Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Travel Guide: Santorini, Greece

Good morning everyone!! I'm back today with another travel guide from our honeymoon, this time to SANTORINI, Greece! When you picture Greece in your mind, you probably are imagining Santorini (with or without knowing it). White little houses all stacked on a hill, with a smattering of blue domes and the glittering Aegean Sea in the background - it truly is a breathtaking sight to behold! Like I said in my Mykonos Travel Guide, if Mykonos is where you go to party, then Santorini is where you go to relax. And it truly was one of the most relaxing places I've ever been!

Like usual, I'm rounding up some photos from Santorini (with all of our outfits!), but scroll down to the bottom for the full travel guide.

This was the view from our private pool attached to our room at Astarte Suites in Santorini. And no, we did not bring the pool float with us, haha! They had a bunch at the hotel for guests to use.


The view from Alali Restaurant - this restaurant is actually located at our hotel! Ask for a table right next to the edge for the prettiest view.


The sunset from Alali Restaurant - it was THE most beautiful sunset I've ever seen in my life!


We went on a sunset boat cruise while in Santorini! They took us on a little tour around the islands and stopped by the hot springs so we could swim in the warm water.

 on Chris: striped shirt, similar HERE // white swim trunks

Another shot from the catamaran! 

  on Chris: white swim trunks

One of my favorite parts of our hotel - every morning they would set up an amazing breakfast for you on your patio! Every night we would fill out a sheet of what we wanted for breakfast the next morning and what time we wanted it delivered. The options were ENDLESS! Of course, I went for anything with nutella in it. :)

 on Chris: similar fedora // beige t-shirt (less than $10) // jersey shorts in gray

Another activity we did was wine tasting! The wine tastes really different in Santorini because the grapes grow in the volcanic soil. 

my dress // Chris's shirt // Chris's shoes

The view from the entrance to our hotel.


We went into Oia one afternoon, the picturesque and most famous town in Santorini! This was the "Kastro Oia House" - I have seen so many photos taken here so I knew we had to get one too!

 gingham dress (still available in every size!) // Chanel bag, similar HERE & HERE

Our view from dinner in Oia, from Ambrosia Restaurant.


One last picture of Oia! Oia is most known for the blue and white domes you see in the background.

striped dress, similar HERE // Chanel bag, similar HERE & HERE

HOW TO GET TO SANTORINI
Like Mykonos, there are two ways to get to Santorini: by land or by water. You can either take a ferry to Santorini's port (you can get a ferry from pretty much any neighboring island, as well as Athens), or you can fly into Santorini's airport. We took a two-hour ferry from Mykonos. It was a pretty miserable experience, because you have to stand out in the blazing hot sun waiting for the ferry to arrive, and then everyone makes a mad dash up the ramp with all of their suitcases. Once we were on the ferry, it was fine - the air conditioning was much needed! We booked the ferry ahead of time using this website (just be sure to print your ferry tickets ahead of time or they charge you!). We had arranged transportation with our hotel beforehand, so they picked us up from the port and took us to our hotel. 

WHERE TO STAY IN SANTORINI
This is the most difficult thing you'll have to decide when you visit Santorini! It all depends on whether you are wanting privacy and the opportunity to truly relax, or if you would rather be in the middle of bustling streets and nightlife. To start with, I would recommend looking at a map of Santorini. At the top of the island is Oia, the most picturesque and famous town in Santorini (it has the beautiful white houses with blue domes!). Oia is absolutely breathtakingly gorgeous, with (supposedly) the best view of the sunset in Santorini - and it's filled with restaurants and shops. The only downside is that it's so, incredibly crowded. In the middle of the island is Fira - it has a lot going on with restaurants and nightclubs, but is not quite as picturesque as Oia. At the bottom of the island, you'll see Akrotiri, which is far away from everything else but is a great place to stay if you're looking to truly relax.

Chris and I chose to stay in Akrotiri because we wanted privacy and to truly relax. We had just come from Mykonos where we were on-the-go constantly, and we welcomed the opportunity to laze around all day at our hotel in Santorini. We stayed at Astarte Suites in the Private Infinity Pool Suite #2. We LOOOOOOOVED our hotel and our room at Astarte! Since our hotel was far away from everything else, we ended up spending a lot of time in our room, which was great. The room itself was incredibly cozy - the bed was so comfortable and the robes they were provided were soft and fluffy (I wanted to steal them hahah). We woke up every morning and had breakfast out on our patio, then came back in the room to lounge around. We watched a bunch of movies, but we had the door to our room open so that we could look out on the incredible view at the same time. Sometimes we drank mimosas in bed. Sometimes we laid out by our pool and read books. Honestly, we were so so lazy haha but it was absolutely GLORIOUS. We really loved the staff at Astarte too - it is a small boutique hotel and everyone that works there is sooo nice! The owner George and his mom are the best - they even gave us a tour of some new rooms with cave pools that they are currently building. Banos and Alex were amazing too and took great care of us!

If you're looking for a little more activity (and don't want to be quite as lazy as us!), then I recommend staying in a hotel or VRBO in Oia. We visited Oia one afternoon/evening and it really is absolutely beautiful. The only thing we didn't like about it was the crowds - we could barely walk through the streets there were so many people! People's elbows and purses would hit you when they walked by, because people were jammed in so tightly. However, there were same places in Oia where the crowds weren't allowed - if you stayed in a nice hotel in Oia then I'm sure you would have a better experience than we did.

WHERE TO EAT IN SANTORINI
Since we stayed at our hotel for most of our time in Santorini, we ate a LOT of meals there! We ate breakfast in our room and either ordered room service for lunch or went to the hotel pool for lunch every single day. For that reason, we don't have a ton of meal recommendations for Santorini! We went into Oia for the afternoon/night one day, so we did grab a drink there and ate at a really great restaurant. See below for our recs.

Dinner & Drinks:
  • Alali: This is the restaurant at our hotel, but even if you aren't staying there, I would still HIGHLY recommend making a reservation for dinner at this restaurant! The view is breathtaking (and so is the sunset), but the food is also delicious. Chris and I ate at Alali two nights during our stay in Santorini. Be sure to order the bread appetizer - it comes with a feta dip and olives - I ate probably 10 lbs worth of the dip while we were there! 
  • Kastro Oia Restaurant: We stopped by this restaurant for drinks when we were in Oia. It's so cute and has the PERFECT view of the little white houses on the hill. We wish we could have stayed for dinner because the menu looked amazing!
  • Ambrosia Restaurant: We had heard a lot of good things about this restaurant in Oia - especially the view. Make a reservation for 7 p.m. here for a magical view of Oia and the sunset! We loved everything about this restaurant. We thought the food was DELICIOUS (albeit expensive). Chris and I had a shrimp appetizer, and we both had pasta for our main entrees. My pasta dish was flavored with lemon and sooo good. We also split a bottle of rose. 
  • Lolita's Gelato: This gelato place is a staple in Oia! I had the pistachio and lemon flavors mixed together - mmmmmm so good. 
WHAT TO DO IN SANTORINI
  • Visit Ammoudi Bay (and if you're brave, go cliff jumping!). You can hike here from Oia, I believe! There are a bunch of restaurants situated right on the water (we heard Sunset was the best), and you can also swim in the water. I dare you to swim out to the big rocks and jump off (don't worry, lots of people do and it's perfectly safe).
  • Go to the beach. Although Mykonos is more known for it's amazing beaches, Santorini does have a few beaches and we heard they weren't bad. There's a Black Beach, Red Beach and even a White Beach - just be sure to bring water shoes because we heard they're quite rocky!
  • Take a boat ride. We went on a semi-private sunset cruise with Vista Yachting with some of our friends we met in Greece and had SO MUCH FUN. The catamaran left at 3p.m. and took us by all of the beaches and some pretty amazing cliffs. The crew members were all incredibly knowledgeable and fun, and told us about the island as we sailed around. They also took us to the hot springs so we could swim around the warm water (I didn't do it because the water contains sulphur and it will permanently dye your bathing suit, so if you plan to swim then wear a suit you don't care about!). For dinner, they made an amazing meal with kebabs, shrimp, and a few vegetable and rice dishes. It was just as good as the restaurants we visited, maybe even better. OH and the entire cruise had unlimited beer and wine! 
  • Visit a winery. There are a few different wineries in Santorini. We went to Santo Winery which was supposed to be the best! The wine in Greece is very distinctive, since the grapes are grown in volcanic soil. Chris and I went with another couple and did a tasting paired with a cheese and meat platter.
  • Explore Oia (and bring your camera). You will definitely want to take pictures of the sunset and the beautiful white houses adorning the hill. 
  • Take a donkey ride. In both Oia and Fira, you can take a donkey ride! That is originally how people would get up and down the hill in the old days. 
  • Shop! There are a ton of local boutiques, gift shops and art stores in both Oia and Fira that are really fun to peruse. 
    WHAT TO WEAR IN SANTORINI

    Santorini in June has really great weather - it fluctuated between 75 and 85 degrees every day. Chris and I pretty much lived in swimsuits because we spent every day laying out at our pool! I think that Santorini was a little "fancier" than Mykonos - I dressed up and wore heels every night for dinner. During the day, I wore these TKEES sandals (in the color "cocobutter") to walk around in. If you visit Oia, definitely pack a blue dress so that you can take a picture with the matching domes!

    If you've been to Santorini before and have any recommendations, let us all know in the comments!

    SHOP THE POST:

    17 comments:

    1. This is my dream vacation! Everything looks so gorgeous! It looks like you guys had an amazing time. I hope to make use of these recommendations one day!
      Nina
      www.financetofashion.com

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    2. I definitely keep seeing pictures of Santorini and it is definitely on my list of international travel now.

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    3. So dreamy! I love this and I so love your overall style!

      Briana
      https://beyoutifulbrunette.com/

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    4. I have been to Santorini twice. I would also recommend a tavern Katina in Oia with simple Greek food (honestly speaking finding a good food in Santorini is almost mission impossible since it’s sooo touristic and they don’t bother too much about quality and quantity). But Katina was actually good, not fancy at all. As for the stay, if you are running on a tight budget but still want to stay on Caldera, then Fira-Firostefani-Imerovigli is your choice. Still it’s difficult to find something cheap (and I’m talking about 100 eur/night) and decent, but you can give it a try. Oia- forget about it, it’s crazy expensive, although most picturesque of all.

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    5. Prefect place to take a honeymoon at.

      http://www.amysfashionblog.com/blog-home/

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    6. This was so informative!! I can’t wait to visit Santorini next summer! Thank you for this post. Loved it!! ❤️❤️

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    7. Great blog but let’s clarify some comments. We stayed in Oia around the same time as this trip. I’d recommend Oia for the amazing sights and food. Okay it maybe busy when people are walking the streets during the day but you wouldn’t notice the crowds at your hotel. If you stay in Akrotiri you might as well rent a car as you are far off the beaten path of “Santorini.”

      We met a number of people who did the sailboat tour with the stop to the hot springs. Everyone literally said there is no difference in the water temperature. Buyer beware.

      We stayed in Oia and it was fabulous. Tried to cliff dive but the water was super cold and nobody was jumping off cliffs so to be a foreigner without direction, you’re only asking for trouble.

      Not trying to rain on this post but people should see other inputs.

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    8. I fiscovered your blog a few weeks ago and I’m soooo in love with it!!! My favourite post are the book review !!! But it’s kinda frustrating cause I live in Paris and most of the book you are talking about are not translate yet ! But i keep an eye open for them ^^
      I would love a blog post (or a youtube vidéo) about à ordinary day in the life of a mode blogeur ! How do you sprint your day when you are not travelling ?
      Anyway, I’m really happy I discover you, and i have some reading to do to see everything^^

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    9. I was looking for somewhere to go for my birthday. Now, I know! This place looks amazing. Thanks for the tips.

      https://www.bluelabelsboutique.com
      https://www.fashionnotfear.com

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    10. Absolutely wonderful photos as always Cait, Santorini looks and sounds like a dream! Thanks for sharing!

      I hope you have a wonderful Wednesday!

      Michael
      https://www.mileinmyglasses.com

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    11. Wow that is very beautiful place and you look stunning and so romantic with your hunbby
      greetings
      www.meganlike.blogspot.com

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    12. My boyfriend and I visited Santorini last year and we both loved it. The views are incredible on the entire island, it doesn't matter where you stay. Our favorite activity was renting an ATV and drive around the island. We found it to the easiest and funniest way to get around. We stayed in Perissa which is located in the south next to the Black Sand Beach. It wasn't crowded at all, there were really nice restaurants and it is true that the beach is rocky but it was clear and beautiful. Visiting Santorini is a dream.

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    13. Santorini looks unbelievable!! Loved all of your photos! <3

      BlondieintheCity.com

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    14. Your pics are beautiful and all your recommendations are great!
      I'd only say that it's best to skip a donkey ride--in my experience a lot of the animals really didn't get enough care from their owners. I wouldn't want to reward that/give them money to ride an overworked donkey that's out in the hot sun all day.

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    15. Can you post the link to your brown/tan halter dress from the picture above? It didn't get linked :(

      Great pictures and looks like a dream trip!

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    16. Gorgeous pictures, I love the pool float!

      Alice xo | alicemay.org

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