This post was contributed by Sophie Jacoba den Hartog.
This summer, after maybe having watched Mamma Mia a “few” too many times, my childhood best friend and I decided we wanted to reunite in Santorini. Neither of us had been before but, after scrolling though endless pictures of tanned, relaxed-looking insta-models who sat in blue sun-dresses on white porches, we had high hopes (thanks Instagram…). Thankfully, we quickly discovered that Santorini really is as picturesque as it’s made out to be online. Even just walking down the street from our hotel to a mini-supermarket, we were surrounded by views and white houses stunning enough for us to start dreaming about meeting three handsome men, buying some property to open up a hotel and live out our days here in the sun. I’m not even kidding… We even spotted an abandoned villa near Fira that would’ve made the perfect Villa Donna “2.0.” As for handsome men… well let’s just say that the beaches aren’t the only nice views Santorini has to offer.
One of our first days exploring brought us to Fira’s old port. We followed long, cobbled steps all the way from Fira down to the water. It wasn’t the easiest walk in our flimsy shoes and the blistering Santorini sun (@instagram, I’m calling you out, you could’ve warned us…), but the view of the ocean and surrounding islands provided the perfect distraction. That… and focusing on not get trampled by herds of donkeys. I found myself screaming and climbing onto walls to avoid the donkeys more times than I’d like to admit. Having successfully avoided death-by-donkey, we finally made it to the port for a delicious lunch and then headed off on a sunset day-cruise.
First up on the sunset-cruise was Nea Kameni, the crater of the volcano that makes up Santorini’s islands. By the time we had hiked to the top of the volcano, we looked like sweaty, tired messes (reason number 100 why I’ll never be an insta-model). Regardless, the view was too spectacular to pass up this photo opportunity. I’d like to take a moment and shout out the wind for messing up my hair in each and every photo… thanks for that.
After tiring ourselves out swimming in the ocean and a hot-spring our boat stopped at the small island of Thirasia for a meal. Other than a few restaurants and one souvenir shop, this island didn’t have too much on offer for tourists. But it was definitely worth visiting just to see all the stray cats and kittens that roam about freely. To be honest, I’d say Santorini is worth visiting solely for the cats (and I’m not even a cat-person).
Every day ended with happy-hour at Tropical Bar in Thira. Here we enjoyed beer after beer and sunset after sunset, hoping we would one day return back to Greece to explore some more of the islands.
Meet Sophie: Just a caffeine-fuelled travel fanatic trying to see as many places as possible, for as little money as possible. Travel pet-peeve: Being convinced I’ll never learn to understand a word of airplane announcements, no matter how hard I try. Keep up with her on IG.
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