I had no expectations for Santorini. I thought I saw too much of it on instagram and I imagined it to be too touristy for my liking. However, I thought I’d probably never get a chance to go there with the family again, so we added this island to our itinerary.
I have to admit I was very wrong about Santorini. Yes, it was touristy, but October was a perfect time to visit. The temperatures were high during the day, evenings not yet cold and tourist numbers manageable. A lot of them would go back to their cruise ships in the evenings, so the island didn’t feel crowded at all.
I honestly didn’t expect to be so positively surprised by the beauty of Santorini. I didn’t expect such impressive panoramic views and those iconic white houses I saw on instagram to be located on extremely steep cliffs, looking like icing on the cake. The day we arrived, it was already quite late, but we made it just in time to watch the sunset. We wandered up through Fira’s tiny winding streets not realising that there was a breathtaking view waiting for us just around the corner. The colours of the sky, little islands nearby and water were changing quickly; there were clouds hanging above parts of Santorini, making some of the tiny white houses disappear. You could feel that sleepy evening silence creeping in and everything sinking into the darkness. Sharing that moment with my family was a beautiful bonding experience.
The next morning we spent swimming and enjoying on one of the black sand beaches. After lunch, we decided to do a little hike from Fira to Oia. That was my absolute favourite thing to do in the island and probably a highlight of the whole holiday. The walk was only about 10km one way, well marked and a pretty easy (as long as you don’t do it in midday heat). I’ll share some photos, however I have to warn you that they don’t give you that sense of freedom and happiness I was feeling while walking on this rugged island.
The views were breathtaking all along the way and I almost had to force myself not to take photos every second step. We stopped a lot just to appreciate the view, so the walk took much longer than expected. I have absolutely no regrets, there is no point in doing this walk if you don’t have enough time to appreciate the surroundings. We made it to Oia just in time for another incredible sunset.
This little town felt much more “spacious” than Fira. I have no idea how to explain it, but it had a sleepier atmosphere, the streets felt a bit wider and the views didn’t seem to disappear in narrow streets.
Even though the walk we did was very popular, it is something I will never forget. Doing it with my family and sharing the excitement, the feeling of freedom, the surprising vistas along the way and seeing their smiley faces it’s what life is all about.
I think you can see as many photos of Santorini as you like, but until you are standing on the cliff there, appreciating the surrounding view, feeling wind and sun in your face and being nearly blinded by the whiteness of the houses, you don’t realise what the island is all about. Perhaps it would had been a very different experience if we visited during the peak season, but I believe that the magic of the place can’t really be hidden even under the crowds of tourists.
My holiday in Greece was over. The joy of it is still alive today.