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Savoring a Weekend in Santorini

by AIFS Study Abroad

Greece: the epicenter of mythological epics and historical tales of both tragedy and triumph. Greece: a country full of astounding beauty and life-changing yogurt. Greece: potentially my favorite country that I have visited thus far while studying abroad (besides, of course, Italy — because Italy trumps all).

I truly wish to have had the opportunity to explore several Greek cities, but I found my time limited, so my friends and I chose to spend a weekend on the striking island of Santorini. Surrounded by the Aegean Sea, it was as if Poseidon himself had graciously filled the vibrantly blue waters with his godly powers. It was, dare I say, magical? There are countless adventures for the avid traveler on this incredible island, but I will outline a few I found most memorable and exciting as potential future tips for you!

First off, I would recommend renting some sort of motorized vehicle to optimize your precious time on the island! With an ATV or scooter, you can maneuver to most places within a half hour. No matter your destination, you will stumble across something phenomenal! Like absolutely stunning views, cute Greek neighborhoods, or random donkeys.

No matter your mode of transportation, find your way to the various beaches Santorini has to offer. Perivolos, a black sand beach, stretches for miles and offers countless relaxing or adventurous activities! My friend and I found ourselves eating Greek salads and yogurt on beach chairs with a view many can only dream of. It’s also a prime spot to take a nap. Following, we made the spontaneous decision to go parasailing behind a slightly sketchy boat (100% worth it, by the way — we are still here to tell the tale). To top it off, we met the most adorable dog who followed us around. We named him Scout. After Perivolos, we had ice cream and, as it melted all over us, made our way to the next beach: Kamari.

Kamari is a must-see. It was absolutely lit — lit in the sense that it was SO cool! When we arrived, we quickly noticed the beach inhabitants were almost all Greeks. It was a very authentic experience! As we placed our towels upon the black pebbles which the entire beach is comprised of, we heard shouts of excitement. Little did I know, these shouts would lead to the crossing off of a bucket list item. We directed our gazes toward the excitement to find people launching themselves off a cliff and plunging into the Aegean Sea. Naturally, my friend and I immediately gathered our things and joined. There were various levels, and while we stuck to the thirty-foot jump, many of the experienced Greeks swan dove from around one-hundred feet. I don’t know for sure, but I think they were actually the offspring of Poseidon. It is the only plausible explanation for their innate ability to trust the water to break their fall.

A Greek gyro and jaw-dropping sunset later, we went to bed. I have never slept so sound.

What awaited us the next day was another lovely excursion. If you enjoy boats, are okay with crowded areas and enjoy cool things, look into taking a boat trip. The one we chose took us to a volcano, hot spring and a small island. It was absolutely fantastic! Many people had the same idea, so the boat was a bit crowded, but we had the opportunity to venture off on our own at each destination. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to spend my day in Greece.

So have I convinced you to make the magical trip with the adventures I explained? Just warning you, you may never want to leave. We fit all that into two days, so imagine what you could do with even more time!

Long story short: Santorini. A must-see place.

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