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.

 

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.

5 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Santorini

Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in Greece and among the most popular ones around the world. Visiting the island for 7 days, I came up with some essential things you need to know before visiting.

 

1.Rent a car or an ATV

We were staying in the middle of the island (Kamari). The furthest we had to drive was 40 minutes with traffic.You definitely need a mean of transportation, since it is truly worth it to go around the whole island. There are also local buses that depart every half an hour.

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2. 3 days are enough

We were so eager to see everything and afraid that we will not make it in 7 days. Within 5 days we had visited each area more than 2 times and we spend the last 2 lying on the beach.

 

3. Enjoy the fresh fish

They have the freshest and tasty fish in Greece. Do not miss the traditional foods, such as fava, santorinia salad, kapari and tomatoes.

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4. A bit overpriced

Compared to Europe, the prices in Santorini re pretty much the same. But comparing them to Greece, they are a bit much. However, you get what you pay for. The food quality is outstanding and so is the view no matter where you go.

 

5.Hike to go swimming

Some of the most beautiful beaches on the island require some hiking on mountains. So, be prepared with hats and water.

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The 7 Cheapest destinations for your summer vacation

The time has come when you start thinking about your summer vacation. Your days off from work might be set, but you still find it difficult to find a nice and affordable getaway.

Keep on reading to find out which are the best European destinations that will not break the bank. Instead, you will end up having a great time while spending less money.

 

1. Zante, Greece

When you are about to visit any island in Greece, you know it is bound to be an amazing vacation, with a daily cost of 50 euros. If you choose to visit Zante, prepare yourself for a crazy nightlife. The island is perfect for party animals that want to let loose until the morning.

As for the food, Greece is generally known for its top-notch and delicious cuisine, from gyros to fresh fish and produce. So, the local cuisine is to die for. Most importantly the crystal clear waters, the mesmerizing blue caves and the legendary Navagio Beach, make it the number one cheapest summer destination in Europe.

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2. Ibiza, Spain

Oh yes!! Ibiza may sound tropical and expensive, but the truth is that it is one of the cheapest places you can visit. If you manage to book your trip early and find cheap accommodation and flight, then you are set.

Ibiza is a party city with more than 3 million tourists visiting each summer. Approximately you might spend less than 60 euros per day, depending on where you eat and how much you eat.

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3. Sunny Beach, Bulgaria

With spending less than 50 euros per person for a day, Sunny Beach is one of the cheapest destinations in Europe for your summer vacations. Accommodation is so cheap that you can find a room for 25-30 euros per night, even in August, which is known to be the most expensive month when it comes to vacations.

Besides the good hotels, be sure to try the tasty local food, experience the intense nightlife and the beautiful scenery.

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by Booking.com

 

4. Algarve, Portugal

One of the best choices for your summer vacation. Lisbon combines natural beauty, history and good food with affordable accommodation and flights. What makes it even better is the fact that the city is very close to some stunning beaches.

With a great and vibrant nightlife, Lisbon is the place to be. With approximately 70 euros per day, you can enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

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5. Malta 

Probably the most famous island in the Mediterranean Sea and a very popular summer and European destination with an average daily cost of 80 euros. The warm climate, the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and the intense nightlife, makes everyone want to visit.

It is the place for you if you want to visit the oldest temples in the world, the Popeye Village and the cleanest beaches in Europe. A big plus is the fact that almost everyone speaks English.

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6. Zadar, Croatia

The ‘entertainment centre of the Adriatic’, was voted as the Best European Destination in 2006. Why? Because it offers exquisite beaches and sunsets, tasty food and breathtaking locations for day trips outside the city.

Most importantly, it is an ideal destination to relax while enjoying a new city with a daily budget of 60 euros. Depending on what your style of entertainment is, you can either explore the Croatian cuisine or simply join the music festivals, which happen constantly in the city.

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7. Majorca, Spain

When the summer comes, everybody has thought of going to Majorca. An incredibly affordable destination with an exotic name, that makes everyone want to go. With the low budget airlines, the tickets are usually very cheap, especially when booked a few months before.

The beaches, the views and the nightlife make it a top destination, especially when you take into consideration that you will spend about 65 euros per day.

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10 Best Greek Islands for your summer vacation (updated)

The summer has not come to an end. Many go on summer vacations in August and early September. In Greece, even in mid-September, the weather is quite hot and many choose this month for a crowded-free vacation. For those of you that will book your summer holidays in the next few days, continue reading.

Greece is the most popular summer destination in Europe with almost 6000 islands for you to visit. There is a little something for everyone. If you want an intense nightlife you go to Ios, Mykonos or Zakynthos. If you want to go somewhere quiet with your family, you go to Chios, Santorini or Corfu.

Each island is unique in beauty. The crystal clear blue waters, the sandy beaches, the delicious food and the gorgeous blue and white island houses will take your breath away.

1. Santorini

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Sunrise, wine, volcano, fava

What to do: Sunset in Oia, Wineries, Red Beach

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2. Crete

Location: Crete

Famous for: Traditional dialect, Raki, Mantinades, History

What to do: Elafonissi beach, Balos Beach & Lagoon, Knossos Archaeological Site, Gramvousa Fortress.

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by Made in Greece

3. Zante – Zakynthos

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Intense nightlife, raisins, olives, honey, herbs

What to do: Navagio beach, Porto Limnionas beach, Xygia Sulphur Beach

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4. Kefalonia

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Wines, Olives, Turtles

What to do: Assos, Myrtos Beach, Venetian Lighthouse of Fiscardo

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by Which Greek Island

5. Paros

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Architecture, Golden sand, exotic beaches

What to do: Parikia Town, Kolymbithres Beach, Lageri beach

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by Paros-online.de

6. Chios

Location: Aegean Sea

Famous for: Mastic, Mastello, Architecture

What to do: Pyrgi, Mavra Volia, Vrontados, Daskalopetra

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by Discover Greece

7. Milos

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Rocks, Volcano origin, Caves

What to do: Sarakiniko Beach, Kleftiko Beach

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by Mixani tou Xronou

8. Lefkada

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Crystal clear beaches, Historic sites, Landscape beauty, Savoro

What to do: Egremni Beach, Kathisma Beach, Nydri Waterfalls

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by Itaka

9. Folegandros

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Wine, Matsata, Souroto, Kalassouna, Karpouzenia

What to do: Livadaki Beach, Latinaki Beach, Agios Nikolaos Beach

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by Vardia Bay Studios

10. Ios

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Crazy nightlife, Chora, Traditional Food

What to do: Mylopotas Beach, Manganari Beach, La Tomba di Omero

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by Greek Sun Sailing Yachts charter