Whenever I think of Santorini I immediately smile and get that far-away dreamy look in my eyes. The island is so incredibly stunning it almost doesn’t look real and has culinary and oneophillic offerings like no other in the world. With the colorful beaches, unique and boutique hotels with private infinity pools, olive vineyards, century-old wineries and quaint restaurants, it’s no wonder Santorini is on everyone’s bucket list!
Here’s my quickie guide to what to eat and drink and where to go in Santorini!
Officially named Thira, Santorini is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, roughly 200 km southeast of mainland Greece. It sits in a small, circular archipelago and is the result of volcanic caldera. Most impressive, however, are the island’s beauty, food and wine.
Where should you go in Santorini? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for.
You know all those pictures of Santorini with the white buildings in the cliffs, blue domes and matching blue water? That’s Fira! Fira is the capital of Santorini and is made up of whitewashed homes and terraces, winding streets and blue domed churches perched on the cliffs 300 meters above the water. You can count on plenty of Instagrammable pictures here. Make sure you wear your walking shoes and be prepared to walk up and down hills. This is one of the more expensive places to stay in Santorini.
Equally beautiful Oia offers picture-perfect villages of whitewashed houses, several of which have been converted into chic little boutique hotels with infinity pools, overlooking the caldera. Oia offers the best sunsets of all the Greek isles. Like Fira the terrain is hilly and accommodations can be pricey during high season.
The Caldera (basin) was formed by the massive volcanic explosion that blew the center out of the island some 3,600 years ago, the caldera is the sea-filled volcanic crater that remained and lends itself to boating and fishing.
If you like history and archaeology, Santorini will more than hold your interest. The ancient Minoan settlement of Akrotíri was buried below lava following the 16th-century BC volcanic explosion that created the caldera. You can view excavation sites and see artifacts as old as 3000 BC. Nearby is the famous Red Beach below a spectacular red and black volcanic rock cliff wall. The beach is accessible along a path from the town of Akrotiri. Warning, the beach is small and can get crowded. Also, reaching the beach sometimes means traversing paths of volcanic rock. Be careful.
What should you drink in Santorini? Although I’m usually a red wine lover, Assyrtiko (indigenous to Santorini) is my varietal of choice. The volcanic ash rich soil is perfect for cultivation in this region and many of the old vine plantations in Santorini are more than 70 years old. You can also find Athiri and Aidani wines which are popular in Santorini and on the mainland.
What should you eat in Santorini? My three favorite things to eat in Santorini are Aginares me Koukia (artichokes and fava beans) Saganaki (fried cheese in filo pastry covered in honey sometimes set on fire) and Keftes (ground meat).
We haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the experience that is Santorini – and there is so much more to explore! Tomorrow, I’ll share my recipe for Aginares me Koukia that was given to me by a grandmother in Santorini. Later this week I’ll share my wine list and favorite 3 restaurants in Santorini.
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Hey, join us for a luxury foodie experience in Santorini September 25 – October 1, 2019. CLICK HERE for more details and to register!