Here it finally is. My Santorini travel diary with all the do’s and don’ts.
–Book a ‘house’ instead of a hotel. We stayed at the Mill Houses Elegant Suites, and I was super impressed. The service was impeccable. When we arrived, the host brought some champagne and strawberries with whipped cream to our room terrace. We immediately felt at home. The pool area was small but oh-so cozy. The best thing about this place was definitely the view. It was so beautiful that it almost didn’t seem real. One evening, we just took out some pizza and enjoyed a dinner at our private terrace while watching the sunset. In general, we don’t like staying at big hotels, so Mill Houses definitely was the right pick for us.
-Eat at Onar in Firostefani. If you ask me, this restaurant offers the most beautiful view on the sunset. We even went here twice! There’s nothing like watching the sun set into the Aegean sea while sipping your cocktail. The pastas are delicious (I’d recommend the one with mushrooms) and the service is very quick.
-Get lost in all the little streets. This is one of the most pleasant things about Santorini. No matter where you go: left, right, up, down, there’s always something beautiful to discover. But I’ll have to say this: leave your heels at home ladies! It’s almost impossible to not break a leg when making your way trough Santorini on high heels haha.
-Have lunch at Galini. This tiny cafe in Firostefani offers everything from breakfast, to lunch, to little snacks. Food in Santorini isn’t expensive, but here it really is super cheap. You can eat a croque monsieur and drink something for only 5 euros, ànd it’s super delicious.
–Hire a quad for a day. The nice people of Mill Houses advised against taking a bus or taxi to get to know the island, so we went for a quad (which left Frederik euphoric). We scootered around the island and made our way to Oia. Since there’s only one big street througout the entire island, the quad was definitely the best way of transportation.
-When in Oia, go looking for the famous three domes. It took us some while to find them, but when we did, we were super happy we went out and about in our search. The view was breathtaking. It was like Oia’s most famous picture had come to life. The only downside: it was crowded with tourists and selfiesticks.
–When in Oia, let the fish kiss your feet. After an entire day of walking in buzzy Oia, this is just the thing you need. At first, I was a little hesitant about these fish, but quickly I noticed my fear was misplaced. It actually didn’t hurt at all, but it was very tickly haha. Afterwards, my feet felt reborn.
-When in Oia, have dinner at Ambrosia. This restaurant is said to be the most romantic one of Santorini. And I have to admit: the rumors are so, só true. The view is amazing, and the food is even better.
-Take your flight with JetairFly (at least, if you’re from Belgium, just as I am). The hours are the best. We arrived Thursday morning at 11 am and had our flight back on Sunday at 10 pm. So we really had four days to enjoy Santorini. According to me, four days are just what you need to really get to know the island.
–Don’t stay at Kamari or Fira. These two cities are super touristy and crowded. The idyllic feeling I got in Firostefani or Oia, totally faded away when I was in Fira or Kamari. You’ll immediately notice the change in atmosphere. Prices are way higher and local stores made place for tourist souvenir stores. All the big all in hotels are located there, which actually says about enough. And when you’re staying in Kamari, you don’t even have the view on the Caldera, since it’s located on the opposite side of the island.
–Don’t do a boat tour to the hot springs and Caldera. It’s kind of a tourist trap. We wanted to do this tour because of the hot springs, but we only got to spent half an hour in it. The Caldera was nice to see, but definitely not worth the trip. The boot ride itself wasn’t that pleasant either. Super crowded with tourist of the worst kind. Read: white socks in sandals-only wearing swimwear-kind of people. I would recommend hiring a private boot to go and swim in the hot springs, because they are definitely worth it.