Greek-island hopping: Santorini Part II

Imerovigli

 

I’ll be sharing a few of my favourite spots in Santorini in this post.

While Santorini should not be a check-list of things to see (islands are never meant to be that way), these are the few places/things that I think you ought to check out in Santorini.

1. Akrotiri beach (Red beach)

Red beach Santorini

Akrotiri beach is a small beach nestled between red cliffs. Between Perissa beach (black beach) and Akrotiri, I preferred the latter because of its unique position. The stunning colours shades of red that reflect off the cliffs contrast with the turquoise blue shallow waters, making it really pretty. While there is a short, tricky path that you have to take down the rocks, the views make the walk worth it.

A good place to take photographs and to take in the beauty of the scene though there are no amenities such as showers, shops or cafes on the beach.

Red beach 2

2. Vineyard-hopping

vineyard Santorini

You wouldn’t do Santorini justice if you don’t give the wines a try when you are on the island. While you can most certainly order the wines at the restaurants/taverns you are eating at, what better way to taste the wine and learn about it by going on a vineyard tour! Especially when Santorini vineyards are said to be amongst the oldest in the world.

Santo wine

We picked two vineyards to visit. The first is Santo wine. We were told that it has a beautiful view of the caldera and a perfect place to see the sunset. We were there in the afternoon but it was just as beautiful. We went on an informative vineyard tour where we learnt that the way the vines are grown a little differently from the rest of the world. The vines are “woven” round and round to form a “basket” to protect the vines from the strong sun and winds.

Our best discovery of the tour was Vin Santo, the famed naturally sweet wine of the island that is made from sundried white grapes. The Vin Santo took me by surprise. It was really good.

domaine sigalas Santorini

We made our next stop at the boutique vineyard, Domaine Sigalas,  a small and quaint vineyard with very lovely wines; you can tell that the wines here are made with a lot of care. After a horizontal tasting of the wines,  we bought a bottle back with us and wished we could have bought more.

3. Hike from Imerovigli to Oia (Or even from Fira to Oia , if you are up for a challenge!)

hike from imerovigli to oia

One of our highlights on Santorini is our morning hike from Imerovigli to Oia. We took about 3 hour on a slow (snail) pace as we took plenty of stops along the way.

hike to Oia 1 Santorini view

You may see plenty of tourists in Oia but never that many en-route to Oia. With a pair of proper footwear (there are some down slopes and up slopes with loose rocks) and plenty of food and water, the hike is a very enjoyable one. The blossoming spring flowers along the pathway make the place pretty. There are some lookout points, Mount of Prophet Elijah (the highest point in Santorini), as well as the shifting view of the caldera.

hike to Oia 2 Spring in Santorini

4. Catching the sunset at Oia

Sunset at Oia

Catching the sunset from Oia with the view of the windmill in the distance. We waited for about 1.5 – 2hours after at a perfect spot that we found that gave us the view of the Greek houses and windmill.

Because it was spring, the sun set was really late. People started gathering at 5 plus, 6pm and waited till 8 when the colours start to change. It was beautiful and totally worth the wait. You can also pick a restaurant that has a good view and enjoy your dinner while watching the sunset.

Sunset at Oia 2

5. Catching the sunset at Imerovigli

sunset at imerovigli santorini

While Oia gets a lot buzz, I think that the sunsets at Imerovigli are the best. We spent the remaining three of our evenings in Imerovigli after catching the sunset at Oia. The colours are more dramatic and it is the exact spot where the sun starts to set over the caldera.

So if you stay in Oia or Fira, do make your way to Imerovigli by evening to witness some of the most beautiful sunsets that you will see in your life.
sunset at imerovigli santorini 3

Sunset at Imerovigli sunset from imerovigli 2

Getting around

It is recommended to rent a car or ATV when you are on Santorini because public transportation can be quite patchy and the bus service can be quite irregular.

To do

Akrotiri beach (Red beach)
Akrotiri area, Akrotiri, Greece (Near the ancient site of Akrotiri)

Don’t just stop and admire the beach from atop the cliff. Make your way down (carefully) and enjoy the beautiful waters against the dramatic red cliffs.

Red beach 3

Perissa beach (Black beach)
Perrissa, Greece (You can drive or take a public bus from Fira)
A longer stretch of beach compared to the Red beach with black sand and pebbles. There is a line of taverns and cafes as you lounge around the beach on deck chairs.

Black beach Santorini

the ancient site of Akrotiri. Source: www.greeka.com
the ancient site of Akrotiri. Source: www.greeka.com

Hike from Imerovigli to Oia

This is about 10 km hike so make sure you have proper walking/hiking shoes. Some paths are rocky but it is a very do-able hike. It is best if you start off early in the morning or it will get really hot in the mid-day. Bring along enough water and some food because there is no amenities once you leave the town. There are sign post along the way, so follow the route along the coast (do not take the main roads as there is a lot of traffic!).

Hike from Imerovigli to Fira

This is more of a short walk – about 30 to 45 minutes if you stop for photos. There is proper footpath for this walk. You will know when you get to Fira because you would see many, many tourists and shops.

See

Santo Wine
Pyrgos, Greece
+30 22860 22596 

Check out the timings of the vineyard tours before going down. A good time will be the evening for a drink or two, with a perfect view of the sun set. You can order the 6, 12, 18 wine flight tasting to share. The 6 glass wine flight costs Eur 12. You need to pay separately for the tour of the vineyard which is about 45 minutes long and pretty informative.

Santo wine 2 Santo wine 3

Domaine Sigalas
Santorini Cyclades
84702
(in Baxedes)
+30 22860 71644

Domaine Sigalas is a boutique vineyard in the Baxedes area (near Oia). They don’t do wine tours from what I know. You can pay for wine tastings by the glass and spend a good afternoon under the shady terrace sipping on wine.

DSC_3051

 

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About jothetartqueen

My first love is eating. A very close second is my love for baking and cooking. I passionately believe that the best form of appreciation of something is almost always through the creation of it. This passion took me on a whirlwind, unforgettable ride through the patisserie diploma course at Le Cordon Bleu (Sydney). Join me on my discovery for the love of food – through the kitchen, through the markets, through experimenting, tasting and loving.
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6 Responses to Greek-island hopping: Santorini Part II

  1. Pingback: Greek-island hopping: Santorini Part II | Jo the tart queen | Which Wine Is Sweet

  2. Speechless. There are no words that can do pictures like that justice… It’s simply beyond me that a place so beautiful could truly exist in real life.

  3. LB says:

    Oh my how lovely!!
    Great descriptions and accompanying photos .. that one of the sunset over the water with the wineglasses in the foreground just makes me want to be there! and the one of the water line with the colored rocks.
    What an incredible visit you must have had!

  4. To see this in one lifetime, would definitely be a dream come true 😀
    What a gorgeous Greek Island adventure!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

  5. What stunning vistas Jo! I’m so glad that you shared them with us. I have a few close Greek friends and it’s so nice to see the country that they hail from in beautiful detail!

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