Santorini

Clear blue sky, salt in my hair, seagulls swooping overhead. Golden sand moving softly around my toes giving me warmth from the sun rays. My face, usually white as a ghost finally turning into that honeyed caramel colour with my sunburnt cheeks shooting out. Watching the waves crashing against the shore I face the breeze, soaking it all in. 
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I think of those lazy summer days a lot – it feels me up with indescribable joy. I am a spring person though. People love winter and skiing and people love summer and beaches. I like walking down the street wearing jeans and a top while the sun is shining and the soft breeze makes it just right. Not so much sweating like a pig. That is, except when I’m on a golden beach, drinking a refreshing mojito not worrying about my bird nest hair.

Except when I’m on a golden beach, drinking a refreshing mojito not worrying about my bird nest hair.

In August of 2015 we went on vacation to Santorini and Ios. As much as we usually like to save money and use it on smart things (like maybe going to Australia the month after) we sure did not do that this time – oh no, we went all in. So, if you cringe while reading  “I spent almost as much in a week as in 1 month in Australia” don’t worry – I can tell you what we did wrong. And how we don’t regret it.
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For those of you who know me – you know I work most of the summer. I love working in tourism, but when it comes to summer – you won’t have it. Last year I spent (maybe) 3 days at home, other than that, I was working (traveling and getting paid for it) – if the brackets made you hate me, don’t worry about it, it’s not always amazing. I spent 8 days last year having extreme poisoning and I still had to work day and night. But anyway, story for another time…

Seeing I only had specific dates off, we didn’t have much of a choice – so I used Skyscanner and put in Greece for those dates, as Dave really wanted to go to Greece. He was in London at the time and I was in Slovenia, so we had to find reasonable tickets for both of us. Luckily we found tickets to Santorini. As soon as I had seen that, the little tourism worker in me went crazy and wanted to do island hopping around Santorini ( Folegandros – don’t ask why, Paros, Naxos, Ios). But because I work like crazy all summer, we thought it might be better to just lie on a beach like a pig. So we decided to just go to Ios and Santorini and save the rest for later.

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If you look for flights to Greece now you can find ridiculously cheap tickets (Volotea has crazy 1€ offers quite often!). They are usually around 60€ return. If you can also book the hotel now it will be a lot cheaper, than later on when thing are already booked.

Seeing we booked 2 weeks before we left, I was quite happy with what we found – the flights were around 100€ and we were extremely happy with both of the hotels. Even though we booked it last minute, we didn’t spend much money on flights and hotels, but more or less just beeing there and eating every single thing at a restaurant. 😀

Never drink water in Santorini.

In Santorini we stayed at Petra Nera in Perissa. The hotel was small and simple, the owner was super nice (picked us up at the airport for free and took us to the port). I was a bit worried (:D) after e-mailing the hotel, but even though their English wasn’t great, it’s very easy to communicate with them as they are really nice.

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One thing though; Never drink water in Santorini. Buy bottled water.
Santorini is a volcanic island, so the beaches there are a lot different than anywhere else in Greece. You have steep cliffs and red and black volcanic sand and pebbles which makes Santorini extremely picturesque. Kamari and Perissa have the most beautiful black sand beaches.The beach in Perissa is very well organized, clean, with little bars everywhere – you can pay for the sunbeds or you simply get a drink or food at the bar/restaurant and you’ll get it for free. In 21st century you will obviously have wi-fi on the beach as well. 😀

 

I would recommend visiting Kamari, Perissa, Red Beach, White beach and Agios Georgious in terms of beaches. When it comes to Red beach, make sure you go early in the morning when it’s not too crowded. We didn’t last long there. It was beautiful, but there was more people than beach eventually and there’s quite a bit of trash from the tourists, that no-one cares too much about. Shame. 🙁
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Anywhere you go  – make sure you take your time. If the restaurant is empty and you sit down – noone is going to even notice you’re there for the first 5-10 minutes. Even if you order a coffee, it will probably take them around good 10-20 minutes to make it. Time stops. Greeks have a saying “siga siga” which literally translates to “slowly slowly”. So when you’re in Greece, just take it easy and let the time run slow. It’s perfect.

When it comes to the Greek food itself, it’s so colourful and vibrant and refreshing that I would like to write a whole new post just about that. I love Greek food and unlike everyone else, I am that person that is skinny during the winter and gets fat during the summer. 😀

Getting around the island is very simple – you can get a bus, that will cost you 1.80€ a ride (so basically nothing). Like I mentioned before, we were not looking to make it cheap + our inner child came out, so we rented a quad bike. When in Santorini, you will notice everyone uses them. Not only is it extremely fun, but it’s not too expensive either (around 20-30€ a day with insurance – make sure you negotiate the price!!!). The good thing for me – Dave forgot his contacts and drives on the left, so after trying to do a left turn and ending up on the wrong side of the road, I got to drive most of the time. FUN. TIMES. AHEAD.2

 

 

We spent a few days in Santorini, before heading over to Ios. Booking a ferry for Ios was a pain in the a… When it comes to booking things and organizing every single little thing for the trip – I am that person that loves it. I hated this bit. Not only were most of the sites in Greek, but nothing made any sense. We asked a few small shops about the ferry and the prices were around 60€, so after I walked out saying to Dave “I can do better than that”, I did. I booked a ferry for less than 30€ return via Viva .

A trick I learnt while traveling around Greece – when booking a cheap ferry it will most likely say “deck passenger” which means you’re supposed to sit in scorching sun on the deck with barely any shade. Just walk down to the cafe and get a 1€ toastie or Frappe coffee, sit down and enjoy the AC. Sometimes you will get airline seats that are quite comfortable 🙂

 The only difference from the usual sunset was the amount of people trying to make their way through the village, making the whole village stand still. Literally.

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We went to Ios for a few days – which I will leave for my next post. After returning to Santorini, we stayed in Fira for a night and went to see the sunset in Oia as well. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t the most beautiful sunset in the world, it was actually quite average. The only difference from the usual sunset was the amount of people trying to make their way through the village, making the whole village stand still. Literally. One thing I was a bit disappointed about was the amount of blue houses – I could’ve sworn there were more in Ios. Another reason why we weren’t too fond of it either, was because on top of the hill, while waiting for the sun to go down, I was throwing up. It was beautiful.

Thank you for reading.

-N

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