Our Top Five Experiences of Santorini
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Though there are lots of activities that give your senses a high, there are also those that are a little less tangible but remain in your memory as the ‘vibe’ of Santorini forever. A good mix of both is what makes for a memorable time away and our top favourites are as follows:
1. Driving on the costal roads
North-Eastern part of the island is off the tourist beaten track yet scenic
Being on an island also means there is the opportunity to drive around with the sea by your side. No agenda – but a drive to enjoy the drive! The geography of Santorini is such that you can get a bird’s eye view of the vast seas or enjoy panoramic views adorned with whitewashed houses with blue domes!
So, we decided to spend some hours just taking it all in and drove through the north-eastern part of the island via Baxedes beach, koloumbus beach and Pori port, stopping at all wow points and refilling on snacks from dainty village shops. The sound of the gushing water and the wind is just magical – and the fact that it was so comfortably sunny!
So in our modest vehicle – windows down and the warm air kissing our faces and local music adding that vibe, we made the most of this magical drive!
2. Watching sunrise and sunset at Oia
As the famous sunset, the sunrise from Oia is equally breath-taking
Overlooking the caldera, Oia offers fantastic views and is a fabulous place to witness sunrise and sunset, though sunset is most popular Instagram (and therefore crowded). So, it is worth starting your day early in Oia and witnessing the sun rise – the best spot to see the sun rising up the caldera in the east is from the narrow street next to Church of Agios Nikolaos.
Oia once inhabited by wealthy sea merchants but was destroyed by an earthquake. It was later rebuilt and now is home to trendy shops, high end restaurants and hotels making it quite a nice place to stay or even spend a leisurely day.
Breath-taking sunset over mediterranean at Oia
To get a nice view point for the sunset from get to the top of Castle of Oia (a 15th century costal castle). Make sure you arrive early and find yourself a good spot which also allows you to rest your back while you wait. People start flocking the viewpoint quite early but on the brighter side it does feel like watching a natural spectacle together as an audience! The colour of the sky adds drama to the phenomenal views … its every bit worth the wait!
Local simple yet flavourful mediterranean food
3. Eating Mediterranean food in local tavern
Food is heavenly and if you like us cannot get enough of Mediterranean food, then do some research and have a list of taverns ready, or just go with the flow and settle for the one that looks inviting! To be honest we didn’t have any disappointments with food and hadn’t really researched extensively before we went, but we did have to book in advance at one instance as it was a very popular family run tavern. The great thing about Mediterranean food is that satisfies the cravings for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians and combine that with some amazing wines and you are in food heaven!
So go all out and make an event of all meals of the day!
Sunset view from villa balcony along with local wine
4. Combine wine, views and sunset
Yes, there is nothing like putting you feet up at the end of the day, and enjoying the sun go down with some local wine and amazing olives … we had a million dollar view from the balcony of our villa and it was so restful and captivating to just witness the sun go down, without the distractions of day to day life, savouring each sip of wine and watching the spectacle of colours in the sky…
Sunset view over calder from villa balcony
But sunset doesn’t have to be the only time, head to a winery, get yourself a tour and then sit down with a good bottle out in the open and enjoy the breeze and the views! We spent a few hours at Santo wines – the wines were stellar, and the views were magical!
A walk through the village of Megalochori
5. Spend an evening in the village of Megalochori
It isn’t massive, but Megalochori is a charming vineyard village full of character and extremely picturesque. It is a great place to see well-restored old traditional mansions with high walls and inner courtyards, and churches and chapels. There are old cave houses that take to back to the centuries old lifestyle. There is a wonderful traditional square at its heart lined with taverns, restaurants and trees. The cobbled pathways add to the charm.
There are two remote beaches – Plaka beach and Thermi beach on the Caldera side (west) but are accessible only on foot or by boat and not by car. From the caldera cliffs the view of the sunset is amazing and the valley on the east has some amazing wineries with tours and tastings. All in all, a great place to spend a lazy evening here.