Lifestyle · Travel

Things That Nobody Tells You About Santorini

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oh Hello!!~
Most people would know that Mr R & me just returned from our long awaited honeymoon in Santorini
Santorini is just about everyone’s dream destination and we were very excited to march into the island proudly, to see the views that just about every tourist praised about…

All photos and videos in this post are #nofilter and have extremely little editing
That’s coz there’s absolutely no need to!

Santorini lives up to its reputation!
It’s almost a place that is totally out of this world!
Just look at this short runthough from left to right from our suite’s balcony

via GIPHY

All the instagram and facebook photos posted garnered more likes and comments than ever~
Everyone sent their love and of course, followed by the question….

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There’s so much I want to tell you about HOW’s OUR TRIP!
So let’s start on this systematically…

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<photo location: Outside the reception of Absolute Bliss>

Getting there was really tough!
The shortest and most time saving route was
Singapore > Istanbul > Athens > Santorini
I heard that there are direct flights to Athens via other airlines apart from Singapore Airlines
For the sake of accumulating Krisflyer Miles, we have a biased preference to fly with SQ and connect with Star Alliance code sharing flights
In this case, we use Aegean Airlines for the shorter flights

From Singapore to Istanbul
11 hours flight time
& 3 hours wait stone time
to catch Istanbul to Athens
2 hours flight time
& another 3 hours wait stone time
to catch Athens to Santorini
45 minutes flight time

Total time spent: 19 hours 45 minutes

In case you’re thinking that you should just make it 24 hours, you can choose to take a cruise from Athens to Santorini instead of risking your life in a propeller plane

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Cruising time: 4 hours

Upon arriving at the airport, there were several car renting companies at the arrivals
The Santorini airport arrival hall is not all that glam
It’s a space with one baggage conveyor belt and that’s it

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It’s a right hand drive (meaning you drive on the right side of the road!) in Santorini and we make an online booking prior to arriving to ensure that a car is reserved for us!
Book via Avis & Hertz to get 500 Krisflyer miles!

Most Travel-Santorini sites like SantoriniDave will tell you about the public bus which helps tourists get about in the island
It’s not really about how efficient the bus is, but more on the unsheltered bus stops
We’ve seen people standing beside the bus stop poles, under the blazing sun cooking themselves alive while waiting for transport
The average waiting time is 20 to 40 minutes

Alternatively, renting ATV vehicles is a super popular choice as well!

quadsimage credit: www.vipcars-santorini.com

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Some people have heard our horror story about the leg home to SG
5 hours before the flight from Athens to Istanbul, an attempted military coup rendered the closure of the Istanbul airport

I immediately searched for options to get us to a nearby city which has a SQ flight to bring us back
London seemed to be the perfect choice even though it was the farthest city but I didn’t want to be struggling with language barriers in terms of crisis
If we were to get ourselves to Frankfurt or Paris or Milan, can you imagine the inconvenience of an uncommon language?

We abandoned our existing tickets and ended up staying an additional night at Hilton Heathrow Airport Hotel
& eventually got ourselves back home the next day!

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This is the map of Santorini, the entire place is smaller than Singapore so it’s not going to be rocket science to figure it out geographically

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Map Credits: mapguide2016.blogspot.com

From the Airport to Fira is about 8 to 10 minutes drive
I chose to stay at Absolute Bliss in Imerovigli which is about 20 minutes drive
(no specific reason, just really liked their Honeymoon suite from TripAdvisor photos)
Turns out to be a really nice choice

Oia (pronounced as Yee-A) will be the most popular spot for tourists since they have the best unblocked sunset view
That place is also infested with tour buses and people
Imerovigli is serene, we did not regret our choice!

Driving in Santorini

ms2<via carhoots.com>

Apart from the only traffic light I saw outside the airport, there’s almost NO other Traffic controlling system
Every road is driven on a GIVE WAY BASIS
This system will crash in Singapore!
Imagine a 2 way narrow lane meant to be for 1 vehicle only
Every car gives way to one another and the drivers put up a courtesy wave!

Note: There is also minimal street signs! Only the ones pointing to main cities…

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Forget about seeing escalators or elevators
You go ninja-warrior in Santorini
Cobblestone walkways, steep steps are the most luxurious kind of walks

& yes, this is how we get back to our rooms
When we leave the room, we climb the same way back up to get to the car
As you would have known, we’re also there to do our wedding shoot
I’m extremely thankful to Mr R & the photography crew for carrying all my stuff while I just had to carry myself with the gown that I’m dressed in
That itself, was equivalent to a crossfit session

wait till you see this:

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#NOTJOKING
We’ve witnessed people puking and fainting in the harsh weather amidst the volcano climb
Hence, we decided to #ABORTMISSION & sit in the shade to play with our ipad until the rest of the tourists are done with risking their lives

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We woke up with muscle aches every morning
( also goes to show how unfit we are)
13th July we lay low otherwise we wouldn’t have survived the 14th!

On hindsightbackside, I would have really brought running shoes for the trip knowing that it’s gonna be THIS MUCH WALKING

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I booked a 2 hour Volcano tour
There were 2 options to get to the Old Port of Fira to board the cruise
1. 30 minutes walk down the cobblestone steps to the port
2. Cablecar ride down which costs 5 EUR per person per way

We thought it’d be nice to take a slow walk down since we’re early for the cruise & we can take some photos as well…
WE DID NOT EXPECT TO SMELL POO right after breakfast!

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More than half the way down was decorated with sad donkeys parked by the side and we still have to make way for donkeys climbing up with tourists riding on them
Haven’t you watched any form of documentaries to advise you against riding animals?
Even if it’s not for the sake of torturing animals, you should think about your own safety
Animals can go crazy anytime
I shook my head at parents who placed their kids on the back of these donkeys and thinking it’s a fun ride!

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From my knowledge, there was no safety precautions nor were there any medical assistance if any emergency happens
When a teenage girl fainted, there was no medical help rendered
She’s supposed to lie there and try to feel better by herself…….
#TrueStory

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We did jump into the Aegean Sea and swam towards to brown pool which is supposed to be sulphur infested
I realised that if I were to drown, there’s no lifeguards whatsoever
No contingencies and no safety warnings were told to us
The only safe thing I saw was a life buoy on board the cruise

Anyway, the brown pool was not even hot (yea, what’s up with the hotsprings?)

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First experience to the beach was lovely!
So I thought the Red Sand beach would be the same…..

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The Red Beach was a totally different story!
It’s definitely more popular with tourists (I have no idea why)
Maybe coz it’s way more challenging to arrive at the beach?

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Before this point, we had already walked through a slight upward slope where I have to keep my eyes on the ground to check for kinks before I could potentially stumble to my death
Then, we saw what we were getting on and it’s another unanimous U-Turn
We’re NOT going to the beach!

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NO WAY Dude!
But since we’re here…..

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#KTHXBYE

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Perfectly timed, Bsoul provided me with their Sunday Morning “Orientale” for a review
I packed it along with me and I’ve never been more grateful to have a sturdy sunscreen with me!
Mr R who insisted on not having sunblock on the first day of the trip — got himself burnt
whereas I’m well protected with Bsoul Sunday Morning “Orientale”

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Legend has it that Oia has the most beautiful sunset in the world (Oia is that stretch on the right)
In exchange for space, comfort and privacy, I would still totally have chosen to remain in our suite and watch the sunset every evening on the balcony

The sun sets at about 8.30pm every evening
There’s way more day time than night time
People have dinners during the sunset or after till about 10pm
When we had our first dining experience in Santorini, Mr R made a reservation for 6.30pm and there’s no one else but us in the restaurant~

A 26 seconds clip sped up from a 14 minute film
The reason why the lens gets blur at times was due to the strong winds that shook the cam a lil

Anyway yes we know the sunset is beautiful, but how many times do you want to watch it?
I guess 5 consecutive nights gets a bit overboard?
– LOL –

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It’s gonna be another 5 weeks wait till all our photos get edited~
Post’em then!

– stay tuned –

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Don’t get me wrong…
We totally enjoyed our holiday!
It was just that perhaps we didn’t read enough or wasn’t prepared for the terrain or simply did not care
I merely wanted to share my experience from my pov
I’m certain that if we were more prepared, then we would not have chosen Santorini as a destination
It will end up being yet another shopping mania trip!
=p

A blessing in disguise?
You reckon?

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One thought on “Things That Nobody Tells You About Santorini

  1. Hi Melva,
    Santorini is indeed a crazy place (for many reasons…).
    We have just created one of the most detailed guides that will make your next time in Santorini even more awesome!
    Not sure if you have visited any wineries but this is the best htings you can actually do while on the island…:)
    Have a great day!
    Pavlos

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