Steph in Fira

Unexpected Adventures in Santorini

The subtitle to this post should be “We flipped the script – and probably got a better trip as a result”.

This is a post about redefining your trip when things don’t turn out as you had expected, learning to throw said expectations out the window and being open to unexpected adventures.

Santorini. We’ve all seen the photos full of romantic scenery, stories of a relaxing vacation where time has no real meaning. This is what I expected, but this is not what I found when we arrived.

Fog covering the view from our room
Not much to see at first

Maybe a little more research would have made it clear to me that the hotel I had booked is not in the middle of one of those picturesque towns, but just outside of town – with no view of the town.

I was incredibly disappointed at first. We couldn’t just pop outside and wander through those streets lined by whitewashed buildings – not without hopping on a shuttle first. To make matters worse, the restaurant at our hotel was terrible and expensive.

Time for a shakeup.

We rented a car. We hadn’t planned on it, but it made sense. We could get to parts of the island that weren’t walkable, including beaches, stunning views and ancient sites. We could move at our own pace – no waiting for shuttles or tour groups.

It was the best decision we could have possibly made.

Ancient Akrotiri site
Ancient Akrotiri site
Kokkino Paralia (the Red Beach)
Kokkino Paralia (the Red Beach)

We had more adventures in two days with the car than we could have possibly had otherwise. While we didn’t get that fully-relaxed vacation time I had planned, we made sure to take time to chill on the beach with a cappuccino freddo… a few times.

Perissa Beach diptych
Perissa Beach – black sand, blue water, mountains, hot sun and a freddo cappuccino

Santorini is more than just those white-washed villas with a caldera view (although those are fun, too!).

Steph in Fira
… and I got my Santorini cliff view anyway.

Oia at Sunset

Cliff view in Fira, Santorini