The Sisterhood of Santorini
While my original intention when planning to head to Santorini, Greece was to recreate scenes from the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, I did not expect it to become a reality. Turning my vague ideas of what I wanted to do (ride a moped, cliff jump, and see the Oia sunset) into an actual plan was easier than I imagined, thanks in part to the sisterhood that I formed with a fellow solo traveler. Here are some of my tips to have a Greek adventure like Carmen, Tibby, Bridget, and Lena:
Sisterhood Step #1: ATVs over Mopeds
The moped rental turned into an ATV rental as it was both cheaper ultimately safer (in my opinion). We took the ATVs all over the island from the southern point of Santorini with the stunning Red Beach and the popular Perissa Beach to the northern point of Ammoudi Bay. Santorini was easy to navigate on the ATVs as the roads were not particularly traffic heavy and parking was generally easy to come by. The ride was filled with gorgeous views, lots of laughs, and maybe a little too much sun.
Sisterhood Step #2: Cliff Jumping
The cliff jumping scene from the movie was filmed in the Ammoudi Bay on the north side of Santorini. To get to seaside town, you have to either walk down a long flight of stairs from the town of Oia or park alongside the cliff near Ammoudi. Once in Ammoudi Bay, you follow the cliffside away from the town to get to a ledge where you will find many people sunbathing and watching the cliff jumpers. Once in this spot, you can see an old fort built on a small island that is a short (albeit cold) swim away. Once at this island, you can either climb up the side of the island or keep swimming to get to the steps. I opted for the steps while my friend did the cliff climb; both lead you to the circular ledge. Once at the ledge, looking down at the clear water, you can see some rock formations directly below - basically, this means when you jump, you have to make sure to jump out a bit. It took a little bit (okay, maybe a lot) of encouragement but I jumped off the ledge into the cold Aegean Sea and it was a truly exhilarating experience. Definitely worthwhile to at least see the semi-secluded area!
Sisterhood Step #3: Oia Sunset
The world-famous Oia sunset is not to be missed. A huge crowd of people watches the sunset every clear night in Oia and if you want to watch the sunset from a restaurant, make your reservation well in advance as these seats fill quickly during high season. The sunset can be watched from any point on the island and it just depends on what you want to see. From Fira and the center portion of the island, you can watch the colors of the sunset change on the white buildings of Oia and Imerovigli. You could also take in the view from Oia itself to watch the sun drop into the horizon. We got to the “sunset view” spot a little too late but we found spots to stand on the steps looking at the horizon. The crowd only continued to fill in while we stood there so I suggest getting there in advance to the “magic hour” if you want to find a seat. Watching the sun sink directly into the skyline is a stunning sight and it is the type of experience that is beyond words.
While these were the main activities I wanted to do in relation to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, there was one other activity that I did that I’d like to highlight.
Fira to Oia Hike:
This 11km hike takes you through multiple towns and straight up two mountains. It is not a hike for the faint of heart but the views of the caldera make it so worth it. You can find the “start” in Fira just to the north of Archaeological Museum of Thera and you’ll know when you’ve almost reached the end of the trail when you find a beautiful small church and white archway looking down at the town of Oia. Bring lots of water and suntan lotion!
It’s easy to get swept up into the romance of experiencing activities found in a movie but the sheer beauty of Santorini, the mouthwateringly good food, the wonderful people, and the huge variety of activities to do made Santorini one of my favorite places I’ve ever been.