The Ultimate Guide to Santorini
I had so many DM’s while on vacation in Santorini. So many of you wanted to know how we got from island to island, where to stay, and how we afforded to spend 2 glorious weeks in the Greek Isles.
If you read my Cappadocia travel guide, then you already know my biggest tip of all when it comes to getting to Greece. If you haven’t read it click here.
Getting To Santorini
After flying out of Cappadocia we landed in Istanbul. From Istanbul we flew to Athens and from Athens we took a quick 45 minute plane ride to Santorini. You can take a Seajet to majority of the islands from Athens but it will take you about 8 hours. That was a big no from me.
Immediately after exiting the baggage area of the airport we spotted a company that provides shared shuttles to your hotel. I would highly recommend doing this as opposed to taking your own cab. It is much cheaper and you’ll get to see a little bit more of the island that way (unless you’re the first stop of course).
Where To Stay
Imerovigli – Above Blue Suites
I have to admit, when I was looking to book a hotel I felt incredibly overwhelmed. There seemed to be an endless amount of great options. I knew I wanted to split our time between Oia (pronounced Éa) and another spot on the island, but wasn’t sure where. With that, I enlisted the help of my girlfriend who traveled to Santorini on her honeymoon for a little advice. She recommended Imerovigli because the sunset is still amazing and you are close to Fira which is home to a ton of restaurants and shops.
We also knew we were going to be splurging on our hotel in Oia so we wanted to book a hotel in Imerovigli that was reasonably priced but still checked all of our boxes. Enter Above Blue Suites. We could not have been more impressed! Upon arrival, there was a bottle of wine and a fruit basket in our room, and every night a dessert was delivered to our suite. Our room was also super private and had it’s own outdoor hot tub with a view of the ocean. As if that wasn’t enough, Above Blue Suites also offers a complimentary champagne breakfast. We simply filled out a form the night before indicating what we wanted and what time we wanted it to be delivered to our room. Breakfast on our terrace was easily one of my favorite things about Santorini!
Oia – Canaves Oia
Our next two days were spent in glorious Oia. We checked into Canaves Oia Suites and oh my!! There’s a reason it’s one of the top rated hotels in Santorini. To say we were impressed would be an understatement. It was a splurge, but it was 100% worth it. Upon arrival we were taken on a tour of the hotel, and offered a complimentary glass of sangria by the pool. I could have sat here all day, but AJ isn’t much of a “lay by the pool” guy, and since we had about an hour before our room was ready we decided to go explore Oia.
When we returned we inquired about our room being ready and were told that they would like to offer us a complimentary upgrade to the honeymoon suite at their neighboring property, Canaves Oia Hotel. The manager of Canaves Oia Suites took us to our original room and to the honeymoon suite at Canaves Oia Hotel where we were introduced to the hotel manager at that property. The managers had such a fun and playful banter arguing over which hotel was better and which one of them would be lucky enough to have us stay with them. They then excused themselves and gave us a minute to talk amongst ourselves and decide which room we would like. Shocker, we took the honeymoon suite. It was incredibly private, had a huge terrace, and an outdoor hot tub. Canaves also welcomes you with a bottle of champagne and cleans the room twice daily (no matter which property you choose).
What To Do
Wander around!! There are so many amazing little shops, and you really can’t catch a bad view.
Hike Skaros rock. It really isn’t too much of a hike, more like an adventure walk. But it’s something fun and different to do and will only take you about 15 minutes.
Karavolades Stairs (Fira Steps). Our first day in Imergovigli we walked to Fira town to explore. We ended up at the stairs and decided we would walk down and check out the port. There are mules lining the stairs and for a small price you can take them up or down. However, the mules aren’t treated very well and if you don’t have to, you should avoid taking them.
There were many people though who did opt to take a mule up and let me tell you! Every time I started hearing their bells jingle and knew they were close I would have a slight panic. I would huddle near the wall and they would walk straight for me, EVERY TIME. We did eventually make it down though, grabbed a bite to eat at one of the restaurants and ventured back up the 588 stairs. I think I am in pretty good shape and I was panting and sweating by the time we reached the top. If you aren’t in good health, please just take the cable car.
Grab a drink, have lunch, or lay out at Black Beach. We walked to Black Beach from our hotel in Imerovigli (about 8.5 miles). I wouldn’t recommend walking, rent an ATV for the day instead. We could have covered so much more ground that way and seen so much more of the island.
Visit Megalochori. If we hadn’t of walked all the way to Black Beach we never would have stumbled upon the cutest little town. Megalochori is a quiet, beautiful little village full of lively people.
Where To Eat & Drink
Santo Wines. An amazing spot to have a few tasters, grab a small bite, and take in the amazing views! Plus the wine is so good! I bought a bottle of the sparkling rosé to bring back and drink by the pool.
PK Cocktail Bar. Located in the heart of Fira with an amazing view. They offer delicious and unique cocktails.
Lucky Soulvakis. Located in Fira. Lucky Soulvakis is a great place to grab a quick, cheap, and super yummy gyro!
Taverna Romantica. We actually stumbled upon this restaurant while walking one night and decided to have dinner here. It was an amazing choice! Our waiter was incredible, the food was excellent, and it was inexpensive. We started with the cheese pie, which I can only describe as melt in your mouth warm cheese wrapped in a flaky puff pastry. So so good! For dinner, I had the eggplant chicken nest and AJ had the beef burger. We both walked out of the restaurant raving about how good it was and what a great choice we made!
Melitini. Located in Oia, Melitini is a great spot for lunch. They are a tapas restaurant so you can order a few things to share. We opted for the meatballs and the pita bread with a variety of spreads. I could have lived off pita and tzatziki on this trip!
Kastros. An incredible dinner spot. Kastros is known for having the best view of the sunset so make sure to make reservations! We got there early and were lucky enough to snag a table, but I can’t tell you how many people came up, tried to get a table, and were turned away. I had the taliateles pasta and AJ had the beef fillets. Both dishes were so so good!
Pitogyros. Another amazing gyro spot! This one is located in Oia and has a cute little patio where you can sit and enjoy your lunch. We both had a pork gyro (which is the traditional meat for gyros in Greece) and at $4 each they could not be beat!!
I hope you found this travel guide helpful and if you’ve been to Santorini or are planning on it, make sure to leave a comment!