I am well aware that this sounds cheesy as f**k but Santorini really is the gift that keeps on giving!!
I feel like no matter how many times you go to Santorini, it never gets boring and the views just seem to get better and better every time! I have been three times now and Rory has been twice and each and every time we fall more in love with the island, the people…and of course the food!
This time we wanted to do some island hopping (not with a backpack as I don’t travel light even though I try!) and as we only had 11 nights to play with we decided to spend 4 nights on the island of Santorini so decided to stay in Kamari which is a beautiful beachfront resort with a black sandy beach and plenty of chic (who even says chic anymore?!) bars and restaurants.
Kamari also has some bloody fabulous local tavernas, which are my choice hands down every time for a cheap eats and amazing food (averaging around 30/40 euros with drinks for the 2 of us… and Rory eats allot of food…and I drink allot of wine 😉 ) Perissa is also a good base but I personally prefer Kamari as there is more going on and a nicer vibe there, although it was much quieter than the last time we visited and was so sad to see some of the hotels and bars closed (F**K YOU COVID & BORIS)
Kamari really is the perfect base to get out and about and explore the island…which you must, if you go to Santorini or anywhere in Greece and stay in your resort or hotel then you are a grade A arsehole…honesty is the best policy…and we are all friends here 😉
We stayed this time at the Blue Sea Hotel which was great and in a good location which was only a few minutes’ walk from the beach and restaurants. I booked the hotel through Booking.Com and it was a proper bargain at around £50 per night for an upgraded room with breakfast…which looked great but Rory moans if there isn’t a hot selection so we ended up eating out every morning but as the breakfast was included in the rate and I hadn’t paid extra I didn’t kick off…too much!
I have popped the link below for the hotel as it was perfect and I would definitely recommend it and would stay here again…which is always a good thing as I can be a slight hotel snob!
The island isn’t really that big and you can get from one side to the other within no more than 30/40 minutes (not including sunset rush hour…yes that’s a thing here) then it can take slightly longer. There are lots of places that you can hire a car, moped or quad for a small cost so you can explore the island independently or you can prebook before you travel…but Rory wouldn’t let me do this (and rightly so) as I am a shit driver and an even worse passenger so we played it safe for the sake of our health and marriage and used a transfer company to get around the island. There are taxis on the island but they are very few and far between so I would recommend prebooking if you want to be somewhere for a certain time. We used Baikas Travel who we found online and they were great and picked us up in a swanky Mercedes car…move over Molly-Mae there’s a new girl in town 😉
The buses are great here as well and also a cheap way to get around the island and go every half an hour from most resorts and connect in the capital Thira/Fira at a cost of around 1.80 euro per person…which is a bloody bargain and perfect if you are on a budget.
In my personal opinion 4 nights in Santorini wouldn’t be enough if you haven’t been before, which we have and still there is more to see on the island that we didn’t have time to do so I would recommend a longer stay, especially if it is your first time as you don’t want to miss out on the beautiful places and stunning scenery that good old Santorini has to offer.
There are some must see places and experiences in Santorini that I would definitely recommend, no matter how long you are there for…
Sunset or Sunrise in Oia
I can hear you saying “no shit sherlock…this one goes without saying!” Oia is one of the most photographed places in the world and it isn’t hard to see why and looks even better in real life and photos do not do the place justice…and the photos are sexy as fook, which says it all! Oia really is a sunset chasers and photographers dream come true, but because of that it gets SO busy during sunset hours (even during a pandemic) so expect to be crammed into the streets and be ready to wrestle all of the instamodel brigade to get the best location for your holiday snaps and selfies! If it’s within your budget then I would definitely recommend a stay in Oia for the beautiful views and also so you can get up early to see the sunrise and take your photos then when the beautiful cobbled streets are quiet and not packed with tourists who have travelled from other parts of the island for the world-famous sunset views. We were lucky enough to stay 1 night in Oia in an amazing cave suite with its own private views with views over the Caledra…but that needs a whole blog to itself it was that bloody amazing…. this will be coming soon, with tips on how to do it without having to sell a kidney or remortgage your home to do so 😉
I never know which is the right spelling and neither does Google…so I’m going to edge my bets and play it safe here! The capital of Santorini is just as bloody beautiful as the rest of the island and offers stunning Caledra and sunset views but doesn’t get AS crowded (it still gets busy!) as Oia so is a great alternative option if you don’t fancy being packed in like sardines to watch the sun go down! We went to a beautiful cocktail bar here called the V lounge which had the most amazing views and the best cocktails (averaging around 8/10 euros each which isn’t bad, especially considering the views) and it was the most perfect place for the sunset and of course the all-important photos to make your mates back at home green with envy! We prebooked this (messaged them on instagram) but you can just turn up, but I would definitely recommend prebooking to ensure you get a good seat with the best views!
Volcano and Hot Springs Boat Excursion
APPROACH WITH CAUTION – If you like climbing, nearly dying from heat exhaustion and sweating like a bitch then this is the trip for you 😉 On our first visit to Sasntorini we got roped into doing a boat trip from Fira which took us to the Volcano (which I climbed half way up, got hot and mardy so shuffled back down on my arse…I hate activities!!) After nearly dying on the hike up and down the Volano (yes, I am dramatic!) we then hopped back onto the boat and went to the hot springs on the island of Palia Kameni which are surrounded by warm dark waters which are well known for their therapeutic benefits (apparently!) I did enjoy this part of the trip…I think I was just glad to be off the bastard Volcano and cool down) but as the water is full of magnesium from the Volcano be careful not to wear your best swimmers…like I did….as it turns them orange…which as you can imagine…I was not happy with and was in a huff for the rest of the day! If you are going to do this trip DO NOT DO THE OIA SUNSET ADD ON…I REPEAT…DO NOT DO THE OIA SUNSET ADD ON…When I say I nearly died…I promise you that I am not being dramatic!! The boat drops off at the bottom of the cliff in Oia which is mega steep and has over 200 steps which are easily each one at least a metre long and so steep to climb up to the beautiful village above. People were passing out with the heat and the climb (you literally are climbing up a cliff edge!) and if the climb doesn’t kill you, the herd of donkeys which nearly push you over the wall and back down the cliff will!! Oia like I said above is 100000% worth a visit, but I wouldn’t recommend doing it this way unless you are mega fit and healthy as by the time we got to the top I was a sweaty, red, very grumpy dirty mess which isn’t really the required look for an Oia sunset (especially for your holiday photos!)
Visit Pyrgos and Megalochori
Both villages are so beautiful with their stunning cobbled streets and hidden alleyways with blue doorways and windows…and of course lots of pretty churches (they are everywhere in Greece) so if you want an escape from the hordes of people in Oia and Fira and a great place for your instasnaps then Pyrgos and Megalochori are definitely worth a visit…plus you will eat and drink here in the local tavernas for a fraction of the price than what it costs in the busier and more popular resorts…try the Lamb Kleftiko…you can thank me later!!
There are plenty more places to visit and see in Santorini such as Santo Winery, Akrotiri Archaeological Site, Akrotiri Lighthouse and so much more, but I am not ging to lie and say Ive been to these and give you travel advise because I haven’t…but f**k it…it’s another excuse to go back again!
To wrap it up before I start boring you with all the little details of our time in Santorini my top tips are to
- Get out and about and explore the beautiful island and all of its hidden gems
- Eat local – Tavernas and family run restaurants for the best food at the best prices…oh and also you have to try Il Forno Italian in Kamari as it was the best meal I have EVER had (yes, I know this isn’t Greek but is owned by a Greek family so shut it!)
- Drink local – Santorini is well known for its wine and it is mega cheap…that’s my excuse anyway to consume copious amounts of it…some of it does look like piss but tastes like heaven!
- If you are trying to eat out on a budget then Gyros is sooooo cheap (around 2.80 euros each) and although it isn’t the healthiest thing and the kindest on your waistline (as my jeans have now proven!)…my god it is good!
- And most importantly have the best bloody time and enjoy every second on this magical island!
My blog on how to live a champagne lifestyle (well kind of 😉 ) on a lemonade budget in Oia will be coming soon, so please follow my blog if you want to hear all about it and me rambling on as per usual!
Santorini you have my heart and in the words of the terminator…. I’LL BE BACK… but for now it’s time to jump on the ferry and head to the amazing Paros which I will tell you all about 😊