Santorini was unreal! Everyone needs to visit once in their life, it is exactly what I pictured Greece to look like. If you have seen Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants then I’m sure it’s been on your bucket list since then;) anyways I wanted to share where we stayed and what we did since we got a lot of emails about it! We have only been to Santorini the one time so we aren’t experts but are just sharing what we personally found worked best during our week there! It was AMAZING!
Where we stayed
We stayed in an amazing villa in Oia that we found on HomeAway.com. (You can find our villa here.) If you haven’t used it before, you need to! HomeAway is such a great travel resource. It’s especially great when traveling with large groups, or with children. It’s a vacation rental website that specializes in entire homes, apartments, flats, and villas. This was perfect because our villa in Santorini actually slept 10. There were 6 and a half in our group so we were totally comfortable. It had 2 full kitchens and 4 bathrooms, with a breathtaking view. Atticus even got his own room which was nice for nap times and bed time. Even had his own crib. Honestly the view was so pretty and the weather was so nice, we really didn’t have to leave with the exception to go out to eat. But included with the villa is a traditional Greek continental breakfast on one of the 3 terraces every morning. So we really could just relax most of the day. The villa manager came a few times a day to prepare breakfast, put up the canopies and sunbrellas, and clean. I am convinced the villa has the best view in Oia – it’s the furthest outward and is also so high up (if that makes sense) but it really is in the most ideal spot!
How we got around
We rented a car in Santorini (I read online that it was recommended) but you could probably do without it. Especially since our rental offered airport pickup. But you could take taxis, buses, and then you can even rent scooters or ATVs if you’re looking to cruise around the island. A taxi to Oia from the airport is $40 Euros, which isn’t too bad. Santorini is very unique. All of the little towns are accessible by car, but once you get to the towns, you park outside, and go from there on foot throughout the towns. They have the cutest narrow cobblestone streets and walkways with lots of steps, all line with shops, villas and restaurants. So while Santorini is baby friendly, it wasn’t exactly stroller friendly. Make sure to bring a carrier if you plan to travel with a baby. So we arranged to meet our rental manager when we arrived outside of Oia, and then walked to our villa. This would be a pain if you were by yourself because the towns can be hard to navigate, especially while lugging all your bags. So it was nice to have someone meet us there, who also carried bags for us. Just remember to ask for help from rental, and remember to tip of course;)
What we did
Like I said before, we would have been completely content with just laying around and enjoying the view, but the island offers some fun activities. There is a little port on the western most tip of the North part of the island in the town of Oia (it’s easy to see in google maps) where there is a tinly little island almost connected, which is only accessible by boat or swimming. You can get to the beach where you would swim from by walking straight west through Oia until you get to a staircase which takes you down to the port. Or you can drive to Ammoudi and walk the rest of the way. You’ll pass a bunch of cute restaurants with great seafood (according to David, I’m not the biggest fan) and you walk around the island on a foot path. Once you get to the end, you have to swim to the little island. It’s so pretty but there isn’t much to do there, unless of course you like cliff jumping. I don’t, obviously, but David never passes the opportunity.
Another day we went on a fishing tour which you might have read about here. It was so much fun! It was 130 Euros per hour, and they took us around the inside of the island (the island is a giant circle formed by a volcano) and stopped off at the hot springs, let us swim around, and finished off with some fishing. This tour that we went on left out of the old port in Fira. It’s about a 20 minute drive from Oia, but then about a 30-40 minute walk from there. If you’re adventurous, take the steps down, but you’ll probably want to take the gondola back up, which is only 5 Euros. Or if you’re even more adventurous you can take a donkey taxi up or down for 5 Euros, but you probably know how I feel about that based on my previous post:)
Go to sunset point for a great end to the day. But get there early, people start getting their spots hours early and it gets crowded. But the sight is amazing. The point is hard to miss, it’s the highest point with a view of a sunset in Oia. You’ll see all the people on a structure waiting and you’ll know you’re there.
Where we ate
There were so many good restaurants that we really loved right by the villa. We went to Terpsi en Oia a couple times and it was so tasty with an incredible view of the caldera. They have authentic Greek cuisine (David recommends the Mousaka) and then also traditional Mediterranean food, but more importantly, they have waffles on their menu all day and an amazing yogurt parfait with seasonal fruit:)
Kyprida is a great restaurant and an alternative to sunset point if you don’t want to fight for spots. You can watch it from their terrace as you eat dinner.
By the bus stop they have a lot of quick Greek grill food. Gyros, wraps, sandwiches, salads. All very cheap, quick and delicious. There is a little burger place there called Z’s Burgers (they also make delicious pizza, try the Santorinia) and it was soo good! We got in late our first night and everything was closed, and Z’s closed the moment we showed up. The owner was so nice and fired the oven back up and made us some light night pizzas. Definitely recommended.
Most of the restaurants have freshly squeezed orange juice which is so delicious but don’t assume that if it says orange juice on the menu, that it’s freshly squeezed;) Make sure and ask. They also all had high chairs which makes it great if you’re traveling with children.
Like I mentioned before, we had 2 kitchens in our HomeAway which was really nice. There was a market by the bus station where we were able to find diapers, wipes, baby cereal, and David also bough some breads, cheeses, meats, and olives so we had the fridge stocked for when we wanted to snack on something authentic but didn’t want to leave the villa. Definitely a plus.
Hope this all helps!!! Xox