We heart Santorini! Finally, we made a stop on one of our bucket list destination in Santorini, Greece. There is no other word to describe this place other than magical.
We have always wanted to visit Santorini for years, became obsessed with the idea of visiting Santorini after seeing so many pictures on Instagram and other social media. We knew it was going to be ridiculously expensive, but we were determined to visit there on affordable budget and managed to find a fantastic deal!
In shoulder-season, the hotel rate is dropping by 20% – 30% which we think its quite affordable, we can stay longer in the villa by the caldera seaview to enjoy the beauty of Greek Island.
We stayed in Krokos Villas with Panoramic Caldera and Volcano views. Our Villas has private terrace on top of the villas offers a tremendous view of surrounds island. You may want to search available accommodation via Booking.com here to find great deals. Become a member and subscribe the newsletter to receive fantastic deals here.
This villa located at Imerovigli, the quietest town along the caldera and has the island’s best sunrise and sunset views. It is a perfect spot for taking pictures and it is so romantic. Having breakfast with caldera view every morning, its so awesome! The room was great, spacious and kitchen was equipped in the room. The breakfast was included in room package, every morning they give us form to fill up what we gonna have for the next day breakfast. It wasn’t as great as we hoped, limited choice of menu because we don’t eat porky but good enough for us to fill up our tummy to start our day. Overall this is an amazing location, one of the best views on the entire island. Wishing to stay here too? click here to book!
How to get to Santorini?
There are 2 ways to reached Santorini either by plane or ferry cruise from Athens. After few research, we found this Ryanair gives afordable fare direct flight from Athens to Santorini (Thira). Here, I would like to share some tips and facts about RyanAir for you to do flight booking;
We booked last minute still can get cheap fare, around €77 for 2 adult and 1 children with luggage 20kg added in the fare. Travel time about 45 minute only.
If you want to take ferry, there are 2 vessels company operate from Piraeus, Athens to Athinios, Santorini. Sea Jet sail 5 times a week with travel time about 4 hour, with fare per person about €70. You can check the fare here. Another ferry is Blue Star ferries sail twice a week with travel time about 8 hours, with fare between €33 – €92 per person. You can check the route and fare here. They are not direct ferries, it will make few stop at other Greek islands before reach to the final destination.
My personal opinion, if you want to get there faster to spend more time and skip the tiring long journey, it’s better to take flight direct to Santorini. I reached Santorini at midnight then transfer to our accommodation by taxi. Taxi we booked in advance from our hotel reception. The flat rate was €25 per taxi.
We visit Fira Town on the second day in Santorini. Fira town is the capital of Santorini. The biggest and most cosmopolitan settlement of Santorini. Located in the western edge of the island, opposite the volcano and the two volcanic islands, Palaia Kammeni and Nea Kammeni that lie in the sea, this make the town most people stay among other villages. Fira Town not far from our stay, it’s only 15 min walk.
Most tourist stay in Fira because combination of natural beauty, social life, night life, and shopping, where you can feel the liveliness of the island and where all the action takes place. A walk to the scenic alleys during the daytime will fill you with harmony, while at night you can find yourself in the middle of a big party. There is a wealth of restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs where you can relax and enjoy the tremendous view of Caldera and volcano during sunset. You will love watching sunset here!.
The largest shopping center located in Fira, there are many clothes shops, gift shops, souvenir shops, supermarkets and other facilities for every need. Don’t forget to grab your souvenirs here.
The bus hub is also located in Fira Town near the square of Fira next to the taxis. The buses carry out daily bus routes to almost all destinations. The tickets are issued from inside the bus, and the cost can vary from €1.80 to €2.50 per person per route depending on your destination. You may download the bus schedule below as well.
On the 3rd day, we visit Oia Village. From our villa, we walk through the Imerovigli Village up to the end. Along the way, there’s a famous Skaros Rock majestically located at the edge of the village. If you have spare time, you can climb up to the top. There is a well-defined trail that originates from the renowned Agios Georgios church that connects Skaros with the village of Imerovigli. The views are breathtaking and are literally a treat to one’s eyes.
Then we took a taxi from the bus stop nearby Taverna Tasos Restaurant approximately 1 km from Skaros Rock. Initially we want to take a bus but we waited more than hour but the bus wouldn’t come. This is the problem you have to take into account when traveling during off-peak season.
After about 20 min, we arrived!. Oia is the most famous of all villages of Santorini. It is known throughout the world for its quiet life and is certainly the most beautiful and picturesque village of Santorini. You often see most of instagrammers photos are from Oia Village. It is a traditional village with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas. Its streets have plenty of tourist shops, taverns, cafes, and other shops.
The village is also situated on top of an impressive cliff and offers a spectacular view over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. Oia is situated on the north of the island, 11 km away from Fira. Not much difference from Fira, Oia village is also a lot of tourist on the streets. All the cafes and restaurants facing the volcano, full with tourist having tea and dinner when at night. Any top attractions is also crowded with tourist but lesser during the night.
We had lunch at this very nice restaurant with caldera view, Thalami Restaurant. Since the portion looks big, we ordered 1 plate of Fried Calamari. We spent our time until night and had dinner at King Neptune, Oia. This restaurant was also recommended. Delicious food and very nice ambiance.
Can’t get enough of the stunning blue domes on Santorini? Then you will definitely want to stop by Imerovigli. On our last day in Santorini, we spent time taking some photographs at Imerovigli Village. Here you will find the Imerovigli Anastasi Church, the perfect place to capture the blue domes and get a few great pictures of yourself against a gorgeous backdrop. My favorite thing about this photo location is that it isn’t as crowded as Oia, so you will probably have an easier time getting a great shot! You may even have the chance to see a wedding (or at least a wedding photography shoot! Because we met one!).
By 3pm, we checked-out from the Villa and leave our luggage at the counter because we still have plenty of time to explore Santorini before we board a ferry to Turkey at midnight.
Our next place to visit was Perissa Black sandy beach. We have to take a bus from Fira Town to reach this beach, so before we depart to Perissa, we had quick lunch at Fira town.
Your trip to Santorini isn’t complete without visiting the black sandy beach! We choose to go to Perissa Beach rather than Kamari. Its about 35 min away from Fira town. You need to take public bus from Fira Bus station to get to Perissa. The fare returns journey per person was €4.80.
The beautiful Perissa Beach lies at the base of Mesa Vouno Mountain that separates Perissa from Kamari and on its top you can admire the eminent archaeological site of ancient Thera and a superb view. It is about 13 kilometers away from Fira, on the southeast coast of Santorini and is easily accessible by car or bus. The scenery that the black lava sand along with the sandy sea bottom and the dark blue, crystal clear waters compose is impressive. It is one of the longest and most famous beaches in Santorini, a characteristic sight of the volcanic island.
If you coming with public bus, please bear in mind the last bus back to Fira Town. Taxi service in Santorini is €25 which is very expensive.
About 7:30pm, we leave Perissa Beach and heading back to Imerovigli for dinner. Another recommended place to eat dinner, Aegeon Imerovigli. Great view of the caldera. Reasonable price but the portion a little bit small tho. Before we leave the restaurants, they gave us a little treat, a cakes. Very thoughtful and kind service. At 10:30pm, we took taxi to Athinios Port Santorini to catch our ferry. Taxi fare is the same, €25 one-way. There’s no bus going there at night.
In low season, Ferry Cruise to Kos Island only sail once a week. Make sure you book in advance from their official website. Ferry to Kos Island was about 5 hours journey. You can choose to sleep in the cabin or just take the cheaper option, purchase a seat ticket. Since we were traveling with my girl, we bought a cabin ticket. I suggest for those traveling solo, you don’t have to purchase cabin ticket, I observed their seat lounges are very comfortable.
Kos is another beautiful island in Greece. It is known for its abundant sandy beaches. It’s also rich with Greek and Roman landmarks, particularly in and around Kos Town. We arrived Kos port at 6:00am so we just wandering around the Kos marina area while waiting for our ferryboat to cross to Bodrum, Turkey.
Kos town a little bit quiet in early morning. It’s fun observing people opening their cafe and shops, and we try to chit chat with some of them. A stroll around town reveals a host of sights to behold including Italian-era buildings, ancient structures, narrow alleys, the marina with the yachts, and the palm-tree boulevard with street artists. It’s quite enjoyable although we spent for few hours here.
Here’s the tips how to cross border Greece and Turkey from Kos Island. Once you get off from the Ferry cruise at Kos Port, You need to walk to Ferryboat counter at the other side (refer map). Along the way, you will see few ferryboats standby at the marina, offering the tickets which is a little bit higher than the official counter. Although you buy the tickets from them, you still need to walk to the cross border checkpoint (where the official ferry counters located). My suggestion is get your tickets at the counter near the checkpoint. You need to go through the checkpoint to get your passport stamped before leaving the country Greece.
That’s all for my Santorini trip ended. It’s a great place, definitely I will come back again sometime.