Serenity in Santorini

Sunset in Fira
I apologise for uploading this post so late. This is my SECOND time writing this post... I stayed up till 5am one night writing up my Santorini post and was feeling really happy with it but was struck with the horrifying realisation the next day that Blogger had not saved it. It was gone. It no longer existed. I had lost my entire blog post. I'm definitely not going to be able to recreate it but I've tried my best to rewrite it.

I was so excited to go to Santorini. Not only was there the promise of potentially gorgeous weather, there was also the beautiful blue domed buildings that I had been lusting to visit since I was a little kid watching "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants". Santorini was also a welcomed break after traversing around some of Europe's largest cities or three weeks. After being in huge cities, sharing the sidewalks with large crowds and weaving through the hustle and bustle of the packed streets, the relaxing, calm and crowd-free atmosphere of Santorini was a well needed break. Looking back at the photos I took has just reminded me of how beautiful the island really was.

Before Santorini, I had been writing blog posts on my iPad while in each destination to make sure that I remembered everything but I got a little bit slack and stopped doing that. All of my traveling was done quite a while ago so I'm not sure how much of things I remember! From now on, my posts won't be as detailed as they were previously but I will be trying my best to recount everything I did.

Trekking to our hostel
Sunset in Fira
Sunset in Fira
Sunset in Fira
As our travel group had split up after Budapest, with half of us going to Istanbul while the other half went to Athens, we did not arrive in Santorini at the same time. The others had actually arrived a day earlier so we were lucky enough to be greeted by them on arrival. 

We arrived in Santorini in the late afternoon so the only thing on the agenda for the remainder of the day was to watch the iconic sunset. The Athens crew guided us along the cliff sides through the white and blue alleys of the island to find the prime location to witness Santorini's sunset. We ended up settling down at one point for more than an hour, catching up while being treated to the magnificent Santorini sunset over the smaller islands. 

There are moments in life that stop you in your tracks and make you wonder how you got so lucky to have ended up there. This was one of those moments. Sitting on the very edge of Santorini and watching the gorgeous sunset was so surreal and made me wonder how my life had managed to take me to that gorgeous island, with the group of people that I was with, witnessing the views that I was seeing. I had never felt so grateful.

For dinner, we ate at a restaurant that the others had gone to the night before. The food was amazing and it was definitely the best meal I had eaten since leaving Australia. We had so much good food that night so I've only posted some of the photos. If you want to see everything we ate, check out the post I did about all of the food we ate during our three week trip through Europe. The service at the restaurant was impeccable and we were made to feel like family as soon as we arrived. We had told the waiter that it was Vlad's birthday and were treated to dessert and rounds of ouzo, both on the house. To make things even better, the waiter joined in with us when taking our ouzo shots, with shouts of "oppa!" every time we downed a glass. Safe to say that we stumbled home warm and content.

Octopus salad

Free dessert!
Glittery blurry Ouzo
For our full day in Santorini, we rented ATV's to ride around the island. I love to drive back at home, I love any form of driving whether it be an actual car, go karts or even scooters but for some reason, I was feeling a bit lazy and it was actually really nice to be able to just sit back and enjoy the island's beauty while being driven around all day.

We had been warned about how Santorini's weather could be quite volatile during the period in which we were visiting so were quite nervous about riding around on the ATVs all day. Being on those in the rain would have been a nightmare! While we were eating our Nutella waffles for breakfast, it started to pour down with rain and we thought that our day's plans were doomed. Luckily enough, Mother Nature must have been on our side and the weather cleared up just as we finished eating and stayed perfectly clear for the rest of the day.

We spent the whole day driving around the whole island, exploring every corner of it and stopping at least once every ten minutes to admire the views. All of the attractions were completely empty which was really nice. It felt like we had the whole island to ourselves and I could only imagine how packed the place would get during summer! I would definitely recommend visiting Santorini during low season.

I honestly can't remember everywhere we went or the names of the places so this post is going to turn into a photoblog for a little bit. I'll get back to you when we reach Oia!

Strawberry and Nutella waffles
Banana and Nutella waffles

Our rides for the day
Deserted Red Beach

Black sand beach
Gyros on the beach

Another black sand beach
Another black sand beach

We managed to cover the whole island in a day, visiting all of the worthwhile parts. We ended our day at Oia to watch the "world's most photographed sunset". Unfortunately for us, it was overcast the night that we visited so we couldn't actually see the sunset. With our good weather all day, karma's tables must have turned and the skies were miserably cloudy, ruining any chance that we had of witnessing the sunset over Oia's famous blue domes. That didn't get me down though because I finally got to see the actual blue domed buildings that I had been dreaming of seeing since I was a kid!

Driving the ATVs back to Fira from Oia was challenging. As the sun had truly set by the time we took off, it was pitch black and it was really hard for us to drive four ATVs in a row without losing each other. The fact that only one of us knew where we were going made things even more difficult but we managed to make it back to Fira in one piece.

Sunset over Oia
For dinner, we wandered back to the same restaurant that we had frequented the night before and were treated amazingly as they now saw us as "regulars". Again, I've only posted some of the food photos. If you want to see them all, check out my food post for the trip. We did rounds of ouzo again with our new waiter friend with cheers of "oppa!" every time we took a shot. We were also treated to free dessert again and we left the restaurant for the last time after giving our favourite waiter big hugs.

Me being me had left an assignment to the last minute that was due the next day so I spent the rest of the night frantically finishing it while being more than buzzed. Who knows how I managed to pass that...

For our last day in Santorini, we decided to do the half day tour that the three who had arrived earlier did on their first day. It was a tour that took us to the active volcano in the middle of the island. This is actually the volcano that created the island!

Being on the volcano was surreal. It looked like a scene straight out of a sci fi movie and the whole island was just made up of black rocks and rubble. I honestly felt like I was walking on another planet.

The tour was really enjoyable overall as the sun was out and the boat ride made it feel like we were on a true holiday. It was such a nice change from the intense and fast paced backpacking travel that we had been doing. For the first time, it felt like we were on a relaxing holiday trip.

Our boat for the morning

The donkey path

Being on an active volcano
Being on an active volcano

Hot spring
Hot spring
After the volcano tour, it was time for Adrian and I to part ways with the others. They were all headed to Corfu while we were staying an extra night in Santorini before jetting off to Zurich and Nice. Saying goodbye was tough because for those who weren't returning to Warwick for the next term, it was our last time seeing them until we managed to meet up at one of our home countries. Some tears may have been shed...

We figured that the only way to make ourselves feel better was to grab ice cream so we enjoyed some ice cream in Fira before exploring as much of the island as we could on foot. We walked for more than an hour, marvelling at the beauty of the island. We managed to walk so far that we reached a point where we could see straight to the other side of the island. This was super exciting for us and we proceeded to sprint to the other side of the island in less than thirty seconds, not accounting for the fact that we would have to trek back up the incline that we had just run down... The excitement of being able to reach one side of the island from the other in less than a minute was definitely worth it though!

We spent the rest of the day exploring Santorini by foot before turning back so we could make it back to Fira in time to see the sunset with another ice cream. Watching the gorgeous sunset with an ice cream in hand was a moment that I wouldn't hesitate to relive again. 

Ice cream with toppings

A pool that was (unfortunately) not ours

Leaving our hostel the next morning, we were horrified to find that our cab was nowhere in sight. We had ordered one for 5.15am because our flight was leaving the airport at 7am. After patiently waiting for another 15 minutes, we began to really panic, especially after discovering that there were no cabs waiting at the cab rank, that our hostel reception only opened at 7am (the time of our flight) and that our phone's reception was not working. We got desperate enough to try hitchhiking and essentially ended up jumping into a stranger's cab that was bound for the airport. We got extremely lucky but upon arriving at the airport, we realised that it wasn't even open because Santorini airport is so small...

Overall, I would not hesitate in calling Santorini one of my favourite cities. It is definitely somewhere that I have to come back to and I had such an amazing time on the island. Going during low season was perfection because it meant that the island was not full of crowds of tourists and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves! I'm obsessed with Santorini and can't wait till I can make it back one day.


  1. Hi!! Was looking for itinerary to Belfast/Dublin and found your blog! I am currently studying in Bristol and really can't wait to go to Santorini one day. Anyway you inspire me to create a travel post HAHA! Nice reading your blog :)

    1. Hey there, I hope you enjoy studying at Bristol! You should definitely go to Santorini one day if you get the chance, it's one of the most beautiful places that I have ever had the privilege of visiting. Thank you for reading my blog and I look forward to reading your travel post :) x