Santorini, a different attraction in Greece
At DINKtravelers we know that the world of filmmaking is a great promoter of travel destinations. It has been that way for many years. For example, think about Salzburg in The Sound of Music or, more recently, the town of Matabata, New Zealand, better known as Hobbiton.
Now, a 2008 classic romantic comedy that we all remember is Mamma Mia! a film that brought back ABBA’s greatest hits and gave us the chance to hear the multifaceted Meryl Streep sing. However, this hit movie also made us fall in love with Santorini, the island where some of the scenes in the story were filmed.
If you saw the movie you’ll surely remember the sceneries of a beautiful town with blue domes, ocean views and, of course, the wedding scene with the donkey taking the bride up the hill at sunset. Well, today DINKtravelers has prepared a guide to visit the most emblematic places in Santorini so that you can make the most of your trip to this heavenly city.
How to Get to Santorini?
What’s most probable is that if you go on a cruise across the Aegean, one of the ports of call will be Santorini. Yet, if you’re visiting several cities in Greece, your best option will be flying to the small international airport of Thira. The flight only takes 30 minutes from Athens and during high seasons there are many cheap flights you can reserve at different hours. Even better, if you want to take a calmer route and sail the Aegean, we recommend taking the ferry.
Where to Go in Santorini?
We know that there are plenty wondrous tourist attractions in Greece, so sometimes travelers try to cover the greatest possible number of cultural attractions while only making an express one-day trip to Santorini. Still, we recommend saving at least a two-night stay for this destination so that you can calmly visit the towns of Thira (Fira) and Oia.
The Town of Thira
Also known as Fira, this is the capital of Santorini and it’s located on the island’s west coast. We believe this is an excellent place to make your hotel reservation because, since it sits on a 400m cliff, it offers panoramic views of the Aegean.
Here, take a walk along the town’s narrow streets with their white façades. Then, visit some of the churches and monasteries that are part of the island’s religious history; particularly the Catholic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. Also, if you want to learn more about the history of Thira, go to the Museum of Prehistoric Thera.
The Town of Oia
This town is perfect for photography lovers. Surely you’ll recognize it from its white façades and blue domes which have been portrayed in thousands of pictures with the sun setting and reflecting its yellow and orange hues on the deep blue Aegean. Therefore, arrive early and find a good spot for this spectacle.
Even though sunsets are this town’s greatest attraction, DINKtravelers suggests arriving in the morning so that you walk its alleys with endless stairs and unexpected dead-ends. Also, it’s a good place to buy souvenirs, both commercial ones like t-shirts and mugs and traditional craftworks. Finally, visit Platani Church, which is famous not only for housing a maritime museum but also for being crowned by that huge blue dome we usually find featured in photographs of Santorini.
A Donkey Ride
When you travel to Egypt you know that as part of your tour you’ll probably get to ride a camel, but what you probably don’t know is that Santorini offers a similar experience…well, kind of.
Donkeys have been a traditional means of transportation on the island for ages and now they continue to transport people but as a tourist activity. You can try this experience in Thira, where there is a long line of docile donkeys waiting to be chosen.
You’ll be surprised to learn that these donkeys don’t need anyone to guide them along the ride. That’s because they’ve made the route so many times that they could even do it with their eyes closed. So, don’t worry about using your smartphone to find the best route to the town’s historical center. Simply relax, prepare your camera and enjoy the beautiful views. If for some reason you neither want to go up the hill on foot nor ride a donkey, don’t worry, there’s always a third option; in this case, we suggest riding the cable car.
Santorini is a small island but it offers plenty places to visit and things to do, and it’s a destination you must live from sunrise to sunset to cover it in full. Now, with our tips, we’re sure you’ll enjoy even more your visit to Santorini in your next trip to Greece.