[TRAVEL]: Greece Part 3 – Santorini – April 2018
Oh Santorini, I’ve felt so conflicted about writing this post. I know some people won’t agree with what I have to say, but in my dead honest opinion, I think Santorini is overrated. Shock, horror, how could I dare say that? Well, read below to find out what I thought of Santorini. Don’t get me wrong, Santorini is beautiful but hopefully, some of these tips will help you out if you ever travel there.
Making Our Way To Santorini
The iconic image of white-washed buildings; blue-domed churches and subtle shades of colours lined up against a cliff is what everyone imagines when they think of Santorini. This was me. Expecting the obscenely beautiful view when we arrived at our accommodation, this was not the case. Before we get into that, let us chat about getting to your hotel first though.
We took a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini. It was the fast ferry so it took about two hours, not bad at all. When we arrived at the port, we thought we’d be able to just take a taxi to our hotel. This was a mistake, find out from your hotel if they can help you organise transport to your accommodation. The taxi service we used (Princess Tours) charged each of us 20 Euros (It was first 25 Euros each). So you are looking at about R300.00 each, expecting to be taken to your hotel straight away. Nope, this minibus had other passengers that had hotels all over the island. It took so long to get to our accommodation.
Our Original Accommodation
Oh boy. We had booked the Fileria Suites in Oia, which was rated as a 5-star boutique hotel on booking.com and had a 9.5-star rating. It promised city views and looked like a beautiful boutique hotel. We were totally aware that it didn’t have a pool (we didn’t expect it to be so hot). I was already irritated when we arrived at the hotel after realising how the minibuses take advantage of tourists, only to arrive at our hotel that was situated in front of a bus stop. City view? Nope. Did it look like the Santorini view I dreamt of? Nope.
The price we paid worked out to about R1000.00 per night and it seemed to be the rate for the other hotels we had researched. The one room smelt of smoke, even on the pillows. It was so cramped that we couldn’t put our bags down properly. The city view that they promised was the bus stop out of the one window and then dirty laundry out if the other. Disappointed to the maximum. My heart even broke a little bit as I had worked hard to save for this trip and this was not what I had dreamt of.
Don’t stress, the four girls on a dream holiday made a plan!
A Bit More About The Actual Island
Santorini, is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece’s mainland. Fira is the island’s capital but Oia is the hot spot and the place to be. Fun fact, its pronounced “ee-ya” and not “oi-ya”. Santorini is basically what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera.
NAMASTE SUITES, OIA
Like I mentioned earlier, we made a plan and changed our accommodation. We stayed in the most beautiful place called Namaste Suites which is a spacious villa located on the cliff side of Oia with the most incredible view. It had 2 bedrooms with their own bathrooms; a living area; a kitchen; a small den; another bathroom and then an awesome outside area with a hot tub. Absolutely stunning accommodation with beautiful decor that made me want to move in.
What To Do In Santorini
There’s quite a bit to get up to while you’re in Santorini such as winetasting; catamaran tours to the hot springs; beach days at the red beach and more. We decided to rather just enjoy our beautiful accommodation and also our budgets were pretty done for the trip and those activities are costly.
Keep in mind that you’ll be doing a lot of walking, and I mean A LOT. It’s narrow passageways and the most stairs you’ve ever climbed in your life. There are no railings so if you’re afriad of heights, take this into consideration as it’s a steep cliff. Try find accommodation with a pool so you can sit and enjoy the views while keeping cool.
Santorini is obviously very touristy. In fact, over 1.5 million tourists visit each year and most are from the cruise ships. We were there at the end of April and it was already busy, I can’t even imagine what July/August must be like in peak season.
There are amazing restaurants in the main area of Oia, most offering gorgeous views to watch the sunset. Most people say that the sunset in Santorini is one of the greatest in the world, while I don’t disagree with that, I do think a Cape Town or Zambezi River sunset is just as beautiful.
I obviously couldn’t get enough of the Greek yoghurt with honey, gosh, so delicious. Plus the Greek coffee is amazing. Take into consideration that the prices of the food are expensive as it is a tourist location. The views make it worth it though.
The blue-domed church is an amazing site and we were lucky to be right next to it – it’s such an iconic image of Santorini. There are photo-worthy spots around every corner which as a blogger was fab!
FINAL THOUGHTS ON SANTORINI
It’s beautiful, it truly is. It’s a place I had dreamt of and I’m so proud of myself for ticking it off my list. Do I recommend you go there? Yes, it’s a place you have to see. However, I don’t recommend staying there for long. One night maximum in my opinion. You’re basically going for the caldera view – am I right, or am I right?
The last tip I have for you is that if you’re heading back to Athens after Santorini, rather fly. We took the ferry and it was delayed for 2 hours, and then took 6 hours to get to Athens. I’m very chilled when it comes to flights and boat rides, but this ferry was just too long for me.
Hopefully, this blog post helped you out for when you plan a trip to Santorini?
My vlog for Santorini is at the end of the post in case you missed it.