Thoughts, tips and experiences from people who love Santorini more than anything… When you love a place so much, sometimes you tend to be obsessed and even lose your objectivity while telling other people about it. That’s Santorini for me.
So, I decided it was about time to start collecting the experiences, secrets, tips and views of people who are not from Santorini but love it like their second home… Here is @mimm_i from Sweden.
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Ok…so I understand that you visit Santorini quite often! Could you tell me a little bit about you, where are you from and when was the first time you visited Santorini?
My name is Mimmi and I am 28 years old from Sweden.
My mother started taking me to Greece since my early age. Almost every year!
It was not so hard to fall in love and keep visiting this beautiful place.
During the recent years I am visiting Santorini twice a year.
I prefer May and September because of the calmness.
Not so many tourists and in September the sea is absolutely amazing.
I first visited Santorini back in 1993. I was just 5 years old.
Can’t say I remember much but something inside me definitely does. I think it was love at first sight…!
What is it that you like so much about Santorini? Is it the views? The people? The beaches? The food? The whole atmosphere of the island…?
What is there not to like about Santorini?
To start with the amazing view.
I mean, just google “Greece” and 90 % of the pictures are taken right here…for a reason.
This island has a little bit of everything you could ever need on a holiday.
I just love the black beach in Perrisa/Perivolos. (read also: Best Beaches of Santorini )
It makes the beach very special and unique. All because of the volcano.
The white houses along the cliff side in Fira & Oia. The scenery here is amazing.
The main reason I keep coming back to Santorini all these years are the people.
We found this just great little family driven hotel down at Perivolos with such hospitality.
Whenever I go there, I always feel like part of their family.
They always take great care of their guests and now I have made a second family! And not to mention the amazing home-cooked food.
My absolute favorite is fava.
God, this heavenly made food….
Everybody working there is really nice, greeting you when you pass with a “kalimera” or “goodmorning”.
And not to forget, if you’ve ever seen a sunset in Santorini, nowhere else will ever be the same.
That is just something I will never get tired of…
When do you think is the best time to visit Santorini? Which months do you prefer and why?
My favourite time of the year to visit Santorini is in May or September.
I usually go both of these months but if I had to chose, it will definitely be in September.
As I mentioned earlier the sea is just absolutely amazing this time of the year.
It’s almost like you can’t feel the difference between the sky and the sea!
Also, if you like it a bit more quiet (as I prefer to do on my holidays…no need to party every day) this month is perfect.
The staff at the restaurants usually have more time in the lower season and you could have a nice chat without stress.
Because if you are like me, you’d like to make new friends everywhere!
How do you actually travel to Santorini…? Flight to Athens and then ferry or direct flights? Do you have any travel tips to share?
The most common way for me to go to Santorini is direct flight from Stockholm Arlanda to Athens and then change flight to Santorini.
This inbound flight takes just 30-40 minutes and I think it’s better than the ferry.
Of course it depends.
You will see much more with the ferry, but I’m perfectly fine with seeing the airport of my second home!
We all know that Santorini can also be a bit of a tourist trap really…but it can also offer some amazing and very seclusive experiences. What’s your favorite spots/locations if you want to relax and have a “yourself” moment…?
Yes, last year I was there in June for the first time.
Very crowded everywhere.
In the hotel, the restaurants and also on the beach.
There is one place I can totally relax, though. It’s my favorite spot in the little town of Pyrgos.
There are lovely alleys all the way to the top of the mountain.
Up there is a little café called Franco’s.
From there you have an amazing view over the whole island and you can enjoy some nice white wine and a delicious lunch.
I mean, how much better can it get???
How do you travel within the island? Do you normally rent a car, bike, quad or you just take the bus? What’s your tips on that?
There are many great ways to travel, a lot to choose from.
You can rent motorcycles or bikes or cars.
Because I don’t have a driver’s license I usually go by bus.
It’s a great way to go by bus if you are visiting any of the towns like Oia or Fira.
Even the little town of Pyrgos. But there is one thing I could not be without while on Santorini: that’s a bicycle!
It takes me from A to B and pretty fast also 🙂
I like staying in Perivolos most of the days but sometimes I just wanna go to Perissa for shopping or lunch.
This is the best way.
It’s an easy and lovely way and you also do some exercise at the same time!
A question for our foodies: do you have any favorite restaurants? Have you tried any local produce and wine? What’s your tips on that…?
I’m not so into all the big tourist restaurants with all these people eating spaghetti all together.
I think that if you go to an island with so many specialties you should try to find the small local places instead.
Most of the time I eat at the hotel I’m staying in: Honeymoon Beach Hotel.
Julia who is making the food always have specials of the day so you know it’s always fresh.
You can visit it even if you are not staying at the hotel.
Here you can try local food like fava, tomato balls, saganaki, gigantes, fasolakia and many more.
If you are down at Perissa beach, there is one place with just great food and great staff.
It’s called Tranquilo.
They serve a lot of veggie alternatives and they have a big menu, so a lot to chose from.
I highly recommend their burgers. (And also their cocktails at night, I promise it’s the biggest and best you ever seen!!)
Here you can relax in one of the sofas under the roof or in one of the hammocks.
For those who just want a quick bite on the way, I like Pepito’s in Perissa.
They serve classic gyros and it’s very cheap and give you a nice taste of Greece.
And when I’m done shopping a whole day at Fira, there is so many restaurants to chose from there with the great volcano view.
But most of them are usually crowded, and sometimes expensive.
But I found one where I can always find a table.
It’s called Rastoni.
It’s located at the edge of Fira with (of course …) great views.
There you can chose to sit upstairs or downstairs.
On windy days they make it windproof upstairs so you still can enjoy it.
This restaurant has great food and the staff is just so nice.
Santorini for many people is a relaxing and quiet place but not many people know that you can actually have some pretty crazy nights out. What’s your view on that? Do you have any favorite clubs or bars to have a good night out?
If I wanna party, no need to worry!
There are not only relaxing places in Santorini.
Even though this is the main reason for many people to go there…
The main town of Fira offers from small bars to bigger clubs with lots of different themes.
I like it better outside, so Koo Club is great.
It’s like a big garden with many places to sit, or just hang by the bar.
It is great to shake the hips to some modern music 🙂 I also like the bar called Casablanca Soul.
This place is a little smaller but they have good music, and a big dance floor.
If it gets too crowded inside, the balcony outside gives room for a break with your favorite drink while you are still enjoying the music.
Now…we have to talk about the beaches…What’s your favorite beach(es) of Santorini and why?
My favorite is Perissa/Perivolos beach.
It is a long sandy beach with lots of space and many beach bars to chose from and almost all of them offer sunbeds and great food.
During the high season it can get a bit crowded and with lots of bars playing loud music.
But the beach is so long that I’m sure everyone can find a spot they like there.
Can you describe your typical day while you are in Santorini? How do you like to spend your day?
My typical day means rest…
Because at the end that’s why I’m here, right? To relax!
I like to enjoy a homemade breakfast, there is a lot of nice fruit to chose from in the supermarkets and you can make it as you want.
The typical day is spent at the beach of Perivolos, at the beach-bar Kelly’s.
There you can get full service from the staff, the button beside the sunbeds makes it easy to order whatever you wish to eat or drink, actually, you don’t even have to get up!
If the energy is there I love to take the bike along the beach to Perissa for some after-lunch shopping.
There are some nice stores with clothes and jewelry.
And of course a lot of souvenirs if you like. I think I will soon become “The girl on the bike”, going back and forward!
This is just a nice way to get a break from the hot sun and sandy feet (if you need to…)
There are no better days than Fridays while in Santorini where there are live performances at Waves Chill-Out Beach Bar, just down at Perissa.
There you can enjoy a nice dinner or just drinks and listen to Live Greek music at its best.
If you want you are always welcome to dance along with all the others, both greek-locals and tourists.
This is something that gives me the good feeling.
That’s a nice way to round up the day.
Probably your feet will hurt but you will go to bed with a smile on your face… Trust me!
Have you visited any other Greek islands by using Santorini as your base? Do you have any tips or experiences on that?
Before we started staying in Santorini, me and my mother were taking direct flight to Santorini instead of to Athens.
This is from Sweden only possible during the high season (June,July,August).
This is great if you want to see as many Cyclades islands as possible.
When I was younger we travelled around a lot to many islands.
Antiparos was one of my favourites.
This little island has one main street that goes through almost the whole island.
This is also the place I met Tom Hanks.
Believe it or not, we watched football at the same bar, in Antiparos!
For someone who has never visited Santorini what would be your TOP 5 things that someone definitely has to do while on the island?
– To start with you absolutely have to see this local winery called Santo Wines. There you can enjoy a wine-tasting menu with local wines and at the same time enjoy the amazing sunset. This I will never get tired of… (read also: The 16 Best Wineries and Wine Tours of Santorini)
– Second is you have to see Oia. While we’re on the subject of sunsets. There will probably not be any other place to better see this beautiful island from. This place will be crowded, for sure. But it is absolutely worth the wait.
– Visit Pyrgos Town. This little town has so many small alleys, small shops and beautiful scenery where you can find lot of great photo opportunities. On the top is the cafe I love, Franco’s. They serve great food and great drinks. And they give you the perfect view. Absolutely need to visit!
– And like me, sometimes I get restless and want some adventure. I would recommend to take one of the many trips by boat for one day. You can go diving or snorkeling around the island in spots you can’t reach in any other way. They offer many different types also with a stop at the volcano. I did one of this cruises and went snorkeling. I got to see the island from another perspective. It’s really lovely with the volcano that makes most of it black.
– And last of all… just enjoy the atmosphere of the island! You don’t always have to do something. When you really feel Santorini as its best, its on a restaurant with local food and wine, just feel the warm breeze on your skin, smell the salty ocean and just breath…!
Awesome!!For a final touch, could you give us 3 words that best describe Santorini for you?
My Second Home !