I’m so excited that I got to rent a little car in Santorini! I always say that renting a car is my favorite way to explore a country. I love driving around and discovering things on my own–and on my own time. I did exactly that in Santorini and boy, was it an experience.
Although it was very beautiful and I totally loved it, it was definitely the most stressful driving experience I’ve had, even though they drive on the right side of the road like us. First of all, the roads are TINY; definitely tinier than typical European roads. There are lots of extremely bumpy dirt roads, and there are tons of cliffs, making it pretty scary. The popular thing to rent there is an ATV, but I honestly wouldn’t recommend it. They slow down all the cars and it has to take forever to get anywhere. It took us 30 minutes to get to Oia from Fira, and about 30 minutes to get to the beach from Fira. That’s long enough if you ask me.
Speaking of the beach, it was awesome! We can to basically drive on the edge of a super bumpy cliff to get there, but when we routed to “Black Beach,” that’s where we ended up. There was a little restaurant that was closed right at the water, so my sister and I stopped to put our toes in the water (and take photos, of course). It was gorgeous! We also noticed a sign for a place called Akro to our left. The driveway was super steep, but it was actually paved, so we ventured up.
To our surprise, it was actually open! After climbing down what felt like 100 stairs, we were greeted by an amazing restaurant facing the beach. It was very nice and they even had loungers for the guests. Again, we were caught by surprise when we looked at the menu – it wasn’t even expensive. We ate, had a couple beers, and lounged. It was the perfect beach day.
After a couple hours, we headed over to Red Beach, but after discovering the treacherous hike we’d have to make to enjoy the beach, we opted for a nap instead. Next time!