One of my favourite travel destinations is definitely Greece! The island of Santorini is one of the most popular islands for tourists from all over the globe and I was lucky enough to spend five fun-filled days exploring with my friend Emma! We found plenty to do on the island so I hope you find this list both helpful and inspiring for your next trip to Santorini!
1. Stay In A Traditional Cave House
Although this was my second visit to Santorini, it was my first time staying in a traditional cave house and let me tell you, it was totally worth it! Staying in a house amongst the cliffs with a stunning view of the caldera is like a dream come true and I encourage anyone planning a trip to Santorini to do it!
We stayed in a cave house in the picturesque town of Oia in an Airbnb rental. I highly recommend using Airbnb if you are planning to stay in Oia (and want to save some money!), as hotels can be quite expensive, especially in peak times (May-August) due to the amount of tourists Oia attracts each year. With an Airbnb rental, you get almost exactly the same accommodation experience but for much less! Below are a few photos of our gorgeous cave house!
2. Ride A Donkey
If you are a big ‘Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants’ film fan, then you’ll remember the scene from the second movie where they ride a donkey up to the top of the cliffs along with their luggage! You too can experience this in Santorini! On our way back from Ammoudi Bay we rode a donkey up 200+ steep steps right to the top! I also rode a donkey in Fira on my first trip to Santorini!
3. Swim At Ammoudi Bay
If you are staying in Oia, a short walk and 200+ steps down to the bottom of the cliffs you will find Ammoudi Bay! A beautiful bay with little shops, restaurants by the water, various boats and yachts ready to take you on fun filled day trip around the island! If you walk further along for another ten minutes you will find the perfect swimming spot where you can enjoy swimming below the cliffs, baking in the sun or if you’re feeling adventurous, jumping off a small cliff!
4. Watch The Famous Santorini Sunset At Sunset Rock
Sunset Rock is the most famous spot to catch the ever-so-breathtaking Santorini Sunset; the sunset which all the tourists applaud for at the end as it’s so spectacular.
As you can see above, the sunset is quite amazing, so if you want to witness this spectacular sight make sure you arrive very early to snag your spot (at least 1-1.5hrs early!). There are many tourists from all over the world who come to see the famous sunset, along with their many cameras and selfie sticks so be aware you may or may not get the perfect photo if you do not grab the perfect spot!
5. Or Better Yet, Find Your Own Santorini Sunset Spot…
We decided to skip the sunset rock sunset one night and seek out our own spot to watch the sunset. About five minutes walk from sunset rock towards the end of the cliffs we found a tiny carpark and captured this gorgeous view of the sunset…
Pretty amazing huh? Finding our own spot was more incredible than sunset rock; it was just Emma and myself enjoying the view, no tourists, no other cameras, and no selfie sticks.
6. Spend The day Walking Through The Town Of Oia
Thousands upon thousands of tourists from all over the world have pinned Oia as one of the most popular travel destinations, due to the most beautiful, breathtaking and spectacular scenery. We spent an entire day in Oia taking hundreds of photos and being in awe of our surroundings! If you are not planning to stay in the town of Oia itself, I highly recommend visiting just for the day!
7. Go On A Day Trip to Nea Kameni and the Hot Springs
Nea Kameni is Santorini’s only active volcanic crater and is well worth the day trip to hike to the top if you would like to do something different and be a little adventurous! On my Greek Island Hopper tour with Topdeck Travel last year we spent the day hiking to the top of Nea Kameni and later jumped off our boat and swam to the hot springs where we smothered ourselves in mud (which might I add is great for your skin!)
8. Experience The True Meaning of Dinner with a View
No matter which restaurant you choose in the town of Oia, you are almost guaranteed a spectacular view of the caldera AND mouth-watering and incredibly delicious Greek cuisine. If you are staying in the little town of Oia I highly recommend you try out a different restaurant each night!
9. Shop til you drop!
Oia is famous for its amazing shopping! Amongst the many beautiful restaurants with a view, there are also some pretty cool boutique shops as well! Whether you are after expensive (or not so expensive) jewellery, clothes (make sure you buy a traditional Greek dress!) or some typical touristy souvenirs, Oia is the place to purchase them!
10. Visit the coolest and most unique bookshop in the world.
We happened to stumble upon this quirky and most unique book shop in the heart of Oia by the name of Atlantis Books. Atlantis Books in Oia, Santorini is the only one of its kind in the world.
From the moment you step inside you realise it is definitely no ordinary book shop. Piled high are titles by some of your favourite authors, accompanied with the rareness of first and second editions and uniquely designed book decor, encouraging an atmosphere of wonderment and amazement while also having an appreciation of the value of good literature.
Have you ever visited Santorini before? What were your experiences? Where did you stay?