Top tips for Travelling to Santorini

Santorini is hands down one of the most beautiful places I have travelled to; the views are some of the most surreal I have ever seen and the food was just as bright, wonderful and beautiful as the scenery. It has been one of the places I have wanted to travel to for forever and was fortunate enough when one of my closest girls announced last year that was where she was getting married. Without hesitation I booked tickets and a year later got to experience one of the most wonderful breaks (a few hiccups but I will explain)

Getting there

I flew with Easyjet from Gatwick however the BA flight is apparently much better (no surprises there). I flew on the 6:35am flight out which meant arriving at 12:45 (Santorini is 2 hours ahead) and the flight was only 3 hours and 20. It meant having the whole day there on arrival which was great and we crammed in plenty! Flying home we left on the 20:35 flight back giving us the whole day to explore and enjoy before returning home.

Santorini airport

Arrival isn’t so bad as you aren’t in the airport for a long time, departures? A whole different ball game. The airport is probably the size of an average gate in a small UK airport (this is the WHOLE airport). They fly pretty big flights to most UK airports and then to local airports and then to Athens (where American and other big international flights connect). They have 6 gates and every person departing is crammed into a tiny space with aprox 30 seats in total. Anyone with anxiety of small spaces and large groups I would recommend finding a small space you can relax in or being there for as little time as possible as people get very frustrated and the atmosphere isn’t particularly positive. Security was quick and we only had hand luggage so didn’t need to experience check in however the queues were long and were outside the airport as there is no space inside. On a slightly more positive note they are currently building an extension of the airport and increasing its size by 150% and this is planned to be completed by summer 2021.

On arrival

We pre-booked a transfer for our hotel online prior to going. It cost 24Euros for 2 adults and it was a pretty big mini bus that come to collect us. I would absolutely recommend pre booking before you go as there is only aprox 40 taxis on the island and it can be pretty difficult to track one down.

We used Santorini transfers – click here

Where to stay

Santorini is not short of Villas and wonderful places to stay. From top luxury private pools to wonderful home from home traditional Greek villas. We stayed in Fira as this was where the wedding was so pretty much all of the wedding guests stayed in various places here. I was cheeky and visited as many as possible so I could give you a range of recommendations.

I personally stayed at a small villa called Villa Murano. It was small, quaint and had a small (freezing) pool. It was a 10 minute walk into Fira centre (up hill) but was spotlessly clean, simple and well priced if you are travelling on a budget (We paid £455 for 4 nights for 2 adults – Room only). We had a room that had a double bed and a single so great for three adults and there was plenty of room. Click here to book

Villa Rose

Villa Rose – was a popular choice for most of the wedding guests and when we spent the day there we can totally see why! A beautiful family run set of studios and apartments with a wonderful size pool, big cushioned day beds and sun loungers (even bean bags) and every little detail was well thought out. Games round the pool and even a basket of sun lotion! The service was incredible and even though we were not guests we spent out last day in Santorini there and they couldn’t do enough for us. Assisting with booking transfers, allowing us to use their facilities like showers and changing rooms and the guests who stayed here couldn’t recommend it enough (I heard you got pastries in your bedroom every morning!) Click here to book

Other beautiful options we popped in and visited saw I have popped below – Click on the relevant hotel to view further information and booking details:

Ellinon thea Boutique

Villa Koronios

Santorini Mesotopos

View from Villa Murano

Getting around

Quad bikes/buggies and mopeds are the popular choice for travel in Santorini but hiring a car is also very common. There are countless places to rent any of the above around the island – from when you step into the airport and pretty much every main centre there too. Big brands such as hertz and enterprise are readily available for car hire and the locals run various options for quads etc. A few of the guests got quads for the duration of there stay and the priced varied however everyone said to haggle! Some hired for 25Euros a day and one guest for his for 160 Euros for a whole week. They are fabulous and certainly worth doing to explore as much of the island as you possibly can.

Tip – ALWAYS wear your helmets, triple check insurance details and go with a good provider, check over any vehicle properly for any damage and take your own pictures prior to leaving and DO NOT forget your full UK driving licence or you are unable to take anything for hire.

To get down the bottom of the mountain there are various options. Steps are the first option (No thanks) but if your happy to walk and catch the views then by all means please do!

Donkey – I personally don’t like this option at all and didn’t feel it sat right with me going down on a poor little donkey with the size of my ass (no pun intended) however this is an option at a cost of 6euros.

Cable Car – this was our chosen option. Super quick, easily accessible and only 6Euros each way. The views are also amazing and it only took a matter of minutes. There were no huge queues and it for us was the most convenient way up and down the mountain to catch the boat at the port.

Local bus – there is a bus station in Fira where we walked to and the local buses are what we would call a “coach”. Warning – the bus station is MAYHEM and the buses reverse quickly and it is busy so please be careful and pay attention as much as possible especially if you have children around. There is normally someone who works there who will tell you what bus to jump on if you let them know the destination. You jump on, take a seat (or stand if its busy) and off you go. Once set off someone on the bus comes down to take payment – the most expensive one way ticket is 2Euros. A car journey that took 20 minutes took almost an hour on the coach but it was a fraction of the price and you got to see a lot of the island.

Food

My fave topic. Obvs.

If you are fussy – there was a local Chinese and a Mcdonalds in Fira so there literally is something for everyone – I am not ashamed to say I most def got some nuggets at some point; however it was super easy to get some brilliant authentic Greek good and pretty much always readily available. Gyros are everywhere. They are flat bread with meat and salad (like a posh-ish kebab) and there are anything from 2Euros up. Filling, tasty and all round goodness for something quick to eat.

Seafood is served most placed on the island and of course you cannot go to Santorini and not have a Greek salad – some of the best Feta I have ever tasted.

We had a fantastic Italian dinner one night at the wonderful Cacio e pepe (Click here for more info) The service and food were both incredible and for 3 adults, 3 (large) mains and a bottle of wine the bill came to 75 Euros.

Crepes and Waffles seem to be super popular in Santorini and you can grab one in most places or they have dedicated shops. We had a old school lemon and sugar which was pure delight and then on the beach I had a Nutella & banana! All VERY tasty and well worth having.

Things to do

We did a wonderful boat trip which was organised by the bride and groom for the wedding party however they are easily accessible and bookable pretty much anywhere on the island. most Villas and hotels have mounds of recommendation and leaflets in their reception.

The boat trip we went on included a visit to the volcano which is a 1km walk up and back down again and you are able to walk up it for incredible views and to see the steam rocks.

We then went to the hot springs which to be honest were more
“luke warm” springs where you can go into the natural rock and feel the natural warmth of the water and have a wonderful swim and do some snorkelling. We then did a final stop at a church hidden in the mountain which is over 200 years old and built when 7 children were found after being missing for 10 days in the caves. It is stunning and the story behind it makes it all the more wonderful.

Wine Tasting is another fantastic trip out you can do. The wedding party were booked to attend Venetsanos Winery but due to very windy weather the majority of the tour/tasting had to be completed inside. Click here to find details

Shopping is an absolute must and we did the majority of this in Fira where we were staying. The small cobbled streets are lined with beautiful shops selling everything from premium to costume jewellery, beautiful dresses and clothes for children to a Sephora! You can easily spend a day drifting in and out of shops and stopping for a cocktail or ice cream in between and to catch the wonderful views.

Beach. We got the local bus down to Perivolos and went to Mera Beach. It has beautiful black sand and so many wonderful places to eat and drink. We ended up going twice and eating at a beach bar called the Sea View. you did not have to pay for the sun beds if you ate or drank from them and they had full waiter service from 2 brilliant friendly waiters. It was really well priced and the food was incredible! I recommend the seafood pasta (pictured below)

I think I have pretty much covered the main things but do feel free to comment, email or DM me if you have any further questions! Santorini for me was certainly worth every penny going and I am so grateful I had the opportunity too. I am uncertain if we would return as I felt we had done what we could but I can see why others return for sentimental reasons (i.e you got married here etc) .

My biggest piece of advice for Santorini – take comfy walking shoes!! Not only will your feet thank me but also it is safer with the cobbled streets, steep hills and steps (especially after a few drinks!)

Have a fabulous holiday if you are off there soon and even when you attempt to take pics it will never do the views justice so pop your phone or camera down and just take in every single moment.

Thanks for Stopping by x

The Fat Funny One x

P.S – IF you love chilli sauce on your kebab pack some with you as I couldn’t find any anywhere!

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