First, let me just start off by saying there are SO many things to do in Santorini.. but it all depends on how you intend to spend your holiday.
I went for a week, a full seven days of absolute bliss! I knew I wanted at least a couple of days to just ‘chill’ (which means doing absolutely nothing but eat and sunbath). I tend to pack in way too much when I go on holiday (mainly because I don’t get much free time so making the most of my holiday’s is something I like to do).
This time was different, I chose Santorini for a number of reasons one being the Views (obviously) but because I’d heard about the chilled out vibe. And also the busy side.. the touristy parts. Like I said before, I wanted to make the most of the beautiful island but also have some time to catch a tan and read a book.
I’m going to split this post into 2, mainly because I did so many things it would be one long post and I don’t want to bore you all.
Watch the sunset
This one goes without saying, I’m pretty much sure that if you’ve decided to go on holiday to Santorini that the sunset has helped with your decision. People come from all over the world to see this sunset, and I can see why! There’s places to see the sunset from all around the world but there’s just something special about the one in Santorini. I’d seen hundreds of pictures on social media (hence why I wanted to go) but I never imagined it would be as special as it was. Every night as the sun goes down, the sky lights up a different colour, pink, orange, red, yellow.. the prettiest sky I have ever seen. The most talked about spot to watch the sunset is in Oia, I did this but honestly throughout my holiday I found way better places to watch it, without thousands of people crammed into one space. I stayed in a beautiful hotel in Imerovigli, and the view of the sunset from the balcony was by far the best! My advice, find quieter places to view the sunset with your loved ones and enjoy watching the sky change colour (don’t forget your phone, because I can promise you will be taking lots of pictures of it).
Visit Fira and Oia
This is obviously depending on where you stay.. (I’m speaking from my experience – I stayed in Imerovigli). So both Fira and Oia were places not too far from me, and places I’d heard so much about. I stayed in the quietest area on the island so venturing out to experience the busyness of Fira and Oia were a must. I love having the best of both worlds, the busy touristy places being a short distance away but still the calmness of Imerovigli.
Fira is the ‘Shopping town’ this is where you will find hundreds of quaint shops all selling so many different things: clothes, shoes, food, books, memorabilia, jewellery along with so many more! Fira is where you will find the port, you can walk down to this or get the cable cart. On certain days this is where you will find the big cruise ships pulling in to allow the passengers a day to explore Fira town. Fira is where the main bus station is (my experience on this can wait for another post).
Oia is the most picturesc place on the island, this is where you will find the famous white buildings with the blue domes. Once you get to the main square in Oia, you can take a left, this leads up to all the expensive designer shops and slightly more expensive restaurants. Or you can walk to your right and venture through the town coming across hundreds of shops and places to eat (the slightly cheaper side). But bare in mind this is Santorini and everything is more on the expensive side. This is where you will find the famous 3 churches, that seem to be on everything advertising Santorini. It can get extremely busy in this part but be patient and you will catch a glimpse of the magnificent buildings.
Visit Red beach
There are three main beaches in Santorini, Red beach being one of them, along with the white beach and the black beach. All three of them stunning in there own way. The most famous one being the red beach, because of it’s uniqueness this is one of the tourist hot spots. I visited here during a day trip, so I didn’t get to spend lots of time here. People do venture down onto the beach but I would just recommend seeing it from above (the tour guide mentioned it not being too safe). But none the less somewhere to visit during your time in Santorini. The colours are something I’ve never seen before on a beach and it is breathtaking to see (especially on a bright day) the red stands out with the contrasting bright blue sea making it a perfect picture opportunity.
One of the highlights of my time in Santorini was visiting Akrotiri. I visited here on one of the day trips I went on. This is the perfect place to visit if you want to see a bit of the history behind Santorini. When visiting here, I recommend opting for a guided tour, this being they have so much knowledge of the museum that you will benefit much more than just wondering around on your own. I learnt so much about this place and how it all occurred that I had no idea about before. This place is well looked after and everyone is so respectful of the history this building holds. As much as I love to see all the picturesque white buildings, I also love to learn as much as I can about the history of the island. This being the perfect place to do so! So don’t miss out on a trip here, it doesn’t take that long to see the whole site so a few hours out of your day is definitely worth it.
Take a trip to Pyrgos
Pyrgos is labelled as a ‘hidden gem’, and you will see exactly why when you visit. This small town is so small you could walk through it in 10 minutes. When I visited here I walked straight through the middle and here is where you will find lots of shops and places to eat and compared to all the other places in Santorini this was by far the quietest. Still lots of people enjoying the sights but not half as many as you will find in Fira or Oia. So if you’re looking for somewhere quieter but equally as beautiful then this is the place for you. The locals love Pyrgos because it’s very much untouched and the old Santorini definitley shines through.