Postcards from Santorini
No other island in the Mediterranean boasts a view quite like Santorini.
Before the island was called Santorini, the island was known as Kallístē, meaning “the most beautiful one.”
Santorini never fails to take my breath away with its magnificent sea views. What makes it so spectacular is that the island sits on a water-filled caldera of a huge volcano that erupted around 3,400 years. Several towns are spread along the rim of the sunken crater offering bird’s eye view of the glimmering cobalt blue sea 300 feet or so below.
Due to its volcanic past, the island has beaches of different colours: red, white and black. The Red Beach is perhaps the most popular, because of its dramatic backdrop of soaring red cliffs.
We stayed at Katikies hotel, a luxury boutique resort, situated on the cliffs high above the Aegean sea at the entrance to the town of Oia. The white washed hotel with its sparsely decorated, cosy rooms cascading down the edge of the caldera embodies simplicity, elegance and tranquility. The best of Santorini hotels are renowned for their marvellous infinity pools, which are every honeymooner’s dream. The three infinity pools flowing over the edge of the cliff into the Aegean horizon at the Katikies hotel did not disappoint!
The views from anywhere in the hotel were so breathtaking, it was difficult to leave it in order to explore the rest of the island… However, we did manage to tear ourselves away for a few hours at a time in order to enjoy a paddle in the sea and to visit a winery or two. My favourite beach was the black sand beach called Perissa, and we also discovered an excellent water sports centre on Pericolos beach called Wave Sports. I am certainly signing up to one of their jet ski safaris out to the volcano, on my next visit!
Where to eat and drink…
After a couple of failed attempts, we finally managed to enjoy the celebrated Santorini sunset on the last evening, when we went down to Ammoudi bay for a romantic dinner at the ever popular Sunset Ammoudi Taverna serving the freshest seafood, including lobster. The arduous walk down from Oia (and subsequent walk back up) was definitely worth the meal and the accompanying sublime sunset!
Ambrosia restaurant – for another romantic meal, head to Ambrosia restaurant, a sweet little cliffside restaurant with a terrace in the heart of Oia serving sophisticated, delicious Greek cuisine .
Domaine Sigalas – this is one of the most respected wineries on the island producing top-quality local wine. I decided to come here after sampling a glass of their Assyrtiko wine at my favourite wine bar in London, Noble Rot. I tried all of their white wines on offer, all of them fantastic. You can also eat a delicious meal here, freshly prepared from the local ingredients.