After spending 2 days in Athens, I was itching to get to Santorini. Let me tell you folks, the Greek islands do NOT disappoint! We took a short 30 minute flight from Athens to Santorini in the wee early hours of the morning and my groggy eyes almost did not believe the sights they were seeing! I don’t tend to get excited very easily, but when I looked out my airplane window and saw aqua-blue crystal clear waters, my heart skipped a beat and I couldn’t wait to touch down. Take a look at how I spent my two days in Santorini.
2 Days in Santorini
7:00 AM Depart Athens for Santorini. We opted for the early flight, because we wanted maximum time on this island. While you can take a ferry from Athens To Santorini, it is a long journey (up to 8 hours), so I would recommend flying. There are many different islands that you can visit in Greece, but we chose to visit the Cyclades. Here’s a description of the different groups of islands (BTW I love Rick Steves!). Each island group has a different feeling and reputation. Perhaps one of my life goals should be to visit each grouping :). #BucketList
8:30 AM Santorini’s airport is itty bitty and we took a taxi to our hotel. The moment we stepped into The Pelican Hotel, I immediately felt welcomed by the receptionist, Margarita. Not only was she gracious and kind to us sleepy American gals, she also let us check-into our room hours before the normal time and gave us free breakfast. Speaking of breakfast, you MUST try Greek yogurt while you are in Greece. It is thicker and a bit more sour than the types I’ve tried in the U.S. It is typically served with honey and it is delicious! Also, drink as many freddo cappuccinos as humanly possible. Here is a list of other traditional Greek dishes to try while visiting Greece.
9:00 AM While Mary Kay took a quick nap, Rachel and I went out to explore Fira. There are two main towns in Santorini, Fira and Oia. Oia is probably more famous as they have the blue-domed churches and amazing sunsets but I found Fira to be just as nice. We found the hotels to be pricier in Oia, so we opted for Fira which is about a 15-minute bus ride away from Oia. As the shop keepers began to open their boutiques and restaurants, I refused to close my eyes and snapped about a million pictures. I can’t emphasize enough how beautiful Santorini is and just really wish that everyone could experience this island firsthand. If you have the means to go, GO!
10:30 AM We met back up with Mary Kay and took the bus to Oia. I need to pause here and say that the public bus system in Greece is extremely difficult to navigate. You show up to the main station and it is a mass of confused tourists. The bus drivers yell out a bunch of things as old coach buses are pulling in and out of the area every few minutes. It’s basically organized chaos. If Rachel (my brilliant and well-traveled friend) hadn’t been there, Mary Kay and I would have been shelling out lots of euros for taxis. (Thanks, Rach!) We spent the afternoon browsing cute shops, getting lost on the winding and hilly paths and taking oh so many pictures.
6:00 PM That evening we decided to check out Santo Wines Winery in Fira. We (again) took the bus and it cost about 3 euros each for a 15-20 minute bus ride. When we arrived, I was taken aback by how big and modern Santo Winery is! We snagged the last “front row seat” and sipped Greek wines while we watched the sunset. This was an unforgettable experience! (I won’t go into detail about how we later missed the last bus back and sat on the side of the road for a half hour, but that equally made the night just as unforgettable!) Be sure to visit this winery!
10:00 AM We decided to mix things up a bit and have a beach day. Yay! Santorini is perfect for this because they have SO many different beaches, including black sand, red sand and white sand beaches. We opted to take the bus to Perissa which is the black sand beach…and it was perfect! You can sit in any of the beach loungers complete with umbrellas and table service. All you have to do is order food or drinks from the restaurant that owns the chairs. I was shocked to find this out and kept repeating these two phrases, “This is unbelievably beautiful,” and “I feel so wealthy.”
10:00 AM We woke up, checked out of our hotel (but they let us keep our bags there) and walked around Fira. After grabbing breakfast and stopping in a few more shops, we headed down to the new port to catch our ferry to Paros. We took the Hellenic Seaways ferry (about 4 hours) heading to Paros for about 20 euros. While I was sad to leave paradise, I was curious to see what the next island would look like.
As a side note, our ferry was SO NICE! There were leather seats, restaurants, clean and updated bathrooms, and views of the islands. I would definitely recommend it to anyone traveling between the islands!
Goodbye Santorini, hello Paros!