So we’re on Aegean island with an area of 35 sq.mi, with 3 days to spare and literally numerous stairs to explore. What’s the best way to do it? Away from the crowds, by finding tucked away churches and at our own honeymoon suite. Santorini, you were idyllic. Thank you.
We chose to spend our Greek holidays at the Esperas Hotel, located at the end of Oia, what we would say it’s a perfect location actually, especially for sunsets watching. Our favourite moments were definitely mornings with breakfast views over the other Santorini islands (yes, did you know that Santorini is actually made up of 5 islands?) and magical sunsets – it’s where we had witnessed the most amazing sunset of our life yet.
In case you haven’t heard yet, Santorini is one of the most visited places in the world. Tourists arrive here in droves. The local guy told us it’s supposed to be 65 planes, 6-9 cruise ships (each has approx. 15k people) and then countless ferries arriving EACH day. You do the count. Yes, it can be pretty overwhelming and you should be prepared for it. But as goes for every place in the world, so it does for Santorini – there are corners that exist you can have (almost) for yourself. We even witnessed a guy proposing to his girl on top of the Skaros Rock which happens to be one of our fave locations on this island and we were actually the only two people “spoiling” their most amazing life moment. There are numerous churches, villages, beaches which are perfect to enjoy even with only a few other people around.
Below are our must-see places
OIA CASTLE FOR THE SUNSET
It takes the crown for the best sunset view in Santorini, however, you should arrive here 2-3 hours before the sunset to “reserve” your spot – it really does get that crowded.
Noticeably less touristy and with some of the most stunning panoramic views.
The climb should take you roughly 10 minutes down and 10 minutes up (20-30 in total one way). It’s a bit tricky towards the end, so bring good shoes and plenty of water. If you have the option to bring sun loungers, that would be fantastic! 🙂 The view on the top opens up to see all the Santorini and is by far our favorite. Probably also because of how peaceful it is – it’s a real getaway from a tourist-y madness.
THE MOST HIDDEN CHURCH ON SANTORINI
You can find it behind the Skaros rock. It will take you additional 15-20 minutes, depending on the pace, just follow the path down and you’ll find your own private heaven. There’s literally no one here and you can have the best views all to yourself, including seeing Oia and other Santorini islands.
BLACK AND RED BEACHES
Santorini beaches tend to get very crowded in the high season however, we found them pretty spectacular and something that should not be missed.
- RENT AN ATV OR A SCOOTER (the second is the better option in summer months as it will get you faster through the traffic) and get lost around the island, there’s so much to see!
2. BE AN EARLY RISER to avoid the crowds if visiting the most touristic or instagramable spots.
Our exclusive tips end here. For a cherry on top, we wanted to share one of the most shocking facts we’ve discovered along our trip – it is that Santorini is not only made of one island but it’s actually 5 of them, amongst which the one in the middle is the centre of an active enormous volcanic crater!! It really is one of the most spectacular sceneries in the world.
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Add a comment below for your own exclusive tip(s), we would love to explore new places next time we’re back in the paradise island!