Volcanoes, Sunsets, and Wine, Oh My!
As a tourist in Greece, I felt like it was my duty to go to Santorini, one of the most popular, romantic, and beautiful islands on the Aegean. When deciding to study abroad in Athens, this island’s pristine blue and white aesthetic really drew me in, so for my first weekend of spring break, I ventured over to Santorini! Here is a review of some of my top favorite places and experiences:
Meli Meli, Imerovigli — Hotel
I stayed in a cozy and cute hotel in Imerovigli for the weekend. It offered a perfect combination of views, commodities, and convenience for a good price! While I didn’t get an infinity pool overlooking the Caldera, like many travel blogs boast, we did have an inground pool, complimentary robes, and a helpful staff who set up all our day activities!
Perissa — Beaches
Something very unique about Santorini is that the majority of its beaches do not have regular white sand. Instead, they have black sand, due to the volcanic nature of the island. Perissa is an example of this kind of beach. It was a quick and simple bus ride from Fira and provided beach lounges, clear water, and beautiful views! There is one white sand beach on the island that is only accessible by boat, and there is also one red sand beach! I regret not being able to go to this red sand beach since it is so unique, but I’ll just have to come back.
Artemis Karamolegos Winery — Wine
Because of its volcanic soil, Santorini is accredited unique-tasting wines, especially its white wines. Most of the wines produced in Santorini are a mix of Assyrtiko, Aidani, and Athiri grapes. Grapes on this island do not grow like they do in most vineyards, however. Instead, Santorini grape-growers weave the vines into a basket-like formation. These circular nests are scattered throughout the island and help protect the grapes from outside forces. I had the opportunity to try different Santorini wines at the Artemis Karamolegos Winery. My favorite was a white wine called Aidani, which was made from 100% Aidani grapes and very fresh. I am definitely going to try and find this once I get back to the United States!
Fira, Imerovigli, Oia — Major Towns
Imerovigli, my hometown for the weekend, was small and quaint. A delicious restaurant that I highly reccommend is the Avocado Restaurant. While not traditionally Greek, its avocado-centered food was tasty, its atmosphere was homey, and its staff was overly friendly (as is the usual for Greeks!). My favorite part of Imerovigli was a footpath on the side of a cliff that gave me a perfect view of the Caldera. It was especially gorgeous during sunset hours, personally, better than Oia!
Fira, the capital of Santorini, was much busier and populated. This was our central hub for getting around everywhere else on the island. It too had a beautiful view of the Caldera and much more diversity. I even shared some stairways with donkeys!
Finally, Oia, is known primarily for its sunsets. Being a huge fan of beautiful sunsets, this was #1 on my list of destinations in Santorini. While I was not disappointed in the impressiveness of the sunset or the views at all, they were somewhat diminished by the absurd crowd of tourists taking up every inch of the side of the cliff. Oia definitely deserves its title, but either secure a spot earlier in the day or be prepared for lots of people watching the sun with you! I ventured to Oia again during the day time and loved its plethora of small shops, blue domes, and secret passageways throughout the side of the cliff.