Best Holiday Destination: Santorini

From its white houses and blue domes to its clear blue skies and amazing beaches, Santorini is indeed a perfect holiday destination for everyone. Best for couples for a romantic getaway, family and friends or solo-travellers who loves to see beautiful landscapes. With its picturesque scenery, you’ll definitely have to include this island in Greece on you travel bucket lists. And so, we are here to tell you travel tips and things to do in to make Santorini one of your best holidays.

Booking a Cheap Flight

Getting a cheap flight is one of the crucial part of travelling. Luckily, Michael has been part of the Jack’s Flight Club where  he was able to get the return direct flight from Newcastle(U.K) to Santorini for only £70 via Thomas Cook. However, since we were planning to go to Italy after Santorini, we just paid £35 for a one-way ticket which usually costs like £200 – £500. So we really saved a lot.

Best Month To Visit Santorini

Many travellers advised that the best time to visit Santorini will be April to November as this is the part of the year when the weather is nice and warm with a very little chance of rain. However, we have to remember that June or July is the hottest month in Santorini where temperature can get up to more than 30 degrees Celsius and the also the peak season for tourists as this is their summer season.

We went to Santorini in mid-September and the weather is beautiful! Bright and sunny days with temperature from 19 to 26 degrees celsius. We didn’t experience rainfall until the last day of our stay (where we were heading to the airport), so it didn’t really bother us. However, if hiking is one of the things you are planning to do (which I would say a must) in Santorini, I would advise to better avoid the summer as it will be really hot!

The view from Hotel Atlanta. Wouldn’t you be excited to hike this place if you get to see more of this?

Where to Stay in Santorini

We chose to stay our 4-nights in Karterados which is near the Main Street. We are near the bus stops, shops, and easy access to anywhere we want to go in Santorini as it is in the centre. We paid £90 per night for a double room which is quite a good price as we just booked it a month before our planned travel.

One thing about Santorini is that hotels can be expensive depending on the place and month you are staying. Usually the best hotels or apartments that are located in Oia, which gives you the most beautiful sunset view, are the most expensive ones. It can go from £200- £800 per night. Although, you’ll be able to find a really good but affordable hotels, studios, apartment or Air bnb if you plan and book it two or three months earlier. Remember that hotels with beautiful views, even though it is expensive, can get full easily especially on peak season so you better book and plan your holiday ahead of time.

Why Hiking in Santorini is a Must

We planned to hike from Thira to Oia on our first day in Santorini. Our hotel is not really very far from the place where we should start the hike which is in the Hotel Atlanta. Just starting from this point, you will already have a beautiful view of the island which made both of us mesmerised.

They said that trail may take 4-6 hours. But we chose to chill and enjoy the view as long as we will reach Oia before sunset. Anyway, we had the whole day ahead for us to see everything.

There are two ways you can go for hiking. First, you could go to Oia in a very early morning and witness the sunrise then hike all the way to the Thira. Or you can do what we did, where you can hike from Thira then witness the popular sunset view in Oia. The question is which one you prefer: Sunrise or Sunset?

The main thing of this hike is you’ll see the beautiful Caldera. You’ll also enjoy the shops that you’ll pass by as you walk along. There also plenty of restaurants to try which gives you a romantic and amazing view while enjoying your greek cuisines!

Us in the beautiful Caldera.

Greek Cuisines usually involve pasta, salads, fish, meats, cheese, lemons, olives and herbs. Prices are not too expensive and are reasonable. Like in this restaurant we dined in, we only paid around €30 for 2 cuisines and drinks. A good price for having this romantic view and really good food. This is one of best dinners we had and one that we always remember.

We’re lucky that there’s not many people dining in that time and were able to get a good seat with a beautiful view.

The Most Beautiful Sunset in Oia. I never fell in love with a sunset until we saw this one in Oia. To see this most famous sunset in the world is definitely a bucket list. After almost 7 hours of hiking, we were able to reach Oia just before sunset. We went to the castle area which is the popular spot which is usually very busy but you’ll only be able to see the sunset over the ocean here. We decided to go to the other side of Oia where the shot below was taken. This is a much better spot with less people and you get to see the sunset over the village lighting up the white houses.

The sunset looks so unreal in person and will make you love and appreciate the beauty of Greece. This is definitely worth the hike.

Aside from this amazing sunset view, Oia is also a georgous little village, with its churches and castle. You can also enjoy shopping and dining in restaurants around. This is also where you can find the Blue domes for which Santorini is popular.

As we finally arrive in Oia after hiking for seven hours.

Transport going back from Oia to Thira/Fira can be quite difficult at this time after sunset. Remember that this is a major tourist destination here in Santorini. Taxi will be very difficult to find. Bus is the only transport available and you have to be prepared for a very long queue, waiting time and possibility of you standing inside the bus. The journey is 30 minutes and fare is only €2 per person. Getting a private transport from your hotel can be the easiest way possible for you to get home. Many hotels offer this in Santorini as they know that transport is usually a problem although this can be quite expensive. Like in our experience, we paid around €40 going back to our hotel from Oia.

Santorini Boat Trip

On our second day, we decided to go for a boat tour to explore the other islands in Santorini. We booked our bout tour via which costs us around £60 for the ‘Volcanic Island Cruise’. There are various kinds of trips and tours available online so you can choose easily whatever you like and suits your budget.

One good thing about this tour is that we get round trip transfer from our hotel place so it is definitely hassle free. The coach will then take you to the boat which will let you see more of the beauty of Thira while on a cruise. First stop is the Nea Kameni Island which is known for its volcanic origin. From here, you’ll be hiking until you reach the top and get near to the volcanic crater.

Make sure to wear your comfortable shoes suitable for hiking as climbing Nea Kameni is really rocky and can be steep. You definitely want to enjoy and feel safe while hiking this beautiful place.

From the top, you’ll enjoy the beauty of Caldera whilst learning more from the tour guides about the historical beauty of Santorini which makes this tour a really must to do in Santorini.

While hiking to the top of the volcano with other people from different boat tours.
Amazing view from the top of the volcano.

After this, you’ll head back to the boat and it will take you to the hot springs which you’ll be able to enjoy as you swim into the warm water. This part of the tour is really relaxing . However, if you don’t know how to swim or not confident about it, better to stay in the boat and just enjoy watching as the water is really deep.

After the fun and relaxing hot spring, the tour will then take you to Thirasia for lunch. Another beautiful island in Santorini which has various cool restaurants along the resort. If you love seafoods(like us), you’ll definitely like this place cause the food is great and fresh. You’ll be able to enjoy having a meal while enjoying the breathtaking view of this island. You can also go up the mountainside to the higher elevation which has more restaurants than at the bottom and a better view.

Restaurants in Thirasia.

View of the Thirasia Island while on the boat.

The last bit of the trip will then take you to the Oia. This involves another climbing of stairs more than 200 steps! There is an option for you to pay and get a donkey halfway of the climb which costs £5. However, we chose to just climb instead of getting a ride from a donkey as it looks really cruel and sad seeing the donkey carrying the tourists in the hot weather. Instead, we just enjoy the climb together.

This part of the tour is really good for the tourists who has not visited Oia and wanting to see the popular sunset view without hiking, like we did. We kinda find it good for us as well cause at least we will be able to see the sunset for the second time around and more time for us to go around Oia. Afterwards, a bus can take you back to your hotel after the sunset so you won’t have the problem of transportation.

Visit the beaches!

There are plenty of popular beaches in the Santorini, but the one that makes us really interested is the Red Beach which is located in Akrotiri.

On our third day, we decided to be more relaxed (without any climbing this time) and rent a buggy to go to Akrotiri. There are many places where you can rent a buggy. This can be really expensive depending on the kind of buggy you want. For us, we paid £100 to rent the buggy until 6pm.

If you don't fancy renting a buggy, but still want to go to Akrotiri, there are buses available that go to that place so you don't have to worry. Although, renting a buggy and driving around the Santorini is so cool and fun and it gives you more freedom to stop and see anywhere you want on this island.

Parking is not a problem in Santorini and most of them are free. As you walk your way to the Red beach, you have to climb this very steep and and rocky part of the mountain. Bear in mind to be extra careful and wear a proper shoes to keep yourself safe during the hike. This climb will only take you around 5 minutes and you’ll be able to reach the Red Beach.

Climbing the mountain on the way to the Red Beach.

Because of its interesting, amazing color and scenic view, Red Beach become a popular destination and here in Santorini and can be very crowded especially in summer.

Swimming in the Red Beach is possible and it is very clean. However unlike any other beaches which have fine sand, this one is rocky and walking in bare feet can be painful so you have to wear your slippers. You’ll still surely enjoy this beautiful and one of a kind beach in Santorini wether you love to swim or just want to sit on the beach chair and relax on the coast. We also found out that snorkelling is also possible here but we decided to just relax as it will be our last day. But, if you have enough time and money, it will be a good experience to try the snorkelling here.

Aside from Red beach, there are also what they call as the black beach in Perissa and Kamari; and the white beach which is located in the southern side of Santorini which can only be accessed via boat from the Red beach. 

More Activities in Santorini

In our three days in Santorini, we can say that it is enough for us to enjoy the beauty of the island, see the important places and tick all the must-dos. However if you still have more time ( and money, of course! ), these are the other things we think you can do in Santorini (which we also thought of doing):

  • Try the Greek Night Out – they said that this one of the must things to do here but we were not able to try as we ran out of time.
  • The Kamari’s open air cinema
  • Do the Wine tasting tour
  • Go for Greek cooking classes
  • See the Santorini while riding a cable car (Thira port cliffside)

We always think Santorini is the most romantic place we have been and really a different place compared to other countries in Europe. It has its own beauty that will surely capture your heart. You definitely have to try visit this wonderful island and understand why it is the best holiday destination.



Bonjour mes amies and welcome to Paris!

To kick things off! We arrived in Charles de Gaulle. Paris should be well known as the place that hates luggage. Escalators (if you’re lucky) and barriers are very narrow and barriers close very quickly here so take care with your luggage or you can get stuck in the underground! (as i did…)

Time for our first stop! Disneyland! I know… “typical decision”… “when do they get to Paris” but bear with us we do get there. For us, long time Disney fans, a stop at Disneyland was a must. We decided to spend 2 days here and 3 in Paris itself so opted for the 2 day pass which allows access to both parks. The main thing to remember when travelling is go where you want to go. The main attractions are popular for a reason!

Where to stay! We decided to stay in an Airbnb in Chessy which is just behind Disneyland and around 10 mins in a car or taxi to the main park. Only cost us €45 a night staying here. A big saving on the Disneyland hotels! Taxi will cost you around €5 each way and there are a lot of options in Chessy although there are no real shops in this area.

“The main thing to remember when travelling is go where you want to go. The main attractions are popular for a reason!”

There are a lot of shows and they all run at different times! Having been here before I knew the layout and shows that were there but if it is your first time I recommend getting the Disneyland Paris app or visiting the website so you can check show times and plan around those. One of the highlights for us was “Mickey and the Magician” which is in the Warner Studios park. Think of it like a London West End show but based on Disney movies. Brilliant whether you’re 5 or 50.

Couples retreat or family holiday! For us 2 days was possible to see both parks but it was a very quick run around and we were exhausted at the end of the first day. Ideally take at least 2 days a park especially during a busy season. If you can only choose one I would recommend Warner Brothers unless you have young children <5 years old. The shows, rides and target audience are much better in Warner Studios and there is something for everyone there.

*Be warned that Disneyland and Warner Studios are both quite open parks in many areas. If you go in July, as we did, expect any weather to be amplified! 28°C will feel like 38°C and 5°Celsius, if windy, will feel like -5° so be prepared!

During the 25th anniversary firework show

Seasonal events! We got very lucky when we went as it was the 25th anniversary of Disney so there was a firework show from 10pm-12am local time (varies depending on sunset). This was one of the best firework shows I have ever seen and they projected scenes from favourite Disney movies on the castle along with an amazing soundtrack.

PARIS – The City of Lights & Love

Onto Paris! Now we get to the part a lot of you are waiting for… Paris city centre! We moved to a hotel for this part of the trip as it was July and summer holidays made booking quite difficult. Staying in the Hotel Devillas, which is based in the 13 Arr section of Paris, was good as it is located within walking distance of the Louvre and Notre Dame and not very expensive. A blessing giving the 28°C heat.

First Day! This was both our first times in Paris so we choose to sight see a lot of the main places. After a quick breakfast at a local cafe we started by heading west through the botanical garden and make our way along the river towards the Eiffel Tower. We had a route planned out which took us through the Panthéon then to Notre Dame and Sainte Chapelle. Notre Dame was quite busy when we got there around midday so if you want the solo experience you’ll have to get here early.

Weather had cleared up so you can see some tourists here.

We then jumped back to the side of the Gare Musée d’Orsay which is a spectacular building. Not being into art ourselves we didn’t stay long however we did stay to see some of the Picasso and Monet works. All museums in Paris are free for EU members 25 and under so make the most of it! Moving further west we came to the Eiffel Tower. You can go up or eat in the restaurant but I find looking at the tower is a lot better than looking from it! Heading over the river you can stop at Place du Trocadero which has a great view of the Eiffel Tower and is impressive itself!

All museums in Paris are free for EU members 25 and under so make the most of it!

Moving further west we came to the Eiffel Tower. You can go up or eat in the restaurant but I find looking at the tower is a lot better than looking from it! Heading over the river you can stop at Place du Trocadero which has a great view of the Eiffel Tower and is impressive in itself.

For the family! There is the Paris Aquarium located at the Place du Tracadero and heading north up the Champs-Élysées at the Arc de Triomphe is an amusement park which has rides but also horseback riding through the park.

We headed down towards the Louvre at this point as it was getting dark so the lights would be up. It had gotten a lot stormier by this point and lightening was streaking through sky when we got there which gave the area a mysterious ambiance, as the french would say. Nearby we went to Les Caves du Louvre which is a brilliant little place where you can sample, and even create, french wines from the best parts of France. It’s a great place to try some wines and the sommelier will explain about each one.

Second day! After a busy day yesterday we decided to take a longer morning lie in. We decided to have a wander today and see some points we missed the day before and the less popular streets too.

The Arc de Triomphe is up next and a short(ish) walk north from this location. A visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without the Champs-Élysées. This is where a lot of the high end popular fashion shops are located but be warned that it is very expensive in this part of Paris and better to eat somewhere out of the way not just for price but also quality. We went to Musee-Jacquemart Andre which is east of the Arc de Triomphe. The food was out of this world and the little garden area outside was a great addition to the sunshine.

Things we missed! Sacre-Coeur is a white Basilica which is a great landmark. There is also a haunted house which is located between 2 and 10 Arr. Both are great features and do seem like good places to visit!

A little street called Rue de Passy and the area of Saint Germain were up next. These are great streets to get away from the typical Champs-Élysées shops and into a more unique french style. Unfortunately, we were running out of time in Paris as we leave in the morning but we had one last stop for our last night.

A little boat trip along the river! For our last night we booked a boat trip on a boat called La Calife. This is a late night restaurant which takes you down the river and back during night hours so you can sail by Paris as it lights up.