For the past decade Santorini’s been on my bucket list. When I got word the TV show I work on, Chasing Life, was going on an early hiatus I jumped at the opportunity to take a vacation. I had already planned a trip to Copenhagen after our wrap date so I quickly changed my trip and extended my stay through Greece. I stayed in Fira because the majority of reviews I read suggested it was livelier and offered a better nightlife, which it did. I only had three days before heading to Mykonos so I planned a jam packed itinerary accounting for every minute. Looking back I would have preferred to stay longer in this serine haven, but 3 days was sufficient to see and do everything I wanted to. I spent most of my trip hiking and relaxing but I did a good deal of dinning out and sightseeing, too. By the end of the second day I found an amazing gyro shop called Yogi’s that was so good I could barely make time for anything else. Talk about food cravings! It’s a tiny popup stand off the main road with a couple of stools and bar tables that offer outdoor seating. Directly next-door is the best frozen yogurt called Chillbox perfect for dessert after dinner. I highly recommend trying both these places for casual, affordable dinning.
Santorini is located on a cliff stretching across serval small cities perfectly convenient for hiking Fira to Oia. There is a manmade trail from one end of the isle to the other with amazing views along the way. Hiking the trail is the easiest way to get photos of the churches, houses and hotels. People rent scooters to get around but I made the 5 mile trek by foot. It wasn’t a strenuous hike like some of the hikes I’ve done in LA, but I made sure to avoid the heat of the day and start my journey at 9am. With water and the right temperature a beginner would be able to comfortably finish this hike in under 5 hours. If you stop for pictures along the way like I did it takes longer but the beautiful scenery is worth it. When I got to Oia I walked through the local shops until a heavy rainstorm came through forcing me to camp out. I found a restaurant with wifi and a great view and hung-out until the downpour passed. It was ideal because once the rain stopped the sun set (picture below). The Oia sunset is arguably one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever seen. Its far better than Fira in my personal opinion. The pictures don’t quite do the sunset justice because they were taken with an iPhone since I had been hiking and packed light.
To be fair I need to plan another trip so I can explore the island longer. Santorini is as magical in real life as it is in photographs. It can be very romantic and ideal for honeymooning, but its also a great solo traveler destination. I’m still pinching myself I had the chance to make this trip happen this year.
Santorini Travel Tips
- Fly directly into JTR.
- Bus to the island you are staying at: The cost is roughly $10 USD and is cheap, clean and safe.
- Hotels & ferry’s fill up fast in the summer so confirm reservations ahead of time.
- The ferry is easy to navigate but crowded during high travel seasons.
- Book 1st class ferry tickets for a few extra dollars: They provide meal services and priority de-boarding which makes a huge difference during peak travel seasons.
- For ground transportation arrive at the bus station early because buses fill up fast.
- A scooter is easy to navigate around the island and is more convenient than a bus.
- Exchange currency before you travel, its easier and will save you time.