A Quick Guide to Santorini

A go-to guide to everyone's favourite Greek Island

WHERE — Santorini, Greece
PHOTOGRAPHY — Jessie Bush

Where to eat, stay and see a killer sunset on the white-washed island of Santorini.

It’s no secret I love the Greek islands. However – and I know this is a little controversial – but I have to admit that Santorini isn’t my favourite island, simply because there’s no ignoring the rampant tourism. That said, it is just as beautiful as the postcards will have you believe, with endless white buildings trimmed in blue, jagged cliff faces along the Aegean Sea and glorious sunsets night after night.

Sam and I quickly learned that our days were best spent exploring tiny, sparsely populated villages by foot, walking up hills in the name of dreamy views and down dusty roads in search of the best homemade tzatziki. And of course the odd afternoon reading by the pool…

GETTING THERE/AROUND

There are flights from most European locations to Santorini, so getting there is no problem. However once you’ve arrived, be prepared to either take a slow bus or an overpriced taxi (this is island life after all) up the steep hill to your hotel.

Hiring a car definitely isn’t required if you’re planning on just heading to your hotel to indulge in a healthy rotation of eat/swim/sleep. However keep in mind that many of the good beaches and restaurants are seemingly in the middle of no-where, so you’ll need to toss up whether you want to shell out for a few taxis or hire a car and navigate the island yourself.

If we don’t feel like hiring a car for the entire trip, we usually just book a scooter via our hotel to nip around on. Plus it’s the best way to experience island life!

Do

Walk from Thira to Oia and take in the breathtaking scenery with almost no-one else around (as most of the tours tend to take this trip by bus). Wear comfortable trainers and take plenty of water; it’s a 10km walk and things can get pretty hot under the Greek sun.

It may be a hot slog, but you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled Santorini views, not to mention ice cold rosé in Oia when you arrive.

Feel free to stick around in Oia for it’s famed sunset – however in truth there are so many amazing spots to watch the sunset with without jostling crowds. We enjoyed the sunset one evening in Oia and witnessed not one but three proposals back to back, all in the same spot…

STAY

The reality is, Santorini is filled to the brim with tourists almost 24/7, so if you’re looking for more of a relaxed, easy going vibe (which to me is what the Greek Islands is all about) then pick a hotel away from the crowds of Fira and Oia.

Lilium Villas for a tranquil spot with insane views, and only a 5 minute drive from the thick of Fira (the main town of Santorini).
Lilium Villas, Fira, Thira 847 00

Ambassador Aegean Hotel encapsulates the best of Santorini; white-washed buildings, uninterrupted sea views and dreamy rooms set on the cliff edges. Ambassador Aegean Luxury Hotel & Suites Santorini, Akrotiri, Santorini 847 00,

EAT

Galini Cafe for a fresh, considered meal (which is reasonably priced) topped of with beautiful views from the deck outside.
Galini Cafe, Firostefani, Thira 847 00, Greece

Head to Anemoloos for classic, homemade Greek food, prepared to perfection. Is there such a thing as too much homemade tzatziki or baked feta? I think no.
Anemoloos, Εξω Γωνια, Thira 847 00, Greece

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