After landing in Santorini at 1am, the excitement of day one had us up for breakfast at 9.30am and ready to explore. We left the hotel at 11.30am and started with a walk along the main street in Oia, which was right outside our hotel. Its bright and white with cobbled streets, lots of souvenir shops and boutiques. I had wanted to visit Atlantis Bookshop and it didn’t disappoint. Its a bustling little cave-like bookshop with quotes written on the walls and books in a wide range of languages, I geeked out in there while Ihaia waited outside. We then took the 300 stairs down to Amoudi Bay which is known to me for a scene in Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants [Lena and Kostos on the pier y’know…]. On the stairs there are lines of donkeys in the heat without water that can be hired to take you up or down. Its a sad sight and they shouldn’t be doing that, please don’t ride them! We ate at the Amoudi Bay Seafood Tavern and tried grilled octopus for the first time that we both actually enjoyed! They hang the octopus out to dry for a couple of days before they serve it and you can see them hanging at the front of the restaurant. We also had a full plate of real Tzakti and a Greek salad, because that had to be ticked off obviously! Working off our lunch by climbing the 300 steps back up, we headed straight to our hotel pool for an afternoon of swimming and relaxing. Since we checked into the hotel so late, we got a free welcome cocktail by the pool and went back to our room to a bottle of bubbles and a fruit platter. Certainly loving this life! Then we got ready and headed to Oia Castle to watch the famous Santorini sunset with what seemed like the rest of the island. There were so many people around so we actually kept walking and found a quiet spot on some street that was more of a view of the sunset colours on the caldera rather than looking straight at the sun. We had Souvlaki for dinner because, Greece, and headed back to the hotel where we organised a quad bike hire for the next day with reception before we packed it in for the night.
Up and out by 8am to take some pictures in the streets before the masses of tourists filled them up and a few other people had the same idea too. Our quad arrived to the hotel at 10am and after a short lesson on how to drive it, we were off! Our first stop was to Kamari black sand beach where we paid 10euro each for a sun bed, ordered a couple of drinks and relaxed. We actually didn’t rate this place too much and left after an hour or two, heading to Fira on the hunt for some lunch. We ate at a place called Lucky’s that is known for having the best Gyro’s on the island and they were right! So delicious, I’m fully loving Greek food! On the way over to Kamari we spotted a little drink shack on top of a mountain over looking the sea with an unreal view so we went back there for a drink and some pictures. We drove around on the quad for awhile, stopping for pictures and discovering bits of the island before heading back to Oia. After a day exploring on the quad, we went for dinner at the same place as the night before which is called King Neptune and as creatures of habit, ordered the same meal because it was that good!
Day trip time! An early start for us as we had an 8.30am 2 hour boat ride over to the island of Milos. Our hotel reception told us to leave at 6.30am but we were sooooo early to the port, the drive only took 30 minutes [we booked a return transfer with Welcome Pickups again]. Our boat tickets were 100euro each return and it was a big boat with allocated seating. Once we arrived in Milos we hired another quad bike straight away. I choose Milos island over Ios because it is less known and also because I’d seen pictures of Sarakiniko beach [Google it, srsly] and had to go there, so that was our first stop. Less than a 10 minute drive away from the port and we arrived at the most unique “beach” I’ve ever seen. Its made up of white moon-like shaped rock surrounded by the most beautiful blue/green sea, this place satisfied my aesthetic pleasure! We found a spot and I had a swim before Ihaia jumped off the rocks. It took me literally like 40 minutes to jump from a rock way lower and he had to jump with me in the end! I’m glad I jumped but once was enough. There are no drink/food stalls there so when we left I was parched, if you plan to head there take lots of water! We then went to Provatas beach for lunch before we hired a couple of day beds, went swimming in the sea and read our kindles. After a few hours of that we visited two fishing villages that were also on my list called Mandrakia and Fyropotamos. They were stunning and they’re only about 10 minutes within each other. We then dropped the quad back, grabbed a Gyro each and headed for our 8pm boat back to Oia. Milos made me so happy, it is a beautiful island with not too much tourism and so many places to discover. I read there are over 70 beaches so we didn’t even scrape the surface! I’d 100% recommend visiting Milos, I’m so glad we made the trip over. [What was packed in our day bag: 2x travel towels, Kindle, both of our head phones, portable phone charger, wallet, camera].
A slow start. Big sleep in, breakfast on our balcony and a swim in the pool. We had pre-booked a day on a boat that picked us up from our hotel at 2pm. We booked in for the “Red Cruise” which is a catamaran that holds 55 people, goes for around 5 hours, has multiple swimming stops and ends with watching the sunset. It was 95euros each that includes return hotel transfer, bbq lunch and drinks. Our first stop was at a volcanic hot spring where we swam for a bit then hosed off and headed to red beach and swam again. Our last stop was white beach where we anchored for awhile and was served an early dinner that was chicken&pork skewers, salad and cheese. There was a Canadian family [mum, dad, 2 girls and 1 boy] that were suddenly out of control drunk like the mum was slipping and falling all over the boat, urinating wherever she pleased *actual disgusting*, the 2 girls were vomiting, the boy and dad were trying to start fights with some other passengers, then the mum and one of the girls finally passed out. It was all of a sudden hectic and actually ruining other peoples time on the boat. The staff ended up going back to where we started and kicking them off as the rest of us cheered as they left! It was entertaining to say the least but also not what anyone else had signed up for. The boat then went back out to sea and we watched the sunset while we drank and danced and there was an all round better vibe. Ihaia and I met 4 American girls who were lovely and we spent most the day with them. It ended up being 8 hours on the boat and apart from the shit crazy family, it was a really nice way to spend the day, great value for money and I’d recommend the company we went with. The staff were friendly, the food was yum and I got to tick off visiting the volcanic hot spring, red and white beaches and swimming at all 3 spots too. We finished the day with a spa on our balcony, a dream.
Our last day in Santorini and of course we start it with a couples massage at our hotel spa. 60 minutes of bliiiiiiss before we were served breakfast on our balcony for the last time. Can this be everyday life?! We spent the rest of the day relaxing, swimming and reading by the pool. That night we headed to Kamari Outdoor Cinema that I had found online and we had drove past on the way to black sand beach. There is very basic information online but add it to your list if you’re heading to Santorini, its fully worth it! Its the cutest little pink/orange cave-like cinema and is set up so well. We arrived too early *whats new* as I read online that there can be long lines and its a first in, first served basis and I was not missing out! The doors opened at 8.30pm and the movie started at 9.30pm. Its cash only and you can only buy tickets there at the door. Through the entrance its the most magical looking place, there is a full bar serving all sorts of food and drink from frozen margaritas and milkshakes to popcorn and hotdogs etc. We got a range of goodies and sat down to enjoy the movie. A perfect date night and the perfect way to end our week in Santorini.
Santorini exceeded all my expectations. It is truely beautiful and no picture I’ve seen or taken really captures what its like to the eye. I’ve also fallen in love with the food and the portion sizes *nomnom*. We had the best weather, it was the second week of June and very hot.
If you can, definitely splurge on your accomodation and stay in a place where you want to be to relax and enjoy. We stayed at Santorini Secret Suites in Oia and this is the place that we indulged on this trip. I had done research on the island and Oia is where I wanted to stay as it was central and had amazing veiws of the picturesque caldera and sea. We had a large balcony that had a private hot tub and the hotel had great facilities like a shared infinity pool, pool bar, restaurant and spa. We had plenty of space in our room and bathroom and breakfast was delivered to us everyday. We enjoyed every minute of staying there and the accomodation definitely made our time in Santorini more enjoyable. I’m always a little torn with accomodation between “it doesn’t matter we won’t be in the room much” and really wanting to come back to some place nice. You’re spoilt for choice in Santorini and we definitely wanted the full experience and have no regrets with our choice.
We used Welcome Pickups every time we needed a taxi in Santorini [as the hotel transfers were double the price]. You pre-book and pre-pay online and they are very professional drivers. As Santorini was our first week away, I did heaps of research before we left and pre-booked the day trips to Milos and the day on the boat that ended up benefiting me as I didn’t have to sort things during the week meaning I could relax more and just take the activities as they came. We used our international drivers licences to hire the quad bikes.