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Santorini is truly heaven on earth! Before we travelled to the island we did our research on where we should stay and what we should do so that we don't miss out on anything. our first stop was Oia, the town furthest away from the Santorini airport. We rented a car as it's the easiest and fastest way to get around the island. So after checking in to our beautiful villa we immediately headed out to explore Oia before sunset. The main thing you must see is the 'famous three dome church'... this was very important to me as that was one of the main reasons I wanted to visit Santorini. I shared a picture of the church on my instagram a year ago capturing it 'dream destination' and I was thrilled that I was a few steps away from actually seeing it myself. It's very easy to miss the church because you get caught up in the breath taking sceneries and the charming streets and you almost want to stop at every corner to take a picture! I'll give you a few tips on how to find the famous church...
Ahhh! Finally after months of dreaming to visit Santorini I was finally standing in front of the three dome church and it's honestly even more beautiful and serene in person. When you check in to your hotel ask the reception for a map, they mostly likely will give you one and explain how to get to places but its easy to miss certain land marks. Once you get to the center of the shopping area with a cathedral behind you take a right. There are a couple of blue dome churches so don't get confused, once you pass a church to your left a few feet ahead you have a small steep bend to your left. When you walk down it you noticed the amazing view and the famous church to your right and I don't know how well to describe this but it's overwhelming and just beautiful!
Oia's castle ruin is the main spot to catch Santorini's sunset as it's one of the highest spots on the island (apart from the castle in Kamari). Most of the tourist are taken to the castle to experience one of the worlds best sunsets. We decided to avoid the crowd and to visit the castle during the day and it has one of the best views you can get of Oia.
Since we decided to avoid the sunset on the castle we decided to catch it on a cruise instead. There are a couple of cruises that are available online but this was the one that caught our attention! This is the first time I've been on a catamaran and it was so exciting! The cruise takes you pass the red beach, the white beach, the main light house, hot springs and the volcano. You can also chose between the snack menu or the buffet menu, we chose the buffet menu as it includes traditional greek food that is cooked freshly onboard with unlimited wine and beverages!
After we passed the red beach we stopped near the white beach for a bit to snorkle. It was terrifying because I had never been snorkeling before and they literally took us to the middle of the ocean! I always thought snorkeling would be in some what shallow waters? My sister and I decided that we were just going to jump in and live in the moment, who knows when I'll be in Santorini again on a catamaran snorkelling? I have to say that it was one of the best experiences of my life and now I can't wait to snorkel again! The last spot is the hot springs where you can take another dip in the ocean while the food and BBQ is being prepared, other boats come to this spot as well and theres music playing and the vibe is so nice. If you do visit Santorini and you're looking for a cruise and you don't feel sea sick, this is the company that took very good care of us. Check it out here
All these towns are walking distance from each other, you can tour the whole of Santorini in just one day! I came across this restaurant online and I really wanted to give it a try based on the reviews I read of this place. The food was amazing and the portions are so generous that my sister and I had to order appetizers to avoid wasting food! A traditional dish you must try out if you ever visit is the fried tomato balls, I sometimes crave for this when I'm home...
Each town had its own charm to it but Kamari would have to be my least favorite. Even though it's the shopping district at Santorini I fell in love with the rest of the island more. We visited the beach, we drove up to the castle for the sunset and we even went to an underground wine museum where they teach you how wine was discovered and made on the island and theres even a wine tasting session afterwards of wines that are only found in Santorini!
Fira was our last stop in Santorini and its just as beautiful as the other towns I loved. We roamed the streets late in the night, restaurant hopping to find whats suppose to be traditional Greek street food called Gyros. The streets are narrow and filled with little shops on either side, it reminded me of the streets in Venice. The people are so friendly and always ready to help and guide you incase you get lost. We bought a couple of souvenirs and I was on the hunt for volcanic rocks.
Gyros is almost like the Shawarma we have in Abu Dhabi, even when I watched them make it how they cut the meat and wrapped it up is the similar preparation to shawarma. I couldn't try one of these because there were only meat options but my sister said that they were delicious. So make sure to try one of these as well or souvlaki.
These are some of my tips if your planning to visit Santorini. We also visited in the beginning of October and the locals said we picked the perfect time to visit because early October the crowds are less and the weather is just perfect! I will be posting more photos of my trip on my Instagram, click the icon on the top right of the page to follow me and to stay updated with more pictures. I hope everyone is having a great week so far!