Is all the hype for Santorini really deserved? Well, it is a tough one, and my answer is yes … sort of!
When we picked Greece for our summer holiday, my first instinct was to visit Athens – Mykonos and Santorini. Cliche you think? Yeah totally cliche, but I really wanted to experience the little white streets, the blue domes and the incredible hotels that keep on popping up on my Instagram feed, as soon as summer starts. #guilty
After doing some research, I realized how expensive both Mykonos and Santorini were, and so decided to keep only one fancy destination and trade the other for a small, less famous island. We kept Santorini, and we dropped Mykonos for Paros. Since I have never been to Mykonos, I can’t tell if we made a great choice or not, but one thing is for sure, I didn’t regret it for a second.
After 2.5 days in Paros, we moved on to Santorini for 3 days. My first impression was NOT good! The chaos and the traffic to go from the port to Oia were crazy! As our driver said “these streets are meant for donkeys, not huge buses”. But after a couple of days on the island, granted: the cliffs, the all-white villages looking down on the lagoon, and the sunset in Oia: all of it is truly spectacular.
Now, this beauty comes at a great price. Being a must-stop for Greek island cruises, tens of thousands of tourists are off-boarded every day on the island and they mostly navigate around Fira during the day and come by bus to Oia for the sunset. This is why I disliked Fira so much … I couldn’t find any charm in it, and the streets were so packed we could barely walk. As for Oia, and its famous sunset, you need to be there 2h in advance, to get a good view and picture spot!
Of course, it will not come as a surprise to you, that Santorini is also a very expensive island. Luxurious accommodations are the norm, restaurants with beautiful view charge accordingly, and shops sell pricey designer clothes and accessories! So … no shopping for me. Shocking!
To summarise my thoughts, I think it is still worth coming for a couple of days and doing the following :
Book a typical caldera view accommodation and really get the Santorini luxury experience Walk the Fira – Oia hike, and see by yourself the beauty of the island
I will do a post on both the splendid accommodation we booked, and the hike from Fira to Oia, so stay tuned !
For the rest of the holidays, I would recommend spending time in Paros … or probably any of the smaller Cyclades islands.
What is your personal favorite?
A tres vite,