The Unique face of Ammoudi village/bay in Santorini

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!

Santorini based photographer Anna Sulte

 

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2016 HIGHLIGHTS – WHAT A GREAT YEAR IT HAS BEEN!

2016 HIGHLIGHTS – WHAT A GREAT YEAR IT HAS BEEN!

We’re well on our way in 2017 and I’ve been busy with shooting and planning to make this year even more awesome than the last. Today I just wanted to thank each and every one of you for being a part of my growth journey on this small Greek island in the Aegean Sea- Santorini.

Each opportunity to photograph an amazing couple is a chance to perfect my skills, make other people happy and soak up the love that surrounds you! Thank you for the unforgettable moments and kind words, I promise I will not let you down in 2017.

Have a great year and remember to laugh and love often and a lot!

Anna Sulte Santorini based vacation photographer.

 

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THE SECRET OF HOW TO VISIT THE MOST ICONIC SPOTS OF SANTORINI IN JUST ONE DAY

THE SECRET OF HOW TO VISIT THE MOST ICONIC SPOTS OF SANTORINI IN JUST ONE DAY

For such a small place, Santorini has a lot to see. However, if you’re smart and efficient, you can see all the major sights and landmarks in one day – it just requires some efficiency planning!

If you’re on a cruise, you can easily see the island in a relaxed way for yourselves – no need for a guided tour! Just rent a car or an ATV down by the port and you’re good to go on your own mini adventure. Be sure to start with Oia, which is not that crowded in the mornings. After you have enjoyed the beauty of this village, go ahead and go to the beach to have a dip in the warm water. It will take you about 1 hour to drive from Oia to either the beach of Perissa or Kamari. Along the way there will be the traditional settlement of Megalochori or Pyrgos, which are great places to stop and have dinner as well as soak in the different vibe of this ancient villages.

Enjoy your swim at the beach and have some cocktails while you’re there to prepare for heading inland and enjoying the Caldera views, for example, to Fira town which has loads of small shops or head to Firostefani, if you prefer a more relaxed vibe. Sunsets are amazing from both of these villages.

         Most importantly, Fira is a great village from which to reach the airport, Fira port for boats or Athinos port for ferries. You must have gotten dizzy from all these place names, so here’s a Google Map for your trip!

     Seeing all the things the island has to offer is definitely possible in a day, but if you really want to soak it in, you have to stay a bit longer.

Santorini based photographer Anna Sulte

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Mesa Gonia – echoes of an ancient wine capital

Mesa Gonia – echoes of an ancient wine capital

             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.

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Panagia Episkopi

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Santorini photographer Anna Sulte

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5 (kind of) worst things about Santorini

5 (kind of) worst things about Santorini

            Every places has its pros and cons, including Santorini. However, sometimes the things that may seem bad at first glance are actually kind of a part of the local culture and way of living, and I think this may be true for some of the things on my list as well. So here are the 5 worst things about Santorini, Greece:

Greek time

For a person not coming from Greece, everything seems to be late all the time. Even some stores and cafes keep a very free schedule – they might open an hour or half an hour later, you never know. This is the same if you arrange a meeting with someone. This is a point which depends greatly on your attitude – you can save yourself loads of stress, if you adopt the Greek laid back attitude, and just go for a walk till the café opens or have a relaxed cup of coffee before your meeting.

Public transportation

As Santorini is a tourist hot spot, it really gets crowded during the season. This is actually a rather small Greek island and it is very apparent if you take the public transportation – it seems that it can hardly cope with the masses of people visiting this place. Your transport might be very late and might arrive packed with people. Once again, just breathe deeply and the solution will come to you.

Some bars are not totally honest

Sorry to say this, but it’s true. As in many places with many light-minded tourists, there are possibilities for fraud, and some bars take advantage of this. Just be careful and really think through what you’re doing.

August wind

It gets REALLY windy in August and since Santorini is an island the wind really blows in your face from the sea. All you can do is to change up your routine a bit and dress up appropriate. Flouty skirts will not work :)

Midday heat

Don’ get me wrong, I really enjoy the warm weather Santorini has to offer but during the year there are periods when the midday heat is just too much. When this happens more or less the only thing you should do is either go for swim or to sit inside in a conditioned room and read a book, surf the web for great things to do on Santorini etc. and wait till the evening coolness sets down.

That being said, I kind of think that most of the things on my list make Santorini a bit unique (well, except for scammers!). If you also have some problems like these, all I can really suggest is to take it easy and adopt a positive attitude – it helps for me at least :)

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Santorini based photographer Anna Sulte

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THE MESSARIA VILLAGE – AT THE CROSSROADS OF SANTORINI

THE MESSARIA VILLAGE – AT THE CROSSROADS OF SANTORINI

Hello, all! Today I thought I should get on with my introduction of the amazingly varied Santorni villages. Some might think that every village on Greek islands is similar, but I think this is very far from the truth, that is why I have devoted a whole series of blog posts to highlight what is unique about each of the villages of the small Greek island of Santorini. I think today it’s time to dive into Messaria village.

            Messaria lies at the crossroads of all the roads connecting other villages, that is why you could call it the heart of Santorini – you can hardly avoid going through it even if you want to drive to other village! Today it is a much more peaceful place, but during the 19th century Messaria was a real center of industry – you can still see it in the architecture. The traditional cave houses and white houses are mixed in stately homes and the impressive landmark of the Markezinis building, which used to be a very prominent knitting factory.

            Messaria is a real vineyard village, and nowadays it is its primary feature. Here you can really get a taste of the original Santorini vine, which has a real distinct taste due to the special volcanic soil on the island. Santorini was formed during a volcanic eruption and that is why it is very hard to find a more unique vine growing region than Messaria and its surroundings – the vine here is truly one of a kind, and vine tasters around the world enjoy its exquisite flavor.

            The heart of Santorini is really an apt name for this place because it really is a lively village – it has a big population and therefore it has more shops, restaurants, supermarkets etc. then Caldrea villages like Firostefani or Imerovigli, and they all work throughout the year since the majority of the population is formed by locals. Very often many street vendors offer the freshest fish, vegetables, fruit, plants and other local produce on the crossroads from their parked trucks – if you are looking for a place to shop in for local foods then Santorini , Messaria is really the place for you!

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Santorini portrait photographer Anna Sulte

 

 

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Where to go in winter. Santorini trip.

Winter Santorini trip.

Where to go in winter? Here is the list of Santorini Restaurants, wine bars that are open in winter:

Village- Exo Gonia
Aroma Avlis Food & wine. Open 13.00-00.00
t. 22860 33395

Village- Exo Gonia
Artemis Karamolegos Winery. Open 11.00-20.00
t. 22860 33395, e-mail: san_torini@yahoo.gr

Village- Firostefani
Da Vinci Italian Restaurant
t. 22860 22533, e-mail: info@davincisantorini.com

Village- Firostefani
Simos Tavern
t. 22860 23815 e-mail: spes17@otenet.gr

Village- Imerovigli
Heliotopos (wine bar) Open 19.00-24.00
t. 22860 23670

Village- Fira cental square
Kipos Wine Restaurant- Cafe
t. 22860 23433 email: info@pelican.gr

Village- Fira
Ladokolla Open: 11.00-23.00 (except Mondays)
t. 22860 21244 e-mail. ladokollasantorini@gmail.com

Village- Fira
Tsipouradiko Tavern Open: 12.00- 24.00
t. 22860 21847 e-mail: santotsipouradiko@hotmail.gr

Village- Ag. Georgios Perivolos
L’Opera di Costa (Greek Mediterranean cuisine)
t. 22860 83439 email: k.k.kourtelis@hotmail.com

Village- Oia
Roka Restaurant t. 22860 71896

Village- Pyrgos
Santo Wintes (winery- wine bar- local shop) Open 10.00-16.00 (except Mondays)
t. 22860 28058 e-mail: promo@ santowines.gr  

Village- Megalochori
To mousiko kouti (traditional Greek cuisine)
t. 22860 85282 e-mail: info@mousikokouti.net

Village- Akrotiri beach
The Dolphins (tavern- restaurant) Open: 12.00- 20.00
t. 22860 81151

Four things to consider when traveling to Santorini in off-season/ winter.
What to do in Santorini in winter time.
Visit Santorini in winter, what to expect?

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Anna Sulte Santorini portrait photographer

 

 

 

 

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WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN TRAVELLING ALONE

WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR WHEN TRAVELLING ALONE

                Lately I have noticed that it is getting increasingly popular to travel alone. I must say that this could be one of the most enriching forms of travel, because you are really immersing yourself in the culture of your destination — you don’t bring any friends or relatives with you, so you’re forced to really get out there and communicate with the locals, arrange everything yourself etc. However, I must say that there are certain precautions you should take to make sure that you do not encounter unnecessary problems that can be avoided in the first place.

                I have come up with my own short list of advice to help you when travelling solo:

  1. Always inform someone when going on a longer trip

It is a good idea to inform someone that you’re going on a longer trip, e.g. a hike. You could for example tell this to the hotel administration, so that they know what’s up. If something happens, they’ll know something is wrong, if you don’t return on the time you told them.

  1. Don’t pack more than you can carry

I see this quite a lot. People usually overestimate how much they can actually carry around. The fact that you can bring two suitcases from the airport with the help of a taxi driver DOES NOT mean you certainly should bring so much stuff with you. You should really think through the things you need and they should ideally fit into one bag that you can carry yourself without much effort.

  1. Don’t be afraid to meet new people, however, really think trough the motives behind their actions.

Be brave and do not be afraid to communicate with all sorts of strangers — that’s really the best way to get to know a different culture. At the same time, you should double-check their motives. Some people might seem genuinely interest but try to sell you something etc. Be open and expect the best from all people, however, if you encounter some problems, place them on a mental blacklist.

To my mind these are the very basics to remember for solo travelers coming to Santorini, Greece or any other part of the world. By the way, the island of Santorini is really a great place to start your alone travelling adventures —it is a calm place for finding yourself.

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Santorini located photographer Anna Sulte

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SHOULD YOU VISIT THERASIA, SANTORINI?

 

SHOULD YOU VISIT THERASIA, SANTORINI?

Of course, any real adventure seeker would not pass the chance to go on an adventure, but let’s step back a bit and take a look at what this small island of Santorini has to offer. Therasia (or Θηρασία) is the second largest Santorini island after Thera, and it is located in the center of the Santorini island group. It has roughly 300 inhabitants and its land area is about 9.3 kilometres. Here’s an example of what you might expect to see in Therasia (you can either go on a guided tour or by yourself, as the island is small, you will most probably see the same places).

Most people choose to take the boat from Oia (Thera) to Riva (Therasia). From there you should take the local bus to Manolas. Therasia is really the place to take a long walk – start by walking past the Zacharo Rooms to the church of Agios Charalampos – it is a really special and spiritual place with its own energy. From there you can see fantastic views over the caldera and the surrounding areas. Afterwards you can head to the monastery of Komisi, which lies on the Southern part of the island. Then you can head back to Manolas to get a glimpse of what a real, non-touristy Greek village looks like. If you feel a bit hungry along the way, you should take the chance to visit the local baker, who only burns old grape vines for baking bread and you should definitely visit the local shop to get some real tasty fruit.

Continue by walking down the steps to Korfos Harbor and relax have a meal and dip into the crystal clear water. I suggest you get up earlier than the volcano tour boat operators to get a more quiet sense of the island.

So, that’s my advice. Should you visit Therasia? Well, if you feel like having a calm walk, then yes – of course! :)

Enjoy your adventure!

VISIT THERASIA SANTORINI GREECE ANNA SULTE-2 VISIT THERASIA SANTORINI GREECE ANNA SULTE

 

Anna Sulte Santorini based photographer.

 

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Visit Santorini in winter, what to expect?

Visit Santorini in winter, what to expect?

            Winter is steadily approaching and the number one question I get around this time of the year goes something like this, “I’m planning a winter getaway to someplace warm, is Santorini the right place for me?”. I have been a Santorini photographer for a while, so I could share some insight.

            First of all, I guess “someplace warm” is rather relative and it depends on the climate you get in your own country during winter. Well if you’re dreaming of tanning in an exotic beach, I’m sorry to say that it probably won’t be possible; however, there are plenty of other things to do in Santorini and the temperature stays around + 12 C during winter here.

            During winters, you can get more active and really explore the island of Santorini. In the summer you always have to watch out from the blistering heat, but around December it is very pleasant for hiking, exploring the historical ruins, walking the narrow town streets… Besides, it is not as crowded and you can really enjoy a romantic stay with your loved one.

            That’s it in a nutshell. Stay tuned for a summary of the things you can do here in Santorini during wintertime, I’m preparing it right now and I’m sure it will be helpful for those of you considering coming here soon.

Visit Santorini in winter what to expect

Santorini photographer Anna Sulte

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Best Santorini restaurants to enjoy authentic Greek/Santorini food

Best Santorini restaurants to enjoy authentic Greek/Santorini food

            Food is a big part of any culture and Greece and Santorini in particular are no exception. Let me give you some quick tips on where to find the best restaurants that still serve mainly authentic, traditional Greek food typical of the Santorini region. Off course, all places serve something from the Greek cuisine, but these places specialize in these dishes. These are my three recommendations in no particular order:

Argo in Fira

Argo is located in the capital of Santorini — Fira — and it has been winning all sorts of awards for its splendid menu and picturesque location where you can dine and watch the sun set over the caldera. As a modern restaurant should, they can offer you meals from around the world, but they’re really well known for their local dishes – fava and patatina.

Aktaion Taverna

This traditional Greek tavern was opened in Firostefani more than 90 years ago and is still run by the same family. The third generation of the family has taken over and they still hold the traditional Greek tavern values dear. Their menu is as local as it gets – they only use ingredients grown on the island, and they make simple, yet very tasty dishes from them.

1800

This restaurant in Oia operates in an authentic captain’s house from 1845. You can really escape the modern era there, as the majority of the interior details have been preserved. What’s more is that the menu offers great Greek and Mediterranean seafood!

So these restaurants might serve as a starting point. You would be surprised how many dining options are there on the island. Prepare your taste buds! :)

Are you interested to eat and have a great view? Please check my recent blog post – SANTORINI RESTAURANTS WITH A VIEW

Anna

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Images by Anna Sulte Santorini photographer. 2015.

IS THERE ANY NIGHTLIFE IN SANTORINI?

IS THERE ANY NIGHTLIFE IN SANTORINI?

I get asked this question from time to time. And I really get it – even though there are these amazing views, you have all sorts of travelling destinations etc. sometimes you just want to let yourself go and enjoy an exotic night out. Plus, some of you might be looking for the right places to visit on your hen night/stag party. Let me tell you – in contrast to what most people think, the nightlife situation in Santorini is not so bad! Let me give you a couple of hints on some of the places to get your night going. :)  Let me start off with Firá in this post and later we’ll move on to different locations.

Tango Bar in Firá, Santorini – it is one of the coolest places to enjoy a cocktail and dance in Santorini. Although it might be a bit pricey, it’s still a very great bar on the cliffside (caldera), which means that you’ll be watching over the great view of the sea while having a chat in the stylish interior or having a good time on the dance floor. Try out some of their cocktails made from fresh fruit!

Tropical Bar in Firá, Santorini – This is a more laid back experience, and it is a really nice place to have a drink and have some fun when the weather is good, they have cool outdoor balcony.

Town Club in Firá, Santorini – This is one of the oldest and well known clubs in Santorini. The main feature of this club is the DJ, who really is in tune with the mood of the visitors and keeps them dancing until the brake of dawn in their special events and parties. There are discounts if you are a group of at least 12 people.

P.S. Stay tuned for a club/ bar list in other places of Santorini, Greece.

Have a great night!

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Santorini Portrait Photographer Anna Sulte

5 THINGS YOUR PERFECT SANTORINI HOTEL SHOULD HAVE

5 THINGS YOUR PERFECT SANTORINI HOTEL SHOULD HAVE

 

Finding a decent hotel is a confusing task and it gets even more confusing if you’re not that familiar with the place your going to and really do not know what to look for. That is why I prepared a quick check list for finding a great hotel in Santorini (i.e. a great hotel in the sense that it offers all the things Santorini is known for, you can still choose if you want a luxurious or a more down-to-earth hotel). So here goes, these are the 5 things to check when looking for a hotel in Santorini, Greece:

  1. Does the hotel have a swimming pool? I cannot stress how much easier your life will be if you’ll be able to dip in a pool every once in a while. It gets hot here. Plus, many Santorini hotels have infinity pools with stunning views.
  2. Does the hotel have a good view? Most of the hotels in Santorini offer a Caldera view (cliffs and the Aegean Sea), but that does not mean that other views are less great, check the webpage of the hotel for photos.
  3. Does the hotel have a (good) restaurant? I mean, it does not have to be first-class (although many places have REALLY great food around here); you just have to check if there is a restaurant and what are some of the foods/prices you might expect.
  4. Does the hotel have a terrace? Very often the terrace will be merged with the restaurant/pool area. It’s really cool to have an open air terrace in your hotel to relax a bit. Plus, very often Santorini hotel terraces have the best views.
  5. How about transport? This is in a way related to your hotel choice. If you’re willing to rent a car and travel around, you should check the parking situation. Santorini streets are VERY narrow and you should not just rely that you’ll find a place to park so easily. Just write the hotel a message if you’re not sure.

And there you have it – this should make it easier for you to choose a hotel in Santorini, Greece. Of course, you can sacrifice one or two of these things. :)

Hope this helps and see you in Santorini soon!

THINGS SANTORINI HOTEL SHOULD HAVE Hotel in Santorini, services you should look for

 

Santorini vacation photographer Anna Sulte

RENT QUADBIKES AND EXPLORE THE WHOLE ISLAND OF SANTORINI

RENT QUADBIKES AND EXPLORE THE WHOLE ISLAND OF SANTORINI

Hey travellers! The Santorini tourism season is just around the corner so I thought I might share a little travelling tip on how to get around – rent a quad bike!

OK, this type of transportation choice might seem a bit odd at first, but believe me – it’s a very comfortable and cheap way to get around the whole island AND it’s fun. Rally if you consider it, most people do not use the whole space of their rental car and end up driving an empty car anyways and using the public transportation very often limits people to the bus timetable. That is why a quad bike is a transport choice even many Santorin locals choose, because the island is rather small and you do not have to drive much to get around the whole island. And navigating a quad bike is easier when you’re on the narrow streets of the Santorini villages, especially if you’re not a local.

If this sounds good then you should remember a couple of practical things about renting a quad bike in Santorini – you do not need a special driver’s license if you have your ordinary car driver’s license. REMEMBER to wear a lot of sunscreen and a hat – the blistering Santorini sun could harm you otherwise. Other than that, you’re perfectly ready to have a nice ride.

There are lots of quad bike rentals on the island, just browse the web and find the closest one to you. :)

And, most importantly – have fun!

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Santorini Photographer Anna Sulte

THREE AMAZING LUXURY EXPERIENCES IN SANTORINI, GREECE

THREE AMAZING LUXURY EXPERIENCES IN SANTORINI, GREECE

Santorini is really one of the best places to be if you’re looking for a getaway holiday. It is famous for its views, the excellent Mediterranean climate and the small, romantic villages — paradise to escape to with your significant other. It is little known, however, that there are many chances to have more active, adventurous activities on the island as well. Let me give you an insight in the exciting Santorini adventures the island has to offer.

Diving — the Aegean Sea surrounding the Greek island of Santorini is perfect for underwater exploring. You’ll find glorious coral reefs, a unique variety of fish and other underwater creatures and, even some abandoned ships and other underwater Santorini mysteries if you decide to give it a go. There are several diving centres on the island and they provide training as well.

A one-of-a-kind helicopter ride adventure — when you have seen all the sights of the Santorini island from the ground, it’s time to book a helicopter flight. You’ll get a new perspective of the little villages, the sea and the volcanic islands, plus it’s a real adrenaline rush you cannot compare to having an airplane flight.

Take a dip in an infinity pool — you’ll definitely need a special way to relax after this adventure. Enjoy the relaxing water and the amazing feeling of having a swim in a pool which as if ends in the magical Santorini view. Enjoy the warm evenings and your food and wine by the poolside and just appreciate the beauty of life.

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