Santorini, You’re Still As Breathtaking As You Were Five Years Ago.

As we were planning my first holiday to Greece five years ago, I begged The Greek Mister (who was then the boyfriend) to include Santorini in our itinerary. Most Greeks who I’ve met aren’t big fans of this very famous island because it’s too commercialized, too expensive, it doesn’t represent the real Greece and the beaches are crap compared to the other islands. I think they hate the fact that it’s too popular when there are other Greek islands out there which are more beautiful and more deserving of the attention Santorini is getting.

Santorini, Greece

I didn’t care, I was ready to travel to Santorini on my own if that’s what I have to do. I will never pass up the chance to go to Santorini which holds the top spot in my bucket list if I’m already in Greece. I’ve been dying to see it ever since I saw a photo of it in a travel magazine so nope, not gonna skip it.

The Greek Mister having realized that I’m not going to change my decision agreed to go with me under one condition, I will not ask him to take one million photos of myself in Santorini. Done deal, although I didn’t really hold my end of the deal once I was there.

Santorini, Greece

But the thing is, even The Greek Mister who expressed his dislike of Santorini so many times was amazed by its beauty. Its breathtaking beauty will make absolutely anyone fall in love with it even the most cynical person. You will never ever see anything like Santorini anywhere else in the world and since then, it held the spot of the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen.

Santorini, Greece

Fast forward to 2016, when I found out that my Aunt from the Philippines is finally coming to visit us in Greece – we changed our whole plan and included Santorini to be a part of our itinerary. She MUST see it! I can’t let her leave Greece without sharing my love for Santorini with her. My well-traveled Aunt on the other hand was a bit cynical as well, “Is it really that beautiful?” she asked. I guess she’ll just have to find out. I believe I was more excited about Santorini than her. Lol.

Santorini, Greece

We arrived Santorini on a Monday afternoon with millions of other passengers. The tiny airport of the island I think needs to do an upgrade as it can’t obviously hold the number of people arriving. As we walked out of the airport, my Aunt asked “Where are the blue houses? I haven’t seen any of them as our plane’s landing.” I laughed as it was my exact same question when I first arrived in Santorini 5 years ago. I told her to be patient as we loaded our suitcases in the tiny trunk of our tiny car rental.

Santorini, Greece

Just like before, we stayed in Finikia area which is just a few minutes away from Oia but with cheaper prices and lesser crowd. Our hotel apartment was called Kiklamino Studios and Apartments which was run by a lovely lady who took good care of us during our whole stay. We rented two apartments and ours had 3 balconies with amazing views.

Santorini, Greece

We didn’t waste any more time and started to explore Oia which is my favorite place in Santorini. My Aunt was immediately impressed by its beauty even if it wasn’t the best part yet. We had lunch at Nocturna which offered a great view of Oia. We alternated to eating and admiring the view from here.

Santorini, Greece

Afterwards, we mistakenly followed the crowd to do one of the most touristic thing you can ever do in Santorini and regretted it right away – viewing the Santorini sunset from Oia. Throngs of tourists were all headed towards the “viewpoint” which should’ve been a warning to us already. We were curious, so we followed them all the way to a tiny area with hundreds of people taking videos and photos of what they claim to be the most beautiful sunset in the world (which I think is a load of bull!). How can you say that it’s the most beautiful sunset if your face is up against someone’s armpit?

Santorini, Greece

We ditched the place and went instead to the peaceful, quiet and empty side of Oia. It was the exact same place that we went to 5 years ago when The Greek Mister and myself also ditched the sunset viewing.

Santorini, Greece

You should definitely do the same if you want to fully enjoy Santorini’s real beauty without having to deal with throngs of tourists around you. We stayed there for 30 minutes just looking out and admiring the elegance of this island. Of course, photos were taken too.

We explored Oia some more through its many alleyways, that’s possibly the best tip I can give anyone who’s bound to visit Santorini. Don’t be lazy, walk and explore each and every alley that you will see. Each turn leads you to a scenic beauty like this view for example.

Santorini, Greece

Mind the donkeys, the second best tip I can give anyone going to Santorini. If you hear someone screaming repeatedly behind you, don’t look back and immediately search for a shop or restaurant that you can go into for a bit. You don’t want to be trampled by a donkey while in Santorini because that’s embarrassing.

Santorini, Greece

After about a thousand photos taken, we went to find The Greek Mister and his mom who were having their drinks in one of the many bars in Oia. They didn’t explore Oia with us and while both of them were also impressed by its beauty, they’d rather have a drink than deal with thousands of people around them which they hate.

We then proceeded to a taverna in Finikia, near the hotel we stayed at 5 years ago. I remember passing by it everytime we’re on our way back to our hotel then and seeing that it’s always full. So this time around, we have decided to try it out as it looked very traditional and not touristic in anyway. We were wrong, so wrong!

One of the reasons why the Greeks hate Santorini is because it’s notoriously known to have businesses not paying their taxes by not giving out receipts to their customers (not that it doesn’t happen anywhere else in Greece but it probably happens much more often here than anywhere else). In fact, just as our plane landed and we’re on our way to the hotel – my mother-in-law mentioned it to us when my Aunt made an assumption that the island must be doing very well, economy-wise.

Santorini, Greece

The taverna that we had dinner at was a fine example, when we asked for the bill – the waiter verbally told us the amount that we should pay. I demanded for the receipt and it was only given to us on my second request. It was a great dinner but the not-giving-out-the-receipt part left a bad taste in my mouth. I would’ve recommended that restaurant but not after that. Third best tip about Santorini, ALWAYS ask for official receipts.

Santorini, Greece

We went back to our hotel with our eyes filled with beautiful images of Oia. That’s not a bad way to start a Santorini trip isn’t it?

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Oia, Santorini, Greece


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  • Mudpie Fridays August 2, 2016 at 13:18

    This is so on our list. It really is stunning and we love Italian food, I have told we will not be disappointed, Your photos are beautiful. One day!! Popping by from #citytripping

  • Rebecca July 27, 2016 at 20:05

    It looks absolutely wonderful! Getting off the beaten track is definitely the way to go in places like that. #citytripping

  • Kit Graham July 27, 2016 at 19:08

    I love Santorini. We went for our honeymoon and I am dying to go back! Love your video too! #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 27, 2016 at 19:51

      Honeymoon in Santorini, sounds lovely!!!! 🙂

  • Elizabeth (Wander Mum) July 27, 2016 at 15:43

    Ok, now you have made me really want to go to Santorini! I was a bit sceptical about how beautiful it could be too but sounds like I will be surprised. I guess there’s a reason why so many people visit! Although going off peak sounds like the way to go! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 27, 2016 at 19:57

      Yes, off peak season is the best time to go. If not for the fact that it’s actually amazingly beautiful, I would hate Santorini because it’s too crowded and I really do hate big crowds. :p

  • Brooke of Passport Couture July 27, 2016 at 07:01

    Interesting to hear your thoughts on such a popular place. I loved the part where you mentioned that a beach sunset can’t be that beautiful if you’re looking at it under someone’s armpit, it’s humorous and absolutely true! Glad you got the chance to see the sunset from another vantage point.

  • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 21:54

    Make it to the top of your to-go list! 🙂

  • Mandy July 26, 2016 at 21:53

    Santorini is definitely on my bucketlist. I’ve heard and seen so much beauty from the people I know who have visited that now I am desperate to visit for myself. I enjoyed reading your account and glad you got to visit for a second time. How wonderful that you were able to show your aunt such beautiful places!

    • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 22:28

      Sharing it with my Aunt is such a beautiful experience! She loved it as much as I did. You should absolutely go there soon. 🙂

  • Cathy (MummyTravels) July 26, 2016 at 21:52

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a bad photo of Santorini, it always looks so stunning – yours are amazing. I can imagine how busy and touristy it gets though, somewhere I’d love to see without the crowds if that’s ever possible! And that’s interesting about the receipts, a useful tip. #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 21:53

      I long for the day that I’d be able to visit Santorini during the off season, without much tourists. I wish I’d be able to do that soon. 🙂

  • Tanja (the Red phone box travels) July 26, 2016 at 16:47

    just gorgeous! who couldn’t like it? It’s on my wish list:) #city tripping

  • Christie July 26, 2016 at 16:27

    Gorgeous photos! This is definitely on my bucket list 🙂 #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 21:54

      It should be on everyone’s bucket list. :p

  • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) July 26, 2016 at 16:12

    Great to read this – and look at your beautiful photos! Not least because I’ll be in Santorini for a few hours in two days. Just a few hours on my way to a quieter, less touristy island but enough time to enjoy a little wander and a good Greek meal in the sunshine! Thanks for the tip about the receipt. #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 21:55

      Few hours? You should definitely make it longer. 🙂 Where are you off to afterwards?

      • Clare (Suitcases and Sandcastles) July 26, 2016 at 22:21

        I’ve been before but we’ve got four hours in Santorini between flight and ferry both on our way in and on our way out. We’re heading to Folegandros for a couple of weeks.

  • Smidge July 26, 2016 at 15:28

    What stunning photos, I’ve got Santorini high up on my list of Greece places, I have been to some many islands but have never made it that far! #citytripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 21:56

      You should make it to Santorini next time you’re in Greece. 🙂

  • Katy July 26, 2016 at 13:32

    I am loving your Santorini posts Noemi. The crowds are awful but it is a different place when the cruise ship passengers return to their vessels. Want to go there now!

  • Mellissa Williams July 26, 2016 at 12:33

    I’ve wanted to go to Santorini for such a long time. It looks simply breathtaking. #citytripping

  • Lolo July 26, 2016 at 10:29

    ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING! I giggled at the agreement you and your husband made about not taking a million and one pictures of yourself in Santorini. I’m sure one day my soon-to-be-hubby will also make such a request. haha #CityTripping

    • Pinay Flying High July 26, 2016 at 21:59

      He hates it! Lol. I also stopped asking him to take photos of me because he’s not a very good photographer. I end up taking photos of him and none of myself. Lol.

  • Thuymi @ July 20, 2016 at 22:36

    Can’t take this anymore, I have to post my Santorini pics too!!! Your pics are amazing and this makes me want to jump on a plane and get there now!

    • Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 11:42

      I want to see your Santorini pics!!! 🙂

  • pinayskattebasse July 19, 2016 at 21:49

    Would still love to be in Santorini second time around! 🙂 And what a nice video! 🙂

    • Pinay Flying High July 20, 2016 at 11:52

      Thank you Angela. Second, third, fourth – I don’t mind. If someone tells me we’re going to Santorini my back is already packed. :p

  • Photo Cache July 19, 2016 at 19:01

    Santorini is classic and classics never go out of style. Want to experience the Santorini charm once more. Enjoy!

    • Pinay Flying High July 20, 2016 at 11:53

      Absolutely true, classics never go out of style. 🙂

  • Nada July 19, 2016 at 12:52

    Your posts never cease to bring a smile to my face 🙂 I laughed out loud at this line: “The Greek Mister having realized that I’m not going to change my decision agreed to go with me under one condition, I will not ask him to take one million photos of myself in Santorini. Done deal, although I didn’t really hold my end of the deal once I was there.”

    I can’t wait to visit this beautiful island with you when I visit Greece. We will definitely explore all the alleys and walk everywhere to find the most instagrammable spots 🙂

    • Pinay Flying High July 19, 2016 at 12:55

      I can’t wait to take you there Nada. 🙂

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    Welcome to my blog! My name is Noemi, a Filipina who caught the travel bug at an early age and has never been cured. I blog about travel, food and my extraordinary mundane life in London with the Greek Mister.

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