Headed to Santorini, Greece? Here are 15 things you need to know before traveling here!
1. Book your tickets ASAP
Even if you’re just thinking about traveling to Greece, start looking for flights now.
Average flights flights from the US to the Greek islands can cost you over $1000 per person. Ain’t no one got time for that!
Check ticket prices regularly and be flexible in your vacation dates.
Pro tip: book flights on Travel Tuesday (Tuesday after Black Friday). We scored tickets for ~$400 per person. Phew!
2. Greek is a dreamy language
I had never heard Greek until I visited Greece. And oh my!
I could listen to those Greek men talk for hours!
But don’t worry, pretty much everyone speaks English too!
3. Learn a few Greek Phrases
As in most countries who do not primarily speak English, natives love even your butchered attempt at speaking their language.
Natives are much more likely to help you, give you deals, and are much kinder when you at least attempt their language.
Get on the Google translator app and learn a few basic phrases (I’d list them here for you but the Greek alphabet isn’t the easiest to sight read 😉
4. Stray animals
There are an obscenly large amount of stray dogs and cats in Greece.
They do not seem to bother or hurt anyone, but the sight can put a damper on your luxurious vacation vibes.
They will often beg for food, and tourists will offer them a few bites of their meal. Restaurant owners suggest not to do this, but its hard not to!
Don’t be afraid of them- they will cause you no harm!
5. Greeks are amazing at hospitality
The Greeks strive to offer you the best accommodations they can offer.
Our driver met us at the airport with signs with our names on it (definitely a way to make you feel like royalty!)
It often felt too good to be true, and that maybe we were being scammed. But fear not- The Greeks genuinely want you to have a great time in their country.
Our AirBnB host even packed us a little lunch for the airplane on our last day, and gave us kisses on the cheek before we left! So cute.
6. SO MANY STAIRS
Okay. So this one might be obvious.
But you will definitely get your workout. Like- I suggest practicing on the stair master at the gym before visiting here.
Luckily the views are beautiful so it won’t seem as hard- hopefully 🙂
7. Oia and Thera are quite different
If you are looking for the picturesque version of Santorini- head to Oia (pronounced Eee-ah). Oia is more expensive with luxury shops.
Oia also has little to no vehicle traffic, as it is mostly steps and rocks. Donkeys can take you up all the steps if you need to.
Thera (pronounced Fira) is the capital, and is a more traditional tourist city with more affordable restaurants and shops.
We stayed in Imerovigli which is located between the two. Highly recommended location!
8. Ditch the Google maps
Okay. You might need them at times, but it is not super reliable here.
ESPECIALLY if you are taking the Oia-Thera hike.
The hubs may have gotten us lost on the OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE ISLAND.
Not bitter at all. 😛
9. The BEST sunset of your life
When I heard this I thought what you’re probably thinking.
Its just a sunset, how could it be that different?
Just wait and see folks. All I gotta say.
10. Visit Santo Winery
We literally sat here for at least 4 hours.
SO much wine. SO much food.
Amazing views. What else could you want?
You might have seen online that you can rent four wheelers or other ATVs to get around.
We opted against this as we had some vehicle-related incidents on previous vacations…
Dont fret- there are plenty of cheap busses to take you around the whole island (it only takes about 20 min to get from one side to the other)
And if all else fails, cabs are always around. (no uber, though)
We never felt unsafe during any part of our trip to Santorini. Even walking around at midnight after a few too many drinks- we never felt vulnerable!
13. Plan to stay on the West coast
There are plenty of beautiful beaches on the East side of Santorini.
However, you won’t get the famous sunset views in the Caldera from that side.
Trust me, just stay close to Oia or Thera. You won’t be disappointed.
14. The Mediterranean diet
Okay. So I had planned to hardly eat on this trip, as I don’t like olives or feta or most other traditionally Mediterranean foods.
The cheeses. The oils. The tomatoes. The gyros.
Just wait, you guys. Holy.
If you are planning to eat dinner in Oia- MAKE RESERVATIONS.
like, months in advance.
Some restaurants let you make reservations up to 60-90 days in advance, so do some research and make sure you get a table!