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

 

 

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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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!

THE SECRET TIP OF TOURING THE BLACK, RED AND WHITE BEACHES OF SANTORINI

THE SECRET TIP OF TOURING THE BLACK, RED AND WHITE BEACHES OF SANTORINI

            The Island of Santorini in Greece is a really romantic destination loved for its scenery, cute classic Greek buildings and of course it’s out-of-the-ordinary beaches. Santorini is a volcanic island – it has come into existence because of a large volcanic eruption. The majority of the island is formed by hardened lava and volcanic ash etc. and that is why here lie some of the most unique beaches in the world – the black, red and white beaches.

            Many think that visiting all the beaches is rather time consuming, but that is true only in cases when you don’t have the right info so today I taught I’d share some tips from locals on how to get around the beaches without spending tons of time. ;)

            It’s probably better to start your beach exploration from Akrotiri, from which the black beach can be easily reached on foot. If you fancy a short boat trip, you might also go for a water taxi – it’s a really fast and convenient way to get around these three beaches- Santorini black, red and white beaches. This will cost you only around 5 EUR. These taxis are fast and, moreover, they offer the ability to have some fun and relaxation on water.

            The same goes if you want to get from Perisa to Kamari to change the vibe and enjoy their beaches. Instead of taking the regular taxi or car to cross the whole island and mountain on land, it is way more relaxing, interesting and fast to just take the water taxi and go around the island on water. Plus, it’s just another chance to enjoy the Santorini beaches from another viewpoint and spot your perfect sunbathing or exploring spots along the way!

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SANTORINI PICNIC GUIDE

THE ULTIMATE SANTORINI PICNIC GUIDE –
THE BASIC THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW TO SURVIVE A PICNIC IN THE MEDITERRENEAN

During all the years I have been here on the wonderful island of Santorini I have accumulated a certain number of questions I get asked quite a lot and some of them definitely are related to being out in the sun and organizing various events and parties outside. Popular idea seems to be to go on a cool Mediterranean picnic with your travel buddies or your special someone. I must say that exploring the beautiful nature of this island is definitely a great idea, but you must do certain planning and take certain precautions to have the best time! I thought today I might round up the essentials here in this blog post.

                First of all, you must know that the Santorini sun is really intense. That is one of the reasons why I would strongly suggest to plan the picnic in the evening. Even the locals are most active after sunset, do not overestimate your capabilities! During the day it is quite hard to find shade and a cool breeze.

                As for the place, I think the seaside is the best choice, just make sure you stick to more quiet places, to avoid hordes of tourists walking past you all the time. Some of the places you could go are the further side of Perivolos beach or somewhere near the cliff side of the island at the village of Megalochori or Akrotiri with most rocks and a great caldera view although it might get a bit windy. If you choose a beach for your picnic, be sure to bring your swimsuit – there’s always the added bonus of taking a quick swim whenever you want to cool down. :)

                When preparing food, make sure you choose products that can handle the Santorini temperatures. Alternatively, you should think about ways to cool them down. You could buy an ice box and/or and fill it with ice to keep your drinks cool. This method should last you for a couple of hours.

                There you go – the rest is up to you.  :)

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Santorini sunset. Photo by Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte.

How to choose a quiet hotel in Santorini

How to choose a quiet hotel in Santorini

            It’s almost time for your grand holiday and there’s only one final preparation to make. Surely it can’t be that hard to find a romantic, quiet place to stay in Santorini, right? Wrong! You will have to use some inside knowledge to get a real cosy room and hotel if you are coming during the season.

            Today I thought I could share some of my tips on how to find the best quiet hotel in Santorini. You have plenty of options to choose from, just remember to stick to these rules to get your dream suite. Here are some golden rules to observe:

  1. Oia, Fira, Kamari and Perissa are the busiest spots. It’s OK if you like company and people all around you, not so much if you’re looking for a quiet getaway. If you want a quiet place, I suggest you stay away from these locations.
  2. Contact the hotel you choose in advance. Hotels are really open about their suites – if you want a quiet room, but there’s none available, they will definitely let you know and suggest you try someplace else. Customer satisfaction is key.
  3. Think twice before booking a sunset view in Oia . I get it, sunsets are nice. What people don’t realise is that sunset views attract large crowds. How about taking a stroll outside and looking at it? If you choose this option, you will come back to much more quiet room afterwards.  
  4. Do not book a hotel near bars. Again, if you enjoy a good night out, this is the perfect spot for you; however, if you’re more of the peace seeking types, you should keep away. You can easily find out the information on the hotel and bars on Google Street View.
  5. Do not book the first room you find. Explore your options, have a look around. Try calling a few hotels before making the final decision.

This should get you ready for finding your perfect Santorini getaway. And one final thing – just chill out and enjoy the moment, even if you don’t get the quietest room. Sometimes all we need is a change in our attitude to find happiness.

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Santorini portrait photographer Anna Sulte

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BEST PLACE TO RENT A CAR IN SANTORINI

BEST PLACE TO RENT A CAR IN SANTORINI

Santorini is an island on which you can get around pretty well on a quad (ATV) or scooter, but as it is slowly getting a bit rainier here this time of the year, it is a good idea to have a look what the Santorini car rent companies have to offer. Don’t be scared, the fact that I mentioned rain does not mean it will be super cold and raining all the time — take a look at my article on the Santorini weather in Autumn. In short, you have nothing to worry about; the super warm weather will be interrupted by light showers sometimes, that’s all.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s get back to renting a car. There are several things to consider when looking for your car rent company. First of all, ask where should you leave your car after using it — the island of Santorini is such a small place that most car rent companies allow you to park and leave your car pretty much anywhere after you’re done using it. Of course, you have to take into account the place where you have to pick up the actual car, sometimes it’s easier to pick a car rent closer to your hotel, even if they ask you to bring the car back to their shop. It’s worth calling a few of the car rents and asking if they offer to deliver the rental car to your doorstep — it really saves time you would otherwise spend going to pick the car up. One last thing to remember is that Santorini has all sorts of narrow streets and parking is really a pain sometimes, so it’s probably wiser to go with a smaller rental car.
Well, that’s it in short. Happy driving!

Sunshower in Santorini.

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Santorini based vacation photographer Anna Sulte.

Santorini volcano facts

Santorini volcano facts

If you are a reader of this blog then you already know that the whole island of Santorini was formed because of a volcanic eruption. That is why Santorini has the weirdest beaches with black, red or white volcanic sand and the caldera which was mainly formed by solidified lava — a landmarks you will only find on this island. But there’s more — the volcanoes responsible for the creation of the whole island are still here! Let me share some facts about Santorini volcanoes today:
Santorini has two volcanoes. Many people think there’s only one, the most popular one — Nea Kameni — which is located right in the middle of the island. Well, it is the volcano that I most responsible for the creation of the island BUT there’s another one in Oia — Kolumbo. Both are worth seeing, and it’s actually quite rare to see two volcanoes so close to each other; this is another special trait of the volcanic island of Santorini.
You DO NOT have to worry about some catastrophic volcanic eruptions! Nea Kameni last erupted in 1950 (and the islanders barely noticed it) and Kolumbo last erupted in 1650. Both volcanoes show some activity by they are far from being deadly or creating new lava islands etc.
Both volcanoes are closely monitored for scientific purposes and they are very important sites for volcano studies. Kolumbo is a submarine volcano and Nea Kameni is a classic dome crater.
The island of Santorini offers not only romantic sites, sunsets etc. You can also dwell into volcano studies if you want, plus every visitor experiences the effects of the volcanic eruptions of these two Santorini volcanoes to some extent — they all visit the beaches with volcanic sand of various colours and are amazed by the marvellous caldera, not to mention that this beautiful island wouldn’t even exist without volcanoes.

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Santorini photos by local photographer Anna Sulte.

CAMERA SHY? TRY THESE STEPS BEFORE YOUR SANTORINI PHOTOSHOOT

CAMERA SHY? TRY THESE STEPS BEFORE YOUR SANTORINI PHOTOSHOOT

Let’s admit it — all of us experience that weird feeling when standing in front of a camera from time to time. You kind of don’t feel yourself, all of a sudden you feel that weird awkward feeling and you don’t seem to be able to pose. Let me offer some of my insights today —here are some of my observations on the topic.

First of all, as I already stated — it is absolutely normal! Once you understand that and embrace it, you’ll be able to overcome the feeling easier.

Secondly, think of what are you going to wear. Think not only about how it looks, try to make sure that your outfit is comfy as well — you would be surprised how relaxed you could get with the right pair of shoes. These little things actually have great impact on how you act and feel in front of the camera.

Thirdly, just relax. I know how stupid it sounds sometimes, but really — just forget about the photo shoot and chill out and be yourself. Good photographers don’t need to make you strike some special poses. Just be your loving self and enjoy the awesome time in Santorini with your loved one, the photographer will take care of the rest. Focus on the beautiful surroundings, the magnificent Santorini streets and allow yourself to be amazed by the great views of this small Greek island.

What it really comes down to is not over thinking the whole photo shoot experience — remember that photo shoots are for you and your loved one and they should in no way be treated as a sort of test which you can fail or be great at. You should just come and enjoy Santorini with me, that’s all (I’ll just bring my camera along to make sure that some of the special moments are captured).

 Enjoy your holiday and I hope to see you in Santorini soon!

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Santorini photo session in Perissa village.

The Unique Beaches of Santorini

The Unique Beaches of Santorini

Santorini has a lot to offer to travellers besides its magnificent small towns with the small white houses typical for the region. There’s something that is overlooked by some travellers – the unique beaches that the island can offer.

To begin with, Santorini is not Hawaii or Florida – you won’t find the typical long white sandy beaches here. Instead what you’ll find dark sand washed with deep blue waters some of them are surrounded by vertical cliffs and rock formations. While other beaches don’t have sand but have volcanic pebbles instead. OK, it does not really sound like your dream vacation beach, but you must give them a chance to understand that these beaches are some of the most unique in the world!

The clear turquoise water and black sand adds an extra layer of weirdness to the look of these beaches. However, they’re not weird in the bad sense of the word, you get an out-of-this-world feeling here, especially if you go to some of the more isolated beaches of the Eastern side of the island like Xiropigado, Vououlos or Exo Gialos. These beaches have not yet been conquered by resorts – you’ll only find a couple of fishermen there. That means that you won’t have to share the original beauty of the black sandy beaches lined with volcanic pebbles and the small fishing ports full of small colourful boats!

 Just remember to pack your towel and some good shoes when going to the beach – you never know when you’ll have to cross a rock to find your perfect isolated spot of seaside.

Here you can view a bit from Kamari beach, Kamari beach from the mountain and Red Santorini beach.

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Photography by Anna Shulte, vacation photographer based in Santorini.