Santorini – my European paradise

Santorini is probably the most beautiful place I’ve seen in Europe so far and especially Oìa 😍. This little village is as beautiful, scenic and photogenic as it looks like on the pictures. I had the pleasure to stay there for a week and I enjoyed every minute of it. I’m already looking forward to coming back soon. Below you can find some good places to eat, hang out, swim or just explore for a day.
If you miss anything let me know ❣️

Let’s start with the food: My first visit to Greece was a few years ago in Crete and honestly I really didn’t like the food there so I had some reservations about Greek food but Santorini didn’t fail to impress also with its food.
For those of you who love the extravagant experience (as I do 😁) I can recommend Lauda. It’s the oldest restaurant in Oìa with a fabulous view and awesome food. It’s also the most romantic place for a diner, kind of a most-do for couples ❤️. Once you’ve chosen your meal you will receive some small, delicious surprises between the courses. And don’t forget to order one of their drinks – they look amazing and they taste so good 🥂.

For those who want to keep it simple but still enjoy a great view and good food check out Skiza Pizzeria Café. It’s a great place for breakfast, coffee, diner or something in between. You have a great view over the caldera and in late summer you can see a fantastic moonrise 🌝. I can highly recommend their pizzas, really tastes Italian and they are available in different sizes. Also the sweets are great, these guys are making their own ice cream and they do a pretty good job!

And not to forget for those who are addicted to fish as I am: visit a Greek Tavern in the port. I was at Katina’s, this has been recommended to us by a couple from Cyprus and it was really amazing! The old lady who owns this place is 85 by now and still helping out in the kitchen. I’ve ordered the swordfish and it was absolutely delicious 😋. Even locals are going to eat here, the place is known as the best fish tavern in Santorini.

I can’t start my day without a good breakfast so I’m always searching for a place to get a good one. Nocturna Cafe is a good address. The food is quite good and the juices are great but make sure to order them separately. They have breakfast including coffee and a glass of juice but the juice included in this package is not fresh (for whatever reason). If you pay €2 additional you get a fresh juice 🍊.

A good breakfast for bread lovers can be found at Melenio Cafe. Four different kinds of bread are served with a fresh juice. I ordered a fruit juice, it was decorated with fresh ananas and peach – amazing 😍. Butter, jam and honey can be ordered as much as you need. The staff there is super friendly and the view – as always – breathtaking.

We had the best breakfast at 3Bs. There is no view from this restaurant but the breakfast is amazing. I can highly recommend the Muesli, it’s all freshly prepared and absolutely delicious 😋. Also the ham and cheese omelette is fantastic and you can create your own juice at their vitamin bar! We never had the chance to have diner there but I guess it’s as delicious as their breakfast.

Oìa has plenty of boutiques where you can shop until 12pm. Most of them are supporting Greek designers, some are international brands. You can find books, souvenirs, clothing, bags – everything! Most things are of good quality and hand-made. My favorite shop is Bligaki. They are selling beautiful accessories, all super trendy and made in Greek. If you’re looking for sandals and clothing check out the Likno boutique 😍.

Honestly I could shop around these boutiques all day but around 12am it starts to get hot. Bring back your stuff and go for a swim 💦! There is a beautiful bay which can be reached by feet in five to ten minutes from Amoudi. But be aware of the fact that this place is not a beach! If you’re looking for a sandy place you will be disappointed. You have to walk along some cliffs, if you’re not good by feet wear some sneakers.
It’s not always easy to find a good spot as the place is small and gets crowded pretty fast but most people are only staying an hour or two so you should be able to find a nice spot. The water is crystal clear, absolutely beautiful so it’s definitely worth the way ❣️

If you are tired or if it is still too hot to walk all the stairs up again – go for a ride with a donkey 😄 that’s what we did every time. It’s quite a funny experience and makes your life a lot easier – €6 per person – take your own photos if you want a souvenir, the guy who’s owning the donkeys is pretty bad at taking photos and absolutely not interested in doing so 🙈.

For those who are looking for a sandy beach you should visit Perivolos. Perivolos is located on the southern part of the island and has some beautiful black beaches. We have been to a beach bar called Wet stories. It’s known as the best beach bar in Santorini. Just be aware of the fact that it costs €30 per person. I’m usually not that type of person who pays for a beach chair and an umbrella but for once it was okay. The place is clean, you can order food and drinks (some of the guys serving the food are more interested in getting your number than bringing the food but they are kind). The food itself is amazing. It’s expensive compared with Oìa but it was really worth it. I could read reviews about people complaining about music which was too loud. I can’t confirm that. There was music but not too loud, I could fall asleep so it was kind of a nice background sound for me. What I can confirm is the fact that it is overpriced for sure, it is full of people who take themselves a little bit to serious to be honest – kind of an “Instagram spot”.
But I can still recommend it for one day, it’s a nice place despite everything 🙃.
On the way down from Oìa to Perivolos you will pass some great lookout points – it’s worth making a stop at some of them 📸.

I can’t say much about Fira. I was there for an afternoon and it is similar to Oìa but not as charming. It is great for shopping, you can visit the port where the cruise ships stop by or just enjoy a great view. Surprisingly it was much more expensive than Oìa and most of the staff especially in the shops were not as friendly as the ones in Oìa. I didn’t have the chance to explore their nightlife (mainly because I was not really interested in) but it should have some places to dance and bars for drinks. If you are looking for a vivid nightlife Fira is the place for you to be as there are no clubs in Oìa 💃.
However Fira definitely has some nice photo spots and pretty good ice cream around every corner 🍦.

The sunset
Oìa is famous for having the worlds most beautiful sunsets and indeed they are breathtaking. I’ve seen many sunsets in a lot of countries but the ones in Oìa are definitely one of the bests! During late summer you can see a flaming red sun setting on the horizon, leaving a fantastic red-orange afterglow 🌅.
I’ve seen the sunset three times, on our first evening we were at a car park behind the post office. Sounds like an unusual place but we had a great view and it was not as crowded as elsewhere. Seriously you don’t have to be at the castles ruins to see the sunset. The place is nice to watch the sunset but it is crowded, it is overcrowded, hundreds of people crowd into the small ruins to get the best view. If you want to make this experience feel free to do so but there are a lot of other spots in and around Oìa which are less crowded and offering an unrestricted view for free. Also bear in mind that in late August/September the sun is not settling down in front of the caldera! I heard lots of people complaining that they can’t take their “typical Oìa photo” with the white houses in front of the sunset – I assume you have to travel to Oìa during springtime in order to get this photo but this was not a goal of mine so I actually didn’t care where the sun goes down. It was breathtaking anyway and we got beautiful shots 😍.
We always had diner after the sunset around 8pm, you will easily find a free spot as most of the people are leaving Oìa ten minutes after the sunset by busses as these are tourists staying in Fira or on one of the cruise ships. Once the sun sets just stay at your place for 10 to 15 minutes and enjoy the afterglow – you will have no chance to get to a restaurant as all the “sunset-tourists” are heading back to their busses turning the small way through Oìa into a complete mess where you can’t move forward or backwards.

Last but not least – recommended!
Two things I can highly recommend: a boat trip and a restaurant (vegetarian but amazing 🌿). First the boat: you can rent yachts for a day or just for some hours. We hired one for five hours and it was amazing! It’s private so you can really relax and do whatever you’re up to. We checked out some islands close to the caldera, had a swim at the hot springs (healthy and really special – do it 👍), went up to the volcano (without paying anything because after 4pm there is no one on the island, don’t go there in the morning, it’s crowded with hundreds of people from tourist ships and you have to pay to hike up) and we had diner on the boat in front of the sunset – a priceless experience❣️. If you have the possibility to do that – do it, it’s amazing to see the island from another perspective and the small islands around Santorini have some pretty nice private beaches.

The other thing is a restaurant called Katharos lounge, located above Katharos beach, approximately 15 minutes from Oìa by feet. It’s in the middle of nowhere and away from the mass tourism. The restaurant is offering vegetarian menus, I had a strawberry salad once and a Katharos salad the other day – both were delicious 😋. We’ve been there for lunch after a swim at Katharos beach and realized that you must have an amazing sunset view from their place so we made a reservation for an evening to catch the sunrise during diner. It was worth it. The view was great and so was the food and the staff there is very kind 😊. Together with Lauda, these are the two most romantic restaurants I found in Oìa 🌹.

It was definitely one of my best vacations ever and I’m already looking forward to staying on this island again. If you have any tips or great spots I missed out let me know! 🇬🇷💙

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