Why You Need to go to Santorini this Summer.
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to visit Greece. I'm not sure if it was from watching Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants or Mamma Mia, but between the stunning blue waters and iconic white buildings, Greece always seemed like a magical place full of love and happiness. And exploring Mykonos, Santorini, and Milos last month definitely lived up to all of my expectations.
Santorini is probably one of the most well-known islands in all of Greece and for good reason. If you're looking for a romantic and relaxing getaway this summer, Santorini island is the perfect place to go. The island was actually formed as a result of a volcanic eruption, which not only gives the island an incredible history, but it also creates one of the most unique landscapes I've ever seen in my life. And apparently, Santorini is starting to tell tourists not to come, because it's getting too crowded, so hurry up and get there before it's too complicated. Whether you're enjoying all of the stunning views in Oia, riding an ATV along the cliffside, or playing in the water at Red Sand Beach, Santorini is guaranteed to be the experience of a lifetime! Here are some of our favorite things to do in Santorini!
Walk around Oia: Oia is the most iconic spot in Santorini, but it's iconic for a reason, so make sure you don't miss it! Walk through all of the adorable shops and get yourself some cute Greek clothes and jewelry. If you love bookstores, make sure to visit Atlantis Books! It's an adorable bookstore with an amazing view of the city from the rooftop. Get lost in the streets and take in all of the different views, because they are seriously all stunning!
Cliff Jump at Amoudi Bay: If you like cliff jumping, make sure to visit Amoudi Bay. Even if cliff jumping isn't your thing, walking around Amoudi Bay is definitely worth it. There are seafood restaurants that sit right on the water and look out to all the cute little fisherman boats on the clearest water. The water is the perfect blue color, and it's easy to swim around and climb to perfect jumping rocks if you love cliff jumping. Ryan was in heaven here.
Go to Red Beach: Red Beach is one of the most famous beaches on the island. You can drive, hike, or take a boat into the beach. The unique color of the red volcanic rocks contrasts perfectly with the clear blue water, making it the perfect place to relax, go snorkeling, or just enjoy the view.
Take a sunset sailing cruise: We took a sunset sailing tour with Bella & Thalassa Santorini Cruises, and it was incredible! We loved being able to watch the sunset from the water and get a different view of the city. Plus, being on a boat is a fun and different way to experience the island. The sunset sailing cruise starts in the early afternoon, and they take you to a few different spots before they serve you dinner and finish your tour off watching the sunset right below the city of Oia. There is nothing quite like watching the sunsets in Santorini and seeing the sun dip down below the horizon right from the water was one of the most magical things we've ever witnessed.
Watch the sunset from a different spot every night: They're really onto something when they say that Santorini has the most beautiful sunset in the world. (I have no idea who "they" are, but they're absolutely right.) Ryan and I both said the sunset in Santorini was by far one of the most beautiful we've seen anywhere in the world. Watching the sunset from Oia is a must, but it's also quite crowded, so you'll be battling watching it from behind a hundred other people's heads, phones, and cameras. Our favorite spot to watch the sunset was from a cliff just outside of Oia. Take the walking trail to Fira until you hit a water sanitation site where you'll see a little cliff that juts out into the water. Walk out onto that cliff and sit down on one of the many rocks, and enjoy the stunning sunset all to yourself.
Go to the Prophet Elias Monastery: One of the best views of the entire island is from the Prophet Elias Monastery, which is built on the highest peak of Santorini. From there you can see a beautiful mix of vineyards, rocky landscape, and sea views that stretch out for miles. The panoramic views will make you feel like you're on top of the world.
Hike the Volcano: Since Santorini is technically an active volcano, hiking the volcano is a must. It's raw natural beauty is unlike anything we've ever experienced before. But be careful, because even though walking on the black lava rock is unique and incredible, it's also hot. You can even see sulfur steam coming out from underneath the rocks. Once you make it to the top, there is an awesome view of the caldera.
Dive into the Hot Springs: Okay, so they're not technically that hot, but we called them "warm springs," haha. The lava underneath the water makes for little pockets of hot water, and apparently, the waters have healing and therapeutic benefits.
Hike the Fira to Oia trail: If you have a couple of hours and love hiking, be sure to hike the trail from Fira to Oia, or the other direction. It's a beautiful trail right along the cliff's edge with amazing views the entire way.
Rent a Car or an ATV: This is definitely the best way to get around the island. Santorini is pretty spread out, and there are a ton of different things to see and do, so having a car or an ATV will make it much easier to get around. We suggest staying in Fira, because it's cheaper, and has a lot more restaurant options that aren't total tourist traps and then driving around to Oia and the different beaches.
Spend some time in the sun at Perissa Beach: Part of what makes Santorini so unique is it's landscape. Perissa Beach is one of the black sand beaches on the island, and a great place to spend the day relaxing in the sun or enjoying a drink in the sun.
Eat at Falafel Land: If you love falafel, definitely eat at Falafel Land. It's cheap, delicious, and right in the center of Fira town. And if you love bubble tea, walk down the street and find Bubble Tale, an adorable little shop, for a delicious treat.
Eat Frozen Greek Yogurt at Chillbox: Frozen greek yogurt in Santorini is a must. And Chillbox has all the delicious toppings you could ever want. They have locations right by the large ferry port and in Fira. I'm still dreaming of it, and wish we could go back for more right now, haha. We'd also suggest stopping for ice cream as many times as possible, because there's no such thing as too much ice cream when you're on vacation, right?
No matter what you end up doing, Santorini is paradise! There's a reason so many people love it, and we are definitely on that list of people now. Whether you splurge on a hotel with an infinity pool or just walk around and take in all the picture-perfect views, you are going to love your time in Santorini. We loved exploring and relaxing, and Santorini is the perfect place to enjoy both. Don't forget to bring your camera, because you're going to want to snap as many pictures as you can. We're already planning on hanging a large print of the iconic blue domes in our home.
Santorini definitely exceeded all of our expectations, and we're sure you will fall in love with this island just as much as we did!
Santorini Packing List for her: