Santorini – the island of love/car troubles

Escaping to Santorini from rainy old London seemed like a dream and for the most part it was, but there were definitely some bumps along the way …

After booking an $80 plane ticket on a whim with almost no knowledge of where we were going (except that there would be sunshine) we were off and more than happy to leave our time in London behind after a miserable week of grey skies, unsuccessful job interviews and a lot of confusion about the Tube. As we arrived at the airport in Santorini, we spotted some blue sky and knew we had made the right decision.

We opted for a 3 star hotel smack bang in the middle of the island as this way we figured we would be close to everything (details below.) It was an easy 15 minute walk to the main town of Fira (with a lot of dogs to pat along the way), but the island was a little bigger than we thought so we decided to hire an ATV and this is where our problems started. Anyone who knows me will tell you I’m a terrible driver, for this reason it was up to my bestie to take on the big job, after several failed attempts and a ‘recommendation’ from a couple of anxious Greek men we headed up the hill to try a car instead.

We scored ourselves some sort of tiny yellow thing and hit the road headed straight for Perissa to see the black sand beach, with the wind in our hair and not a worry in the world it was looking like a good day. The sand was hot as f**k but the beautiful scenery was worth it, then on the way to the next stop it happened – in the middle of nowhere – we broke down. After walking for what felt like hours (it was probably closer to 20 minutes) we stumbled across a service station and raced inside to ask for help, there was probably no point racing really because the owners were running on Greek time!

Finally after 3 hours, some issues with the language barrier and a lot of sweating, a lovely old man arrived with our new ‘whip’ and the adventure continued! We spent the next five days cruising around the island and finished up our week with a very romantic sunset dinner at Oia (couples everywhere .. and then there was us) – still takes the cake the most beautiful sunset I have ever seen.

See photos & tips below –

Where to stay –

  • We stayed at Villa Manos which in the Karterados area, about 15 – 20 minute walk from the main town of Fira but there was a grocery store and a couple of other shops within 5 minutes walk. It was super cheap, the rooms were clean and the service was great, the owners were a lovely Greek couple who helped us a lot with information about the area and even cooked us some delicious home-made spaghetti. Airport transfers were also included in the cost.
  • I wouldn’t recommend staying too far from Fira (no further than where we stayed.)

Where to play –

  • Don’t miss the sunset at Oia especially if you’re going with your lover (it’s very romantic)
  • Hire a vehicle to explore places that are harder to get to because the views are worth it
  • Eat the grilled octopus even if it looks a bit scary
  • Try Ouzo and party at the bars in Fira



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