For many years now, my friends were telling me to go to Santorini and that I would fall in love with this island so this year I did. It was absolutely gorgeous. It is one of the most beautiful islands I have ever seen. Fira, Imerovigli and Oia are for the romantic couples but Kamari and Perissa are beach villages and they are great for families. I have stayed in Kamari, in Hotel Matina (got the idea from the review here). It is a great little hotel with very friendly owners and the prices are very reasonable.
This Santorini hotel is amazing. It is only two minutes from the black sand Kamari beach in Santorini and in a very nice flower garden.
A gem of a boutique hotel in Perissa is on the opposite side of the island to Fira (the capital) and Oia (stunning!) which must be visited by bus - frequent, cheap and very scenic.
The owner Captain Spiros (yes really!) listens to his guests and makes improvements to his hotel accordingly. At around €42 per room per night it is terrific value. Breakfast is light, but more than sufficient with fresh Greek produce. There are lovely views at the back from an attractive garden with pool.
Tavernas in Perissa are many, good and cheap. Fira and Dorian's Pub over the road has a welcoming leafy garden and cheap cocktails and beer.
Flights are with Easyjet from Gatwick.
On the main street into town and 5 mins from the beach.
The small island of Santorini is stunningly beautiful, with its old world traditional Greek charm and breathtaking views. However, it is one of the most expensive of the Greek islands, so our advice is to stay on the much cheaper east side of the island in a resort such as Kamari or Perissa. In the evening you can take a short bus ride (cheap fares and frequent service) to the more exclusive west side villages of Thira and Oia where you can dine in the cliff top restaurants whilst watching the spectacular sunsets. The other advantage of staying on the lower east side of the island is that this is where the beaches are located. Whatever you might read in the guidebooks, Oia does not have a beach! Many tourists make the trek down the long, steep winding path to the sea, in the sweltering heat, only to find a disappointing pile of rocks and pebbles awaiting them!
Melenio cafe is a great place in the centre of Oia. It is on a little terrace and has the best views over Santorini. Very different to the rest of the restaurants/cafes in the village, very relaxed with amazing cakes and fresh juices.
Oia hostel is a great, clean and cheap place to stay (and Santorini certainly isn't cheap). It's very un-hostel like in a positive way and in an excellent location.
Ammoudi port is the best place for a swim in Oia; however the climb back up to the village is pure torture. It is a rocky cove with the clearest water I have ever seen, but space is limited so get there early.
Visiting vineyards is a must, especially as most have small restaurants attached.
Also, Atlantis Books is a rare find of a bookshop anywhere in the world. It is in Oia centre and must be visited, international literature, and the shop is a delight.
This is a lovely hotel where you don't pay over the odds for the spectacular view of the Caldera.
It is one of the most spellbinding places I have ever stayed and a very romantic spot for couples.
Rooms have their own whitewashed patios outside, layered like massive steps cut into the cliff where you can sit and enjoy a glass of wine or two before heading into town for the evening. It is also just minutes from the action, yet off the beaten track enough to be quiet and private.
Fira 84700, Santorini
Lovely taverna on Perissa's beachfront with wonderful, reasonably priced food and lovely service. The best food on the beach - much better than neighbour Charlina's, yet always less busy for some reason.
While at Perissa, avoid the 'club' Full Moon as the music is dire and the dj is very unpleasant if you make polite requests. Cds skip etc.
Also, the Athina Apartments are wonderful, just lovely - in a very quiet part of town.
Perissa Beach is very small, East side of Santorini, you can't miss any of the places mentioned.
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