Greece Expectations: Santorini
Standing atop Oia at the northern end of Santorini, look in any direction and it's an instagrammer's delight. I'd wasted many a Saturday morning scrolling through endless galleries of this impossibly beautiful place and finally in May this year... #itwasmyturn (#finally). Kaz x
Having now visited i'm still perplexed at how they managed to stack layer upon layer of wondrous white and pastel buildings right on top of each other... even having seen it in the flesh it still doesn't seem real - meandering footpaths, incredible views, not a straight line in sight and the occasional cameo by a donkey.
We stayed just outside of the busy towns of Oia and Fira - which were already starting to get fairly busy in May - and chose a hotel in Imerovigli, about a 10 min drive south of Oia along the Caldera. We couldn't have hoped for a better spot, arguably the best possible location for the famous Santorini sunsets, and away from the madding crowds. We stayed in a two bedroom apartment at Xenones Filotera which was perfect for two couples with a toddler. The swimming pool was glorious, and the rooms spotlessly clean.
Hiring a car was super easy and by far the best way to see the island, we made great use of it and traversed the whole of the island, exploring the black sand beaches of Kamari and Perissa. Kamari is particularly worth a visit as there's a huge selection of restaurants and bars and there's a good island vibe there. The water is ridiculously clear - but took a while to wrap our heads around the whole black pebble beach thing... coming from the blindlingly white sands of Australia this was a stark contrast!
This is the perfect destination no matter who you are - solo singles, families or honeymooners, there's plenty to see and do to suit everyone.
Must do: Hire a car - best way to really see the island
Must go: April-June or October. Incredibly crowded and hot during peak summer months obviously. We stayed in late May and the weather was GLORIOUS though the water was effing freezing.
Must eat: Skala ($$). We found a lot of the food in Oia to be very touristy and Skala is no exception, however the quality of the standard Greek fare was much better than anywhere else in the area, the Moussaka was excellent and you must try the fried cheese and olive croquettes... we could have eaten hundreds! The service here is excellent and the view is TO DIE FOR. Make sure you splurge on a bottle of the crazy donkey beer... it's quite simply the champagne of ales, and it's local!