Friday, 31 July 2015

Tips for visiting Santorini, Greece

As you may know, a few weeks ago I jetted off to the beautiful Greek island of Santorini for a one-week holiday. We had an amazing time and the views were just stunning. When we arrived it was in the middle of the night so everything was pitch black, I was so excited for the morning so that we could see everything. When we opened the door in the morning I was taken aback. The view looked like something from a postcard, but it was real.

Anyway, instead of doing a day-by-day of what we did on our holiday I thought I'd provide some tips and suggestions if you ever find yourself on the island. Oh and of course a couple of snaps below for you to enjoy.

1. Be prepared for walking and STAIRS - If you are on the caldera side you'll quickly find that you are going to have to walk up and downstairs quite a lot. To get the best view, you should pick a hotel that is further down as this will have the least obstructive views but to get this you have to walk down many stairs and ultimately, you'll have to come back up.

If you want to see other areas of the island there are lots of easy routes to walk. However, it's not the flattest island so you'll be going up and down across lots of uneven surfaces.

2. Make sure you bring sturdy shoes - Leading on from point one, make sure you bring some proper footwear. Although holidays are all about sandals and flip flops if you want to go walking you should really bring some trainers. It makes the walk so much easier and more enjoyable rather than trying to get around in flimsy shoes. I speak from experience after nearly being trampled by donkeys because I couldn't walk quick enough up the stairs in Oia because I had sandals on!

3. Eat away from the views - Again if you are on the caldera side I'd recommend trying some restaurants away from the beautiful views, off the beaten track. Although it is hard to walk away from the coastline (because it's so darn pretty!), the food that you'll find beyond this is most of the time better! Restaurants have to work harder to gain custom as they can't rely on the footfall, so the food is on the whole much more delicious. We definitely found this when we visited as a lot of the coastal spots weren't as nice as others such as the Chef's Garden in Fira which is way away from the views.

4. Use your hotel reception - This is probably something everyone does wherever they go, but particularly on our holiday we found this very beneficial. The staff at Agali Houses, where we stayed, were so knowledgeable about the area and the things we could do. We booked a sailing boat trip through reception which turned out to be an amazing day. As well as this they were more than happy to give us recommendations for restaurants in the area. So if you are in doubt, ask the people who live in the area.

5. Try the local cuisine and ales - Before I went away I was desperate to eat all the Tzatziki and Greek yoghurt to get the authentic Greek experience. Santorini didn't disappoint and by the end, I was sick of the stuff! In Santorini, two dishes you couldn't get away from were Gyros and Souvlaki. These are both meat dishes - one being meat on a kebab stick and the other meat in a pitta wrap. Both were accompanied by salad with Santorini tomatoes and lots of Tzatziki. Both were delicious and I'd recommend you try them but make sure you get them from a nice restaurant to ensure they are good quality. Also, I had Mousakka which was delicious.

Established in 2011, Santorini has its own brewing company with three products; Red Donkey, Yellow Donkey and Crazy Donkey (an IPA). Each has their own distinct flavour and are very good, or so I've been told by the other half. I didn't actually try these but the fact that Santorini has its own beer is amazing and also the branding is so cute! Most of the restaurants we visited sold this beer so I'd definitely recommend you try some whilst you are there!


I hope these tips prove helpful to you. Let me know if any of you are planning a trip to Santorini as I'd love to share my experience and help make your trip better.

Also if you have any Santorini posts I'd love to read them - please link below!

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