Honeymoon destinations are usually quite easy to decide but it definitely wasn’t for us. There are so many beautiful places to see so how do you choose one? We had almost made up our mind to visit Thailand until a friend suggested Santorini. Santorini was always on my bucket list but thought it would be too touristy for a honeymoon destination. Oh boy, were we wrong or were we wrong?
I can’t explain the beauty of Santorini! I never knew a place like this even existed in this world. We landed very early in the morning and it was pretty dark so we couldn’t really see anything. It was not until we went for a walk after arriving at the hotel, we realised how stunning it really was. We walked around the quiet town of Imerovigli to watch the sunrise and it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. I remember pinching myself to check that I wasn’t dreaming. The combination of the crystal blue Aegean Sea in the background, the white painted architecture and the blue dome churches with the sun shining from a clear blue sky was simply breath taking. It was heavenly!
I would recommend going to Santorini for at least 4 days if you want to fully explore the island and relax by the unique beaches. We loved it so much that we could have spent a week there if we didn’t have Mykonos and Athens planned.Deciding which part of Santorini to stay can be quite difficult. It all depends on whether you would like to stay on the beach side or the town side. The towns are Fira, Imerovigli, Oia and Firostefani and popular beaches are Kamari, Red & Black beach and Perissa. There are many more beautiful beaches to choose from if you want to stay there. Bear in mind that Santorini is a volcanic island so don’t expect white sandy beaches. I would recommend staying in one of the towns as it’s a lot more picturesque and you also have the beauty of the caldera. However, Santorini is not that big so even if you stay by the beaches, you can still get to the towns in 25-30 mins.
Fira is the main centre of Santorini with lots of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and clubs. Probably the biggest and busiest town of Santorini. If you are looking for a night out, Fira is the place to go. We stayed in Imerovigli which is in between Fira and Oia. Imerovigli is very quiet and secluded so it is the perfect place for honeymooners, its surrounded by beautiful resorts on the cliff with a handful of restaurants so you hardly see a crowd of people.
Oia was my absolute favourite! Oia (pronounced e-yea) definitely had a lot more character. It is almost impossible to explain how stunning this place is. The narrow colourful alleys with the marble streets and the whitewashed villas on the caldera are simply magical. Most of the pictures that we see of Santorini are probably taken in Oia. We went to Oia on our first evening to watch the sunset and it was out of this world. It gets very crowded and we weren’t aware that people wait 1-2 hours before the sunset so make sure you plan ahead. We have a special little something for sunsets so we try to get a glimpse of it wherever we go. Our favourite spot for watching the sunset was on the road next to a stunning local winery called Santo Wines.
I would highly recommend hiring a car or an ATV in Santorini. We spent most of our time exploring in an ATV and finding the most beautiful places. There’s not a lot of taxis in the island so sometimes it’s quite difficult to find them. I was surprised how reasonable it was to hire an ATV. It was the best decision we made as we had the flexibility to roam around and not have to worry about a bus or a taxi. If you do hire an ATV make sure it’s from a proper company or try to get one through your hotel because we heard some super scary stories about people getting scammed.
Stairs down to Amoudi Bay
If you love walking like us and would like to do some hiking then there’s a beautiful path from Imerovigli to Oia which takes around 2 hours, maybe 2 and a half hours if you want to take a break or stop to take pictures. I would say the best time to do the hike is early in the morning or in the evening as it gets very hot between 12-3pm depending on which time of the year you are visiting.
Skaros rock, Imerovigli
Our highlight of the trip was driving back from Oia to Fira at 12 in the morning on the narrow winding mountain road with no street lights, listening to the sea waves and the occasional peak of the sea from the moonlight. There were no cars on the road and it was so dark that I could not see my own hand – I did freak out a little at that point! Even though it was only a 25 mins ride but it felt like a lot longer. It was one of the best experiences ever.
Now let’s come to my favourite topic…The food! We loved the food in Santorini! There were so many places we wanted to try but could only do so much in 4 days. To be very honest I was never a big fan of Greek cuisine until I visited Greece. I changed my mind after trying some of the most delicious dishes from their authentic restaurants. Here are the list of the places:
- Avacado – We ate our first lunch here and loved it. It’s a modern Mediterranean restaurant in Imerovigli which was recommended by our hotel staff. We weren’t too sure at first as it was really quiet when we walked in but it was completely worth it.
- Anogi – Anogi is one of the best restaurants in Santorini. Recommended by a friend and locals, we tried our luck the first night we were there but it was completely full so we had to book a table for the following night. It does get very busy in the evenings so make sure you reserve a table. Although the restaurant does not have a beautiful view but the food is one of the yummiest we tried in Santorini. The price may vary depending on your drinks order but do allow yourself around £25-30 per person.
- Karvounaki – If you are looking for some authentic souvlaki then this is the place to go to! The souvlaki here is the best in town. Karvounaki is in the heart of Fira and is perfect after a night out or if you want to grab something quick and walk around the town. The juicy chicken grilled in coal along with some spicy chips and salad wrapped in a pita was the best thing to end the night with. I loved it so much that I returned the next day! I was surprised how cheap this place was; one souvlaki cost less than 5 euros so great for those who want some cheap treats.
4. Blue note – We came across this lovely place very randomly. We wanted to watch the sunset from a quiet place so we chose to go to one of the Imerovigli hotel’s bar area and experienced the most magical evening ever. We had the entire area to ourselves and watched the beautiful sunset from the highest point of the island.
Blue Note, Imerovigli
- Ammoudi Fish Tavern – This lovely fish tavern by the Amoudi Bay is one of the best seafood restaurants in Santorini. We absolutely loved everything we ordered and the food was super fresh with lots of flavour. The location was the cherry on the cake. We sat outside next to the water with a lovely and colourful view of the cliffs in Oia – It was incredible!