I actually went to Santorini wondering if it would feel overrated. It seemed like it was a very polarizing place, based on what I was reading on the internet. My verdict: definitely not overrated! Santorini was stunning, and I had an amazing experience there. And yes, there are a ton of ~social media influencers~ taking dumb pictures, but it’s on them if they want to spend their time in Santorini lining up for a single sunset shot instead of relaxing in one of the most beautiful places I’ve visited.
I wanted to stay in Oia, because that’s all the pictures I’ve ever seen of Santorini and it looked amazing, so Colin and I got an Airbnb in Oia. Transportation on the island can be a challenge if you don’t rent a car, but thankfully our Airbnb host was amazing and helped us arrange our cab to and from the airport. Our first night we wandered around Oia and ended up eating at this fancier restaurant. We got one of the best tables in the house even without a reservation, and watching that sunset as we sipped wine was one of my favorite memories of the whole trip!
The next day we did a wine tour! They took us to three different wineries, where we tried thirteen different wines. Needless to say, by the end of the tour we were pretty buzzed and our afternoon was mostly spent napping and reading and watching Formula 1. Santorini, and Greece in general, has a lot more white wines, and we had some great whites and roses while we were there. There’s also an interesting aspect of grape growing in Santorini. The traditional way that grapes are grown, in those hot temperatures, would roast the grapes. Instead, they train the vines to grow in circles on the ground, which they call baskets. This way, the grapes remain shaded by the leaves, and they can harvest a much larger percentage of the grapes grown this way.
The next morning we did the hike from Oia to Fira, which was so cool. The hike is almost six miles, and took us about two and a half hours. Colin told me we picked the more difficult version, as we gained about 1,300 feet over the course of the hike – if we’d gone the other way, it would have been mostly downhill! The views of the caldera were incredible.
We had lunch in Fira and then took a very expensive Uber back to Oia to change into our swimsuits. That evening, we did a sunset cruise around the caldera, stopping at a few beaches to swim and eat dinner. It was a wonderful end to our time in Santorini, and we headed back to Athens the next day to start the mainland part of our trip!