So, my plan for the weekend was to get a good cup of coffee, sit myself down and write my dissertation as if it were due tomorrow (there aren’t enough heavens to thank that it isn’t). Instead, being unable to resist myself, I started daydreaming about the end of my undergraduate degree and the traveling that I would soon find myself doing.
I started looking up Google for images of the places I wanted to visit to temporarily appease myself and I stumbled upon this little beauty of a list of ‘101 Most Beautiful Places to Visit Before You Die’. I clicked it and burst out laughing at the first item on the list: Santorini.
Now, if you don’t know what or where Santorini is, you’ve obviously not been keeping up with the Kardashians, hahah…ha…ha… Because Kim K went to Santorini and then people started to…man, puns aren’t fun if you explain them. Forget it.
For the benefit of those who don’t know about it, Santorini is a small Greek island off the southern coast of Greece. Upon reaching Santorini, one the FIRST things I noticed was the utter and complete lack of cars! I mean, apart from a few airport taxis and hotel pickup services, you will not see another car on Santorini. Why? Frankly because I think you wouldn’t need it.
Santorini isn’t the biggest island in the world and it’s less well-known compared to islands like Samoa, Hawaii, Bali or Bora-Bora. And I think that’s a real shame. Because it is not lacking at all in terms of travel value. Now, I would again suggest exploring on foot, but you’ll quickly find that apart from the ONE bus station in the town centre of Fira (if it can be called that), you’ll hardly find any other mode of transport. Well, except a few donkeys and quad bikes for rent, anyway.
So upon arrival, I posted this picture below and what followed were a series of ‘I’m so jealous’ and ‘I want to kill you’ comments on Facebook.
Take your time exploring the island. Now unlike Barcelona or Edinburgh, I won’t comment about the architecture or the physical beauty of the island. Simply because the draw of Santorini, the very essence of its culture and the people there can only be felt. Take your time with Santorini. Laze around and you will soon find yourself immersed in the laid back atmosphere of the island. It’s the perfect place to (forgive the cliche) relax and unwind. The ambiance of the island is second to none and honestly I almost forgot that I had to leave!
There is truly much to explore in Santorini: volcanoes, natural pools, beaches…too much to cover in one blog post. But I highly recommend visiting the region known as Oia. It’s a wonderfully beautiful little town on the Island and it houses spectacular views and many hidden gems.
You know, the Greek gods were known to hold lavish feasts on Olympus, filled with the best meat, wine and ahem, other debaucheries which shall not be spoken about in this post. The point is, there are loads of good, traditional Greek dishes to be found on Santorini and
Try your very best to sample as many of them as you can. From Greek salad (what, it was just there) to Greek Feta cheese, to Tzatziki, which is a dip for meat made of yogurt and cucumber, Greek cuisine is a refreshing sensation for the palate, and by Zeus and Hera, there are quite a lot of them! Especially remember to try the variety of grilled meat and fresh seafood in Santorini! You will go all Hades on yourself if you don’t.
One thing I personally recommend is:
Going to the beach. Being an island, there are many beautiful beaches on Santorini. Take the hint, choose one and go relax for half a day or so. Personally, my friends and I went to Perissa, which is the black sand beach. What does that mean? Well, the sand is black. It’s like Apollo the sun god himself decided to lay on the beach. What, too many Greek god references? Maybe some pictures can compensate:
Did I mention how clear the water is?
Also, catch the sunset in Oia. We couldn’t because we had to take a flight in the evening and because it was summer time, the sun was still dancing around in the sky near 7.30 p.m., so that’s one regret I have that probably won’t ever go away. Sigh.
Anyway, in terms of accommodation,
No disrespect meant to the Greek economy, but hotels and accommodation in Santorin (and Greece in general) can be dirt cheap. In fact, Greece is one of the top destinations to travel to on a budget. Santorini is hence a major, major bonus. My friends and I stayed at the Babis Hotel.
I know in Malay it sounds kind of weird, but trust me, it’s a nice place. Friendly owner (it’s a father-and-son business) and it comes equipped with a swimming pool!
I mean just look at it! It is a brilliant place to stay in and it was pretty cheap too! It was about RM30 per person per night! Definitely worth it in my opinion.
Again, I have to say this again, it’s not as easy to describe Santorini’s beauty as it is to experience it first hand. Time seems to move slower there, given the relaxing atmosphere of the island. It is, as I’ve said, the perfect getaway from the bustling busyness of urban life.
Here’s the link to the 101 Most Beautiful Places to Visit Before You Die list, knock yourself out: http://www.youramazingplaces.com/101-most-beautiful-places-you-must-visit-before-you-die-part-1/
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