Last year, me and Ches took a trip to the beautiful island of Santorini. Increasingly popular for romantic honeymoon get-a-ways, or just for those, like us, who want to experience the gorgeous beaches, clear sea, and laid-back atmosphere of this Greek island.
The areas that we stayed in weren’t super busy or overly developed, and the people seem to see it as very important to keep the authentic, Cycladic theme in their architecture- which is perfect.
One of the most popular areas on the island is Oia, where you will see picture-perfect caldera views and, if you’re lucky enough, stay in a boutique hotel built right into the cliff face. While this is a great option if you have the funds, the fact that Oia is way above sea-level means that it’s a little tricky to access a beach, and you may find yourself either forking out for taxis, or just sticking to your hotel pool.
Fortunately, Santorini is pretty tiny (just over 76km²), and most of the main areas you’d want to visit are accessible by public bus. This means it should be super easy to get the bus from where you’re staying to spend the day in Oia checking out the boutique shops, or heading down before sunset to see the sun sink into the caldera, whilst enjoying a cliff-top drink!
We decided that we wanted to stay mainly around the East coast of the island, near to Perissa beach, whilst still travelling around a bit to explore of course. Perissa has loads of great places to eat and drink, the famous volcanic beach is stunning (if blister-incurring), and you can get great value for money accommodation- which is pretty rare on the island. Perissa itself has a laid-back, almost hippy-ish vibe. There are loads of beach-front restaurants with fantastic Greek food, yoga classes in the mornings, and bohemian market stalls in the evening. A lot of the restaurants also have sunbeds that they will allow you to use for free if you have lunch with them *thumbs up*.
The first place that we chose was Thera Incognita Studios (which you can see here). The location was 100%- tucked just behind the road which runs along the beach. The rooms are simple, clean and the owner Alexandra is so kind. If you can, try and get a room which has access to the roof. We were really happy with our stay here, and would definitely go back in the future! Oh- did I mention that Alexandra also runs an amazing gelateria and waffle cafe which is 10 steps from your door. Win.
Next, we chose to stay in Fira, just slightly North of Perissa. Fira is on more of a cliff than Perissa, and you get fantastic views over the ocean, especially at sunset. We found this studio on Airbnb, which again we loved! I love any accommodation which has unique character, even if it’s very simple. The studio was pretty tiny (but fine for me and Ches, who is by no means small), and it came with a little kitchen area and bathroom. There was a cute shuttered window right next to the bed which you could prop open and watch the sea below you, and a lovely seating area outside where you could enjoy a drink. Elvira, the host, also left us a sweet welcome note, some local wine, orange juice and coffee, which was a really nice touch.
Ok, so I just mentioned that I love quirky places with character, and we came inland to Emporio just for this Airbnb! This tiny studio is built in a traditional castle in Emporio old town. I love the style of the whole place, and the mezzanine level for the bed is right up my street. The town itself is very quaint, packed with tiny cobbled alleyways and history. This was also the cheapest place we stayed, and it’s very easy to get around the rest of the island from the bus stops in Emporio.
- Book Early! Santorini is very popular but its size means it can only accommodate so many people. Book early to get the best value stay.
- Visit Oia. Even if you don’t end up staying there, it’s definitely worth a trip, especially in the early evening to catch the sunset.
- Eat/hang out at Tranquilo. This was our favourite place to hang out by FAR. Towards the end of Perissa beach you’ll find this bright orange and earthy-red haven of good food, fun times, and live gypsy music. Don’t miss it.
- Take a look on Airbnb for some really unique properties in Santorini. I loved staying in a few different areas to get a feel for the island. If you click the hyperlink above, you’ll also get £30 off your trip!
- If you’re looking to plan a trip to Santorini, I’d definitely recommend that you check out Santorini Dave, who seems to be the fountain of all knowledge in regards to the island!
What Greek island is your favourite?
If you have any questions about Santorini, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you!