Some of you who follow my Facebook page will already know I was vacationing on Santorini. I stayed there for a whole week (7 whole days), so I got the chance to really explore it (renting a scooter helped tons!)
I must say I was a bit reluctant to book this last-minute deal on Santorini. I sounded a bit cheesy and touristy, but a couple of bloggers whetted my appetite by posting some truly amazing photos of Santorini and I decided to give it a whirl. I do not regret it as it really felt like being caught in a fairy-tale and dream-like post-card, but after a week of staring at sunsets and all that beauty, I left feeling like I've only touched a tip of an iceberg in terms of Greece's mysterious and beautiful history and geography. If anyone is up for an in-depth exploration of Greek treasures in September, let me know!!
Hopefully a couple of pros and cons will explain how I felt about Santorini and maybe give you some useful insights.
This may come off as odd to put this in the first place, but it really was one of the things that startled me the most about this island. No stranger to Greek islands (I visited the island of Corfu in 2007), I was faintly familiar with great sense of esthetics the Greeks posses, but this has surpassed my memories and imagination. How can everything be so crisp, clean and colour-matched with the scenery? If Italians are my fashion heroes, I now know who to trust when it comes to combining the natural environment with man-made decorative and useful out-door decor.
Here are only some examples of what you can get your paws at when dining out in Santorini. The best meal we've had was at Taverna Psaraki in Vlychada, where we had some really fresh blue fin tuna. I would suggest following your nose and you can hardly be dissapointed. Prices of mains are sort of reasonable when compared to Slovenian prices (10-15€ , but together with deserts, starters and drinks it can come a bit costly.
Beaches in Santorini are both varied yet uninamously distinct from any other beaches I've known so far. The most notable difference is that due to the island's volcanic origin, the send or pebbles (you can get both) is of black or dark grey colour. The other characteristic is that the sea gets deep quite quickly (with the exception of Eros beach). You can also find great bars next to most beaches, serving drink and food right to your door..., erm, sunbed.
Another positive thing about the Santorini is that it feels really safe. Unlike some other touristy destinations like big urban areas with lots of crime, it appeared that Santorini is composed of tourists and those who rely on tourists for their living. So why would anybody bother stealing ?
AND, there were no mosquitos. There were no mosquitos! Not one, I kid you not. I am not sure why that is (maybe due tp its dry climate), because usually the destinations as south as this come with a complimentary bunch of these cute little fellas but not in Santorini ;-)
Even though Santorini is undoubtedly a very touristy destination, it did not feel crowded at all, and we were there in the peak season. It wasn't abandoned either. Just the right kind of crowded - for my taste, anyway.
Small beer: 2,50 – 3,00 €
Large beer: 4,50 €
Cocktails: from 9 €
Basic dishes like Pizza Marguerita / Spaghetti with tomato sauce: 6 €
Fancier main courses: 10-15 €
A glass of wine: 3-4 €
Gyros pita: 2-3
Soft drinks: 3-4 €
Frappe (Nescaffe with ice, the most common form of coffee): 3 €
Scoop of ice-cream: 2 €
Ticket for a local bus: 1,60 €
For experience-hungry, I would recommend visiting Santorini for 2 or 3 days as nothing quite matches the unique views, finest examples of cycladic architecture and unique geology of the island. There are even some neolithic ruins to be explored in Akrotiri and some artefacts on display at the archeological museum of Fira. But after 2 or 3 days, I would suggest moving on to another island – there's a lot to be covered in the near vicinity – Anafi, Ios, Naxos, even Crete is not that far off. On the other hand, if you are looking forward to some fine wining and dining, staying in one place and soaking up the sun on great beaches while watching memorable sunsets, and doing some fancy shopping in the evening, you will enjoy staying longer than that (especially if money is not such a big object).