People will often ask me " Is it worth it to visit Santorini? Is it really worth all the hype?"
My answer is always YES!
Yes, Santorini has many tourists. Yes, Oia & Fira get super busy during the sunset. Yes, the prices are more expensive food & lodging.
But you still can't beat the beauty of the island. Watching the sunset over the white-washed cliffs is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, that I think everyone should experience.
Here are some recommendations from our recent trip:
RENT AN ATV
Yes! That's right...rent an ATV while on Santorini. Even if it is just for a day, this is such a great way to see the island.
Start by traveling to Oia (before it gets too crowded), and then make your way down the island. If you want to do more shopping, stop by Fira next. If not, make your way down to some of the beaches...like Perivolos which has many all-day beach bars.
We went to the Red Sand Beach, which was an experience! The beach itself was super crowded and you had to climb down a little cliff to get there. But, the views were amazing!
Pro Tips: To rent an ATV or car while in Greece, you'll need to get an international driver's license while still in the US. Stop by any of your AAAs and they can do this for you.
See if your hotel has any connections with local ATV rental companies. This way, the company will usually drop off the ATV at your hotel and pick it up the next day. Easy peezy!
GO TO A WINERY
Do it! Santorini is known for its wine, and visiting a winery is such a relaxing way to spend a few hours.
We visited the Anhydrous Winery and loved it! The "Cheese Lovers Tasting" with 7 Aegean cheeses and 7 wines was absolutely delicious, and then got a little tour around. Highly recommend!
HIKE THE PATH BETWEEN OIA AND FIRA
Want some amazing views and an even better experience? Then, I would definitely recommend hiking along the Caldera trail! It can take anywhere between 3 and 5 hours. That being said, you can always walk "part" of the way just for the experience. But definitely check it out!
Santorini Dave has a great page with recommendations for the trail, which you can check out here !
OUR FAVORITE RESTAURANTS
The Cave of Saint Nikolas
After visiting the Red Sand beach, we walked over to this little taverna on the water. The food was wonderful and authentic...I would highly recommend it! However, it does get busy so try to make a reservation in advance!
A beautiful, modern interior with a robust menu! Even better, most of the restaurant has an ocean view. However, double check where your reservation is if you want to see the sunset.
Other Recommended Restaurants
We didn't try these, but were told by friends & our hotel that they were worth checking out!
Aegeon – Traditional Greek Cuisine with view of sunset
Anogi – Traditional Greek Cuisine with no view of Sunset
La Maison – Fine dining with view of sunset
Dear Elie – Best for brunch/ cocktails
Kipos – Set in a beautiful garden, with no view
Kokkalo – Greek cuisine with view of sunset
Idol – Comfort food with a view
Melitini - Greek Tapas restaurant, with view of sunset
Karma- No view of sunset
Naos - Fine dining with view of sunset
Roka- Traditional Greek cuisine with view of sunset
Any questions? Comments? I'd love to hear your thoughts!