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It was a fantastic day. Starting with the highest point of the island and then to Akrotiri with its red beaches and the excavation sites from the bronze age. The lunch was at the black sand beach of Perissa, before exploring the pretty castle at Emporio. After tasting the local vine at the picturesque winery, we proceeded to one of the most beautiful experiences of my life - the sunset at Oia village - the picture postcard moment of everyone's life. We had a fantastic guide in Alex. It was a great day - not too rushed but a comprehensive tour of the island.
I enjoyed this tour so much, that during the tour, I had to tell myself to make sure I post this review! My husband and I traveled to Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini last week. We gave ourselves about 2.5 days on each island. What I didn't account for is how exhausting each half day took to travel to get to the next island. When we got to Santorini, we were already turned off by how crowded it was once we got off the ferry, and the bus company we paid for to get transported to our hotel. That day, I realized there was no way I was going to visit Oia to see that infamous sunset the same day. That only gave me one full whole day to come up with a plan to see the highlights of Santorini. We also wanted to hike the coast from Fira to Oia, but also wanted to catch the sunset later that day. It was way too hot to start mid-day to hike, and there was no way we were going to start the hike early in the morning to stay all day to catch the sunset. So I decided to find a very last minute booking to do a Oia sunset tour for the following day. It was already past 5pm, and I was hoping Viator would allow me to book something last minute, hoping the company would include me on their itinerary. I took the risk anyways. My hotel was not listed on their site for pick up during check out. I ended up calling the company, but it was all in Greek. I later received an email from one of their customer representative, inquiring about my hotel stay. The following day, I gave myself some extra time to have my hotel contact the company to tell them where my husband and I stayed so that they can pick us up. And they did! I even woke up at 3am hoping to talk to the company located in San Francisco, CA, but I was placed on hold and didn't want to waste my money on international calls. We had to be transferred to the actual tour bus, because we came from Kamari, but it was a smooth transfer. Once on the tour bus, we were greeted by Christina's friendliness, our tour guide. She is so sweet and organized! She spoke English very well, and she was very thorough with her explanations. The itinerary for the tour the whole day, was all perfect timing! It was enough time to relax, yes, take lots of photos, and never felt like you were waiting. I was more there to just see the sunset in Oia, but I am so glad I did this tour! I ended up liking other places that Christina took us more than Oia! I didn't think I would like visiting the archaeological site of Akrotiri, but it was actually very interesting, no there is no skeleton, but it was so cool to see what it was like to be in a prehistoric city! If you choose not to go, there is a coffee shop nearby that you can hang out in. I also wasn't too sure about the Emporio Village, but it was so cute! I took a lot of photos here instead of Oia, because Oia is very crowded with tourists, and there was no way you're going to get a nice picture without multiple people being in your photo. Emporio village is a small village but was satisfying to see that when I was in Oia, I was more focused with getting to the spot to see the sunset vs getting distracted to take photos of the similar architect from the Emporio Village. The 2 hour lunch period was also nice to allow yourself to be away from the tour group and spend time at your own leisure. My husband and I didn't swim at the black sand beach, but we enjoyed our meal and cocktails without feeling rushed. The winery spot was beautiful! Don't worry, it goes by super fast if you're not into wine tasting. But their wines are worth tasting as it has a very distinctive taste you won't get from anywhere. My most favorite site was the Ilias Mountain! At this point, you might feel tired and lazy and not wanting to get out of the tour bus. But this view was absolutely breath taking. I would say its worth every penny, and every stressors it took to get you out to Santorini. I brought my phone, gopro, and canon camera, but I still wasn't able to capture how scenic everything looked from the highest point on the island. It was a beautiful panoramic view! Lastly, the sunset of Oia. Christina did an outstanding job of telling you how to get to two good spots to take photos in Oia with a map. They drop you off at an early enough time to get to the castle for the best spot. Unfortunately, the husband didn't want to walk out into the castle ruins, but where we stood was not crowded and we were able to enjoy the sunset. Overall, this tour definitely hits up the highlights of the island! Definitely worth it if you want to just sit back and relax and be taken care of. The bus driver, I think his name is Nela? is an awesome driver too! He looks like a George Clooney and drives with so much swag! Thank you Christina and Nela for the awesome time!
We had such a wonderful time learning about Santorini's past and present. It was a packed day with back to back adventures but it was all well planned and allowed time to rest and replenish. Alex was a wonderful guide and did a great job teaching us about the island. He answered all of our questions and made our day very special. I would recommend this package to anybody new to Santorini who would like to get to know the island in a short amount of time.