Ammoúdi Bay dinner setting.
Santorini, if done right, is the ultimate setting for a carefree holiday. First thing’s first – and this may be controversial – avoid staying in the most well-known town of Oia. It’s by far the most touristy spot on the island, regularly flooded with cruise ship day-trippers – even in the post-pandemic world. It also has a large swath of cliffside, couple-filled boutique hotels. Rather than settling in the area, just meander over there for an afternoon or a dinner. In general, Thira, Firostefani and Oia, which are located on the western side of Santorini, are three towns which you can climb through within two hours. There’s no way you can’t spot the sunset from these three, so it’s really worth reserving a table at one of the local restaurants (I will share a few great addresses in the upcoming posts!). Thira, Santorini’s biggest city, has some lovely designer outlets and there are a fair number of cool bars and nightclubs here, too. If you’re looking forward to a calm ambience, stay longer in Firostefani (which neighbours with another adorable village, Imerovigli – that’s where we’ve stayed!). Oia, Santorini’s star, is the ultimate Greek Island village – all white houses and domed churches tumbling over the lip of the caldera. It’s also the most postcard-ish of all. From Oia, it’s worth going down to the Ammoúdi bay, where you will eat the freshest fish with the finest view.
From top left to bottom right: mules and donkeys are regular sight on the roads of Santorini; the postcard view at Oia; sun-bathing octopus down the Ammoúdi bay; one of the vintage boutiques in Oia.
Wherever you sit down for a coffee or refreshing cocktail in Oia, there’s a view. A spectacular view!
One of many domed churches in Firostefani. Sadly, most of them were closed…
If you’re looking forward to some local shopping, forget Oia, and go down to Thira. We bought some gorgeous ceramic plates and tsarouchi slippers made from wool. Very Loewe!
Somewhere between Thira and Firostefani… the villages are so close to each other that it’s difficult to distinguish between them. The blazing sunset and the view at the deep blue sea unites them all!
All photos by Edward Kanarecki.