Exploring Santorini: Fira & Oia

Santorini is by far one of the most magical islands in Europe, with thousands of tourists visiting every summer. What makes this Greek island so special, are the majestic views, the insanely delicious food and the perfect combination of blue and white.

Santorini can be easily explored within 3 days and most of its villages are worth visiting. If you are limited in days, you can skip the Akrotiri, Emporeio and Kamari.

 

Fira

Fira is the capital of Santorini and is located almost in the middle of the island. It is the place to be for a night out, filled with bars, nightclubs and restaurants.

During the day you can find numerous cafeterias with great views. As for the evenings, it is one of the perfect locations to admire the sunrise.

 

Oia

Ohhh Oia!!! There is no place like Oia!! I fell in love with its beauty. I was simply captivated. Oia is the place you MUST visit while in Santorini. Be sure to visit it both during the day and afternoon.

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Oia is known for all the luxury hotels and restaurants. You will find a few cheap choices, but mostly you should come here for expensive dining. Anywhere you go for a drink or dinner, you will certainly have one of the best views. The hotels around are all resorts with private pools and jacuzzis and the prices for about 7 days are more than 3000 euros.

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What is special about Oia is the characteristic white and blue everywhere. White houses, hotels and shops, combined with the blue of the sea and sky. A perfect combination that can hypnotize you.

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Oia is by far the best place for a photographer. During the day you can embrace the white, while during the night, you can emphasize on the nightlife.

The perfect time to visit is around 5 or 6 in the evening. You have plenty of time to see everything, and still be there for the sunset at 8 o’clock. Around 6 people will start gathering from all parts of Santorini, to see the enchanting sunset. At 8:15 it is almost impossible to leave since there are hundreds of people struggling to get out.

What makes this sunset so special, that makes people visit Santorini from all over the world? Truly, it is breathtaking. Being Greek, I have seen a lot of beautiful sunsets in my life. No sunset can take my breath. But this one did.  Now, I understand why it is so special to the foreigners.

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5 minutes before the sunrise, hundreds of people just stop moving and talking. There is so much quiet and everyone is looking at the sky in awe. Just a few magical minutes, where you see the sun falling in the water and creating a breathtaking view. Yes, it is a pretty sunrise, but I have seen many. However, I have never felt such peace and calmness.

 

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Exploring Santorini: Red Beach, Vlychada, Perivolos, Perissa (Updated)

Santorini is by far one of the most magical islands in Europe, with thousands of tourists visiting every summer. What makes this Greek island so special, are the majestic views, the insanely delicious food and the perfect combination of blue and white.

Santorini can be easily explored within 3 days and most of its villages are worth visiting. If you are limited in days, you can skip the Akrotiri, Emporeio and Kamari.

Akrotiri

On the southwestern peninsula of the island, you will find Akrotiri and in the very last point of it, the Lighthouse. The Akrotiri Lighthouse is among the oldest lighthouses in Greece and was constructed way back in 1892. It is nothing special, but the view there is amazing. The best time to visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse is during sunset. Actually, everything is better visiting during sunset in Santorini.

Red Beach

When you leave the Lighthouse, your next stop MUST be the Red Beach, one of the most famous and beautiful beaches of Santorini. It is called red, due to the red stones in the mountain and the beach, which are basically rocks from the volcano.

The red and steep hills, give a captivating and wild scenery. Along with the crystal clear blue waters, this beach will for sure take your breath away.

To be fair, the access is not the easiest, yet not the most difficult. You just need to hike for a while by stepping into big stones. But once you get there, it is so worth it. From the Red Beach, you can visit the White Beach, which is also gorgeous, but only accessible by boat.

Emporeio

15 minutes away is Emporeio, a place where there is nothing for you to do, but this small village across the hill is truly beautiful and is definitely recommended for photography lovers. We didn’t make all the way to the top because the heat was insane that day.

Vlychada

Vlychada is also a very nice area. Most people visit the Vlychada Beach, but we decided to visit one of the most known beach bars, called Theros Wave Bar. Be really careful with the streets, because if you end up taking the wrong turn your car may get stuck in the sand unless help comes.


Perivolos, Perissa and Kamari have the best beaches on the island. They are the only ones, that you do not have to go hiking in order to access them and you can actually have a good time there. Relax, enjoy your cocktail and sunbathe.

All three places are great during the day for lunch and swimming. But only Kamari is nice visiting during the night. There is nothing to do in the other two, other than go for a small walk.

Perivolos

Although it may not be something special, it is one of the beaches you can actually enjoy on the island. You go chill for a few hours and after that, you can go shopping for souvenirs or eat in one of the local taverns.

All the beach bars are organized with sunbeds and umbrellas. In some you have to pay, but not in all of them. The prices vary from 3-10 euros for 2 sunbeds.

Perissa

Perissa is one more of the best beaches in Santorini. For me it is by far the best one, considering water temperature, view, and location. The view is breathtaking and relaxing. The location is great since it is easily accessible from any point on the island. As for the water temperature is was the warmest one.

Kamari

Kamari is somewhat located in the middle of the island and it is very close to the airport. The beach is beautiful with black sand from the volcano. This area is full of hotels, restaurants, taverns, bars and souvenir shops. It is extremely enjoyable for a quiet evening.

When in Kamari, make sure to visit Pinakio.

Natural History Museum in London is a MUST

The National History museum in London is located in the Exhibition Road in South Kensington. It contains an incredible variety of specimens (about 80 million) including animals, minerals, insects and a palaeontology collection, which includes one of the most famous dinosaur exhibitions.

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Museum Entrance

The museum is divided into four zones. The green zone contains mineral, fossil, reptile and bird specimens. Besides that, you can visit Waterhouse Gallery with photographs that best represent nature’s beauty and life’s diversity, as well as the Vault, a gallery of breathtaking emeralds, diamonds, amethysts and other gems.

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The Vault

In the orange zone, you will find the Darwin Center, which presents butterflies, beetles, high plants, tarantulas and herbs and the Wildlife Garden, which is open from late March to early November and is basically a garden with over 2600 species.

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Wildlife Garden

The blue zone is about life diversity, including mammals, fish, reptiles, dinosaurs and the Human Biology section. This zone is definitely one you will find yourself spend a lot of time there. The Human Biology section lets everyone know about DNA, cells, memory testing and the nervous system through very fun and educational games around the section. The Dinosaur part is truly interesting. You can see a ‘live’ T-Rex dinosaur and hear it roar and move.

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Dinosaur Skeleton
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Dinosaur Skeleton
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Baby in Placenta

The red zone is all about Earth, from human evolution to volcanoes and earthquakes. You can see everything from the beginning of Earth’s creation, such as extinct species, sea creatures and evidence found on flying reptiles and dinosaur-birds. Make sure to get in the earthquake simulator and experience the Kobe earthquake in Japan.

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Ecology Gallery
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Earth Hall
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Human Evolution

Overall, the National History museum is an excellent choice if you have the time to visit. It is extremely interesting and beautiful with fun educational games in all zones. It will always be crowded, but it is free to enter unless you want to make a donation of 2 pounds.

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You get what you pay for in this Madame Tussauds

Usually, the Madame Tussaud museums around the world are extremely expensive (around 67 euros per person). Paying so much money, of course, you would expect something great. And this is what you get. You can easily spend more than 2 hours in the Madame Tussaud museums located in the biggest capitals of Europe, such as London, Berlin, Amsterdam and Vienna since you have so many wax figures to see.

However, things are a bit different in Prague where the price is 6 euros per person. The wax figures are quite disappointing at the beginning since all of them are of Czech famous people that not many people know. But as you move on to the next floor, you will see Hitler, Stalin and other famous leaders. That’s when things get a bit more interesting.

As you move on to the last floor, you know you will get your money’s worth. You will see Picasso, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson, Tina Turner, Prince and other American celebrities, such as President Obama, Louis Armstrong, Julia Roberts, Lady Gaga, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.

Jim Carrey and George Clooney are definitely the highlights and are positioned in a way that you can get really creative with your pictures.

The reviews for this museum are not good because people were extremely disappointed since they were expecting too much for my opinion. At the end of the day, paying 6 euros to see about 20 wax figures you will actually enjoy seeing is quite worth it. You get what you pay for.