This IBIH Santorini Vacation Travel Guide contains everything you need to know about finally taking that dream vacation to the blue and white paradise that is Santorini, Greece! Where to stay, eat, and shop, plus all the best things to do in Santorini!
Since we’ve spent quite a bit of time on Santorini in the last couple of years and I got asked a ton of questions on my Instagram story about it, I thought I’d write a post with some of our recommendations on where to stay, where to eat, and what to do while vacationing in Santorini.
Bonus points that it’s a great excuse to for me to share a bunch of photos of all my favorite Santorini moments! And there are a LOT of them because we really, really love Santorini!
Santorini had been on my bucket list for years, so when we finally went for the first time last summer I couldn’t have been more excited. When the Santorini leg of our vacation was done and we’d seen most of the island and eaten all the things, I felt like I’d been there, done that, and was ready to move on.
I couldn’t have been more wrong! After returning home, I thought about Santorini all the time – even dreamed about it, and I couldn’t wait to go back.
This year, we returned to Santorini, and I wondered if I’d be disappointed – that it couldn’t possibly live up to my memories. Again, I was wrong! We stayed in different area of Santorini on our vacation this year (Imerovigli) and it was a totally unique (and just as amazing) experience from the first time, when we stayed right in Fira.
The views, the food, the friendly people, the shopping – there is just so much to love about Santorini that I’m not ruling out a third Santorini vacation in the future – though we may try some new islands in Greece, like Corfu or maybe Mykonos next time.
So if you’ve been dreaming about a vacation to Santorini, I can assure you, it really IS as beautiful as all of those photos you see in magazines and on Instagram!
If you know what you’re getting into and plan ahead for success, Santorini will absolutely live up to the hype and be a memorable vacation that you’ll never regret taking!
To help you have the best Santorini vacation ever, I’ve put together this guide to Santorini to help you plan your trip. It’s not exhaustive, there is a lot more to Santorini than I can fit into one post, but this guide will help you make some decisions when planning your Santorini vacation, and once you’re there it will help you with what to do – and especially where to eat!
As a side point, while we did not eat Keto in Santorini, there are plenty of keto friendly options in the form of souvlaki, feta cheese, greek salads, all manner of seafood, and plenty of restaurants that serve lamb, bison, and beef in the form of steaks and burgers. So if you want to vacation in Santorini and still eat keto, more power to you!
Ok, I’m going to start this Santorini vacation travel guide off with some basic facts and things you should know when considering booking a trip to Santorini in the list below.
10 THINGS TO KNOW WHEN PLANNING YOUR SANTORINI VACATION
While the locals in Santorini speak Greek, almost everyone we encountered did speak some English, so there was no problem communicating during the trip.
As of September 2019 Euros were still the primary form of currency used in Santorini. There are ATM machines everywhere, and almost every place we went accepted credit cards.
The Santorini airport is small and horribly inefficient, so be prepared mentally for the frustration, and leave lots of extra time by arriving early on the day you depart for home. There are cafes in and around the airport that serve food and beverages while you wait.
There is very little parking to be found in the cities of Oia and Fira. Rather than renting a car, your best bet is to walk, take taxis, or to use the public transportation bus system which runs often and is very cheap. You can find the Santorini bus schedule online
We didn’t encounter any large grocery stores on the island like you would find in the states, but there are abundant small supermarkets all over the island that sell water, beer, wine, non-perishable food items, dairy, meats, produce, and baked goods. There are also some vendors in downtown Fira that set up every morning with local produce and fresh fish. Finally, there is the Green Market, the Santorini answer to Whole Foods that is small but has a good selection of local and organic products.
Santorini is extremely safe. We walked at night (in well lit areas) and never felt the slightest trepidation. That being said, as with anywhere you should take basic precautions, especially against pickpockets in the congested and touristy areas.
Fira is the capital city of Santorini, and it’s located on the west coast at about the center point of the island. You technically CAN walk from Fira to Oia, but it’s an uphill hike that takes about 3 hours. The views are incredible, but bring plenty of water and wear really good walking shoes if you decide to tackle it!
You’ll hear the term Caldera a lot, it’s not a place you go in Santorini though, it is the center of the submerged volcanic crater that was formed when the eruption created the ring of islands on the west coast of Santorini. It can be best be viewed from Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli – all of which also have the best sunset views on the island.
Water is a precious commodity on Santorini. Most of the available water is desalinated from the ocean, so it’s pretty salty, which you’ll notice in the shower and when you brush your teeth. Everyone drinks bottled water sourced from the mainland, which is readily available and inexpensive to purchase at local supermarkets.
Santorini is a very naturally barren island due to the dry climate. While the cliffs are beautiful and the towns, culture, food, and views are truly spectacular, if you’re looking for a lush tropical paradise with white sand beaches, Santorini may disappoint you. So be sure to do your research and know what you’re getting into so you can get the most enjoyment out of your Santorini vacation.
BEST PLACES TO STAY IN SANTORINI
I can only speak to the places we’ve actually stayed in with any real authority, but I can give you some guidance on the best areas of Santorini to stay in based on certain criteria. First I’ll lay out the options by town and then give some specifics of the villas we stayed in.
Oia (pronounced EEE-YA)
Oia is at the northernmost tip of the island, and the most visited city in Santorini. Known for its iconic blue-domed churches, abundance of shops, restaurants, and incredible sunset views, it’s a gorgeous town. If you want to be in the thick of everything, don’t care about privacy, and have a large budget, then Oia might be the place for you to stay.
Just be aware that the tourists crowd into the city during the day for shopping and in the evenings for the sunset views. At that time especially the tiny alleys and walkways in between all of the villas are over-run with people clamoring for the best view, and standing on top of roofs and walls trying to get that perfect IG shot.
It can be a bit much – entertaining if you’re just there for an evening, but very disruptive if it’s happening on your personal veranda during the entire trip.
Fira also has incredible views, restaurants, shopping, and is larger and more sprawled out. Cheaper real estate than Oia means you pay a little less for basically the same sunset view.
While Fira can get crowded as well, especially on cruise ship days and in the evenings at sunset, because it’s larger there is more room to spread out and it doesn’t feel quite as cramped as Oia.
If you are looking to rent a private villa or airbnb, definitely read all of the reviews, because they will be a lot more honest about the downfalls of the place than the owners description will be. This is true of hotels as well – be sure to browse the reviews on trip advisor or other sites to see what people are saying about their experiences there.
Our first place in Fira, the Callia Grand Cave House showed incredible views from the outside courtyard. What it didn’t show was the restaurant on the cliff 4 feet away where about 70 people gathered every night for dinner and those same sunset views. The photo below was our view from the house, still stunning, but a lot more people than I wanted to have to face every night.
It felt very weird to sit outside at night with everyone watching – but after the first couple of days we got over it and just ignored the crowds.
What we did love about staying in Fira was that we were steps from everything, so we hardly needed to use a car or taxi. We simply walked out of our gate and into charming alleys full of shops and restaurants, which was incredibly convenient and almost worth sacrificing our privacy for.
Imerovigli is a smaller village nestled into the cliffs between Fira and Oia. We stayed in Imerovigli this year, and while you are further away from the tourist attractions, there are plenty of shops and excellent restaurants within walking distance of the square. What we really loved about Imerovigli is that it was a LOT less crowded than the other towns, even during peak sunset viewing hours.
We walked the 2 kilometers from Imerovigli to Fira a couple of times and it’s totally doable – but the return is uphill and will definitely get your heart rate up. If you’re dressing up and heading out to dinner in Fira, I recommend taking a cab rather than venturing out onto the cobblestone path in wedges or heels.
The villa we rented in Imerovigli was called the Malteza House and it had a private courtyard and pool that was so welcome after a day of sightseeing in the hot sun. With 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, it was great for our group of 4 adults and one pre-teen. The kitchen had everything we needed to make coffee, drink wine, and prepare a few simple meals during our stay. There was a washing machine, but no dryer. Wire racks were provided to dry our clothes and they worked just fine, especially because the climate in Santorini is so dry.
I highly recommend this rental if you’re looking for privacy, a pool, lots of comfortable gathering space indoors and out, and easy access to restaurants. The manager, Johan, was very easy to work with and helped us with transportation and recommendations for things to do while on the island.
Here’s some photos of the property that I took while we were there – it really is stunning. Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos of the bedrooms, but you can likely find them on the site I linked to above before booking.
One negative about the above property was that there are no good shots of the sunrise or sunset from the actual house, because it’s surrounded by wires that ruin the view. BUT, a few steps out the door is a short path that leads to the cliffs with gorgeous views from the walkway, and many restaurants where you can enjoy dinner or drinks while watching the sunset.
Lastly, I am not being paid for this recommendation, nor did I receive any discounts on the property – just letting you know where we stayed in case you want to book it too.
East Coast and Southern Tip of Santorini
If you’re looking for beaches, you’re going to want to book on the south and east coasts of Santorini. Unfortunately, those are also the areas that are least inhabited, so if you want a lot of options for restaurants and shopping, you’ll have to drive, or get the bus or taxis. The farther you are from the main towns of Oia, Fira, and Imerovigli, the cheaper your accommodations will be. So if you want to visit Santorini on the cheap, and you don’t mind taking public transportation or walking, getting an airbnb or hotel on the east side is a great option. You’ll also avoid the crowds.
Best Shopping in Santorini
Santorini has amazing shopping opportunities for a variety of budgets. If your tastes run towards high fashion clothing, bags, and $100k watches, then the main thoroughfare of Oia is for you. In general, we found that Fira was a lot cheaper than Oia across the board, but in both towns you will pay more for the exact same item on the higher trafficked streets than you will in the side alleys. So enjoy the beauty of the big shops with the views, but before you buy, check out some of the smaller out of the way shops that have some really beautiful handmade jewelry, shoes, and clothing for so. much. cheaper.
Whether you’re shopping for yourself or looking for gifts to bring home, I’ll list some of our favorite things to shop for on Santorini below:
Popular items to purchase in Santorini
Baklava and Kataifi
Traditional Greek pastries made from layers or strands of filo pastry, honey or syrup, and a variety of nuts, baklava and kataifi are a great gift to bring home with you. Or to keep for yourself if you’re not on keto. Not quite as amazing as the fresh ones you can find in bakeries and shops all over the island, the gift boxed pastries are still incredibly delicious. They are typically individually wrapped and travel really well.
Nougat, Halva, and Greek Delight
A wide variety of nougats are sold in shops that can vary from pedestrian peanut and caramel to dark chocolate, sour cherry and hazelnuts that will blow your mind. Not even remotely keto friendly, these are worth a splurge for sure. If you bring some home plan to freeze it or give it away so you aren’t tempted once you’re back on your diet!
Halva is a candy made from sesame seeds and it’s very tasty, but a little dry. It keeps well for a long time.
Greek Delight is similar to Turkish delight. It’s a gummy candy, usually fruit flavored, that is packed in powdered sugar to keep it from drying out. Brightly colored and sickeningly sweet – if you love chewy gummy style candies this will be right up your alley.
Olives and Olive Oil
The olives in Greece are amazing, and go wayyyy beyond the Kalamata olives that most Americans think of as “Greek.” All of the shops sell shrink-wrapped packages of olives that you can easily pack in your luggage. Chili olives, olives with garlic and lemon, coriander, mixed, green, kalamata, herbed, etc. And they are worlds above the stuff you’ve been buying in a jar at the grocery store back home. Real Greek olives will become your new addiction – buy a LOT because no matter how much you think you’re prepared, you’ll be sad when you get home and finally finish the last one. Bonus points that they are pretty inexpensive.
This is my stash, and NO I’m not sharing them! ?
Olive oil is also big in Greece, and it’s really, really good here! You can purchase it in bottles from olives grown on the island, or you can buy small cans (which travel safer) that are sourced from olives grown in Crete. Delicious and inexpensive, it makes a great gift for your favorite foodie friend!
Dried Herb Mixes
There’s no doubt that you’ll fall in love with the gyros, souvlaki, and tatziki that is served on every corner when in Santorini. You can achieve those same flavors at home with the many dried spice mixes that they sell in shops all over the island. I brought back a bunch of seasonings for fish, chicken, pork, lamb, feta cheese, and of course, tatziki.
Wine & Ouzo
There are vineyards all over Santorini, but they don’t look like you’d expect. The vines are small and appear more as shrubs growing close to the ground. Because rain is so scarce, the grapes grown here are small and very intensely flavored – producing a very distinct style of wine. We prefer the whites in Santorini, but did find a couple of reds that we also enjoyed. You can purchase from shops or at the local wineries to ship home – depending on where you live.
Ouzo is a greek liquor typically enjoyed by the shot before or after a meal. It has a distinct anise flavor that is similar to Sambuca. Makes a great gift or a fun conversation piece at cocktail parties.
NON FOOD SHOPPING
There are many boutiques and clothing stores on Santorini, and they cater to all budgets. There are designer clothes shops that will run you hundreds of dollars or more for one item, or you can find beautiful linen clothing for men and women in the smaller shops that run between $30 – $120, as well as touristy shops that sell cute cotton dresses, shirts and cover ups for between $15 and $65 on average. There are also beautiful wraps, sweaters and shawls to be had – not to mention scarves in abundance.
As you would imagine, most of the clothing has a resort or beach feel to it, and the colors run mostly to white and/or blue, along with pink, orange, and some tan neutrals. Not always practical for real life at home if you live in say, Canada, but fun for vacations or to wear in the summer.
Skin Care & Soaps
The Greeks take their skin care seriously. I’ve bought quite a bit of soaps, lotions, serums, and creams on my trips to Santorini and I love them all! Made without the toxic chemicals found in mainstream US products, these are natural and effective products containing olive oil, volcanic ash, donkey milk (yes, really,) bee pollen, snail slime (I kid you not,) and other non-typical ingredients. They smell amazing, work great, and are typically cheaper than high end skin care products in the states.
I couldn’t possibly list all the options here, but my favorites are from Aphrodite, Aptiva, Zealots of Nature, Minoan Natural Bee Cosmetics, and Olive Spa soaps. Some of them ship to the states and some of them you can purchase on Amazon if you buy it in Santorini, love it, and want to restock like I will!
If you can get it home safely, you can stock your entire home with beautiful greek pottery in a rainbow of colors! Whether you’re shopping for a perfect platter, or a new set of appetizer plates, you’ll find beautiful pieces in a variety of price points. Most places will ship it home for you, but you’ll pay a premium usually.
While not as plentiful as jewelry and clothing boutiques, there are quite a few leather shops on Santorini that are selling beautiful shoes, sandals and bags. Like everything else, some are very reasonably priced, while others are unique and/or hand-made and will cost more.
There are sooooo many jewelry shops on Santorini! It’s fun to just browse, and with so many beautiful options it can be overwhelming trying to choose just the right piece to have as a memento of your trip. There is jewelry for every budget – as little as $5 can buy you a necklace or earrings, or you can go up into the many thousands if you’re shopping for something big. In addition to some of the larger, flashier stores, there are many small family owned shops that sell unique pieces that you’ll treasure for years.
BEST PLACES TO EAT IN SANTORINI
Like most tourist destinations, Santorini has an abundance of restaurants to choose from. We have had some incredible food in Santorini, and not just the Greek food that you’d expect to be good there, but amazing Indian, Thai, and even Mexican food!
Before I share some of our favorites, I feel it’s of note to mention that Greece in general is very cat friendly. There are cats EVERYWHERE in Santorini, including in many of the restaurants.
As cat lovers we find it charming, but if you’re offended by animals hanging out in and around restaurants, you may want to ask before you make a reservation!
The following is a list of some of our favorite restaurants (so far) in Santorini. I’ll link up to them on either their websites or Trip Advisor so you can check them out before you go!
Rare – Meat and Pasta
Rare was near our villa in Imerovigli and it was as good as advertised! For appetizers we tried the chili cheese fries and the roasted eggplant dip – both were delicious. The standouts for dinner were the feta ravioli, the linguini with beef, mushrooms and truffle oil, the buffalo burger, and the Picanha black Angus steak.
It was all delicious, and if we’d had more time we definitely would have gone back a second time to try more of the menu.
Confetti Dessert Boutique – gelato, pastries, cappuccino
Confetti Dessert Boutique was right across the square from our villa, and we found ourselves there often in the morning for cappuccino, and in the evenings on our way in for a gelato. Their gelato ranks right up there with the best we’ve had in Italy and Spain, with the salted caramel being especially incredible. They serve breakfast as well, but for the price it’s really not worth it – stick with the desserts if you make the trip.
Taquiria Los Tres Amigos – tacos, nachos, quesadillas
A tiny place near the main square in Fira, Los Tres Amigos has really great, freshly made Mexican food. Because it’s small you may have to wait for a table, but it’s worth it.
Their chili con carne is amazing, especially ladled generously over the nachos or fries. A great spot for lunch, the seating is all outdoors so if you’re looking for a refuge from the heat, you might want to get takeout.
Let’s Eat– Souvlaki & Burgers
Our first meal in Santorini was at Let’s Eat, which was also in Imerovigli on a back street. We went there 4 or 5 times (I lost count) during the trip. The souvlaki and gyros there are the best I’ve ever had, and the cold Mythos beer on draft went perfectly with it.
They also offer wine and local liquors, and the place is always packed, so get there early or plan to wait. The good news is that they also deliver takeout, so take advantage of that if you want to eat at home in your PJ’s watching Netflix after a long hot day of sightseeing.
Anogi– Traditional Greek Cuisine
Anogi was another restaurant near our place in Imerovigli, and it was enormously charming. The staff was incredible, the wine selection really excellent, and the food was very good. Some items stood out more than others. I ordered the Smoked Pork Belly and it was a little chewy and underwhelming, whereas Hungry Jr. got the Spaghetti Garlic, which though simple and basic was truly sublime.
The Rooster in Wine and the Roasted Beef were both really good, but the Stuffed Burger was just OK and came without a bun so it was more like a meatloaf than a burger.
We all agreed that after seeing it go by several times to other tables, we wished we’d ordered the impressive looking pork shank – maybe next time!
A nice night out, Anogi is extremely popular and always packed, so call ahead for a reservation and get a table outside on their charming covered patio if you can!
Momo – Thai and Indian Food
Momo was a real surprise, because it’s in the most touristy part of Fira, has photos on the ceiling like your neighborhood Chinese takeout place, and serves both Indian AND Thai food, which is usually an indicator that a restaurant does neither well. We ate here the first time we were in Santorini on our last day, and we have been dying to go back ever since. We wondered going in if the first time was a fluke, but both times we ate at Momo this second trip were just as good if not better than the first. Some of the best Indian and Thai food we’ve had anywhere was at a tiny place in Greece – who knew?
The standouts for us here are the red curry, beef vindaloo, and naan bread, which they bake in a traditional tandoor oven. The samosas, spring rolls, and crispy chicken appetizer are also all delicious.
Paradox– Thai food
Located near the bus station in Oia, Paradox was a pretty decent Thai place with good food, nice ambience, and away from the crowds. Perfect if you’re already in Oia, but if you’re in Fira go to Momo, I think the flavors overall were better there. The portions were pretty big and the prices weren’t bad – overall a good stop if you enjoy Thai food and want a break from the traditional Greek food served in most places.
Great service and they brought us a complimentary dessert when we were finished, which was a nice touch.
Creme de la Crepe – Sweet and Savory Crepes, Cappuccino
Creme de la Crepe has the best cappuccino we had on Santorini, and also the best crepes we’ve had anywhere, including Paris! Crispy on the outside and tender on the inside, they offer a huge variety of both sweet and savory crepes that will be some of the best food you’ve tasted on the entire island of Santorini!
We stumbled across Creme de le Crepe on our first morning in Santorini looking for a coffee right near our villa in Fira. Amazing coffee, and the most unique and delicious crepes we’d ever had kept us coming back for more! We ate here no less than 5 times in 7 days on our first trip, and several times on our second trip.
While I love dessert crepes stuffed with classics like Nutella, strawberries, bananas, caramel, etc. I found myself gravitating towards the savory crepes at Creme de la Crepes. My hand’s down favorite was stuffed with the strangest and most delicious combination of shredded cheese, whipped feta cheese (they call it cheese salad and it’s amazing,) hard boiled eggs, slices of ham, tomato, and crunchy potato sticks from a can.
Sounds crazy – tastes out of this world good! I think it’s #9 on the menu, if you find yourself there, TRY IT, you’ll never look back.
If you end up going to Santorini, let us know if you try any of these restaurant recommendations and what you thought of them!
BEST THINGS TO DO ON A SANTORINI VACATION
Shopping and eating will easily fill your days, but there are LOTS of other things you can do there to get the most out of your vacation to Santorini! The following are some recommendations based on what we’ve done, and some activities that are popular that we still haven’t gotten around to.
Before booking always do your research on Trip Advisor or other sites to find a reputable company and get feedback from others who have done it.
One of our favorite activities while visiting Santorini was sailing on a catamaran. You can see the island from a completely different vantage point, enjoy a nice day on the boat, and get some swimming and possibly snorkeling time in the Aegean Sea.
There are typically two options offered – the daytime sail, which includes lunch and snorkeling, or the sunset sail which includes dinner and drinks. The sunset cruises are typically more popular and therefore more crowded, while the daytime sail is more low key, depending on when you book.
We’ve done the daytime sail twice, the first time with Spiridakos and the second time with Santorini Sailing – both were exceptional and we’d highly recommend either company for the beautiful boats, fun and friendly crews, and delicious food served.
Prices run to around $100 per person for the basic package on bigger boats (more people) to $160 for smaller groups of 12 people on higher end boats. The basic packages usually serve Greek wine and soft drinks, with grilled chicken and some side dishes for lunch. The premium package, which we did the second time had more drink options and included seafood and more variety with the lunch as well. Both were fantastic.
If you only have the time or budget to do one day trip in Santorini, we all agree that a Catamaran sail is the best and most memorable option!
Akrotiri Excavation Site
Located on the southern tip of the island, near Red Beach, the Akrotiri Archaeologic site was a great way to spend a morning. You’ll only need 1 – 2 hours max to see the site, and you can do a self guided tour, or hire onto one of the guided tours to get more of the history of the town that once stood there. We did the non-guided tour and really enjoyed it. It’s a fascinating stop and doesn’t take up a lot of time. There are lots of winery’s nearby, so you can book a tasting and lunch for after the tour to make it a full day.
There is a bus stop right near the site, so it’s easy to get to and from there to wherever you are staying. If you like history, Akrotiri is a must see while in Santorini.
Winery tours and tastings
There are many wineries on the island of Santorini that you can visit for tastings and even lunch or dinner. We didn’t get to any of the actual wineries on our trip, but we did drink a lot of the wines that they produce while there. Some of our favorites were from Santo Wines, Gavalas Winery, Gaia (they age their wine under the sea!), and Venetsanos.
Here’s a great post by Santorini Secrets on the 16 Best Wineries & Wine Tours of Santorini for 2019 if you’re planning to go and want to do your research first!
There are fish spas all over Fira and Oia, where you sit with your feet in a tank and the fish (imported from Singapore) nibble your feet. There are supposed to be enzymes in the fish’s saliva that soften your skin and relax you during the treatment. The first visit I was too chicken to try it, but this last time all of us tried it – and the experience was weird but cool. It doesn’t hurt at all, but it definitely tickles, and is strangely hypnotic.
You can go for as little as 10 minutes for $10 euros, and then up from there to 30 minutes. Before you get into the tanks you have to shower your feet and legs off onsite to make sure they are clean, and the fish are very well taken care of and even breed in the tanks up to twice a year!
It was a fun novelty and all of us swore that our feet felt softer and refreshed after we were done. Maybe a placebo effect, but I definitely recommend trying it just for kicks when you’re in Santorini.
Open Air Cinema Kamari
If taking in a movie with a cocktail in hand in a gorgeous outdoor setting sounds like a great night to you, then you’ll love this unique movie theater! A mix of modern and classic movies are shown in this beautiful garden setting. All movies at the Cine Kamari are shown in English with Greek subtitles, and only one movie is shown per evening. You can find the schedule of upcoming movies on their website. Cost is $8 euros per ticket.
Hiking trail from Fira to Oia
The hike between Fira and Oia is about 6 miles long and takes from 3 – 5 hours depending on how slow you walk, and how many stops you make. You can detour to Skaros rock in Imerovigli, which will add some time to your hike, but it’s a beautiful diversion with lots of great photo opportunities.
If you’re in Santorini in the summer it can be extremely hot and dry, so bring lots of water and plan to hike in the morning or late afternoon so you’re not exposed during the hottest part of the day.
Rent an ATV
I’m putting this one last because I don’t recommend it. We didn’t do it, but passed lots of tourists who did, and they clog up the roadways and are a danger to themselves and others. The buses and taxis drive crazy, so if you’re exposed on an ATV on the main roads you’re definitely putting yourself in unnecessary danger. Since the views from the roads aren’t great anyway, you’re better off walking or taking the bus or a taxi to get to your destination, rather than an ATV. Just my two cents.
If you’ve been to Santorini and you think I’ve missed any highlights, please feel free to mention them in the comments!
Finally, if you got this far and enjoyed this post and want to see more like this one on other places we’ve travelled, let me know in the comments!
Thanks for reading and we’ll now return to our regularly scheduled programming of delicious Keto Recipes! ?
Jennifer G says
Oh this made me want to go even more!! For Gluten Free people – how does the food fare as far as issues? i have heard that many GF people do not have issues in Europe so I wanted to check on that. Thanks for posting this!
Mellissa Sevigny says
I didn’t have the same issues in Italy and Greece that I do in the states, in the UK the effects were the same as at home. But that depends on how severe your issues are to start with and mine are not life threatening or anything. There are lots of GF options in Santorini though – so much seafood, grilled and braised meats, and lots of Greek salads and potato side dishes to go with them. Hope you go and love it as much as we did!
Thanks a million for this! We are headed there and Naxos next summer and can’t wait. Looking forward to the rest of your travel posts too! Really appreciate all you do :)
GEORGENE HARKNESS says
I am so glad you put a link to this post from your Spinach Soup recipe. I spent an entire Sunday reading and enjoying the entire story of your vacation. I wanted to comment on it, but got busy doing other stuff.
I have long wanted to travel to Santorini – it is so, so beautiful….but it’s one of those places I’d be afraid was spoiled due to so many tourists. Your post shows some good places that might work for us! (And I also appreciated your “lack of privacy” comments for the one place you stayed. That would matter to me.)
I also appreciated your beautiful photos. My photos NEVER come out looking like that – no matter where I am taking the picture. So it has to be the person behind the camera, not the camera itself.
Anyway, many thanks for the lovely post. It was in all ways beautiful!
Anyone willing to take me back to this beautiful island ASAP?
We went a few years ago and talk about going back all the times. Your pictures made me miss it even more! Another thing to check out would be the black sand beaches in the south, Perissa area. We stayed there and while it’s a bit far from fira, it had great views, hotels, shops and restaurants to visit. There is a close bus stop to take to other parts of the island as well! It’s definitely for people who want more quiet and less crowds. Could even be good for a day trip!
Oh thank you, thank you!!! This is fantastic information! We are contemplating a trip and it was between Greece or Asia, I think we are going to go this route! What a great summary! Is it possible to walk the entire island at all?
Mellissa Sevigny says
There is a long barren stretch between Fira and the southern tip without much going on and if you go in summer it’s HOT and dry. So ideally you’d just walk between Fira and Oia, but anywhere else to be efficient would require some form of motorized transportation since the island is 18 kilometers from end to end.
Lovely post! Santorini was part of my retirement trip last year. Looking at all your stunning photos makes me feel like I am there and that I must go back again!
Mellissa Sevigny says
Writing this post made me want to return again already and we just got back less than 2 weeks ago! It’s an amazing place that never gets old for us! Hope you can get back again!
Loved Santorini and Greece in general when I was there 30 years ago! Naxos, Paros and Antiparos are also terrific. Your post makes me want to travel there again with my 10 year old in tow. Too young do you think? She’s been to Vietnam and loved it but not sure about Greek Islands.
Mellissa Sevigny says
Our son just turned 12 and he loved it, he was 11 when we went last year and we had a great time then too. I think when traveling with kids the key is to not wear them out so they are over-tired and cranky, and to make sure they don’t get too thirsty or hungry which always leads to frustration as well. We like to mix up the sightseeing with some rest time and not run too much and that seems to do well for us. I’ve noticed if we keep too hectic a pace he starts to wear down and then it’s not fun for anyone anymore. One of the reason we didn’t tour the wineries in Santorini is because I don’t think he would have enjoyed it much at this age and we didn’t want to drag him along. He loves food so restaurants are always good for us, he did get frustrated with some of the shopping but we gave him his own budget and also encouraged him to shop for gifts to bring back for some of his friends here in Honduras which kept him engaged. The catamaran is always super fun (unless you get seasick) and he also found the Akrotiri ruins “pretty cool” and it’s a short activity so that’s a good thing for kids too. Hope that helps, and I’ll check out the other islands you mentioned for our future trips – thanks!
Amanda A says
It does help! It’ s hard to strike a balance between doing the exciting things and the chill out times. But it sounds like there is enough to keep a kid this age entertained…… the fish spa looks super fun! If that doesn’t capture a kid’s attention I don’t know what would! LOL………
Maria D Mascaro says
Stunning photos! What is the location of that rock castle on the water in the email? Was that Italybor Greece? Also that arch. Please post locations. Gorgeous places I would also love to visit. Thanks!
Mellissa Sevigny says
Both of those shots were taken on the stunning Amalfi coast of Italy on a boat tour we took while there. I’ll post the travel guide and lots more photos from the Amalfi coast leg of the trip next!