We love Santorini
Not only because Santorini is the superstar of the Greek island and a almost known all around the world. We instantly fell in love withe the multicoloured cliffs soar out of a sea-drowned caldera, topped by drifts of whitewashed buildings.
It should be on every travellers´ bucket list, cause we´ve never seen a dazzling panorama in europe like that, such romantic sunsets and volcanic-sand beaches.
No wonder that Santorini has almost 1.5 million tourists a year, but you can find many non touristical spots and lots of privacy if you travel right.
Santorinis history is less ordinary, part of the Cyclades island group, this beautiful island sits in the Aegean Sea, between Athens and Crete.
If you come by plane you can see the trademark landscape of Santorini, towerung cliffs and a half-moon shape.
The island’s busy capital named Fira sprawls into some other amazing little villages just a few minutes away, like Firostefani and the highest point of the caldere edge names Imerovigli. If you walk along you will discover lots of high-end hotels, restaurants with terraces facing the sea and millions of opprtunities to take a picture.
The most crowded place is indeed Oia, an exclusive Villahe in the noth. Many luxury hotels, thousands of tourist and the most epic sunset you have ever seen.
The only thing you need to get used are this million people walking around Oia, especially around Sunset Time..
But it´s totally worth seeing the sunset, just be sure not to sit where everybody else is sitting, just go the extra mile, it´s never crowded.
So it was nice being Oia for the sunset, but the other days we enjoyed the sunset view in Fira and Imervogli. Also just walk the extra mile and you will see the same scenery just less crowded.
In contrast to the east were you can´t find beaches, cause of the caldere edge heights, you will find a string of beaches famed for their different colours like black, red and white… The Red Beach is a traveller´s favorite.
The interior enchants with vineyards and traditional villages far away from the tourist hustle. You need to stop in Pyrgos for a great wander and good food.
What to do?
Walk and just admire the views and keep walking… If you are used to walk you can walk from Fira, to Firostefani, Imerovigli all along the caldera edge pathway. If you walk 9km more you will be in Oia, but the path is a little bit rough and it´s a 4hrs walk.
We rented a buggy for 2 days and just discoverd the island with it… it was amazing and the only spot were we had a problem finding a parking spot was Oia:)
There is some interesting history you can discover, lile the fascinating site of Akrotiri or the museum in Fira.
You cannot miss the sunsets, cause it´s beyong magical and a wonder of nature.
Have fun taking some boat tours, maybe also one for dinner and sunsets. It will also bring you to the white sand beach and some other amazing spots you won´t miss.
Any tour you can image is possible and can be organised, dozens of agencies are ready to help.
Depending how much time you have it´s also worth visting the open air cinema or some cooking demonstrations and to enjoy the growing foodie culture.
Where to stay?
Hotels offering calder views are way more expensive then hotels with Akrotiri´s view – and it´s fair way from the action of Fira.
The east coast, were we decided to stay is lesser known and impresses with volcanic-sand beaches and a more traditional flair and are really affordable. You will find sunlounger-filled beaches, sport opprtunities, bars and lovely little tavernas lined on beach promenades.
If you want to afford it, you should stay at one of the luxury hotels on the caldere side to experience the full wow factor. There are a lots of hotels and private villas with breathtaking views and magical interior, terraces and infinity pools and rooms in caves.
But it´s pricy and premium travelling.
You will find chepaer options away from the front row, but I can totally recommend the other side of Santorini where we stayed and we had the absolute best stay ever. Cause we had everything. From an afforable room with private jacuzzi on the roof, to the beach and lots of tavernas and it was just a 5 minutes drive to fira or 15 minutes by bus. We headed only once to Oia, cause we fell more in love with the less crowded view options in Fira.
Hotel Tipp in Kamari: Blue Waves Hotel Blue Waves has a lot to offer, fanstatic location, privacy and just a 3 minutes walk to the beach and good restaurants. But the best is the private pool or jacuzzi for an affordable price! And it is family owned, amazing and friendly stuff and the manager is always close by to hep you with any needs.
Hotel Tipp in Oia: White Pearl Villas
It is a scret spot, less crowded and privacy guaranteed. Oia has thousands of tourists so be careful when you choose your hotel… you don´ want people watching you, while you are in a jacuzzi with your hubby.
Best Travel Time
Peak time is July and August and I can´t tell you how it is then, but I wouldn´t go:) Prices are soar and hotels and viewpoints are over packed. The best times according to me and some friends is around May, June and September.
I would enjoy going off season, cause tavernas are empty and you will miss the holiday feeling when you are alone on the island.
Some more highlights…