For those of you who don’t know, I studied abroad my freshman year of college in Thessaloniki, Greece. This gave me and my friends the perfect opportunity to visit the beautiful Greek island of Santorini for a weekend endeavor (put a pause on schoolwork).
We took a cheap budget airline to the island and stayed at a hostel called Fira Backpackers. Here is my friend Ethan sitting outside as we settled into the hostel.
The island itself is pretty small, making it the perfect location to rent ATV’s 🙂 This was definitely a highlight of our trip and was very convenient for getting us around the island. Not gonna lie it was a little scary driving so close next to treacherous cliffs but it was well-worth it for that thrill of being free and careless.
On saturday morning, our first goal was to hit up the red beach. Apparently the volcanic stones make the sand actually appear red, giving this beach a very unique vibe. When we arrived, we were all astounded by its beauty. The vibrant red cliffs surrounded the beach and the water was such a deep blue color. We hiked around here for a bit but didn’t decide to stay too long as we wanted to see other places on the island.
After this, we stopped for a quick lunch at a cafe on the way to our next stop, a black sand beach called Perissa. The cafe was overlooking the caldera view which was magnificent.
It really felt like the most picturesque place I had ever seen. Everywhere we went intensely exceeded our expectations and left us in awe. I couldn’t wait to see more of this island.
After some rosé and pizza, we departed the cafe and headed off to the black beach. Upon arriving at Perissa, we were heckled by many Greek men to get us to eat/stay at their part of the beach. Being the overwhelmed American tourists we were, we just picked the first place we saw. The Perissa black beach was very pretty and I went for a soothing swim in the warm sea. The whole group of us could just not stop smiling because of how happy we were. We relaxed here for one or two hours, sipped on mojitos, and processed the beauty of the places we had just encountered.
After the beach, we went back to the hostel and refreshed a bit. Later that evening, we went out for a nice dinner with a gorgeous sunset view. Not to mention the wine was fantastic.
Later that night, a big group from the hostel all went out together. It was a super fun crowd and people were from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and even Poland. It was very neat to see how easily people could get along without having known eachother before. We spent the first part of the evening playing soem rowdy drinking games, then went to this white-out party and a few bars within walking distance of our hostel. As you can tell from the picture, the people were very easygoing and fun, and overall it was a very lovely night.
The next morning, we set out to see Oia, probably the most “recognized” view of Santorini with the stacked white cottages with pretty blue accents. We parked our ATV’s and strutted around the area which was super cute, but filled with lots of other tourists. The little shops were selling all kinds of torquoise jewelry and goods, so I naturally bought a pair to bring back home.
My experience in Santorini was surreal. I feel very fortunate to have seen such a beautiful place in this world. On another note, there is definitely a way to make this an affordable vacation, given that Greece has encountered some severe economic problems in recent years. I hope you guys have the chance to visit someday!