Recently I went with healthy husband to Santorini. It has been a dream of mine to go there for so long and finally I dragged my hubby on a mini break to beautiful Santorini.

Everyone has already written about what to do, where do go and what to see so I am not going to rehash these details. I rather want to tell you my likes and dislikes about Santorini.

Likes

No.1 LIKE : They take care of stray animals.

Everywhere from the airport to the seaside restaurants to the magical town of Oia there are stray dogs and cats. But these animals aren’t beggars. I asked some locals about the strays because I love animals and thinking of them hungry and neglected makes me sad. But these animals are well taken care of. Even though the animals live on the street, local business and restaurants “adopt” the animals and pay their veterinarian bills and for them to get spade. They also provide them with food. In the town of Oia (pronounced IA) we even saw this food dispenser and a big water bucket. The dogs are lazy because of the heat, but they are well fed and don’t get treated badly by the locals. They are not dangerous and they don’t bother the tourists. The dogs are also chipped with a tag on their ear. And we did not see any dog or cat poop anywhere.

No 2. They really take care of their beautiful church buildings

The island is actually called Thera, but was sort of renamed after a saint… Santo Irini – hence the name now Santorini. It seems that the locals are probably quite religious. Most of the churches, even the ones in the middle of nowhere seem to be in such good condition compared to a lot of the other buildings.

No 3. The town of Oia is just the most beautiful, magical, unreal experience.

The cobbled stone streets lead you on a magical path, almost like a labyrinth. You can get lost in between the white washed houses with coloured details, dominantly blue on windows, walls or rooftops. Bougainvilleas ranking up the houses and walls all over the city give shady spots to rest from all the stair climbing. It is just the most beautiful little town and it feels almost unreal that a Volcano could have lead to such a gorgeous place. “beauty from ashes”

No 4. OIA has the most beautiful sunset.

The world is divided into two types of people: those who are sunrise kind of people and those who are sunset kind of people. I am a sunset kind of person. A bottle of bubbley and a gorgeous sunset view and you have my heart. This was such a magical experience that will always stay with me.

No 5. Yummy Yummy Food

For vegetarians they mostly have Risotto and Pasta or Pizza. Those dishes I leave for Italy. I mostly ate off the starter menu ordering loads of yummy Mezzo. They have loads of vegetarian Mezzo options and it was delish. I am a fan of Greek food and the Dolamdes here was the best I have ever had.

No6. The local people are sincere, kind and friendly.

From the hotel staff to the boat staff and just even people on the street. Super friendly, helpful, warm and sincere. Not because they are expecting a tip or anything, just REALLY nice. I have never in my life experience such hospitality.

No7. Renting a car is not a mission

LOL this is actually funny and I hope it never changes. We rented a car online and at the airport a man from the car rental company was standing there with a sign with our name. We completed the transaction on the side of the road and in 15 min we had the car and were on the way to our hotel. No queues waiting to get to the front of the line of the Avis counter, no walking miles to get to the car and all kinds of small talk. When we went back to the airport and had to return the car we were a bit confused where to return it. As we drove slowly past the terminals this man came running out of nowhere with a t shirt on of the car rental company and told us he was there to take the car. We double parked and jumped out and he jumped in and that was it. We had taken the full insurance option so if he was stealing the car it wasn’t a huge problem.

No. 8 Oia has no chain stores

The town of Fera had a Mc Donalds but other than that we did not see any other chain stores which I made me happy. Keeping such a beautiful place authentic is important.

No 9. Very hot but there is a light wind

I love the heat. The sunshine and the heat make me happy. But when you are exploring it can get a bit much. But in Santorini it was really hot but completely bearable because of a constant light breeze.

No.10 They seem to be considering the environment

Except for some places that still dish out drinking straws there are some locals that are very aware of taking care of the environment. For example in Oia and on the boat we went on you are not allowed to flush toilet paper down the toilet. There is a separate dustbin provided for this. Obviously because the water will go into the sea. Also on the boat they instructed us to make sure to hold on to our hats because they don’t want it to blow into the sea. Someone said yes I wouldn’t want to lose my hat and the captain said I’m more worried about it choking the fish.

No. 11 Everybody spoke really good English.

This really surprised us, but everywhere we went everyone spoke really good English. Unlike Italy and France.

Dislikes

No.1 They are not so nice to the donkeys

I love donkeys and sadly in Santorini they don’t seem to be very kind to the donkeys. According to locals they get over-worked and there have even been reports of some donkeys that have died in the extreme heat carry people up those very steep steps from the harbour. So if you visit Santorini please walk up the steps yourself.

No.2 Broken dreams

There are so many half built homes that just stand empty and abandoned. We were so sad to see these carcasses of homes that were once was someone’s dream.

No. 3 Airport

The airport was awful. We had to stand in this long queue that even went outside into the sun. We also had to check our luggage in but then had to take it ourselves to another section to give it in. Strange. The airport staff were the only people we encountered on the island who were unfriendly. There were little stands you could buy food or drinks from but nothing really comfortable. That said the food was quite good as far as airport food goes.

No. 2 Roads are terrible

Well we know Greece is in an economical crisis. So the fact that certain things like the roads are not maintained is not surprising. The roads and parking areas are really bad.

No.3 The town of Fera

We did not like this little town at all. It is unorganised, dirty, crowded and ugly.

No. 4 No sandy beaches

You’re not going to find golden sandy beaches here. There are either stones or the places where there is sand the sand is black. The island was after all created by a volcano.

Summary

All in all we really enjoyed our stay in Santorini and highly recommend a visit.

Wonderful people, warm sunny weather, beautiful scenery , breathtaking sunsets and delicious food.

If they could fix up the roads and parking areas a bit and treat the donkeys better it would be close to perfect.