10 Ways to Fall in LOVE with Santorini (with Alexandra!)

10 Ways to Fall in LOVE with Santorini (with Alexandra!)

Hey y’all! I’m Alexandra from Team Starnes and I write a travel and lifestyle blog that documents my crazy expat adventures and life abroad with my husband. Currently, we live in London, but all that’s about to change as we are scheduled to move to Scotland later this year. Follow along on our adventures as we travel around Europe, navigate our marriage, all while continuing to build ourselves a life in the UK. For more information, feel free to check out my About Me page. Cheers! Alright, enough about me— Let’s get down to business!

We all know that Santorini is a beautiful place, but for the more adventurous traveler, let’s pump up the volume! Shall we?

1| Hike to Oia

Do yourself a favor and set your alarm for 8:00 AM. The 2+ hour long hike from Imerovigli (or longer from Fira) will produce some of the best views of the island, plus you’ll beat the blistering midday sun. The best part about this hike is: you’ll burn some calories and by the time you get there, it’s lunchtime! Lunch in one of the most picturesque areas in Santorini, you say?  Talk about a reward for your hard effort! Note: Don’t forget your athletic shoes! You’ll be able to navigate the rocky terrain better and move faster!
2| Watch the Sunset

Adventurous or not, the Santorini sunsets are some of the most iconic in the world, so don’t hesitate to use your elbows or wrestle for that perfect spot—that’s where you’re going to get the best photographs!  The best sunset spot is widely disputed, but after watching the sunset in Fira, Imerovigli, and Oia, I can say that Oia definitely makes the biggest spectacle of it. Only in Oia did the crowds standup and applaud as the sun set into the ocean.
3| Go Cliff Jumping

A photo posted by Alexandra C. Starnes (@teamstarnes) on

Cliff jumping was BY FAR the most exciting thing we did, and let me tell you, I caught the adrenaline bug BIG TIME! If you’re interested in cliff jumping, you can find areas on the rocks in between Perissa Beach and Kamari Beach and there is also a platform at Amoudi Bay in Oia.

4| Eat Fresh Seafood

Since I’m a finicky seafood eater, this was adventurous for me, but still, I could NOT get enough of the fresh mussels and calamari!
5| Trek an Active Volcano

Well, I couldn’t say that I had trekked an active volcano, but now I can. Honestly, in many ways there wasn’t a ton to see—but that’s the interesting thing about it. The lack of life reminds you that this is an active volcano, and it wasn’t so long ago that it blew it’s top. The computers and sensors you will see are a stark reminder of what may still be to come. Adventurous? I think so!

6| Take a Boat Excursion

There are so many options for boat excursions—volcano tour, warm springs tour, romantic sunset tour, etc… Some are adventurous, and some are not so adventurous. Regardless, make sure to get a sea-level view of the Great Island that is Thera.
7| Rent an ATV

Being adventurous means exploring off the beaten path. Renting an ATV opened up the entire island to James and me. The island isn’t big, so we were able to zip around and cover a lot of land in a small amount of time. The best part was coming across a hidden gem or a secluded beach that only we were able to enjoy! Scooters and cars are also available.
8| Admire the Geology

Okay, so it’s not thattt adventurous, but hear me out! The beauty of Santorini will have you gazing in all directions, but take a few minutes to look down at your feet. The island has over 50 geologic formations—or so I’ve been told—and you don’t have to be a scientist to notice the differences. Volcanic boulders, sheer cliffs, fertile plains, and a variety of beach, it’s certainly not something you come across every day!
9| Relax on the Beach

A photo posted by Alexandra C. Starnes (@teamstarnes) on

This is self explanatory, no?  Even the most adventurous travelers need some down time, so grab your swimsuit and head to the beach. Most of the restaurants have chair and umbrellas rentals—or you can get them for free if you’re ordering from their bar—so enjoy a cocktail and relax.

For a lively experience, check out Perissa Beach, Kamari Beach, Red Beach or Perivolos Beach. For a more low-key experience, head up north towards Oia, to Koloumbos Beach, Ammoudi Beach or Katharos Beach.
10| Sunbathe Topless

Because—why not? You’re adventurous and in you’re Greece! Do as the Grecians do!
Granted, the majority of people were in full swimsuits, but everyone was very respectful, and honestly, people just don’t notice. Topless sunbathing is totally normal in Greece, but if you’re too shy to do it in public, there are plenty of empty and unorganized beaches for more privacy. Like I said, hop on that ATV and find a secluded spot just for you!