Cliff jumping in Santorini, Greece

Where to Cliff Jump in Santorini, Greece

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So when I knew that I would be traveling to Santorini, cliff jumping quickly made its way to the top of my to-do list. I had googled and researched good spots, but all I really conjured up was a picture of the rock I was looking for and the city that it was in. No directions. So I decided to make some.

So at 4:00 AM, my friend Skylar and I got on a bus to Oia to try to find this cliff. After wandering around for about an hour and getting some help from local fisherman, we made our way to the cliff…and it really wasn’t that complicated at all. Also, if you are a fan of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants movies, this post will take you to some of the spots from the movie.

1. Take the steps down to Amoudi Bay. (In Oia)

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It can be a little confusing to find the stairs through all of the tightly-packed buildings. Just follow the signs that say “Amoudi Bay” and stay on the main arteries of the town, you will eventually run into them. If that doesn’t work, you can always ask a local. They are very friendly in Greece!

2. Once you are down by the water and the town is behind you, take a left and keep walking in that direction

You will eventually see a seafood restaurant with outdoor seating and once you pass that, you will see a path. The path should be marked with a falling rock sign. (watch out for falling rocks, obviously)

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This should be your view. Keep moving towards the restaurant.

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You will eventually run into this path. This is the path that takes you to the rock.

3. Follow the path back around the bend

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You will have to climb over a couple of rocks and maneuver your way around, but you will eventually come upon the cliff sitting out a little ways in the water to your right (you have to swim to get to it). As you go around the bend (before you come up opon the rock in the water), you will see the rock that the girls in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II jumped from (pictured below).  We didn’t jump from this one because the area was roped off and had a couple of boats down at the bottom.

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Be very careful because there are some gaping holes in the trail and as the sign says, watch out for falling rocks.

4. Swim out to the rock and start jumping!

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Tip: You do NOT have to scale the side of the cliff to the top to get up to the top (pictured below). I learned this the hard way. After almost falling to my death while scaling the side of this huge cliff, I realized that there was a very convenient and accessible stairway located around on the backside of the cliff facing away from the city.

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There is a flat, tiled part of the cliff on the top where you jump from. This is also the place (on the bottom near the water) where Lena in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants jumps into the water which was pretty neat if you are a fan of the movies.

*As always, be very careful jumping from this rock. It is extremely high and you need to get a running start to jump out and away from the rocks. Use good judgement and don’t jump from the highest point if you don’t feel comfortable. There are lower rocks that you can jump from that are still fun. *

 

Top 10 Things to do in Santorini, Greece

1. Take a day to enjoy the beautiful town of Oia

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Out of all of the cities on the island of Santorini, Oia is by far the most beautiful. There is so much to do and see in this gorgeous town. Whether it is eating at a bayside restaurant with freshly-caught seafood, gazing at the turquoise waters of Amoudi Bay or watching a breath-taking sunset, Oia is your place. There are also many locally-owned shops with unique and handmade goods which are always fun to peruse. The views of the quaint, white houses over the red cliffs with sapphire water down below is almost magical. There no town like this one in the entire world and is a MUST-see when coming to Santorini.

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2. Red Beach

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Red Beach is located in the Akrotiri area. Because Santorini is a volcanic island, the volcano caused many different colors of sand and rocks on different parts of the island. (There is a black, white and red beach on the island). Red Beach is definitely a little bit of a walk from the parking lot, but it is worth it. If you are looking for an easily accessible, sandy beach then this isn’t the beach for you. Come to Red Beach with a mindset of exploration and climbing the rocks to get down to the bottom will be fun. Even though it is a little bit of a hike, the scenery waiting for you at the end is extremely rewarding.

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There were a couple beautiful abandoned doors nestled into the cliffs like this one

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We couldn’t get over how clear the water was! Also if you have rock shoes, bring them. The bottom of the beach is more rocks than it is sand.

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Just playing around in the water

3. Climb the “steps”

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Ahh…the steps. The steps are located in the town of Oia. When going through the town just follow the signs for Amoudi Bay and you will eventually run into them. (If you don’t see the signs you can just ask a local, they are typically very nice and friendly). We probably climbed up and down these things ten times upon leaving. Climbing the steps is definitely a little bit of a challenge. The steps are crooked, large, jagged, plentiful and all different lengths which is what makes it so difficult. Some people pay to take donkeys up and down which I will talk about later. The reason I recommend taking the steps is because there are many pretty places along the way to admire the view or snap a picture and of course, the good old feeling of self-accomplishment. The good thing is you can go at your own pace and it is a beautiful view for whenever you decide to take a break. Waiting for you at the bottom is the beautiful Amoudi Bay. The views down by the bay are beautiful. The water alone is worth seeing. It was a beautiful turquoise, emerald color when we went. There are also a couple tavernas to relax and enjoy fresh seafood caught by local fisherman. You can also take a catamaran tour out of the bay or go jump of the cliffs.

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4. Have lunch with a view

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There are many places to eat in Santorini, but you might as well take advantage of your location and eat somewhere with a view! Dining while gazing over the houses and cliffs out onto the water is unreal. Here, we dined at the Nocturna Cafe in Oia. The food was decently priced and tasted great. It was mostly American/Italian cuisine but we were craving that after having been away from the states for so long. The service was fast and the interior decor was very chic. It made us feel like we were at a very expensive resort. They even had a little button that they gave you to buzz the waiter.

Tip: If this is your first time traveling to Europe, they typically don’t split checks so if you are going with a couple of friends, just make sure you have some extra euros.

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5. Ride a donkey

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Okay so this was one of the scariest things that I did the entire trip. Let me preface by saying, if you don’t like a little thrill then don’t do this. Or just ride the donkey down the steps and climb back up on your own. You can ride the donkeys in Oia, but we rode them in Fira. We paid 10 euro for both ways (up and back down). Otherwise, it’s 5 euro each way. Going down was a little awkward feeling but the donkeys were calm and stayed in a straight line. For us, the journey back up was where the excitement was. It is basically a free-for-all for the donkeys and they just kind of race up the steps in no particular order. They are all bumping into each other and you don’t really have any control. Even though it can get crazy and a little bit scary, you don’t want to miss out on this fun Santorini tradition. It’s definitely a great adventure to add to the books!

Below is a pretty accurate visual representation of events of how things went from good to crazy

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6. Take a cruise to the volcano/hot springs

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Cruises to the volcano and hot springs typically run somewhere around $100. This was really neat because we got to hike up the volcano and see points where it was still releasing hot fumes. There was also magma and lots of lava rocks produced from the volcanic activity over the last 3,000 years.

The hot springs were also pretty neat. The blue water surrounding the springs was very cold, but as you get closer and the water gets brown and cloudy, the water gets warmer. There is a high sulfur content in these volcanic springs which are said to have many healing qualities!

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One of the craters in the volcano

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The funky sulfuric water in the springs

7. Take a hike

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Because Santorini is very mountainous and rocky, it is the perfect place for scenic hikes! We went on a trail that was located just beyond Red Beach. Just keep going past the main beach area and you will eventually see the trail. We went on to find another beautiful secluded beach with white cliffs. Near the beach, there was a little locally-owned restaurant/snack stand. I ordered some french fries and the woman serving me said, “It will be about 30 minutes because I have to peel the potatoes.” Needless to say they were the freshest french fries I have ever tasted.

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8. Go Cliff Jumping

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You can’t go to Santorini and not jump from the famous cliff down by Amoudi Bay. For directions and more details, see my post . At first, we were all being wimps and jumping from the smaller rocks closer to the water until the most cautious, timid girl out of our group ironically convinced us to try it from the highest point. It was pretty scary at first because the water is so clear that it looks very shallow. Just make sure that you get a running start and jump out away from the rocks. For directions on how to get there check out my post Cliff Jumping in Santorini .

Disclaimer: This can obviously be very dangerous so use your best judgement and don’t do it if you think you can’t jump out past the rocks. There are also lower points you can jump from which are much safer and still fun.

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9. Pay a visit to Black Beach

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Black Beach is yet another courtesy of the volcano. As you can see, the sand really is BLACK. Black beach is a fun hangout because it has many restaurants and is good for relaxing. It isn’t comparable with the beauty of Red Beach but it is definitely something to check off the list. There are lots of lounge chairs set up at certain venues and you can use them as long as you order a drink or a meal from the venue. I would recommend doing this because the sand gets very HOT, especially in the summer time. Choosing a restaurant isn’t too hard because almost all of them have really great views and are right on the water. Just know beforehand that you will probably be spending some money if you go to this beach.

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A cute little bug with a tribal design that I saw near one of the shops

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We ate at one of the restaurants lining the beach . I got a greek salad and it was pretty good. Check out that chunk of feta cheese!

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10. Catch a sunset

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Before coming to this island, I had heard that Santorini was famous for sunsets. I can definitely see why. You can get a good view of the sun setting behind the volcano from Fira (pictured above), as well as the town of Oia.

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Above is the sunset from Amoudi Bay

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Here is another picture of the sunset over Fira

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This was the sunset view from a rooftop restaurant where we ate on our last night in Oia. As you can see, it was the perfect grand finale.

Top 10 Things to do in Paris on a Budget

1. Rent Out a Local Parisian Flat

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Hotel prices in Paris are sky high. To get the most bang for your buck, renting out an apartment is the way to go. This way, you get to live like a local and see a little bit more than just the touristy areas. My favorite website/app for this is airbnb.com. This is one of the most well known sites out there. The site has hundreds of reliable hosts with reviews of the apartments and a wide variety of price ranges. We stayed near the city of Montmartre and were very close to two metro lines. It was great because we could walk a couple blocks and be in the center of a local, bustling neighborhood with cafes, markets, shops, and bakeries.

Side note: Most apartments come with fully functional kitchens and cooking utensils which is great for those on a budget. As much as I enjoyed Parisian cafes and restaurants, I loved going to local markets and bakeries and picking out my own fresh food even more.

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Here is the view out of our apartment window followed by shots of the surrounding neighborhood.

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2. Climb to the top of the Sacre Coeur

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There are many ways to see Paris from above, and they are all breath-taking. However, my favorite is from the top of the Sacre Coeur. The cost to go up is only about 8-9 euros and it’s totally worth it. There was no line when we went (unlike the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe). To get to the top, you have to climb up a VERY narrow hallway (no windows) with a winding staircase. It was a little creepy at first since we didn’t know how far up we had to go but the view at the top was definitely worth it! There is also something about being inside this beautiful Gothic cathedral that makes you feel like you are in your own castle.

 

The steps used to get to reach the top

The staircase used to reach the top

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3. Dine at a street side cafe

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Hundreds of locally-owned cafes and restaurants line the streets of Paris. Eating out at these restaurants can prove to be very pricey if you make a habit of it, but it is definitely something to check off the list. If not for the food, you can always get a glass of wine and take in the scenery of the Parisian streets. My mom and I dined at Cafe Francoeur near Montmartre. Here, we had croque-monsieur and crouque-madame. A croque-monsieur is a Parisian specialty that is similar to a grilled ham and cheese but at the same time, not like a grilled ham and cheese at all. All I can say is that it absolutely delicious and you don’t want to make a trip to this city without trying one. A croque-madame is basically just a croque-monsieur with a fried egg on top. I would recommend the croque-madame over the croque-monsieur but you can’t go wrong either way!

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4. Visit the Lock Bridge

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The Lock Bridge is something that I have been wanting to visit for years now. Tradition is, couples attach a lock to the bridge and throw the key into the river. I was a little worried about finding it, but it really couldn’t have been easier! The bridge is located along the backside of Notre Dame. You can’t miss it. There is also another popular lock bridge located further down the Seine near the Louvre. However, this one was my favorite because it was less crowded and you have the beautiful view of the Notre Dame Cathedral in the background. If you know this is something you want to see before coming, I recommend buying a cheap padlock from Target or Walmart and bringing it with you to save a little money. Vendors do sell locks around the city but they definitely do charge more for them. This is one of those things that is on the touristy side, but something you definitely don’t want to miss!

My mom and I just had to add to the collection <3

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5. Take a walk along the Siene

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Yes, the metro is a cheap, quick way to get around Paris. However, most of the cities major attractions (The Louvre, Champs Elysees, Arc de Triomphe) are located in a fairly straight path and the walk is BEAUTIFUL. You will be able to take so much more of the city in walking versus taking the metro – and its free! My mom and I walked from Notre Dame to the Arc de Triomphe. Along the way we witnessed gorgeous architecture, street vendors, musicians and gorgeous gardens. It is also really neat to see all of the different bridges. Each has its own architecture and scenery. If walking isn’t your favorite thing, there are also fairly cheap river boats that stop at all of the major attractions along the river.

This is a GPS route of the exact walk that we took.

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One of the river boats that takes you to different stops along the river

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Some of my favorite bridges

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I wanted to take a picture of almost every door I came across during the walk. SO many beautiful doors in all different colors. This was one of my favorites.

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Veering off the river, right past The Louvre is Jardin Des Tuileries. This is a beautiful garden and is a great mid-way resting point with lots of chairs and benches to take in the gorgeous landscape

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After the Jardin Des Tuileries comes the Champs-Elysses, which is a street full of nice high-end shops. Here you will come across beautiful architecture as well as many upscale restaurants and shops to drop those Euros. Even if you aren’t planning on making any purchases, this street has an atmosphere that is definitely worth experiencing.

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Our walk ended with going to the top of the Arc de Triomphe

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The view from the top

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6. Indulge in all of the sweets Paris has to offer

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Whether it is a sweet pastry, melt-in-your-mouth macaroon, delicious ice cream or a warm, gooey crepe, Paris knows how to do sweets.

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I have a RAGING sweet tooth so this city was absolute heaven for me. One of my favorite treats was definitely the crepe. I got Nutella with cookie crumbs and it was perfect. For those who don’t have a sweet tooth like mine, they have lots of other delicious crepe options with meats and cheeses. They have many crepe stands and shops sprinkled throughout the streets. We got ours near Notre Dame and devoured it at a cute little park nearby.

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Another must-try are the macaroons! I did pay a visit to the well-known Ladurée. They have been at the macaroon game for a while (founded in 1862) and I can see why it attracts tourists. If you value the macaroon experience and don’t mind forking out a little extra cash, this is the place for you. I paid about 18 euro for a box of eight. The stores are beautiful on the inside and they give you some different choices of cute souvenir boxes. I will say though that these macaroons were a little dry compared to the others that I tasted. However, they did have a wide variety of unique flavors that weren’t offered in other shops.

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Surprisingly, one of my favorite macaroons was the apricot flavor from McDonalds. I was hungry and grabbed some before getting on the plane to go home and was really surprised at how they melted in my mouth. So if you don’t feel like paying 18 euro for a box of macaroons, or just bored at the CDG airport, definitley pick some of these babies up.

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Paris is also known for its Pain aux Raisin which is usually a round, sweet pastry filled with raisins. Definitely not complaining that this was my breakfast.

7. Take advantage of the fresh food shops and markets

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In Europe in general, food is SO much fresher. There are many markets and shops lining the streets. It is so amazing that even in the HUGE city, there are so many place to buy locally grown and homemade goods. Everything is fresh whether its seafood, fruits, vegetables, breads or cheeses. Here, there is no Walmart to buy your breakfast cereals and frozen chicken nuggets. As I said earlier, if you are on a budget, shopping and buying your food from these markets is the way to go. There is something very refreshing about picking out your fruit from an open-air market or buying a baguette knowing it was made fresh that morning. Not only are you saving money, but you get to experience what it would be like to eat and shop like a local Parisian.

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8. Visit the Louvre (at least from the outside)

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Some travel blogs and websites say that if art isn’t your thing, skip the Louvre. I disagree. If you don’t have time to wait in the long line, pay the entrance fee or art isn’t your thing, you really should stop by just to appreciate the beautiful architecture of this building. We couldn’t believe the massive scale it was built on! Truly incredible. My mom and I didn’t end up going in because the line to get in was ridiculous and it would have taken up at least half of the day. But it is surely something to stop by and take in.

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9. Picnic on the Eiffel Tower lawn

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As I said earlier, eating out in this city can be VERY expensive. So, what better way to spend a meal then a picnic overlooking one of the most beautiful views of the city? My mom and I bought some baguettes, spreadable brie cheese and jam. It was definitely one of the best meals I had in Paris. I have tried to re-create it a total of three times in the U.S. and it just isn’t the same. This is because NO American baguette can compare with a French baguette. It also probably has a lot to do with the fact that I was missing the Eiffel Tower view. We got a little five-pack of jam that had different flavors in very tiny jars from a nearby market (I had apricot). They were each less than three ounces so we could take them back on the plane with us.

If you plan on picnicking, it’s always a good idea to pack some extra napkins, plastic knife and a little towel. My mom brought a little collapsible bag that we used to carry everything in which was also really convenient. Once you’re done with your picnic, its always nice to take a little stroll around the Eiffel Tower. There are many charming views from different points around the tower and a couple neat vendors lining the sidewalks.

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10. Watch the Eiffel Tower twinkle at night

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This was probably my favorite things out of the entire trip. We timed it so that we would picnic at sunset and then be able to see it lit up all at night shorty after. The tower “twinkles” every hour on the hour. If you see the tower at night, make sure you time it so you are there for the twinkling. We sat down on the lawn and there was a man with a beautiful voice who had set up a microphone and was singing in the background while the tower twinkled. It was truly magical. We did this on our last night there so it was the perfect grand finale to the trip.

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Here is a picture of the twinkling. Although pictures don’t do it justice at all. Definitely don’t miss out on this beautiful Parisian sight that is totally free! Hope to have given you some good insight on planning your trip to Paris! Au revoir!

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