Santorini is one of those amazing places that looks exactly like the pictures you see online; the white buildings cascading on the side of the glorious mountains, the deep blue sea that seemingly goes on for miles, and the active volcano that is both terrifying and mesmerizing simultaneously.

Greece has always been a dream destination, so to have the opportunity to spend time here was truly a blessing.

Read on to see the highlights of my trip, as well as a few recommendations.
STAY IN: Fira 

Oia (pronounced Eeya)  is considered the best place to stay in Santorini, however, if you’re looking for true culture and to mix with the locals, I recommend staying in Fira.
It’s simply gorgeous, with a fun, lively market and views to die for.

HOTEL: Sun Rocks Santorini 

Above: view of the pool and restaurant area

Sun Rocks hotel is by far the most gorgeous hotel I have ever stayed in. The service was impeccable; the manager personally welcomes you, presents you with a phone to use for the duration of the trip to have him on call 24 hours to attend to any need!

Breakfast was my favourite part of the day: the best tasting breads, croissants, pancakes and pound cake were served daily with fresh juice and decadent hot chocolate.

If you’re considering a trip, I highly recommend staying at Sun Rocks. However, it’s specifically for couples and consists of only 18 rooms so everything is highly personalized. The rooms are spacious and luxurious; a 5 star opulent experience!

DRIVE: Smart Car

The roads in Santorini are not only narrow, but driving up a mountain can be rather scary. A small car is convenient for parking that’s limited too.
Many recommend 4 wheelers or scooters but I would advise against it- if you’re not experienced the mountain can be daunting. It also gets extremely hot to navigate a bike.
Make sure you get your international license. The drive in Santorini is on the left, so if you’re South African it can get confusing, but because there are no highways or anything more than narrow alleyways, it doesn’t take long to get used to the drive.
 MUST DO: Sunset in Oia

Oia is extremely glamorous, the markets are stunning and restaurants have an amazing view. Oia is a lot more expensive than Fira in terms of food, souvenirs and clothing, however it’s definitely worth the drive. Most of the imagery you see of Santorini is shot here.

 EAT: Gyro 

We had falafels daily, and I still crave them immensely. They were absolutely heavenly, and from the only restaurant that we found that had a separate section for vegetarian food, which we appreciated. Also, you have to taste Fanta Lemon! One of the most refreshing sodas by far and haven’t found it elsewhere.

They were situated just outside the market on the main road in Fira

I didn’t enjoy the seafood that much, as they mainly eat octopus. I would however, recommend trying a prawn saganaki; a well known dish in Greece. Other than that, stick to pizza/pasta

BEACH: Perivolos 

I hated red beach so much that it made me cry. You have to climb down the side of a very steep, unregulated mountain that you could very easily slip off. There’s no security or lifeguards so if you fall, well, that’s that. It was terrifying, and overhead there’s rocks falling. I could not understand why this was the “best” beach of santorini.
I thoroughly enjoyed Perivolos beach; it’s well maintained, clean, and there are restaurants along the back of the beach to enjoy. There are also deck chairs to relax on and umbrellas when the heat becomes unbearable. A must visit!

All in all, Santorini is definitely worth the relaxing trip; do consider it as your next destination!