The Journeycollector's Brigitte Damstra went on a romantic vacation with her boyfriend to the Greek island of Santorini. Spending some time among the caldera, white cave houses and black beaches.
"Santorini, a Greek island that was on my wish list for a long time and where I will definitely return. We were not immediately blown away by the beauty of the island but we fell in love with it after getting to know this exceptional place. As a local explained Santorini has two sides, an A & B side, at the A side you will find gorgeous cliffs, amazing views and a lot of luxury as the B side is just like any other Greek island."
"We stayed at Casa Bianca in Imerovigli, a place high on the cliffs of the island, some days the clouds would just roll over our balcony. Imerovigli is close to the capital Fira and 15 minutes from Oia. We were welcomed by a very friendly lady, Antonia, who gave us many good tips and arranged lovely dinners. Imerovigli is known for amazing views at the volcano and you can watch the sunset, which I couldn't get enough off."
"In Imerovigli there is a wine bar at the Heliotopos Hotel where you can enjoy the beautiful sunset drinking a good class of (local) wine. We eat at Avocado, where you will find good local food and friendly personnel and went to Anogi which has a good atmosphere and offers also the typical Greek dishes but just a little bit different. "
"You can easily get around the island, they have touring busses (1,60 euro for a single trip) that will bring you to all the most important places but for some more freedom you can rent a car, scooter or quad. We choose the last one and drove to our favorite beach called Exo Gialos. Don't expect white beaches and a light blue ocean as the sand and rocks are black because of the volcanoes (so really hot). Exo Gialos is a small quiet beach with one beach bar, Aegialos. Good food, nice smoothies and lovely beds which were only 7 euro."
"Other beaches that we explored and definitely worth visiting are Kamari, Pervilos, Perissa and Koloubos. Kamari and Pervilos & Perissa are more crowded and you will find more beach bars, restaurants and shops here. Pervilos & Perissa have sand beaches so you can smoothly walk in the ocean instead of struggling on rocks which is not so elegant. Koloubos is a small beach, known for nudism but we did not spot a naked person, we did spot a goat, kittens and some puppies though.."
"Oia, this is what Santorini is all about, you will find many pictures taken from here and its absolutely magical. Original cave houses build along the cliffs, where no air conditioning is needed. When you have money to spend this is where you should spend it! Small white streets, tiny shops, and many art galleries."
"Off course you will not be alone but the magical views will let you forget the other tourists. Red Bicycle is one to remember, here you will have a good view at the sunset and lovely food. If you are done with all the Greek salads and Souvlaki go for sushi at Ginger. For an over the top luxurious experience try Mystique."
"A good second option, a tip by Antonia, is to enjoy Oia, have a drink or do some shopping and have dinner at the Bay of Ammoudi. A small bay at the water next to Oia. You will find many fish dishes, mussels and lobster we eat at Miss Kantina. They say the best spot to witness the most beautiful sunset and you will see all the boats laying in front of you to give their guests the best view."
"Santorini, or classically Thira, is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic eruption that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. The best way to see the caldera up close is by boat, we spend a half day at a sailing boat managed by a young artistic couple. Swimming at the hot springs, exploring the red and white beach, the Indian Rock, fresh gambas from the BBQ and to top it all we witnessed the most romantic sunset."
"As a lot of wine comes from the island itself you should not skip a wine tasting. We went to Santo Wines, up on a hill where you will enjoy (again but still amazing) sunset. Try 12 or 17 wines together with some cheese, bread and live music. After tasting 12 wines we left with some bottles to finish at home."
"What made this island very special is not only the rare shape, the amazing views and the gorgeous sunset but we also met so many friendly people which made it a special experience and for us a good reason to return (with some extra money so we can see the sunset from our own swimming pool)."