Summer is over, and I just turned one year older.
Some of us have travel plans this fall while others prefer to wait until they are more confident to travel. It’s okay. You must do what you think is best for you. So, while some of us are excited about planning our trip, we also reminisce about our past adventures and favorite places we’ve been.
Do you have a favorite island that you always want to revisit? Mine is Santorini a beautiful place I call “Wonderland” where I spent my birthday six years ago.
If you haven’t been to Santorini, I offer some information from my experience to guide you and a few of my favorite photos to inspire your wanderlust.
Santorini, situated overlooking the Aegean Sea, is one of the most visited islands in the world. Thousands of years ago, a vast volcanic eruption gave birth to a caldera with Santorini as one island that forms its rim.
There are two ways to travel to Santorini from Athens. You can travel either by plane or by ferryboat from the port of Piraeus or Rafina. The flight takes 40 minutes and an average of six to eight hours boat ride from the port of Piraeus. If you are into island hopping, ferries can connect you from Santorini to other Greek islands.
If you have a lot of time, getting to Santorini by ferryboat is the best option because of its flexibility. In addition, the ferryboat gives you an exciting experience to jumpstart a great adventure. To maximize my experience in the Greek isle, I traveled to Santorini by ferryboat and returned to Athens on Aegean Air.
The Beauty of Oia
The village of Oia is situated overlooking the Aegean Sea and clings to the cliff above the volcanic crater. The incredible sights of the blue-domed churches, whitewashed houses, old mansions, narrow cobblestone streets, and chic hotels with infinity pools will mesmerize you. Because of its picture-perfect beauty, Oia attracts photographers and painters. Who wouldn’t be?
Sunset in Santorini is one of the most sought-after in the world. The village of Oia is the best place to watch the sunset; the most popular spot is near Oia Castle. It gets crowded as people arrive before sunset to get the perfect location. But it doesn’t matter where you are on this island, the experience of watching the sunset will stay with you forever. The stunning view of the whitewashed buildings, the windmills perched on the edge of the caldera and the blue-domed churches are the backdrop for your photos.
While the Greek sun sets on the horizon of the Aegean Sea, the blue skies glow into pink, orange and yellow. You hear the shutters of everyone’s cameras around you, capturing images of the sunset from every angle. The crowds applaud and cheer. Right there, you experience a surreal moment!
The island’s capital: Fira
Fira is the busiest and most cosmopolitan village in Santorini. The village is on the island’s western edge, opposite the volcano and the two volcanic islands, Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni. In Fira, you can visit the cultural buildings and cathedrals. The main square has lots of inexpensive restaurants and cafés. Strolling along the cobbled streets with little boutiques and watching the caldera will make you lose track of time.
Volcano and hot springs tour
The boat departs in the morning from the port of Fira. The tour includes a visit to Nea Kameni and Palia Kameni islands. It is the most popular boat tour among tourists because of the belief that a large amount of sulfur has healing abilities. The hike to the top of Nea Kameni takes about one hour and a half. It’s a unique experience and worth the trek.
Catching the sunset on a cruise
Maximize your Santorini sunset experience onboard a traditional Greek sailboat. You will have a view of the majestic sunset while sailing the tranquil Aegean Sea. You will set your eyes on the vast landscapes, the sights and sounds of the clear waters and breathe the fresh air of the sea.
Travel companies offer different kinds of sunset cruise tours. You can do a semi-private tour, whole day, half-day, or three-hour sailing, including a complimentary buffet, drinks, and music to enhance the ambiance. Whatever you choose, regardless of your time and budget, you will have a great time.
My goal to visit Santorini was to witness one of the most sought-after sunsets in the world. However, the outcome of my trip exceeded my expectations thanks to my tour guide who gave me the best island experience and this birthday card that I treasure. Cheers to more travel adventures!
I left this place in awe. I can’t wait to go back.
What is your favorite island story?