3 Days in Santorini

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.

Our cab driver told us it was impossible to drop us off at our hotel. There aren’t addresses in Oia, Neil said, so that makes sense. Once we got dropped off, we followed passageways like this to find our hotel, lugging our suitcases behind us.

We stayed at the Residence Suites in Oia, where we got an incredible apartment with a porch that could have fit 15 people. We had a view of the hillside, and the Aegean Sea out in front of us. I would definitely recommend staying there. Say hi to Mina!

This is what you see if you look the other way and down. The views! They’re everywhere.

After settling in, it became impossible to stop taking pictures. My camera is still tired from Santorini.

Taking flirty photos of your significant other is a major pastime.

It seemed like dogs were socialized and cared for by the community. We saw a giant dog feeder by the bus station. As a result, they are super sweet!

After a couple days, this level of beauty starts to feel normal. Leaving is hard.

Greek coffee is awesome. This is a coffee shop called Tramonto that we liked.

Artsy blue doors and gates are what’s up in Santorini.

There are lots of surfaces for people to sneak onto and insert themselves in the way of this amazing view.

On our first full day, we decided to do the walk from Oia to Fira, which takes 2.5 hours. Fun, I thought, I like walks. But what I didn’t realize is that it involved scaling three mini mountains (I’m not sure if that’s the appropriate term). I’ve never felt so hot and tired. Plus we didn’t bring enough water for ourselves, let alone dogs we met along the way. If you aren’t a fan of walking or if you have a lot of little kids with you, skip this. Otherwise, it’s beautiful, but prepare yourself for a workout!

At a certain point, these two dogs woke up from a nap and decided to walk with us for awhile. That was my *favorite.*

They even stopped to enjoy the view, then turned around and smiled at us.

The views were incredible, especially as the sun set.

Dang.

Ok, one more! It’s like you’re there, right?

Gotta throw in something for the cat lovers. We saw these kittens every day at breakfast. 🙂

The next day, we explored some sights in our neighborhood before our sunset cruise.

One of the coolest things we did was a sunset cruise with the Santorini Yachting Club. This isn’t the boat we were on, but we did get to snap a lot of boats like this on the ride.

We stopped at three different locations, where we could jump off and swim and check out how insanely clear the water was.

One location was a hot springs, which was heated by a volcano.

We proceeded to get really tan.

And it stopped right in time for the sunset. Gorgeous.

Thanks for all the feels, 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.