Shopping in Santorini Is Truly A Thrill

We know what you’re thinking — going on holiday to a place like Santorini means all rest, no real shopping…right? Well, that’s where you’re wrong. Santorini has grown a reputation as a true shopping mecca for a lot of different crowds. The focus on handmade goods attracts quite a few people who are jaded by the usual garbage in the big box retail shops. It also attracts people that are looking for something one of a kind that their friends wouldn’t have back home.

If you’re a big shopping fan, this guide is definitely for you.

The first thing that you’re going to have to pay attention to is geography. We’re not trying to make jokes here — the island has a big caldera that plunges right down into the sea. This means that if you want to do any shopping, you’re going to have to climb hundreds of steps to get anywhere. You can do that, or you can take the railway. If you’re going to walk everywhere, comfortable shoes are a must. While some people take Santorini by storm in heels, you’re asking to wear yourself out. The hills are just too steep and there are plenty of steps to go up and down in.

Be aware that some places are ripe for negotiation, and others are not. Know when it’s allowed to negotiate the prices and when the prices are fixed. If it’s your first time in Santorini, you will want to know that the market is where you go to haggle, and the regular shops aren’t really a place where you haggle. Of course, if you see someone else doing it, you might want to ask just in case. There’s nothing like being able to get a good deal on your hands, you know!

There are a lot of different things that you can take off the island of Santorini.

Clothes would have to be the biggest surprise for first time travelers to the island. A lot of people don’t associate high fashion with an island like Santorini, but they definitely should. You’ll be able to find a lot of different clothes, and there are even people that can make custom pieces for you. Just ask around — the locals will tell you where you can go!

There’s also plenty of jewelry to be found on the island, with amazing stones set into the metals. You won’t be spending nearly as much as you would in say, London or somewhere else. It’s completely up to you to figure out what you want to get done.

There’s some yummy food to be had as well. If you’re into wines and cheeses, Santorini has plenty of choose from. The soil is very rich on the island, and it produces some of the finest grapes in the Greek Islands. Continue reading “Shopping in Santorini Is Truly A Thrill”

Food in Santorini Worth Savoring

If you’re going to plan a once in a lifetime trip to Santorini, you need to make sure that you are going to be checking out the food. Did you know that there are well over two thousand restaurants of some type on the island? This does go from little food carts all the way up to world class restaurants. This is an island for budget travelers and luxury travelers to finally get to come together in style. If you’re looking for the best places to eat on the island, this guide is definitely for you.

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you figure out what type of style you’re really going for. Do you want to treat yourself to the touristy restaurants that give you the best views, or are you looking for the most authentic Santorinian food that you can find? If that’s the case, then you might want to go off the beaten path, where the locals seem to eat. These restaurants will be smaller, less lit up and the views might not be as good as you were expecting. However, the price of the food will be a lot less what you were looking to pay as well.

Food on the island can be expensive, because you’re not just paying for the food. Like anywhere else, you’re going to be paying for staff wages, the seasonal uptick in visitors, rent costs, suppliers (which is a lot more money for the island people because they are, of course, on an island).

There are plenty of island staples, like the white aubergine that’s used in every single way that you can imagine. You should also check out a katsouni — this might make you think of a cucumber when you see one, but the taste is completely different.

Tomato-keftedes are amazing — every tourist that has gone to Santorini has raved about them. They are Santorini-grown tomatoes that are cut up and mixed with onions and special ingredients, then rolled in flour. Deep frying them brings out all of the little spices that every single restaurant puts in. Of course, have fun getting them to tell you what that recipe might be.

You also have a fava soup that’s accompanied by bread and onions, along with a good amount of olive oil.

If you’re looking for world class food, you will find it — even if it’s not Greek food. You will have to check out Ginger, which is a sushi restaurant. Sushi in the middle of the Greek Isles? Of course, why not? This is an island that literally thrives on tourism, so it’s all about giving the people what they’re actually looking for at all times.

The sushi experience is pretty good, according to all reports we looked at. You don’t just get sushi but good wine, appetizers, and plenty of suggestions on what would pair great with what you just ordered.

There’s also plenty of meat, including the steak that’s cooked on a hot rock. Don’t laugh until you’ve tried it — this style of cooking really brings the flavor out of the meat.

You have to check out all of the little fish tavernas during your stay in Santorini. Fresh air is caught right from around the island and prepared on site. It doesn’t get much fresher than that! You’ll find fresh barbounia, capers, and whatever the fisherman can catch and bring in. Wine is a given on the island, but make sure that you pace yourself — there’s really a lot of different wines to try!

Penelope’s is one of those “hole in the wall” restaurants that gets recommended endlessly because there’s really good food. Greek salad with authentic Santorinian tomatoes, stuffed grape leaves, freshly baked bread… the list goes on. If you’re serious about trying to get the authentic taste of Santorini, this is definitely somewhere to go.

There are plenty of other restaurants on the island, and with so many it would be difficult to even put an end to this guide. If the idea of fresh produce and fresh fish pleases you, then you definitely want to book your trip to Santorini as soon as possible. Right now we’re in the spring season, but demand for bookings will go up. You don’t want to get left out when that happens. Check it out today, you really will not be disappointed at all. Good luck!

Hotels in Santorini That Catch the Eye and Give You a Slice of Paradise

Santorini is the biggest hotspot this year, with plenty of travelers looking forward to spending upon the small Grecian Isle. But if you’re going to head out to Santorini, you have to make sure that you have a great place to stay. The nice thing about all of the hotels of Santorini is that you have stunning views everywhere you look. So you don’t have to feel like you need to spend a lot of money just to feel like you’re right in the cradle of luxury and style.

There’s a few hotels that caught our attention as we planned our own little “dream holiday”, and we think that they’ll catch your eye as well.

We had to start with the Astarte Suites Santorini. This is an awesome place as it’s an all suites boutique hotel. It’s actually located in Akrotiri, which is a stunning little village not too far from the capital of the island.

This is a hotel that offers nothing but suites, and plenty of amenities to keep you busy. Air conditioning, television, a safety box, a mini bar and a bathroom with a deep tub are just part of what awaits you. Since there are only 9 suites currently, you will definitely want to book as soon as you can — these suites definitely go fast!

There’s also the Astro Palace Suites and Spa Hotel. Now, you know when a hotel has the word “spa” in it, you’re going to get a luxuriously good time. True to the name of the place, there are suites that have private Jacuzzi tubs. There are even suites that have their own swimming pools. If that’s not luxurious, we just don’t know what would be.

The resort itself has another private swimming pool and a nice spa for you to relax in. You can have different treatments done while you just sit back and let life move around you.

Need assistance? The hotel’s concierge has your back completely. If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a movie star on holiday, this is definitely the type of accommodation you need.

But what about if you’re trying to save money and just soak in all of the scenery? Then you need to look at a great hotel like the Anatoli Hotel. Even though it’s not as luxurious as some of the other hotels we mentioned, it is a space that you should really check out.

You will have two different choices — the hotel side, where short stay guests enjoy a comfortable experience with great views of the island, and an apartment side for long term guests. You have your choice of which side you’d prefer.

You’ll get a pool to enjoy with the rest of the guests, and a lot of peace and quiet. Partygoers are encouraged to go elsewhere, as it’s disruptive to the guests that have finally found somewhere peaceful to relax.

Overall, there’s really a hotel for every budget. If you want to discover more Santorini highlights, just stay tuned — we definitely have you covered!

Package Holidays to Santorini Are on the Rise

Interested in Greece? You’re not alone. Beautiful beaches, amazing people, a startling amount of amazing food and drink…what’s there not to like? If you’re trying to narrow down where you should go in Greece, Santorini — officially called Thira — is definitely where you want to head next. This is an island that has some of the finest sunrises and sunsets in the world. You have plenty of tall buildings to watch the skies from as well. The volcanic soil of the island gives birth to some of the finest and freshest food that you’ll eat.

But if you really want to have a hassle free experience, the package holiday is definitely where it’s at. You get the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all of the details are handled for you.

Santorini is all about natural landscapes, amazing architecture, and history. This is a sightseeing buff’s dream destination, and there’s plenty of luxury to be had at a great price. You get to look at plenty of great deals to Santorini is you’re willing to look around.

When it comes to the package holiday, you’re going to have airfare, the resort, and transportation taken care of for you. But you will have to make sure that you move fast. A great destination like Santorini tends to go very quickly. You have to really step back to make sure that you have everything you want, so that all you have to do when you arrive is figure out how to relax, what to wear, and who’s going to be the first travel friend you honestly make.

Planning in advance makes this happen, and it takes the pressure off immensely. Go with a well known travel operator to connect all of the dots. This means that they have expensive in not only giving you the lowest price, but the most flexibility. You want to make sure that you’re able to pick out your accommodations and ensure that transportation options are provided for you. If they aren’t, you should have enough knowledge of Santorini to use the public transportation offered.

As long as you keep your eyes open during the process, you’ll find that package holidays for Santorini are actually the best way to explore this amazing island. If you want something a little more custom, you can actually find that. Travel operators are standing by right now to help you out. Good luck!

The Summer is Coming – Book Your Holiday in Santorini

We know that it’s not summer yet but if you really want a high season holiday, you need to start thinking about where you want to go now. Might we make a few suggestions? If you want crisp, clear water, blue skies and plenty of scenery, you have to check out the island of Santorini. Not sure what’s really waiting for you in Santorini? Stick around, we have just the information that you’re looking for.

Santorini is a volcanic island within the Greek Islands — the Cyclades group, to be exact. It’s found between Ios and Anafi, which means that you can hop from island to island and expand your trip without spending a lot of extra money. You have stunning, dramatic views, as well as a lot of things that are really unique to Santorini — like the white eggplant. It’s known as a real treat! It has its very own active volcano, and the soil benefits from the volcano big time.

You have black pebble beaches, as well as white beaches and even a red beach. You have to see it to believe it.

There are plenty of small villages to check out as well. If you’re someone that’s way into old school architecture, you have to check out Karterados. Kamari is the village with the black pebble beach, and Firostefani gives you a really good view of the volcano — it’s safe, we promise!

Santorini is also referred to as Thira, for the record. You’ll find a lot of examples of great architecture, and tons of little villages off the beaten path. The volcano sits nearly 900 feet above sea level — wow!

April 1st is the start of the travel season in Santorini, where the weather is really starting to get nice. April-June and September-October are really the two best times to hit the island.

To get in, you want to fly in from Athens mostly. There are some airlines that directly connect from Europe. Most major European cities have direct connections to Santorini through a few charter airlines. You’ll need to make sure that you look this up before you go. From the airport, there’s bus service to Fira, and there are also taxis. You might have a hard time finding an available taxi, so just take the bus.

The island of Santorini has a public bus service. You must make sure that you look at the timetables before you just hop on the bus. Buses tend to run every 30 minutes or so. There are private bus services as well that are a little more organized.

If you really want to rent a car, you can do so. You’ll need to have an International Driver’s Permit, but this isn’t a hard requirement. However, you do put yourself at risk for insurance problems if you don’t have your IDP.

Some people like to even rent ATVs, but your mileage may vary on this. The terrain is a little rocky and you’re going to have to share the road with other people. This makes things a little crowded eventually.

You could also tour the island on foot. A lot of hikers are more than willing to do this, and it provides a nice scenic view of the island. However, it’s not for everyone. Make sure that if you do decide to go on foot that you take plenty of breaks. There are lots of up and downhill climbs and a very rocky surface to deal with.

There’s plenty of things to see on the island. You can look at the steep cliffs that face into the caldera bay, as well as looking at the “smoking” islands around the island itself. You also get to see very beautiful sunsets, marveled by some as the best in the world. Continue reading “The Summer is Coming – Book Your Holiday in Santorini”

Wineries in Santorini

If you are interested in wine, whether just drinking it or finding out about how it is made, then you will be interested to know that there are a big selection of wineries on the island. Some allow tours and others have wine tasting as well which means that you can choose which you want to do and enjoy yourself.

Art space winery is a restored building that closed in 1952 and reopened in 1999 which is in an underground cave which creates the perfect conditions for maturing the organic wine. There is also a museum and art gallery on site and so there are a good selection of things to do there. Antoniou is a winery that is built in to the cliffs near the port. Although it is no longer used to make wine, there are wine tasting sessions and a tour, where you can either pay for a guide or tour on your own and pay to taste some wines. The underground location also contains some old equipment and a video presentation room.

The Argyros Estate saw a 5 acre vineyard grow to 65 acres over the 150 years it has been going. The owner grows the highest quality grapes and creates some of the best Greek wines including ancient varieties and some that have won awards. The wine is exported worldwide and tours of the vineyard can be arranged. Boutari Winery has been going since 1989 and is open to the public with tours available in five different languages. It produces mainly white wine in dry and sweet varieties.

With a contrast between old traditions and modern vineyards as well as family run businesses and those which  are not, it can be interesting to go to see a selection of different wineries and compare them. Many produce great quality wines but the way that hey do it differ a lot. With these just being a small selection of the wineries on the island, it means that you could go and see one every day of a week and still not see all of them. It means that the island is a fantastic place to visit for anyone who has an interest I vineyards, wine tasting or just wine. It can be a lot of fun to go to see a winery, especially one which is well set up for giving tours to the public and having the opportunity to taste some of the wine that they make, can add to the fun as well.

Water Sports in Santorini

If you enjoy beach holidays then the chances are that you or a member of your family enjoys water sports. Most beaches do provide a selection of water sports and they can be a great way to have fun while on holiday as well as a way to cool off in the water.

Santorini is no exception here. The busiest beaches do have a selection of water sports to trya nd so it is important, that if you want to take part in some, that you make sure that you pick a beach that offers them. Make sure that you also find out, exactly what sports they offer and at what time of the year, as you do not want to be disappointed if you travel out of season and they do not have what you like. Obviously there is never a guarantee that what you want to do will be available on that particular beach on a specific day but if you read reviews of the beaches it will give you an idea of what there is on offer.

There tends to be banana boats, wind surfing and snorkelling and there could be many other things as well, depending on the beach that you go to. Some offer knee boarding, kite boarding and wake boarding as well as water skiing and para-sailing. You can also take out jet skis or wave runner boats to explore the island from the sea. For less extreme options there are sea bicycles, kayaking or canoeing on offer. If you just enjoy swimming or snorkelling, then it can be a good idea to check whether the beaches have any currents or things that might make it unsuitable for this. There are some beaches which have interesting rocks under the water and so these might be a better choice if you do want to go snorkelling.

There is also a water park if you prefer to have some safe family fun and so this could be something to look at if you feel that the more extreme water sports are not quite the right thing for you or your family or you would rather not be right out in the open water. So there are a good selection of different activities on offer and so you should be able to find something that you and your family will enjoy taking part in.

Santorini Beaches

Because of the unique geographical feature of the island, the beaches in Santorini are quite different to the other beaches in Greece. They have red and black volcanic pebbles on them as well as steep cliffs leading up to the mainland which have villages perched on the top of them.

Red Beach is probably the most well known and it has black and red volcanic pebbles and nice hot water for those who want to bathe. It is extremely beautiful which is why it is so popular. It is quite a small beach and can therefore get quite crowded. The car park has a rocky walk down to the beach and the sand is reddish black and painful to sit on so there are sun loungers on it. Just before the water is a layer of pebbles and there are interesting rocks in the sea, so many people snorkel and observe them that way. The beach can only be reached by car and the walk down from the car park.

Kamari is a long black sandy beach and has an interesting feature of a rock called Mesa Vouna rising out of the sea. This right gets lit up by the sun at night, making it an interesting place to be. There are many facilities on the beach such as loungers and umbrellas as well as water sports on offer.

Perissa is very crowded with tourists as it has a very long beach. The black sand is popular in the evenings when the Mesa Vouno rock lights up. The area around the beach is newly built and so has a good variety of places to stay, eat, drink and be entertained. It has much more modern buildings than many of the other villages, although it does have a 16th century chapel.

Agios Georgios is another black beach which is popular with tourists. It has seats and umbrellas to rent and there are many restaurants and tavernas along the beach. There are also water sports on offer such as windsurfing, jet-skiing and banana boating.

For something quieter Cape Columbo is recommended as it is one of the most isolated beaches. It has a strip of dark sand and is approached from several different paths. Monolithos is also a quieter beach but it can be very windy. It does have some sun loungers and activities such as a play area for children, basketball court and football pitch and there are trees along the back so there is always some shade.

What to See in Santorini

Where you decide to go in Santorini will probably depend on where you are located. You may not want to travel great distances to see things. Therefore it is important to find out what there is to do, so that you can choose a hotel located in a village near to where you want to go.

The caldera is probably the thing that the island is the most famous for. A volcano caused this four mile caldera which has been linked to the mystery of Atlantis. It goes down below the level of the sea, which means it forms a natural harbour. There are some of the larger towns overlooking it, which means that it should be easy to find somewhere to stay close to it. In the centre is the ancient volcano as well as some hot springs. Almost as famous are the beautiful sunsets. They can form the most romantic of backdrops which is why the island is popular with couples who want to get married or who are on their honeymoon.

For some ancient historical interest the ancient Minoan Town of Akrotiri is very interesting. It was found in tact buried by layers of volcanic ash and it is thought it was destroyed in 1,650 BC. It has recently reopened to visitors and has many interesting things to look at. For other historical things, it can be worth visiting the Museum of Prehistoric Thera when many items that have been find by archaeologists are displayed.

Taking a donkey ride is a very popular activity in Santorini. It is a popular way to get along some of the roads that are not suitable for vehicles and also something which many visitors like to do, because it is very different to how they would get about at home.

The island does not have lots of museums and things to do and see. However, it does have shops and restaurants, bars and cafés. The idea of a holiday on the island is not to be constantly moving and looking at things but to be able to relax and wind down. Enjoy the sunshine and the beaches, the different way of life and getting away from the fast pace of your normal daily routine. It is a perfect place to practice skills like photography or painting, top up your tan, enjoy swimming or just sitting around and people watching.

Choosing a Hotel in Santorini

Santorini is a popular place with tourists, which means that there is a good selection of hotels to choose form. This is really good because it means there is likely to be something that will suit your needs. You do have to book in advance though, if you have specific requirements as it is a popular place and the best hotels will fill up quickly in the peak season.

Remember to be open minded and look at all of the accommodation options. You might be surprised at what you can find and how good it can be. You may feel safe with a particular brand of hotel or a particular types, but if you do not try different ones, you will never know what they are like.

Therefore, it is a good idea to think about the requirements you have of a hotel very early on. In fact, as soon as you have decided to go on holiday there, you should do this. Budget is likely to be the highest priority but even if you do not have that much money to spend, you want to make sure that you get good value for money. This means that you want to get the best that you possibly can. Think about your idea features of a hotel. You might like food served all day, all inclusive meals, entertainment, located so you can walk everywhere, swimming pool, family activities or a whole host of other things. Put together a list and then look at some of the hotels available and decide whether you want to amend your list.

It is important to put things in order of importance because you may not be able to get everything that you want from a hotel, especially if you have a small budget. However, be positive, a place like this does want to do its best for customers and so it is likely to offer a lot of good services.

Discuss it with the family/friends or your partner, whoever you are going with and find out what they all want and then come up with a short list of hotels which fit most of their requirements. Then talk again and you should be able to agree on which one would suit you all the best. The earlier you do it, the more choice you will have and therefore the best chance of keeping everyone happy.