Santorini Sans Romance

Everyone says that the breathtaking island of Santorini in the Cyclades is one of the most romantic places in the world, but I can’t really confirm that since I experienced it with my best gal pal La La La Lauren. Between spectacular views from the edge of the massive caldera to sunset dinners and our own in-room jacuzzi, we determined Santorini *might* be the perfect spot for a honeymoon, but since we were on a ro-tic (roMANtic, sans the MAN) girls’ getaway, we had to get creative to turn this lovers’ paradise into a BFF playground.

Here are 5 suggestions for creating your own anti-romantic Santorini itinerary.

1. Planking. What could be more anti-romance than halting a beautiful dinner overlooking the caldera to plank?

Travel tip: planking is much more fun if you bring a friend.

2. Visit Red Beach. Near the ancient ruins of Akrotiri, you’ll find this rocky, Mars-like beach. When we went it was super hot, we were sweaty & parched and disappointed to find that lounging comfortably on the “sand” was impossible because our bums were burning through our towels spread over the scalding hot rocks. Can you imagine trying to have a romantic picnic lunch while your tush is on fire? Not sexy. In high season, this popular attraction gets very crowded, making private canoodling a total no-go.

Ta-dah! It’s Mars!

3. Ride a donkey from the port to the town of Fira. It seemed so lovely when Amanda Seyfried’s character in Mamma Mia rode a donkey up the stairs to her beautiful Greek Island wedding chapel. I’d be willing to bet that donkey was heavily sedated, because the ones Lauren & I rode up the hill were hell-bent on aggressively racing each other to the top, with no concern for our safety. For 5 euros, you too can put your life in danger, screaming at the person you’re traveling with to take a picture before you fall off and begging for your life from the gruff, hollering donkey manager. You’re more likely to get divorced after this excursion than anything else.

Sure, I’m smiling. But I was terrified.

 Donkey owner to us: “NO SCREAMING! SHHHH! NO PHOTOS!”

4. Ride the funicular. Lauren & I spent the entire 3-minute ride from Fira down to the port arguing over whether funicular was a word or not. Funicular = ridicular. Nothing romantic about that.

For the record, a funicular, also known as an inclined plane or cliff railway, is a cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a steep slope; the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalance each other.

 5. Scuba diving in the caldera. I’ve never been diving in a volcano crater before, and I probably never will again. It was a cool experience I guess, cool being the operative word. The water was so cold, I was shivering like mad the whole dive and there wasn’t much to see. In my book, frigid waters + blue lips = cranky Angie, not romantic Angie.

Checking out volcanic rocks and not much else

Santorini is romantic all right, but if you try hard enough, you can definitely leave the romance behind in favor of misadventures with your best gal pal. Good luck!

The most ro-tic dinner I ever had!

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  • September 09, 2011


    brilliant post my friend. brings back sooooo many ro-tic memories. i feel like we did a real good job of exploring the non-romantic side of Santorini. next time…rent those scary ATVs. Definitely not romantic.

    La La La Lauren

  • September 10, 2011

    Well I went to Santorini with my mom, so I too can attest it is the perfect place for a non romantic holiday! Wish I had had time to check out Red Beach and diving, guess I will have to return!

    • September 11, 2011

      Yes! Next time! I know there will be a next time for me… I just loved Greece so so much!

  • September 11, 2011

    Who needs men? I also went to Greece with a girlfriend. Men are so dense — sometimes I get more swept away in the beauty of a place with my girls. You’re hilarious!

    • September 11, 2011

      Abby – I have to agree. Something about traveling alone and/or with gals that makes me pay more attention to the scenery instead of silly fellas. Thank you for reading!

  • September 11, 2011

    RO-TIC love it!
    but I think there is too much ro-tic in my life 🙁 sigh hahaha
    I love the planking, I have yet to catch on to this craze but it is now a must do on my next trip. Also you are making me want to go to Greece so bad right now!! 🙂

    • September 11, 2011

      Definitely try to incorporate planking ASAP. I felt like an idiot the first time I did it, but they’re some of my favorite pictures from the road this year.

      As for all the ro-tic-ness… there’s a whole lot in my life now, too. Hoping the ideal traveling man will eventually turn ro-tic into ro-MAN-tic, but we’ll see!

  • September 14, 2011

    Hahaha, the first photo caught me by surprise and made me burst out laughing!

    • September 14, 2011

      I enjoy planking just a little too much, I think =)

  • September 17, 2011

    You could also try taking a boat trip out to the hot springs and having to tow a three-year-old 300 metres through open sea. That was a successful romance killer for me.

    • September 17, 2011

      How did I forget to include that?! Nothing romantic about that stinky hot spring. Was your swimsuit covered in rust afterward? Pretty icky!

  • September 19, 2011

    Ever since Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, I’ve always wanted to ride a donkey up the winding cobblestone paths of a Grecian island (any of them). Though having ridden a fair number of camels in my lifetime, I’m guessing it’s far more glamorous in theory?

    • September 22, 2011

      YES. I am starting to comprehend that there’s nothing glamorous about riding animals. They stink. They’re bumpy. And they all seem to hate me.

  • April 04, 2014

    I laughed so hard while reading this post. You have a great writing style, it is really engaging. I will definitely be returning (by the way – I will be traveling solo to Santorini, so it will also be far from roMANtic :D)

    • April 11, 2014

      Thanks, Chanel! I hope your trip is more roMANtic than mine =)

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