Arriving alone on a romantic island with nowhere to stay and no departing ferry ticket might sound daunting to some, but it led me to an amazing four days in Santorini. Epitomising the dreamlike vision you conjure up when you think of the Greek Isles,
Santorini is all about white washed walls, steep cliff faces, turquoise roofs and windmills – so many windmills.
What to do in Santorini
On my first full day in Santorini, I took a boat tour to the volcano. We stopped along the way to dive into volcanic springs filled with iron filings, turning both the water and my bikini a deep red colour! The volcano hike is quite easy. The biggest challenge is the sun and heat. However, it was worth it for the knowledge I gained about the island’s volcanic past and the summit’s view.
The following day, I rented ATVs with people from my hostel and we tore off around the island for a day of exploration. The wind in our hair, sun on our cheeks and adrenaline in our veins, we took in panoramic views of the island which are only accessible if you have your own mode of transportation.
ATVs and scooters are reasonably priced because there are so many rental companies on the island, so I cannot recommend enough getting one for at least one day. We stopped off at a secret beach and had some beers before venturing into the famous town of Oia for dinner at a rooftop restaurant.
What to eat
Surprisingly, one of my favourite meals was at a Mexican restaurant called Senor Zorba. Perched high over the Aegean Sea and offering stunning views of Oia, Fira and the volcano’s caldera, Santorini’s famously stunning sunset can be panoramically viewed here. However, I could not come to Greece and not eat Greek food.
found a lovely little rooftop restaurant in the town of Fira where I ate the best souvlaki dinner of my life, which was accompanied by a light red wine and of course finished off with a complimentary shot of ouzo. This was my first time ever hearing of and drinking the infamous Greek liquor and I can assure you, it was the last.
A tip for grabbing cheaper dinner in the towns of Fira or Oia is to pick restaurants further away from the sea view. Euros decrease as the sight of the sea does!
Where to stay in Santorini
There are endless options for accommodation in Santorini, but I always tend to veer toward hostels because as a solo traveller I like to meet as many other likeminded travellers as possible.
However, as I had not booked a place to stay and was winging it, I stayed at Pension George Hotel in the village of Karterados on my first night. It was the most classically Greek looking building I have ever seen – white walls were lined with blue trim and covered in fuchsia pink flowers.
There was even a pool which colour matched that of the clear blue sky overhead. For the remainder of my trip I stayed at Caveland hostel, which is actually built into caves in the island. Once at Caveland, I immediately took to the pool where I met a few friendly solo travellers who offered me a cold beer. This was my kind of place, I knew it immediately.
Santorini is traditionally a couple’s paradise and some people were shocked to see a solo female traveller, but it is easy to meet people once you put yourself out there, and staying at a hostel doesn’t hurt either. It is truly a place where the beautiful photos do not do it justice.