KAMARI BEACH VS PERISSA, Santorini

BATTLE OF THE BEACHES – KAMARI BEACH VS PERISSA

 

No other question is on the minds of vacationers than this – which is the ultimate beach to be in Santorini? Everything is subjective, of course, but this time let’s narrow it down and look at two similar black beaches – Kamari and Perissa in Santorini. Which one is better and why?

 

Let’s start with Kamari. Here’s what I have to say:

 

  • It’s closest to Fira, so if you live around there, it’s definitely an option. If you don’t, each case varies but there’s probably some closer options to you.
  • This beach also has its own big rock on the right side – it’s called Mesa Vouno. It might be a nice place to explore or to gaze at while relaxing in the sunshine.
  • A lesser known fact is that this beach is actually the most beautiful at night (wink wink, time for a romantic night walk, maybe?). The rock shines in moonlight and creates a very special atmosphere.
  • Modern facilities to meet any needs.

 

On the other hand, Perissa can offer:

 

  • It’s basically right next to Perissa, only a tiny bit further from Fira. If you live there, it won’t make a huge difference, but if you come from outside Fira, this might be enough to change your mind – you can get your tan on quicker probably if you go to Kamari.
  • From this beach you can see the other side of Mesa Vouno.
  • Lots of modern facilities around – anything from cafes, resorts, hotels etc. etc.
  • Next to Perissa beach is Perivolos beach which is wider and has less restaurants than Kamari and Perissa.

 

The conclusion? Basically the beach look is almost identical – they’re two classic Santorini black beaches. So in my opinion, choose whichever you can get to the fastest and with less transport problems and if it’s full, head on to the other one. More or less, the only difference is choosing on which side you want Mesa Vouno to be :) Just relax and enjoy the sun, wherever you might be.

 

Anna Sulte Santorini photographer

 

 

FROM AUSTRALIA TO SANTORINI

FROM AUSTRALIA TO SANTORINI – PRACTICAL TRAVEL ADVICE

 

Many Santorini visitors actually come from from outside EU, from far away lands like the US and Australia. Over the years working on the island as a photographer for many of these couples coming over in long distance flights, I have heard some experiences and gathered a bit of advice on how to make the whole experience better.

 

How to get to Greece on budget 

At this point it’s no surprise for most people that using a travel agent makes everything more expense. But you don’t have to stop there – using an agent also makes your life that little bit easier with package deals and hotel bookings etc. The secret lies in how to get the best deal. What I’ve heard as an approach is doing some flights pricing research on Skyscanner or Momondo before you sten into any travel agents office. With this information, you can say that you’ve done some online research and are looking for some offers from their side. Don’t show them the prices, but have a printed list at hand. As you negotiate, this will make the travel agent not stop at the deal that is the easiest to find for them, but rather the absolute lowest cost option they can provide.

 

From Athens to Santorini

When you land in Athens, it is best to plan a couple of days there to fight jet lag (the flight time is nearly 20 hours, so it’s no joke). When you’re ready to come over, I would suggest considering the ferry instead of flying. The difference in tickets is so huge, that most times you’ll be able to get a return ferry ticket cheaper than a one way flight ticket from Athens to Santorini.

 

Triple check your stuff

Even though it’s self explanatory, I can’t stress this enough. Before you leave, make sure to scan all your itineraries, tickets etc. etc. and save them in a safe place on the cloud. Have printed versions for extra safety, divide them in separate suitcases, just in case. Also, make sure you use mobile apps for flight tickets, if the flight company has one. If you have several suitcases for check-in, divide your stuff strategically – suitcases get lost more often than you think. For a couple, I would suggest sharing space in both suitcases, so that if one gets lost, you each have at least some basic clothing in the remaining one while you’re waiting for delivery.

 

Hope this helps. The main thing is to have an open mind and adapt to whatever happens along the way. That’s the magic of travelling :)

 

CHECKLIST OF SOME STUFF TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOUR TRIP TO SANTORINI

CHECKLIST OF SOME STUFF TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOUR
TRIP TO SANTORINI

 

It’s all about the journey, not the destination. That’s probably one of the least true quotes ever, at least in the era of plane travel it IS totally about the destination. The journey is just a huge mess of a million things to remember and some pitfalls to avoid to make sure you get to your destination with the least amount of stress and effort possible.

Well, today is your lucky day, because I might help your life become just a tiny bit less stressful with this simple checklist of some things to remember when setting out for travelling to Greece, Santorini. This will be especially useful for all you guys taking those long international flights (i.e. enjoying the journey the most I guess :) ).

 

All things aside, here’s a simple list of some stuff. Feel free to print and checkmark. Remember your:

  • Passport
  • International drivers license
  • Credit card with no international fees
  • Call and notify credit card company and bank of travel
  • Download viber (or any other international communication app)
  • Update music on phone or MP3 player (yeah, the no-internet life is still a reality in some places)
  • Scan, print and add to iBooks app (great to avoid losing your ID info if the physical documents are lost or forgotten):
    • Passport
    • Divers license
    • Detailed itinerary
    • Maps
    • Hotel information – addresses and phone numbers
    • Ferry information – boat names, reservation numbers, times and gate numbers
  • Be sure to download all flight company apps and save your tickets there digitally, for a super safe option you can also print them.

This should cover most of the bases for you. Also, if you’re from outside EU, you’ll probably thank yourself for bringing some nice sleeping gear – get one of those neck pillows, they save lives! Also, forget your high fashion, do the flight in sweatpants or even pijamas for super extra comfort.

Some Santorini PRO tips from couples

Some Santorini PRO tips from couples

 

I have shared some tips about staying in Santorini already, but I keep meeting couples for photoshoots and all of them have experienced something nice on the island as well. So today I thought I could give you a roundup of some tips I’ve actually heard from them.

 

So here are some Santorini tourist hacks:

 

  • They highly recommend the cable car in Fira. I can only agree, one of the best views of volcano and lava rocks on the island!
  • Sailing is fun of course! Look for boat trips that have “snacks” on board included in the price. Depending on how lucky you are, these can actually turn out to be pretty substantial Greek meals.
  • Buses usually have lines of people waiting for them. If you do not want to be left waiting for the next one, check the departure schedule and arrive around 10 min earlier
  • Places to eat: some places I keep hearing again and again from you guys are 1800, Dimitris and Lolita’s Gelato. Also Kapari Wine restaurant, especially if you manage to book one of the limited tables overlooking the Caldera. What can I say, I can only agree – you have good taste :)
  • Best places to stay include Astra Suites, Grace Hotel and Kapari Natural resort, especially if you’re looking for that authentic Santorini Greek style architecture.

 

Hope this helps with your holiday plans. If you want to find out more, just scroll back to some of the older posts where I cover each of the towns on Santorini in detail!

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Some of the best brunch spots in Santorini

Some of the best brunch spots in Santorini

 

Brunch – the ultimate holiday meal. Choosing the right place for this is a big deal. So here’s a fast rundown of some of the best places you might consider when looking for a relaxed brunch in Santorini!

 

Terra Nera

Agios Georgios, Perivolos 84703, Greece

Coffee and grill house – what could be more suitable for a filling brunch!? Combined with the Aegean sea side this is for sure one of the top places to head!

 

Cafe Galini

Hotel Galini, Firostefani 84700, Greece

Nice minimalistic Greek interior,  bright and cozy – try the pancakes, they’re awesome! And of course, beautiful views for dessert!

 

FlyAway Creative Restaurant &Bar

Eparchiaki Odos Firon – Ias | West East Suites, Imerovigli 84700, Greece

Creatively served excellent food with the backdrop of an amazing view on a glass terrace with infinity pools. Very dreamy if you manage to get a table outside and the weather is in your favour.

 

Kantouni Traditional delicacies

Central Square, Pyrgos 847 00, Greece

More down to earth and serving mostly very traditional simple Greek food – but it’s finger licking good! Also a good place if you’re looking to save some money but still get a great meal.

 

JuiceMe

Leoforos Megalou Alexandrou, Kamari 847 00, Greece

Lot’s of healthy and fresh foods – juices, salads etc. People say this is still one of the best spots to go for dessert :)

 

Some other spots that won’t disappoint

Google these if you’re looking for more options – Santa Irini Bakery in Perissa, Pelican Kipos in Fira, Brusco Wine Coffee Deli  in Pyrgos, ”Chocolat” Creperie – Pasteria – Cafe  in Perissa

Hope this gives you some ideas for your next great meal. Who knows, maybe we meet there! :)

 

Santorini photographer Anna Sulte

Santorini in spring – pros and cons

Santorini in spring – pros and cons

 

Santorini is on everyone’s minds in the summer – they imagine lonely sandy beaches filled with sun and romantic walks through the village streets. But how about spring? Maybe it’s a good alternative to save money and avoid crowds of tourists? Today I give you some of my observations on the pros and cons of coming to this Greek island in spring.

 

PROS

  • There will definitely be less people around. For many couples that is a solid plus. No lines, less crowds, more laid back experience.
  • Hotels give off season discounts, so if you want to save some money for more travels in the season this is a good hack.
  • You will really be able to appreciate the scenery. If you don’t have to go everywhere with a big tourist group, you get more of the untouched nature to enjoy.
  • For most the summer weather is actually too hot. If you come then, during mid day you will just have not plan anything active, the most you can do then is sit by the pool in shade. Spring does not limit you, and you can fully use the daytime.
  • I would say that it is more authentic and romantic during the spring season. You mostly meet locals and some other active tourist couples.

 

CONS

  • Since there’s less visitors, some of the touristy places might still be closed. That just means you will have a bit less choice for, say, restaurants.
  • If you’re unlucky you might have a bit worse weather. But bad weather in spring just means you need to pack a sweater or two – nothing too crazy. The Greek island climate stays rather dry all year round.
  • If you’re looking for clubbing, you might be disappointed. Depending on the month, most of them will probably be closed. But on the other hand, that means emptier beaches.

 

So these are some of the main things to consider. If you visited during spring, would you add something? Hope this helps and gets you thinking and evaluating. Everyone is different, so I personally can’t say when you should come. All I know is that this is a place to see at least once in a lifetime.

 

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte

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Add some spice to your Santorini travel – join a Greek cooking class!

Add some spice to your Santorini travel – join a Greek cooking class!

 

Travel is the best way to have new experiences. And that does not end with seeing some cool places or enjoying the warm breeze of Aegean Sea winds and the touch of the Santorini sun. For many of us, food is a very special part of the travel experience. So today I will share some of the essential info on taking Greek cooking classes right here on the Santorini island!

 

Good things come in pairs

This is true for cooking classes as well. More often than not they’re combined with a wine tour in some of the local Greek wineries. Prepare to blast your tastebuds with some of the greatest wine before heading to the kitchen.

 

Where to look for classes

Well, online of course :) But I  can say that the best ones are usually hosted by restaurants. Try to stay clear of some tour operators. As an example, the restaurant Selene is a solid choice, they have been in the business for more than 30 years and they know what they’re doing.

 

What kind of foods to expect

This of course depends on the people organising the class as well as the ones attending. I would suggest really trying to find out beforehand. More often than not they try to stick to classic Greek cuisine like fava, soutzoukakia, tzatziki etc. but do ask beforehand to avoid surprises. Occasionally there are modern Greek fusion classes which might not be what you’re interested in.

 

If you follow this you will have a great time, no doubt. Of course it’s not rocket science, but you just have to make sure to check some things. Bon apetit!

Santorini photographer Anna Sulte

 

 

Explore a different side of Santorini in wintertime

Explore a different side of Santorini in wintertime

 

Sure, the season is ending on the Santorini island, but that can be used to see a different, more authentic side of this Greek island. Let me share a couple of tips on how to come offseason, save some money and still get an awesome experience.

The type of traveler this is for

It really comes down to what you expect from your visit. Offseason Santorini is more suited to the people looking for a quiet getaway rather that someone looking for partying. Most of the bars and restaurants close down, some of the more authentic ones visited by locals are open.

What to do

The number one activity in this time is active exploring, especially nature hikes. This is the time when Santorini is not crowded by tourists and you can get a more genuine feel about life on the island.

You will have the chance to see some of the most impressive views that are not blocked by crowds, and this also means there’s lots of good photo opportunities – what is not often shared in this blog is the way we have to struggle to not include tourists in some of the in-season couple shoots we do :)

That being said, there’s still some tourist activities going on all year. You will probably still be able to arrange a horse riding trip or go diving (don’t worry, the wetsuits will keep you warm and toasty). The number one thing to check for in a hotel is whether they have a hot tub – this gives you a chance to spend your evenings enjoying life with a bit of wine and sunsets.

In short, there’s still plenty of places to explore and stuff to do, but you have to be active and spend some time planning. If you’re up for that, Santorini will reward you with an authentic experience.

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte

Chill out on a yacht in the Volcanic Lagoon.

Chill out on a yacht in the Volcanic Lagoon.

 

If you stumbled upon this, I feel that we can probably share this sentiment. Let a Santorini local give you some quick tips to make your experience even more awesome. Here are my top three pieces of info any would-be Santorini yacht rider has to know:

  • The time: This is probably the most undermined thing when reserving a boat – you see the flashy yacht and you just want to get on it anytime possible! But there’s one catch. It’s actually better to choose either morning or evening rides, because in the middle of the day it can be too hot to enjoy Santorini fully, even though you are riding on water.
  • The yacht: Basically pick whichever you like best, but make sure there is a sunroof to get some shade – Santorini sun really bites and it’s even stronger in the Lagoon.
  • Swimming: Make sure you ask the captain if he can stop at the hot springs. It is the absolute best place to do some swimming and diving from the yacht.

And that’s it. If you make sure to follow these three rules you’re dead set on enjoying the best times in the Santorini Volcanic Lagoon. Smooth sailing and see you on the coast!

Santorini photography by Anna Sulte

The dreaded dilemma – Santorini vs Mykonos.

The dreaded dilemma – Santorini vs Mykonos.

Let me just start off with pointing out that you will have a great time on both of these Greek islands, no doubt! And now let’s get ready to rumble!

In the right corner of the ring – Mykonos:

  • This is considered the best party island in Greece. If you want to dance till sunrise with your buddies, this is definitely the place for you!
  • They have clubs with such awesome names as Paradise and Super Paradise which are filled with super high quality thumping club music. These attract famous DJs whose sets usually run into the next day.
  • Sandy aches with clear water to rejuvenate you after the parties.
  • Not too family friendly, it will be harder to find things to do for the little ones.

And in the left corner of the ring – Santorini:

  • Mostly known as the best destination for loving couples, many even arrive to the island from abroad to get married in its scenic destinations.
  • More cafes and restaurants with a quiet and chilled vibe.
  • Swimming pools with STUNNING views, like infinity pools that end on the edge of cliffs overlooking the Volcanic Lagoon.
  • All types of interesting and different beaches, like black beaches formed from volcanic sand.
  • More family friendly, you can for example go on horse rides and go to a waterpark. If you take kids, double check that with your hotel – some hotels are on a Cliffside and they do not allow children for safety reasons.

 

The winner: Well, nothing in life is easy. You decide it’s subjective and depends on your needs. But this should help clear up your mind, at least. Whatever you do, make sure to come to Santorini someday.  See you there.

Santorini photographer Anna Sulte

Go on a Santorini island expedition – visit Thirasia

Go on a Santorini island expedition – visit Thirasia

Thirasia is one of the islands that lies close to Santorini. For travellers this means that you can pack much more in your Greece trip! Although the Greek island of all lovers and cute architecture is still Santorini, this smaller island definitely has its own unique things to offer. Today I’ll share some insider tips on how to organize your mini island expedition there.

Thirasia is relatively close to Santorini, the only way to reach it is by boat. Depending on the spot you would like to get off it should take you around 10-20 minutes to reach it. Sounds not so tough, right?  It’s a pretty bumpy ride.

To get there, you can either use the offers from tourism companies or pay 1 EUR if you go with the boat from Amoudi Bay (right next to Oia village).

Now, the point you get off in Thirasia will define your experience on the island. Here’s some options:

Riva: Has a beach from which you can see Oia and a small restaurant. Good spot for swimming and sunbathing.

Korfos: View of Santorini Island, volcano and the unique rocks of Thirasia. You will be able to take a quick swim, but keep in mind that the beach is quite rocky. Still, this place has several restaurants and cafes. Also keep in mind that you will have to do a small climb up a hill to reach the town – you can also rent a donkey.

And there you have it, the secret formula for a day on the neighbouring island, let me know how your trip turned out!

Photo of Amoudi bay, from my phone :)

Anna Sulte Santorini based photohrapher

 

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Cliff jumping in Santorini

Have a dose of adrenaline – cliff jumping in Santorini

Santorini is an island of romance – narrow streets, cute houses and perfect sunsets. It’s all great, but sometimes you really need a dose of adrenaline to feel alive. No worries, we got that. Santorini has plenty of cliffs where both locals and tourists enjoy diving into the clear azure water. Here’s the essential spots:

Amoudy Bay: It’s right next to Oia. It has a pretty well-built platform where you can take stairs to get up on the jumping point. I would say the jump is medium height and is good for beginners as well.

Perissa Beach: Yep, it’s a beach with its own cliff jumping spot. The height is also good for beginners.

Kamari Beach: This one is higher and you have to jump ahead a bit – I would say don’t try this as your first jump.

 Here’s the main safety tip: Do not jump anywhere, if you’re not 100% sure that this is the cliff jumping spot! Wherever you go, you’re likely to see someone else already doing it. If not, make sure to ask some of the people there or even better, some locals to know the spot to jump into. Also, if you’re there only with your friends, make sure to swim to the spot in the water first – dive and check what is underneath.

OK, stay safe and have fun!

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ISLAND HOPPING AROUND SANTORINI – IS IT WORTH IT?

ISLAND HOPPING AROUND SANTORINI – IS IT WORTH IT?

Island hopping is a way of seeing the surrounding small islands on a boat tour and spending some time on each of them. As you’re reading this article, you are probably have some doubts, and there are some grounds for it. Island hopping around Santorini, is it worth it? Let’s look at some pros and cons.

Time management

Yes, island hopping will allow you to “see” many places in a relatively short amount of time. Whether you will think this is enough probably depends on what type of traveler you are. If you’re after the amazing views and taking photographs, this might be for you. If you like to soak in the vibe of the place and devote more time for it, then probably not so much. All the tours have a set amount of time reserved for seeing the island and that’s it – if you’re too late the tour might head on without you.

Activity planning

One thing is for sure – island hopping is not for the chilled out folk. If you want to make most of it, you have to plan your activities on the islands in advance, otherwise you just risk wasting too much time on making decisions on the fly. It is best to make e.g. restaurant or diving reservations well in advance to get the best time that fits your island hopping tour.

Choose your base wisely

There is plenty of information on various island hopping tours online, and all of them offer you to start from a certain point. Before signing up for one, you should consider the costs. A good advice is to think whether you think that the island tour should be the highlight of your tours and spend the rest of your vacation on leisure e.g. chilling on the beach or do you want to do some more advanced tours and experiences on your base island as well. If you just want to chill, you can definitely consider the smaller, more remote islands where the stay will generally be cheaper and the beaches won’t be so crowded!

Pick 2-3 favorites from the tours and discuss with your travel mates, this should be a good start for a conversation.

Santorini vacation/portrait photographer Anna Sulte

Organise a classy party in Santorini

Organise a classy party in Santorini

Being classy takes effort, not necessarily bags of money. Let me share some local tips on how to make that perfect occasion to enjoy the company of your loved ones and closest friends in Santorini.

  1. Location

Having an awesome location definitely adds a lot to a party. People usually come to Santorini for two things – the Caldera view and to see the traditional white architecture. Give the people what they want! There are loads of restaurants around that have great views. I have already shared some of the greatest restaurants here  —>  Santorini restaurants with a view (and a great food),
and here  —>  Best Santorini restaurants to enjoy authentic Greek/Santorini food.
Another option is to start with hotels, they also might offer you to rent out their pool for a warm evening dip. It’s also quite exciting if you keep the location a secret to the guests and meet them in the city. That adds that extra wow factor when you arrive and is a good party starter!

  1. Dress code

You might think that this is a bit too much, but believe me – a clear dress code only adds to the ambiance of the location. Santorini is quite warm in summer even in evenings, so you can get inspired from traditional Greek fashion. Long free flowing toga dresses for girls and smart casual in light tones for guys always does the trick. Be sure to include this in the invitations (or messages that you send out).

  1. Entertainment

Music adds the extra cherry on top. Many restaurants and hotels will have their own musicians on offer, but you can also search around. The best thing is that to get traditional Greek music in your party, you don’t necessarily have to hire a professional band. Many Greeks are talented with music instruments, so you can safely get almost any street musician and have the best time!

And that’s it. Simple as that – if you pay attention to these things, your party will be one of your highlights of your Santorini trip.

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte

 

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THE OIA VILLAGE OF SANTORINI – THE VILLAGE IN THE GREEK SKY

THE OIA VILLAGE OF SANTORINI – THE VILLAGE IN THE GREEK SKY

                Today I’m continuing my short series of blog posts on the villages on the island of Santorini in Greece. Today we’re going to take a look at one of the villages most enjoyed by tourists – Oia.

The inhabitants themselves sometimes call it “apano meria” which means “the place on top of the world’’ and this is true – Oia lies 150 meters above sea level and sits on the highest point of the island. Everyone falls in love with the beautiful views that can be seen here as soon as they visit the village and soak in the beauty of its small white traditional houses on the hillside that are interwoven with some other traditionally Mediterranean tones like okra, fuchsia, blue and pink. In between the living houses lie small and beautiful chapels and small churches that are perfect for lovely intimate weddings as well. The village is well-known for its cave houses that stay cosy and cool even during the hottest summer days and offer travelers the rest they deserve.

Not to mention the wonderful sunsets (and sunrises) that can be seen from this place at the top of Santorini. The yellow and orange hues wash over the white buildings and drench the village – everyone stops for those magical 15 minutes to just enjoy and appreciate it.

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte