I am fresh back from heaven after the most beautiful week away in Oia, Santorini. With it being quite a little island and Oia an even littler town, after a week there we managed to do a lot of exploring (predominately eating) and I thought it would be nice to do a little guide of what to do if you find yourself on this wonderful island.
We stayed in the lovely Marizan Caves and Villas and pretty much all our recommendations came from the walking and talking travel guide Georgia, who runs the hotel and who knows Santorini like the back of her hand!
STAY | Marizan Caves and Villas, Oia | http://www.marizan.gr
As soon as you arrive, you are greeted by Georgia in reception who fills you in on everything you need to know about the area and makes you feel like family. Nothing is too much for her to do, happy to make recommendations, reservations and bookings – without her help our experience would never have been so good. Each cave has it’s own private balcony with amazing views straight onto the caldera and lovely seating areas for you to enjoy breakfast every morning with your fridge restocked every day and fresh bread delivered in the morning. The sunsets from the balcony were ridiculously beautiful – whilst tourists cram onto every wall and surface to get a peek of the sunset, you have a front row seat for the show away from the hustle and bustle. Every morning I had to pinch myself as I opened the doors of our cave onto the beautiful sea view that surrounded us, it felt like we were inside a very sunny snow globe! This place is an absolute hidden gem and the prices are very reasonable for how well this hotel delivers.
Floga | Oia
We went to Floga on the first night and after loving it so much, instantly booked again to go on the last night. The view from the restaurant’s terrace is beautiful and feels very romantic with low lighting and lots of tealights. Every meal we ate tasted divine, with all the right flavours combined. Our top recommendations would be the Caldera Prawns, which are prawns wrapped in very fine shredded filo pastry and fried with a tomato sauce and also the lamb shank stew with eggplant mash. All the staff there are wonderfully friendly, and they still remembered us from the first night when we returned a week later on our last night. If you are after a special meal and willing to pay a little more than the usual, this place is fab.
Roka | Oia
Roka is hidden away in the side streets of Oia away from the main walk through, so is worth locating first before making a reservation! You can either sit in the pretty courtyard which you enter through to get to the restaurant, inside or out the back on the terrace. We were lucky enough to get a seat right at the front of the terrace and watched the sunset with a nice glass of bubbly! Roka serves traditional greek food and has a lovely relaxing and laid back atmosphere, with food priced very reasonably.
Karma | Oia
We loved Karma so much the first time round, we instantly booked to go the next night too. Perched nearby Roka in the side streets, Karma had a really intimate feel to it, with plush cushioned seating areas and lots of rich colours and tealights. We tried a few different meals whilst we were there, but my absolute and very naughty favourite was the battered feta drizzled in honey and sesame seeds. It was amazing, but definitely not something you could eat every day! Everything we tried was delicious and staff were very speedy and helpful.
Melitini | Oia
Tucked away just off the main walkthrough in Oia sits Melitini, a cute restaurant that serves delicious traditional Greek tapas. The interiors are wonderfully whimsical, and everything feels very laid back, with food and wine served in industrial metal bowls and pitchers. As with everywhere else in Oia, the staff were friendly and very helpful in recommending dishes we should try. It is a great place to be able to try a little bit of the traditional dishes of Santorini and Greece, the service was also really quick so it’s a good place to go if you want to grab a quick lunch or dinner. I’d definitely recommend the pastourma pie, it’s like a really fancy ham and cheese toastie! http://melitinioia.com
Lolita’s | Oia
After hearing lots of good things about this ice cream parlour that hand makes their own ice creams, I decided it was about time I hunted down where this sweet goodness lived. Off the main walkthrough down by the bus station is where you’ll find Lolita’s, serving lots of yummy ice creams, milkshakes and coffees. It’s a fun and chilled place, with a nice canopied area in the shade (thank god) just outside for you to sit down and devour your ice cream. It is evident that the staff there have a good sense of humour too, as the wifi code was a very elaborate algebra formula – aka get off your phone and talk to each other!
DO | Open Air Cinema, Kamari
Screening recently released British films with Greek subtitles, at only 8 euros each the Open Air Cinema is the loveliest way to spend an evening. It’s situated in a nicely decorated outdoor area, with lots of comfy director style chairs surrounding the screen and a cute little living room area where the owners and staff sit and watch the film with you. With a bar that sells reasonably priced snacks, popcorn, cocktails and milkshakes, there is the opportunity to fill your boots with refreshments – something that would usually cost a bomb back home! This was one of my favourite evenings of the whole holiday and something I would recommend to anyone visiting Santorini!