TOP 10 REASONS YOU SHOULD GET YOUR ASS HERE NOW
1. It’s breathtakingly amazingly gorgeous!
If God created Heaven on Earth, this is what I’d expect it to look like. The most stunning vista of all has to be without a doubt the Caldera. A stretch of about 12kms across the western side of the island looking out onto the volcano “Palia Kameni”. It’s explosive eruption in ancient times helped form the majestic cliff faces which are colored in earthy tones of red, brown and black. They meet the shores of the sea, deep greens and blue in its mediterranean glory which coupled with the brilliant array of pink, orange and purple hues from sunset create the the most magical explosion of nature I have ever seen. But that’s not all, even in Winter when the bright green grass has started to sprout around the island, imagery and scenes from “Lord of the Rings” spring to mind. Lesser known beautiful places to see here include hidden parts of Akrotiri, and the beautiful beachside in Karterados where you will see wind lashed stone fronts on the shore – which I swear look like faces! There are plenty of nature walks to do here as well including climbing Skaros (not recommended in Ugg boots!) It’s a great place for photographers.
2. The Nightlife.
Coming from a seasoned professional ‘party animal’ the atmosphere here in Santorini is quite like no other. It has the excited vibrant energy of any good party but also mixed with a sense of friendliness and openness. I enjoy partying here the most as there is a lack of pretentiousness and everyone is here for a good time. (I haven’t heard of any coward punches, well…ever!) Also, this ISN’T just an island for romantic couples as most people think (although it caters to that too). There is definitely a scene here for young, single, wild and free boys and girls searching for an exuberant fun party atmosphere – which is every night in the Summer Season (May – Sept) . Contiki and Busabout offer weekly tour packages in Summer and those guys know how to party! My favorite places would be The Highlander Bar for commercial top 40 and a crazy night out, Enigma for some chilled house tunes and Mamounia to get your Greek on!
3. The Food.
Greeks love to feed you and they feed you well! Santorini has a plethora of good food and places to eat. Even if you’re on a budget – a 2 euro souvlaki made with fresh locally produced ingredients is definitely a favorite meal of mine to grab. Santorini (as well as the rest of Greece) has an abundance of bakery’s (fournos). THE Bakery to visit after a big night out (see point 2) at 4am would be Svoronos Bakery – ask the local baker for a mpougatsa! A custard filled pastry made to perfection – he knows when he sees me at that time exactly what I’m after. (mpougatsa addicts anonymous) If you have the transport also aim to get to the bakery in Karterados and order the chocolate cake. Omg. It changed my life! For other meals I also enjoy the fresh seafood selection available in Santorini, alongside traditional Santorinian dishes such as Fava, tomato balls and various salads. My favorite is Aegialos in Exo Gialos on the eastern side of the island. You can even eat seaside on a boat!
4. Red Bull Art of Motion.
If you’re visiting in September you might be lucky enough to watch fit, healthy (sometimes sexy) athletes from all over the world compete in a free running and parkour competition. I’ve seen the event 2 years running (haaa get it?!) now and I love the energy and excitement it brings with it to the island. It’s also great to watch and appreciate world class athletes doing what they love to do. It’s inspiring and quite often you go home watching everyone trying out their own parkour moves in the streets of Fira!
5. The Beaches.
I love to tan. (I know its unhealthy but what girl doesn’t?!) The beaches in Santorini have something for everyone. If you want to relax and chill out there are plenty of stunning beaches with restaurants on their shores down the end of Perissa. Tranquilo is one of my favorite, they serve the biggest salads which are tasty and at a great price! If you’re looking for something a little more lively – there are all the beach bars in Perivolos. Think Mykonos but maybe not as crazy, but still vibrant enough to give that chilled I’m-sipping-on-a-cocktail-listening-to-house-beats feeling. Although sometimes the beach bars do host special events e.g. David Morales and things can get a little loco. I regularly visit JoJos Beach Bar or Chilli. There are little to no waves (or sharks!) and the water gets warmer mid summer. For families and couples I would recommend Kamari beach as there are plenty of shops and restaurants to entertain you for a full day.
6. The Tourists.
In the summer season of 2013, approx. 1.9 million tourists visited the island of Santorini. That’s a hell of a lot of people to meet! Quite often I went out on my own – yes on my own and I was delighted to meet some of the best people I’ve ever met on this planet. Most tourists are very friendly and open, enjoying themselves and having a good time. I now have a network of friends from all over the globe and I met them here in Santorini. Often we only had 2-3 days from the time we met to the time we had to say goodbye, but it didn’t really matter – it made all for enjoying the moments!
7. The Locals.
Never before in my life have I had the pleasure of interacting with such a kind, giving and friendly community. Living in Sydney most of my life – I only just knew the names of my neighbours next door. After living here in Santorini for a little over 8 months now I can walk down the street and am most often greeted with a friendly Kalimera! (good morning) or Kalispera! (good afternoon – I get that one most of the time because Im never out of bed before 12pm!) I really love and appreciate the community vibe here. It’s nice to see people helping one another.
8. Fall in Love .
See points 6 +7 – you never know!
9. The Space you can Create here.
Although I’ve listed a great deal of things to do and see, this is also a place where you can create space for yourself to just be. As in do no-thing, all encapsulated in this place which is infinitely beautiful. Take a walk, stop thinking, find a remote part of the island where there are no tourists (they do exist) and just be yourself. It’s very refreshing.
10. The Energy.
I don’t know what it is about this place but I am drawn to it like a moth to a flame. Santorini’s energy is incredible. I think its a mix of everything included in this list, or maybe emissions from the volcano, or its assumed historical ties to the site of Atlantis – whatever it is I love it and I keep coming back for more. It excites me and fills me with passion, a sense of awe and appreciation. It’s been a very healing place for me but also a place I reconnected with myself. Come see and feel it for yourself! (Buyer beware,this energy has the potential to intensify everything you’re feeling! So be super happy when you come!)
10a. The Art & History.
Santorini is literally littered with ancient sites and interesting museums dating back thousands of years. You can immerse yourself in a world beyond ours and travel back in time to a land of pithos jars, priestess chambers and advanced plumbing systems. My favorite is the archaeological site in Akrotiri.
11. (Ok I went over) The Lifestyle.
Sit down, have a smoke and a coffee. Be in this moment. Relax. Endaxi!