I have just returned from a dream trip to Santorini – if this place isn’t on your list already… it should be.
You may have seen Santorini from bloggers pictures, it looks dreamy, white, blue, expensive.. the phrase ‘don’t believe what you see’ comes to mind, now don’t get me wrong, it’s all those things but it is SO much more as well.
We stayed in Perissa, which is right at the bottom of the island, we were a little bit worried as of course all you see is white and blue buildings with an incredible view, when we arrived in Perissa this wasn’t what we saw, but having seen the whole island during our trip Perissa is the only place I would have chosen to stay.
It’s right on the beach, beautiful clear sea, bars, restaurants, mountain views.. it’s incredible,.. and quite quiet, please bare in mind we have only just arrived back from Santorini so we went during the quiet season, basically most of the restaurants were closing for the winter and the whole place was super quiet, but the weather was still hot and it wasn’t to busy. In the summer months you can expect it to be a lot busier, but not as busy as Thera and Oia.
Places to eat in Perissa :
- Seaside by Notos – I found everything relativley cheap in Perissa, this restaurant however pushes the boat out a little, but you will see why. It looks beautiful first of all, at night it’s all lit up across the beach and looks incredible, it’s an open restaurant so you have an amazing view as it sits right on the beach. I had the Seabass fillet and oh my, it was the best meal I had all week, super creamy and super tasty. This restaurant is a must.
- Aqua – The food and the staff here are just perfect, again right on the beach ( all the restaurants are ) the guy who served us – I really wish I knew his name – was amazing, he’s so kind and so funny and really makes the experience. We ate here twice, I had both the seabass and Pork chop, which were just incredible. It’s good value for money and the atmosphere is great.
- I found all the places we ate, you received the best service, the staff work all day and all night yet they are the happiest and most attentive people, always wanting to make conversation and seem to all give you a little freebie at the end of the meal, such as a dessert or a glass of their famous wine!
Where to stay in Perissa?
I would not recommend anywhere else, this is hands down the best hotel I have EVER stayed in, Anastasia Princess, is the prettiest, cleanest and most eye catching hotel. It is so well kept, so Santorini perfect with its blue windows and doors, flowers covering the whole hotel, two large pools and most of all the most attentive, kindest staff. We have nothing bad about out stay here. Best of all we were randomly upgraded which only made it better, our room was super large with a large balcony which we were able to use for private sunbathing. The breakfast was amazing and the staff helped us with everything, such as our activities, transfers and anything else we needed, it’s a family run hotel and you can really see how hard they work, they appreciate everyone that stays with them and it truly shows.
What to do in Santorini?
Whether your there for 3 days or a week, you can fit all of the bellow in. The reason I would recommend staying is Perissa is because you have more of a chance to do all of these things, I feel like you can see the island more than if you were to stay in Thera or Oia because you have to..
- Akrotiri and Kamari – Rent a quad bike, it will be the best day of your trip ! We paid 30 euros for our quad bike for 24 hours, we hired it out twice as we wanted to explore the whole island. On our first day we hired our quad we visited the red beach, a huge cliff hanging over a beautiful stoney beach, Kamari, another place I would also recommend staying, again on the beach and a little busier than Perissa, Akrotiri, this is where you can find the ancient ruins as well as a very cute little village – a perfect place to stop and eat and finally – take your quad and visit the Akrotiri Lighthouse for the sunset.. simply amazing.
- Oia, Thera and Santo Wines- For the second day of renting a quad we went right to the top to see Oia, we left at 8am and arrived at 8.30am… it really is a small island. Oia is the most expensive part of the island, Thera coming second. It is quite small but very beautiful, with it’s small village, picturesque shops and those incredible views. Oia sits right on top of the cliff, literally built into it. It has remarkable, unforgettable views of Santorini, the volcano and Thirasia, along with all the other islands that you can see in the distance. Oia is the place that you will find all of cave pools and is the place that you would of seen on Instagram. As impressive as this place is, unfortunately the cave pool hotels are a little out of my price range and unfortunately this whole place is made up of private hotels which the public of course, do not have access to. Now I don’t feel like people mention this, because all the blogs/reviews I read about Santorini and Oia the writers were actually staying in these hotels, but if you are just visiting and don’t have access, you can actually only walk around the top of Oia, as the middle and most of the bottom are privately closed off. You can however take the steps right down to the bottom which is where the yachts and boats come in.
Thera is the capital of Santorini, its a lot larger than Oia and there is a lot to see, it is filled with various shops and restaurants and again is blessed with beautiful views. As much as I loved visiting Thera I couldn’t stay here unless I had a cave pool which I never had to leave. Thera is where the daily cruise ships come in and although Oia is busy, this is BUSY. Again bare in mind we were here in October I don’t think I want to imagine this place in peek season. The streets are small, which means tight crowds, que’s and generally just queuing for everything. We actually didn’t spend long here as it was hot and busy which for me isn’t the greatest combination.
Santo Wines – YES YES YES. This place is a dream, the views, the wines, the views… the wines.. I think their clearly my best points. Santo wines sits right on top, you can see Oia in the distance, Akrotiri, the volcano, Thirasia and all the islands in the distance and although a lot of people say that Oia is the place for the sunset – this is the place. You don’t have the mountains in the way, you have a clear view of everything, with wines by you side – what else can you need? Santo wines in the perfect wine tasting for trying out all the delicious wines that Santorini has to offer. We paid £18 euros for 12 glasses of tasting wines, we tried white, reds, rose, sparking and dessert wines, then once you have fallen in love with your wine you can head on over to the shop so you never run out – they also have an online shop so you can literally never run out… Santorini white wine is the best I have ever had, I will be purchasing online!
- Yacht day – This is a must, see the whole of Santorini from the sea, jump off the boat into the hot springs which is right next to the active volcano and take a swim in the clearest water of Thirasia and just take some chill time sitting on a yacht looking at the amazing scenery. I had the best day, seeing some amazing places plus eating the best food cooked right there on the boat. Amazing.
Things you should know about Santorini
- It’s the windy Isle and believe me, it’s windy !! It can be super cold, specially September onwards.
- As mentioned, after September it can be super cold, when the sun goes in you can really feel it, so just bring some extra clothes to prepare!
- It’s not as expensive as you might think, most of the restaurants we went to meals were around 9 euros – 13 euros, a glass of wine is around 3-5 euros. However remember we ate mostly is Perissa.
- Oia and Thera, because you are in the cliffs you are limited to a beach, so make sure your hotel has a pool. Or stay in Perissa or Kamari and have a bit of both !
- There isn’t a whole lot of blue – unlike the pictures you see on Instagram of beautiful white and blue buildings, theres actually not a lot of blue around, there is only a few building that have those domed blue tops.
- Fun fact for you – during the war Germany made Santorini take down their flag, so they painted their buildings white and blue so it represented Greece.
I would 100% return to Santorini, it’s beautiful, I said a lot of I have never’s, such as I have never seen a sunset like a Santorini sunset, I have never seen a view like Santorini, I have never been more blown away like I have in Santorini. If I was to go back I would choose to stay for 2-3 days in Oia/Thera in the cave pools ( When I can afford them ) or even opt to staying in an Air bnb, check them out if your on a budget, they have some beautiful places available.