Santorini is by far the most beautiful town I have ever seen. It’s like walking in a postcard. Like being part of a painting. It’s impossible not to photograph it over and over, at different times of day, from different angels. White and blue. The sea and the sky. The buildings and the water. It’s a dream.
We were lucky enough to spend two nights at the incredible Iconic Santorini Boutique Cave Hotel
, which I was reviewing for a local travel website. It’s hard to tell you quite how great this hotel is, without sounding gushy. Because it truly
is spectacular. And the name, Iconic Santorini, could not be more apt.
The view, accommodation, facilities, staff and food were all without fault. I’ll be sharing my review as soon as it’s posted, so for now all I’ll say is that I think these pictures speak for themselves.
We were in Santorini at the very end of the tourist season. The last few days of business before the locals shut up their shops for the winter, presumably to head to warm places like Cape Town. I think this was a great time to be there, since the bulk of tourists had left and the weather had cooled down. It made navigating the narrow little curving streets and climbing the countless steps much easier.
The town was pretty crowded as it was, and that was just a trickle out tourists compared to the summer floods. It was also pretty warm. I imagine that the height of summer would be stuffed with hot, sweaty tourists and I don’t think I would have enjoyed the island as much.
Santorini sunsets are world famous, and once you get there it’s easy to see why. While the bright white buildings are gorgeous during the day, they become even more breathtaking at sunset, turning pink, then gold, before being swallowed by the night. After dark, the golden light shining from windows and the blue, almost other-worldly glow coming from various swimming pools turn it into a different town altogether, with it’s own beauty and magic.
TIPS FOR VISITING SANTORINI
I’d definitely recommend autumn if you’re just going to see the sights (it’s a bit too chilly to swim). We asked locals where they ate, and then ate there too. We did also eat at a few of the very touristy spots, which had the best views. I highly recommend taking the Blue Star ferry (it takes 8 hours from Athens to Santorini), and paying the 15 Euros extra for a business class ticket.
We took the SeaJet ferry from Athens (this one only takes 5 hours, which is why we took it) and it thrashed about in the waves, throwing seasick passengers around in a scene that looked like it came straight from a horror movie about communicable diseases. If you get seasick like I do, get yourself a strong anti-motion sickness tablet and try to pass out sooner rather than later.
Take your drivers licence with you, and rent a four wheeler to explore the island with. Don’t be scared about driving on the wrong side of the road, you get used to it very quickly. Make sure you have enough petrol though – we got stuck without it on a remote part of the island and had to steal petrol that we miraculously found outside a house not too far away (we actually left 5 Euro for the little bit we took and honestly, if Karma hadn’t meant for us to find that petrol then I don’t believe in the moon anymore)
Our time is Greece was full of great food, beautiful sights, exciting exploration and a growing real love for that friendly, passionate country.