Atlantis Discovered (aka. Santorini, Greece)

It has been almost 20 years since my wife and I first visited Santorini, Greece. On our first trip we spent time in Marathonas (South East of Athens on the Greecian mainland). Thereafter we also visited Athens, Sounion, and Delphi. Next on that first trip we visited Santorini (Firostefani and Oia), and finally Crete. Nine years later we went back to Santorini and stayed in Imerovigli at Absolute Bliss. And nine years after that, from October 23, 2022 to November 6th we spent our time in Kamari and then Oia – which is pronounced EE-ah. You’ll will be saying “aaaaah” a lot. First you should know that the locals call the island either Santorini (a name bestowed by the Venetians) or more commonly Thira. Don’t confuse Thira with Fira – the “main town” on the island. And don’t be surprised if some shopkeepers refer to Oia as “Oh-ia” because they know many tourists won’t get it right!

Our Travel Style

I want to let you know what kind of travelers we are so you can decide if the information we are providing here aligns with your own style of travel.

We enjoy: Off Season, uncrowded, non-hot (i.e. cooler climate), with natural beauty, history, language, and culture. We like mountains and beaches, but are not sun soakers. We have interest in local foods, wines and spirits, but little interest in bars, night-life, parties or crowds. We prefer an authentic local experience and eschew tourist extravaganzas. We prefer a modest budget, but are willing to spend where there is value. We like to explore the surroundings, learn about culture, architecture, language, food and history – preferably not as part of an organized tour. We like to move at our own pace – usually slow and methodical. We are the kind of people who actually visit and read most or all of the exhibits at a museum. We take pictures of food and drink for the memories… usually not to post on Facebook. And I, Steven, in particular always make an effort to be up before sunrise, and out through and after sunset into the night to capture sunrises, sunsets and night photos.



As you might gather we are not much interested in the opposites: crowds, heat, cruising, tours. But, of course, sometimes you can only learn things in tours. For example in November 2021, we took a Viking river cruise down the Rhine from Basel Switzerland to Amsterdam. Some of our very best memories are the things we saw and learned from the tours. But one of the reasons we remember that trip fondly is that it was just as Covid restrictions were ending and our boat with a 180 passenger capacity had a total of 48 passengers with a crew of 49 – so it met our “uncrowded” preference far more than we could have anticipated.

Sunset, Oia

About this Article… It’s a Travel Guide

In contrast to many of our prior articles, this is intended as a travel advisory of sorts: things to know before you go. In the next article we endeavor to offer some photography tips – both night and daytime, as well as cell-phone photography tips including on-phone editing of images. Santorini is a bit of a challenging place for Night Photography… why the challenge will be explained in the next article as well.

Santorini – one of about 220 Cycladic islands – is well known as a destination for summer travel, and it’s probably the most photographed island EVER with its white cave houses that are often literally carved into the steeply sloped volcanic rock, windmills, and a plethora of blue domed churches all nestled up and down the caldera of a dormant volcano. The island was once called Strongyli (the round island). But then it blew it’s top forming the large caldera filled with the Mediterranean blue waters – and subsequent eruptions formed two fire islands (Nea Kameni and Palea Kameni). But in the process of blowing its top – it did so in a way that makes the Mt. Vesuvius destruction of Pompeii seem like child’s play. Indeed the eruption of Strongyli and the tidal wave produced is believed to have been the event that provoked the end of the Minoan Civilization.

TIP: Santorini due to its plethora of steep, irregular steps and inclines is not a good place for the mobility impaired, or those with low energy, bad ankles or bad knees.

Travel To Santorini and Interisland Travel

A cruise ship slips out of the Caldera in the Evening. (Good bye to the crowd!)

We often tell people about our wonderful experiences in Santorini. Some of our friends who have visited Santorini only in the context of cruise ships, or during the hectic summer months have questioned what we liked about our visits. See More Tips about Santorini, below for why we think cruise ship based excursions are not as enjoyable unless you actually spend days on the island. Note that the high season is mid June through early September. Offseason in Santorini is October through early April, with most shops closing at the end of October and reopening in mid to late March.

If your only experience of Santorini has been as a result of an excursion from a cruise ship, you really have missed a lot of the charm of the island.

We have not visited any of the surrounding islands that are visible from Santorini (Sikinos, Folegandros, Ios, Anafi) – but you can reach many of them via a passenger or car ferry. Ferries run irregularly in the off season. For example, to get from Santorini to Sikinos – about 15 miles to the northwest, there are two ferry lines. Zante leaves from Santorini at 7:30 AM on Thursday, November 17 and takes two hours arriving at 9:30. You could then return the same day leaving at 13:35 and arriving at 15:30. Santorini Cruises has ferries on days Zante does not, but there are no ferries on Wednesday, or Saturdays in the month of November that go from Santorini to Sikinos. go-ferry.com is one of the best resources we have seen to find schedules. If you want to go farther, e.g. to the southernmost large island of Crete, expect a similar lack of options and much longer transit times. E.g. from 6.5 hours to 11 hours travel time depending on the ferry and the route it takes. Also, we were warned that if you use a ferry with a rental car, there is additional insurance required. I priced out a 2-passenger ferry from Heraklion to Santorini and back two days later WITH a bed/birth and it was 290 Euro (). For just reserved seats it was 145. Open seating (on the deck) was 139. The locals tend to prefer the ferries.

Finally, you should also know that getting from Athens airport to Santorini by ferry is also possible. It’s a 90 minute bus ride and about 6 Euros to get to the port in Piraeus (and about 65 by taxi). Travel to and from the Greek mainland to Santorini takes about 8 hours by ferry – vs 45 minutes flying time. In the off season there is often only one ferry per day and the cheapest round-trip for a ferry is about 135 per passenger. For this reason, we have generally always preferred to fly directly to and from JTR (the Santorini Airport code).

We have concluded that travel by air is the most efficient and reliable means to reach Santorini – in part because there are fewer restrictions and much less travel time.

Typical Ferry Schedule and costs Athens (Piraeus) to Santorini and back. Not including bus or taxi from Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (Athens) to the port of Piraeus.

Flights, Business Class and Layovers

Arriving in Munich

Because we live on the US West Coast, even the BEST flying connections to get to Santorini require two or three flights and at least 18 hours of travel each way. So this is one area where we are willing to spend to upgrade from Economy to Premium Economy – but not to Business or First Class. Why? Practical considerations. Comfort is of value, but it does not make sense to us to pay 3 times the fare for the flights (as is normal for Business Class) when we can spend that extra money on better lodging, meals, gifts and excursions.

Moderately long layovers are a travelers FRIEND.

For example our flights to Santorini took about 22 hours with no layovers longer than about 3 hours, whereas on the way back, we flew from Santorini to Munich where an 18 hour layover allowed us to stay at the Munich Hilton for 250 for one night – with breakfast. The value add for that Hilton is that no taxi or shuttle is required. We got a comfortable night of sleep in before the 13 hour flight from Munich to Denver. Also note that by taking that layover, we ended up with a $300 cheaper airfare so the stay in the Hilton paid for itself! We did not pay for premium economy upgrades for the shorter flights (3 hours or less) but the Denver to SFO leg may have well been worth an upgrade as it was a United Airlines flight (all other legs were Lufthansa) and we were crammed in a full flight with only center seats. I’ve only ever had one GOOD experience with United, all other experiences were zero star affairs… so needless to say I avoid United (and American and Delta, for that matter).

The Munich Airport Hilton

One last comment about layovers vs direct flights and cost: I’ve come to prefer moderately long layovers between flights to short ones. Why? Well several reasons: a longer layover allows you to get off the plane, have a real-person sit down meal, toilet break, walk, etc. And more importantly a too-short layover may result in high stress and missed connections as happened to us when our 77 minute scheduled layover in Denver was cut to less than 60 minutes by a late arrival and then we had to go through customs, fetch our luggage, recheck our luggage and go back through security to get to our next flight in ANOTHER terminal. In fact, by the time we actually got OFF the plane our next flight was already boarding – so we missed it. A 3 hour layover would have been FAR more comfortable and I’m frankly perturbed that such an aggressively short layover was even offered. Had there been a Munich to SFO direct flight available I’d have preferred it! But also note that off season, almost all flights to and from Santorini go through the Athens airport.

Getting around on Santorini

There are buses and a few taxis – but no Lyft or Uber. We frankly never invested any effort in learning the bus schedules because even the locals point out that the buses run infrequently. Our preferred method of travel is a rental car plus walking. Surprisingly TWO WEEKs of car rental WITH full insurance was a scant $330 US dollars in October, 2022 (through rentalcars.com)! But be forewarned, you’ll want a SMALL car (to be able to navigate some narrow roads, tiny parking places, and traffic), and there are very few automatic transmission cars available… so be sure you’ve practiced using a manual transmission. One day rentals from many places will be 45 or more euros per DAY in the off season.

Rental cars – especially via the airport are cheap and most efficient for thoroughly exploring Santorini.

The biggest problem you’ll face navigating the island is parking, and some peculiar winding one-way and dead-end roads. And remember that many of the destinations along the caldera rim (hotels, houses, and restaurants) are ONLY accessible by foot paths including plenty of stairs – something that may become painfully obvious if you rely on the normal means of navigation (Google maps). The good news is that the island is small enough you can circumnavigate the WHOLE island in less than half a day… nothing is more than an hour drive from anywhere else. The key places on the island to get to and from are the airport on the southeastern side of the island near the town of Kamari, the Athinios Port near the middle of the Caldera on the west side of the island – that is where most ferries arrive and depart, and the Old Port of Fira where many of the cruise ships and pleasure cruises arrive and depart. One tip about the maps, use google to load maps of Santorini before you leave to go there. But you’ll probably discover that having a data plan and the ability to make calls while on the island is quite helpful. Verizon, for example, offers a “bring your plan” for $10 per day that provides reasonable amount of calls and data.

Lodging In Santorini

We have stayed in a variety of places around the island, mostly along the Caldera rim. Prices on the island range from quite cheap ($50 USD a night away from the caldera) to outrageously expensive ($3000 USD/night) in the OFF SEASON. For views that are about as gorgeous as you can imagine, the caldera rim (and any of the towns along it: Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli, and Oia) are hard to beat – provided you actually have a view and a modicum of privacy. Expect that wherever you stay along the caldera you’ll have two impediments: parking (if you rent a car) and lots of stairs.

The first place we stayed 18 years ago: Sun Rocks, Firostefani was expensive when we first stayed there, and has gotten progressively more expensive. We stayed in two different rooms there, including their most expensive “Experience Room” which is located at the bottom of the property with gorgeous views and quite a lot of privacy. We still have very fond memories watching a violent storm roll in while room service brought us Dakos (rusk bread with tomatoes, olive oil, feta cheese and capers) – see Foods, below. Firostefani is NOT in Fira, so it’s a bit quieter, but it’s still a quite walkable distance into Fira. There are many other properties in Firostefani, too.

Later that first trip we stayed in the 5-star Katikies Resort in Oia. It was nice, but rather prohibitively expensive. We had to move to there because Sun Rocks closed at the end of October (and did so again this year) – along with much of the rest of Firostefani.

Absolute Bliss, Imerovigli, Santorini. Oia is near the center of the image in the distance.

On our next visit we stayed in Imerovigli at Absolute Bliss. We still hold that experience up as about as close to ideal as one can get – and it was reasonably priced. It has marvelous views, the service and breakfasts were fantastic, and the manager of the resort showed us great kindness. Indeed I slipped and fell on my elbow along the high road. When we asked about where to find bandages she offered to drive us to the hospital – and kept up with us for the remainder of our stay. Fortunately the damage to my elbow wasn’t that bad – and the cuts and scrapes were mostly caused by me trying to prevent my camera gear from getting damaged.

Our most recent trip we stayed in two locations on opposite sides of the island. The first in Kamari was called Santorini Crystal Blue Boutique Hotel. It was hard to find, indeed, I recommend that to get there you do what we eventually did and just call them! They have a private parking lot about 300 meters away from the property. They, like most properties close in the off season. The Melitis restaurant on site was absolutely fantastic. Thereafter we stayed in the Marble Sun Villa Caldera House in the center of Oia. Being centrally located was nice. Being directly on a travelled path in all of Oia was a bit less nice. From extensive searching the Marble Sun is one of the VERY few caldera properties that afforded two private master bedrooms. That’s why we chose it since we were sharing the space with some dear friends of ours. There are multiple ways to book the property we stayed in, including through the Caldera Houses site, on hotels.com, via VRBO, booking.com and more. I recommend taking a look at all avenues since the rates and availability sometimes vary considerably. And there are MANY properties available. What you are unlikely to find is an inexpensive property with a nice view, parking, limited walking and central access to a town.

More Tips About Navigating Santorini

Crowds can be a PAIN and cruise ships bring crowds. But you can consult port calendars and avoid caldera locations on heavy cruise ship days.

As I noted, we’ve been to the island 3 times over 18 years. And what we observed on our last trip was a bit disheartening. On our first trips the island was almost universally uncrowded in October and early November. Our most recent trip was much more congested than we expected. We are not sure of the why, except that Covid seems to have created a pent-up demand. One day there were SIX cruise ships – each adding about 2000 or more passengers. Effectively the population of the island doubles (or triples!) on such days so the throngs of excess persons made the narrow walkways and smallish shops unpleasant in much the same way as attempting to depart from stadium full of people. Indeed, we scheduled an early boat tour of the volcanic islands to be sure we wouldn’t have to fight the crowds for space but did not realize that when we got back from that half day cruise we would be competing with thousands of cruisists for a seat on the cable car to get back up to Fira. It took an hour and half waiting in line. The 330 steps or a donkey ride up are also possible alternatives.

Here comes (or goes) another crowd. Each cruise ship or ferry carries from 800 to 5000 passengers. This is a Viking Cruise Ship so is on the smaller end of the scale.


A little Greek can go a long way to unlocking a pleasant experience. Kalimera! (Good Morning) Kalispera (Good Evening), Ef haristo’ (Thank You), and Parakalo’ (Please)

I am a big proponent of learning some simple phrases in the native language of any country you may visit. You may be surprised how much more welcoming people are when you make an effort to greet, ask and thank them in their native tongue. Think about it for a moment: if someone came up to you on the average street in the US and asked you in Swahili where to find the nearest Taco stand… would you understand? Wouldn’t you think the person a bit rude or at least naïve? Well the same goes in any other country. As a rule we have found the Greeks on Santorini to be friendly, and helpful ALWAYS, but it sure doesn’t hurt that I am careful to greet them, and especially thank them in Greek. Sure my Greek may not be all that great – it’s a tough language – but by starting in Greek I’ve had some truly heart warming and compelling discussions with the locals – many of who are NOT local at all, but come from various other countries and work their butts off on behalf of tourists. There are many sources to learn Greek, so we won’t copy them here.

A couple of tips I picked up after listening to the Greeks… the town of Megalochori is pronounced with the “g” sounding like an h or a “y”. Ditto for the popular dish “Gyros” (Year-os, not Geer-os or Guy-ros). The town of Monolithos is not “Mono-lithos” but Mon-oh’-lithos with the emphasis on the second syllable. That’s the way you would do it in English – emphasizing the third from the last syllable, but it took me a few listens to get it right. If you pay attention to the Greek letters, you can start to pronounce words on sight… you just have to remember that what looks like a P (Ρ or ρ) is a Rho – an r, what looks like an V (ν) is a lowercase N. What looks like a y (γ) is a gamma – a lower case G (Γ). What at first glance passes for a N (Π) is actually a capital Pi (P). Thus what might at first glance read as Napkin (ΠΑΡΚΙΝ) is really Parking! On the mainland you’ll see lots of ΠΑΡΚΙΝ signs – on Santorini nary a one, but you may see the more universal white P on a blue background meaning parking, or more likely, lots of NO Parking symbols.

Two street signs that are worth noting are the “Do Not Enter/One Way sign” and the “No Parking” (on this side of the street) sign. The no parking sign is routinely ignored, by the way!

Do Not Enter (One way) Sign – May be red on Blue instead of Red on White
No Parking (this side of the street)

Recommended Places to Visit, Things to Do (and Why!)

A map (from Google Maps) of Santorini also called Thira. We will later refer to the numbered items. The caldera rim includes all those areas around the interior of the island bordering the Mediterranean.

These are in no particular order. Note that many are closed in the off season… check before you go. The numbers below correspond to the locations marked on the map, above.

  1. Kamari. While it is just south of the airport, you have to drive inland for a bit before you can make a left turn onto the road to Kamari. Like most of the rest of the island Kamari is open seasonably, but unlike some towns on the caldera, Kamari has a year-round population and a main square (and a sizeable supermarket). The black sand beach (ok, rocks and sand) is easy to reach, beware however, the sea bed itself is not sandy but is hard rock with ankle busting “potholes” throughout. It’s also on the sunrise side of the island and as our host at Santorini Crystal Blue Boutique hotel pointed out: the sun does not charge a tax for you to see it rise! In all it has a quite different vibe from the caldera side of the island: more laid back. I imagine in summer, however it’s just as or even more crowded. One tip: the main drag along the waterfront is a walking path only, except in the off season. You may choose, instead to visit Perissa/Perivolas which is farther removed but a longer stretch of black rock/sand beach. It’s also worth mentioning that on the way to Kamari is the Cave Winery Museum (also known as the Koutsogiannopoulos Winery). On the same road you also find the Argyros Estates and several other wineries as well as the Crazy Donkey Brewery. Adjacent to Kamari is Ancient Thira, described below.
  2. Ammoudi Bay at the water level in Oia. 287 steps down from the top it’s not a small journey to descend or ascend, but the contrasting rocks, architecture and the absolutely stunningly colored Mediterranean vistas are worth a visit. You may even hire a donkey to get you back to the top if overwhelmed by the ascent. The waterfront restaurants are well known for their seafood dishes.
  3. Ancient Thira. Perhaps my favorite spot on the island. An 8 euro per person entry fee is charged after you’ve driven up a steep set of 21 switch backs. It affords some spectacular views by virtue of its altitude, but I feel a very deep sense of history strolling around among the ancient Roman ruins – and can’t help but imagine what life was like to live in that town in that era.
  4. The Domain Sigalas winery is near Oia, north of Finnikia. The views are not spectacular, but the hospitality is awesome, and the wines are better than any other winery we visited. Try the Apiliotis and the Vinsanto – both dessert wines made from sun dried red and white grapes respectively. Check to be sure they are open as they have limited hours (and menu) in the off season. Santos winery has spectacular views… but beware its one of the wineries that is heavily hit by tour buses and that gives it a very touristy/industrial feel. Venesantos winery – which we didn’t visit – has a higher recommendation rate on TripAdvisor than Santos.
  5. Prophet Elias Monastery on the highest point of the island is worth a visit. The monastery may be closed off season, and there are some steep stretches of narrow roads to navigate – but the view is excellent. The nearby town of Pyrgos sits up on a large hill and is strongly reminiscent of hill top towns you might find in Europe. One restaurant near there that comes highly recommended (but which we were unable to visit) is Metaxi Mas. At some point in your island driving you’ll find yourself on at least the shoulder of the hill where Pyrgos is, so it’s worth a stop.
  6. The Santorini Lighthouse located at the extreme southwestern edge of the island is another worthwhile visit. You can’t visit the interior of the lighthouse, but you will get views of the caldera from a different perspective. Off season most every surrounding restaurant will be closed except perhaps closer to the town of Akrotiri which has a small year-round population. Combine your trip to the Lighthouse with a visit to the Red Sand Beach and the ancient Akrotiri archeological site. Follow the signs to the Red Sand Beach. Off season parking near the church should be easy. Take good shoes if you decide to take the trail down to the beach itself, though the best shots can be taken before the trail gets more difficult to navigate. For best pictures of the Red Sand beach, try to get there in the morning hours.
  7. Fira and the Old Port. Fira is the capital city of Santorini, sits along the Caldera and offers either 330 steps down to the old port, or for 6 euros each way you can take the cable car. There isn’t that much compelling down at the port, and beware – it’s where most cruise ships passengers are tossed out by the tender boats (the cruise ships do not dock). But there are several possible cruises available from the old port, including the next suggestion.
  8. A boat tour of the volcano. There are half day and nearly full day options. The half day option takes you to Nea Kameni where an improved (but still fairly strenuous) hiking trail will provide great views of the caldera, smoking fumaroles, and if you have a good guide some interesting history of Santorini – including how it got its names, and the frequency of eruption. After Nea Kameni, the boat stops at Palea Kameni where “hot springs” warm the water with sulfurous aromas. Hint: “Hot” is probably not quite accurate; tepid is a better description. New on a last trip was an additional 5 euros or so per person to disembark on the Nea Kameni island and take a tour. Still worth that, however! On the longer cruise you can continue on to Thirassia – the fisherman’s island and either brave a steep walk up, or hang around the few shops and restaurants down at the water level.

I didn’t mention it as yet, so I will now… there is a walking trail between Fira and Oia that will provide lots of great views. Allow from one and a half to 3 hours each way should you choose to make the trek. And one last thing… there are a lot of one way roads and one of those one-way roads will lead you INTO Oia from Imerovigli, but you can’t take that road out of Oia. This is called the “high road” and its worth following all the signs headed toward Imerovigli from Fira, but instead of turning (left) toward Imerovigli, keep headed North. There are some great vistas from the high road, including some pull outs, snack sheds and even a few luxury properties. There is also a trail up one of the volcano cones which forms another high point on the island.

There are also several museums scattered around the island, including a new one called The Lost Atlantis Experience in Megalochori near the Grigoris Bakery (see below). It seemed like a tourist trap so we didn’t visit it. And it’s also worth peering into the churches if/when they are open. The Greek Orthodox touches and Byzantine architecture of some of those 400+ churches on the island is fascinating.

Unique Foods, Gifts and Restaurants in Santorini

There are few things we recommend you try.

Tomato Balls (τοματο κεφτεδες). aka Tomato Keftedes. They are fried treats made with local Santorini cherry tomatoes. Every place we tried them they were good… and each place made them a little bit different. Some more like flat pancakes, some resembling the “balls”. All of them were delicious.

Galaktoboureko (Γαλακτομπούρεκο) – while not unique to Santorini, this Greek Custard Pie is quite different from the familiar baklava. Galakto means “butter”. You can think if it as a custard burrito usually soaked in sweet water or honey. We had tasty versions of this dish from several sources, including the Furnissimo Bakery near the airport in Messaria (Μεσαριά) on the corner of the road leading to Kamari, the Family Bakery close to Fira in the town of Megalochori (Μεγαλοχωρι), and the Grigoris Bakery on the southern outskirts of Megalochori. If they are out of Galaktoboureko, Bougatsa is similar enough to give it a try. If you’re in the Kamari area, the Erotokritos Cretan Bakery comes highly recommended, but we didn’t try anything from there. Oh, and for an island with only 15,000 permanent residents, there are a surprising number of bakeries… we have only listed the ones we personally visited.

Vinsanto – literally “holy wine” is a dessert (sweet) wine made from native assyrtiko grapes that are harvested and allowed to dry in the sun for up to two weeks before they are juiced. Almost all the dozen wineries on Santorini make this wine, some are noticeably better than others. The resultant wine is quite sweet and may be strongly redolent with “raisin” flavors. A similar but far less common dessert wine is Apiliotis which is made the same way, but using Mandilaria (red) grapes. And while we’re talking about wine, there are several species of grapes that are indigenous to the island, almost all of them are used to make white wines – including the aforementioned assyrtiko grape.

Dakos – this is a simple salad originating from Crete made with tomatoes, olive oil, hard rusk bread, feta and sometimes other ingredients like oregano capers and caper leaves. It is surprisingly good if you allow the tomato and olive oil to soften the bread. It’s a great alternative to Horiatiki the traditional greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, feta and olives. Not every restaurant will carry Dakos.

Alexandros Jewelry has stores in Athens, Fira and Oia. His creations are truly unique and inspiring. Just ask my wife who has several incredible pieces from this premium jeweler. And truly, Alexandros Rogavopoulos and his wife, Gina, have been very kind to us on each of our visits. The jeweler closes both Santorini stores in the off season and he runs the production / creation of jewelry in his Athens workshop.

There are two local brewers in Santorini. The beers are worth a try. The local beers are Yellow Donkey, Red Donkey, White Donkey, Slow Donkey and Crazy Donkey – which is the name of one of the Breweries. If nothing else the mugs and glasses are amusing. Another local brand is Blue Monkey from Ftelos Brewery on the Caldera side of the island which looks like an interesting brew pub but we haven’t visited it.

Our top 5 restaurants in Santorini

  • Naos – Expensive, creative fine dining in the heart of Oia. They close from late October to November and reopen for Christmas.
  • Skiza – a pizzeria and more with a great view in Oia. They are one of the few places that is open year round. The prices were reasonable and the meals really delicious.
  • Skiza’s sister restaurant Skala in Oia serves a variety of Greek favorites is also open all year.
  • Cacio e Pepe: Italian restaurant in Fira.
  • Metaxi Mas. In Exo Gonia (Έξω Γωνιά) – we really wanted to eat here because it came highly recommended by several on-island people, but alas we didn’t get a chance.

Of course there are many more restaurants we have tried, and we were only disappointed in two of them – but only mildly so. Remember that many restaurants like the Melitis in Kamari are closed in the offseason. Indeed at least half of all the restaurants we visited from October 23rd through November 5, 2022 were partially closed (with limited choices), closing, or about to close. Oh, and there is a Thai restaurant (called Paradox) very near the bus terminal in Oia. It was surprisingly good.

Where to get Great Photos in Santorini

Last Evening in Fira, Santorini (2013)

I chuckle as I write this. While doing my typical pre-sunrise and sunset walks, camera in hand, I got asked that question a lot by people wearing cruise ship stickers. There are a LOT of sites that hawk “best place to take a photo” and two of those spots are well traveled – and happened to be literally feet away from our Oia lodging. But DO NOT be waylaid by such concerns. The island has so many beautiful vistas and fascinating shots my best advice is … shoot the heck out of the place. There are doorways, bougainvillea, cats, dogs, people, churches, steps, walkways, pools, domes, and of course the beautiful coloration in the water of the caldera and the volcanic cliffs themselves. And on top of all that, there are sunsets, sunrises and night vistas. It’s really hard NOT to get a good shot if you follow some simple guidelines about composition and exposure (coming in the next article). Anything that includes color, architecture and scale will make your viewers jealous, guaranteed.

In the next articles, we’ll address cell phone photography, cell phone based image adjustment, and night photography in Santorini.

Night in Oia. Taken with an iPhone 13 Pro Max by tricia Christenson

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