“Happy is the man, I thought, who before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea.”
~ Nikos Kazantzakis
During our trip to Greece, Santorini was very high on our list for a visit. The photos we had seen with the stunning blue waters, colorful sunsets and the cliffside living made this a must-see for us. It was a bit of a stretch on our budget, but we took the plunge and scheduled our trip!
In all honesty we left there feeling both awed at the beauty but also questioning if it was worth the hefty price tag. We decided to share our pros and cons to maybe help you decide.
Caldera Views – They truly are as stunning in real life as the pictures portray; although the key is to find a clear day.
Sunsets – We enjoyed having a glass of wine on our balcony and watching the sunset. We stayed in Imerovigli and loved the views! Oia is often named as having some of the best sunsets on the island however we were not disappointed in Imerovigli and as a bonus, it was far less crowded.
Cave-like hotels – Walking several stairways down to your hotel is pretty awesome, as long as you are not afraid of heights! Once you step inside, the rooms are narrow tunnels built into the side of the hill. So cool! Bonus if you can snag a property with a pool! The cliffside pools are awesome as well!
The Water – The water is a brilliant shade of blue. We took a boat cruise one day and we would highly recommend, Blue Lagoon Cruises. The staff was fantastic, the drinks were flowing, the lunch was awesome and we got to spend a couple hours admiring Santorini from the water!
Picturesque Towns – Every corner you turn, there are areas that are postcard perfect!
Greek Cuisine – We loved the meat, fresh veggies and cheese that were part of the cuisine here! We especially loved the Saganaki cheese which we ate as a starter for nearly every meal we had! We especially loved our dinner at the Above & Beyond Restaurant which was located in the the Above Blue Suites. It combined the incredible cuisine with a lovely sunset.
Breakfast with a View – No words needed, just take a look below!
Expensive – While it is beautiful and generally the staff works hard here, we found the rooms and activities to be very expensive. We were extremely disappointed when our first night we found there were overgrown weeds blocking our view. We paid good money for that view and it was poorly maintained (also the reason there are so many properties mentioned in the post, the hotel moved us to sister properties but we had to move around since there were only random days available).
Hot Tubs – For an additional splurge you can get a “hot” tub on your balcony. Why is the hot in quotes? Well they are luke warm at best due to the fact they are not covered and there is a maximum temperature setting that is simply not that warm. Additionally, since the rooms are so close together, the jets stopped working in the early evening so it didn’t bother other neighboring guests.
Hazy Views – While we know you can’t control the weather, we learned that more often than not, the views here are hazy. It’s rare to have a fully clear view.
“Cooking” Class – When you take a 3-course cooking class and one of the courses is Greek Salad!? Now I know it’s a popular menu item, however, Amanda can’t even cook but at least she knows how to chop a few vegetables.
Sad looking donkeys – We are far from animal activists however the donkeys on the island are just sad. They seem tourtured and sick as they carry tourists up and down the steep side of the mountain. We considered it before going however after seeing the donkeys in person, we could not support it.
Greek Wine – Ok, I will say it… Greek Wine is terrible! We took a wine tour which included some local Greek wine tastings. We looked at each other wondering, what is that strange flavor we are noticing? Finally on wine number three, I had to ask what the hell we were tasting! The guide told us that all of the wines were aged in stainless steel barrels which provided no transfer of flavor, only grapes. Well I hate to burst your bubble, but stainless steel was the flavor we tasted.
If you know of a Greek wine that tastes good, please let us know. We currently avoid Greek wine’s on menus because of our stainless steel experience.
Have you been to Santorini? Would you return or was it was one-time stop for you? Any other pros or cons to add to our list?
-Brian & Amanda
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