Santorini | Paradise Island
“A bunch of friends decided to take on the Amalfi coast and Greek Islands for the June holiday. This was my first trip to Europe and I could not have asked for a more breathtaking location.”
One of the many ‘different’ things in Greece, is the fact that Quadbikes are allowed on the roads. In Santorini, we finally got the chance to hire one per couple and explored the breathtaking island with an element of rebellious fun.
The destination for photographs is definitely Oia, but remember to arrive at least two hours before sunset, as the sun sets on the other side of the island and you will be able to catch golden hour. For some reason, the stairs weren’t that steep, but it may just have been the magnificent views that kept us distracted. Oia had a lot of slight incline/small steps on one strip that was the main walk way.
While we walked around, and befriended the cats who just wanted some love, we took some typical traveller’s choice of photographs amongst the white buildings. Soon, we were treated to the warm pinks and purples of sunset and we enjoyed dinner at a lookout point, followed by a full moon on the walk back to our Quadbikes.
The following morning (Sunday), I sat outside with the sunrise and was thrilled with the church bells that echoed across the stretch of small family homes around us. Once the boys returned from their sunrise trip, we set off to Amaudi Bay – with the promise of blue waters and a cliff jumping spot.
The water clarity was beyond what we expected, and the following two hours were spent in and under the water with flippers and goggles. We found ourselves spectators as a diving group were taken round the small island the cliff jumping spot was on, and it was fascinating to watch the colourful fish swim around the bay.
We returned to our living quarters (a 500 year old cave-style family home) to change for dinner and set out to catch the sunset in Oia. To our disappointment, we only managed 20mins of sunset, having left too late and got stuck in traffic, as well as separated from our travel partners.
Highlight of this island was that all the pictures you see of Greece became a reality at this destination, with the lookout points that do not disappoint and sunsets that rivalled those of Sea Point, back in Cape Town. Although this was one of the more commercial destinations, we managed to escape most of that by not depending on the bus system or booking a guided tour. With Google Maps and a couple of destinations searched on Instagram – we found some gems.
Next stop: Rome!