Local: Santorini

The history of Santorini is as dramatic and impactful as its landscape. The island is located in a region that staged one of the biggest volcanic eruptions ever registered, said to have caused the disappearance of the Minoan civilization, hundreds of kilometers away in Crete. Vulcanic ashes, tsunamis and a natural disaster formed a huge crater and caldera, which we know today as Santorini. Awe struck… Read more »

If you are planning on staying a few days in Santorini, as we did (we like to really get to know and explore each destination), there are good options for sunbathing and swimming. Be mindful that Santorini beaches look different than the beach scene which may come to mind when you think of Greek islands. Here, the cliffs and caldera make for a unique landscape.… Read more »

Oia, the most popular area of Santorini, is packed with day tourists, which can be a little overwhelming in high season. We recommend you go down to one of the most magical and tranquil spots in the island: Ammoudi. You can reach this hidden gem by car, quadricycle or scooter. Enjoy the views as you make your way there and park anywhere at the end… Read more »

Sunset is worthy of your visit not only for its fresh seafood selection but for the surrounding beauty. Located in Ammoudi, in the lower part of Oia, this simple seaside tavern is set immediately beside a large cliff wall and practically touching the deep blue sea. The food is marvelous and we tried the octopus, grilled fish and vegetables accompanied by some refreshing white wine.… Read more »

The Akrotiri archeological site gathers a collection of artefacts and remains from temples and past lives, discovered over 30 years of excavations. A trip to Greece can spark a certain curiosity about ruins, which have witnessed centuries of history. Should your trip also include Athens, you can probably skip this site and enjoy the beaches and other attractions unique to Santorini. However, if you are… Read more »

Renowned in Santorini, the Kastro restaurant is located in Oia’s edge, very close to the old castle ruins. Strategically placed for sunset views amidst the little white houses, colorful bougainvillea and round rooftops, this venue is on demand, so book ahead. The food is plain and simply good, no masterfully creative touches or intricate elaborations. We kept it simple as well and ordered salads, grilled… Read more »

Avoid the tourist boat-tours with set itineraries, during which you cannot determine your own pace and opt instead for a private tour. If you are in a group, it will not likely cost that much more and will most certainly be more enjoyable. The best companies on the island are Santorini Yachting Club and Sunset Oia. We did try a third company, but had a few… Read more »

Ambrosia is one of the best restaurants in Santorini. Its name, known in Greek mythology as food of the gods, is not a complete exaggeration, as the food is indeed divine. Yet, Ambrosia’s experience goes beyond gastronomy. Located on a cliff top in Oia, with mesmerizing views of the caldera, it is worth the effort to reserve one of the very few outdoor tables on… Read more »

If you are spending a few days in Santorini and have time to see another island, take a short trip to nearby Ios. It’s well known for its beautiful flatter landscape, when compared to Santorini, and picture perfect seas, which have a myriad of hues of blue in contrast to Santorini’s almost monotone deep blue sea. There is a daily Santorini-Ios service which leaves in… Read more »

Argo is located in Fira’s small town center, a bustling tourist spot, although considerably less trendy and busy than Oia. Argo may not be worth a trip across the island for itself, but, as it is located in the very middle of Santorini, it is a good choice if you are passing through and would like a nice meal. The food is good, yet the… Read more »

Until recently Floga was known simply as 1800 and was frequented by many travelers, regulars of Santorini. It is set in an old luxurious mansion house dating back to the 19th Century, with strong connections to Oia, its shipyards and development as one of the largest commercial ports in the Cyclades archipelago. To this day, the 1800 Floga is deemed one of the best restaurants… Read more »

Before getting into the property details, it is worth mentioning that there are no words to describe the sheer beauty of the views from Caldera Premium Villas. Oia does charge travelers a fortune, given its privileged location in the most sought after Santorini area, yet this is probably one of the best cost vs benefit properties in the region. The room rates are by no… Read more »

The Astra Suites is located in Imerovigli, only 15 minutes by taxi from Oia. The hotel has beautiful views to the center of the volcano and infinite sea. Imerovigli is considerably less busy than Oia, hence being a good choice for a quieter stay in Santorini. The staff’s extremely attentive hospitality complement the excellent facilities we enjoyed at this hotel. We spent two unforgettable nights,… Read more »

The charming Charisma Suites is located near the old castle ruins towards the end corner of Oia. It is a small delightful property, ideally suited for couples. As is the case with most of the high quality properties in Santorini, one of the highlights is the breakfast, served on the outdoor terrace with stunning views, as well as the beautiful swimming pools with views to… Read more »

At the Sophia Suites every detail is geared to ensure you have an outstanding stay in Santorini: the breathtaking views to the caldera, the impeccably attentive and friendly staff, the freshly prepared and delicious breakfasts. Located in Imerovigli, the Sophia is strategically placed if you want to be near Oia (ten minute drive to the lively neighborhood) yet stay in a tranquil area. The hotel… Read more »

We were enchanted the minute we arrived at Astarte Suites. Its location is far from Oia and the city’s main attractions, a 40 minute drive without traffic, something you need to consider depending on whether you are looking for a lively busier stay or a tranquil and more secluded one. It is near stunning and unique Red Beach, a 15 minute taxi ride away, depending… Read more »