Santorini Island, Greece

I went to Santorini in summer 2008, and like Mediterranean places, weather was so unbelievably hot. Lucky me for have been living in Indonesia, tropical country with temperature around 27-33 celcius degrees and high level of humidity. Still I didn’t cope well with the heat, despite the sunblock all over my wet face and body, and so not ready for 36 degrees.. bit better than Athens, I left it at 38 degrees, people.

If you love the beach, love to party, on honeymoon or just feeling romantic, don’t hesitate to fly there, takes only 1 hour from mainland Athens. Or, if you have all the time in the world (and don’t have problem with sea sick), just take the cruise with the ferry also from Athens – for more or less 6-7 hours. Me, just had limited vacation days so I flew with Aegean Air. And due to last minute decision the price already hit the ceiling (around 230 euros roundtrip – while with the same amount of money you can fly to barcelona-ibiza-back to athens again with LCC), so if you plan to go there make sure to book the ticket early!

I bought the santorini book 2 months before from online, official santorini website for 7 euros, to mark the important places to visit and most importantly to map all important beaches, from Kamari to red beach Akrotiri. You can find history, to shopping places and hotels to stay. My friend Caca and I stayed at Fira area (near town centre), named Thira, costs us about 85 euros/night. You can find cheaper lodge or hostels from http://www.hostelworld.com. I never check if there is youth hostel here, just check yourself at http://www.hihostel.com.

Some advantages if you stay in the town centre : near the shops, many restaurants, clubs, and near the main bus stations. Luckily Fira has also some beautiful landslides with small alleys and cafes with some include donkey scenes, but if you want to go to the most picturesque-post card place – stay at Oia where the blue domes and white/pastel houses are residing, and park at Amoudi beach to see sunsets.

To go around Santorini is quite simple. If you’re loaded tourists you can just call cab and prepared to share the room with other tourists (like what happened to us), and it costs you around 25 euros to go from Fira to Oia (the northern part). But if you are just happy traveller like us (a.k.a cheap chaps), just spare some time to see the bus schedule and wait for the bus which only cost you around 1.60 euros to go from one place to others! And if you go with bus, don’t hesitate to ASK, otherwise you can just wander off somewhere not really near your destination. Greek people, not only pretty and handsome, they speak English too,  at least understand touristic English. just scream the name of the place to the conductor, and he will scream back if the bus is about to stop there.:-)

I was told that prices at the island is more expensive than in main island, but turned out really that much after I bought some small souvenirs and ate. Food prices in restaurants ranges from 5-10 euros, so not really much different to ones in Athens, and drinks ( I mean liquor) here also not that expensive compared to other party island like Mykonos or Ibiza (Spain), 1 shot of Vodka is around 8 euros, and beer costs lower. Greece, I think, in overall,  is quite affordable country in Europe, as it states in big slogan “affordable beauty”.

As mentioned above, weather here is dry humid-hot during summer and peaks in August, can hit 38 at midday but windy and chill at night, so always bring your lovely scarf or jacket if you go to see sunsets or hang out at night. Prices also skyrocketing on this season, but all the festivities are there for whole summer – and sun sets perfectly at 9.30 pm, not to mention all the parties you can go to! so pack up and go!

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ps. santorini pictures can be seen at http://narizza.multiply.com/photos/album/56/Santorini_Island

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