When you think of the Greek islands, Santorini is most likely the first place that will come to mind and that’s no surprise considering it’s one of the most beautiful and romantic islands in the Aegean Sea. This was the first stop for friends of mine who own a Calgary Massage clinic when they recently visited Greece. So today I’m sharing my travel tips on what to do, see, and eat in Santorini, Greece. To get there, you can take a quick flight from Athens or board the high-speed ferry. If you’re planning to hop around to the other islands, the ferry is definitely more cost efficient. By boat, it’s about a five-hour trip from Athens and two and a half hours from the kiddos.
One of Santorini’s major features is its caldera; a crater formed by a nearby volcano long ago. Two of the islands major towns are located along the caldera: the capital Fira and the most northern town of Oia. Both have plenty of options for places to stay but Oia is a little quieter than Fira since it’s far away from where the cruise ships dock and much more romantic.
The Moody Bay is a quiet little Oasis located 300 steps below Oia. Here you’ll find fishermen network, boat tours for hire, and a few tavernas with some of the freshest seafood you’ll ever have. You can sit down at Athena where the catch of the day is always changing to hand-pick the local fish.
If you are looking for those iconic blue domed churches, head down the Main Street just past the high-end jewelry stores; follow an alley toward the water and you will see one of the most iconic shots in all of Santorini. For something a little more different but definitely memorable swing by the kissing fish spa for a 10 or 20-minute fish pedicure. These little guys don’t have teeth but they help exfoliate your skin and leave your feet feeling super soft – totally weird but strangely so satisfying.
When in Fira, you can take a donkey ride up from the port to the old town, it better to use this means because the way down is a bit slippery. There is a cable car that costs 5 Euros and takes 3 minutes if you want a faster alternative.
Another must visit is Santo winery – the vine and the views are incredible. You can arrange for a full tour of the facility in advance. You can also visit the Santorini Brewing Company which is the only brewery on the island. It’s a small no-frills kind of place but they provide free tastings of their famous red and yellow donkey beers as well as some of their seasonal offerings.
If there’s one thing you need to see in Santorini, it’s the island’s famous sunset. You can probably catch it wherever you are on the island but there’s just something so magical about watching the Sun disappear behind the cliffs of Oia. It’s so good people line up one to two hours before the sun even starts to set and applauds once it finally disappears beyond the horizon.