Here’s the first in a series of posts talking about my recent European escape. I’ve been overseas a lot over the past 18 months but previously, I decided I should only blog about my domestic trips as these were most relevant to Aussie blog readers. Ridiculous, right? ‘Strayans love nothing better than nipping off on a long-haul flight to see our collective side bae, Europe. By golly, it’s basically a birth right to spend a gap year taking selfies in front of the Eiffel Tower and bar hopping around Ibiza!
So here’s me correcting that error, assaulting your eyeballs with a slew of lengthy rambles about my trip. This one’s about a solid, blissful week in Santorini inspired by Rory Gilmore’s adventure in The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. My gal pal Caitlin was equally keen on the idea so we booked our trip for the first week of July. Oh, and the attempted vibe of the holiday was ‘Carrie Bradshaw does Europe on a student budget’. Judge accordingly.
One word: gyros. While restaurants in Oia, Fira and Thirassia can be super expensive, you’ll find gyros on pretty much every street for the low, low price of €2.80 – €3.00 ($4.10 – $4.40). Chow down on these for lunch and dinner, and air mail me some while you’re at it.
My favourite meal was at Pergolas restaurant on Perissa Black Sand Beach. Caitlin and I enjoyed a three-course banquet of Greek bread and dips, lamb (Caitlin) and spaghetti (me) for mains, followed by a scrumptious cheesecake dessert. This set us back around €12.50 each ($18) which we thought we’d be paying for our sparkling water consumption alone.
A thing no one told me but wish they had: there’s no drinkable tap water on the island. Luckily, a 1.5litre bottle of ice cold water can be as cheap as €0.50 ($0.75).
STUFF TO DO
Gazing at the sunset in Oia is an absolute must. We took an all-day boat cruise around the island, stopping for a trek of the still active volcano (meh) and a dip in the natural hot springs (amazing, but not for white bathers that will quickly become stained with the red mud), finally ending up in Oia. The drinks are pricey here and if you’re after a meal to accompany your sunset, you’re best booking in advance. Otherwise, you can do what we did; simply wander around the town, making sure to avoid the parade of donkeys and people dressed glitzy enough for the Logies standing on buildings (???) for that perfectly Instagrammable shot.
You know what else is super fun? Quad biking! We rented a little four-wheeler one morning and spent the day cruising around Santorini. I’m an average driver at the best of times and the often erratic driving of the locals was a little testing, but we made it out alive. We also made it to the Red Beach in Akrotiri and the Lighthouse down there.
If you’re after a backpacker nightlife, I’ve heard Ios and Mykonos may be more your speed. But if you’re keen on sipping cocktails against a stunning backdrop while discussing whether or not you should cheat on Aiden with Big (you have truly become Carrie Bradshaw now, remember), Santorini is perfection.