Every inch in Santorini is so beautiful. ❤️ It is a very sweet and romantic destination, as live up to its reputation. I had some unforgettable memories here, such as fulfilling one of my dreams by seeing the most beautiful sunrise and sunset with someone special.
When I think about Santorini, I always imagine the white and blue characteristic buildings built on top of the cliff site. But Santorini has more than that. It has one of the best spots for sunrise and sunset / beautiful beaches / lovely restaurants / relaxing atmosphere and much more.
The transportation in Santorini seems a bit confusing at first, but it is not. First, ask the hotel’s staff if they can arrange any transportation, otherwise just take the public transportation (bus) which is the cheapest option and is fairly easy for first-time visitors. Taking a taxi is also not a bad idea – especially if you missed the last bus.
Our arrival in Santorini was not easy. We took a night flight and reached Santorini in the midnight. Since it was late, I suggested that it would be safer to walk to the hotel. Later I realised that it was a terrible decision.
We walked for 3.5km with heavy luggage. The road was very quiet and dark as it has very little street light. It seems the wild dogs will come out from nowhere and bite us at any time, or a robber armed with a knife will attack us on the way.
Finally, we reached the hotel after an hour walk. But oh my god, the hotel was closed! There was no one here, not even one person. We were panicked, so I called the hotel (Imperial Med Hotel). The staff said “oh, the hotel is closed because it is winter season, we have another arrangement for you’.
Then, they sent us a cab to the hotel at another location. In hindsight, I should have called them once we reached the airport (instead of walking 3.5km in vain), but for some reasons, it didn’t come across my mind at that time. Luckily the hotel’s staff picked up my phone at 1 am. So the lesson is: very important to book a hotel with 24-hour reception if you are arriving late!
On the next day, they changed our hotel to the different location again. At first, we were a bit pissed off because they rearranged our hotel twice without any notice, but we were surprised when we checked-in at Mediterranean Beach Palace Hotel. It was the most beautiful hotel that I have ever stayed, far better than we expected.
Later we discover that it is common in Santorini that they swap the hotels during the different season. But well, at least they should inform us! I will just summarise our experience in a sentence: very bad communications but it is an extraordinary hotel. So we had nothing to complain and I will show some photos later. 🙂
The most beautiful sunrise in our life
I was very tired since we arrived at the hotel late yesterday. Ben was still having jet lag and woke up very early. At about 7am+, he asked me to wake up to see the sunrise from the balcony of our hotel’s room.
I was a bit grumpy and told him “I want to sleep.”
“You will miss this!”. He said.
And then I woke up, very unwillingly and reluctantly. But I was surprised in the next minute.
This is the most beautiful sunrise that we have ever seen in our life. Trust me, it looks much more stunning in real life.
A selfie photo of us with the sunrise… Look at Ben’s shirt 😡
Since our hotel was relocated again on the next day, we had a different sunrise view. This time we set our alarm on purpose.
Such a beautiful sunrise… It was very romantic to sit on the balcony and looking at the beautiful sunrise, just us two-person.
‘Romantic’ Sunset in Oia
Seeing the sunset in Oia (pronounced as Ia) is one of the top things to do in Santorini. In fact, there are many online tutorials teaching you how to find the best sunset spot here. It is true that Oia has a gorgeous view of the sunset.
I thought it would be romantic, but honestly, it was not a comfortable experience. Oia is seriously overcrowded when it comes to sunset. Almost everyone travelling in Santorini wants to see the sunset in Oia.
We reached an hour before the sunset, and even then most of the spots were already occupied. When we finally found a spot, some people came later and stood in front of us (which was a house) blocking our view. I think it was very inappropriate to climb over other people’s house. Also, some people were taking photos in a dangerous position such as standing on the curved roof.
It is still a good experience, but once is enough. I prefer going to the more isolated places, such as seeing the sunrise from the balcony of our hotel without anyone else.
Exploring Oia: Postcard Photos
Oia isn’t just about seeing the sunset. Remember those postcard photos of the white and blue buildings in Santorini? While these buildings appear everywhere in Santorini, I realised that most of the postcard and magazine photos are taken in Oia.
By the way, Ben and I always thought that the white and blue buildings are the specific landmark in Santorini, but this is not true. We can see them everywhere in Santorini, especially in Oia. The blue buildings are the churches.
Such a lovely architecture with a great combination of colour.
Fira: many shops and restaurants
Fira is the main town of Santorini. If you prefer to stay in an area where you don’t have to worry about food & transportation, here it is. Fira is a lively place with good nightlife. Many people prefer to stay in Fira for these reasons (other popular choices are Oia and Imerovigli).
We had gyros and souvlaki (again) in Fira. And then, we had the ice cream as our desserts at Haagen Dazs in Fira. Really relaxing.
Fira is charming and beautiful. I heard that Fira is a less-crowded place to see sunset yet having an amazing view too. Perhaps we should try it out next time.
Mario Taverna Restaurant
Mario Taverna Restaurant is a wonderful beach facing restaurant close to the airport and our hotel (less than 6km). It is recommended by Tripadvisor due to its very good location and excellent food.
We ordered a mixed platter. The restaurant is famous for seafood, but we were craving for the mixed meat. And of course, a bottle of white wine.
Although I was a bit tempted to sit outside of the restaurant, the weather was too hot. If you want to have a window seat, please call and reserve a seat in advance because this restaurant is quite popular.
Our stay at Mediterranean Beach Palace Hotel
Originally Ben wanted to join cruise tour, but in the end, we decided to spend more time in our hotel (more like a resort actually). Our hotel was so good that I don’t mind just spending a whole day here.
We had complimentary breakfasts in the hotel. Having meals in such a beautiful place is an amazing experience in life.
It is undoubtedly a very beautiful hotel. The two photos below are taken with my phone (not a camera) without any edit at all.
A small story: We went to the swimming pool and saw a topless woman tanning under the sun. Her boobs are so big that I couldn’t take my eyes off her, I was sure Ben felt the same. We named her ‘magnificent’. When her boyfriend suddenly stood up, Ben was so scared that her boyfriend was going after him…
The restaurant was good too. We ordered the fruit for €7.50. Given everything in Santorini is expensive, I think the price was not too bad. Of course, along with the very good view.
I wonder what Ben did when I was away…! 😡
I don’t know what is special about this pineapple tree but I quite like this photo.
I really love the dress that Ben bought for me in Athens. Besides, almost every female loves taking photos. So Ben took many photos for me on the Kamari beach in front of our hotel…
His feet were painful; obviously, the sand in Santorini is not soft. I felt a bit guilty and happy.
No wonder Santorini is a honeymoon destination
Santorini is a paradise and perfect for honeymoon.
Of course Ben and I were not on honeymoon. But it will be challenging to find a destination better than Santorini for a honeymoon.
We had a really great time in Santorini. Even our terrible story arriving in Santorini sounds funny to me now and makes us an unforgettable experience. Perhaps, travelling with a thankful heart is almost as important as visiting the most beautiful destination in the world.