Our Introduction to Greece: Stunning Santorini

Oia, Santorini, Greece

With hundreds of inhabited islands scattered in the seas off the coast of Greece, how do you choose which ones to visit?

For us, Santorini was a given.

Not only is the island’s beauty legendary, everyone we know who has been to Santorini has high praise for it. Good friends of ours honeymooned there, while one half of another, well-traveled couple we met recently told us it’s her all-time favorite place.

Santorini is popular for a reason. During our six-day stay on the island, we found that it lived up to the hype…and then some.

What didn’t surprise us about Santorini

Thira, Santorini, Greece

Santorini is as picture-perfect as the postcards suggest. Set in the azure Aegean, it was created like so many of the world’s geologic wonders: by volcanic activity. When a larger landmass exploded, the sea covered the volcano’s caldera, resulting in the several islands that make up Santorini. The largest, crescent-shaped Thira (“Santorini”), is unique among the places we’ve visited.

On Santorini, dramatic sea views are never far away. Bright white, cube-shaped dwellings cascade down hillsides. Those iconic blue domes topping churches perfectly match the water rippling all around. And the famed sunsets brilliantly light up the caldera. Yes, the island’s scenery more than lived up to expectations.

What did surprise us about Santorini

Santorini Greece-4

We do have one problem with Santorini. The island’s hospitality, high quality, and reasonable prices spoiled us, from complimentary glasses of house-made dessert wine at our favorite eatery, Dionysos, to the tangy capers (grown on the island) that transformed the simple Greek salads we ate everywhere from sit-down restaurants to fast food places.

In a destination like Santorini where visitors often stay for just a day or two, or even a few hours for cruise ship passengers, it’s not uncommon to let quality slide. After all, it’s not as if the many, many restaurants are competing for repeat business. And yet food here was not only routinely fresh and flavorful but downright delicious—and at reasonable prices, including half-liter carafes of locally produced house wines for 5 euros.

Santorini Greece-3

Lodging was a bargain, too, considering that Santorini’s tourist season is relatively short, running from April through October. In early May, $57 per night got us a double room at the lovely, family-run Hotel Thira. The property overlooks the sea and is a five-minute walk from the center of Fira.

Santorini was our first official stop on a five-month trek through Europe. We’ve since moved on, staying in numerous other places in Greece, Rome, Croatia, and Montenegro. While all wonderful, none of them have matched the hospitality and quality we experienced on Santorini.

We really miss those capers.

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24 Comments on “Our Introduction to Greece: Stunning Santorini”

  1. SAN_jeet June 25, 2015 at 10:01 am #

    beautiful place specially BLUE HAT of building

    Like

  2. BeachTraveler June 25, 2015 at 10:30 am #

    Nice!

    Like

  3. Kings On the Road June 25, 2015 at 11:13 am #

    Been there twice on cruise vacations. What a wonderful place. Must have been great to stay 6 nights. Have you been to Crete?

    Like

    • Shannon June 27, 2015 at 9:23 am #

      Have not yet been to Crete. We’ll definitely return to the islands at some point and explore more of them. Have you been to Crete? I’ve heard great things about it.

      Like

  4. OyiaBrown June 25, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

  5. OyiaBrown June 25, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Reblogged this on Oyia Brown.

    Like

  6. bookingittravel June 25, 2015 at 12:09 pm #

    Looks amazing! I don’t think bad pictures of Santorini exist.

    Like

  7. Paul Thomas June 25, 2015 at 7:00 pm #

    Santorini Stunning is just the start, we fell in love,3 of us had a few days in 2010. What was a laugh the great big liners arrived early morning but left before the light show of the evening, buildings on the cliff face. A place to return too. Did you walk to the top of the old volcano, we did expect something other than 360 view. Day trip on sailing ship a must. Ride the donkey?

    Like

  8. Jason June 25, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

    Hey Brian & Shannon,

    Sounds like this may be an everywhere (more than) once kind of place?

    👍 👍 👍

    Cheers,

    Jason

    Like

    • Shannon June 27, 2015 at 9:21 am #

      Definitely! Santorini specifically and the Greek islands in general. We made it to only two islands because of some timing issues, but we’ll go back at some point. Have you and Rose been to Greece?

      Like

      • Jason July 2, 2015 at 5:56 am #

        We are European virgins 😉. Sorting our location independent income at present. Its on our list for sure.

        Like

  9. Dave June 26, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    Words cannot express my envy right now!

    Like

  10. anroworld June 26, 2015 at 5:58 am #

    Wonderful post, i liked it!

    Like

  11. digger666 June 26, 2015 at 12:06 pm #

    Reblogged this on digger666.

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  12. Debra Kolkka June 27, 2015 at 6:31 am #

    Lovely…I want to go.

    Like

  13. nrlambert June 27, 2015 at 9:12 am #

    I miss the capers…and the wine…and the sea!

    Like

    • Shannon June 27, 2015 at 9:19 am #

      You were spot on about the capers! I tried to bring back a jar of them for you, but the seal broke during all the moving from place to place and so I had to toss them. There is only one solution: we must plan a return trip to Santorini.

      Like

  14. annamalaig10 June 29, 2015 at 5:04 am #

    Reblogged this on acebook001.

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  15. mkcasey80 June 29, 2015 at 8:40 pm #

    We were there! So beautiful. I love Greece!

    Like

  16. sreedhhar June 30, 2015 at 6:32 am #

    Lovely recollection of the islands and the overall ambience of Greece,lovely would say.

    Like

  17. sreedhhar June 30, 2015 at 6:33 am #

    Reblogged this on southmantra.

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