So let’s do a real quick #tbt to two summers ago (ugh was it really that long ago, brb, gonna go cry my eyes out and maybe teleport there real quick…), when I was gallivanting through Ireland and just basking in the Irish-ness of it all.
I’d thought about hitchhiking (seemed like a cool way to meet people and have some unique experiences) but I was like ahhhhh I’m a solo female traveler and that. Is. SCARY.
BUT surprise, surprise – the beaches were not all that great! If you want beautiful beaches and whatnot, get your ass to Paros or Naxos.
Santorini does have beaches, don’t get me wrong – I went to the red beach, which was cool and all, but it didn’t have that super soft sand that you may picture. It was more like fiber-y chunks of tree bark.
The black beach and white beach are supposedly cool, too (I didn’t go) – but again, not what you expect. Santorini is a raised island, so it’s like up on a platform. Hence the not so great beaches and rockiness.
I cannot talk about Paros enough. I loved loved L-O-V-E-D Paros. Did I tell you how much I loved Paros? No? Okay well get ready to sit and listen to me for about 10 hours. Yay so much fun!
We asked the guy at the front desk in my friend Andrew’s hostel which islands we should go to – we knew we wanted to do Santorini (I know, I know – super touristy…But it’s like one of those places I think everyone HAS to see) and one other.
Apparently Santorini doesn’t have great beaches and we wanted that, so he suggested Paros or Naxos. According to him, Naxos was more known for families, so Paros it was!
[Look at me and all my friends!!!!!! I just can’t help it that I’m so popular…]
Okay so – I was terrified that I would make zero friends if I traveled solo. I’m an introvert, and can easily sink into hermit mode if I’m not feeling motivated to socialize.
I can be outgoing when I want to be, but I don’t always want to be – I was afraid I’d end up having a major pity party while everyone else was laughing and having a great time.
But – spoiler alert – that DID NOT HAPPEN! For the most part. There were definitely a few nights where I felt like a big ol’ lame-o (it’s a vicious cycle: I feel like being alone so I don’t try to meet anyone, but then I hear people laughing together and I feel bad for myself. SIGH).
But most of the time, it was easy to meet people and I’m now super hyped on solo travel!
[Scenery from Slea Head Drive – read on for more info on that!]
Ireland is soooo much more than Dublin! When I hear that people only went there it literally pains me (especially because I was not the biggest fan of Dublin).
I’d say spend like 2-3 days in Dublin (depending on what you want to do) and after that get the heck out of there! IMO it’s overpriced and overcrowded with tourists (especially Temple Bar area – avoid at night at all costs!!!!).
And also – yessss I’m that girl that went to Ireland a year ago and is STILL talking about it. Ugh. But if you read on, you’ll understand why…And also, why not start off with a bang with one of my favorite places ever?
Want to learn more about the logistics of getting around, currency, where to stay, etc.? Go here.