When I first decided to go travelling, I vowed to myself to never visit the same place twice as there were so many new and interesting towns, cities and countries to explore. And while, for the most part I have stayed true to that, there have been some exceptions. At the top of the list: Santorini. I cannot get enough of this place and at every chance I get, I will return there.
My first visit to Santorini was in 2007 with a mate from the Gold Coast. We had about 24 hours there, not nearly enough time, but we made the most of every second. We hired a quad bike and rode around the island, stopping off for a swim at every beautiful spot, and i managed to pretty much get third degree burns from the sun. It was definitely the best 24 hours of my three month solo backpacking trip. We also managed to find a gorgeous villa in Fira to stay at, owned by a beautiful Greek woman Maria.
Fast-forward to 2014 and I contacted Maria and asked her if we could stay in the Villa during our visit. Fortunately, she remembered me and even gave us a discount. While at the villa she also went above and beyond to help us and also got us a massive discount on a rental car, from a friend of hers. It was a magical few days with my boyfriend there.
We drove around the island, petted donkeys, took a thrilling cable car ride down and back up the cliffs of Fira and wandered the cobbled streets of Oia. We also saw every sunset from the cliffs at Fira and rode on a quad bike.
We would have rented quads to ride around the island during this stay, but having seven years more life experience, I realised that would be taking an unnecessary risk that wouldn’t be covered by our travel insurance. But believe me, driving in a hatchback around the island was enough of an experience for us. It caused some serious tension between us as it was so stressful. Buses and cars would come around the corners on our side of the road and people would overtake you on blind corners. It was truly a horrifying experience. Needless to say, when we could leave our car at the villa, we did .
Santorini really is postcard perfect wherever you look, and no matter how many times you visit, it will never be enough.