Santorini is known to be the romantic, honeymoon island of the cyclades and when the ferry boat is approaching the island, you can immediately see why. I did not know that Santorini is what remains from a huge volcanic eruption and this is what makes it so special.
The towns are built on the top of the island and the view is of the caldera and in the middle you can visit an active crater of the volcano. There are 3 craters in this island and you can see how gas comes out of one of them.
To me, the best of Santorini are the views. They’re impressive and it’s worth spending a bit more on a hotel room that has view of the caldera. We stayed in Imerovigli and really enjoyed staying there. It’s a 15 min walk to Fira which has lots of restaurants and bars but Imerovigli itself is quiet and there are few people.
- Boat trip to Volcano Crater and natural hot springs: this tour was Ok. We don’t usually buy these types of tours, but we asked around and everyone said it was good. If we were to do it over, I don’t think we would have done the tour. It’s a boat with lots of people and they take you to see the crater of the active volcano which was interesting, but because it was July, it was extremely hot (be sure to take comfortable shoes). Then they took us to a place in the sea where there are hot springs so the color changes due to the sulfur of the volcano and the temperature heats up the sea water, but it’s not hot so don’t worry about that! The most complicated part of the trip was actually getting to and returning from the old port. July is peak season and this includes lots of cruise ships so there was an 1 hour line at least for the cable car. The other way up and down is walking or on a donkey. We walked down, but it was uncomfortable because the donkeys are also going up and down. We returned on the cable car.
- We were super tired so we bought cheese, beers and snacks and had dinner on the room terrace.
- We rented an ATV and went to the Red Beach.
- From the Red beach you can take a taxi-like boat to the white and black beaches but we had out ATV so we went to the black beach (actually called Mesa Pigadia). You can only reach the white beach by boat.
- Sunset at Oia: is overrated. Sunsets are beautiful all over Santorini, the night before we saw it walking from Fira to Imerovigli and it was amazing. In Oia, it’s a circus. There are thousands of people and the moment of the sunset is completely lost when you have hundreds of selfie sticks in your face.
- Black Rock restaurant at Oia: this was really nice. We found this restaurant walking around the promenade and it was isolated from the crowds and with a beautiful view. The food was excellent, we really enjoyed our dinner that night.
- The ferry left at 5pm so we had the morning.
- We took the ATV to a small beach called Pori, recommended by the owner of our hotel and it was great. It was a really small beach visited only by locals.
- We had lunch at Estia in Imerovigli, really good seafood and greek salad.
- Heliades Apartments
- Black Rock restaurant for dinner in Oia.
- Estia for lunch in Imerovigli.