I stayed in Santorini this summer for the second time in my life. The first time I was there as a child a long time ago. This time I was going solo, which felt a bit intimidating. I didn’t have anything else on my agenda than just wander(lust)ing around – especially in the village of Oía – and marvelling the famous sunset. I’m sharing here a bunch of photos and also put together a few recommendations for dining and wine with some practical tips – the best parts and suggestions for Santorini.
The Best Photos of Santorini
If you are looking for a casual dining place with a quality food in Oía, I can recommend Flora Comfort Cuisine that provides fresh, interesting Greek-inspired European/Mediterranean cuisine at a very reasonable price. I loved especially their fried zucchini with tzatziki! They have quite nice views as well from their terrace. As a solo diner, I felt completely comfortable there and got excellent service.
Are you searching for a more authentic Greek taverna? In Fira, I can advise trying Salt & Pepper which has terrific dishes and super friendly host and service. A reservation is a must though!
There are many great places to enjoy your drinks with a beautiful view. Some of the most popular sites fill up very quickly in the evening – the sunset tourists, you know – so if you have a particular spot in mind, being early is your asset! Same applies to dine, though – you usually need a reservation if you want to have a dinner in some of those places with a view. Even if you are going for drinks, you might not get a particularly good spot. Or realise that there is actually a plastic wall between you and those fantastic sunset photos…
In Fira, the V Lounge Cafe & Cocktail Bar has good cocktails and great caldera & sunset views from the rooftop. Tango Champagne & Cocktail Bar is also located in Fira, and besides excellent views, it has quite a nice atmosphere.
Finding accommodation is mostly a matter of preferences. What does a good location mean to you? Near restaurants, nightclubs or shops? Near a beach? Easily accessible by public transportation? I had a tight schedule in Santorini; therefore I wanted to have a hotel that had good connections to and from the port, and also the village of Oía, as I knew I would spend my days pretty much wandering around those little streets. A lot. I stayed in Fira because it was easy to get everywhere by bus from there and it was a smart choice budget-wise. It is also the centre of nightlife. Obviously, if you rent a car, the location might not be as important. Personally, I wouldn’t touch the wheel in Santorini! 😀 Nice areas for accommodation (with caldera view) are also the quiet and romantic village of Imerovigli and the picturesque Karterados village.
Using the local bus is cheap and relatively easy in Santorini. However, be prepared that the popular routes are very crowded. You might need to stand or even wait for the next bus, for example leaving from Oía after the sun has set. The buses to and from the port operate according to the ferry schedules and are very crowded as well.
Sunset. The “official” sunset spots in Oiá are so crowded that there is a high chance of missing the whole beauty of it. People can be very competitive to get the best views… In Oía, you might want to check the areas near the parking lots or the hillside behind the village. If you opt for the more popular ones, BE VERY EARLY to secure a good spot.
Other good locations include the ruins of the Venetian castle Skaros in the cute village Imerovigli (that village has many other great spots as well in the cafés and terraces). Unfortunately, I haven’t been in the Santo Wines Winery myself, but I’ve heard (and saw photos) that it is an excellent place to admire the sunset as well. Fira is also a valid place to consider – book a table from one of the restaurants or bars with the caldera view. Additionally, those sightseeing boat tours are good ones for capturing the setting sun!
Have you visited Santorini or is it on your bucket list? Do you have special tips or places to recommend? 🙂