When I hear fellow wanderlust-ers talk about traveling, more often than not, I notice that Greece, and mainly Santorini is a destination that is continuously on people’s list.
They dream of four wheeling around the island, beautiful black sand beaches, the prestige white villas and incredible sunsets that make your heart feel warm inside. These are definitely all things that you can experience in Santorini, but, because tourism remains one of the primary means of income for many islands in Greece, including Santorini, the activities on the island can get fairly pricey. Because of this, I recommend making Santorini 3-4 day destination if you find yourself traveling around other countries in Europe.
There are a couple of things that I highly suggest doing while you’re in Santorini! Following this is a list of things that I definitely think are worth the price!
- Cliff Jumping
There are many places to cliff jump in Santorini but an amazing place that I recommend going is a cliff that is found in Amoudi Bay. Amoudi Bay is a small port that is found below the town of Oia, Santorini. When you make your way to the base of the waterfront (this can be done by taking a set of 300 steps down – you can also ride a donkey down these stairs – see this as something to do in following points) the cliff is located on the left side of the bay. You will run into a path on the side of the rock and will continue following it. There will be a couple of twists and turns but eventually the rock will be present on your right hand side. More often than not there will be other tourists jumping off the rock as well, so it isn’t hard to miss at all! This is an awesome activity to do whether you’re with friends or alone, it’s free and best of all, you get to explore little areas in Santorini with an added bonus of an adrenaline rush at the end.
2) Rent an ATV!
Renting a 2-wheeler or a 4-wheeler for a day is such a fun way to get around the island and really helps maximize your time spent there! A full day of ATV riding starts at 25 Euros a person (depending on the ATV you choose) and is definitely worth every penny! Riding around on the windy roads of the islands, while having the ability to see the views outside of a car windshield is absolutely wild! With the use of an ATV you can make day trips to beaches such as Perivolos and Perissa!
3) Visit different churches
Some different churches that I suggest visiting are churches such as the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral (found in Fira), the Church of Holy Cross found in Perissa and Panagia Katefiania also found in Perissa. While the Greek Orthodox Church offers a very beautiful interpretation of Christianity, visiting these churches is not only a great way to immerse yourself in the Greek culture, but the architecture is also absolutely remarkable.
4) Watch the Sunset in Oia
Some of the most magical moments of my entire trip was watching the sunset in Oia every night with my family. Whether it was sitting at one of the restaurants found in Oia, or on the side of the mountain, watching the sunset was something that I will always have a difficult time putting into words… and because I can’t do so… here’s a photo.
5) Go to a small Taverna and drink the way the locals do
One of the best parts of my trip was making friends with the locals! My young sister, my mum, my best friend and I went to the same local taverna a couple of the nights that we stayed and Santorini and it was one of the best choices we made on the trip! Greek tavernas are messy and cosy and filled with both warm hearted locals and other travellers looking to meet friends. In these tavernas you will find yourself experiencing some great dishes like Tzatzki and Sagnaki and you can taste locally fermented alcohols such as Raki and Restina!
What advice can I offer on exploring the island of Santorini? Discover. As much as you possibly can. Go to the fish markets you see as you walk along the side streets. If you see a local produce shack on the side of the road stop and try some of the fresh fruits and vegetables that are offered to you. Take an insane amount of photos, but after you’re done taking those photos stop and close your eyes. Breathe in the sounds of the people who pass you on the cobble stone, the waves that crash on the beach. Close your eyes and paint a picture of the skyline in your mind, so that every time you want to experience the view of the sunset, you can because no photograph or video will ever do it justice. Take a walk on your own. Keep a travel journal in your backpack and jot down all of the amazing things you did that day. Keep a book of blank paper with you and while you’re having a snack on one of Santorini’s beautiful patios enjoying the view, doodle what you see. Travel with friends, family, or by yourself. Meet locals and other travellers. Ask them about their life experiences and if you feel comfortable, share your own. Find beauty in the presence of others, but also take the time to find comfort in solace.