Ships Loaded With Tourists and The Best Dining Experience in Santorini.

July 20, 2016
Ammoudi Bay, Santorini, Greece

Our breakfast was delivered and set-up on our balcony. It was our second day in Santorini and the lady at Kiklaminos Studios and Apartments was taking good care of us since the day we arrived. Croissants, hard-boiled eggs, marble cake and some fruits were offered with orange juice and coffee (which none of my co-travelers liked because it wasn’t strong enough to wake them up).

Kiklaminos Studios, Santorini, Greece -

After breakfast, we went for a drive towards Fira. Fira is the capital of Santorini and is one of the major tourist attractions of the island. From Finikia, the drive took us about 30 minutes to reach Fira and as we arrived in the capital of the island, so did the passengers of 3 huge cruise ships. It was packed!

Fira, Santorini, Greece -

I hated Fira when I first went there 5 years ago and I hated it even more now. Going to Santorini on a peak season, I have already psyched myself up for such a maddening crowd but I guess it wasn’t enough. I hate crowds specially in places like the narrow alleyways of Santorini. I don’t have much patience to deal with it to be honest so I let my Aunts shop around while I joined the Greek Mister and my mother-in-law for coffee and some drinks in a beautiful cafe called Iriana.

Iriana Cafe, Santorini, Greece -

The view from Iriana was breathtaking – with the caldera right in front of us and the cliff with its white houses on our sides. I didn’t mind sitting there for hours as we waited for my Aunts to come back from their shopping spree. Also, they have wifi so that helped a lot. :p

When my Aunts came back, we drove back to our hotel for a siesta and to freshen up. It’s been quite hot for the past few days so we were practically taking a shower at least twice a day during this holiday in Greece. We also bought some sandwiches and pita gyros for lunch as we weren’t planning to go out again until dinner.

Fira, SAntorini, Greece -

At 7pm, we started our drive towards Ammoudi Bay which took us about 10 minutes from our hotel. I remember going there the first time we were in Santorini but we were discouraged to stay as it was packed. It was also packed this time but the dramatic scenery which welcomed us took us by surprise. We all didn’t want to leave. The Greek Mister had to park the car far away from the bay which would require us to climb a steep road afterwards. We didn’t mind, the scenic beauty of this place was totally worth it.

Ammoudi Bay, SAntorini, Greece -

There were a lot of boats in the middle of the sea, they were all guided tours to view the sunset from this side of the island. Tavernas were lined up along the sea and almost everything was packed. We didn’t really anticipate how famous this place is during the time that we chose to be there, dinner time. Lol. We also didn’t realize that if you want a table with an unobstructed view of the sunset, you would need to make a reservations for it.

We were running out of options until we came across a few tables which were just vacated at a taverna called Katina and I think that we were in the right place at the right time. We had the most fabulous meal here and paid a non-touristic price for it. If we passed by it a bit later or earlier then we would’ve missed having the best dining experience we’ve had in Santorini. This needs a separate blog post as I really do want to promote this restaurant for serving the freshest seafood dishes I’ve ever eaten at a very affordable, non-Santorini prices. Taverna Katina in Ammoudi Bay, take a good note of that if you’re headed to Santorini.

After the seafood feast, we went back to Oia to buy a bottle of Vinsanto wine. We had our first taste of this wine on our previous visit in Santorini and we’ve been searching for it everywhere! Vinsanto translates to Holy Wine as it’s the same wine used by priests during an Orthodox church mass. Lucky priests!

Ammoudi Bay, SAntorini, Greece -

We took the wine back to our hotel to celebrate our last night in Santorini. We only had 2 nights to spend in Santorini this time around, a rather shortened version of our 6-night stay the previous time we were here. Two nights are definitely not enough as we haven’t even scratched the surface of this island but as they say, some good things never last. I’m sure I’m returning to Santorini though, I’m very sure of it.

Here’s a short video of our stay in Santorini. I hope it’ll make you pack your bags and fly all the way there. πŸ™‚

Santorini 2016 from Pinay Flying High on Vimeo.

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Fira, Santorini, Greece -

Ammoudi Bay, SAntorini, Greece -

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  • Reply Cristal Dyer July 22, 2016 at 14:19

    Gorgeous pictures and it looks like you had a lovely stay πŸ˜€ Such stunning views as well!

  • Reply Katie from What's Katie Doing? July 22, 2016 at 12:14

    This looks beautiful, you’ve completely stoked my wanderlust to go here, I’m pinning this to my wish list! (although it would be good to miss the cruise ships)
    Katie from What’s Katie Doing? recently posted…Maritime Museum FalmouthMy Profile

  • Reply hannah July 22, 2016 at 11:16

    I also hate crowds and tourists, Amsterdam is full of them all the time!
    But in the end you see, beautiful places it’s up to you then to find some places without other tourists so you can take beautiful pictures!

  • Reply Sally July 22, 2016 at 00:40

    How beautiful is Santorini, I dreamt of the blue and white scenery and it did not disappoint! And not to mention the food!

  • Reply Happy Coconuts Travel Blog July 21, 2016 at 15:10

    Santorini is at the very top of my bucket list…look at that water! We need a new word for blue now. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Khansa July 21, 2016 at 14:48

    Santorini is beautiful and has been always on my bucketlist. Is it crowded all year round though? πŸ™
    Your video really does make me want to pack my bags right about now and fly away.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 19:26

      No it’s not, autumn and winter time is the best time to go there. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Joanna July 21, 2016 at 14:04

    Your photos are so beautiful! I had a similar experience as you with the cruisers, in Dubrovnik. I arrived there at 5 am and loved being just by myself, watching the sunrise on the marble streets, and then have a relaxed coffee outside a tiny coffee shop with only 2 tables. As soon as the cruisers arrived though, the magic of the place disappeared. There wasn’t even space to walk, that’s how crowded it was. I hated it.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 19:26

      Lol. That’s why I am still unsure if cruising is for me because wherever you go, it will be crowded with your fellow cruisers and you only get to stay in a place for a day. It ruins the whole experience I think.

  • Reply Kelly | A Pair of Passports July 21, 2016 at 13:20

    If you have a chance to visit in the off season, I stayed in Fira at the end of April and it was absolutely stunning. Everything was open and ready for the high season, but nobody was there yet. Also, Ammoudi is my favorite place ever – we ate at a taverna called Dimitri’s and I’ll definitely be going back there next time I’m in Santorini!
    Kelly | A Pair of Passports recently posted…The Great British Summer Bucket ListMy Profile

  • Reply Flo July 21, 2016 at 13:17

    Incredible photos and video! I had a different experience from you with regards to Fira, we actually found it much less overwhelming than Oia!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 19:24

      We visited Fira on different times of the day when we were in Santorini the first time and had the same experience. It’s much more crowded at night with the clubs’ and bars’ noise. The magic of Santorini was gone with the music blasting from each of the bars’ speakers. Lol.

  • Reply Sydney Fashion Hunter July 21, 2016 at 12:26

    It’s been many years since I was last in Greece and I loved Santorini. I’m definitely overdue for a visit!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 19:22

      I don’t think I will ever get sick and tired of visiting Santorini. If I have the money for it, I’d go there every year. :p

  • Reply Meg Jerrard July 21, 2016 at 12:05

    I would love to get to Fira, and it does look spectacular, though I’m also very dubious about dealing with mass tourism and ridiculous crowds. Noted on Taverna Katina in Ammoudi Bay if we do go! You took beautiful photos πŸ™‚
    Meg Jerrard recently posted…[WATCH] This 3 Minute Video Will Make You Jump on a Flight to CanadaMy Profile

  • Reply Natasha July 21, 2016 at 11:53

    Wow — looks and sounds absolutely amazing. I also loved the video πŸ™‚ Greece is on my must-see list for sure!!

  • Reply InΓͺs July 21, 2016 at 11:31

    I’ve never been to Santorini but it sure looks like a beautiful place! Maybe I’ll choose to go in the off season though, since I’m also not very good at dealing with crowded places haha πŸ™‚

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 11:39

      Yes, avoid Santorini during summer so you can enjoy it more. :p

  • Reply Nina July 21, 2016 at 10:13

    This post threw me back to the time we went to Santorini for a graduation trip at the end of high school. When we were there all girls were buying amber jewelry, do they still sell that?
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 11:39

      Yes they do! How fun for you to go to Santorini after graduation! So young! Did you have any summer romance ala Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants? Lol.

  • Reply Laura July 21, 2016 at 10:02

    Greece is beautiful, i’ve been a few times but never to Santorini. Id love to go but i never realised it got as busy as you mentioned! I just love your photos though <3

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 11:40

      Oh it’s the most commercialized place in Greece including Mykonos but nevertheless, it’s gorgeous! πŸ™‚

  • Reply Vyjay July 21, 2016 at 08:37

    Santorini is such a lovely place and your pictures have captured the beauty in all its vivid colours. Did you also visit Mykonos?

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 11:41

      No we didn’t go to Mykonos but maybe one of these days we will. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Gina July 21, 2016 at 01:14

    I really loved your video of Santorini! Sometimes photos and words don’t capture the complete essence of it. Like you, I hate enormous crowds and look for the off the beaten path locations where tourists don’t dwell. Santorini is so beautiful.
    Gina recently posted…A Guide to Buddha’s Birthday in South KoreaMy Profile

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

      Thank you Gina, I do hate enormous crowd too! You should avoid it during the peak season. :p

  • Reply Amanda Williams July 20, 2016 at 20:55

    Santorini looks just amazing, with such stunning views and all that wonderful blue (blue sky, blue ocean, blue swimming pools and sun shades). Really picturesque. But I must admit I hate going anywhere to crowded with other tourists, so the cruise ships put me off a bit.

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 21, 2016 at 11:43

      Don’t go to Santorini during summertime, it will really put you off and won’t be able to enjoy it as much. πŸ™‚

  • Reply pinayskattebasse July 20, 2016 at 20:39

    Thank you for this post! Wanna go and visit Santorini again. πŸ™‚ Great photos by the way.

  • Reply Mitzie Mee July 20, 2016 at 20:12

    Mamma Mia! Santorini looks so gorgeous! I wish they would build a fake Santorini down here. How was the holy wine this time?
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  • Reply Photo Cache July 20, 2016 at 18:24

    I arrived in Santorini via one of those cruise ships, most likely that ship that you photographed there. It is my dream to stay there for a few days someday. We went there in late October and the weather and the everything else was perfect.
    Photo Cache recently posted…Skywatching, May 25, 2016 VersionMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 20, 2016 at 19:57

      I can’t imagine only having 1 full day in Santorini which is why taking a cruise was out of the question when we were planning my Aunt’s holiday. You should definitely go back during the lean season, you will have beautiful photos for your skywatching series from there. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Joella (RovingJo) July 20, 2016 at 18:07

    I have been to greece before but never Santorini. WOW!!!! the views are stunning but what made want to jump on a plane right now was the food. The fresh seafood I see in your pictures is simply making me hungry. Hungry for the food and for a visit to Santorini. Thanks for the inspiration. Happy Roving!!!

  • Reply Adonis Villanueva July 20, 2016 at 14:55

    A beautiful place no doubt but then everyone knows it πŸ™‚ The flock of tourist may not be enough to sway me from going there anyways. I’ll just have to do it during the off-season. Great photos and by the looks of it, you had a great time!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 20, 2016 at 19:59

      That’s true Adonis! I was THISCLOSE to screaming my head off while trying to navigate my way through the throngs of tourists. I’m a bit claustrophobic so I was also on the verge of a panic attack at the time. Definitely and absolutely not for people who hates the crowd. Visit during winter time, you’ll have the island to yourself. πŸ™‚

  • Reply Katy July 20, 2016 at 12:38

    Santorini is ridiculously beautiful isn’t it. Loved your video Noemi. Makes me want to jump on a plane right now! The downside to being so beautiful is that everyone wants to experience it. I could not handle the cruise ship crowds either and retreated to the pool when I visited there for a friend’s wedding which, as you can image, was amazing!
    Katy recently posted…A day out on the trail of Jane AustenMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High July 20, 2016 at 12:48

      Ohhh Katy! I wanted to have a Santorini wedding too but The Greek Mister hated the idea because it’s too commercialized. It won’t be an intimate wedding that we both wanted because it’ll be just for show (according to him). I’m still crossing my fingers that we’ll be able to renew our vows there someday. :p

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