After arriving in Santorini, I joked that it was Greek for “tiny pupil island.” I’d never been somewhere so bright, sunny and picturesque. In some ways, it’s exactly how it looks in postcards and movies. Instagram-worthy sights are everywhere, as are Instagram influencers from all over the world, wielding selfie sticks and artsy hats and strappy sandals. I’ve never been around more beautiful people. Also, never been around so many donkeys.
But in some ways, Santorini is even better than it looks. The people who live there are welcoming and helpful. The food is fresh and creative. The water is translucent. Friendly cats and dogs crash your dinner. At one point, a driver even told us, “You don’t have to be scare. There is no crime here.”
If you get the chance, go. It’s amazing. You’ll never regret it.
Here’s a journal of what we saw, ate and experienced in Santorini.
Hot tips for visiting Santorini:
Hotel idea: We stayed at the Residence Suites in Oia and loved it. If you have trouble with stairs, you may want to consider staying near Fira. Oia is like living on a Stairmaster.
Where to eat: We loved Lotza, Pelekanos, Candouni and the Ammoudi Fish Tavern, all in Oia. We also enjoyed Tramonto, Passaggio and Vitrin for coffee, although they are pricey.
What to eat: Fava bean dip, anything eggplant, seafood, frozen Greek yogurt, yogurt in general. The food is great. Santo Nuts (candied nuts available at most markets) are wonderful. We ate these all the time.
What to drink: Local beer brand Donkey beer. For wine, Santorini Vinsanto and Assyrtiko were favorites of mine. The Vinsanto is a sweet wine, so avoid if you prefer more dry. Buy bottled water rather than drinking tap water. Bottled water is very cheap.
What to bring: Sunscreen. It’s expensive on the island. Your swimsuit and towel. A camera. You’ll need it.
When to go: Just after the busy season, in September. And at the end of your trip. You wouldn’t put the finale at the beginning of a fireworks show.
What to do: Take a yacht cruise. Shop at the cute souvenir shops. Buy some jewelry. Meet dogs and cats. Hike. Take pictures. Nap. Drink wine. Eat cheese. Go to Atlantis Books, grab something to read, and relax.