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Saturday, June 29, 2019

How to spend 3 days in Santorini

Megalochori Streets
Santorini truly is a bucket list destination. But when you think of the Greek island, the first image that comes to mind is of blue domed white buildings, and while those can be found around the island, it's usually the town of Oia (pronounced 'ee-ya') that everyone flocks to. And it shows - trust me! It is heavy with tourists and while most definitely it is gorgeous, it isn't the only place in Santorini worth seeing.

Here is our 3 day itinerary in Santorini where we tried to see as much of the island!

Day 1 

After checking into our hotel, The Vedema, where we got upgraded to an amazing one bedroom suite with our own private pool, we wandered around the town of Megalochori. It's a small quaint town with a few local restaurants, cafes and shops with local crafts. 
Our private pool in our upgraded suite at the Vedema

In the centre of the Megalochori square there are tavernas, cafes and winding paths of cobbled streets that lead you through the village. Strolling along here with very few tourists is a delightful way to take in the sights of Santorini. We stopped off at the shop of a local leather maker and picked up a pair of hand made leather sandals for this mama!

Amazing crafts to be found in small, local shops - I wished we had packed a larger suitcase!

Unlike in Oia, you'll find the streets and alleys in Megalochori completely to yourself
Due to our jet-lag, we spent our first day in the local village and enjoyed the pool in our villa, and then had an amazing wine tasting experience at sunset at Santo Winery . The views were spectacular!. We topped off our first night by dining at Alati  at The Vedema hotel on their rooftop terrace under the stars . A perfect first day to start to enjoy Santorini!

Santo Winery Sunsets

Santo Winery: Greek wines and a view like that!
Day 2

After a delicious breakfast with fresh Greek yogurt and the most amazing honey we rented an ATV through our hotel and headed along the east coast north towards Oia. It’s a quieter sort of drive and not as eventful as the main road up towards Oia but we wanted to see as much of the island as possible. Once in Oia, we headed straight down towards Ammoudi Bay. We headed past the fishing tavernas to a 5 minute hike over the rocks to a swimming spot. Here you can sit, sunbathe and then jump in for a refreshing  swim.

Ammoudi Bay

A refreshing swimming spot and sunbathing spot on the rocks
We headed back to the tavernas and picked one for a delicious lunch of the daily fresh catch, a real Greek salad (which has no lettuce like the watered down North American versions), and our favourite fresh made tzatziki. Yum!! The tavernas are definitely overpriced and targeted towards tourists, it is still a wonderful experience but not cheap!

Sun dried Octopus - I didn't think I'd love it this much!

Lunch with a view in a fishing taverna in Ammoudi Bay

Head up back to Oia (not using those poor mules to ride you back up the steep hill though. They work under inhumane conditions, so we opted for a picture and drove our ATV back up).There you can stroll the narrow streets through the markets and take in all of the views of blue domed white washed buildings your heart desires.  It is very busy during tourist season and even though we heard amazing things about the sunsets.
Just take a picture and find an alternative way back up

Driving back from Oia we stopped in Fira for an afternoon treat - some ice cream and to walk and shop the markets. You can spend much more time in Fira than we did but it is also quite busy with tourists as is Oia.

Day 3 

We headed back out on our ATV on our last day before we had to catch our ferry to Crete. We made our way towards the Red Sand beach through the quaint town of Akrotiri. Along the way there are the most spectacular views of the caldera. In my opinion these views were better than the views in Oia, but we didn't get a chance to linger for long or to stop in the town of Akrotiri , although I would plan for it the next time!

An ATV is a cheap(er) and easy way to get around the island, as taxi's are extremely limited

The Red sand beach can be accessed by a steep hike down, but we opted for just a picture from up top as we were saving our beach time for the "other" beach.

Red Beach

From the Red Sand beach we headed to Perissa Beach, a stretch of black sand beach with crystal clear water. The beach extends from Perissa to Perivolos where there are restaurants, hotels, cafes all along the strip. Our hotel has a sister property there that had full service on the beach. They also had a shuttle from the Vedema and back, but we had our ATVs still.

Black Sand Beach

The Beach at Perivolos

There is plenty to explore in Santorini from the food, shopping, wine, beaches, towns and more. What are your favourite things about Santorini?


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