In Santorini, Oia is paradise on earth. That is – if your idea of paradise is filled with white-washed houses with blue domes, sitting on a cliff that traverses down to the blue waters of the Aegean Sea.
You have probably seen Santorini already, I’m sure.
Its white-washed houses with a spectacular sunset in the background have graced in countless postcards, books, photography websites, calendars, blogs, posters, promotional materials, and romantic wedding albums.
The volcanic island’s capital is Fira, but the postcard-perfect place not to miss is Oia. It’s on the edge of the island but it’s accessible by buses.
Oia was really crowded when we were there last summer and you’ve got to find a spot where you can admire the scenery without the horde of tourists disturbing your peace.
Good luck taking a photo without the crowd in the background. 😀
Another way to avoid the crowd is to go before the tour buses drop off the visitors.
Strolling around before 9 in the morning is the best time to get to know the place without sharing the narrow streets and alleys with humans and their selfie sticks. 🙂
The island of Santorini will never ever fail to charm you.
You’ll fall in love with it, the moment you step on the island.
Well, I do agree with that. Imagine yourself and your lover enjoying a bottle of champagne on an outdoor restaurant hanging on a cliff, facing the golden sun that sets in the Aegean Sea.
It’s a romance like no other.
It’s no wonder that Santorini is marketed as a romantic destination for wedding and honeymoon getaways.
But beware, Santorini isn’t cheap in the summer. The island isn’t friendly to budget travelers.
I’ve scoured the internet on information on how to save in Santorini but if you follow the suggestions, your experience on the island can be very limited. But, of course, it all depends on how low your budget is.
Though it’s easy to get around the island, it takes time to reach places by bus which comes every 10-15 minutes (depends on what time of the day). All buses start and end in Fira – which means that it can be expensive if you are staying in Perissa – just like we did. So, from Perissa to Fira, we paid 2.50 euros each. Then Fira to Oia is another 2.50 euros. It took us 50-60 minutes from Perissa to Oia, not because it’s far (only 25 kilometers) but because it stopped a lot. Yes, they’ve got few taxis, but you really have to be a lucky, rich man if you want to get one! 😀
In the summer, there are multiple ferry services from Athens to Santorini. Instead of a 6-hour trip, our ferry took almost 8 hours, with one short stop in Mykonos. Take a flight if you travel in luxury. 😉 Though Santorini’s airport is small, there are a couple of international flights that go there daily.
They have two hostels there but they’re located far from Fira and Oia – where you’ll see those well-known white houses that captivated your senses. We stayed at Santa Irini Hotel in Perissa, 5 minutes walk to the Black Beach. The hotel has its own swimming pool surrounded by red bougainvilleas. I’d definitely recommend this boutique hotel because of its kind staff, close proximity to the bus stop, grocery stores, and restaurants. And they’re gay-friendly, too!
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