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!

THREE THINGS TO MAKE YOUR SANTORINI PROPOSAL EXTRA SPECIAL

THREE THINGS TO MAKE YOUR SANTORINI PROPOSAL EXTRA SPECIAL

 

The proposal is probably among the most intimate and moving moments in any couples life. This time I won’t delve into advice on how to do the actual proposal, because it’s just too individual and special – my only advice is to listen to your heart and trust your gut. What I can help with, however, is pointing out some of the practicalities on what to do AFTER the proposal to make your day even more awesome :). Here are three things that really make a difference.

 

Restaurant WIFI is important (seriously)

When in Santorini, you definitely need to enjoy the amazing restaurants with great views over the Caldera. These are among the best places to have a nice dinner (or breakfast, or supper) after the magical “yes”. This might sound silly at first, but check their WIFI before going, so that you could have a Skype call with all your family and tell them the good news! It’s a good chance to arrange a surprise and have that extra bit of family support in your big decision.

 

Invest in some hotel room prep

The proposal day is definitely one of romance. Santorini is among one of the most romantic spots on planet Earth, so we got you covered. To add extra romance, you can prepare your hotel room with roses, champagne and candles. Pro tip – you can either rent out a different room and prep it before or arrange it to be done by the hotel staff while you’re on a trip.

 

Get some fancy wheels

A special day requires a special way to get around. How about swapping your rental for something a bit flashier? Maybe a retro car? Or even hire a driver? Or go for full on solitude on a Vespa scooter riding the streets of Santorini in moonlight (and champagne on one of the exotic beaches)?

Santorini photographer Anna Sulte
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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

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GET THE LOOK – TIPS FOR PHOTO SESSION OUTFITS

GET THE LOOK – TIPS FOR PHOTO SESSION OUTFITS

 

There is a high interest on what to wear to a photo shoot in Santorini to look amazing. Over the years I have found out some things that work and some things that don’t, especially in couples’ photo shoots. Let this serve as a guide, not a definite road map for your choices.

The basics

Dressing up for a photo shoot is something we tend to overdo, the main point to remember is to stay true to your own style – you will simply look better in clothes that you feel comfortable in. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with dressing up and rocking a cool skirt or dress, but do not overdo it and try too hard. Same goes for colours – wear tones that make you feel in sync with yourself. One thing to keep in mind is that the clothes should fit you perfectly – we’re aiming for the tailored look to underline you personality!

The same is especially true for guys. No button-ups if your significant other usually wears cool brand sweaters. Think about it – if you’re on a couples’ photoshoot already, his wardrobe choices are not so bad, right?

Go easy on the prints

It’s safer not to go overboard with various prints, especially if they are words – if your t-shirt says something on it, it very often becomes the central point of interest in the image. Same should be said for patterns, try not to dress all in patterns, rather use it to accentuate. If you have to match patterns, make sure that they are of different scales.

Crash course in making your arms look awesome

Each of us has that spot on the body you wish could look better. For most of us, it’s just in our head and no one else even notices, but my experience shows that the key of looking beautiful is FEELING beautiful, so this has to be solved. Your photo session can even be a therapy to make you understand your true beauty.

Quite a few of us struggle with the way our arms look in photographs. As this advice shows, most often it is more connected to what you actually wear on the photo shoot – you must understand that some types of clothing just makes your hands look a bit awkward on camera, it’s that simple.

One of the most basic advice is just to choose a dress or top with quarter sleeves – it can be an elegant and stylish way to draw more attention to your face (which makes photographs more personal, in fact). Sleeves also optically make us look taller and slimmer, beware of the effect and use it to your advantage to look your best on camera.

If you still want to show some skin, go for it and uncover your shoulders, off-shoulders clothes are a bit more dramatic on photographs and add a pinch of originality. It’s also a good idea to accentuate the parts of your body you are proud of, like waist line in a tight dress or face with big earrings or an impressive necklace.

You can also dress in layers, which is actually what locals also do to level out the difference of temperature during the day and night. It’s usually done like this – find your favorite dress and combine it with a cute jacket, crop top or shrug. A big scarf that you wear on your shoulders can also do the trick. And of course don’t forget the classics – dark tones make you look slimmer.

 The most important secret

Have fun, really. Don’t overthink this, the main thing is to take as much as possible from this amazing experience of you and your lover being on the island.  Nothing makes you look better than being happy.

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte, Thira Greece

 

 

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

 

Santorini photographers tips for travelling with a wedding gown

santorini post-wedding session

Santorini wedding photographers tips for travelling with
a wedding gown

Many of my clients come to Santorini to get married or celebrate their anniversary. What you don’t realize when making this decision is that you most likely will have to travel to Santorini with your wedding gowns. For guys travelling with a suit is not that challenging, but international air travel with a wedding dress can be a challenge.

First of all, let’s begin with a decision that could make your life easier. If you want to travel, you can also take this into account when choosing the dress. In general, a very classical wedding dress with a long lower part and corset. It will be far easier if you go for a Greek style or any other smaller dress. However, I know how it is – you just like the dress and you’re ready for anything to get it to Santorini. If so, then go for it!

OK when you have picked the dress, you can start figuring out how to get it to your wedding. There is no absolute advice for it but there are things you can do to increase your chances. One of the best and safest solutions for this is to get a separate suitcase for the dress only. There are actually companies that can pack your dress professionally into it to minimise creasing. When you arrive you can arrange a steam pressing to make sure everything is OK. Just make sure you are totally confident of the maximum carry on size of your flight operator, make calls to double check if necessary.

There is another, more risky solution. It is just packing your wedding dress as usual in a clear cover and carrying it on the plane. If you do this, it is a bit of a gamble, but it can turn out pretty good. Your wedding dress will of course exceed the allowed luggage dimensions, but most airport workers see the dress and light up. There’s actually a closet in most airplanes or a place to hang it up without creasing. If you’re on a long distance flight, you increase your chances dramatically if you fly first class.

If you have the time and are willing to go on an adventure, you can also arrive earlier and go wedding dress shopping closer to your destination. If you’re coming to Santorini, there are millions of possibilities in Greece before you board the ferry to the island, not to mention some spots in here as well. You can also use websites to plan and preview the dresses you want to try on. This is a good solution if you’re adventurous and willing to experiment a bit.

So there you have it, hope this helps and if you used a different technique, please let me and other couples know!

santorini post-wedding session

 

Santorini photo session by Anna Sulte, photographer based in Santorini

 

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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
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GET YOUR VACATION VEGGIES IN THESE AMAZING SANTORINI VEGETARIAN FOOD PLACES

GET YOUR VACATION VEGGIES IN THESE AMAZING SANTORINI VEGETARIAN FOOD PLACES

            Whether you’re looking for a light vacation meal after a day at the beach, exploring the Greek vegetarian food world or looking for a place to relax after your Santorini photo session these restaurants will not disappoint. Here’s my top 3 of the best places to get your veggies at the heart of the Aegean Sea.

 

Falafel Land in Fira

Who does not like a good falafel, right? Their diverse menu will have something new even for the most enthusiastic falafel lovers. It is a small and simple place, but provides all you need to enjoy a cool evening or grab a snack in the middle of your excursion day. The staff are some of the most active and positive vegans on the island!

Where to find it: It’s close to Fira bus terminal, address: Fira, Fira 84700

 

Melitini in Oia (vegetarian friendly)

This is a nice choice if you’re non-vegetarian friends don’t want to give up meat for the meal. It’s a vegetarian friendly restaurant with a relaxed vibe, classic Greek cuisine with a twist and one of the greatest views around! It’s in a classic tavern with a terrace overlooking the Caldera. Careful if you’re planning a short meal, you might stay the whole evening just to stare at the horizon and the Aegean Sea!

Where to find: It’s on the main Caldera walk in Fira, address: Epar.Od. Firon-Ias, Oia 84702

 

Sea Side by Notos in Perivolos (vegetarian and vegan friendly)

Another treat that will spoil you with food and great views. As the title suggests, this place is right next to the waves of the sea which you can always watch for hours. Great place to visit after enjoying a day at the beach. Has vegetarian and vegan options, but your meat-loving friends won’t be disappointed. They have nice chilled out seating on the beach, you can always take a quick dip in the sea in the middle of the meal if you want to – it’s your vacation, you make the rules!

Where to find: just go to the beach and you won’t miss it, address: Agios Georgios Beach, Perivolos

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte

MAGNIFICENT TOWN OF FIRA – THE CAPITAL OF SANTORINI

MAGNIFICENT town OF FIRA – THE CAPITAL OF SANTORINI

Fira is, of course, the gem of the island of Santorini. If the time of your stay here on the island is limited for some reason, you can just visit it and really take in the various opportunities and sights it has to offer. It lies on the caldera opposite the volcano, so you can be sure that the views will be no less than awesome. However, it does not end there – Fira has much more!

The town has loads of museums, galleries and hosts many cultural events. Moreover, it also has the biggest shopping centre and a large choice of places to dine and entertain – this is the place where nightlife is bustling on the island of Santorini.

The town has one of the largest varieties of architecture and variuous cultural landmarks that have preserved from the times when the island was ruled by Turks as well one of the oldest, largest and most scenic ports in Santorini.

If you’re looking for the perfect village for all sorts of activities and want to enjoy a big selection of various restaurants, hotels and places for entertainment, Fira is probably the perfect place for you!

 

Santorini photography by Anna Sulte, Thera based photographer.

SOME BEHIND THE SCENES OF MY PHOTO SHOOTS

SOME BEHIND THE SCENES OF MY PHOTO SHOOTS

Today I thought I should share some of the information of what to expect when you sign up for a photo shoot and share some of the behind the scenes and give some advice of what to bring with you etc.

Be prepared that your photo session is going to be an adventure and as a real adventure. Santorini summers get quite hot – ideally bring a hat and definitely bring a water bottle. Photo sessions usually involve walking between the locations and you might have to do some climbing as well – it’s all worth it to get the perfect shot! That’s why you should think about an extra pair of shoes (ladies especially, the Santorini cobble stone streets are not perfect for heels).

Usually you’ll have to hold a comfortable pose to get the right shot – Santorini gets really windy (which allows for artistic effect), but some time might be needed to get the perfect whirl of your dress, hair etc. What we’re looking for is that decisive moment where you have the feeling like you’re on top of the world. In the windy days a long dress is the most comfortable and the best option for feeling and looking good. So if you want a short dress for the photo shoot it would be good to have two options in case of those crazy winds.

All in all, if you just prepare a bit and have a relaxed attitude, these photo sessions are a great opportunity to explore some of the glorious sights of Santorini and have a new experience with your loved one.

Anniversary Photo shoot with Santorini based photographer.

EAT LIKE A SANTORINI LOCAL – SPOTS THE LOCALS ENJOY

where to eat in Santorini

EAT LIKE A SANTORINI LOCAL – SPOTS THE LOCALS ENJOY

Let me share some insider tips on where to find some of the eating places where locals enjoy hanging out from time to time.
If you want to be a part of the Santorini locals club, go ahead and check them out!

 

Corner in Fira – awesome brunches

This is a rather popular café to grab breakfast. Its food and staff are so good that in the midst of all the tourists even locals come to enjoy morning crepes and great coffee. Not only that, it’s pretty affordable as well!

Address: M. Danezi, Fira 84700, Santorini

 

Mario No 1 in Monolithos

This is a rather simple and down to earth restaurant at the beachside where locals enjoy amazing traditional grilled dishes. It’s also in a rather distant and quieter beach away from most of the tourist masses. Go there for simple and kind service, amazing food and good conversations in a calm atmosphere.

Address: Monolithos 84700, Santorini

 

Mythos Grill House in Pyrgos

Locals sure enjoy a good grilled meal and this is one of the best places around. In addition to their great menu, they also offer quite a view from their terrace. This in combination with a couple of sips of their amazing house white wine is a formula for a good night out in Santorini!

Address: Pyrgos Kallistis 847 00, Greece

where to eat in Santorini