Welcome Back to our Friday Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! After every trip to a new destination, Jamie gives us her perspective as both a traveler, and a travel advisor, through a quick but comprehensive list of what to do or not do at each vacation location!
As many of you who follow along know, Jamie’s much-anticipated Family Vacation of 2023 was spent cruising through Europe on the Celebrity Beyond! This epic cruise took Jamie and Fam through Italy, Greece and Turkey, and as expected, it was BEYOND amazing! Because the itinerary included so many beautiful and diverse destinations, we’ve been featuring different locations and travel experiences over the course of multiple “Do”s and “Don’t”s Blogs. Today, we’re featuring one of the most beautiful spots in Greece: Santorini!
So Let’s Get Going to Greece! But First…
Table of Contents
Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Santorini!
Top Favorites, and Jamie’s “Must Do” Experiences
1. DO Visit Oia
Oia is the most famous village in Santorini, and for good reason: it’s absolutely stunning. You know those dreamy pictures of white-washed buildings and blue-domed churches everyone instantly recognizes as Greece? Those are pretty much all taken in Oia, and to be honest, even with how gorgeous those pictures make Greece look, they don’t even do it justice because it’s completely breathtaking in person. And, for anyone who loved the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants books and movies, you’ll recognize so much of Lena’s story, and filming locations all around Oia!
2. DO Take a Wine Tour
Santorini is famous for its unique wines; the volcanic soil gives grapes a distinct flavor that sets Greek wine apart from any other wine in the world. The best way to experience all the flavors Santorini has to offer when it comes to wine is by taking a Wine Tour! You’ll get to visit multiple local wineries, learn about the unique wine-making process used on Santorini involving circular grape vines, and of course, you’ll get to taste the exquisite wines, as well! It’s a great way to see different parts of Santorini while also getting to play oenophile for a day!
3. DO Hire a Tour Guide
Speaking of getting to see the different parts of Santorini, the very best way to experience everything the island has to offer is by hiring a Tour Guide, preferably a Private Tour Guide to really maximize your time. A Tour Guide can expertly take you all over the island, from all the must-visit locations to the hidden gems known only to locals, all the while easily navigating the heavy traffic in the most touristy areas. If your goal is to see as much as possible on Santorini, hiring a Tour Guide is definitely the best option.
4. DO Get Off the Ship Early (if you’re visiting as part of a cruise)
While Santorini’s beauty cannot be matched, having some of the most picturesque views in the world does make the island a busy tourist destination. If you’re visiting Santorini as part of your Cruise Vacation, it’s well worth it to get up extra early and be one of the first off the ship for the day. By doing so, you’ll minimize the time you’ll wait in line for the gondola to the top of the island, where you’ll want to be for most of the day. Getting to the top early will also allow you to enjoy the best views on the island with less crowds.
Top “Must-Don’t”s, or Things Jamie Would Do Differently
1. DON’T Miss Imerovigli
The village of Imerovigli is just as charming as Oia, with the picture-perfect white buildings and blue roofs, but with far less crowds. There are walking paths through the maze of white walls that you can follow through the town, or take little detours to find unique corners on your own, too. While Oia boasts lively evenings brimming with traditional Greek culture, Imerovigli is quiet and quaint, letting its beauty speak for itself. Some might even argue that Imerovigli has better sunsets than Oia; guess you’ll have to decide for yourself!
2. DON’T Forgo a Photo Shoot
We’ve already talked about how picture-perfect the landscape of Santorini is with its white buildings and blue domed roofs; so what’s better than using that undeniably perfect landscape as the backdrop for your own photo shoot? Specifically, the Flying Dress photo shoot works incredibly well in Santorini. The winds coming up from the caldera to the top of the island keeps the dress flying, and the photos you get really take the whole Santorini experience from a fabulous Greek Vacation day to Core Memory status. The Flying Dress photo shoot may be overly popular right now, but don’t let that deter you: it’s so popular because it’s really that fabulous and 100% worth the cost, especially in this location. Just do it, and thank Jamie later!
3. DON’T Forget Sunscreen
Although Santorini isn’t your traditional “beachy” destination since most of your time will be spent at the top of the island, not near the water, don’t let that fool you into thinking you can get away with no sun protection. The sun is very strong in Greece, especially in the summer, and you definitely need to protect yourself so you don’t wind up crispy and miserable for the rest of your vacation. Plus, the sun reflects off the white walls of the buildings all over Santorini, which amplifies its strength. Plan to wear sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself.
4. DON’T Mismanage Your Time
This one is especially important if you are visiting Santorini as part of a Cruise Vacation, but still important for anyone visiting, since no one’s idea of a great vacation includes wasted time. Part of the Magic of Santorini is visiting the top of the island, and exploring places like Oia and Imerovigli, but getting up there takes planning. There are only three ways to get to the top of Santorini: a gondola ride, a donkey ride, or a walk on your own. The walk is long and steep and takes a lot of time, the donkeys are stinky, and the gondolas can have long lines, so you need to choose wisely based on your own priorities. Then, plan accordingly by getting to the gondolas before the lines get too long (as mentioned earlier), or getting a super early start walking or hailing a donkey ride!
And…that’s a wrap of Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Santorini!
Ready to Plan?
Now that you have all of Jamie’s best advice for visiting Santorini, are you ready to plan your next Greek Adventure? Contact your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor or email hello@LOTMV.com to start planning today!
Just like last year, in 2023, a new Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s list will come out the Friday after Jamie returns from her latest trip! And you can find links to all of Jamie’s 2022 Travel Tips at this Blog: Jamie’s 2022 Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: A Recap.
Looking for more of Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s?
So far, we have:
And don’t forget to check out our Inspiring Itineraries as well, featuring a Perfect Plan for your next vacation, and highlighting a new destination each month! You can find links to all of 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries in this Blog: A Year of Inspired Travel: 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries, Month by Month.