Europe

Rent a car to discover more of the island of Santorini

If on our second day we had followed our  initial planning, we would have just used the public buses to get around Santorini. Since those buses are not frequent at all, that would have meant seeing only a small part of the island.

Luckily the host of our Airbnb, Oia’s sunset studio, informed us of the option to rent a car at a reasonable price. Listening to that guy was definitely the best decision we could have made on our entire trip. This way we were able to see so much more!

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After our hike from Fira to Oia, we quickly enjoyed some lunch with a view before making our way to the pool at our Airbnb. Our host then asked about our plans for the next day and when he heard of our intentions immediately told us that it would be way more interesting to rent a car. Since we were three, it wouldn’t very much dent our budget. So of course we told him we were in. He made all the arrangements for us, so the next day at 10am, our rental car was ready and waiting for us!

For only 45 euros plus an extra 15 euros to cover our own damage we got ourself a Smart For Four and were ready to conquer the island. We first drove to the most southern point; Akrotiri LighthouseFrom there you have a beautiful view over the entire coastline of Santorini.

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One of the recommendations of our host was to stop at Black Beach. Not only to sunbathe, but mostly to take a swim through a nearby cave. That was just so cool. You just access the beach through a restaurant entrance and then if you swim around the rock on the left side of the beach,you can’t miss the cave entrance. A hidden gem!

The road to the Black Beach is not paved and quite rocky but even our Smart survived so there is actually no need to worry about that.

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Next up was the more known Red Beach. We didn’t lay down our towels there, but we still made a short stop to catch a glimps of this beautiful beach. It’s a lot more crowded than the Black Beach but the view is something you can’t pass on.

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Following the coastline, we next arrived in Vlichada. Our Airbnb host told us that that was his favorite spot of the island but we ended up a bit disappointed. The beach wasn’t all that spectacular – especially not after the two previous beaches – and the little harbour didn’t really do it for us either. So either our opinions are really different or we didn’t find the place we ought to have gone there. We’ll probably never know.

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Our second to last stop of the day was Perivolos. We were recommended a great lunch spot there; Forty One. So that was were we were headed.

As we were parking our car to make our way to that restaurant, we passed a place where we could rent jet skis and do all kinds of other water activities. Lunch was suddenly forgotten and we quickly suited up and got ourselves on one of those UFOs. So. much. fun! Defnitely worth the twenty euros we each payed for it!

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By the time we were changed back into our clothes and seated at the restaurant it was already four pm. So I guess the late lunch became an early dinner instead. Oops. The food was really great – you have to try to moussaka there! – and the beach of the restaurant had really nice sunbathing beds. We were allowed to use them for free after dinner since they were going to close down soon anyway. We spend another hour relaxing, soaking up the sun and just enjoying our holidays.

We had to be at the airport around 7:15pm for our 9:15pm flight, but before that we made one last stop; the Monastery of Profitis Ilias. This is the highest point of the island and offers you a stunning view over Santorini. It was the perfect way to end our two days vacation on this gorgeous island.

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And then it was time to say goodbye to our Smart. We were allowed to just leave it at the side of the road with the keys in the car. There were many other rentals there waiting to be picked up again by the rental companies so it was hard to miss where we had to leave it.

We were at the airport little under two hours before our flight and that was definitely not necessary. The departure terminal of Santorini airport was probably the smallest I’ve ever seen so we just had to wait a really long time. Only if you have checked luggage you should probably come two hours in advance because there was quite a line for that, but all the rest went really smoothly.

And that was the end of our stay on Santorini. My expectations of this place have been skyhigh and they have been met for sure. My favorite part of the island is definitely Oia, but I’m so happy that we got to explore all the rest as well thanks to our rental car. Two days perfectly spent!

 

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