WanderrunwaychefEurope

Santorini Travel Guide

WanderrunwaychefEurope
Santorini Travel Guide

The first (and so far, only) time I was in santorini was in 2012.

It was B.I. (before influencers) had taken over the island (because influencing wasn’t really even a thing then) and it was definitely before it was plastered all over social media on a regular basis. In fact, at the time, I had barely even heard of Santorini and, I’m embarrassed to admit it, but I definitely didn’t know it was part of Greece. I mean, imagine not knowing a place because you didn’t see it on your feed every day? What a concept! As much as I love posting travel content, most days I wish it would go back to pre-social days where everything wasn’t over-shared, a place still held its magic and allure and there was something exciting to discover around every corner, something that you hadn’t seen in a million photos before. But that’s another topic for another day…

Back to Santorini….so, Dave’s parents were actually taking a trip there and graciously invited us to be a part of their vacation. We were beyond excited and grateful to get to tag along. And, even though social media wasn’t as prominent at the time, I was already blogging, so naturally I wrote a travel guide to Santorini once we returned home. However, we didn’t transfer it to my new site, and honestly, it’s probably for the best. When I wrote the guide, my old site was still in the infancy stages, specifically the stage where everything looked terrible and terrifying. I’m absolutely mortified by the so-called outfits I was wearing in Greece and really wish someone had just ripped the clothing off of me and burned it for the sake of my dignity and, tbh, the sake of all humanity. The majority of the photos were quite amateur, as well, saved, I think, only by the fact that Santorini is a stunning, magical place where it is quite a difficult feat to take a bad photo {oh, but don’t worry, we somehow still managed to take plenty of bad photos because we were *that* amateur}.

While I can’t replicate my old Santorini travel guide exactly {not that anyone needs to see those photos anyways}, and I’m sure some things have changed since our visit {for example, I know one of the restaurants we went to is now a different restaurant}, I still wanted to put together a travel guide with some recommendations that are definitely worth noting {all these years later and I still haven’t forgotten about them because they were that good} and the few photos that are actually worthy of a place on the internet. I know we’ll be back to this magical island someday, so when that time comes I will update my guide with better photos and better outfits {an easy feat considering it’s not hard to be better than fluorescent purple sneakers and banana yellow shorts}, but until then, I hope you enjoy this little ode to one of the most breathtaking and unforgettable places that I have ever been.

Santorini church with blue roof


Oia Santorini

We flew into Athens and from there took a flight to Santorini. Depending on where you’re coming from (for example, another island) you can also arrive by boat/the ferry.


Santorini
guide to Santorini
Santorini travel guide
Amoudi Bay

KIRINI //

The food at our hotel was incredible. We at breakfast by the pool every morning and sometimes lunch and afternoon snacks. We also had dinner there one night, a tasting menu that was absolutely insane. To this day, I don’t think I’ve ever had better tomatoes, cucumbers or green peppers {and I don’t even like green peppers because they usually taste flavorless}, sweeter honey, creamier Greek yogurt {the Greek yogurt available in the states was forever ruined after this trip} and better Greek salads. Truly one of the best places I’ve ever eaten. Oh, and do yourself a favor and order their frozen kiwi cocktails. I don’t think they’re officially on the menu, but I promise you won’t regret asking for them.

Pito Gyros //

Delicious and fresh gryos; perfect if you need a quick bite, something on the go or food to take back to your hotel/house

Ammoudi Bay //

The infamous Ammoudi Bay is a hike {literally 250+ stairs down from Oia}, but worth it. The water is beautiful and I’ve never had fresher seafood. We went to Sunset, but there are several restaurants to choose from. Just plan to go on the earlier side for dinner, or make reservations. Also, don’t worry if 250 steps isn’t quite your thing. There is a road that you can get down by taxi.

Floga //

We went here one evening for dessert and wine, and left full of ouzo. Everyone was so friendly and it felt like we were hanging out with the locals, complete with the ouzo that didn’t seem to stop flowing.

Local bakery //

There were tons of little bakeries scattered throughout town, but the best one, the one that the locals flocked to, was up the road from our hotel. It didn’t seem to have a name, but that didn’t seem to stop it from being packed. I can still picture it, at the top of where the road from the hotel forks with the main road everyone drives on, on the right side {if you’re facing the direction of going into Oia}. It was a yellow building with a few of those ice-cream coolers right outside the door. And inside is some of the best baklava I’ve ever put in my mouth. It was just dripping with flavor and honey, lots of honey. In fact, there as so much honey, you’d swear the pastry box was actually filled with bricks. But despite that, the pastries weren’t sticky sweet and the dough was somehow still flaky. As you can imagine, we went back more than once. Guess you don’t need a name when you make pastries this delicious….


Red beach Santorini
 

HAVE YOU BEEN TO SANTORINI, OR DO YOU HOPE TO VISIT ONE DAY?


Santorini
Kirini Santorini

Kirini //

This property was absolutely breathtaking, with its whitewashed walls, clean interiors and infinite views out over the Caldera. The food was some of the best I’ve ever had and the staff was incredible. It was also within walking distance to Oia, but not so close that you had to deal with crowds and tourist. This will forever be one of the best places I’ve ever stayed and I cannot recommend it enough!


Santorini

Explore OiA //

Plan to go early…and then go even earlier than that. Seriously. And don’t expect sunset to be anything but a total zoo. The sunsets are stunning, but the amount of people is beyond overwhelming, so just be mentally prepared.

Akrotiri //

This is the excavation site of an ancient village that was buried by a volcano eruption. I thought it was incredibly fascinating to see, but if you’re not into history or archeology you might get bored pretty quickly. Also, as a bonus, because it’s located on on the opposite side of the island from Oia, the drive there is a nice way to see other parts of Santorini.

Check out the Beaches //

We stopped at the Black Sand Beach in Kamari {it was just a quick stop, but you can lay out there and there are a couple of little restaurants right along the water} + the infamous Red Beach by Akrotiri. While I enjoyed seeing the beach with its unique sand color, and I know it is a popular attraction and place to lay out, I don’t think it is worth all the hype. There seemed to be limited parking, nothing else around, the beach was was a trek to get to and they also have lots of rock slides. If you’re going to Akrotiri I definitely recommend checking it out, since you’re right by it, otherwise, don’t go out of your way.

Wine Museum + Wineries //

Santorini is home to several wineries and lots of great wine, especially white and dessert wines. Of course, you can do tastings at several wineries, but I’d also recommend the wine museum as a really great way to learn the history of winemaking on the island straight from the 4th generation of a winemaking family. The museum itself is underground in natural cave and a bit quirky, but also really cool. Plus, you still get a wine tasting at the end. It’s just fun and a little different than your normal tasting, and, at least when we went, it wasn’t packed with tourists.


Santorini blue dome roof
Santorini Sunset
sunset over Oia Santorini
sunset over Oia Santorini

We visited in May, which was great as it was already warm, but it wasn’t yet packed with too many tourists. This is definitely one place you want to try to go in the off-season.

In that same line, make as many reservations as you can, go to places extra early, etc. as things do get incredibly busy. Also, be sure to coordinate airport pick-up and drop-off ahead of time, either with your hotel or a taxi service.

Oh, and if you’re afraid of heights, don’t look out of the windows while you’re in a car, especially to and from the airport….it’s terrifying!


sunset over Oia Santorini