Read Part 1 of my Santorini guide here!
On the Sunday our friends who were staying on the island picked us up in their car and we drove over to Fabrica on Perivolos beach. I’d reserved sunbeds for us so we could just arrive and get straight to the all important business of relaxing!
After some sunbathing, a couple of cheeky cocktails and a lot of talking and laughing, it was time for some lunch! The inside of the restaurant is really funky and bright and I can imagine it being a great place for a party
I ordered the chicken salad with bulgur wheat, avocado, tomato, roasted peppers and a citrus dressing, and was very pleased with my choice! The salad was huge and really filling, if I’d known how big it was going to be then I may not have ordered fries (which actually turned out to be huge crispy potato wedges with garlic mayo that were impossible to resist – oops!)
Full to bursting, the sunbeds were calling us for a few more hours of lazing in the shade, reading and snoozing…
Our friends were staying in Kamari on the east of the island, so after a quick refresh at our hotel, they fetched us again and we made the journey over to their hotel (which was pink & white heaven)
Kamari is situated on the opposite side of the island from where we were staying, and has it’s own beach. Hotels and restaurants line the promenade along the seafront and it has a really relaxed feel to it, everyone enjoying eating outside or taking a stroll along the main street
We ate at Mesogaia Restaurant, watching the reflection of the full moon glitter on the sea. I skipped starters which was a good move, as I had ordered the seafood platter for one and it was pretty filling…
Another cocktail and it was time to bid farewell to our friends, vowing to catch up when we get back!
We wanted to do a wine tour & tasting so booked in for one at Santo Wines. Sat on the edge of the cliffs in Pyrgos, the winery is the biggest on the island
We enjoyed a tour, learning all about the growing of the grapes (vines are wrapped round themselves close to the ground creating a sort of basket which protects the grapes from the harsh weather), and how the grapes are then processed and the wine bottled
A small number of the wines are aged in oak barrels which are kept in this cellar, including the famous Vinsanto – Greek sweet wine made using sun-dried grapes
You can see an example of the twisted ‘basket’ of vines in the picture below
We were then taken out onto the terrace for our tasting! Nibbles of olives, cheese, breadsticks and gorgeous Santorini tomato paste were included in the tasting
Now I shan’t be listening to my husband again when he tells me to ‘book the 18 wine tasting…each’ When the trays of wine arrived everyone around us thought it was hilarious, and challenged us to finish them all! Although we sipped each one, guided by the tasting notes provided, we only finished off our favourite few! I’d recommend sharing one 18-wine tasting between 2 or more – you could do the smaller tastings but it was really nice to try all the different wines (sparkling, whites, reds, rosé & vinsanto dessert wine) instead of having to pick a few
They were all lovely, however the chilled sparkling and white wines were definitely our favourites and felt more appropriate for the temperatures. Many of their wines were described as dry, but we found even the dry wines to be quite light and medium-to-sweet, which suited us down to the ground
It was also interesting to try the vinsanto, which was extremely sweet and syrupy, and different to any dessert wine we’ve had before
The wine tasting was a lovely way to spend an afternoon, and is definitely something I’d recommend you do if you visit the island.
We’d made dinner reservations that night for Buddha Bar at La Maltese Hotel in Imerovigli which was a hot and sweaty 20 minute walk from our hotel, but it meant that I got to go past my favourite pink flowers again so didn’t mind too much!
The head cocktail master for the whole of the Buddha Bar group was at the hotel that week so of course I had to try a cocktail!
Unfortunately this was not only the most expensive meal of the holiday but also the most disappointing 😦 A combination of average food and terrible service (apart from one guy who was trying to do it all and look after everyone) You win some, you lose some – at least the sunset was stunning!
For our last full day we wanted to go on a boat trip to see the island from a different perspective (and let’s face it, to get maximum tanning opportunity!) I found choosing a boat trip quite difficult as there are lots of large boats (too many people) and private boats (too expensive) so when I found Santorini Sailing Centre I was pleased to have found a happy medium
We booked the Caldera Semi-private catamaran day cruise which lasted 5 hours and included pick up and drop off from your hotel. We were collected at 9:30am and were driven to Vlyhada Marina at the bottom of the island, where we set sail at 10:30am on the Carpe Diem catamaran
What’s great with this company is that although the catamaran capacity is 20 people, they only ever book a maximum of 14 on each trip so it’s not too crowded. We must have been particularly lucky as on our trip there were only 6 of us!
Our guide Margarita talked us through the history of the island and pointed out all the points of interest including Red Beach, White Beach (the only place that there is white marble on the island), Akrotiri lighthouse and the hot springs. Our group made the decision to skip the hot springs as they’re apparently a bit stinky (from the sulphur) and wreak havoc on your swimming costume!
We chose instead to drop anchor for lunch in a small bay with crystal clear waters
Margarita set the table for lunch whilst we jumped in and out of the water from the back of the boat (and when I say jumped, I reluctantly plopped off the back then proceeded to look like a panicked labrador until I decided I’d had enough and it was time to eat!)
The husband and I had chosen one fish meal and one meat so we could share (we like to try a bit of everything, can you tell?!) We sat down to a lunch of fresh whole fish and prawns, chicken kebab, meatballs, Greek sausage, pittas and grilled peppers & mushrooms – all barbecued on the back of the boat. Along with Greek salad and tzatziki it was a simple feast that was among the best food we’d had all week (Margarita promised it would be and she didn’t let us down!)
I’d like to say that we then left the table to bronze ourselves, swim some more and take in the sights, but we had such a great group of people on our trip and the Greek wine was flowing, so we sat in the shade, drank and laughed for the rest of the afternoon!
Before we knew it we were back in the harbour and saying our goodbyes!
For our final evening in Santorini we decided that it would be lovely to eat at out hotel restaurant, Elea (read my review at the end of my Sun Rocks Boutique Hotel, Santorini post)
We ate breakfast in our restaurant on our last morning, skipping my usual fruit salad and toast and instead opting for eggs, fried Greek sausage & mushrooms, with bread, pastries and cake!
Soaking up a few more rays by our hotel pool before check out, we then took one last walk into Firostefani to buy gifts (of the food variety of course!) and to grab a sweet cappucino freddo…
….and some sushi at Ginger Sushi Lounge
And that was it – time to head to the madness of Thira airport!!
We really enjoyed our time in Santorini and were sad to leave, although with so many other places on our travel list a week was enough and we wouldn’t rush back. It was just the relaxing holiday we wanted, but if you’re looking for more things to do then here’s a list of other activities on the island:
Kamari open air cinema – I really wanted to go here but the husband couldn’t get his head round going to the cinema on holiday, so I lost out! But judging by the queue of people waiting to get in, it’s quite popular
Fira to Oia hike – good luck with that!
Helicopter flight over the island
Cable car from the old port to Fira
Walk the volcano
Walk to Scaros rock
Visit Perissa beach or Red beach
Sunset boat tour – you can do the same boat tour as we did, but it starts in the afternoon and you get to see the sunset from the water
Watch the sunset in Oia – you could fight with thousands of people to get the best sunset view, but I’d recommend booking a restaurant with rooftop views instead, like we did
My main tip if you visit would definitely be to get restaurant recommendations from people that have been to the island, or from the hotel when you get there – we wasted a few nights on bad food and when that’s one of our favourite parts of a holiday (and life in general!), we got really disappointed over wasted money and bad food
Hope you enjoyed my Santorini posts and they’ve inspired you to visit the island!