Finally, the last of my summer travels up on the blog! The last stop on my little Eurotrip? Santorini of course! There was no better place or way to end our trip than in the most relaxing place on the planet. After spending the previous weeks in Spain, Italy, and Mykonos, it was time to finally wind down just in time for our return to the states. We had spent the entire month on foot, planes, boats, trains, etc... aka we were EXHAUSTED to say the least. We spent our entire time in Oía which is a village on Santorini, and the most famous of them on the island. This is basically the heart of Santorini and what everyone comes to the island for.
Your days in Santorini will be spent eating, walking, and tanning. Whenever I've envisioned Greece, this was exactly what I pictured. Houses stacked on top of one each other, all different pale colors and a lot of white. You're walking down a path and all of a sudden you're on a roof. It's so magical there and absolutely breathtaking. The one tip I have for anyone visiting is that there is really not a lot to do in Oía, so either spend a shorter amount of time there and island hop, or treat it as a staycation and book a really luxurious hotel (make sure it has a pool). The beaches on the island are basically all rocky so keep that in mind. There is the red sand beach which we never made it to, but definitely worth a visit! But back to my point, Oía is very small and while there are tons of shops and places to eat, the shops are all pretty identical and you find yourself walking the one main path back and forth. This gets old quickly, so I really recommend staying somewhere you can veg out and just enjoy the sun. Santorini is very quiet and a sleepy little island, which is so different from Mykonos that has tons to do and great places to go out. Regardless, Santorini is so beautiful and worth traveling to if you find yourself in Greece. You will not be disappointed!
WHERE TO STAY
I touched upon this in the paragraph above, but I would definitely stay in Oía versus Thira, which is sort of in the middle of the island. You will most likely end up coming to Oía every day so you might as well just get accommodations there. Oía is at the very top of the island, Thira is in the middle, and the port is at the bottom. I should also note that we took a ferry from Mykonos to Santorini. The port is pretty far from both Oía and Thira so make sure you book a car in advance, either on your own or through your accommodations (if available) to make things easy. It's pretty hectic at the port and there is a lot going on so the more prepared you are ahead of time the better. If you decide to stay in Oía, I highly recommend a boutique hotel with a nice pool because the ocean isn't easily accessible and you'll want to dip in the water when the heat of the day starts getting to you.
WHERE TO EAT
Sunset Ammoudi Taverna: Great seafood right in Amoudi Bay. We got a spot right by the water, which to our demise ended badly because it was so windy that our wine was knocked over. Tragic, I know. As you walk in you'll see the octopus hanging up to dry, which is always a good sign for the best seafood.
Pitogyros: We came here everyday. The best souvlaki we had on the island and a MUST. The In-N-Out of Greece ;)
Melitini: Tapas style restaurant. Get the octopus and lamb sausage!
Paradox: THAI FOOD. We were craving Thai so bad at this point so we were excited to finally find a restaurant. Although it wasn't as good as I've had it in California before, it was still pretty delicious considering we were on an island in Greece. A must!
meteorcafe: Came here every morning for an espresso. There are tons of coffee shops but I loved the vibe inside with the balcony.
Lolita's Gelato: Came here everyday as well. Couldn't end our day in Europe without gelato!
WHAT TO DO
Amoudi Bay: This is a must do. There are hundreds of steps (approx. 300) that lead down to the bay which is fun but also sucks on a hot day. But it's a great way to see Oía and Amoudi Bay is STUNNING. The bluest water surrounded by black and red lava rocks. There are restaurants, boats docked, and a little pier. If you've seen The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, you'll know that this is where Lena (Alexis Bledel's character) falls into the water and is saved by Kostos. Great area to snap some photos. We also rode donkeys on the way up which was so funny and a great little adventure. I highly recommend!
Atlantis Books: The cutest bookshop. You must stop by here and pick up a book or just check it out. I loved all the recommendations that the staff had.
Caldera Massage: A MUST. Amazing massage that was much needed after our weeks of travel. We booked the Sunset Relax Couples massage. You arrive before sunset and this is something you can do with your significant other or just a friend because you end up doing solo massages. One person goes in while the other waits, then vice versa. Once both people are done, it's time for the sunset and they take you up to this private little area where they bring you snacks and a bottle of champagne. It was pretty affordable and well worth it. Massage was great as well, as mentioned.
Skaros Rock: Because Oía is such a little sleepy town, the days are basically all the same. You go about your day and always end it with the sunset. Whether you watch the sunset from your hotel or from dinner, one night you must go to Skaros Rock. Bring wine and snacks and wait out there with the other tourists to experience one of the best sunsets you will ever see. You'll see hundreds of people lined up along the roofs and walkways and once it's set, everyone claps. I kept wondering why, so I looked it up and it's because they all want an encore. How magical is that?
That concludes my travel guides for Europe! I hope you enjoyed this series, although each long overdue and so drawn out. I seriously loved Santorini and cannot wait to go back. Although it was a very quiet and small town, it was exactly what I needed. This is definitely a place to relax and truly vacation. I highly recommend visiting to everyone, just know ahead of time that there isn't a whole lot to do. I look forward to going back, so if you go and have other recommendations for me to add, please comment below! Otherwise, see you for the next guide: Tokyo!