While my stay in Santorini didn’t go quite as we had planned (turns out getting into a moped accident on your first day will do that) I still had an unforgettable time on this island. It is as picturesque as you would expect, as romantic as you would hope, and as peaceful and relaxing as you would wish for from any vacation.
Where to Stay:
OK. There are no amount of words that I have that could describe how truly incredible the people who ran this AirBnB are. If you followed along on the Bottle and Heels instagram stories you would have seen that I got into a motorbike accident our first day in Santorini (another story for another article…) the women in charge of our hotel went above and BEYOND our expectations to take care of me, to make sure we still had a good time while on the island, and offered their services with booking reservations, activities, transfers, anything for us. Their suites are situated in Pyrgos, which used to be the capital of Santorini because it was the highest point on the island. The views from their suites are beautiful, the rooms are comfortable and they are affordable.
If you are going to Santorini anytime soon seriously consider booking with Luna Suites. You won’t regret it.
What to Pack:
It is no secret that Santorini is one of the most romantic destinations in the world. Let me tell you, it lives up to it’s reputation. The island is gorgeous. The beaches are gorgeous. The views are gorgeous. Everything. Is. Gorgeous.
The weather is a tricky bastard.
I walked outside on our first day and was so cold I put my black jeans and a t-shirt with a jacket on. Our host met with us before we headed down the hill and left us saying what a warm day it was. I thought she was crazy. I didn’t make it two minutes down the hill without breaking into a sweat. She was right. I woke up every morning feeling like it was the middle of November but once I started moving in felt like the middle of August.
Pack your dresses. Pack your crop tops. Pack your swimsuits. Leave your jeans at home. You will not need them. Save the space in your suitcase. I promise!
What to Do:
1. Visit the Different Types of Beaches
The cliffs by one of the black sand beaches.
The Red Sand Beach.
There are three different types of beaches in Santorini; the red sand beaches, the white sand beaches, and the black sand beaches. Go and visit all of them. My personal favorite are the black sand beaches but all of them are so beautiful and like nothing you’ve ever seen before.
Other beaches to see…
- Monolithos. If you have kids, Monolithos beach is your ideal destination.
- Vlychada. The volcano white rocks in Vlyhada remind us of a moon landscape.
- Agios Georgios – Perivolos.
- Exo Gialos
2. Sunset in Oia
We took this image from our cruise while docked below the cliffs of Oia.
Oia (pronounced Ee-Ah) is the “postcard of Santorini”. That is the part of the island that you see all over instagram and on the google images page when you search “Santorini”. It is so picturesque that seeing a sunset there should not be missed. We stumbled upon a little rooftop bar called The Catch, that gave us the perfect view of the sun going down over the ocean. It wasn’t too crowded and the staff offer you blankets so you don’t get cold! The cocktails were amazing and the mood was set perfectly.
3. Caldera Cruise
There is a little old man who has lived alone on this tiny island for the last 30 years.
We spent our last day in Santorini doing a semi private cruise around the island. This was my favorite thing we did (and not just because I got to pretend to be the captain for, like, 5 minutes). They take you all around the island, telling you it’s history, showing you each of the beaches from the water, and even giving you opportunities to get out and swim in the thermal springs! The wine is endless, a meal is provided, and you spend five hours out on the water. It was so relaxing and a great way to meet other people who are also staying on the island.
4. Get Scuba Certified
This was something I wasn’t able to participate in but for the two days where I was bedridden my husband took the opportunity to get his Scuba Diving certification and he had the best time. It is a two day commitment so be aware of that. The first day is all theory, where they teach you everything you will need to know, go over safety instructions, and quiz you at the end of the day to make sure you are ready. The next day you get to do 3 dives (depending on how good you are at managing your air supply) and according to my husband it was unreal. They saw an octopus, baby jellyfish, every color of fish imaginable, and we heard that if you pay more you can even explore a wreck!
5. Rent a CAR.
This was about 10 minutes before we crashed the moped. We were high up the side of the mountain and not prepared for the steep hill down and the tight curves in the road. You will feel safer in a car.
The island is bigger than you expect it to be and the public transportation can get pricey. You will want to rent something to get around. Please, please, please take my advice and rent a car. The moped and the ATV are going to be tempting and while they are fun and a cool experience, take it from me, accidents do happen. The roads in Santorini are full of tight curves, the drivers don’t follow any rules, the mountain slopes are steep, and while you may have had experience on mopeds or ATVS before you haven’t had experience on them on the conditions of the Santorini roads. I grew up driving a moped and that didn’t stop me from ending up in the hospital getting stitches in my knee just one hour after we rented it.
Rent the car. You won’t regret it.
My experience on the island is a unique one. I wasn’t able to walk around and see as much as you would hope for. But my husband and I got to know the locals on a whole new level because of my injury. Everyone was so kind to us everywhere we went and they all wanted to make sure that our memory of Santorini was not tainted by an accident. Everyone on the island makes you feel welcome and wishes you the best time while you are there.