Being a savvy traveler is definitely a good skill to have. Unless you’re a one percenter, budgets matter. It’s why we’re always trying to find you the sweetest deals and the best-value options. Sometimes, however, there are destinations so magical that in order to be done right you’ll straight up need to splurge. Destinations like the Greek islands.
When I was setting out to plan a trip to Greece, last spring, I knew it was going to be expensive. Not just because of flights and the exchange rate from Canada (where I live), but also because the best time to go to Santorini is right in the thick of their peak travel months. If I wanted an epic trip full of Caldera cliff views, it was going to cost me. In the end, I had to bite the bullet.
Why are Caldera views so important? Santorini is actually situated on the side of the mouth of an underwater volcano. The original eruption created dramatic cliffs with over 1000 foot drops at their highest point. These volcanic cliffs offer beautiful views of the Aegean Sea from cascading white hotels which, if you search Instagram for #Santorini, is pretty much all that you’ll see. The island is made up of three main towns (Fira, Imerovigli, and Oia) all of which are located on the caldera edges and provide those picturesque, camera-ready scenes.
Although this trip was expensive, I have absolutely no regrets about any credit card debt I may have collected along the way. It was the trip that made my year and I’m more than happy to reminisce while sharing my favorite spots.
What to Do:
Go watch the sunset in Oia – One of the most picturesque and Instagramable towns in Santorini, Oia is known for being the best place on the island to watch the sunset. However, it also attracts busloads of tourists during dinner/sunset hours which can make it a fun place to visit, but not the ideal place to stay. With that being said it is still a pretty memorable time to be amongst the large crowd, enjoying a beer, and watching the sunset.
Visit Eros and Perivolos Beach – Eros beach is a ‘new’ beach but the drive in is incredible. It reminded me of the scene from Star Wars where young Anakin is racing in the rock canyon. So cool! Perivolos beach is where all the beach clubs are and offers a completely different perspective of the island – a cool spot to hang out and a change from the caldera landscape.
There are tons of restaurants and bars along the Perivolos beach strip making it a great place to spend an entire afternoon.
Go sailing! One of the best activities I did while on Santorini was a sailing tour around the island. During our walk one evening into Fira we booked a 5-hour sail on a catamaran with Santorini Sailing, and it was hands down the best decision I ever made. It was incredible to experience the island from the water. Lunch and alcoholic drinks were provided while on board making it totally worth the 95 euro per person price tag.