Last June I took my mam on holiday for one week in the luxury holiday location: Santorini. Luckily, I managed to get the holiday on a deal with Thomas Cook and in comparison to backpacking, it was so handy having the transfers, hotel and flights all organised for us. The flight there was short and sweet, as was the 45minute bus to our hotel. It’s definitely worth mentioning however that Santorini airport is an extremely small island airport so things don’t run all too smoothly. For instance, the queuing for flights are actually outside the airport since there’s no room.
We stayed at Villa Eleftheria in Perivolos which was stunning. We arrived at night so our first morning was spent finding the local supermarket and walking down to the beach. I was honestly in awe of how beautiful Perivolos beach was. The entire strip of black sand was filled with continuous tavernas that had luxurious beach beds and restaurants. If you’re wanting a place that feels like a heaven on Earth to just relax in then Pervilios beach is definitely the place in Santorini for you.
In terms of sight seeing there are two main places in Santorini to visit: Fira and Oia. Fira is where you have the view of the volcano and the edge of white buildings that look like little sugar cubes. There’s plenty cafes directly over the view which give you a lovely chance to sit and stare. The price of everything in these cafes is ridiculously high though so technically you do pay for the view (our two smoothies cost €30).
Oia is the location that most people get the infamous Santorini sunset photo. It’s a beautiful area to find tiny paths that lead to stunning views of the buildings staggered on the edge of the island. There are also some stunning blue domed churches in Oia which make for breathtaking photos. Adorable donkeys dressed up walk through the little streets which tourists always love to see. There’s plenty places to sit and relax out of the crowd here as well. We opted for an iced coffee on the rooftop terrace of a small cafe that played classical music amplifying the stunning scenery. To be honest, for a young person wanting a fun holiday this totally isn’t for you, but if you can imagine a small holiday as a present to your mam this was ideal for her.
On a trip into Fira and Oia make sure you’re aware that they are going to be in incredibly overcrowded places in the Greek heat. Whilst they look tranquil in photos, they can be quite stressful places to walk around. Just imagine this: 35 degree celsius heat, in crowded tiny street with lots of stairs, and the smell of donkey poo in the air. Brutal but truthful. This is why I couldn’t recommend day trips into the busier areas by bus and staying at the quiet paradise of Santorini’s southern beaches for the majority of your stay.
Greek food has got to be my favourite part of being in Greece. All the restaurants and tavernas had amazing food and drinks on offer for such a reasonable price. The best part of eating at a taverna on the beach is that buy having your food and drink there you get to have a beach bed for however long you like. Some more fancy places along the beach would charge about €20 per day. The best taverna we went to was without a doubt Terra Nera. Words can’t explain how welcoming and friendly the staff there were. By the end of the week I felt like I’d known them for months; we knew them by name and they would know where we would sit, what time we’d get there and what we’d like to order. On our last day they all waited for us and gave us a hug goodbye- I was so sad to be leaving but will be going back again for sure.