Santorini is what dreams are made of.
Paradise on earth, food lover’s haven, a couple’s dream honeymoon destination, and a fashionista’s bliss…with so much to do, and probably too little time no matter the length of your stay or itinerary, it’s really difficult to pin down what you want to/should do…you want to see enough with the time you have, but not too much that you don’t enjoy the moments you do have.
While we were there last summer, we had the most amazing time. Out of all the places I’ve been to, it’s absolutely one of my favorites in the world! The food, the people, and oh the views, especially of the marvelous sunset…just writing these words makes me so nostalgic and brings back wonderful memories!
Although we certainly didn’t get a chance to do everything we would have liked (more reasons to go back, right?), I enjoyed every moment of our time. So I want to share what I believe are the three must-sees and dos of Santorini.
The views of the different islands and monochromatic beaches from the sea were unreal and unlike anything you can experience from land
- Boat tour around the islands: This was by far my favorite! The views of the different islands and monochromatic beaches from the sea were unreal and unlike anything you can experience from land…And the warm sea breeze on my face finally made me realize where I was, and that I needed to enjoy every second of it…the refreshing wine and fresh seafood cooked right on the catamaran was just icing on the cake!
We booked our tour from the hotel concierge where we were staying (around 150€/person). But to ensure that you reserve a spot and that you are getting the best deal possible, I suggest contacting your hotel in advance to see what they have to offer. That way, you can compare rates that they have with tours you can book online (Trip Advisor is a great resource for this—just type in “boat/catamaran tours in Santorini” and hit ‘search’).
SHOP THIS OUTFIT
- Santorini Sunset: Okay, by now, I’m sure you have heard of the famous Santorini sunset. But so has everyone else that’s visiting…with approximately 2 million tourists passing through each year, you can bet that all the best spots will be taken if you leave it up to chance. We literally saw every tourist making their way to the little cliffside nooks of Oía to get a half-blocked view, at best, of the gorgeous sunset. Best way to beat the crowd and avoid being stampeded by a herd of unwarily charging tourists?
Make reservations for dinner at a restaurant with a view! These restaurants get booked up quickly, especially around the sunset hour, so make sure you get in well ahead of time (I mean months in advance; I called a few places 3 months before, and they said they were full for sunset). If you’re short on time, still try your luck, but you just might have to call a multitude of places.
V.I.P Ambrosia Restaurant and Petra Restaurant, part of Canaves, are a couple of great options if you are keen on Oía, especially for special occasions. I’ve also heard great things about Ammoudi Fish Tavern and Kastro Oia Restaurant, which are awesome if you want something a bit more casual. But seriously, if anything, you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to food in Santorini—just make sure to find what you are looking for ahead of time and make your reservation.
One thing to remember is that even when you make a reservation in Santorini, they require you to confirm 24 hours before, so don’t forget or they may give your spot to someone else…this may actually favor you if you find yourself without a reservation, so don’t give up.
But the view is actually better from Fira, in my opinion, since the sun sets over Oía. A great option in Fira, which is more on the casual side, is Naoussa Restaurant. Authentic food, and an AMAZING view of the caldera! It’s definitely an insta-worthy spot!
Which brings me to my last must-do!
- Drinks at PK Cocktail Bar: Talk about delicious cocktails with breathtaking views, this drinks-only 3-story cliff-side bar overlooking the sea is the place to grab a dramatically presented glass of fruity concoction with a view of the caldera that cannot be beat, especially at sundown. Make sure to make a reservation (they have an amazing online system where you can actually select the exact table you want) and enjoy the amazing service that’s a guarantee from this location. Just remember that they are cash-only!
I hope you have a wonderful time in Santorini and fall in love with its magic, just as we did!
Obviously, we didn’t get a chance to do EVERYTHING, and would love to hear what you loved about this little paradise on earth—let me know in the comments below!