Besides Mamma Mia, crippling debt, and an affinity for feta, Santorini is probably one of the most recognizable things about Greece. With its blue roofs and Insta-worthy scenery, this island has it all: strangely old restaurant owners willing to propose marriage at any moment, a constant stream of adrenaline due to the lack of guard rails on cliffs, and a kind old man named Niko who will sing you the hauntingly beautiful song of his people whether you want him to or not.
Except… in one of the biggest cases of false advertising I’ve ever witnessed, the famous “blue roofs of Santorini” are numbered at about three. Literally, there are only three blue roofed buildings on the island. I’m not embarrassed to admit that these damn roofs and the photography opportunities they presented played a large role in our decision to go to Santorini in the first place; nonetheless, it was such a beautiful island that I can forgive the lack of blue architecture.
We stayed in a hotel on the beach end of the island, which I do not recommend. The black and red sand beaches are famous and I’m sure lovely during warmer weather, but it’s a good hour to the town and about an hour and a half from Oia, the famed but fraudulent blue roof village. And it’s infinitely more enjoyable to ATV to and from a beach during the day than have to cut your time in town at night short to catch a bus.
We pulled a Mario Kart and rented the aforementioned ATVs for a day, and spent it speeding around the island at a deadly 15 km/hr. There’s a cool lighthouse you can climb at one end of the island, an infinite number of beaches (it’s Greece after all), and another town named Fira which is perfect for shopping. And more importantly, for eating.
I would recommend Santorini to anyone travelling to Greece for the first time, especially if you’re looking for the *true authentic Greek experience*. Because there is nothing more authentically Greek than a temperamental public transit system and souvlatzidika on every corner.