This blog is about what are the interesting things to do in the island, fascinating where to’s, and typical whatnots.
Kalimera Santorini! . . . why Santorini? For those who are unacquainted, this magnificent island was once pivoted by an active volcano in the past 1500 BC. It was a result of constant volcanic eruptions which then eventually collapsed into a roughly circular seawater-filled caldera, with numerous islands forming the circle. The eruptions have then brought this magnificent and awe strikingly amazing creation and has been continuously entitled as one of the best tourist destinations in the world.
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The island is composed of numerous towns; but the prominent for tourist attractions are Thira, Oia and Fira. My friends and I decided to book for a package from a travel agency in Dubai that includes flights, accommodations both in Athens and in Santorini, airport pick ups and drop offs and boat trips to and from Santorini. The ship, called Blue Star Ferries is an exhilarating 8-hour trip. For this reason, we decided to book a plane flight from Athens to Santorini which is only a 50-minute travel in contrast to availing the boat excursion which would take 8 hours to arrive. We booked under Ryanair which costs EUR 54 each or AED 216. We then left Athens at 7am and 7:50 in the morning we were already in the lovely island. Thus instead of 3pm, we arrived at around 8 am already, so that’s like seven hours of time savings!
Tip: Always book a plane flight ahead of time; months before your travel if you can, so as to avail for a reasonable price.
Day 1. ARRIVAL
We reached at roughly 8am and booked a taxi (because we were supposed to be picked up in the pier later that afternoon so we managed to take the cab instead). Their taxis don’t have meters. Yes, you read that right. You need to negotiate first on how much would be the cost before hailing one.
October is a good time to visit, the temperature was 21 degrees Celsius in the morning and evening but gets to 28 at noontime which is just conducive for going to the beach nearby or just taking a dip in the pool at our abode in Alia Hotel located in Kamari.
Tip: You can choose to stay in a different town like Kamari and not in luxurious hotels in Oia or Fira to save on expenses. You’re welcome. 😉
ALIA HOTEL, KAMARI
After a hearty breakfast, we went directly to Santo Wines in Pirgos, Thira; ohh the smell of the breeze is just pure wine. We were taught that we can take the bus if we want to tour the town and save on expenses, but the drawback is that we have to walk and look for the bus stop and wait for it to arrive.
No. We booked for a taxi instead. It’s way easier.
SANTO WINES, THIRA
Santo Wines is located in Thira, the largest region of the island. It was a great winery and exceptionally breathtaking. They have plenty of options for the traditional wines and the experience was very educational. You can choose for a wide variety of wines that ranges from 4 to 24 types. My favorite was the Santorini Vinsanto which was a sweet wine from sun-dried grapes aged 3 years in oak barrels.
Tip: Only order what you can handle; be responsible. Being a tourist in another country needs everyone to be extra vigilant and careful.
Next stop after indulging ourselves on their wine tasting was the Old Port of Fira. First we had a fish spa at Fish Spa Kangal Santorini – Wellness Center. Massage is overrated, so go have your feet nibbled by some slimy, tickly creatures. It cost us EURO10 or AED 40 for the detox.
DONKEY RIDE/CABLE CAR, FIRA
Heading down from the uphill, we mounted on their cable car whilst enjoying a magnificent view of the island. Upon arriving at the harbor, there were plenty of options to do: from shopping on their local shops, walking or strolling along the harbor, eat at their local resto or head to the infamous pet of Shrek, Donkey.
If you are an adventurous and a go getter person, try riding their donkey – ride at your own risk though. When we were checking it out, we thought somebody would guide us through the trail but no; we were painstakingly climbing the steep road on our own for ten long minutes plus the added fact that their donkeys were of the same height of a horse! With no experience at all of any horseback riding, we just grabbed the metal bars with our own might and thankfully we survived the EURO 20 ride without a fracture!
Tip: If you are unsure if you can handle the trail, better take the cable car going up the peak; it is sometimes better to be safe than sorry.
DINNER WITH A SUNSET VIEW
A sunset in Santorini is truly a magical experience you want to try out. Sitting on a steep resto enjoying your Greek food and drinking the house wine with a view. One word. Amazing.
Tip: Never ride a donkey and eat afterwards. You will stink like a donkey too.
Day 2. EXCURSION
RED BEACH, AKROTIRI
The beach’s reddish grandeur will capture your attention in an instant. This beach in Akrotiri is coined as the Best Unusual Beach by the Travel Channel in 2015. It is red in color because the hill is rich in iron, and is why the beach’s sand is such a deep red.
Tip: Be extra cautious when visiting places with cliffs; they are prone to falling rocks and might be very dangerous.
LUNCH AT KATINA FISH TAVERN, OIA
Santorini is way more expensive than Athens especially in terms of food. In a beachy vibe in Amoudi, we cannot say no to the fresh seafood that is captivating our palates. Katina Fish Tavern is a restaurant for Katina that is built by her husband who declares his love for him by fishing. This was a very old restaurant and they present a menu with old photographs of them fishing. To err is human, so forgive me if I forgot to ask the husband’s name. The husband himself was the one who cooked our fish soup: it was a grouper filled with potatoes! (Morag tinola nga sapok tungod sa patatas lol). We paid for a surprisingly EURO 50 or AED 200 each! In return,the couple gave us bottles of olive oil that they personally made for keepsake.
Tip: Not because it’s the house specialty you’ll order it; chances are, you might not be able to finish it especially if it is a soup and you have other dishes aside from that.
Strolling along the Santorini streets is genuinely pleasurable. The local shops sell different souvenir items from clothes to sweets to jewelries; they even have designer shoes and bags lined as well. It is just a moment that needs savoring; even brides and grooms were seen having photograph sessions of the magnificent coast.
Tip: If you want to explore the street from end to end and have a solo time, do so. Leave your friends behind (haha); just make sure you will meet at one place at the same time.
SUNSET AGAIN JUST BECAUSE… , OIA
“Sunsets are proof that endings can often be beautiful too.” – Beau Taplin
Spoiler alert: People will applaud once the sun has set, so make sure to do so if you also enjoyed the natural show.
Day 3. EXPLORATION
We were told by the hotel staff we will be picked up by 1pm, so we have the half day for ourselves on our last day. Dipping on the beach did not fascinate us, but instead we chose to immerse in the town of Kamari. A doodled map was the only thing we have, no wi-fi especially google map to help us. We proceeded our 1 hour hike and we were pretty amazed of what we encountered.
Aside from burning heaps of calories on that hike because there were no any mode of transportation, we saw grape vineyards which were very low and were growing on ground level. This is in connection with their wind which is very strong; these grapes astonishingly adapt to the demands of nature. We also visited another Winery, a very old Episcopal Church and after trying to read the map over and over again, we reached our hotel just in time for the bus to pick us up.
Tip: Always bring water with you especially when you are out under the sun; the 3 hour hike had been exhausting and dehydrating.
BOAT RIDE, BLUE STAR FERRIES
Since we had tickets already for the boat ride, we used it this time around going to Athens. It is worth EURO 40 or AED 160 which was already included in the package that we took. It was a clean, 7-storey boat that has lifts and escalators in it. So far this was the largest ship I have ever been. We upgraded our tickets into Business Class so that we will have our own room with separate beds and a shower. It was a good idea to upgrade since we were able to doze off our overworked legs away.
Tip: There is no need to buy for a Wifi, we bought ours for EURO 5 or AED 20 but it was not working pretty well; better sleep off the vacant hours you have and prepare for the next leg of the race.
So that was our Santorini 3 days 2 nights trip! For those who are planning to go, you can now haul on ideas that are in store for you and get insights on what to expect on your next vacation. Have an awesome holiday!
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NEXT BLOG. ATHENS! 🙂