This is a quick guide to some of my favourite places and recommendations when visiting Santorini, one off what I think is one of the best places in the world to visit! Mainly because of it’s historic sites and picturesque views. Santorini is a volcanic island, created from the remains of three now largely inactive underwater volcanos. It’s a mix of touristic atmosphere, fantastic coastal views and old style buildings with classic Greek architecture which make for great sights and pictures. Personally I love the culture, the people, the atmosphere and the architecture of this beautiful and special place, and hope you do too.
For those who want to find a central hotel, we were lucky enough to find a place at the hotel Residence Suites which was located right in the heart of Oia. It was less than a 5 minute walk to the blue domes, Oia castle and many great places to stop and have a meal whilst overlooking the sea. Right in the heart of it all with a great price point for the area. On top of that, we had a great view of the bay and away from it all it was quiet and peaceful!
It was our first time visiting Greece and we were so impressed with just how beautiful this island was! The local people were super friendly and helpful and were more than happy to give some great recommendations.
Even though Oia is just a small town, there are so many hidden alleys that you can walk through. It could be said that one of the best things you can do is just walk around and explore the island!
You will find all of the famous Instagram spots very easily, but also some less popular, but still very beautiful little streets and houses with breathtaking views over the Caldera.
When walking on the Main Street of Oia (from west to east) turn right at the restaurant Pelekanos. Follow the alley and you will get to the domes. This is a great spot to take some amazing photos as shown above! As always, be sure to arrive early to avoid the tourist flow!
If you want to get to the other side where the bells of Oia are located, just stay on the Main Street and turn right at the jewellery store called Alexandros.
As you can probably imagine it gets very busy there during the day, so if you want to take some shots without queuing up I highly recommend waking up super early. It will be worth it, I promise. 🙂
Oia Castle is definitely my favourite place to watch the sunset! To get a good spot you will need to arrive as early as possible, as pretty much everyone on the island will flock here to watch the magnificent sunset. I recommend heading there about two hours before sunset, take some drinks and snacks and then enjoy seeing the sun slowly hitting the horizon.
If you want to go out for dinner and watch the sunset whilst dining, you will need to book a table at least a day in advance. There is no chance in getting a table with a view if you haven’t booked! As you can imagine, everyone wants to have that view of the blue domes with the orange sun glow.
Our favourite restaurant in Oia was Pelekanos, which is located on the Main Street of Oia. We went there for breakfast and dinner because the food was SO delish!! It offers a full 360 panoramic view of the surrounding area and is surrounded in glass to protect from the wind!
To give an idea about prices, we paid around 50€ for two mains with drinks, and breakfast was slightly cheaper at around 30€. That said, many restaurants offer great views of the bay and islands and Oia’s beautifully sculpted houses.
On our last day on the island of Sanrorini we took the bus (which was approx. 2,50€) to Thira. Thira was actually the original name for the island, before travelling fisherman from Italy named it Santorini, after Saint Irene. We walked all the way from Thira to Imerovigli along the cliffside, which as expected, offers breathtaking views of the surrounding area. A great place to snap a few pictures and soak up the Greek atmosphere.
This pink house, you will find next to Oia castle down to Ammoudi Bay and it belings to a restaurant.
CHURCH BELLS AT THE PLAYGROUND IN OIA
You will find these pretty church bells at a playground a little outside east of the town centre of Oia. We found this just a short walk from our apartment and is a great place to relax in the sun as well as a great photo opportunity. It tended not to be as busy as some of the other places we visited, particular during the day.
You will find the windmills when following the Main Street to the west past the castle.
Did you know that you can even book them as an apartment? Prices vary depending on your time of visit, but seems to be an unique and interesting place to stay and will definitely consider staying here in the future!
This is also a beautiful (but popular) spot to watch the sunset.
I really hope you enjoyed my Santorini Guide! If you have been to Santorini and have any suggestions or places that you have been interested in, please let me know and I will make sure I update this guide to include for everyone!
Lots of love, Lena xx