Be an AirBnB pro in Santorini – cook amazing dishes
AirBnB is a great way to save on travel costs,
that’s nothing new. And Santorini is no exception, you get all types of airbnbs
ranging from very simple rooms to exclusive house locations with views, privacy
and great interiors. I’m quite saure there’s something for everyone on there.
What people forget is that you can actually cook at your Santorini home and that would be one more way to bond with your travel partners. Santorini has some amazing markets that offer fresh local produce and I would say cooking authentic Greek dishes here is a breeze. So here’s some simple hacks on how to eat amazing food every day for a fraction of what it would cost in a restaurant!
fish. Santorini is one of the best places for Greek
seafood. The problem is that the demand for the local restaurants is so high,
that the prices have skyrocketed recent years. You can easily grill your own
fish in your AirBnb and it will be no different. Any fish market will sell you
extra fresh fish, my recommendation would be Tsipoura – a nice white fish, very
traditional for grilling in around here.
Simple Greek Salad. This is a classic, of course. And the best part about Greek salad is that it is so damn simple to make – the secret lies in combining the fresh ingredients. Just head to the local store and buy some feta, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers and whatever else your heart desires and mix it together. Optionally add some grated cheese on top for some kick and you’re done – simple as that! You can also just pay attention to the exact ingredients of your favorite Greek salad and recreate it.
Greek Fava. Another classic around here – very filling and heartwarming dish that’s easy to make and has few ingredients. Here’s a great recipe.
Desert – fruit with Greek yoghurt and local honey. One of my solid favorites that basically requires no cooking at all. Buy your favorite fresh fruit in the local bazar, have some nice Greek yoghurt (Total yogurt) to go with it and top it off with some extra sweet honey from the local street sellers you will see around Santorini villages. Heaven!
A lot of the Greek cuisine is very simple, that is the charm of it. And of course, this is a chance to have a glass or two of great wine and connect with people over some great cooking. :)
Being vegan is easier in certain parts of the world than others. Everyone has their favorite vegan treat, but when it comes to travelling, it’s certainly more challenging. No fear, today I’m sharing some Greek vegan food hacks – really nice meals you can have right here on the island of Santorini!
Gemista are vegetables, usually tomatoes,
zucchini, bell peppers or egg plant filled with rice. It is a very heart
warming and filling dish that highlights some of the best mediterranean flavors
and makes use of our fine olive oil. One thing to remember – ask if these are
vegetarian, some taverns like to put a bit of meet in theirs.
This one follows pretty much the same
stuffing logic, but makes use of something more exotic – the rice and herb mix
is stuffed in a fresh grape leaf. Perfect chance to try out something new ;)
Basically these are oven-baked vegetables
with a mediterranean twist – the herbs and spices used on them differ a bit
from place to place, but you can be sure it takes out the best in the
vegetables they are baking at the time of the year.
Greek salad hack
Everyone knows about Greek salad, of
course. But the problem for vegans is one of the main ingridients – Feta
cheese. But guess what, Greek salad is pretty fine without it! They will gladly
exclude it, if you just ask.
Some bakery options
Of course, this depends from the place,
but the two vegan things that are pretty much always there are spanakopita and
kuluri. And then you can of course always ask for any other vegan options, and
depending on the season you’re visiting they’ll have two or three more treats
So these are the essentials for any vegan
coming to Santorini. Let me know if you can think of some more!
Enjoy some fine beer and learn more about brewing it in Santorini
Apart from the classic well known tourist attractions that Santorini has to offer all the wonderful people that flock to the Island of Love every year, there’s also some more hidden and niche things to do around here. One of such is definitely is the amazing Santorini Beer Company visit in Thera. Santorini Brewing Company.
This brewery opens its doors to everyone interested and provides a deeper look into their craft beer brewing process as well as some fun facts about the local beer brewing scene and enjoying a cold one in general.
Apart from soaking all the knowledge, this is also one of the best and cheapest ways to enjoy some high quality local beer. If you compare it to the prices you would get in a restaurant, this is definitely the spot to visit and try all the types of Santorini Donkey beer.
It’s also open till late hours, so it can be a nice experience before or during your pub crawl evening around the island :) – it’s ready for you all week long from 12PM to 12AM – just make sure to call them beforehand and check availability.
It’s a little known fact, but Santorini actually has some of the most unique wineries in whole Greece. The reason for this lies in the origin story of the island – this small island in the Aegean Sea was actually created through a volcanic eruption and most of its land was born from molten lava mixing with the sea bottom and water minerals. This makes it one of the most interesting places to grow grapes that can be turned into a wine that still carries some special taste in each sip.
Now the wine is great of course, but what you have to know is that not all wine tours have been created equal – the offers you get in Santorini range quite a bit in terms of price and experience they offer. The best way to go about to finding your perfect tour is doing some actual research before – walk around and ask for prices (or use the good old Google), and also drop by some online review sites like Tripadvisor – they have been a great help for me for all kinds of tours and restaurants, and since these tours can get a bit expensive it is a good idea to spend those extra five minutes to double check.
The two of the major places I can recommend looking into are Boutari Santorini and Santo Wines – both are well established and nice places that have good reviews and customer satisfaction. So these are a good starting point if you’re looking for a good time and want a general overview of what Santorini has to offer in terms of wines.
Also while we’re at it, I should mention that there’s actually a Wine Museum in Santorini – if you’re into wine and want to get deeper knowledge about how and why Santorini is a special place to enjoy some fermented grapes, this is definitely the place for you to visit.
Santorini is a place known for its scenic landscape with traditional Greek buildings on the Caldera and it attracts thousands of tourists every season. With that comes some pretty standard ways of enjoying what the island has to offer. But there are alternatives.
If you’re looking to strand off the beaten path a bit and do things differently and are looking for more of the authentic island life, this is for you. Tourists usually flock to Oia and that’s for a reason – it has most of the scenic architecture and little churches that couples love. It’s a great place to visit, but the crowds of tourists might ruin your vibe a bit in the busy season.
What you can do is to look at smaller, not so popular villages like Emporio and Pyrgos – these are places where you will meet locals more frequently and see people living a simple and sincere life – if you visit a cafe, you can be pretty sure that it is frequented by locals. Or you can set on your own little adventure equipped with fresh Greek produce and wine (of course) and head to a spot on the Caldera and then end the day with a magnificent sunset view from one of the rooftops in Akrotiri just to meet the sun early next day on a peaceful beach walk.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always find ways to enjoy places a bit differently than the crowd and find your own little diamonds on the island and connect with locals and your fellow travellers on a different level. And above all, remember:
”The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” (Marcel Proust)
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.
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!
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!
The Unique face of Ammoudi village/ bay in Santorini
I’m getting close to the end of my blog post series on the various different villages on the island of Santorini, if you’ve missed them, just take a look back – I give short info on the unique characteristics of each of these places you might visit during your stay. 15 Santorini villages.
Today it’s time to dive into one of the most unique small villages, which is actually almost a port – it’s the Ammoudi village/ bay. Go ahead and turn on Google Images and search for it. See what I mean? It’s just the perfect Greek port with tiny colorful houses washed by crystal clear aquamarine water.
Ammoudi is definitely known for its stunning ambience, and if you’re looking for a boat ride or a place to have great sea food, look no more! This place has some of the most highly acclaimed restaurants and taverns on the island – try their sea food and you’ll be hooked for life!
THE MEANING BEHIND THE POPULAR GREEK SOUVENIR – THE BLUE EYE
If you have ever been to a Greek souvenir shop or plan to go to one, you will most definitely run into the kind of blue eye that is made in glass. It’s a very popular symbol and it almost always is from Greece when you ask some person wearing it in a necklace, key chain, earrings or a million of other ways. It is popular all right, but few know that it has more than the iconic and classic looks – this souvenir has a very distinct meaning as well.
They call this το μάτι (to máti) in Greek, and it is actually an “evil eye” – an amulet that is supposed to protect you from a curse that is said to be cast by envious people. Whether you believe such things or not is up to you, but if you decide to buy it now you’ll at least know that this is not just an ordinary piece of pretty Greek glass.
Fava (or φάβα) is a traditional Greek dish that is very popular in Santorini as well. The dish has some history; it could be found in public taverns and made its way to the houses of the rich later on. Some sources even claim that it has been invented in Santorini (it’s very popular around here, that’s for sure). It is not only super delicious but easy to make as well!
All you need is
500g of yellow split peas,
2 cloves of garlic,
3 red onions, 2 lemons,
1/3 cup of olive oil,
Chop the onions and garlic roughly and fry them in a bit of oil. Add some fresh thyme. Rinse the split peas before boiling with water. When the onions start to caramelize add the remainder of the oil and peas and stir. Add plenty of salt and pepper to the mix and leave it boiling on medium heat for about 40 minutes. The aim is to get the peas soft and mushy. If some foam appears on the surface of the water, you should remove it. After boiling, squeeze out the juice of the lemons and pour it in the mixture. Afterwards put the mix in a food processor and blend till it becomes a puree.
This food is usually serves as a side dish with a bit of olive oil, diced onion and a squeeze of lemon juice. It can be enjoyed either hot or cold. Give it a try – you’ll be surprised of how well this Santorini treat tastes! Of course, this is only one of the many variations – everyone cooks it a bit differently. That’s why it is probably best to come to Santorini and visit a few houses and cafes to enjoy it to the fullest.
Today on my blog post series of the various villages of Santorini it’s time to look at a small rock village 6km away from Fira – the Volthonas village.
It has been called one of the places with the most different architecture on the island – many villages in Santorini offer the classical small buildings built on cliff sides and the occasional captain’s house or cave house here and there, but Volthonas leaves a different impression. The local craftsmen here were very worried about storms, so they have adapted the village to tough weather in all sorts of ways. This creates a special feel of the places, where the unique layout merge with the traditional Santorini style houses and perfect little domed churches.
If you go to Volthonas, don’t forget to take a look at the oldest church of the village – Agia Anna, which dates back to 1827. It’s most beautiful detail is inside – it has a wonderful carved wooden panel which portrays scenes from the Old Testament. If you’re looking to stretch your legs, you can take the 20 min walk to the Panagia Trypa chapel, which is located on the edge of a cliff – the beauty of its location and the chapel itself will be the best reward.
Santorini photographer Anna Sulte, vacation photographer in Greece
SANTORINI VOLCANO – WILL IT ERUPT ANY TIME SOON AND HOW TO GET TO IT?
Hi, welcome back! Well, I must admit that the part about the eruption was a bit of a cliff hanger. To calm all vacationers, the Santorini volcano IS an active volcano, but experts say that it won’t be erupting any time soon. Besides, if it becomes unusually active, people will be notified well in advance – such places are monitored by scientists nonstop.
Nevertheless, the Santorini volcano is the very reason we have the island of Santorini. The whole island and surrounding smaller islands were created by a massive volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. This is the reason why Santorini has some of the weirdest beaches that the world has to offer, for example the Black and the Red beach, whose volcanic sand have taken a special colour.
Visiting the Santorini volcano is a special moment. You get to feel the power of the earth beneath your feet. When you go on the volcano tour, you take a boat and your final destination is the small uninhabited island Nea Kameni, which is entirely comprised out of relatively new volcanic ash and lava material – this is the place where scientists have placed their equipment for tracking the seismic activity of the volcano. From the moment the boat stops on the island, you can feel the different aura of this place. The active volcano craters are only some 15 minute hike away.
As you stand there next to the crater from which light smoke and sulphur smell emerges, you are once again reminded of the power of nature and the fact that you are but a small and magnificent piece in the bigger puzzle of the universe.
Today I’m continuing my mini blog post series on the various villages that can be found on the small Greek island of Santorini. If you thought that all the exciting stuff has been covered, think again! Let’s take a look at one of the oldest settlements on the island – Akrotiri.
Akrotiri is really a place for travellers, who want to escape the tourist crowds and rush of the capital Santorini – Fira. When choosing Akrotiri as your place to stay, you have to agree to some compromises, for example, there will be less places to have a coffee etc. BUT you’re going to have the chance to see more of the authentic island life – many ordinary Santorini farmers live there and go about their day as usual, without changing much of it to fit the needs of tourists.
Yet it definitely does not mean that Akrotiri is boring or that there are no places to see. First of all, it is one of the oldest settlements of Santorini and there’s a museum where you can see the ruins of buildings that were some of the first ones erected on the island! If you want to enjoy a more relaxed day on the beach, have no worry – the village has the great Red Beach to offer – the contrast of the red volcanic sand and crystal blue water is mesmerising and captures you for hours… just don’t forget to wear sunscreen!
Time to share the next small village on the Greek island of Santorini (if you’ve missed it, I’m planning to write a blog post on each of the villages of the island for you to get a sense of what to expect). Today let’s take a look at the small rural village just 8 km from Fira – Mesa Gonia! (second name Episkopi Gonias)
This small village is surrounded by grape wines, and not without a reason. This place used to be one of the highest ranking and important wine tasting places on the island of Santorini, before it was destroyed by a massive earthquake. Some of the past glory still has been preserved – you can visit the Roussos Winery, which is still one of the oldest wineries on the island (it was established around 1836) and it has lots of treats and surprises for all you wine lovers!
Mesa Gonia is definitely a quiet place suitable for people who enjoy their own space and try to avoid crowds, it’s even quieter than the nearby village of Kamari. As for places to see, there’s the winery and the church of Panagia Episkopi, which is said to be the most important monument from the Byzantine times in Santorini. ‘
All in all, it’s a small and beautiful village with small taverns and beautiful churches – all you can ask for your holiday getaway!
Here are few pictures from Mesa Gonia and Panagia Episkopi.