After years and years of dreaming about one day visiting Santorini, we FINALLY made it a reality! And let me tell you, it exceeded our expectations and then some – now all we do is daydream about returning to Santorini one day! We fell in love with Santorini almost instantly and therefore we wanted to share our experiences in hopes that we could help you plan a trip to experience Santorini for yourselves one day (trust us, you won’t regret it).
Aqua Luxury Suites
During our stay in Santorini, we stayed in Aqua Luxury Suites in Imerovigli. The hotel was situated close enough to Oia – about 20 minutes – but far enough to not have to pay the prices of Oia hotels. The suite we booked had an AMAZING view and a great-sized private balcony with a heated jacuzzi. After spending our day exploring Santorini, we always ended up in the jacuzzi with a bottle of Prosecco enjoying the unforgettable view – the perfect ending to our days. It was truly our favorite part about our stay here. The staff at the hotel was wonderful, always eager to help, and it was astonishing to see them so easily carry all our luggage – at once – down and up all the flights of stairs. With that being said, ladies do not bother packing heels. With all the stairs you have to climb in Santorini, you will rarely wear them. I made this mistake – wore them once, almost fell down the stairs, and did not wear a single pair of heels after that. The rooms are nice – (nothing grand) your typical European room, small but comfortable. The views offered by the hotels is really what you are paying for. We definitely enjoyed our stay and would recommend this hotel! Another key thing to note, when researching hotels make sure to get one that has a heated outdoor jacuzzi and/or pool. We went in October, when the weather tends to be a bit more chilly, and if the jacuzzi was not heated we would have not been able to enjoy it! Here’s a tour of our balcony and amazing view!
On our second day in Santorini, we decided to visit a couple of wineries (as you can tell from our previous post – we really enjoy a glass (or several) of wine!) The first winery we visited was Venetsanos Winery – located right above the port of Athinios, overlooking the caldera of Santorini and volcanic islands – which had breathtaking views from every corner! We did the ‘Wine Tasting and Food Pairing’ which is 30€ per person. The food was excellent and we were able to taste a variety of wines. After our tasting, we bought a bottle of wine from the store located onsite and stayed a little while longer to continue enjoying the view!
Santo Wines Winery
The second winery we visited was Santo Wines Winery – just 6 minutes from Venetsanos Winery. Once again, the views at this winery were something out of this world – blue seas from every corner! We booked our tasting ahead of time – the “16 Wine Flight” tasting (45€ per person) and to much of our surprise, it was 16 flights of wine PER PERSON and not to share. BIG MISTAKE. We had the option of getting 8 flights at at time or all 16 flights at once and Andres decided to get all 16 flights at once (because it would make for a great picture he said). Another BIG MISTAKE. As we were sitting in the direct sun, the wines got warm quickly. If you do this tasting, I highly suggest doing 8 flights at a time. If we had to chose only one winery to visit, we would, however pick Venetsanos Winery. With that being said, if your schedule permits you to visit both, definitely check out Santos Winery since it it close to Venetsanos Winery.
PK Cocktail Bar
PK Cocktail Bar is one of the best places where we watched the sunset! The setting in PK Cocktail bar is romantic during sunset hours as each table is adorned with a candle and blankets are offered to guests to keep warm during chilly nights. PK Cocktail bar does not serve food so keep that in mind when planning your trip so you can make dinner reservations afterwards. PK Cocktail bar offers a variety of classy cocktails – with all ingredients being fresh. Prices are a little more on the expensive side but the view makes you forget all about that! Reservations are definitely required and can be made here. When making a reservation, the bar does charge a deposit of 10€ which is applied as a credit to your final bill upon your visit. As you make a reservation online, you will be able to actually reserve the table you would like. We selected table “L3” which is hands down one of the best, if not THE best table at the bar. Table “L3” is situated on the first row and right in the middle so there are zero obstructions to your sunset view! Make sure to make your reservations ahead of time in order to snag this table – especially if going during high season! Tip: Make your reservation time at least 30 minutes before sunset so you have time to settle in and order a drink beforehand.
One of our favorite experiences during our trip to Santorini was definitely the sailing cruise we did! We booked a sailing trip with the company Sunset Oia – the ‘Santorini Gems Morning Tour’ – which is approximately 145€ per person and a duration of 5 hours. The main thing we enjoyed about our tour was the fact that it was more intimate than other sailing tours we saw while out on the water – roughly fewer than 20 people on board. A delicious Greek lunch was served on board as well as beer and wine. The tour made about three different stops which allowed us time to get in the water and snorkel (snorkel gear and towels are provided). Warning: the water was FREEZING when we went in October but we heard it’s cold year round. The tour company also picks you up and drops you off at your hotel (or close to your hotel) which is one less thing to worry about so you can enjoy the open bar on board. We highly recommend this tour and tour company!
Canaves Oia – Panorama Balcony Experience
Our main reason for visiting Santorini was to celebrate Andres’s 30th birthday so I planned a surprise dinner for him at Canaves Oia – the ‘Panorama Balcony Experience’. And what a experience it was! They set up a table for us on a private terrace with candles and served us the most exquisite food we have had in Santorini thus far – each entree was paired with a different wine or champagne glass. It was easily the most romantic dinner and moment we shared during our time in Santorini. In addition, our lovely waitress was phenomenal! If you are visiting Santorini to celebrate a special occasion I would HIGHLY recommend this experience. Worth every penny!
Athenian House was a fantastic dinner spot where we tried Moussaka for the first time! The ambience in Athenian House was extremely romantic and cozy. Heaters and blankets are provided for those chilly Santorini night! Each dish was phenomenal – including the dessert. Definitely worth checking out!
Hope you enjoyed this post and hopefully it helps you plan your next trip to Santorini! Also let us know what your favorite things to do while visiting Santorini so we can add them to our list the next time we visit! Happy Travels!