The epitome of what comes to mind when people think of Greece and the ideal image of what an island should be.
When you see pictures of Santorini, chances are they were taken from one tip of the island called Oia.
This is where the familiar white and blue buildings I’d seen so many times before stretched out before me, and it was magnificent.
Naturally, this part of the island is a mecca for couples and in particular newlyweds and honeymooners.
These two were even taking some wedding pictures while I was there.
Oia is renowned for its sunsets so it is definitely advisable to make sure you stick around this part of the island until evening, if you’re not staying nearby.
My friends and I checked out the view from Lioyerma Lounge Cafe Pool Bar which provided a great vantage point but unfortunately none of my photos turned out – the sun was simply too bright!
Amongst the array of small stores in Oia, my favourite was definitely Atlantis Books.
This small bookstore is cramped inside with novels, with the majority in English, you can find something to read should you need something new.
There’s a couple of cats around (and a sign inside jokingly reads you can rent one for 5 euro) and they have a rooftop area which has fantastic views also.
The girl behind the counter was super friendly too and I really enjoyed the vibe inside this unique store!
I was staying in Fira, the central part of the island which is a popular choice due to its economical nature when it comes to accommodation (compared to Oia).
You’ll find a variety of stores here and despite being a bus ride away from Oia, there’s no shortage of restaurants with brilliant views.
As mentioned in previous posts, one of the best parts of Greek cuisine in my opinion is the cheap and delicious kebab-like gyros.
I recommend Lucky’s which is centrally located in Fira, they also are popular for souvlaki.
Not too far a stroll from Lucky’s is a bakery with a nice selection of Greek sweets and biscuits – worth a look into!
Fira is also where you’ll find the entrance to the cable car which will take you down to the port area.
This is where you can leave for guided trips to the volcano or choose to return to the top by donkey.
A few other places on the island I enjoyed included..
Red Beach, which is named not after its sand but the colour of the rock around it.
The beach is located right near the archaeological site of Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement, which was only excavated in the 1960s.
There was a volcanic eruption long ago, which caused Santorini to take the shape it is now (it was once completely round) and is also the reason behind why many of its beaches have black sand.
Kamari Beach is a nice place to hang around after enjoying lunch from a restaurant nearby, there’s lounge chairs available which is handy since the colour of the sand means the beach gets hot underneath your feet a lot quicker than normal!
If you haven’t realised by this point, I love a good winery and Santo Wines would have to be one of my all time favourites.
The wine is pretty standard but the views, are truly something else.
An interesting fact I learned while here is that this is what a vineyard looks like in Santorini. In an effort to protect the grapes, the vines are grown in a circular design to guard against wind and heat.
Lastly, the village of Pyrgos offers up some fabulous scenery of Santorini and you can even see Oia, which is virtually the other end of the island from here.
This small place has winding paths and a selection of lovely crafts as you walk by which are very tempting!
I also had a fantastic frappé while I was in this area, the Greeks love this drink and when the temperature rises it is the perfect cure as its ice cold and a caffeine hit rolled into one. You can choose the amount of milk or sugar you’d like at any place that serves these too.
Nearby Pyrgos there’s the Monastery of Profitis Ilias which is also a high point offering some great views.
Santorini has breathtaking views no matter where you are on the island, which live up to the expectation its name holds.
While you’ll want to simply lie around admiring the scenery and could do so easily, it has enough to keep you occupied for weeks despite its relatively small size.
One handy tip to leave with – like most islands, you can’t drink the water here so you’ll need to always make sure you buy some and keep it in your room!