I might not be living on Santorini anymore, but that doesn’t mean that the island isn’t constantly on my mind. Following my dream and moving there has been one of the greatest experiences of 2017 and quite frankly, nothing will ever be able to top it. Saying that, I was able to experience a lot of memorable things on the island a lot of people miss. I believe Santorini is more than just a weekend getaway – it can really bring out some of the most memorable experiences of your life ever if done correctly.
Go during the offseason
May – September is the high summer season on the island. It’s packed with tourists, the streets are full, you need to reserve your sunset spot 3 hours ahead, all your meals have to be booked in advance or you’ll have to cook in your hotel… it’s not pretty.
One of the best things I’ve ever done is seeing how the island operates during the off season. The sun was still there in February 2017, but the island was beautifully quiet. I got a chance to really sit down and chat with the locals and watch as the iconic tourist destination finally woke up around April. Business owners started repainting their houses and getting ready for another tourist season.
A glimpse into everyday island life – now in full swing for everything to open on April 1st. (Tons of construction work) #travelingram #worlderlust #worldtravel #girlslovetravel #ilovetravel #travelblog #travelblogger #travelstoke #travelphotography #photography #instapassport #visualsoflife #ig_greece #nomadlife #locationindependent #santorini #santorinigreece #travel #travelbug #traveller #travellersnotebook #travel #travels #beautifuldestinations #earthpix
Santorini during the offseason also allowed me to see things from a different perspective. You get to hear more stories, make more friends, and just really feel the local atmosphere – something you absolutely cannot do if you visit during the time when the island is majorly populated by tourists.
Visit the Santorini animal shelter
With that in mind, one of the most forgotten things about this island is that it actually has an animal shelter. If you love dogs, this is the place to visit. Volunteer in the morning and take the island dogs down to the beach. The stories will break your heart. These are the animals that were left behind after seasonal owners moved away.
Luckily for you, all of the dogs in SAWA can actually get adopted! Volunteers will fly with them to a few destinations where you can wait for them and give them a forever home!
Cliff jumping in Amoudi Bay
If you’re a fan of The Sisterhood of the Travelling pants, you’ve probably seen them cliff jump by the end of the second movie. That cliff is located at the bottom of Oia, in a little port called Amoudi Bay, which is also one of my favorite places on the island (top tip, you should try the octopus at the Amoudi restaurant).
Mind you, you absolutely shouldn’t do that during the offseason, but it’s a must-do once the water gets warmer.
I mean, what’s not to love? Getting tipsy while trying out Santorini’s iconic wine and enjoying an incredible sight of an even more iconic Santorini sunset is one of the most perfect ways to spend your evening on the island.
The wine tasting is totally worth it – plus, you’ll be supporting a local business! There are over a dozen of wine tasting opportunities on the island, but I personally recommend the Santo Wines Winery.
Go see a parkour competition
It’s hard to believe this is happening on Santorini, but every year, Red Bull hosts a freerunning event called the Art of Motion and I’m really upset I’ll be missing it again this year.
If you’re a photographer and looking for that iconic Santorini shot that’s totally unique and has rarely been done before, you should definitely visit Santorini in October and watch as freerunners compete on the rooftops of Oia and do ridiculous acrobatics. It’s by far one of the most inspiring events I’ve never actually attended, but I definitely will in the future.
You’d never think something like this exists on the island, huh? 🙂
Bonus: Get a Santorini tattoo!
Want do to something truly memorable? Get a tattoo in one of the Santorini shops! My favorite is located in Perissa, but you can find a couple of them around the island. And yep, I may or may not have an entire island map with a sunset tattooed on the back of my leg. 😀