If you’re anything like me, when you hear certain travel destinations, you instantly think how expensive they will be and how you’ll never be able to go. That was me last year while deciding where my partner and I will be traveling too in the summer. Back in the summer of 2016, I went on my first real big adventure to one of the places that have been on bucket list since Serena mentioned having a “mystery” night in Santorini with Carter. If you don’t get that reference, we’re going to really struggle to get along. Only joking, but seriously please educate yourself of the magic of Gossip Girl like right now please.
This is simple guide for people who have always wanted to visit Santorini, but don’t have a bank account like Kim Kardashian.
My adventure started on the 24th of August and I went for a week in total. If you don’t know or haven’t heard of Santorini, its an Island within Greece and its like something straight out of a film. My boyfriend and I booked a villa just at the “bottom” of the island in the area Perivolos, which was called the Villa Olympia. It was the best value hotel we could find that was walking distance from the beach but would allow us to walk around and explore the rest of the island. We had beaches such as the Red and White sand beaches in Akrotiri all within a 10 minute quad bike drive away.
This is the Red Beach found in Akrotiri, Santorini. Photographs in this blog post are all my own.
The more “Instagram worthy” places such as Oia and Fira, were a good 30/40 minute drive away. The very first full day we had, we decided to catch a bus to Fira. I say the word ‘bus’ loosely because what showed up wasn’t the typical vehicle that springs to mind when you hear the word bus. I was a giant coach. Luckily for my boyfriend and I, everyone else at the bus stop seemed just as confused as us, so we didn’t feel like utter useless tourist. For a single bus ride it cost us 2.50 euro per person. Catching the bus is the cheapest and easiest option if you want to explore the island but don’t feel safe driving a quad bike. The coaches also have air-con, so if you’re a moody bitch like I am when I’m too hot, you’ll appreciate that.
While in Fira we decided to just walk around and get use to the area, as my boyfriend and I are easily the biggest ‘planning freaks’ you will ever meet. After a few days of chilling we decided to hire a quad bike and visit the most popular place in Santorini, Oia. This is where you can go and sit and watch the sunset and eat in the most beautiful restaurants with views you couldn’t explain to anyone that had never heard of the place. On our drive back from our first visit, we came across something that in reality shouldn’t have made us THAT happy, but it did. Lidl. There is a fucking Lidl in Santorini.
It was my birthday while I was away, and because I don’t really enjoy doing much for my birthday, we decided to have a chilled day at the beach, and go swimming with the cheap goggles we bought at the corner shop. Later in the evening we rented out another quad bike and drive back to Oia and watch the sunset. As beautiful as the view was, I was fascinated with the giant swarms of people stood on walls, roofs and on lovers shoulders just watching the sunset through their phones. I understand a sunset can only really be entertaining for a short amount of time, but people just take your photos and appreciate it. Your Facebook friends can know you were there later. On the drive back, it was a lot scarier, but it also felt incredibly safe. Everyone pretty much gets around by quad bike and everyone drives quite civilised. and the stars that shine at night in Santorini look like a painting. This was the only downside to staying on the opposite end of the island, as we had to really remember the way home. Lucky for us, like I said, we’re neat freak planners so it wasn’t too bad. Being in such a special place with my bestest friend in the whole world, makes my 20th a holiday I will never forget. He’s got to top that for my 21st, ill keep you updated with what he plans.
The holiday in total cost us just shy of £1300 We were one of the many unlucky people that got stitched up but the company Low Cost Holidays, so we ended up having to pay for the Villa twice until our bank gave us the money back. For a decent amount of time we went, I think thats pretty cheap considering it was peak season and everyone talks about how expensive it it, it really doesn’t have to be. We both took around £400/500 each and ended up coming back with a bit of money that we change up at the airport. Quadbikes were no more than 40 euro to hire daily and a full tank of fuel only cost 5 euro, and you only need to fill it up once for a 40/50 minute drive.
Food wise, you’re not exactly spoilt for choice. However, there is a McDonalds. I repeat, THERE IS A MCDONALDS. Its not the best McDonalds Ive ever had, but it had nuggets and that was good enough for me. Every restaurant seemed to sell the same thing. You had either Meze Grilled food or pasta and salad to chose from. My boyfriend and I ended up eating at this cute beachfront place 5 out of the 7 nights we stayed. They began to expect us towards the night time and even gave us free desserts ands cocktails.The place was Pleasure Lounge and Bar at Perivolos beach. I would recommend this place to anyone. If you’re a fussy eater like me, I promise you, you will find something that you will eat and actually enjoy. I despise any and all vegetables, if I see even a shaving of a vegetable in my food, I refuse to eat it. Its classed as infected at that point.
Overall, if you are looking for a holiday to remember, I could recommend Santorini enough. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t find pleasure from just laying down on the beach on holiday and would right sight see, and have a real adventure, Santorini will be a dream for you.
Megan Rose Wing