5 Unusual Things to Do on a Budget in Santorini
Santorini is a Greek island that has long been associated with honeymooning couples, but over the last few years it has become more and more popular with backpackers and explorers who are visiting the island to experience the multicoloured cliffs and natural phenomena created by the local volcanoes. Sound intriguing? Here are just 5 of the best things to experience in Santorini, especially for those on a budget:
1: Cliff Jumping at Amoudi Bay
Amoudi Bay, with its crystal clear Mediterranean waters and protected by a surrounding cliff tops, is perfect for any cliff jumping thrill-seeker. Situated in Oia, Amoudi Bay might be hard to find, but persistence more than pays off, as once you find the route, the steps will take you up to a boulder from which you can safely jump off into the sea. Keep in mind to bring sensible footwear though, as the route isn’t the easiest and there are plenty of sharp rocks on the way up. Oia itself is full of traditional Greek restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat after your cliff diving adventure, and the church near the Amoudi Bay trail is a favourite amongst tourists for watching the sunset in the evening.
2: Hiking the Fira Trail
There is nothing cheaper or more satisfying than a walk exploring the great outdoors, and where better to do it than one of the most beautiful places in the world? The Santorini Fira trail is 10km and will take around 3-4 hours to complete. Starting in Fira, which is the island’s capital, you’ll pass tourist attractions such as the Orthodox Metropolitan Church, the Fira main shopping area and the Catholic Cathedral. As you continue on you’ll pass by the Aegean Sea and see its famous volcano before heading into the village of Firostefani. From here you’ll pass the Monastery of Saint Nicholas and into the village of Imerovigli before hiking up the famous Skaros Rock. The trail then heads further north as you travel by the Church of Prophet Elias and the Church of Agios Antonios, where you will see the beautiful Thirassia island before continuing the trail to the picturesque Oia where the trail comes to an end.
3: Sunbathe on Black Sand Beach
Perivolos Beach is lined with black volcanic pebbles and clear blue waters that make for a stunning sight when we are usually so accustomed to golden sand. Generally quiet, the beach is a car or bus drive from Perissa and is close to an array of local pubs and restaurants. Perfect for a day of relaxing and working on your tan! Beware that the black pebbles become very hot in the midday sun so be sure to have appropriate shoes to protect your feet.
4: Visit a Volcano
Santorini itself has been created and shaped by its many volcanic eruptions over the years. A short boat trip will take you to the caldera at the centre of the basin of Santorini where you will find two small islands made of black lava. Here the hot springs are incredibly popular with tourists who believe the sulphuric laden yellow hot springs have healing properties. A short walk will bring you to the active, smoking craters of Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni.
5: Stay in a Traditional Cave House
It’s not just your activities that should be unusual on your trip to Santorini, your accommodation should be unusual too. In Santorini, one of the quirkiest, and most traditional, places you can stay is in a cave house which has been carved into the Santorini cliffs.
This article was published in May 2017.