my imagination for a while now, I mean anyone with even a slight addiction to Pinterest will have seen picture after glorious picture of the domed buildings and deep blue Aegean. So much so I worried that it might be a little bit of a let down. But I was so stupid to worry. I realised, when I arrived, that yes I’d seen some of the major sites, but what I hadn’t seen was the little laneways, the locals sitting outside their houses, the sleepy donkeys and the beautiful interior of the island – things that were as interesting to me as those white washed buildings. Read on for a few of my tips!
As a bit of an orientation, Santorini is one of four islands that make up the Caldera – essentially the rims of a submerged volcano – and it has lots of little towns set up high on the cliff tops (hence those views). The two towns you’ll most likely spend a bit of time in are either Fira or Oia, you’ll find lots of accommodation there and chances are you’ll drive between the two. Even if you’re staying in Oia, you’ll probably still visit Fira as there is a port there that day boat trips leave from.
Being in such a big group (14 of us!), we stayed at the New Haroula hotel in Fira which was lovely and had a great pool, (although no ocean view). If I went back, I might stay over in Oia just for a different perspective, I like the sound of The Sea Captain’s House.
Eat & Drink
Have breakfast at Aegle Cafe – a leafy courtyard location and the best feta omelet. They serve juices and gelato too!
Take a break from Greek fare at mexican place Señor Zobas, owned by a Californian (they had my fave hot sauces Chaloula and Tapatio – a good sign!) and with the most amazing hilltop location.
Have an afternoon at Santos Winery – we ordered the 18 glass tasting platter between 4 and let’s just say, things had a glow on them after that! It’s walking distance from Señor Zorbas if you want to make an afternoon of it.
Have a late one at at Tango bar.
Have dinner in Oia- at either Ambrosia – on the cliffs overlooking the water ($$$) or at its cousin Ambrosia & Nectar in the back alleys ($).
Have brunch at Skiza cafe in Oia, a cute little two storey patisserie overlooking the water in Oia.
You won’t miss Meteor Cafe (in fact you’ll probably have seen it on Pinterest), an old antique store turned into a cafe.
See & do
Watching the sunset in Oia is pretty much a right of passage. Skip the crowds and drop into Lioyerma Pool Bar, a short walk past the windmills.
Hire a quad bike or car and really explore the island.
Take a boat ride around the island – easily the best thing we did when we were there!
Check out the Red and Black Sand beaches.
Good to know
Make sure you have as many coffee frappes as possible – you’ll be bouncing off the walls but it’s so worth it!
To really explore Santorini you need to get out of the small towns.
Drink the house wine, it’s cheap and perfectly delicious.
Brunch at Aegle cafe in Fira
The view from Fira
Healthy starts with the BEST Greek yogurt.
Not a bad spot to pull up a chair.
Alleyways of Oia
It’s impossible to take a bad photo in Oia!
Exploring with friends.
The view from our boat.
I became a door addict!
Be still my Pinterest addicted heart!
Wandering the town of Oia and stumbling upon the perfect nook.
Sunset at Lioyerma Pool Bar in Oia
Not your average corner store…
White and blue everywhere.
The buildings have domed roofs because it makes then stronger against earthquakes. Fancy that!
Santorini could make even the coldest heart feel romance!
Spent a delightful day here!
Such an amazing volcanic landscape around Santorini – best seen by boat.
The best experience of the trip – boating with the Contiki crew.