Location: Santorini, Greece
Date & Time: Wednesday 24th-31st August 2016
Cost: Flights – British Airways £305 each, includes hand luggage and 23kg
Hotel: Loizos Apartment £220 each (3 people)
Why we went to Santorini – to attend a wedding of a good friend was the main factor, but why not get a holiday out of it as well. Our aim was to fit in as much as we could into everyday. Do the MOST!
Hotel and travel
We were quite lucky when it came to choosing a hotel as the bride to be had done all the hard work and research needed to narrow down the selection for her wedding guests. We decided to go with Loizos Apartments, the reviews were decent (3.5 on TripAdvisor), the location was perfect and the price was within our budget. Our bedroom was on the ground-floor and right opposite the pool with lots of space within the room. The hotel provided a shared arrival transfer which was great. For just €20 our transport from Santorini International Airport to Loizos apartments was sorted. This was the cheapest option, our friend had advised that a taxi could cost between €40 – €60.
The main bus station is located near the Central Square in Fira, which is about a 5 -10minute walk from the hotel. There aren’t direct buses that take you from one side of the island to the other, but you can head to Fira if you are not staying close by and take a bus from there. We used the buses primarily to get around, although there is the option to hire out a car or quad bikes (only advise this if you are confident, driving in Fira is no easy task, there were a few unfortunate accidents that we heard of while out there ). A single bus journey should cost no more than 2 euros depending on your destination.
If you require a taxi, the hotel will be more than happy to arrange this for you.
Weather and atmosphere
The temperature was often between 29 – 32 degrees. So we got sun, heat and more sun! The weather was HOT – just as we like it! Santorini is truly as beautiful and picturesque as all the photos found on the internet. As we went in August, there were a lot of tourists around and everyone was generally very friendly and helpful, a few stares here and there but we didn’t let it faze us. We were born to SHINE!
Food and Drink
As you can see from the photos, we ate and ate and ate some more – food babies were in action. Obviously Ice cream was a MUST everyday due to the hot beautiful weather, we just couldn’t help ourselves. We tried several different places and although we were recommended to the famous Lolita’s Gelato in Oia, our favourite and regular was always Gelataria Fresco, located in the local town square – new flavours were available everyday, and if you conversed with the friendly staff, you were likely to get additional portions or unlimited tasters.
- Gyros – Lucky’s Souvlakis or Μπαγιάτικο Food Bar (Bayiatiko Food Bar)
As indicated above, we ate quite a lot, gyros which is bit like a Sharwama and Dōner. Traditionally it is pork or chicken wrapped in a flat bread with chips, onions, tomatoes and tzatziki sauce. It was often our quick goto snack, filling and very tasty.
- Ice Cream from Gelateria Fresco or Cremalatto
Due to the hot temperatures, the craving for ice cream was often at the fore front of Maria’s mind.There are an array of shops to choose from so we are sure you’ll find your favourite!
- Chinese food from Asia Club
On an odd day, Nifesi was craving Chinese food and decided to try the special fried rice from Asia Club, be warned, the chillies are very spicy so be prepared and order with caution. It definitely hit the spot! Although not something to have everyday as can make you feel very lethargic after eating.
- Breakfast options: Omelettes, Waffles and Crepes
There are plenty of places to have omelettes or waffles not only as breakfast but all throughout the day, in addition many places allow you to suggest your own ingredients or provide the numerous options of different types of meals . On the plus side you are always spoilt for choice but if you’re indecisive it may be a bit of a challenge .The portions are quite large so there is no doubt you’ll be full after.
It is a famous aperitif of the greek islands and usually around 40% in alcohol. We played a few drinking games on our first night aiming to consume several shots of this strong drink, lets just say…the night ended with a BANG!
The wedding was truly a once in a lifetime experience, the food was beautifully presented and delicious, the venue was artistically decorated, in fact everything was on point and the day ran so smoothly. It was a beautiful wedding, with lots of laughter, dancing and emotional moments. We danced the night away until the early hours of the following morning, recovering by having a lazy day at the beach the next day. One of the best celebrations we’ve ever been to, there is certainly a lot to be said for destination weddings.
There is definitely a lot of things to get up to in Santorini and when we said we would aim to do the most, we truly did. Below are some of the activities we got up to.
- Fira (the capital)
There are many alleyways, different paths and shops to explore within Fira. Every route/path is quite distinctive making it difficult to get lost and if you do, just follow the person in front of you that looks like a tourist, they are bound to return to the main square eventually😜. Within the shops, you’ll find little trinkets and treasures, as well as the famous snacks specific to Santorini particularly nuts.
- Black sand beaches – Perivolos, Perissa & Kamari
Prior to our trip we had never been to a black sand beach. As a useful rule of thumb, always take sandals with you, as the sand gets super hot – as in too hot to walk on with your bare feet. Apart from that, it was great fun, also don’t be deceived, the sea gets deep very quickly – ask Nifesi, she never expected it and had to put in work to swim to safety. There are many places to eat at the beach, but we would recommend Pleasure Lounge Bar or Forty One at Perivolos – service is attentive and the food is very good.
- Water sports – Banana Boat ride
At Perivolos there are several water sport centres, we chose to undertake the banana boat ride which was €20 per person. Having seen this activity in films, we expected to fall off the banana shortly after the start (many of us were gripping on for dear life), however it’s a lot more tamed than we expected. We were all able to stay on, so upped the thrill levels towards the end jumped off into the beautiful blue sea.
- Yacht Day Trip
We went on a Yacht day trip which was very much welcome after all our different activities and the wedding, we couldn’t say no to the opportunity to relax and do nothing for most of a day. With around 22 people, it cost about €110 per person. This included the pick-up and return to the hotel, as well as an all inclusive unlimited service for food and alcohol. We had the option to visit all the beaches – black, white and red, as well as the hot springs. They also provided us with the opportunity to snorkel and swim in the sea (providing life jackets for us less confident swimmers). We chose to skip the red beach as it is said to be quite staining on clothes. The boat trip provided the perfect opportunity to see more of the island whilst you kick back and relax. We would highly recommend it!
- Sunset visit in Oia
The sunset view at Oia is described as breathtaking and said to be one of the best views on the island. We would most certainly agree, we have to add it was a mad rush to get to the suggested area so make sure you leave yourself enough time to combat the crowds and get the best seat in the house. Ideally we would suggest booking a table at a restaurant with good views, that way you can relax and enjoy the atmosphere without having to struggle for a spot at the crowded viewing platform with everyone else.
- 10km hike from Fira to Oia
Right, now this hike was a serious trek, we didn’t realise the magnitude of what we were signing up and by the time the realisation hit us it was too late!
There are many clubs, bars and restaurants to keep you entertained at night.
- Other activities available – shopping, cable car from Old Port to Fira, Volcano visit, Red beach or White sand beach, donkey rides, swim in the hot springs, explore museums, wineries and plenty more.
As you can see from our post, there is a lot to get up to in Santorini, we couldn’t list everything but we would definitely advise you to visit.
Overall travel experience rating:
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Until our next post continue to Taste, Experience, Laugh and Live life to the absolute fullest.