Is Santorini on your travel bucket list? If so, you might be wondering if Santorini is really worth the hype. The short answer is: Yes. Santorini is worth the hype. Of course it is.
If you’re lucky enough to be well-travelled, you might tell us that it’s over-hyped and that there are cheaper alternatives. But personally, I loved Santorini. It is a place I have always wanted to go to and I’m grateful I got the chance to visit.
Santorini is a serene island tucked away in the Aegean Sea. With its white-painted villages and iconic views, it’s a holiday destination that attracts hundreds and thousands of tourists each year. Whether you’re looking to relax or get active, Santorini is a great destination for any type of holiday.
We stayed at the 5-star Costa Grand in Kamari which was right by a private beach, next to a small strip of restaurants and shops… but it is also under a flight path.
You’ll either love or hate the fact that flights fly very low above the hotel every hour or so. It’s less frequent at night, but be warned it doesn’t stop while you’re sleeping.
The 5-star hotel itself was such a treat. Clean and modern, I felt really relaxed there. With its bright white exterior, and stylish decor, the hotel boasts seven swimming pools. There are plenty of sun loungers and pool beds, a small gym and a spa.
I wouldn’t say it’s your typical family destination in the sense that there are no kids club or entertainment, but there were young families staying there.
Things to do in Santorini
This is my first visit to Santorini so I wanted to do all the typical tourist things!
A memorable day for me was boarding the King Thiras for just approximately €50 per person via Kamari Tours. We enjoyed a full day of sailing, exploring, swimming in natural hot springs and chasing the sunset.
After a couple of stop-offs, the trip concludes in Oia. Oia was on the top of my list and I was happy to be guided around as part of the excursion. To see the sunset, you’ll need to find a spot in good time. Get there too late and it’s extremely crowded. To avoid this, you could try sunrise instead.
I learned a lot of interesting facts about the islands from our tour guide, but my favourite story was about a man called Sostis who, after falling in love with a woman who didn’t love him back, decided to live a secluded life on this the dot of an island.
He built a cave-like home on this lump of rock in the Aegean sea and it’s just him, his dog called Plato, and a couple of goats.
When the tour guide told us his story, I could hardly believe it. Squinting in the direction of the lonesome island a distance away made me wonder how habitable it really is.
So when I returned home, I googled Sostis’ story and found this article written by a tv film crew who visited him. It’s a fascinating insight by one of the few who have got up and personal with the man (who we will call a Greek legend!).
Another great day out for us was when we took the bus to Fira, the main capital town. I actually enjoyed Fira more than Oia, although it’s not as “luxe”, I preferred the laid-back atmosphere of Fira.
Food and Drink
Fresh seafood is a staple, as are traditional Greek dishes like gyros, moussaka and tzatziki. Wash it all down with a glass of local wine from the nearby vineyards and you’re set for the day.
Our hotel was half board so this is where we saved on costs but we did dine out half the time we were there. A personal favourite was Volkan On The Rocks for THAT view alone!
Santorini is a dreamy destination. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, you’ll find something to suit your needs on this stunning Greek island.
James participated in activities such as kayaking and he’s taking part in Santorini Rat Race next year. So it really can be an action-packed holiday in more ways than one if you wanted it to be.
Me? I prefer to sit around and eat an entire pack of Lays by the pool washed down with a couple of Fanta lemon!