You can't go to the Cyclades without paying Santorini a visit, there is truly nothing like the beauty and otherworldliness of this island.
With all the craziness going on in Greece at the moment, it's important to appreciate what a beautiful country it is and all the history and rich culture it has to offer. Although Greece has faced difficult times economically, the locals are incredibly accommodating and do whatever they can to help you have an awesome time. A great example of this is when Takis, the hotel receptionist, picked us up from the port upon our arrival and gave us a tour of the "must see" beaches and restaurants in our area before taking us to the hotel. It is these small gestures from the heart that make Greece so special. Greeks are proud of their country and want you to fall in love with it too.
So sit back and take in the views. This is Santorini! White Cycladic houses lining the cliff tops with the Aegean sea below. When the sun sets, the soft orange glow reflects off of the buildings and its breathtaking. Make sure to watch my video at the bottom of the page!
Walking through the narrow passageways and white-walled buildings are memories I will remember forever. Its such a sensory overload and I hope to convey some of that through my photos!
The first place we were recommended to go to was was To Psaraki in Vlychada which was the best place! They recommended we try dogfish and fava, a puree made from yellow peas, especially as we had never had either before. Both were delicious and I recommend you try both!
We spent a day exploring Santorini's active volcano island, Nea Kameni. A steep walk of around 150 metres will take you to the rim of the crater on the island, featuring many amazing lava formations and fantastic views of Santorini’s cliff top villages.
After this the boat sails to Palia Kameni for a swim stop of about 40 minutes in the suplhur springs of the volcano. It's pretty fascinating because when you jump off of the boat the water is freezing and gets warmer and warmer, yellower and yellower as you swim towards the spring. You should wear the darkest swimwear possible, as it will get orange stains which are vey difficult to wash out, trust me!
Even a quick bite to eat is done properly in Santorini! Avocado located in Imerovigli is the real deal.
When we were filling up our quad bike at the gas station we got to talking with a local and he gave us incredible recommendations. He circled the areas on our map and used the freshness and authenticity of the food as the main benchmark which was great. I even held out my map and filmed him pointing to the restaurants. "100% food, but must ask to see the fishes!" His recommendations have a * next to them.
La Maltese in Imerovigli (££££): The most magical place I came across in Santorini. If you are looking for a night to dress up and have an al fresco dinner overlooking Santorini, I cannot recommend this place enough! It is also ideally located for a romantic stroll afterwards between the white buildings lining the cliff tops.
Avocado in Imerovigli (££): This was so good, we ended up going here twice..in one day! The best dishes are: the Santorinian eggplant starter, Giouvesti which is orzo pasta with delicious seafood and Moussaka.
Rocka Cafe in Imerovigli (££): We stopped by here to watch the sun setting over Oia which was breathtaking. A great place to rest if you are exploring the alleyways in Imerovigli.
To Psaraki* in Vlychada (£££): This restaurant is a bit out of the way if you are staying in Imerovigli or Oia but it is worth a trip if you want to explore the southern part of the island. Our friend at the gas station explained that you go here for "100% food" and he was right! I had dogfish for the first time which is definitely something I will keep my eyes open for in the future.
Metaxy Mas Tavern* inPyrgos (£): My most hilarious story in Santorini happened on the way to this restaurant. We were on the way here and then the heaviest rainstorm started pouring down on us while we were driving up the mountain to get here on our quad bikes! When we got there, there was no availability and we were so disappointed. All the food around us looked incredible and only Greeks were eating here! Even worse, when we left the restaurant, our quad bike broke down because of the rain and we were stranded completely soaking wet in the middle of Pyrgos! It has officially become my mission to eat here-dry.
Captain Loizos* in Monolithos (££): Seafood, seafood, seafood! Ask the waitress to have a look at the fishes of the day and relax by the beach.
A short, majestic, whirlwind of a trip!
Have you been to Santorini too?
Please give me your tips and recommendations! I am going back in August with my girlfriends so we would love to here from you!