How can I start this fascinating and entertaining story about an unforgettable vacation on the beautiful, picturesque island of Santorini? On an island that has half gone into the water, burying the mysterious and unknown Atlantis; on the island, which people associate with the magnificence of sun, wine, and the sea; on the island, which left a very vague impression. On the one hand – the most picturesque place for meeting sunsets which sets a romantic mood,  and on the contrary – disorganization, chaos and a feeling of the bazaar on narrow streets.

Our journey began with a trip to Warsaw. The apartments that we rented for one night surprised us pleasantly. Hosapartments offer accommodation in the very center of Warsaw at affordable prices. Paying 160 PLN (about 40 dollars) for the decent perfectly clean apartment was more than fair. Additionally, they provide everything necessary for the kitchen (kettle, coffee maker, tea, coffee, utensils). Honestly, we did not expect that the bathroom has not only shampoo, shower gel, but also toothpaste and a brush for each guest (a small but very nice detail). Why was I surprised? Well, there are not so many places providing extras for the guests in Warsaw.

Transport

It’s the best way to fly to Santorini from Poland using Aegean Airlines. Let’s see the advantages. First of all, Aegean Airlines specializes in flights to Greece, and within Greece, that is why it is very convenient to book tickets. For example, to fly to Santorini, a passenger will need to have a few hours of layover in Athens. Also, the airline’s website offers a full route on how to get to the final point with all possible options, time and prices. Moreover, every customer receives his meal, snack, and of course wine on the board. Not a big deal, as they say, but still a portion of delicious pasta with meat, vegetables, as well as cookies and wine is better than nothing. Extra luggage of 23 kg will cost only 20 euros, which is quite acceptable. In high season there is the possibility to fly to Athens not only from Warsaw but also from other cities of Poland (Krakow, for example).

Other possible options to get to Santorini:

  1. Warsaw – Athens via low costs (like Ryanair). Adding an extra bag of luggage will be more expansive around 35 euro for 20 kg. No meals or snacks provided.
  2. Athens – Santorini fly using Aegean Airlines or Ryanair ( the timetable is available on the official website of the companies). More likely, they have it almost every day, and even more often during the high season.
  3. Ferry from Athens to Santorini ( can take up to 7-8 hours, so it’s quite time-consuming. Usually the price for the ticket will begin from 30-40 euros)

As a rule, when people hear the word “Santorini,” a fantasy immediately draws an unreal picture of snow-white little houses with blue roofs, smiling donkeys, a blue sky, which smoothly turning into emerald sea. This dream can become a reality only in two places on the whole island, the village of Oia and the largest city of the island – Fira. The most frequently photographed site is Oia, which is in the north of Santorini. Fira is also quite a lovely town but it has lost its Greek charm.

If we look at the map (shown below), one can see that Oia is almost the extreme point. The island has a very mountainous terrain, so the paradise village is located on a high cliff,hence it does not provide proper conditions for beach holidays. Therefore, very often many hotels build or already have built small pools so that guests can cool during hot weather.

What would I recommend for those who plan to visit the island? Well, firstly, if there is an idea to swim and rest, it is the best to stop near the beaches of Kamari and Perissa (indicated on the map below). There is everything to soak up the sun and enjoy the beach – sunbeds, umbrellas, a warm sea and of course gray volcanic sand. If the main aim is to travel with a noisy company and visit clubs, discos, and bars, then Fira (the largest city) will be just fine. Regarding the prices, the most expensive spot was Oia. So it is the most beneficial to rent an apartment or hotel somewhere in Fira or near beaches, and just go to Oia for a day.

Beauty of an early morning

Oia

Oia is the place with the houses which have been built inside the caves. Every visitor should be aware of that there are no exchange spots, only ATMs. Any other currency except the euro is not accepted. Not every shop will let you pay with the card, cash only.

Streets are very narrow, I would not suggest traveling to Oia during the high season.

If you want to enjoy the sunset, there is so-called “sunset point”. But better to be there 30-40 mins before the sunset, otherwise, it will be over-crowded.

It is the most photographed part of the whole island or even Europe, that is why the prices are very high. Most probably, you will see a lot of swimming pools. That’s because there is no public beach as Oia is situated on the top of the cliff. Usually, 1 or max 2 days will be more than enough to explore the village, enjoy the sunset view and take pictures.

Amoudi Bay

If you stop in Oia, then spare some time and go down to the bay of Amoudi. Picturesque nature, rocks washed by water, high waves with a large foam as if Poseidon himself will come out of the water. Amoudi is surrounded by the endless number of the taverns where the primary specialty is the seafood. Be ready to go about 200 steps down, and then to the top. The area is very mountainous, so the only thing you will probably see will be the stairs, stairs and once again stairs. As you know, the trip to Santorini requires only comfortable shoes.

Do not forget to ride the donkeys, because these strong animals are a symbol of Greece. Concerning riding on donkeys, I want to remind you that before buying a tour, try to clarify some important points like the duration of the ride, terrain, whether it is safe for children. The price of the “tour” can be very different. For example, in the Amoudy Bay, the donkey will take you up the stairs only for 5 euros (we did not take a risk, the stairs were very steep). However, a ticket for a donkey in a travel agency or call it “the official point of sale” will cost 40 euros (the difference is obvious).

Where to stay

If you are going to stay in Oia (and we were just there), be prepared to live in caves (in the literal sense of the word). Let us remember the history of Santorini – an island of volcanic origin, the gift of the god Triton to the brave Argonauts. Judging by some sources, it was the motherland of the mystical civilization called Atlantis. Well, now back in our time. High, impregnable, cliffs was a reason why all the houses, and then the hotels were dug, hollowed out in the rocks. Based on this, the signal of mobile communication and WIFI is weak in the rooms. We noticed that this is not only a problem of our hotel: many guests greedily use WIFI in cafes and restaurants. Almost all hotels in Oia offer a view of the sea, swimming pools or outdoor terraces. Be very careful with hotel reservations, since if on booking.com it is written that the hotel is for example in Fira, check on the map. Our first hotel, according to information from the site, was in Oia, and in fact, after checking the map, – somewhere in the field, 2-3 km from Oia. That is, without the machine would not have done it.

Transport

Since we lived in Oia, I will describe how we traveled to different parts of the island. If there is no car, you can take a bus, which runs every 20-30 minutes to Fira. From there you can already get to Red Beach (see above), airport, etc. The ticket price from Oia to Fira is 1.80 euros per person, the duration of the route is 20-30 minutes. The road is very serpentine, so it’s better to have bags with you in case someone gets sick. Drivers do not speak much of English, but every bus has its own “bus attendant” selling tickets and even providing information. You will not be allowed to enter the bus with drinks.

Taxi from Oia to Fira will be 20 euros

Red Beach, Santorini
Red Beach, Santorini
While waiting for the bus to go back to Thira. Yes, it is a bus stop actually! 🙂
Romantic Oia
Donkey Ride. They take all the way up to the hill. View is spectacular!
My Ranger, My Donkey!
Having Fun!
Locals! 🙂

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