Happy Tuesday! I hope your week has gotten off to a good start. I’ve moved around my scheduled blog posts to days that work a little better for me, so sorry if you checked in here yesterday! Tuesdays and Fridays at 8am are a little easier to manage! Today’s post is going to be the last instalment of my Santorinian travel adventure and I wanted to share of the food and restaurants that I visited during my time on the island. Aside from food, I also wanted to add a little note on my absolute favourite activity whilst I was there and some tips which will definitely come in handy when you visit!
I’ll kick right off with the fun part. I got so many recommendations for boat tours around the volcanic islands of Palaia Kammeni and Nea Kammeni. I can absolutely say that you were right! You may not know this, but Santorini used to be a large island, however this changed over the years following several volcano eruptions. Why am I going into a history lesson? Because Santorini is now five separate islands (Santorini, Therasia, an uninhabited island called Aspronisi and the volcanic islands of Palaia Kammeni and Nea Kammeni) and a boat tour will give you the most picturesque views of these. The tour takes place both in the morning and evening, with the evening tour offering the most picturesque views of the infamous Santorini sunset.
We wanted to save our evenings for more private dinners, so we decided to go for the morning boat ride. Once you start looking into this, you will realise that there are a whole host of boat tours and a range of prices, so I thought it might be helpful to you to understand why that is. Obviously, the higher the price, the more luxurious and convenient. The boat tours depart from different parts of the island so it’s best to book one that is closest to where you are staying. For example, it is definitely cheaper to join a boat tour that departs in Akrotiri, but if you are staying in Oia then you’ve got a 3 hour drive south to make the boat. Given you need to be there early for the morning tour, you’ll need to wake up ridiculously early to get there on time. The cost also reflects how many people will be joining you on the boat, and what type of boat you’ll be boarding. The lower the price, the more people you can expect on the boat. There were 25 of us in total on our catamaran so it was very comfortable. It also came with lunch and free flowing wine and beer. We booked ours through Sunset Oia, who also offer private tours if you prefer, for those special occasions. Evening tours come complete with dinner.
On these boat tours, you’ll be taken to the hot springs. Note: you cannot wear white bathing suits here… well you can but the water will turn them yellow. I ended up having to buy a black bikini as I had only packed white bathing suits! Typical! If you only have white swimwear and don’t really want to buy another one (especially in the main town of Oia where they are all highly overpriced) then just know that they are not as hot as the name ‘hot springs’ suggests, so in all honesty you are not missing anything.
If boat rides aren’t really your thing, then don’t worry. There are so many things to do in Santorini and unfortunately we did not have time to complete them all. It’s all the more reason to go back though! Helicopter rides, wine tours, horse riding, hiking, trekking, diving and kayaking are all activities that come to mind! Renting a car and exploring the island is also an option! We were actually booked in to do this, however on the last day of the trip we were just so tired that we decided to lounge by the pool instead. The hotel we were staying in offers a whole host of experiences so if you haven’t checked that out yet, here’s a link!
There was no shortage of good food on the island but here’s a list of the four we visited and thoroughly enjoyed!
1. Alios Ilios
My personal favourite in terms of overall package. From the views, to the food, the staff and the live piano, it had everything you need for the perfect evening in Santorini. You can check out my article on Alios Ilios here.
By far the biggest splurge was at Lauda, by three Michelin-starred executive chef and founder Emmanuel Renaut. Visiting restaurants and indulging in tasting menus (with wine pairing of course) is one of our favourite things to do and something we do not mind spending on. Since my diet has had to change due to my autoimmune illness, this admittedly makes tasting menus a little tricky. This was not the case at Lauda. We informed them ahead of time on what I was unable to eat, and somehow they created a custom tasting menu just for me. I don’t know how they managed to do it, but it tasted as good as tasting menus I’ve had in the past, before I was restricted. I always say this, but I believe pictures are worth thousands of words so I’ll let them speak for themselves.
3. The Athenian House
Just outside of Oia, yet not too far away is the charming Athenian House – typical Greek restaurant serving local dishes using fresh produce, with a great selection of Santorinian wine. A tasting menu is also available, however since we had indulged at Lauda the night before, we thought best not overdo it. You may have read my previous article where I included some of the most beautiful sunset pictures I have ever taken in my life. These were all taken just outside of the Athenian House.
Another spot that made it to my article on the ‘Most Instagrammable Spots in Santorini’. Ammoudi Bay also happened to be where we queued for our boat tour above. You’ll need to walk down that long stone staircase that leads you to the bay, but once you’re by the sea the restaurant is just to the right. We had delicious grilled octopus and plenty of salad, as well as a super yummy seafood platter which was such a delight. Check out my previous post for all the pics!
All restaurants were able to meet my dietary requirements of no meat, gluten or dairy, however it is always best you inform them ahead of your visit. All restaurants require reservations so be sure to book a table in advance!
Have you been to Santorini? What were your favourite things to do and places to eat? Leave your suggestions in the comments!