A million thank you’s to photographer Alex who made a “behind the scenes” video for me. Just a little insight into a photo shoot on the streets of Santorini island, Greece.
Thank you to my amazing couple Adam and Danielle for such a pleasant evening.
Credit to Alex: https://www.santorinitravelphotographer.com/
Santorini honeymoon photographer Anna Sulte
Ready for a wine tour? Read this first!
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.
Volcano Festival. Santorini.
Every year there’s one day in the late August – early September when thousands of locals and tourists are gathering on the cliff side of Santorini to watch the culmination of the Ifestia Festival – the reenactment of the volcanic eruption that took place around 1600 BC and devastated the Minoan civilization. It is done using the fireworks on the volcanic island of Nea Kameni and it’s a show to remember and not to be missed if you happen to visit Santorini at this time of the year. Best spots to watch the fireworks are all along the Western coast of the main island, Thira, the most notable being the SantoWines winery, the Mexican restaurant Senor Zorba or any other place with caldera view in Fira and Firostefani. If you’re of the adventurous type you can join many of the offered boat trips that will take you so close to the action. The fireworks are usually followed by performances by local and international artists in many of the island’s concert venues.
Volcano Festival (August)
Photos by Santorini photographer Anna Sulte
Some ideas for your next Santorini sailing trip
Santorini is a beautiful small island with some of the best views into the Aegean Sea. But usually after you have been here a while, you start craving a different adventure. Then you know it is time to set sails and head into the sea and look at all this beauty from the water!
This time I’ll share some ideas on sailing trips around here. What goes on on these? What can you possibly do on a boat all day??? No worries, I got the answers, or at least some of them.
The first thing you need to decide is how long do you want the trip to be. Usually there are two options – you can either spend an entire day on the boat, which would mean a tour around the island and then some leisure time with swimming etc. or you can go with half a day and do mostly touring.
After that, you need to settle on the type of sailing trip you’re looking for. Around Santorini there are actually many options, some of the best include:
- sunset sailing
- volcano sailing
- fishing sailing
- sailing trip along with traditional Greek foods
So when you know the answer to these two questions, you can start contacting some of the companies offering trips. Be wise and call a couple before settling for one – sometimes the prices and the types of tours differ greatly. Of course, reading some online reviews from previous sailors does not hurt.
This should set you on your way to having the best time on the waters of the Aegean Sea. Let me know how your trip went and see you back on land!
Professional honeymoon photographer Anna Sulte
The search for the perfect hidden Santorini beach
Greece – the place of perfect azure beaches all over. Not to mention the Greek islands that have some of the best hidden gems in the beach game. And I might even add that Santorini is definitely among the best among them. This little island is the perfect getaway for lovers that want to enjoy lazy beach days and each others company.
And what better place for you both than a hidden beach somewhere off the big crowds? Today I’m going to share some of them ;)
This one’s closer to the South of the island and has its own wine bar as well. A nice small beach with impressive cliffs. This is the place to go for a lazy day – since it is quite small, there won’t be big crowds of people and because of the cliffs you feel like your enclosed in your own small world.
A small beach with dark volcanic sand. If you haven’t been in a black beach before, this will be a unique experience for you. The azure water is a nice contrast to the dark sand and gives a whole new understanding of the various beaches here. Also there’s a great beach restaurant waiting to fulfill all your needs.
This one is nearly a lagoon, so it’s a bit more shallow and really accents the nice color of the water of the Aegean Sea. If you’re after that white sand and azure waters, this is the place for you. No cliffs in sight, so maybe not the best for more windy days. Otherwise, a nice beach for escaping the crowds :)
Of course, there’s plenty more beaches to be discovered in Santorini! Use these as your starting point – they’re nice and more quiet, also very different from each other. Going to a beach in Santorini is a whole adventure, they come in all shapes and sizes. Enjoy the summer and sea you there!
Photo by Anna Sulte santorini honeymoon photographer
Adventurous couple photoshoot in Santorini
Chris and Julia came all the way from Atlanta, Georgia to enjoy some of the special Santorini sun. I was honored to find out that they themselves know a thing or two (and more ;) ) about cameras.
That being said, they trusted me completely as we set to climb all things climbable and went off to some of the smaller intimate Santorini streets in search for the golden shot. Now I can honestly admit that I’m a bit afraid of heights but their enthusiasm kept me going :) As I sit and review the shots and how lovely they look, I can’t help to think that it was totally worth it. I mean, look at this lovely couple!
Santorini honeymoon photographer Anna Sulte
Flying to Santorini direct or through Athens – pros and cons
The Santorini adventure begins even before you step on the island. Getting here is a quest, especially if you come from outside Europe – embrace the adventure and soak in the most of it! You read the title, today we’ll look at some basic pros and cons for choosing whether to fly directly to Santorini or to the capital Athens first. I’m by no means an expert, but here’s some of my own thoughts sprinkled with some things I’ve heard from the couples I’ve photographed over the years.
Direct flight to Santorini
- Many times these end up costing more money, the companies know that Santorini is a hot destination so they adjust their airfare accordingly.
- Flying direct you obviously save some time spent in the airports
- These days airport worker strikes might occur – these people are fighting for better payment terms and that’s fine but you might get caught in the middle. So if you choose to fly direct, you minimise the chance of being stuck in an airport.
- The island weather is a bit unpredictable, so you might have a bit of a rough flight if you come from overseas and the landing can’t be scheduled for a later time. Nothing serious, but if you’re not too comfortable with some turbulence, Athens will probably be more smooth sailing.
Flight through Athens
- Well, you get to see Athens! That is, if you plan it right. I would recommend staying there for a day or two, best at the end of your travel – it’s a vibrant city with rich history and you can only gain more from your travels.
- If you end up doing it, it of course comes with some costs, generally short hotel stays will be more expensive than longer package deals.
- If you go for a simple layover without staying, you might save some money on the airfare expenses.
- As said before, you have a bit more risk to get stuck in the airport due to strikes. In this case you could choose ferry for alternative travel option.
- There’s also a slight possibility that your luggage can be lost. On long overseas flights that happens more often. Nothing is lost at the end, but you might arrive to Santorini and have to wait for your bag to catch up :)
So here’s some things to consider. Of course, do your own research for precise dates before choosing, but these should serve as general pointers on what to look out for.
Santorini located photographer Anna Sulte
Boho chic style adventure in Santorini.
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)
Photo from photo shoot with Danielle and Keith.
A little walk with Andy & Christy
The other day I met the nicest couple from Singapore – Andy and Christy. From the very first seconds I could see that they share a very special connection. We met up in Oia and head on to Imerovigli.
And oh boy, do they look good together. These two hours flied by in seconds, it was truly a great experience. Here are some shots, I just hope that they do this wonderful couple justice. They have an aura of their own in their presence.
For me it’s always such a joy to meet loving people from other cultures – it teaches me that love is universal and even though we’re so different in the ways we act and experience our cultures, we still all love the same way. Singapore has become this special place for me and I have a deep admiration of their culture.
It’s always heartwarming to hear something back from the couples:
Hello Anna !
Thank you for v being such an amazing photographer and making the shoot so comfortable! We love the photos very much! Thank you! Will def recommend you if any of our friend need any
photographer in santorini!
Santorini photo session by Anna Sulte
BATTLE OF THE BEACHES – KAMARI BEACH VS PERISSA
No other question is on the minds of vacationers than this – which is the ultimate beach to be in Santorini? Everything is subjective, of course, but this time let’s narrow it down and look at two similar black beaches – Kamari and Perissa in Santorini. Which one is better and why?
Let’s start with Kamari. Here’s what I have to say:
- It’s closest to Fira, so if you live around there, it’s definitely an option. If you don’t, each case varies but there’s probably some closer options to you.
- This beach also has its own big rock on the right side – it’s called Mesa Vouno. It might be a nice place to explore or to gaze at while relaxing in the sunshine.
- A lesser known fact is that this beach is actually the most beautiful at night (wink wink, time for a romantic night walk, maybe?). The rock shines in moonlight and creates a very special atmosphere.
- Modern facilities to meet any needs.
On the other hand, Perissa can offer:
- It’s basically right next to Perissa, only a tiny bit further from Fira. If you live there, it won’t make a huge difference, but if you come from outside Fira, this might be enough to change your mind – you can get your tan on quicker probably if you go to Kamari.
- From this beach you can see the other side of Mesa Vouno.
- Lots of modern facilities around – anything from cafes, resorts, hotels etc. etc.
- Next to Perissa beach is Perivolos beach which is wider and has less restaurants than Kamari and Perissa.
The conclusion? Basically the beach look is almost identical – they’re two classic Santorini black beaches. So in my opinion, choose whichever you can get to the fastest and with less transport problems and if it’s full, head on to the other one. More or less, the only difference is choosing on which side you want Mesa Vouno to be :) Just relax and enjoy the sun, wherever you might be.
Anna Sulte Santorini photographer
FROM AUSTRALIA TO SANTORINI – PRACTICAL TRAVEL ADVICE
Many Santorini visitors actually come from from outside EU, from far away lands like the US and Australia. Over the years working on the island as a photographer for many of these couples coming over in long distance flights, I have heard some experiences and gathered a bit of advice on how to make the whole experience better.
How to get to Greece on budget
At this point it’s no surprise for most people that using a travel agent makes everything more expense. But you don’t have to stop there – using an agent also makes your life that little bit easier with package deals and hotel bookings etc. The secret lies in how to get the best deal. What I’ve heard as an approach is doing some flights pricing research on Skyscanner or Momondo before you sten into any travel agents office. With this information, you can say that you’ve done some online research and are looking for some offers from their side. Don’t show them the prices, but have a printed list at hand. As you negotiate, this will make the travel agent not stop at the deal that is the easiest to find for them, but rather the absolute lowest cost option they can provide.
From Athens to Santorini
When you land in Athens, it is best to plan a couple of days there to fight jet lag (the flight time is nearly 20 hours, so it’s no joke). When you’re ready to come over, I would suggest considering the ferry instead of flying. The difference in tickets is so huge, that most times you’ll be able to get a return ferry ticket cheaper than a one way flight ticket from Athens to Santorini.
Triple check your stuff
Even though it’s self explanatory, I can’t stress this enough. Before you leave, make sure to scan all your itineraries, tickets etc. etc. and save them in a safe place on the cloud. Have printed versions for extra safety, divide them in separate suitcases, just in case. Also, make sure you use mobile apps for flight tickets, if the flight company has one. If you have several suitcases for check-in, divide your stuff strategically – suitcases get lost more often than you think. For a couple, I would suggest sharing space in both suitcases, so that if one gets lost, you each have at least some basic clothing in the remaining one while you’re waiting for delivery.
Hope this helps. The main thing is to have an open mind and adapt to whatever happens along the way. That’s the magic of travelling :)
CHECKLIST OF SOME STUFF TO REMEMBER BEFORE YOUR
TRIP TO SANTORINI
It’s all about the journey, not the destination. That’s probably one of the least true quotes ever, at least in the era of plane travel it IS totally about the destination. The journey is just a huge mess of a million things to remember and some pitfalls to avoid to make sure you get to your destination with the least amount of stress and effort possible.
Well, today is your lucky day, because I might help your life become just a tiny bit less stressful with this simple checklist of some things to remember when setting out for travelling to Greece, Santorini. This will be especially useful for all you guys taking those long international flights (i.e. enjoying the journey the most I guess :) ).
All things aside, here’s a simple list of some stuff. Feel free to print and checkmark. Remember your:
- International drivers license
- Credit card with no international fees
- Call and notify credit card company and bank of travel
- Download viber (or any other international communication app)
- Update music on phone or MP3 player (yeah, the no-internet life is still a reality in some places)
- Scan, print and add to iBooks app (great to avoid losing your ID info if the physical documents are lost or forgotten):
- Divers license
- Detailed itinerary
- Hotel information – addresses and phone numbers
- Ferry information – boat names, reservation numbers, times and gate numbers
- Be sure to download all flight company apps and save your tickets there digitally, for a super safe option you can also print them.
This should cover most of the bases for you. Also, if you’re from outside EU, you’ll probably thank yourself for bringing some nice sleeping gear – get one of those neck pillows, they save lives! Also, forget your high fashion, do the flight in sweatpants or even pijamas for super extra comfort.