13 Amazing must do's for Santorini Virgins
Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, but oh Santorini how I love you!
It’s true what they say: the whitest of white and bluest of blue.
There are so many breathtaking spots here you just have to wander around and you’ll find them.
Visiting this Grecian Island of paradise was such a treat and in this blog I’ll tell you just why.
1. Watch the sunsets, they don’t get better than these
Santorini sunsets are beyond anything you've ever seen. The sun is on fire! It's absolutely breathtaking and no matter how many you see they are different every time and the beauty of it is you can see them from so many places on the Island. Take a picnic and bottle of red wine to the Akrotiri Lighthouse and watch the sun go down over the sea, it's a popular spot so get there in due course so you can get a front row seat on the rocks. You can't get enough, they are known to be some of the best in the world and there's a reason why.
2. Eat Gyros at Lucky’s
On the main high street of Fira you can find Lucky's. Don't judge a book by it's cover guys, it's much more than a kebab shop. We stumbled upon this place by accident and immediately loved it. If you want a classic Greek Taverna or something the locals have then this is your place and it is half the price you would pay in any restaurant. Authentic Greek food that is so yummy you'll be going back for more. The Gyros were the best on the island in my opinion. They were so fresh and the meat was piping hot with delicious sauces, tomatoes and fries all inside a folded pitta. To top it off, enjoy a pint of Alpha beer it goes down so well with this and tastes so good. The owners are really friendly too, it's a great find.
3. Go on a boat trip to the Hot Springs
Try one of the excursions they are totally worth it if you have time. We celebrated my boyfriend's birthday on a boat that I surprised him with and booked in advance. Brownie points to me! I couldn't recommend it highly enough. I booked through Viator. You can choose between a daytime/nighttime cruise. The daytime one is great if you want to make a day of it and enjoy sunbathing on deck with a drink in hand. Then again, I'm sure seeing a sunset at sea would have been stunning so you can't go wrong, it's just personal preference. We soaked up the sun and jumped off into the crystal clear sea for a spot of snorkelling and swimming so I was very much in my happy place and my boyfriend was well looked after what with a birthday cake on board and a Happy Birthday sing song. There was also a BBQ spread which was yum! The crew were very accomodating and even though I had originally booked it for the day before and it was unfortunately cancelled due to heavy winds, they managed to fit us in for the next day and the weather was amazing so this worked out great!
4. Soak up the sun on Kamari Beach
Sun Goddess? Great, then you need to head down to the second most famous beach in Greece. You can sit on loungers with the sea literally caressing the tips of your feet. Find beach bars and restaurants on the strip so you can have a coffee and snacks to keep refreshed whilst topping up your tan. The beach is very long so you can have your own space and not feel like people are on top of you which if you're anything like me is a god send.
5. Hike from Imerovigli to Oia
Oia is the town that everyone raves about. If you’re wondering if you know of it, you do, it’s that cute quaint idyllic place covered in whitewashed houses, the most photographed place in Greece. Yup, it’s that good and in real life, even better because the pictures don’t justify the beauty of the place. If you try to imagine steep cliffs, layered with open air pools, cosy Jacuzzis and topped off with posh boutiques that only seem real in the likes of Hollywood's Rodeo Drive, try to picture all this plus a bit more and then you can almost imagine. The hike is about 2 hours from Imerovigli if you get a move on and another 30 minutes on top of this from Fira. We were staying in Imerovigli so had already been to Fira for a morning coffee and made a quick stop at our flat before continuing on to Oia. You can make the hike work for you and fit into your day whether you go in the morning or a bit later. Just don’t go when it’s getting dark because it could be dangerous what with all the cliff edges. Be sensible with it. Make sure you wear enough sunscreen before you set off and top up regularly. I definitely under estimated the sunscreen front because it was cloudy at the start of the walk, but don’t be fooled by those clouds, the sun is never far and my not so sexy tan lines had proved this.
6. Visit the Red Beach
This is quite a sight to see but not the best choice for sunbathing. Don't forget your camera because the sand is RED, not like traffic light red but a real deep rusty colour red. You can see the volcanic rock surrounding the beach. I had never seen something like it but it is pretty small so you don't need loads of time. We just stopped off quickly and took in the view and had a stroll along the beach whilst taking some photos of such a rare find.
7. Hire a Quad bike (ATV)
You'll find these on every town's main street. I would definitely recommend it if you want to get out and about and if you want to try something a little different. Plus, it's the best feeling with the wind blowing through your hair. We booked through Rent me Love me and it cost €112 for 4 days. I even went on it when I was dressed up as you can see here. Don't judge!
Girls, do not fear, Fira is the shopping spot for great buys. There are lots of little cobbled streets to explore. Boutiques and cute shops that stock all things from white summer dresses to token keyrings or postcards. Get lost in all the different streets, walk up and down and find your favourite spots. Don't forget to stop at a cute coffee shop and take in the town covered in pink flowers and exotic plants.
9. Do a 12-wine flight tasting
For all you wine lovers out there, you have to try this. Head to Santo Winery just before the sun sets. We went a few hours before to enjoy the rest of the day light and see the gradual change. This is located high up so you are practically on top of the caldera. What better way to spend an evening drinking the likes of Sauvignon Blanc and even a glass of bubbles which comes in the selection along with some red and sweet dinner wines. You can choose from a menu depending on how many you want to try. The cheeses are a perfect choice and help out especially if you are game for quite a few drinks! We nearly opted for the 18-wines. Make sure you wear sunglasses because the light reflects on the glass that surrounds you.
10. Have a romantic dinner overlooking the Caldera
With several restaurants to choose from, you won't have any trouble choosing somewhere to suit your needs. I always love to have a special dinner on holiday, preferably the last night to finish it off on a high. We booked a table at Ambrosia and of course we arrived just in time for another spectacular display. No matter how many you see, they take your breath away every time! The location of this place did not disappoint. It was high up on the edge of Oia, in the open air, on top of the sea. If you want somewhere special, the food is out of this world. Get dressed up for the occasion girls, I wore a two piece outfit which blended in perfectly alongside my boyfriend in his crisp sky blue shirt, looking divine. See more of what I wore in my Santorini style blog. As we indulged, the most bizarre yet incredible thing happened. Suddenly the moon had made an appearance and looked huge, taking over the sky in all its glory. We watched it slowly fade down disappearing behind the sea. The moon, the sea, the sunset, they were all fighting for attention yet acting as one, what a vision it was. We felt completely immersed in nature. Oh, what a beautiful world!
11. Have cocktails at PK
Head to Fira for quite possibly the best cocktail of your life. You have to book in advance for PaliaKameni Cocktail Bar, we did this before even arriving in Santorini because the place is super popular and you don't want to miss out. It's tiny too so not many tables. There are booking slots you can take when booking so go for before sunset to get the full experience and perfect pic op! There is so much character here and you are blown away by the caldera views. Go here pre dinner and try to get a front table but views are amazing at all angles.
12. Walk the steps from Oia to Amoudi Bay
This hidden gem is a tiny port situated at the bottom of Oia town. You’ll see a whopping 300 steps, I mean, they aren’t hard to miss! Take the lunge and begin the descent, enjoy the way down because there’s only one way back and that’s UP. Prepare to sweat it out on your return and remember, your glutes will thank you later. Be rewarded on your descend by an array of seafood tavernas and crystal blue sea waters enloping the bay. Make a popular pit stop for a refreshment, maybe a donkey beer made by the local brewing company, go for either red or yellow or a fresh glass of wine. You deserve it! There are lots of Donkey's going up and down these steps helping to carry people's luggage. Careful though, don't get too close, those donkey kicks are real.
13. Cliff jump at Amoudi Bay
Do if you dare...you can swim around the rocks or for those of you who are pretty bold like I am, climb up the stairs of the massive boulder where you'll jump off from.
Where will I find this rock you ask?
It's pretty hidden so keep your eyes peeled. When you reach Amoudi Bay, walk left along the cliff face until you see the boulder. It's hard to miss and sticks out into the Bay. There are rocks you'll climb over and in peak summer, there will be people there for the same reason if they are as cool as you knowing about it. Leave your stuff under a rock nearby or trust someone from another family to look after it. Our bags were fine and an American family were kind enough to keep watch whilst their children were having fun at the boulder. I wouldn't worry too much either way, sometimes you just have to take a bit of a risk. You can always take it in turns to swim out and jump because it's pretty satisfying to watch others.
Have the best time visiting Santorini guys, I know you'll love it just as much as I did.
Love N x