The Kings’ Playbook: A Starter’s Guide To Savoring Santorini
Young, athletic couple Arthur and Martha King soaked in the sun, fun, and culture of this Grecian paradise, the island of the classic—and the share with us how they did it.
Usual travel destinations are major cities such as Paris, London, and Tokyo. For a non-traditional destination, Martha offers a few recommendations to those who will visit Santorini for the first time. “We’re lucky that information is available online. Do a bit of research. One of the first things I checked out was Santorini’s climate and the weather when we got there. Doing this helped me pack the right things. While it can be sunny during the daytime, it gets windy at night.” Considering even small travel details, Martha adds, helps make the trip easier.
The majesty of Santorini can be experienced in full when in the water, as the sea gives an amazing view. Arthur, being the adventurer that he is, says the highlight of the trip was the sailing trip, which his better half also enjoyed immensely. “We were four couples, plus one of our friends. I really loved sailing in the Aegean Sea. The view was magnificent, plus we got to play some music while sightseeing. Another enjoyable activity is driving around the island to know the place better. You can rent a convertible and just soak in the sights. You can also rent an ATV or a bike. It’s very outdoorsy.”
What To Do
- Go sailing! A sailing tour will reveal multi-hued rock formations, private beaches, and a view of the whitewashed towns. Also, you will get to swim and enjoy the plentiful seafood lunch prepared by the crew.
- Go on a donkey ride. It’s ideal if you have children with you. It’s a fresh experience to offer your children.
- Sample the local wines! Santorini is known for its wine and most of them are pretty strong! Make sure to visit Donkey Brewery.
- Explore Oia. This is where you will see the whitewashed houses with blue shutters. It really has that Grecian vibe.
What To See and Experience
- Sunsets in Oia and Fira
- Rent a smart car and drive around the island.
- Go hiking.
- Go on the mule path.
- Soak up the sun on Karmani and Perissa beach.
- Go to Fira for all kinds of shops, cafes, restos, and hotels overlooking the archipelago.
- Go on a cable car ride. The trip takes you from Port Athirius up to Fira and back. This gives a good view of Fira and Caldera.
- Akrotiri – The Minoan Bronze Age settlement is a great place to visit, most especially if you’re a history buff.
- Nea Kameni- It’s a small, uninhabited island that has a great view of the sea.
- Imerovigili- This quaint village is close to Fira, the capital.
- Archeological Museum of Thira- Culture vultures will surely appreciate this museum.
- Santorini caldera- Mostly submerged, the caldera is in the southern Aegean Sea, 120 kilometers north of Greece.
What to buy
- Stock up on local products. Santorini wine, Santorini tomato seed, as well as original arts and crafts are all must-haves. Keep them for yourself or take them home for friends and family.
- Jewels, hand-painted scarves, home decor, paintings, clothes, and sandals from the shops at Oia and Fira will make you feel like a Greek goddess.
- Go for the gold. If you can, drop by “gold street” in Fira. This main street offers a selection of 40 jewelry stores!
- Nazars. Known as “evil eye,” this charm dates back to classical antiquity and is known to ward off misfortunes. It’s a great souvenir to buy for family and friends.
For the health-conscious, Greek food is also ideal. Being a health buff himself, Arthur was more than pleased with the gastronomic treats they sampled. “The food was great. There’s a little of everything: lamb, pork, chicken, and most of the food was grilled. Another great thing about the food is that the food isn’t expensive. Most restaurants are family-owned and operated. They have this really warm, home-cooked vibe.”
- Pitogyros Restaurant. They serve amazing gyros for travelers on the go.
- Mario Tavern Mohilitos Grill Restaurant. Its menu includes a variety of traditional dishes. What to order: fresh fish, lobster pasta, freshly roasted vegetables,saganaki mussels, and Mario fillet steak.
- Blue Sky Restaurant, Oia. Located on the stairway that leads to the Aegean terrace.
- Kamenh Bar. This bar has a great view of Nea Kameni volcano and the
- Aegean Sea. It is the perfect place to watch the beautiful sunset in Fira.
Of course, don’t forget to check-in the best and most comfortable places you can find to make traveling and going around easier. If you’re looking for suggestions, here are the accommodations stamped with the Kings’ approval.
Home Away From Home
- Armeni Luxury Village. Located in Ola, it has a very friendly staff and excellent service.
- Caldera Villas. Go here if you want to wake up to a lovely, calming ocean view.
- Aqua Vista Hotel. This five-star hotel is very popular among tourists.
- Adamant Suites. Located in Fira, this secluded boutique hotel is ideal for romantic getaways.
- Above Blue Suites. This establishment found in Imerovigili Village is also popular with honeymooners. The view is fantastic.
A longer version of this article was published in Metro Society’s May 2016 issue
by Donna Patricia Manio
Photographs: JC Inocian