We’ve all seen the iconic photos of Santorini. White washed structures stacked one on top of each other, hanging right over the Caldera on the Mediterranean Sea. What a sight!
There are so many possible options of where to stay and what to do, where do you start? If you’re on a search party for some affordable options while still getting the most out of your Santorini adventure, here are some delicious finds. Coffee, beaches, hotel, ATV’s, vino, and of course some proper Greek food!
Take Me to the Beach:
Being one who tends to choose the deserted beach over one that is packed with umbrellas and sunbathers, there is no way of getting around the fact that the beaches of Santorini are BUSY (mind you we went during August, high season for all European vacationers). Yet this does provide the opportunity for some phenomenal people watching!
Red Beach (left): Parking at the end of the road, you trek around a bend to a hidden crest of beach. A tall wall of red volcanic rock looms over the pebble beach, creating a unique contrast of colors. Claim a rock that pops out of the water to sunbathe on. There is a small stand to buy waters and treats in the parking lot.
Perivolos Beach (right): Yes, this place is packed, but damn it’s gorgeous. There are several places to eat and drink along the main walkway. Take it the sights by lounging underneath the thatched umbrellas (you have to pay for these!) or just float in the calm, clear waters.
Where to Stay:
You can find some insanely luxurious hotels on this well-known island with your own infinity pool to lounge in while watching the notorious Greek sunset. If a private butler isn’t your budget, however, I recommend checking out the Apolafsi Villas in Imerovigli, a great spot to settle in for the sunsets at night. The rooms are simple and clean, as are the bathrooms (try fitting a 6’7″ man in one of these showers!).
Enjoy complimentary breakfast on your patio while looking out to the sea, with sights of Thirasia Island. After brekkie, hop on your ATV and head to one of the volcanic beaches for some European lounging!
LOVE IT: You have your own patio to sit with a glass of vino and watch the sunset.
EVEN BETTER: The on-site managers are wonderful people. They provide an authentic view of the island, recommending the best beaches, restaurants, and activities. They truly make you feel welcomed and want you to have the best time possible. Bonus: They provide transport to and from the airport!
*The Pure Coffee Bar: is welcoming, clean, and modern. You’ll find techies on their computers, loungers with a cocktail, and others stopping in for a quick espresso. Located in the busy town of Fira.
*Volcan Winery & Wine Museum: Get out of the sun for a bit and take an audio tour into the underground Volcan Wine Museum. Unlike the rows of vineyards we typically see, Santorini grapevines are wrapped in wreath-like shapes low to the ground to protect from wind and sun. After the tour you can stay for wine tasting or peruse the shop for a bottle of wine to take home with you.
Yoga? Run? There’s always a place…
You’re active and itching to see everything on foot. There is a great path that takes you along the heights of the Caldera all the way north of Imerovigli to south of Fira. Sometimes you feel like you’re walking into someone’s home, cutting around all sorts of hotels and villas. Don’t worry, you’re on the right path.
If you’re ready for Santorini’s version of ‘stadium stairs’, run up and down the path that takes you to Skaros, a huge rock jutting out from the Caldera.
Enjoy the sun on your back and the breeze in your hair while riding along on your ATV. Besides, the roads are small and parking is a mission so these small little guys will get you anywhere you need to go! Single and double ATV’s are available, all come with locked compartments to stash your beach gear while riding to the beach. We went through Jimmy’s Rent a Car, a short walk from the Apolafsi Villas.