Santorini is a unique island situated in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km southeast of Greece’s mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago, which bears the same name and is essentially what remained after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. They say is one of the most beautiful of all the Greek islands (I haven’t seen them all), but from my point of view is the best of them all, and also one of the most expensive.
WHY VISIT SANTORINI
The island of Santorini is famous for it’s amazing landscapes, loved by the tourists and specially by the photographers who come here for amazing photo-shootings. It’s a place where all the glamourous stores, hotels and restaurants come to live, next to thousands of lights, combining a perfect romantic scenario. So, if you are looking for amazing landscapes, beautiful architecture, romantic places, a place to be loved by day and also by night, one of the bests sunsets, lovely food, impressive beaches and one of the nicest people, this is the place to be! But, if you are looking for a place to party, on a nice sandy beach, not the right destination for you!
HOW TO GET TO SANTORINI
The easiest way to get to Santorini is by plane. There is a direct flight from Athens, and it takes only 45 minutes. What you need to know is that Santorini streets are very narrow, always up and down, and for some hotels almost impossible to get there by car. Why I am saying this? Because if you have to many and heavy luggage, the only way to get with them in one piece is to carry them by donkeys. So, do ask the hotel about location and transportation from the airport.
Hotels in Santorini, not like any other destinations, should be chosen very carefully. There are two districts where you should look for accommodation. Fira is one of them and is suitable if you are looking for a less expensive hotel. Be very careful because not all of them are facing the sea and very few have amazing landscapes. The resort I choose – El Greco Resort – was at the beginning of Fira (so a bit far from the center), with poor view but amazing swimming pools and spacious nice furnished rooms. The food and the services were poor as well. So, not a place a would go back to. The other district is called Oia and if I would go again to Santorini this is where I would choose to stay. It’s more expensive then Fira in terms of accommodation but if you think of going there for an amazing experience, do choose to stay in Oia. From Oia you can also enjoy one of the most beautiful sunsets ever! Also, think when choosing the hotel about one with a swimming pool as the beaches are a bit hard to reach and you cannot find not even one with silky sand.
FOOD IN SANTORINI
The food in Santorini, like anywhere in Greece, it’s amazing! Do go for the fish and seafood, but also for the traditional moussaka or cheese dishes. One of my favorite food in Greece is mussels or shrimp saganaki and also cheese saganaki. The prices are quite the same in all of the restaurants and I was always choosing one with a nice view. So, for a lunch or a dinner, for 2 persons, you should pay around 80-100 euros. Do expect high prices for drinks. A beer for example is around 8 euros.
BEACHES IN SANTORINI
Santorini is not a place where you go in a hotel, get out of the hotel on a sandy beach and enjoy all day on a sunbed. No, Santorini it’s all about narrow streets, lots and lots of stairs up and down and impressive beaches with small stones. So, the beaches in Santorini are much different than other beaches in Greece due to their special geographical features. Red and black volcanic pebbles lay the shores of Santorini beaches and steep cliffs provide a picturesque ambience. Also, do be aware that in order to be able to walk on the beach or enter into the water, you need special shoes. And here are 3 of the best beaches in Santorini:
Black Beach: it’s a private beach reachable by car or by ATV or scooter with amazing small stones in black color, surrounded by a wild, black landscape. Black Beach is also one of the most isolate and quiet beaches on Santorini.
Red Beach: can be reached also by car or by ATV or scooter up to some point. After that, you have like a 10-15 minutes-walk, up and down, until you reach the beach. Red Beach is one of the most beautiful and famous beaches of Santorini. It has black and red volcanic pebbles and hot water.
White Beach: the cove right next to the Red Beach is known as the White Beach and can be reached only by boat. It is very similar to the Red Beach, with black pebbles on the shore, but it’s unique because of the surrounding cliffs that are white.
THE SANTORINI CATAMARAN CRUISE: Sail into the sunset of Santorini on a 5-hour cruise on board of a catamaran and enjoy a complimentary barbecue supper with wine and soft drinks. Stop at a Hot Springs and sail near a volcano, pass beautiful Red Beach and White Beach, enjoy the views of the Santorini Harbor, and jump off to swim and snorkel.
SUNSET IN OIA: The village of Oia is probably the most popular spot for watching the sunset in Santorini. Some say that it’s also the most beautiful, but for me the best sunsets I have ever had were the ones in California. So, if you do decide to watch the sunset here, you should be aware of two things. Firstly, know that the sunset can only be seen from the very top of the Island, and secondly, you should be ready to secure a good spot well ahead of the sunset (an hour at least).