That Time I Got a Free Holiday to Santorini

I spent the weekend looking at old photos and I came across these old photos. So I thought now would be the perfect chance to tell you that time I got a free holiday to Santorini.

This happened quite a few years go now, it was when Richard and I were still dating – we weren’t married then. I remember being at my parents’ house and I got a call from him, saying ‘how would you like a free holiday?’ I was like ‘huh, what’. He went on to explain that his brother booked a holiday but now couldn’t go on it, so he asked if we would like to go instead.

I’m a smart cookie (well I like to think I am anyway) and even I could see that this was quite frankly bargain of the year. At that point, Richard and I weren’t really living together and we couldn’t afford a big holiday – only places to Brighton or to Butlins, so a chance to go on a proper abroad holiday we basically jumped on it.

We did however, had to pay a small charge for our plane ticket – but that due to changing the name over. But apart from that – we didn’t have to pay for anything. All we had to worry about on the money front was getting some euro for spending.

Anyway we packed our suitcases and waved goodbye to England for a week, we soon arrived at Santorini.

We were staying at a self-catering hotel and from all the photos before we left, we were expecting something like this:

free holiday to Santorini free holiday to Santorini free holiday to Santorini

But instead we got lots and lots of this:

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

 

(Not exactly you see on the brochure!)

All the pretty building and the beaches were on the other side of the island; we were on the isolated deserted part.  Where we were staying, there was nothing to do – no shops, no amusements park, no swimming pool, nothing.

Now I shouldn’t grumble, but we were really bored. So bored in fact we ended up booking on another hotel package tour that let us on. On this, we did tour a volcano (Santorini is basically a volcanic island), went on a boat ride round the island and go on an archaeology dig site. So that filled our time but in the evening, apart from eating – there was nothing to do. I didn’t even bring a book with me – so I had nothing to keep me occupied and Richard didn’t have anything either.

We were about half an hour away from the beach, but it wasn’t sandy golden sand – but black pebble sand, and when the wind blew you get pelted with the black pebble.

free holiday to Santorini
free holiday to Santorini

Nearing the end of our holiday, another holiday maker gave us a tip and told us to jump on a coach/bus and it will take us to the other side of the island where all of Santorini main towns are. So we did and we really enjoyed walking around the shops, looking at all the pretty building and the sea.

It was unfortunate we were so far away from the main attraction of Santorini; by the end of the week we were glad to get home. We both were very grateful for Richard’s brother to give us a free holiday but next time it should be somewhere near the main town.

Now I don’t want you to look at these pictures and think that Santorini is a boring dull deserted place and you won’t be going there. Well stop thinking like that as Santorini is a beautiful place and I enjoyed going on the various tours and visiting the main town.  My tip would be to book near the main town area and research the hotel area.

So yeah that was the time I got a free holiday to Santorini. Now if only I could get a free holiday to the Maldives, anyone got a spare ticket?

Here are some extra photos:

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

free holiday to Santorini

What do you think?

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29 Comments
  • Shirley Corder
    June 26, 2017

    Oh what a let-down after those beautiful photos before you left! I’m glad you were able to salvage some of the time though. Have you ever had cold feet?

  • Debbie
    June 26, 2017

    Thanks so much for this story. I’m planning a trip there one day soon, now I’m a bit more prepared.

  • Anne
    June 26, 2017

    oh dear, what a shame. I think I could have enjoyed the isolation if it was just me and I’d packed lots of books, but I can see why you would be bored. It’s definitely worth checking out your holiday destination before you go. I think word of mouth is the best.
    #MMBC

  • Carol
    June 26, 2017

    Sorry it wasn’t the best location for a trip but it’s still fabulous that you got a free week.

  • Kate
    June 26, 2017

    Really beautiful place and amazing pictures! 🙂

  • Kim Carberry
    June 26, 2017

    Ahh! Even though the where you were staying wasn’t too good it still sounds like you had a great time….How lucky to get a nearly free holiday x
    #MMBC

  • Jenna
    June 26, 2017

    Your trip looks absolutely amazing!

  • Jess Benoit
    June 26, 2017

    That is so crazy!! What in the world happened there? That so sucks that you had to go through that but I’m glad you were able to find another package to be able to enjoy the place. It’s funny that I’m reading this now because some friends of ours are actually visiting there right now & are sharing some beautiful photos. I’ve never even heard of Santorini!

  • Karlena
    June 26, 2017

    Its a shame you weren’t near the main part of the island but at least you didn’t pay a lot of money for it. The photos are amazing!

  • Sophia
    June 26, 2017

    Wow, what a great opportunity! And such a beautiful place! x

    Sophia x http://sophiawhitham.co.uk

  • Jenny
    June 26, 2017

    Shame it wasn’t the idyllic place but a great experience anyway I’m sure! Love the praying mantis
    http://www.ajennysaved.com

  • Caryn's Keto Kitchen
    June 26, 2017

    Oh my gosh, I had no idea it looked like that! I just assumed all of Greece was beautiful! What a disappointment that must have been!

  • Shola
    June 26, 2017

    This place looks absolutely beautiful! I will definitely be adding it in our Places to Go bucket. Thanks for sharing!

    -Shola
    http://www.thelamfam.life

  • A free holiday is never a bad thing! Well, mostly free. It might have been deserted, but there’s sometimes a beauty in that fact. I mean, you never would have seen that part of the island! Now you can say that you’ve seen it all. Mostly. Now you can go back and know exactly where you want to be!

  • Akamatra
    June 27, 2017

    Oh no! You should have taken one of the many buses available and then you would have seen all of Santorini which is one of the best places in the world. I have been there a lot of times, being Greek it’s easy to visit, and we even spent our honeymoon there.

  • Aesha shah
    June 27, 2017

    Seems will have to visit

  • Kristal
    June 27, 2017

    I have always want to go to Greece. It looks so beautiful

  • Jivi
    June 27, 2017

    I actually love the run-down appearance – it looks so rugged and interesting. And hey, you got to see a totally different side of the island than most run-of-the-mill tourists do!

  • Harini
    June 27, 2017

    You’re super lucky I wish I had a free holiday like you did .Santorini is one of my top 5 destinations on the travel bucket list.

  • Team up Girl
    June 27, 2017

    Very nice written 😀 I was laughing. But I feel you. It’s really important never trust the brochure and make your own research 🙂

  • Kerri
    June 27, 2017

    I had a similar let-down when I went to costa rica! It’s amazing how vacations work out: sometimes the two-our road trip is more enjoyable and relaxing than the 6-hour-flight to a resort town in another country!

  • Chindusha
    June 27, 2017

    Such a nice post about santorini and so helpful as well!!!!:D…i always wanted to go to greece cause my dad used to live there for a few months and always talks about the magic of this place!!thank you for sharing your experience!!❤️

  • Chindusha
    June 27, 2017

    Such a nice post about santorini and so helpful as well!!!!:D…i always wanted to go to greece cause my dad used to live there for a few months and always talks about the magic of this place!!thank you for sharing your experience!!❤️

  • Reginald
    June 28, 2017

    Wow… This places are very beautiful, nice and beautiful pictures.

  • Agness of aTukTuk
    June 28, 2017

    Santorini is so picturesque and your pictures just prove that! Getting a free holiday must have been an unforgettable experience!

  • Debbie Roberts
    July 1, 2017

    Hi Anna, I hope you saw the funny side of your holiday once you got home! We often see people disappointed with their holiday because they haven’t done their homework and ended up staying somewhere they would rather not have. On the positive side at least you got to practice a bit of photography!

    Thank you for linking up with the #MMBC.

    XX

  • Anna Nuttall
    July 1, 2017

    We both came home – relieved to be home! Looking back on it I feel the brother really didn’t do his homework before booking. Sure go for the cheap deal – but don’t go for rubbish holiday cheapy deal.

  • hlegal
    October 8, 2017

    It is so beautiful . Thanks for sharing , it is definitely on my bucket list !!

  • Mel
    February 20, 2018

    I went to Santorini a couple of years ago, we got a cheap deal something like £150 each for hotel and flights I imagined it might not be that great but really wanted a holiday, we stayed in a hotel 10 mins walk from Fira the main town, it was fab breakfast was included in the price! we have a big room with a balcony too. I would go back there again if we could get a good deal again. I spoke to one couple who had paid over a thousand pounds each for their hotel just because it had a sea view, id rather take a walk to the sea and save the money!!

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