I can’t tell you how many times we were asked, “how long are you spending in Santorini?” to which we would reply, “two weeks” – an answer that always triggered shock and the retort “two weeks in Santorini is too long!”. I can understand their surprise for the following reasons:
1. Most travelers have less than two weeks to spend on ‘vacation’ and are visiting the islands to do just that – vacation!
2. There are many amazing Greek islands to visit, and staying in just one place would be a shame.
3. Many people visiting the islands come to relax! I have, at times, also wanted to just find a beach and a book to rest the days away. For me however, while two weeks of relaxing in the same spot might seem dreamy, it’s just too decadent!
I have a feeling we’ll continue to receive similar responses about the length of our stays as our journey goes on…
One major point to clarify about our new lifestyle, and this I can assure you – we are not on vacation! We are making the world our home and, as a result, we are incredibly lucky to experience many amazing places. We are seeking out unique events and unforgettable experiences to recommend to our readers and clients, but this is in-between the real work… which takes place at odd hours 😉 Needless to say, we are very busy, but busy with tasks that feed our passion, so you’ll never hear complaints.
I’m sure this adventure will have ups and downs. I doubt I’ll fall in love with every country we visit, and I promise to share the good, the bad and the miserable! We have the unique opportunity to soak up each country we make our temporary home, with plans to partake in as many possible experiences so we’re able to recommend the best!
For those who don’t have weeks to spare exploring and evaluating (finding the good and the bad), and prefer to spend your well-deserved vacation enjoying (thoroughly vetted) experiences, we’re excited to share our favorites form each destination.
Kicking things off on a positive note… I have nothing bad to say about Santorini! Quite honestly, two weeks was barely enough time to see everything on my list – countless beaches, multiple wineries and a variety of adventure activities, I had trouble fitting it all in! By the end of our stay, we were familiar with much of the island and feel confident recommending the best of Santorini.
Our Santorini home was on the beautiful, black beach of Kamari! We found comfortable accommodations at Nissia Apartments, perfectly placed with the beach just steps away, past the refreshing pool, where you’ll even find a bar with beach service!
One of the highlights of our stay was the outstanding WiFi, which worked all the way to the beach! We are quickly learning that good WiFi is a luxury in Greece, making it difficult at times for two travel professionals whose laptops are their offices 😉
Nissia Apartments is a family-run hotel, and many of our favorite recommendations came from Dora and Nikos – the sibling hotel-operators who provide a personal level of service to their guests.
A big ‘thanks’ to our Kamari Beach friends for making us feel at home, and for helping us bring the best of Santorini to you!
TOP 7 EXPERIENCES IN SANTORINI
1. Explore the Island by Scooter. Sure, you can rent a car or pay exorbitant rates for taxis (this is a tourist island, after all!) but nothing compares to roaming the windy roads by scooter! Santorini has amazing views that are best experienced with a more thrilling ride, as long as you’re comfortable! In order to rent a 100cc+ scooter, you will need a motorcycle license. That said, with most companies you can rent a 50cc scooter or an ATV without one.
2. Become a Wino! Drink cheap, white wine even if you consider your pallet to be refined. Try delicious dessert wines, which are lovely even before a meal 😉 Finally, scooter to the wine-lands! There is much to explore, but you can find my recommendation for the best wine to fill your cup, and the best vineyard for a tasting here.
3. Sail the Aegean Sea. There is too much to do and see that is only accessible by boat. Do not miss this unforgettable experience! The volcano is a must see, and I thoroughly enjoyed the hot springs as well. With numerous options to choose from for sea exploration, I recommend experiencing a sunset cruise on a traditional sail boat. You can learn more about our magical, sunset sail here.
4. Hike from Fira to Oia. This 7 mile hike, along the rim of the caldera, is one of the most picturesque I’ve experienced. Even if your plans consist of relaxing your Santorini days away, I recommend finding the energy for this one excursion at the least! The hike is mild (partially paved) and you will undoubtedly find gorgeous places to catch your breath along the way! If you’re the daring type, I recommend ending your hike with a thrilling jump from the cliffs of Aumondi Bay! When you’re finished jumping, relax at one of the many fresh seafood restaurants along the bay. Follow me from Oia to the cliffs here!
5. Enjoy a Sea Kayak Adventure! This is the best way to experience the Red, White and Black beaches from the most unique vantage point. We enjoyed a half day exploring the incredible formations and caves around the island. If you’re more extreme, you could also try a full day tour. Click here for more details on our kayaking adventure!
6. Ferry to other Islands. Take advantage of Santorini’s unique location and popular port! You can hop over to Paros, Ios, or even Mykonos! The Cycladic Islands offer very easy access to each other. If you have time to spare, I recommend island-hopping.
7. Take in a Famous Santorini Sunset. This particular Greek Island is famous for having some of the most incredible sunsets in the world! Oia is the most popular place for sunset, making it the most crowded as well. Many tourists come to this part of the island, and pile up on the tops of houses and around the ancient fortifications, waiting for the sun to set…
Make at least one dinner reservation in Oia (you’ll need a reservation!) to experience sunset in a relaxing setting. We dined at Fanari Villas, a reasonably priced option compared to many others nearby. We had a fabulous sunset view right from our table with no huddled, standing required!
With all the Oia hype, it’s easy to miss other spectacular sunset spots! Fira is a perfect example, better known for it’s famous view of the caldera. Consider this town as well for your sunset enjoyment, and again make reservations with a view.
We dined at Argo, which I HIGHLY recommend, and not just for the view! This meal was one of our best dining experiences in Santorini. Try the ‘variety of starters’ for an incredible array of traditional Greek bites!
Another, lesser known, location is the Santorini lighthouse near Akrotiri. Grab a picnis (gyros!) and some wine, and make yourself comfy on a rock for a more relaxed, less crowded experience!
And finally, the best sunset we experienced in Santorini was from the sea!
I’ll never be able to watch another sunset without thinking of Santorini.
As you can see, I fell madly in love with this island. I’m learning that, when you make the world your home, you are constantly saying hello as well as goodbye. I have a feeling I will leave my heart in so many places, but there’s a big piece of it here.