Travel Guide to Santorini
Wow! While writing this it hits me that it has been nearly three weeks since we came back from Santorini. We loved it so much and if we could, we would take the airplane back. Our holiday on this beautiful Greek island has been the vacation of our dreams. Santorini really looks as on the photos and also consists of a part of rural landscape. In comparison to Zakynthos, Santorini has very little vegetation, which is the result of being a volcanic island. From the village Oia, Imerovigli or Thera you can see the volcano (caldera in Greek), which is called Nea Kameni.
We went to Santorini with Eliza was here, a nice travel agency which focusses on people who want to get away from the mass tourism and who would like to discover the secret spots of the destination. One of the advantages is that a car is always included. Furthermore, as we are now in the covid-19 situation and countries are opening and closing, they provide repartition flights, so they will get you back if a country might decide to go in lockdown.
We did a lot in this one week and we explored the whole island. We went from tanning on the beautiful black beaches to trying to sing-a-long the Greek radio on the winding mountain roads and from doing a boat tour along the island & the caldera to eating the best local dishes!
Where to stay?
As you maybe know, I love Airbnb's. Before going we even looked at airbnb to see the kind of houses that are on the market and if they had a pool. We ended up going with the travel agency Eliza was here and we booked the beautiful boutique hotel Senses Boutique hotel, which is a beautiful, small hotel with a nice pool (including jets) overlooking the sea and the caldera. The first three days we got an upgrade to the Kings suite. Which was literally amazing. The bathroom... My lord!!! I loved it! From the plunge pool again, we had a nice view on the caldera and sea. The other days we stayed in the superb room, this was located in an apartment complex, which created such a beautiful view from our jacuzzi over the sea, caldera and island - due to the altitude.
Our hotel was based in the beautiful Imerovigli. This village is only a 15 minutes' drive from Oia and also has those beautiful white cave houses which make everyone fall in love with the island. Oia is known from having the best sunset, however in my opinion the sunset of Imerovigli is also pretty great. You do not sea thee sun itself as good as in Oia, but as you are looking at the same side of the horizon, the sky turns beautiful colors. Imerovigli is quieter, has many accommodations for tourists and is a great place for people wanting to avoid mass tourism.
Where to eat? My 4 fav restaurants!
The Aegean restaurant is a nice restaurant in Imerovigli. It is only on 2 minutes walking distance of Senses Boutique Hotel and has a beautiful view. I got a Risotto with creamed feta which was just out of this world and Kevin got Swordfish.
If you want to eat good local Greek food you should go to Anogi. This restaurant, also located in imerovigli serves the traditional dishes and they are delicious!!
Looking for a place where you can drink and eat? We LOVED the Wine Bar! Here they have a simple menu (my fav Greek Pizza). They have the best wines and according to reviews and the menu delicious cocktails!
A meat restaurant is normally not my thing but because Kevin loves that we decided to try it. Rare is a restaurant also located in Imerovigli and they have THE BEST meats. And don’t forget to try the starter Bourgiourdi! It is THE BEST thing we have tasted during our stay.
What to do?
CATAMARAN BOAT TOUR!
Santorini is a great destination if you are searching for a holiday with activities. There is a lovely vibrant vibe and the island is so beautiful! Our most favorite activity was the Catamaran boat tour. We went with Caldera Yachting Santorini with the boat Infinity on a morning tour with a small group of people. We went across the island, they showed us red beach, white beach, the caldera and we swam in the Hot Springs. The crew had a rich knowledge about the beautiful island. Next to that, the food was amazing! I would 1000% recommend. #MUSTDO
WANDERING THROUGH THE STREETS OF OIA!
During your trip to Santorini you definitely should not forget to visit Oia. Oia is the cute village which you see on all the photos, white cave houses and blue domes. Oia is known for its amazing sunset view, be sure to be there early and pick a spot because everyone will be in line on the paths to see this magical sunset. There are some 'Instagram spots' which are on private property. Please make sure to respect this, there are so many other beautiful spots and paths in the village. And by the way, if you are visiting Oia, you can eat the best Gyros here at PitoGyros! #MUSTVISIT
Imerovigli is the village we stayed in, with 300 meter of altitude this is one of the highest villages of Santorini; which offers you great views! Imerovigli is smaller and less known than Oia, but so beautiful! White cave houses, nice local restaurants and great Cocktail bars with a breathtaking view like Aqua Luxury Suites, which was just below our restaurant. The employees are so kind Manos and Alkis were so welcoming and made us amazing cocktails. They even have Passion Fruit Mojito's and Margarita's!!!
CHILL AT THE IDYLLIC AMMOUDI BAY!
Ammoudi Beach is an idyllic bay below Oia. This is the kind of place when you think of Greek islands; colorful taverna's, stairs with donkey's and Kalamari's hanging to dry above the sea. If you walk across the path, through the taverna's you have a rock path across the cliff which brings you to a rocky beach here you can take a nice swim in the clear water, jump off the little island just 20 meters from there. Be aware this is not suitable for disabled people. Afterwards we had a nice dinner at the Taverna Sunset, we got a table on the seaside and had amazing views on the sea. We went here by car, but it is hard to park, you should be here early to get a spot and coming back is hard as at some places not 2 cars can pass at a time due to the parking. Therefore, I suggest parking in Oia and walking down the stairs to Ammoudi. #MUSTGO
Often people say, Santorini is not a holiday for beaches. However, we loved the beaches! First we went to Perissa, a black beach, here we hired beds at Appolon Restaurant. If you have lunch or €25,- on cocktails you can use the beds for free. The sea is lovely but the sand is so hot so we took beds in the first line.
The other beach we went to was called Yalos, it is on a very remote place and thus you see no mass-tourism here. The beach club is the most amazing I have ever seen. It is this cool hippie sort of bar with nice beds, poofs and an amazing view. The vibe is so vibrant and free. Oh, and not to forget the cool VW van which is a nice IG spot! The cocktails here are next level. Definitely go here if you love these kinds of places. The crew is so kind! #MUSTSEE
Unique & Cool places
YALOS BEACH CLUB
Above I spoke about Yalos Beach Club. A place which I want to highlight, as it was such a cool and unique place. As it is no mass-tourism it is the address for you and I. Did you know they even make personalized cocktails? The Mastiga one is amazing, the cocktail for people who like sweet. I have never tried calamari, but here I finally stepped over the bump that was holding me back. And I actually found it nice. On the left you can see some photos of this cool place!
Where to drink cocktails?
Aqua Luxury Suites has an amazing cocktail bar with a caldera view. If you are staying in Imerovigli like we were, you can even walk here. Manos and Alkis welcomed us with open arms and made us the best passion fruit cocktails. - Yes, I am addicted to passion fruit...
Are you a lover of wine and views? Go to The Wine bar, also located in Imerovigli and again with nice views! As starter we had the oven baked feta cheese - Oh my god, why did no one let me taste that earlier?! As main dish I had a lovely Greek pizza with a nice red Santorini wine, and Kevin had the dish of the day which was a delicious Moussaka. The dessert was lovely. During the main dish we went in the natural cave of the bar, as it was very windy. The cave is so romantic and cool. So definitely a nice address if you are going off season and the weather is chilly.