After a long girls trip to Croatia, I was in need of some R&R so I decided to check out one of the famous Greek destinations. I was torn between between Mykonos and Santorini but after doing some research, here is what I learned...
Mykonos = party.
Santorini = relaxation.
And I needed to RELAX. Not take tequila shots.
If you are looking for a more quiet, romantic destination with great food and epic sunsets... I would 100% recommend Santorini. They had a bit of nightlife from what I saw, but it was definitely more on the quiet side, which I loved. Now if you are wanting more of a party vibe + young crowd... I would say Mykonos is more your speed. Different strokes for different folks!
Unbeatable views in Oia
Here is a breakdown of what I did during my 3 days in Santorini. If you are planning a trip, I don't think you need more than 3-4 nights on the island. I would recommend a couple nights in Santorini (you can see quite a bit in a short amount of time) and then I would island hop to another place like Crete or Paros.
But hey, that's just me.
Stay at Homeric Poems in Thira
I truly cannot recommend this hotel more. I have stayed at quite a few differnent hotels across the world and Homeric definitely ranks in my Top 5 favorites.
I wasn't sure which town to stay in while in Santorini - there's quite a few options.
Fira (Thira) = More touristy, popular, where most people stay.
Oia = More quiet, romantic, and off the beaten path.
Imerovigli = A combination of both.
The list goes on!
I ended up settling to stay in a more well known area that was easier to walk + get around and I am so happy I did. Homeric Poems is nestled into the Caldera Cliffs and has the most EPIC view of Santorini. This hotel does run a pretty steep price (around $500-700 depending on when you book), but honestly... everywhere in Santorini is rather pricey. Lesson learned.
I ended up booking the Cave Suite with Caldera View - mainly because everything else was full. But WOW. I would absolutely book this room again because it was unbelievable and so spacious.
With your stay, you get breakfast included - and it's amazing. Plus, the pool is stunning, it's quiet, not too crowded/cramped and the staff are absolute GEMS who want to help with anything they can.
Rides, shuttles and taxi's are not free or included with your stay and I noticed that is how costs can easily add up while staying in Santorini. If you want to go to any of the other towns (especially Oia), you will have to call a taxi and that will cost you around 15-20 euros each way. In order to get a ride, you can simply ask the front desk and they set one up for you. Easy, but not as easy as using Uber that is for sure. (There is no Uber in Santorini, P.S.)
Pro tip: If you are wanting to be picked up from airport with ease and not have to search for a taxi or wait in a line, I highly recommend using this ride service to book a driver AHEAD of time. This saved me so much time and energy at the airport! I quickly found my driver who messaged me via WhatsApp and was able to hop in a car within 5 minutes of getting my luggage.
Lunch at Galini Cafe
A few steps from Homeric Poems is the most precious cafe with great views. If you are looking for a fresh, authentic Greek salad for a casual lunch... This is your spot.
Sunset dinner at Remvi
Best seats in the house
I found this place while researching "the best places to eat in Santorini for sunset" and I loved it. It's a little more authentic and less "Instagram-y" (I prefer more of an aesthetic atmosphere, personally) but the view is truly unreal. If you want a front row table for sunset, you must book WAY in advance and I believe pay extra for those highly sought after seats. I ended up making a reservation a day before and got seated in the third row and was still able to enjoy the view with no issues!
If you go to Santorini, you MUST spend a day in Oia. Many people told me to do the hike from Thira to Oia but here is my advice... don't.
Why? It's hot as hell. Literally.
If you choose to do the hike, it takes around 2 hours to get there and I am sure it is stunning and worth it... but I was sweating just walking around the shops in Oia. I cannot fathom WALKING miles in the sun beforehand.
My pro tip would be to take a taxi to Oia in the morning and spend a whole day there. If you have seen the famous photos of the colorful cliffisde buildings in Greece... that is Oia. It's full of shops, food, views and truly feels like you are in the Mama Mia movie. If you want the more "iconic" Santorini photos.. you need to head here for the white buildings and blue water.
Walk down to Ammoudi Bay
If you feel like getting your steps in, you can take the hike down from the city of Oia to Ammoudi Bay. It's 278 steps and takes around 30 minutes, so not too bad! Just keep in mind that there's no shade and you will break a sweat. But it is absolutely worth it for the views of the bay.
If you don't feel like walking all the way back up, there's an option to take a donkey as well (bring cash).
Lunch at Sunset Ammoudi
YOU HAVE TO EAT HERE. Definitely make a reservation in advance if you want a table by the water and while it is probably much better for sunset, I went for lunch and still enjoyed it. After walking 278 steps down to the water, you will be craving a cocktail and a snack so head to Sunset Ammoudi (just look for the hanging octopus).
I even got lucky enough to snag a table right by the water (seriously one foot from crystal clear, turquoise water) so just know... lucky girl syndrome is real if you believe in it.
The seafood is fresh and unbelievable - apparently the lobster pasta is to die for as well!
Sunset dinner at Barolo Restaurant
If you are looking for a restaurant with A VIBE and a view for sunset... look no further. I stumbled upon Barolo via TikTok and I must say, I did think it was worth the hype.
The food was average (I liked it?!), but you are more so paying for the atmosphere and insane view. It's not Michelin Star level of dining, but it's yummy and you will just feel so cool eating there.
Again - make sure to make a reservation here if you want a good spot for sunset! I recommend going early, grabbing a drink first and then eating dinner.
Rent a boat with CavoTagoo
Unlimited wine while cruising the coastline? Yes please.
A splurge, but worth every penny. If you are wanting to rent a boat and see more of the island, I highly recommend CavoTagoo. One of my favorite travel experiences I have done! While the price tag is high, you can easily split with a big group and lunch and alcohol is provided! #Girlmath.
Seaside Beach Club
I didn't have time to check out many beach clubs while in Santorini, but I do know they have some amazing ones. We stopped by Seaside after our boat day and rented a chair and grabbed a cocktail - super cute and a great way to end the afternoon.
Sunset dinner at The Vine
This was a dinner recommendation from a follower of mine on Instagram and WOW. I absolutely loved it.
This is another sunset dinner destination that you don't want to miss. I had the BEST COCKTAIL OF MY LIFE here (seriously) and the dessert was to die for. It's a little less "Instagram-y" than Barolo, and is a good combination of good food, good views and a good aesthetic. This was one of my favorite dinner spots!
Again... make a reservation.
Midnight snack: Luckys Gyros
Apparently this is THE SPOT if you want a gyro in Santorini. The line is long but you truly cannot go to Greece and not stop by. After tasting it... I now get the hype. 10/10.
You just can't beat a Santorini sunset...
That's all I have for now! I loved every second of my time in Santorini and am itching to go back and visit more of the Greek Islands. Let me know if there's anything I should add to my list!
Until next time...