Visiting Santorini was high up on my bucket list of travel locations, and I got the chance to do it this past weekend! It was definitely quite the process of getting there, but it was an experience of a lifetime. Being in charge of getting 7 girls to and from a small Greek island definitely tested my travel skills, but after hours of searching for the cheapest and most trustworthy options, I figured it out!
We took a 3 hour bus from Florence to Rome, and then we took an hour long taxi from the bus stop to the airport. Our flight to Santorini finally left at 11:45 pm and we landed at around 3 am. After getting some much needed rest following our long day of traveling, we woke up and made our way from our beautiful Airbnb to Kamari beach. Of course we stopped for some authentic gyros on the way, and then we lounged on the stunning black sand beach for most of the afternoon while we soaked up the sun and the beautiful view. Later that evening, we explored the capital of Fira and had a nice authentic Greek dinner.
The next morning, Emma (one of my roommates) and I watched the sunrise from the patio above our Airbnb. It was wonderful just being at peace in that moment and being able to truly soak in all the beauty that this world has to offer. Of course we went back to sleep right after, but later in the morning we all made our way to Oia to see the classic white walled and blue domed architecture. After a stressful bus ride through narrow roads and high cliffs we made it to the famous city and it was just as breathtaking in person as it is in pictures. We quickly took in the beauty of the city before returning back to Fira for other activities.
The previous night we had booked a boat tour to the active volcano on an adjacent island and to the hot springs on another nearby island. We had to walk from the bus stop in Fira to the port, which could be reached by a long, windy stairway, or by a cable car which we found out about later that evening. We opted to walk down after seeing how sad and poorly treated the donkeys that carried people up and down the cliffs were. The walk was a lot tougher than we thought it would be, though! It's as if the stairs kept winding for ages, but we eventually made it down to the port. After avoiding uneven cobblestone, donkey feces, and actually donkeys themselves, our wobbly legs reached the boat and we made our way to the volcano. We actually took a short hike up to the top of the volcano where we had a great view of the whole island of Santorini as well as other nearby islands!
Then the boat took us to another nearby island where we had the opportunity to dive into the Greek waters and swim to some hot springs. I must say, the hot springs weren't so much hot as they were lukewarm, but nonetheless it was a great experience! After we re-boarded, the tour concluded with a boat ride along the coast of Oia while the sun set. It was such a calming and breathtaking moment; I was honestly at a loss for words. In that moment all I could do was think about how blessed I was to be experiencing all of this. It was truly one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen.
Following the boat ride, we found a cable car that we could use to take us up the cliff instead of climbing those terrible stairs we suffered through earlier. To finish out the evening we grabbed some more Greek food, lounged in Fira for a bit and enjoyed some baklava to finish out our Greek experience. We then headed home to get some sleep before our super early flight at 4 am. We made it back to Rome at around 5 am, and it was my initial plan to watch the sunrise in Rome and explore the city. But, given how exhausting all of our traveling and excursions had been in the past few days, we chose to just sleep in the airport before catching our bus back to Florence later on.
All in all, Santorini has to be one of my favorite places I've visited thus far. It's truly incredible to be able to experience locations that I only dreamed of visiting. It's also inspiring because it only fuels my urge to travel even more! I can't wait to see what location I'll get to check off of my travel bucket list next!
A presto! (Talk to you soon!)