The island of white houses and blue rooftops, Santorini. I visited the Greek island early May. One week, several hotels and a roadtrip
It was the first time Greece for me; our holiday to Santorini in May. When you check of the information about this island there is lots to see and read but we decided to go blank. We just wanted to relax, enjoy time together and enjoy the sun.
a spontaneous trip to Santorini
For our short holiday of about a week in May, we didn’t want to go far but we did wanted sunshine and that holiday vibe. My eyes spotted Santorini on the holidays sites but it was either not affordable, or not our taste. I noticed there are charter flights directly from Amsterdam and so we booked the flights. Accordingly I started searching for hotels but I wasn’t sure where we wanted the stay. Oia, the cliffs you see in all the photos, is very expensive and that might not always be the best place to be.
In order to go around the island we booked a car upfront, like we always do. When we arrived on the rather small airport, the luggage arrived quick and we just walked out. Immediately we found the car rental and off we went. We had only booked a hotel for the first two nights, in Oia and we would see from there.
white houses, blue rooftops and sea
All the beautiful photos you see about Santorini is Oia, pronounce as ee-aah. With its cute white houses built on the cliffs, with blue rooftops. The narrow little streets and the numerous steps it’s absolutely beautiful. This was the first place to start our trip. And as the man at the carrental told us “once you’ve been there, you don’t want to go anywhere else“. Let’s see if he was right.
Finding our way around the island wasn’t difficult. All the Greek road signs were also in English and also the people spoke well English. However, Oia doesn’t has real street names and it took us a few rounds around the block before we realized that. The hotels are all next to each other, on top or below each other. Cosy on a cliff.
An old man in the streets saw us again and again and helped us out. We parked and walked our way to the hotel just minutes away. We arrived at the hotel, or so I thought! Many, so many steps. And ancient. So the rest of the week I walked on sneakers and flip flops!
Oia the beautiful city of Santorini
OIA a gorgeous little town you have to visit when you’re on the island Santorini. It’s famous for the white houses built on cliffs, with blue rooftops. The narrow little streets and sea sight restaurants are so romantic. There are lots of different price levels for hotels, most high end. You can also just go for a daytrip; make sure to enjoy the amazing sunset and book a table ahead.
please note, the island and Oia aren’t recommended for psychically disabled
COLD POOLS please note, the pools are not heated in Greece. So when you go preseason make sure to book something with a jaccuzzi or hottub. Pools are cold; not freezing though.
What a cute town! Everything you hear about Santorini is true. The sunset is amazing here. Though you do share this with all the other tourists so I can’t really say it’s super romantic, but gorgeous yes! All the restaurants are good, some really good. The staff is not always as friendly but at least everyone speaks English. There are lots of fancy hotels here and you can spend fortunes if you want.
We paid about 100-120 euros per night for a superior double room including breakfast. The view is amazing and there is even a pool! The breakfast is served out on the terrace. Some hotels have rooms with private hot tubs, great for a honeymoon! The first nights we stayed in hotel Caladera Villas, this was our room view.
places along the coastline; cheaper and less touristic?
As amazing as Oia is, it’s expensive. The hotel, the temptation of all the gorgeous restaurants, everything. So we needed to check other options. We had the rental car so might as well use it. We took a trip to Kamari to check it out. The ride itself down the mountain and towards the beach for lovely to see the countryside. As it was still slow season we could really enjoy our ride and the sight.
After the visit we drove back and ended up in a hotel in Firostefani. We had a nice stroll along the boulevard and enjoyed a relaxed day with cocktails. As we booked this last minute we only stayed for one night: Splendour Resort. The private pool at the room was amazing (but also cold); however we did enjoy it. It was a luxurious room with countryside view and that pool!
Our trip to the coastal town Kamari had given us inspiration to spend a few days at the beach. We stayed at hotel Markis which belonged to a nice restaurant. It doesn’t have a pool but it’s a minute walk from the beach and the boulevard.
KAMARI is a nice town at the beach with a cosy boulevard with lots of nice places to eat and chill. It has a black beach because of the volcano. It’s a very clean beach and there are beds to chill and little strips to walk (black sand is super hot). There are also beach front hotels and many nice hotels around to stay.
During our roudtrip we also drove by Perissa and Perivolos, both cute beaches. They have a low key boulevard with a chill atmosfeer. It’s smaller scaled compared to Kamari but it’s more focussed on tourists. When we were there it was’t very busy.
kids friendly, from baby till puberty
These places are all great to go to with kids. The beach is great, there are play grounds and lots of hotels and apartments have family rooms. Older kids, or are you into clubbing then you should go to Fira. This is where the party is on, or so I’ve heard lol! There are lots of bars and a few clubs. All is open till late as well as the shops. There are lovely restaurants, high end till snack bars. There is a boulevard too but also some downtown streets and squares. Easy to walk around as it’s not that big. Go here for some souvenir shopping or to take the cable cart down to the dock. There is even a McDonalds here!
back to Firostefani, affordable and luxurious
After our trip to Kamari we decided to finish our week in Firostefani. I found this little hotel with just about 10 rooms and only two little steps down, this was hotel Sunset. The rooms are not very big but a great view, comfortable beds and a nice bathroom. These are the so called cave rooms, built into the rocks.
There is a public hot tub on the terrace which is perfect to chill in during sunset! The breakfast was served on your doorstep, each room has an outdoor seat. Easy parking acces by 5 minutes walk, it’s in the middle of the little town but still quiet and just upstairs is a supermarket which stays open till late night. Loved it here!
what did I like about Santorini?
- everywhere you look it’s beautiful
- the food is yum, I didn’t know Greek food was so nice!
- the temperature in May is perfect, I’m guessing July and August are too hot
- lots of tourist travel by public transfer which is easy accessible and cheap
- you can rent a car to get around or squads
- you pay with euros
- everyone speaks good English, even the signs are bilingual English and Greek
what was not so nice about Santorini?
- the beaches are black, it’s pretty but not very tropical
- you can’t do any snorkeling here and heard the diving isn’t so good either
- the pools aren’t heated, keep in mind when booking a trip in May. They’re cold!
- places like Oia aren’t suitable for kids, most hotels are 16+
- cash is preferred, pin is not always accepted though there are ATM’s in each town
- don’t expect much of shopping, expensive tourist stuff!